Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rock-a bye baby...

Last night my son requested me to sing this lullaby for him. And since he's the only darling who would ask me to sing, who actually looks forward to me singing, I obliged.

And at the end of it, tho' I've heard the lullaby a hundred times, I suddenly noticed that its such a not-suitable song to rock a baby to sleep. I mean the tune is perfect and lilting and it rhymes and all that is alright.

But it is pretty moronic I would say, to make up a lullaby for a baby in which, at the end of it all, the baby falls down, cradle and all! And you don't even know if he was alright after it!

By now Sonny boy has picked up enough of the Queen's English to understand what we say perfectly, especially after I have started reading out stories to him straight from books. So yesterday I could see that he was following the lines and was puzzled by the anticlimax at the end, in which the poor baby fell down... and worse, there was no Momma or God to pick it up and kiss away its hurts....

For the record, am putting down the little rhyme here

Rock a bye baby on the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all!

This is all I know of it. Is there somebody out there who knows if there's more to this rhyme than what I've put here?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Of jammed fingers and hospitals...

This weekend has been a terrible one.

Sonny boy was feeling down after his Ammamma on his mother's side left some days back, so we decided to see if a visit from Muthasshi on the father's side would cheer him up. So my in-laws- Ma, Pa and Sis have been visiting, as of last week. With my sis-in-law's little son, a Terror who is all of 1 year and 5 months, who delightedly decided to definitely keep Sonny boy company.

"And wherever Mary went, the lamb was sure to go...."
Substitute Sonny boy for Mary and the Terror for the lamb and that was the situation in my house with the two babies. (Madmomma, you are blessed to have such a loving Brat!)

Truly a Terror, my little nephew-in-law effortlessly terrorised his bigger brother.
He would rush lovingly to Sonny boy and give him one Thwack! on his face. A friendly box, a loving bite, an affectionate kick... these were some of the expressions of the deep love he has for his etta. To give due credit to my son, he was remarkably patient the first few hours of terror. But that was more because he was not used to such treatment. Not someone to take things lying down for long, before long, the two had to be kept away from each other. So much for brotherly bonding and keeping company!

Now in addition to wondering whether Sonny boy was eating and sleeping properly while I was away at office, I only needed to wonder if the two were at each others' throats yet!

But on Sat evening, the poor, poor little Terror got his wee little finger jammed in the door. (no contribution of Sonny boy, who was sleeping soundly when the incident took place) And OH! the sight of that poor mangled little ring finger on the left hand! The little one went beserk with pain. And he kept flailing that hand everywhere, out of people's reach and dropping blood all over the place. And Sonny boy woke up crying when he heard the Terror screaming, and then proceeded to scream himself when he saw all that blood and the faces of the adults- it was a horrendous evening!

Finally we rushed him to Manipal Hospital. As an aside here, a dying person could be just minutes away from the hospital and still die because of the traffic jam on Airport Road.
Here he was subjected to more of the worst kind of pain as the plastic surgeon probed the deep cut to see if that piece sticking out was his nail or skin or bone. My heart went out to the poor little scrap. Finally after a totally traumatising ordeal, the doc and nurse managed to bandage his hand up on the second attempt, because, inspite of his mother and aunt and doctor holding him and the arm down, he still managed to get that finger free and shake off the bandage.
But then- within minutes of his finger being securely bandaged up, he was smiling happily! Children! All of us in Pediatric Emergency laughed to see that smile- toothy and totally appealing...

We were told to come on Mon morn for the suturing. Its another story that we had to go back home, get him to sleep and then come back to the hospital again so that we could get his finger Xrayed. For he absolutely refused to be held down again for the Xrays, which had to be taken in addition to the blood test. There was no fracture, thankfully.

After all that, Sonny boy was little wary of how to carry hostilities further with an injured opponent. So we thought there'd be a small respite, especially since we adults too were paranoid about him hurting his finger again. But we hadn't accounted for the little Terror. Who was back in form again. Who swatted Sonny boy one across his face again, right with his bandaged finger.
"All the better to hit you with, my dear...!"

The achiever

Well Well....

Have mentioned my nephew earlier in my posts- the one who came to B'lore for a vacation post his 10th and was treated to an overdose of temples with grandmom and aunt in tow!

His results are out, and yyyyyyaaaaayyyyyy!!!!!!!! he has scored 82%!

