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Bengalis (by birth) like me do not like to admit that they have a sweet tooth. They land up at a Bengali get together(read : loud exchange of  opinioned ideas on everything and anything) and when offered, push their open palms in the air, like that on an invisible bench press and noisily decline “mishti khaabo naa …sugar achhe“(no sweets for me, I have blood sugar)”. And then after the party, on the way back, ask the wife “do we still have any of that key lime pie you made? “.

And then some days, during the coffee machine chit chat when I am asked . “you are Bengali right … you must love rosogolla?” And the sarcastic genes inside me scream “thanks for the stereotype, again!”. But on the outside, I say ” I love sandesh as much “, totally forgetting the part where I am supposed to go …”actually I do not like sweets at al. I have blood sugar .Instead; I love to use jalapeno seeds as mouth freshener“. But that never happens!!

What I am attempting to draw from the above, is how you could be immensely fulfilled with two completely disparate experiences from the same source. Another example  – when on a perfect day  your wife is giving you the silent treatment, and making spicy onion masala uttapam ,both at the same time!!  As for the female readers, I do not have an example … since men usually are not good with multi tasking!!

So when I watched Kaminey, (something which I have wanted to do since its release last year) it was that whole different kind of happiness feeling. “This is a complete movie” I told myself . Just like ..The Blue Umbrella.  And yet completely, unlike. The source – the creative genius of  Vishal Bharadwaj !! The man who has been proven guilty of being in my list of favorite directors, composers and all of that jazz since his Maachis days!! He started of as a composer and of late made some really good movies.

Now about these two movies. Why did I pick just these two?  Purely because of the experience as a viewer, watching two of his creations which have no one common point that they meet at, be it theme, design or any of those elements that work towards graduating a good story into an awesome movie and yet inspire me to write a post about them. Whether anyone is reading or not!! Wait, I did not mean that. I do care about who is reading. I digress. Let’s get back shall we, to my duo- analysis, or whatever this may be called.

The Blue Umbrella touches you,  for the simple story (courtesy: the esteemed Ruskin Bond). Pankaj Kapoor (side note: I am his fan since his Karamchand days) as usual is brilliant in the role of an aged shopkeeper who desires to own something which does not belong to him. The Blue Umbrella – the prized possession of a little girl. The movie was shot in Himachal Pradesh and just like me, as you watch the film, you will want to be part of that rustic ambience. There is innocence, love, deceit and finally utter kindness that make this a masterpiece. To me that is the sign of a great conversation – one that happens between the characters and the audience. Thank you Vishal !!

About Kaminey, let me start with the music. It will blow you away!! That is, if you are open to the idea of being blown away by music, I mean. Since the time the music released (last year), whenever we are in our small blue car, I have made myself, Onga and his mom listen to Dhan Te Nan as the overture to any journey, be it as insignificant as a quick run for diapers. And I digress again.

And I am back. Kaminey’s story is one which cannot be called unpredictable. But sometimes  cliché, when served nicely tastes good, kinda like how karela (bitter melon) would taste like honey, if Priyanka Chopra were to serve it to me. Talking of her, she did pretty good in her “not so glamorous” role in Kaminey. As for Shahid – job well done, times two (he plays twins in the movie)!! All the actors who acted as crooks, including the Bengali trio did very well, proof being I was rooting for them when they set the house(s) on fire. You see, it is not every day, that you see Bengali men who have an established career as kingpin(s) in Mumbai!! Good story with beautiful songs (which fit in perfectly even in this Satya style story) makes Kaminey one of my all time favorites. Thank you Vishal !!

In essence, this is my personal message to all movie makers – “I have some news for you. If one of your hits was a thriller, guess what, your next one need not be one, unless you are Shyamalan , and even he made some bad mistakes for e.g. The Happening.  So, ..please explore, and make us feel…. what good movie making (no matter what the story) is all about. Kinda like what I heard in the men’s room of Lighthouse cinema (Calcutta) so many years ago – “ khel khatam, paisa hajam” (the show is over, it was worth every penny)!!” The End!!

