Thursday, July 2, 2015

My sons and the whistling pressure cooker

Back in the day when Arjun was younger and Abhay was not around, we'd spend many afternoons in the kitchen. He'd play with the vegetables and the utensils while i quickly rustled up lunch for the two of us. He would be fascinated by the sounds in the kitchen - that of the mixer, the grinder, the juicer and even the pressure cooker. He loved to hear the spluttering of the spices in the pan.

Take us back to the present, he still loves the kitchen for a lot of reasons. He thinks it's his favourite treasure island. He discovers hidden snacks and eatables. Finds new utensils and fancy looking stuff, enough to abandon his toys. 

Until one fine day he decides to hate the whistling pressure cooker for no rhyme or reason. It'e been more than 4 months and we've seen no change towards his hate for the whistling pressure cooker. We asked him why, he says nothing - simply a wave of his hand. We've tried every trick known to us to adapt him but we've failed miserably. We've begun to accept that he hates the whistling pressure cooker.Not like he's exposed to the pressure cooker in school and something nasty happened there - we did our due diligence.

The only time we use the pressure cooker is when we have to cook lentils or cook a quick curry or prepare a pulao. So going forward, there is a timeout in our house where we go on high alert and keep him distracted while the pressure cooker does its whistling job.

This morning was even funnier. He came to cuddle up and play with me as i battled a night of a viral attack. We're singing rhymes and all of a sudden he stops with his ears shut. It took a while for me to figure out it was the whistle of the pressure cooker from the neighbouring block. Talk of super sharp senses! I tried calming him down. He felt relieved the whistle was over in no time.

Abhay, on the other hand is pretty ok with the whistling pressure cooker. He had his initial "stunned" moments but he's okay now.

Do you have someone in your family who hates the pressure cooker like my son does? Share your experience, how you dealt with it and if you've found success.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lessons from Arjun's 3rd birthday

Dearest Arjun,

You turned 3 and we won't go all cliched at how time flies. Time does not fly. You grew up right in front of us - from 2cm in my womb to what you're today.

Let's do a quick recap - we had a big bash on your happy 1st birthday, the second one was a temple trip all the way to Srirangapatnam, steeped in religious fervour and historical learning (for the adults, at least). Your grandparents, parents, your baby brother and your teenaged Ayush chacha and Pooja bua were with you all day. You wore a traditional kurta-pyjama sent by your beautiful Rup maasi all the way from Guwahati.We saw rural Karnataka and loved it. The treat in the evening was chole-bhature prepared by your dadi and a big cadburys' gem cake from dadaji. What did we parents do? Well, we took care of you, fussed all over you.

As parents, we had our ups and downs - lessons in humility, ignorance and all that you can think of. By the time, you turned one, almost everyone who knew you wanted to know if you've started speaking and toilet-trained. Your dad and i took turns to fight and defend that you're taking your own sweet time. What we forgot was you have a mind of your own and you actually got us, adults dancing to your tunes. You got work done, simply with that smile. One fine day, you just stepped out of the diaper and you wanted to sit in the loo!Don't worry about the few mishaps, we all go through that. 

Your first year of pre-school was a breeze. Your annual day dance performance floored us totally.You never wanted to practise it at home.You never allowed us to play the song at home. For some reason, you'd go mad. But you totally rocked it in school.Maybe, you wanted us to be surprised! In the middle of your performance, you paused and went to console your co-participant who was crying because he was overwhelmed and scared by the sight of the audience and the glaring stage lights. We also noticed, you plainly refuse to dance/sing/perform on demand or if someone offered you a sweet which is really relieving for your parents that you'd never ever bow down to pressure and guile.

You took your own sweet time but you are speaking so well today for your age. You're a caring soul who calls up your grandparents everyday. Yes, you're partial to your dadaji because you get to ride his old Bajaj scooter with him. We also love the way you send us off when we leave for work - you always wish we come back early with something to eat. How we love you for that trust and assurance that you'd be fine!You're a great brother to your Baby brother who you still love to smother once in a while.

