Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ammamma

Outspoken, vivacious and bold as brass - this is how I remember my ammamma. She could talk a mile a minute on a myriad bunch of topics. The phrase "good things come in small packages" was most likely coined for her. 

She made the best masala dosas, chicken curries and lime juices. Tea time was also a big affair at Ammamma's house. Plum cakes, achappams and kerala laddoos were a tea time staple. Tea was just an excuse to gobble down these delicious finger snacks. 

Bed time was strictly 9pm whether you were sleepy or not. I carried forth this habit right upto the point I became a mother. Now I hardly sleep, thanks to my hyper 7 month old. 

Ammamma was always curious to know how I fared in school and college. She encouraged hardwork and told me very strictly to get a job as soon as I passed out of college. She herself was a working woman. She was a teacher.

While I persistently fought my battle with the bulge throughout my adolescent and adult years and had self-doubts about my appearance, Ammamma would make them vanish in a second. Her eyes would light up, upon seeing me and she would immediately say, "Sundari kutty". 

She may have been strict and no-nonsense with the whole world, but with me she was always warm, kind and gentle. 

I will miss your soft cuddles and endless chatter, Ammamma. I pray that we meet again, in another life, in another form. I'm not saying goodbye, because you will live forever in my heart and mind. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

My Five Month Old Monkey


Happy fifth month birthday, my little cookie. What an exhausting, yet fulfilling ride it has been so far. I wake up sleepy most mornings and go to bed wide awake. I've never been more physically drained my whole life. Yet, my heart is bursting with love. 

Your conversations with the ceiling fan, while I try to put you sleep, your toothless grin, while I attempt to feed you and that innocent smile which you plaster on your face, after 45 minutes of trying to rock you to sleep are maddening, yet impossible to live without.

When you're awake, I tear my hair out trying to make you sleep. And when you finally close your eyes, I feel completely lost and alone. 

I put you inside your baby-cot last night for the first time, since you were born and I understood the meaning of separation anxiety. It felt so odd to go to sleep, without having your tiny hands and feet, slapping me through the night. When you finally woke up crying in the wee hours of the morning, I  felt relieved and instantly grabbed you and put you firmly back into bed, right next to me. 

Your hysterical screams, petrify everyone. Your father drops you in a heartbeat and your nanny rushes out of the room, like her tail has caught fire. 

Along with you, your mumma and dadda have also become five month old parents. Your dadda is a very patient man indeed. He has to deal with a cranky, sleep deprived mother and a volatile infant. Thank you dadda, for the sweet and salty treats you shower us with, ever so often. Thank you for dragging us out of home, every now and then as well. Bless your soul. 

While I never want you to grow up, for your dadda's sake you must. He wants to have "man to man" conversations with you. You go ahead and do that, but don't forget that I created you. You have my heart, mind and soul. You may look like your father, but you think and feel just like me. You will forever be mummy's baby even at 50. 

That flutter in my heart which I felt on May 20th, 2018 when I found out I was pregnant has turned into a beautiful, podgy little butterfly - you. Mumma and dadda love you immensely. More than each other, more than life and more than anything/anyone in the world. We would do anything for you.  

Just flash that dimply grin at us, be the good little boy that you are and we will forever be your slaves. Love you, our sweet little cookie/chikkie/chunky monkey/baby-pie. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mumma


Amma, mumma, meemee, many names one person, Mrs Gita Bhadran. She has been my voice of reason for the past 32 years. My day starts and ends with either a word of praise from her or a proper talking down.  I'm a married woman today, mother to a hyper 4 month old, a daughter-in-law, a home-maker, a naggy employee to all my house-maids, but I'll never stop being my mother's daughter. 

Right from the decor in the house, to what I wear, to what I eat, to the mundane decisions I make everyday such as what type of dustbin to buy for the bedroom, kitchen and for the baby's diapers, are all consciously or unconsciously influenced by her. She is my sounding board, my agony aunt, my best friend and so much more. 

Her signature statement, "When you have a child of your own, you will understand", has come back to haunt me. You truly understand the physical and emotional effort a mother puts in to raise a child, only when you have one of your own. You put aside your exhaustion, your body aches and pains and forget that you haven't slept the whole night, simply to tend to the needs of your child. 

I have always been an open book with my mother. There is nothing that I haven't discussed with her. If I ever attempted to hide something from her as a teenager, she would promptly catch me red-handed and have a frank discussion with me. 

Whenever I felt down and out, felt a bit under-confident or whined to her about something or someone that bothered me, she would say, "You are my daughter. You can take on anything. Be bold. Be strong". I would always snigger internally when she said this, because she has lived with an Army officer for 25 years, meaning she was ready to lose her husband to war or terrorists at any given point in time. 

She would narrate to me incidents of how she had to fight with school principals for admissions, how she had to bathe in a flimsy tent in the middle of the desert, how my brother always fell ill when my father was not around and how she travelled with him to unknown places all across the country. Every 2 years they had to pack up leave, which meant my brother studied in a dozen odd schools. 

Just listening to these stories, brings an ache in my heart for both my mom and my brother. It truly is the lady of the house, who shapes everyone in that household. She took a step back in her career, to allow my dad's career to flourish. She stayed at home to raise my sibling and I. Everything that we are today, is all thanks to her.

If I have any regrets in life, it would be all the times I gave her a hard time, or didn't listen to her or yelled back. All the decisions I have taken without consulting her have all come back to bite me now. 