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Today could have been a perfect day. Being a Saturday, we woke up pretty late (~ 07:15 am …thanks to Onga who slept a full 15 minutes more than his usual quota). Usually, he wakes us up by dropping Thomas on our heads. But today, it was the  disgusting stench sweet aroma of the brocolli and beans from last night. The man was carrying a lot of  load, very early…. in the day. Once fumigated attended to, we were ready for the rest of the day.

I was famished wanted to lend a helping hand, just like any smart good husband should, over the weekend. So I took up  slow death the privelege of feeding the baby !! This would mean, that his mom could  go fix breakfast  relax, unlike other days during the week. Instead, she wanted to fix breakfast and I just did not have the heart to say ….”NO”. Afterall, she is a great cook, and I was ready to eat a cow probably getting a little hungry.

I told her …. “take it easy huh …. just make something simple …. something like … that ….spicy onion masala uttapam…that should be easy …right ?” Suddenly, she became very quiet. While I started flipping channels played with the baby, she got started on the masala (stuffing) part of that simple breakfast. There was hardly any noise from the kitchen. Like the calm before a storm. It was a little creepy, and in retrospect, I think that she let the oil fume,  before she relocated the cut onions from her hand onto the pan.

Now ..let us pause for a second,  shall we ? This needs a little flashback, if you will. Let us try to recollect what a very hot   knowledgeable  Miss Joseph had taught on a warm summer afternoon, several years ago to some ogling diligent students. Sometimes two unlike molecules cling to each other due to attraction and that is defined as adhesion.  In addition, I would also like to cite a Bengali phrase – “taile jale ek hoye jawa” (the phenomenon of oil and water forming a homogenous mix).

Back to present day. You see, in the heat of the moment, some water droplets (from the cutting board), decided to get  some of that adhesion action going, ….with them, young and juicy, cut onions. This catalyzed, ….what society would taint as an illegitimate union of the hot oil and the water. 9 nano seconds later : the spluttering oil, singed her right arm and gave birth to several blisters of all kinds of shapes and sizes. At that very moment (almost an hour late than usual),Onga dropped Thomas on my right toe . This was not good timing … at least not for me !!

I had to limp and  get a bucket of cold water for her to drown the sizzle to feel better. I called M to find out what else I could do to heal the pain. “apply ghee..” she said. We did not have any. So I cut a half-inch slice of  butter and rubbed it over the wounds, slowly and with extreme care, ….not to spill any on the floor.She looked up and smiled at me. And that is when things got bad. I mean really, really bad.For me !!

I grinned back at her….” you were in labor for 11 hours … this must be nothing…huh ??”

You see, some days it is best to shut the fudge up and let the DNA (that makes a good husband) do its work !! Today, could have been a perfect day for that !!

image courtesy : here 

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evening of day two : We found for ourselves, an Indian junkyard bistro – Kohinoor. We settled, only because it was close enough, for us to walk without dying of wind chill freeze. And true to its name, we were gifted with that “once in a lifetime dining experience”.  And I say that with total spite through the holes in our wallets.

We dumped walked the women back to the hotel and promptly returned into the fresh air, away from the constant  noise music that they generate. We had no time to waste. On our return, we carefully  packed the ladies in green under  the ice, in the sink of the ……ahem.. bathroom. The women gasped and I thought I heard them say – “how disgusting ….people spit and wash in there”. At that point in time,  our ears were blocked. In retrospect  I do have two key reasons behind that act. Firstly – I had checked for any oral dissipate before I poured the ice in there. Secondly  – there is an unwritten law among guys “we could be sitting naked, on rocks with snakes, under the hot Sun in the Sahara…… but  when someone offers us a beer, …….we want it cold !!”. I hereby rest my case.

day three  – The plan was to stuff a heavy breakfast, pick up something quick and get on the road. We had to reach Venkateswara Temple in Pittsburgh on time for lunch  the Saturday Abhisekham (prayers). Now, each time,  anyone asks me about the temple, I always begin with something like this …“their sambar rice is ….mmmmm and their tamarind rice … ah ha ha …. and the curd rice …. oooooo.” And then there is the pinch on my arm and I go….”sorry…it is a beautiful temple, in the mountains…near downtown…. and very close …is Udupi where the dosas  are just too good…..wait…don’t leavelet me finish..!”.