Now some of you might be wondering what on earth there is to get so upbeat about this- after all, it isn't as if he's scored 99%.
But I AM thrilled, cos this is one family member who was pecked at by nearly all other family members. For his academics and otherwise. And he's been a sweetheart through it all. Not really snapping at all, like so many other obnoxious teenagers. And he's never put on airs like some of his cousins! And yet he's scored more than them all. Inspite of not ever being considered on par with them on the academics front.

Am all the more thrilled for my sister, who can now show everybody that her efforts (at keeping his poor nose to the grindstone 24 hours a day, 30 days a month, for some 3-4 months!!) did not go down the drain. Who can now relax for all those days that she sat with her nose next to his on that grindstone. (I just hope she lets up from now on at least- that grindstone just couldn't take another year of two noses)

My dear nephew (yes, he's my only one) has scored in the eighties in English, Malayalam, Maths and Social Studies, but only in his seventies in Science.

He was confident he would get an overall score of 84%, he fared worse than he expected in science, and he's a little bit down because of the less than 80 in that subject. But we're all very proud of him! Very very proud.

And we hope he continues to be the unassuming, cheerful, loving, generous,(with his heart, not with his pocket money- the little Scrooge!) lazy, irresponsible, driving-us-up-the-wall, music-mad (of the wrong kind) little grown-up kid he is.

And yes, we've told him he owes his thanks to all the gods and godesses he's visited just days before his results were published.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Well well, have been tagged by Poppins and now I have to think of 8 things about me that you guys/gals don't know about.

1. I'm revoltingly scared of worms, of all hues, all sizes, furry ones, smooth ones, legged ones, non-legged ones, YUCK! one and all, they are absolutely disgusting!

2. I am not scared of snakes the way I'm scared of worms. Now what would Freud make of me, I wonder?

3. I could sometimes cheerfully strangle my husband (whom I married after i fell in love with him, yes!) when he surfs upto 20 channels in a sec, which is what he does all the time, pls believe me!

4. I can get so pissed with a person my fingers would shake with the emotion, and still manage to smile at them sweetly.

5. When I'm really really angry with my husband, tears spring to my eyes- its so irritating, he thinks he's upset me whereas I'm just MAD!

6. I can keep a secret, even if I'm dying to discuss it.

7. Am very very lacking on self-confidence. Truly. I could probably let people walk all over me and yet think that I was not accomodating enough. And then I can rave and rant at my husband that people are walking all over me. And make up dialogues in my mind to whittle that person/persons down to size.

8. I am a sucker for someone who requests my help, will genuinely help out even the person who backstabbed me, if he asks me for help.

Thank you, Poppin's Mom, I enjoyed doing that!
Now, I tag Whatsinaname and Agelessbonding... all the others I read already have tags attached to them...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ammamma gooooooooooone............

My Mom went back to Kerala today.

She was with me for nearly 3 weeks- the longest she's ever been away from her home after Dad passed away. She came with my nephew and my son has been having a rollicking time these 2-3 weeks. My sis and bil also landed up on Fri and we went to Tirupati on the weekend, by car.

So you see, Sonny boy has been having at least 2 people fussing around him the whole of the last 10 days, if not all of us, as he really is at that very cute stage when everything he says /does is cause for comment and merriment.

And then today morn when he woke up, all of them had vanished.

They left by 6.30; one reason was that since they were driving down they had to leave early, another was that Sonny boy would be sleeping then, and so he could be spared some early morning heartbreak.

But heartbreak is heartbreak and silence is deeper than words, truly.

Sonny boy woke up, found the house unnaturally quiet and bereft of all the people that had filled it the last few days. And he said nothing. No queries, no seeking, nothing. Not a single question about where the 4 people who had surrounded him with love and laughter had disappeared to. He just stuck close by me while I fiddled about in the kitchen. He came quietly to brush his teeth. And went to do potty even before drinking his milk. Finally while doing potty, he called me to the door of the bathroom and asked me to stay there and said- I love Amma, I love Achcha, I love Muniyamma (she's our new maid). Still, significantly, absolutely no mention of his beloved Ammamma, his cousin, his aunt, his uncle..

My heart went out to Sonny boy as I could see that he was so clearly distraught by the fact that all of them had just vanished. But I had to get him to talk about it, for Hubs and I would also have to leave in another hour for work...

So I cautiously started after I had given him his bath-
"Sweetie, Ammamma had to go home..."
Two big eyes looked up at me and slowly started filling up- "where gone Ammamma?"
"Ammamma went to her house because Trinity (our dog at Kerala) is not feeling well, and so Moothamm and Moothach took her with them.."
At that the dam broke,

The tears rolled down his cheeks. Evvybuddy gone... Ammamma gone, Chaith gone, Mooth gone, Car gone, onny Agashya not gone.