You're beginning to love coloring and scribbling. You totally love finger painting, just like your dad. I've done nothing to introduce reading and the arts to you. We'll start that soon. Thankfully, you don't throw too many food tantrums - you've eaten what we eat and you can be assured that we don't eat a lot of junk or order out.But i still get a lot of dirty stares that you've lost weight and that you're not fat enough. They just forgot to notice that you're growing tall and only we know how energetic you are. Your new-found fascination for Motu-Patlu on TV is quite interesting. And, the way you toggle around on the smartphone better than most of us - we know, you just love watching/listening the nursery rhymes. Only about time, we harnessed that skill of yours effectively and wean you away to better hobbies.

This 3rd birthday, we took you to your Papa's office - they were celebrating Family day. You seemed to enjoy the merry-go-round the most. Saw you eat your popcorn and candyfloss with independence just like you do with your meals. That evening, we took you to the giant Nandi temple in the older side of Bangalore. You were very fascinated by the giant structure and if you remember, it just rained so heavily that evening and we did a fun auto-ride to Bangalore's most famous khao galli. And how you relished the piping hot rava dosa and the steaming hot idli-vada and chutney. You loved flipping your foot in the rain with the umbrella on your head. We saw so much rain that day that we almost certainly believed the gods poured heavily to bless you.

Have a fabulous year of fun,joy,travel and learning. Feel the waves, enjoy the smell of the fresh earth and have new experiences.Be kind and caring, assertive where needed. We are there with you.

Papa and Mama

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy 2nd, Arjun!

Wow Arjun,

Its May 29th already and you're so blissfully unaware you are growing so fast -you are two years old. Not sure if i should be guilty of not making you aware of this big day for everyone who loves you. But you know what, you are so special to us everyday. Touchwood.

We are so proud of you in every little way. You are this awesome big brother to your little Abhay whom you adoringly call Bibby and you're still learning how to hug him right without crushing him. Of course, you love nibbling his little pink fingers out of fun. You love getting flowers for mommy every morning and arranging Papa's shoes out. The small little things you do for us assure us that you will grow up to be a fine lad and treat people with kindness.

We were touched and humbled the other day when you said sorry to a bigger boy in the park even though he tried to bully you and you're not at fault. You've a big heart. You know when to laugh it off.

You have never demanded anything from us - your contentment sometimes scares me but you are a very,very brave boy and that is a very reassuring feeling. The one time when you snapped your elbow while playing swing-swing with me left me very crushed - but the speed and demeanour at which you recovered without a tantrum was a lesson for us in letting things be.

We pray each birthday of yours is a new experience in whatever capacity. Gifts that matter are the love and goodwill, and blessings of your elders and well-wishers.

You start school in less than a week. Our gift to you - go shine - the sky's the limit. Nothing should stop you from doing what you want as long as that is not causing harm to anyone or anything - that comes with a lot of love and security. Also, the big world is a big learning ground - trust us, it's an amazing place - be fearless as your name personifies.

Love Papa and Ma 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Arjun!

Dear Son,

Your dad and i cannot help wondering where and how time flew by. Today,as you turn a year old, we can see you proudly flashing those 4 and half teeth and boy!those nimble limbs ambling away to glory. Each milestone was full of precious moments of joy and happiness. It was a delightful time seeing you break pots and pans, dig up plants and catch ants and how you preferred to chew on vegetables than your teethers. 

Your love for everything electrical and gadgets doesn't come as a surprise.You love trying anything new, which is good and your dad gently calms my anxious nerves from time to time.

Your dad and i want you to be as loving and fearless as you are now. People say, one ought to fear God - but we feel, God is a loving one.You are a remarkable kid - you've inherited your dad's travelling genes and many believe, my demeanour (which i disagree sometimes). 

Stay cheerful and continue to spread love and sunshine and we will be reminded of our follies with that hearty and infectious laugh of yours.