We arrived, several hours later (than planned). As the women rushed to redo the make up, freshen up, we took Onga to the men’s room … as appropriate. K held the wipes, as I lay the little fish between two sinks (they did not have a changing table) . Onga was quick to open both taps, one on each side, which in turn made other users give us that look ….”cannot discipline their kids, what kind of parents are these … two men ??” We paid no attention. Since it was just a flood, the change was quick and we were ready to meet Him.

I thanked Him for his kindness. Even at that late hour, they were not out of Sambar Rice (lentil rice) …or Tamarind Rice …or Curd Rice. He even pampered us with mango achar (Indian pickle) in small plastic containers. As we finished what we had come for, (you know what I mean) ….it was time for the pictures….for Orkut, Facebook,…etc. Each with a difference ….with the flowers,on the steps….with the elephants(and I do not mean fat people) , as couples, single. ….with children. next to the rental car … you get the drift

After the feast, darshan (holy respects) we had just one more task to complete before we hit the highway. Pick up diapers. From the time I entered the stadium sized store to when I started the car, it had been less than ten minutes. The crowd belched hooted in praise. I was a proud man,…. a man who had saved everyone  ….from baby mudslides …..literally !! We set off towards the mountains of Wheeling, West Virginia !!

I had arranged for royal accommodation. None of us had ever spent a night at any palace. Ever. Leave alone a Palace of Gold.  O.K….I lied.We did not stay at the Palace. We stayed at one of the cottages on the lake, next to the Palace. But it was equally awesome. There was a fully loaded kitchen, which moved the women,  to  prance around in joy. That  was odd … since we did not have any supplies on us. Next came the bathroom with hot water, clean towels, etc. and I promptly ….sat down to relax….ahem !! The cottage was all wood, which reminded me of the cottage I once stayed in, during a childhood trip to the hills of Mirik. We had two bedrooms, one in the attic space (you can see it in the picture)  and the other … well …not in the attic space. All in all …fantabulous !! 

day four : In the morning, after getting lost for the hundredth time, S and S finally met up with us.They  had been driving from Akron, Ohio. There was a primary reason behind us coaxing them to meet us. Our iPods were out of charge !!  Another not too important reason – we needed some milk for Onga !!

We all went to the Ashram temple and I thanked Lord Krishna…… for the khichdi (rice with veggies….yummmmm). Everyone else sneered at me….”how can he eat so much…… this early?”. Soon after, we cleaned up several plates of puri sabji at the ashram cafe.

Time for pictures. With buffalo (again, … not referring to fat people),  without, ….with the wife…without (nice) . ….and so on. Several clicks and an exhausting walk (of a couple of minutes) later …….we finally arrived at the Palace.

As Onga yanked the iron chain, which said “Do Not Touch”, I committed a mistake that could have been easily evaded. You see, ….this was my third visit. I could have easily opted to stay outside, attempted to entertain the boy and saved us some embarrassment. Not me !!  The tour took all of 5 minutes, which was really odd, since I clearly remember it to have been longer than that….the last couple of times. But then who knows !! Maybe we got the abridged version.

Our final journey back home, to Newport , New Jersey was slow, tolled and full of fried chicken. As we cruised into the city, Onga was cranky from sleeping too much and everyone else was too tired, … to replay the Bal Ganesh dvd….again !! We needed a good night’s rest before we could plan the next few days of our stay. We needed to recharge !! And I knew just exactly how… !! 