I love you mumma. I don't need one day in the year to celebrate you. Everyday is mother's day for me. May you live to be a 100!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Goodbye Iron Man


I'm not the biggest fan of Iron Man. Never was. I found him to be too cocky, too arrogant and too flawed. Instead of keeping his identity a secret, he flaunted it to the world with his signature "I am Iron Man" statement, unlike Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. It's easy to become Iron Man considering your inventor and businessman father left you a legacy, that was raking in plenty of moolah. There was no superhero trait in him. Zilch. Nada. 

But then, as the franchise grew bigger, Tony Stark slowly and steadily began to grow up. Even a non-Iron Man fan like myself, began to respect him. His wicked sense of humour, confidence and witty comebacks have always been a treat to watch. And the final nail in the coffin which brought goosebumps to the mind and body, was his famous "You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys. One thing you can't take away.. I am Iron Man", dialogue which finally got him into the superhero hall of fame. You knew, he was here to stay, no matter what. He was tough and he wouldn't back down. 

He is the funniest Marvel superhero till date. No one can replace him in the humour department. By killing him, Marvel has created a huge void in the hearts of fans worldwide. The physical and emotional pain that one goes through, while watching him die in Endgame is unbearable.

I waited with bated breath, during the end-credits for him to make a dramatic comeback. I hoped against hope, that this was some cruel joke Marvel was playing on us. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I realized he wasn't kidding when he said, "Everyone wants a happy ending right? But it doesn't always roll that way" 

I will keep his legacy alive, by ensuring that the next generation (starting with my son), know all about him. I'll make sure he watches the franchise in chronological order and I hope to have detailed discussions with him on Iron Man some day. 

He is a flawed role model to look upto, but that is the point, no one is perfect. Our imperfections are what makes us special, which is exactly what Iron-Man taught us. "Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk" and"If we can't accept limitations, then we're no better than the bad guys" 

I can never look at cheese burgers and shawarma rolls again, without shedding a few dozen tears. Come back Iron Man. We miss you. So much.

(Image Source : https://nerdist.com/article/watch-iron-man-armor-up-like-sailor-moon/

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Happy Two

My baby turns two months old today and I'm celebrating his existence by gobbling down chicken biryani, fudgy brownies, samosas and bolis. What a roller coaster ride it has been so far. I've made my peace with insomnia and keep staring at his little face through the night. When I finally knock off to sleep by 8am, he wakes up promptly with an earth shattering squeal.

The rest of the day goes by in a blur of bathing him, fighting with him to put him to sleep and incessantly cleaning up after his little "mishaps".

I vividly remember his dramatic arrival exactly two months ago on this day. I was terrified upon seeing his puny 2.5 kilo frame and wondered how I'd nurse this ematiated, mousey looking thing to health.

The first month was hard. He clung on to me for hours on end and I wondered whether the rest of my life would go by in that fashion. The next month became easier because I got used to his routine. And now, like every Indian-know-it-all-aunty, I can give sermons on how to raise a child.

I know his potty face, his sleep face and his crabby-crab face. I anticipate his poo, vomit and susu showers and have solid reinforcements in place to tackle each demon.

The key is to have a long afternoon nap, a stomach full of great food and a good sense of humour. Everything else will fall into place.

Oh and WhatsApp/Facebook support groups for new mom's help too. On absolutely frazzled days, I take solace in the fact that there are naughtier babies out there.

I'm off to bed now along with my little call centre employee. My day shift begins from 10pm. Good night!

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Riaan




My precious little baby boy,
You are my God-given human toy,

You turn one month old today,
Still as fragile as clay,

Your beady eyes make my whole world spin,
My heart melts watching you grin, 

You are an extension of my body,
I know your little mind, more than anybody,

Your desperate sobs, 
Make everyone's head bob,

As I stay awake with you night after night,
I know that you will grow up to be more than alright,

Your mumma will forever be your best friend,
And that is a fact, which will never go out of trend.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Becoming Riaan's Mom


I had a bumpy pregnancy to say the least. Between one month of bed rest, infinite detailed fetal scans and a dozen throwing up sessions, 9 months flew by in the blink of an eye. People are kinder to pregnant women I realized. Doors were opened faster, chairs were vacated immediately and people just moved out of my path in general, whereby making me feel like a predatory baby whale who may or may not eat all the other fishes on it's path.

My gynaecologist warned me about the possibility of a C-Section, she even narrowed in on a potential delivery date and briefed my family on the admission procedures followed by the hospital. But time, tide and my Riaan wait for none. He overheard our conversation from my womb, let out one sadistic baby-chuckle and decided to pop out one week prior to the decided delivery date.

I woke up at 4am on the 8th of January with a feeling of discomfort. I had a dull, constant pain in my abdomen that refused to go away by 8am. My water had broken and I had no idea. I expected something more dramatic to happen. Cue the scene from Sex and the City 2 where Charlotte screams at Mr Big, "I curse the day you were born" and her water breaks.

My mother rushed me to the hospital without telling me I was in labour, in an attempt to not scare me. By 9am, my doctor and her volley of assistants began trickling in and declared I was in labour. I was rushed to the labour room by 10am and by 12.15pm, my champion made his squishy, squealy appearance. The last two hours of labour were worse than the exorcism of Emily Rose. I was denied an epidural which worsened my grunting, writhing state. I slapped a nurse, clawed a doctor's shoulder blade off and bit my mother's hand. 

The very first sentence that flew out of my mouth when I learnt I had a son was, "Now don't go fall in love with a chudail". My child is almost a month old now. My crazy, territorial, mommy hormones have settled down a little.  Just a little. 

I can safely say, no promotions, salary hikes, gold medals, awards or accolades can match up to the feeling of being a mom. He is my best creation/achievement till date. I'm proud to be his mother. And I know he'll love me just the way I am.