Papa and Ma

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monkey came to say hello

While in school, those of us who did not know how to sing decently in the choir made do with this ditty,

      " i wish i was in the monkeyland,
        the place where i was born.
        a monkey came and kissed my cheeks,
        and said, "goodbye!" to me!"

And, there are three versions of rendering the same song. Really, it was some song. The only vivid but remote monkey tales of my childhood were going to Lady Hydari Park and teasing our evolutionary ancestors from a safe distance. Yes,my brother got attacked and scratched by a big male for having touched the cage. Our first landlady in Shillong was the monkey-old lady ( word for word in the vernacular, meaning the old lady who had a monkey for a pet).

Of late, Hyderabad is gradually experiencing the summer in the air. The mango blossoms sway in the gentle breeze of the afternoon and the jackfruit just hangs in there in the sun taking its time to ripen. The chickoos, stoic as ever show no signs of friendly banter. And, the yellow and pink blossoms on those graceful trees adorning the boulevard is quite a visual treat.

And yeah, we got back from our jungle safari weeks back but methinks, i have jungle signal-lag. I was so used to the guide and driver telling us to keep our ears alert in the jungle and to differentiate one animal sound from the other. So I know how a monkey hoots.And, yes, i am not imagining - Jubilee Hills these days, our road reverberates with monkey hoots. There are so many fruit trees fencing every house. Of course, V dismissed it with as much disbelief. My maid - ditto.

So that afternoon, post lunch the young man was getting ready for his early evening bath. He was in the living room with the maid crawling all over the  house like a cub leaving oily marks here and there.The kitchen door is always left open for the afternoon sunlight.It is quite a pretty picture.I went in to get his clothes and other accouterments ready for his majesty's royal bath. As i walked back i see a bushy-tail on the dining table, yes the dining table. Excuse me? Not the neighbouring Tamil cat, is it? No, that's not a catty-tail. That looks like a monkey.I ran towards the kitchen, and there he was waiting. I scared him from the word go. He gnarled at me. I had nothing around me to throw at him save a basket of oranges on the dining table. No, i am not sparing them for you.I grabbed that half-filled plastic water bottle and hurled at him. In no time, he was gone and i could see him on the roof of our neighbour's servants quarters, plucking a berry here and there. He seemed like a total loafer.I called out my maid and showed her the monkey proof. She was like - wah! We both promised to be careful since we have a delicious crawler in the house.

Called V and reported the appearance of the monkey. The father in him suddenly became protective and we thought we should inform the municipal authorities but have you heard of a monkey catching squad ever in India? Jai Hanuman!

My maid brings home monkey proof stuff. Don't ask me what!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Arjun and the Giant Ferris Wheel

Yes, i am not devoutly regular in blogging about what my son is upto these days. My husband tells me to capture those memorable milestones lest i forget the details. Yes, i forget so many details  to note,everyday, every waking moment. He is such an engrossing personality - he just won't allow me or rather remind me to go pick up the pen or the keyboard. He observes, quite intently and loves attention.

So we took him to Numaish - V has nostalgic tales from childhood and what a different Hyderabad it used to be without too many shopping malls and the jazz. As we entered, the bright and colourful stalls selling lovely apparel and bags for young girls and the footwear just made me want to have a fully grown daughter.

The Kashmiri stalls cannot be missed- the suits, the saris, the shawls, the carpets and the dry fruits. The UP traders and their handloom stuff - not everything is handloom, though! You have pretty much everything you want for your house in one or the other shop.What struck me the most was the humanity teeming there - small and big families. It was heart warming to see families from all backgrounds- the father bringing his kids and the mother of his brood there and gently alternating the rides and games among the siblings without making one child less loved.The candy and ice-cream treat took care of the rest. I have to admit the govt. has done a great job in terms of arrangements like toilets, security and police bandobast - yes, the complaints, nonetheless. Our thumb rule has been, never buy anything that is already and readily available in the city stores. Spotting the unusual knick-knack and some childhood toy here and there - we still ended up spending close to 3.5K and not a single item is clothes or shoes.