Photo Courtesy:le embrouille blogueur

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Sunday afternoon is bad timing …for any kind of activity . That is ….if you are a recovering lethargy addict, who needs to take it easy…..which I believe mean the same thing.”tomar phone” ….(it is a phone call for you) heard him drag the Bata® flip flops across the mosaic floor. He retired into the corner, …..where the red receiver lay waiting to be spoken at. That was the first time …she had called to speak to him. Purely academics. But to him, it was the best phone call ever. That was the phone call that would change their lives …. (how dramatic is that..??)

From that day on…(for the next few months). …..at the same time every evening…. he would Super Glue® his left ear to that red receiver, tapping away on the redial button …….until some very amused junior (student) at the dorm would giggle out her name…loud!! They
had about three minutes to speak …..about “nothing really“.They never spoke in public. It was a secret world, that they had grown for themselves. A world of nods and blinks ….of paused glances as they crossed paths like strangers in vicinity !!

And then one day ……they finally met !! This is the part which Kukunoor narrates as…. “boy meets girl….(if you have not made the connection ….please watch Hyderabad Blues … Parts I and II). When she told him about the free counseling thrust upon her …”stay away from him..he is no good” …….his heart beat ….to a silent pride…. !! Wah Taj !! After that ….their lives took some superfluous ……and some welcome …….exits and entries…kinda like the effects of too much Haldiram® and cola…… while watching
KKHH…(…yikes !!)

A few Sundays later ….. he is still a recovering slob … she still has an apetite for books ….. and they still talk about …..nothing really !! The glances are now …..(for lack of better metaphor or incorrect usage of the English language) ….focussed … on their respective laptops !! Only and only after ….every “one” else is asleep ….PG -14 “months” !! And yes ….. he can still hear ….his heart beat …. (actually ….no) ….he is now used to a loud bang from the kitchen ……as the two feet “piece of chocolate”……. hurls the cake mix bowl onto the fake mosaic of cheap (not a figure of speech…literally) apartment flooring.

Here is my personal one (more) year warranty to Her Highness …..”complete insanity”… guaranteed!! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr.Mani Ratnam and ARR ……for sourcing music and “reel” situations …….for our real moments of rendezvous…from several Sundays ago !!


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We found the shirt in the new born section of the store. My parents were there with us. We had waited for them to arrive, to begin all the last minute (few hours to be conservatively precise) shopping. Including planning for the “first drive” home. It was a white onesie (something, I never knew existed before the obvious) and it had the words “Born in 2008” embroidered in gold. “A little tacky, don’t you think….“she said from above the little mountain she was carrying around her waist. And I returned…. “so what … after all he is going to be born in Motown…we need some bling !!” He was born within a week of that conversation !!

Everything changed !! Everything !! The next one year was going to be the most important course (from life) that we were to be enrolled into and we had no clue about it. I take that back almost immediately .. though it would be easy to delete it than keep typing the unnecessary. You see …. I am sure …..on the night we relocated to the LDR (labor and delivery room…. I just thought LDR looks cool) and the doctor asked…. “how far apart are your cramps“…she knew exactly what we had signed up for…this was a non refundable deposit !! Even though we did not read a lot of books and ignored advice all the time and did whatever the hell we thought would work ……in retrospect , a couple of books and a little attention to age old advice would not have hurt. But then the thrill of the unknown would be lost and that was not acceptable !!