And I engulfed my son in my arms as the tears poured copiously down his little face. I was not far from tears myself....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The pest!!!!

I resumed work after my son completed two, but he still hasn't reconciled himself to my going to office. Schooltime, its easy, all 3 of us leave together- him to his Montessori playschool and his parents to their respective offices.

But holidays are a different story altogether. We
a) try to slip off without him seeing us
b) package him off to the terrace with the maid whilst we dash off.
c) send him to the next-door flat for just the time we have to get out.

It was easy when we had our old maid, she was a veritable gem. But she's gone away to get married (I can hardly ask her to stay back given the situation!) and has in the meantime given me her sister's Ma-in-law as a replacement. I need someone who can stay from 7 in the morn to 7 or later in the evening, hence I compulsarily have to have either young girls or older women who don't have to run their household themselves. Hence the ma-in-law.

Like I was saying, the earlier younger girl was a gem, but this old lady, while quite efficient at doing the household work, lacked sorely in the child care department. She just did not have that way with kids.

It could also be that she does not feel the need to exert herself, for right now my Mom is with us and my little son is having a grand time bonding with his grandma, who in turn dotes on the little brat (copyright to mad momma!)

Anyway, coming back to the story, the next door flat has two boys, one his age- 3 and the other about 5. My son looooves going there to play. The feeling is reciprocated by the two out there too. They have a grand time creating all sorts of ruckuses and generally bringing the house down.

But the elder one has that extra streak of rebellion and penchant for creating trouble for the younger ones without himself getting into it. While he is particularly caring and responsible at times, at times he loves to thwart and can be quite devilish at it. Like yesterday, when I absolutely HAD to get to office early, and of course by virtue of that, was later than usual. The lady was new and had no idea of how to keep Sonny boy otherwise occupied while we slipped out, and her clumsy efforts alerted Sonny boy to the fact that his parents were going to do their disappearing act. The wails started emanating. We pacified him with that eternal carrot- Chinnu's house. His face brightened somewhat. We mopped up the tears and sent him with the lady to Chinnu's house.

The door was opened by the elder one. He took one look at the tear stained face and guaged the situation for himself. Their maid was in the toilet with the younger one, Chinnu, so I called out to her that I was leaving my son there (she was quite accustomed to the routine) for 5 min. She yelled out agreement and I shut the door, with a smile at the elder one. We were waiting for the lift to come to our floor, when the door opened and there was that pest, deliberately showing our son that his parents were leaving.

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH! I could have slapped the PEST cheerfully that day of all days.

The logic of it

Last weekend, we were going to Guruvayoor by train.Since it was an ac coach, the train was reasonably clean (and I am not too fussy), so let Sonny boy have the run of the coach. In the next compartment was a cute boy, slightly older than my 3 year old. After the initial shy looks and peeps, they decided to bond.

They had a wonderful time together playing bulls-pawing-the-floor and locking horns; clambering up the berths- the 3 year long legs valiantly trying to keep pace with the legs with about a year's extra growth, and of course chatting nineteen to the dozen- my son loves this!
Unfortunately he is not totally proficient at it yet.

Midway they got down to figures. Said the elder cutie, I'm 4 years old. Are you 4?
Said mine- Noooo, i'm not 4, I'm Agashya! (Agastya)

Decided then that my son takes after me. Numbers are a mere piffle for him and hold no attraction. But logic rules! And it won the day for him that night as all of us listening collapsed in laughter at the irrefutable logic of my son, which had the 4 year old totally stumped.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Temple-seeing in Mysore.

My Mom has come to visit. And this because she wanted to give my nephew a taste of the bright lights after his exams and my sis couldn't bring him herself. So we went to Mysore the last week- May 1st.
And we treated my dear nephew to - temples instead of malls, strong incense instead of bright lights, and laddos and sugar pieces instead of the delights of KFC and Mac... Poor fella, to his credit, he didn't complain.

We went to Chamundeswari temple, to Nanjundeshwara temple and to another small temple near the latter that was the place where Parasuraman atoned for the sin of killing his mother. That reminds me- I do have to read up on my myths and legends. I do remember he cut off his Mom' s head, but can't remember what on earth for.