So we are at the rides area and we look at the closest to what is baby-friendly.Not the baby-rides, if you know what i mean. We were going to take one ride as a family.The Giant Wheel? I was like trying to race back in history when was the last time i sat in one - it was quite some time ago.V kept asking me if i will be fine and i kept telling him ya ya!Tickets and queue. On closer inspection, the seating box was a swinging basket!Oh!And the board read - Today special - 5 rounds!Once secured in the case, i held myself secure to the railings on the side while V held Sonny boy and gradually, we went up.We had a bird's eye view and all. And the descent was not at all comfortable for us adults.The next moment, everyone i can hear, is screaming their lungs out as baskets took turns to swing sideways in mid-air - you get the feeling you will topple out. The 5 rounds became 10. Sonny boy gave a strange look, closed his eyes. I was relaying that bit of info to V.V, nervous because i was nervous asked me to keep talking to Sonny boy. So i was talking very loudly to Sonny boy - everything's gonna be ok! Just 5 rounds ok!Just 5 rounds! we are fine! we are fine! Sonny boy never winced or screamed, he was growing uncomfortable with how we were holding him tight and secure. He was also feeling sleepy. Finally, the ride came to an end. Sonny boy was more than awake. He was on an eating spree after that!

What a Numaish!V is waiting for the boy to grow up fast for bigger adventures.Like really.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My son and Katrina Kaif

Our young man completed 3 months the other day. He is a perceptive little fellow. Thankfully, he is not very demanding or cranky. Sticks to his needs and in my friend’s opinion, has a great temperament. Buri nazar waale tera mu kala. Yeah, back to the agenda – we wanted to celebrate it in our own unusual way. We ran out of ideas. Don’t want him to hate us or headbang (oh yes, he is into headbanging) later that we actually cut a cake for him and he didn’t get to taste it. He has to be involved, are we deciding too much for him, haha.

His father is very particular sonny boy should not be watching TV. Yes, no TV. I really don’t know what programmes are there for babies under 3months. So I watch my little bit on TV during the day and sonny boy does not (get to) watch TV. He is sleeping most times in his crib, all he needs is the sensation that his mom is around and that he gets the necessary attention. And he wakes up when the power cuts start. That’s when we play in the garden and indulge in his babble for hours.

A young friend happened to visit us and his phone had Katrina Kaif as the wallpaper and sonny boy kept staring at her for a really long time. We laughed our heads off as he just refused to look away. And over the weekend, we caught up on this Hindi flick, Ek Tha Tiger, yes that movie has Katrina Kaif. I thought let me put my hypothesis to test. Sonny boy loves the movie theater ambience to go to sleep. He was on his way to sleep just when Katrina Kaif popped up onscreen. He just refused to go to sleep or look the other way. He made all the noises to stay awake to watch the movie and ultimately, his father took him on his lap and covered his eyes. Sonny boy stopped struggling, made do with the sound and the fury (inside him). Just before half-time, apparently Salman Khan’s character shoots at her at being caught in the act of whatever. Sonny boy jumped in his seat, rather shocked. Break time, he decided to go to sleep. No Katrina Kaif, the point is.He didn’t wake up till the next day. And as I greeted him good morning, I told him she didn’t die in the movie, Katrina Kaif lived happily ever after. He chuckled. Both V and I were, well stumped.

An afterthought -
The reason behind my telling him what happened in the movie is again a pet indulgence. I feel babies at whatever stage of life and development need to be told complete stories. No half-baked or incomplete stuff like what happened to Prince Abhimanyu in his mother’s womb in The Mahabharata. When Prince Arjun and Princess Subhadra were expecting the little prince, the Pandu warrior prince happened to share with his wife the art of breaking into a Chakravyuh, a battle-strategy to break into enemy lines but she fell asleep when he narrated how to come out of it. And, legend has it that the young teenage prince could break into the Chakravyuh effortlessly but could not exit and got killed treacherously by the Kaurava biggies.