This would be a good time to confess…. that we are a set of extremely weak parents. Like Amitabh’s dialogue in Sharaabi …”uske ek ek ansoo …. ek ek lakh se keemti hai“.(each tear drop of the damsel is worth exorbitant amount of cash)…. we end up getting resonating effects of MithunDa saying “Ma…..”….and then … we give in to the effects of the water shed. It works every time … in his favor of course and that is just not right …..(they need to spend more money on the “what is in that child’s head” thesis) . Oh by the way …did I forget to mention … we spared each other the false promise of any attempts to drop (“lay” would be a better word…not as effective though) the minor in a crib…..located in the “southern hemisphere”(that would the space adjacent to the bed for the majors).This called for intense exploitation (without pay of course) of our respective optic nerves, in the stead of a video monitor atop the “crib that never happened”. During his visit to India, he snored to glory in the womb effect of the sari swing arrangement. Damn the dry walls in the States. There is no solid sturdy counterpart of the rusty hook thingy (in all ceilings from India).I heard about this and meekly mentioned on the phone ….”could you try and put a pillow on the floor ……below where his body is hanging“.!!

And then this move happened. Just when we were starting to plan about what we should plan for “da” day…..,we had to pack our life in four suitcases and a car seat. I shall grunt and vent about that in several later posts.Let us not digress….already!! So now we are in the middle of ….technically on the south side of this building …. facing the woods ….wait .. I said I shall complain about our current life later in a ……..!!

Let me start over. The good news is …. this “nothing’s happening or will ever happen” city ….boasts of an outlet of our preferred grocery store. (someone in the board of directors was totally not paying attention …..when they planned on locations around the country). Meanwhile …my complete lack of attention (the usual you see) to …ummmm…….(for lack of a better word) ….”behind” of a third (or fourth or what not) person, resulted in a small nudge (a brush if you may) by the jeep shaped shopping cart ..which of course, was being pseudo maneuvered by the “knee high lump of chocolate” !! I used my nerdy grin and managed to whisper …”we have a new driver..!!“.Technically that translated into a parent (that would be me …..heehaaahaaa) using his child’s cuteness (so not true….) to sneak out of (what are you talking about …) what could possibly end up in a harassment law suit !!

We ordered a “plain vanilla” cake … literally !! We wanted chocolate sprinkles on the sides …which are hidden from the view (above)…courtesy… 2D effects from my 4639.34 mega pixel camera or whatever that means.We came up with the name when we heard him cry out saying it. He must be a couple of weeks old then.And we thought nothing would look prettier on the cake that we were going to devour for the next one week than what we wanted to call him in the first place ….huh !!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful first year of your journey Onga. I know you are a year and a week old….. right now….as you sleep with your mouth open and Baba is trying to balance this “suitcase look alike” laptop. I know we did not do much on “da” day ….except dress you up in a dhoti (alone…) and take “Mallika Sharbat” pictures of your sexy self. We did not even let you drink some of the baby lotion….(especially on a day when anything is allowed) …or for that matter …let you bite on Amma’s flip flops … agreed it is unfair !! What I do not know is if Blogger will still be in business….. about ten years from now and if you can read what we wanted to tell you …. (in not so many words …. literally) !! Also …we have a feeling you may not enjoy being called what we call you … and even got your cake written on with … but then … you know what …. live with it … !! Someday …. you will look all manly shanly … sporting the “then” cool shades …..wearing the “rip off” jeans (no pun intended) ….. with the high maintenance girl/guy next to you …. know what ….we are still gonna say .. “we totally labooo ….our little onga bongs …!!!”

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I have read (or heard…or whatever) somewhere that when you are planning to invest in something…like a car, a book rack ….a towel ….you always spot others who have invested in the same choice. You begin to pause in your immediate activity of prominence and try to co-experience the experience of the usage.Eventually you do get completely persuaded, which business gurus will probably define as “sold out” on the product.Very rarely will you look for the one in a million shade which will make you think otherwise.Why am I talking about this……baby steps is all I need you to take with me as I share with you my narrative of what I consider as a mission, extracting the last iota of patience that you never knew you possessed…..!!