Chamundeswari- every time we drove past the hill, had wanted to pay the Goddess a visit. Finally we did. And returned content.
Its another story that we got conned. Mom and I paid 15/- for a mere picture of the Goddess. I mean mere paper- no stand, no hook , nothing. I have never EVER bought such pictures from the many temples I've been to in my life. To think that I could've got a better, proper photograph for the same 15/-! What is worse is that the fellow said he didn't have change and so gave me another picture to compensate! I think he must've done some hypnotising or something.... Seriously.

We also paid a visit to that HUGE statue of Nandi enroute. I remember, when I last visited the place from school , we were told that we'd be blessed with good offspring if we went under the forelegs of the bull. Nandi is in a sitting posture, but with its left(I think) foreleg raised a little. It seemed so easy then. But now, a couple was going under (dunno if for the same reasons) and they were just scraping through with quite some difficulty.

Nanjundeswara Temple was a pleasant surprise. None of us had any idea that the temple was such a big one. The architecture was beautiful, I think it was stone, but painted the colour of wood. So your first impression is that it is carved out of wood. It looks like an enlarged version of those sandalwood carvings. It was beautiful. The main deity is Lord Siva, but it also had several others- Parvathi, Ganesha etc. It was a huge, rambling temple and somehow it reminded me of Rameswaram, tho' my memories of that temple are of a 8-10 year old girl, from the time we used to be staying there. Apparently this temple is also associated with prayers/offerings for the souls of the dead.

We nearly didn't go to the Parasuram temple. It was so small, we didn't think that it could possibly be the one our friend had told us about. The one where you supposedly got all your past sins forgiven by praying at its doors. There was this small temple, hordes of trees all around, a brook flowing past right in front.... totally picturesque. And hens being slain, plucked and cooked, by the devotees themselves! There was a bald rock in front of the temple across the brook, where the sacrifice was done. Have any of you ever been fascinated by something you do NOT want to watch? Made sure my little son didn't catch any 'sights'. But he was sensitive to atmosphere. Knew something was happening that was not totally nice. Well, we prayed, but we certainly didn't kill any hens/cocks.
There was also this pair of old men sitting at the temple with a veena, singing songs if you gave them money. Kind of like the snake worshippers, Pulluvar, in Kerala, where the songs they sing are for the appeasement of the snake gods and goddesses, and also to usher in their blessings and prosperity.

In the evening, went to St. Philomena's Cathedral. My Mom's abiding memory of the place was that there had been some huge beehives there. How we laughed at her! And then we found that there were indeed huge beehives on the spires! Some three or four at least. Still.
But like my nephew said, maybe the bees have all died and its just the hives left. For who would climb up to just break up a bee hive? And at that height, if the bees decide they want a sting, you have to give it to them, you can't run away, you have to hold on for dear life.
My little son saw Jesus for the first time at close quarters, on the cross, hands and feet bleeding. And he said, Amma, paavam Jesus. It was Mass time and the church was gradually filling up. The church was absolutely full of gorgeous flowers, in every nook and corner, and we heard that the arch bishop or somebody was also visiting that day. We sat on the steps and it was very pleasant there, sitting in the evening sun, with the breeze on our cheeks.

Mom was saying that she wished we could visit a mosque, then that would complete the outing.. But as if God had heard, just then we passed a mosque and the muezzin was calling out prayers.

Returned to B'lore, tired, but definitely thinking the trip well worth it. Yeah, my nephew too.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

When 5 is better than 6

Have decided I want to move out of my current job for various reasons, the most pressing one being that it is boring and does nothing for me. If I am leaving my baby at home for the better part of the day and working, then it better be because it adds something to my life. Quality wise and not just money wise.

So, have been getting various offers from various quarters- some nice, some not so nice. Some that I like , some that don't like me. Some a step up the ladder, some a step down and some several steps down. Some in my field, some in others (greener?)

But till now, not a single one that has the weekend off, like I have been used to.

I wouldn't have minded if I didn't have my little son waiting for me at home. Who runs into my arms with the force of a little tornado the minute he sees me. Who follows me about like a shadow on the weekends when he has me all to himself. Whose expression when he says 'today no office, Amma?' tugs at my heartstrings. And I tell him, 'no baby, Amma has office today, but Sat and Sun, Amma has no office.'

Looks like I will have to teach him new lessons. That Sundays are the only days he will have his Amma all to himself. That all other 6 days of the week, he will have to put up with our new maid, (who incidentally is not a scratch on our old.)

If only the dear Gods and Goddesses Agastya prays to would send his Amma a job offer from a 5-day week following company... Sigh!