My cousin was a difficult child to feed …well so the family branded him as.This award was attached to his two feet persona when he had promoted from fluids to the diet of the elders.They lived in Ranchi and the company provided accommodation was surrounded by a garden shaded by mango trees.My earliest memories which confirmed his “Elite Status” were those of Didu(Grandmother – maternal) doing a mid morning (which ended into late afternoon) stroll, emerging mysteriously from behind the hibiscus plants. My cousin was very well situated – held tightly with her (Didu’s) left hands along her left waist. During this time her left hand was also holding the steel thali (steel plate) with the “unwanted” neatly stacked on it. The job responsibility of her right hand required a timely movement from the plate to his mouth.Often times (than she wanted to), the contents would not disappear in his mouth but would return like a lost (in battle) warrior back to the barracks of the rice and the curry and what not’s.During this process she seemed to be involved in an animated conversation with each leaf on the several trees, each petal on the several hundred flowers, while carefully warning my cousin of the “tiger” which would be mad if he did not finish his meal. My cousin paid no heed to such fake threats and denied all requests just like the officers in the Tatkaal counters.

Somewhere during that phase in my life, a recording device must have been installed (without my knowledge, of course) which clearly was not a machine but a very vindictive “piece of work”….that photocopied my sneers and smirks and piled them all up……. to qualify me for the same experience…..jaisi karni waisi bharni (just as you sow, so will you reap) !!!

I see Her Highness and I admire …..myself (Wah Taj ….. what a pick!!).She can show him the same pictures every day at the same time, (like day time television) and he gobbles away. That is on a good day.”No problem at all …will eat that tasteless piece of crap baby food” days. But then there are the dark days.If I had it in me, this part of the post would read in Black and White with camera flashes cloning for thunder storms. The streets would be deserted and the violin would be stuck on one chord.The recording device is some real bad a@# ….. history is repeating itself …..not funny !!

Her Highness is a tough player.She doesnot give up easily.She walks to the deck, waves at random people driving by and then warns the 10 month old about the “tiger”.Thanks to an attention span of ten seconds towards any new item of distraction – she runs out of toys very soon. The bowl is not seeming any lighter.She starts giving him credit cards,memory sticks, wireless mouse(s) and he rejoices as he wipes his baby food filled mouth over the new victims, with the passion of Emraan Hashmi.And finally one day, she announces – ” We need discipline.I am not going to be scared of him anymore. We need to get a booster chair“……

Being the other man (the 10 month old rules …!!) of the household comes with the attributes of additional stress – complete, putting the booster chair together, before he wakes up from his afternoon nap.I thought the manufacturer was joking when in certain areas of the instructions, it said – “may need additional force”….are you kidding me. What I guess they missed out was – “and a couple of beers ” ……now we are talking!!

Attention “mommies” …. ” Uneventful Process of Feeding the Baby – 101″ is now open for enrollment…..all you need for this class is ….well … a baby who is fairly starved ….and … a booster chair…..!!

At the end of this course you will not do the following …..anymore (hopefully ….if not, this course is not for you ….. you are … on your own):-

  1. shower – the whole package, not just a quick sprinkler effect
  2. rediscover your expletive roots
  3. # 2 in your mother tongue
  4. eat baby food in frustation
  5. # 4 while venting ……using # 2 and/or # 3
  6. feel like Demi Moore (not with Patrick Swayze, …just alone) in Ghost….. just that it is not pottery ……..and what you have on you…. is not mud ….. it is baby food
  7. feel bad that your neighbor’s child is so “not” dramatic
  8. watch your spouse pass by ….almost like he is oblivious to the Tsunami in effect….this warrants for more of # 2 and # 3
  9. look up the nearest cardiologist in Yellow Pages®
  10. call up the nearest cardiologist and make an appointment

In addition to this, there are several other side effects like the occasional grin, feeling of joy, restful silence and above all ….a very involved spouse in post procedure clean up activities.

I bow my head in utmost respect towards all the “moms” ….(including Her Highness and excluding my mother, you see I was a perfect baby…I am still perfect, not a baby anymore) who harbor so much patience, that could make us men feel completely useless (not to forget uncouth) as we tear that pyjama nada (string strategically used to hold piece of clothing from exposing the unmentionables) during a “natural” emergency……instead of untying the knots !!!

Image Courtesy:here

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Aparna’s moving post (like all of her other posts) happened and then Ramesh got us both tagged, though I have to confess I am not sure what kind of programming genius is involved to keep the process going.However I do want to talk about the five (or the fifty) things that I love about being a dad. It is funny how I have no clue how this post is going to take shape,primarily because I want to be as unprepared as possible – kinda like the feeling that took over me when I held my child of couple of seconds (after his birth) and it all began to sink in !!

It was a Wednesday, a day after my wife had spent close to 11 hours waiting(painfully) for him to arrive. But he had other plans.When Dr.Herman finally told us that we had to go the C route,we did feel a little (actually lot) disappointed. We had wanted it to be a natural birth (no knives). But it is what it is and we prepared and prayed.To my delight, I was allowed to be in the room (behind the blue plastic screen) as a team of doctors (and interns) went to work. And then it happened…..sooner than we thought!!

a) I love the feeling that I am a dad …..fell in love with it instantly (you know after the fact ….)!! I know there are thousands of dads out there.To each his own.This was my moment (and my wife’s .. but that is a different story). We heard him squeal (like a new born baby, I guess) as the nurse wrapped him in a towel before she handed him to us. And all three of us were blinded by tears !! I held this little bundle close to my exhausted wife’s face and suddenly life was complete !! I remembered the exact words Sue had told me -“you will be amazed to find how selfless you can be in your love for that life you have created”. We held our hands and I told her – I love you Srinjoy’s mommy….!! They took him away (to check his vitals) and someone tapped on my shoulders – “he is fine!!”. Life changed without notice. Everyone keeps feeding this love ….all the time …like when someone smiles at me, not because I am wearing the loose denims, but because I am trying to wipe the drool off his face in the store as we wait in line to check out the diapers.I used to be a no one,but now I am a dad.Yippee !!

b) I love how he just melts in my arms and my chest and we take our naps together and how he lifts his head up in his sleep to check his coordinates and (when reassured) drifts away in his little snoring slumber!! We moved to the post natal care within a couple of hours and spent three days in there before he saw “home”.I learnt new words like swaddling, muconium and baby formula.Let me tell you – the movies are a big fat lie.Changing diapers is really not that big of a deal!! I would wake up in the darkness of the room several times to make sure he is snug ..in his hospital gifted woolen cap, blue socks and blue blanket. We were two under slept parents who could not stop staring at him.And we realized that just like me, a big cargo train had run all over his nose. There was no shape or rhythm. He will have to work on other skills to impress the women. Or maybe find one just like him … Ha ha !!

c) I love how I have free wireless access to all “his” smells !! And this is defined as a mix of so many individual contributors. Like when he is asleep and I bring my nose close to his McDonald’s® “M” shaped lips – there is this mix of milk, formula and what not. I love how he smells all baby like (the smell of J & J ® which I have grown up to know) right after his shower (which by the way he just adores).I even love the bad smelly gas that he passes in the car seat in the middle of freezing winter in the parking lot of the temple.And which he follows through with a mud slide of excessive proportions.Here is the OCD me who actually loves to clean him up (after having rolled the windows down a little) and get him ready. There is nothing gross (not to me) – it is all fair (or not) in baby poo and soiled diapers !! Yikes !!

d) I love how I know he likes music!! This was all a result of manipulated effort when we played every piece of music I owned (from Jamaican chutney to The Beatles® and our very own ARR) during those “36 weeks” !! The books said – play soothing music.I did not follow the rules.Why not everything? So we went crazy.And then a few weeks into his infancy, when his mom had given up and his grandparents could not walk anymore, I turned off the lights and let Javed Ali sing to both of us. He slept within moments even with the speakers not being in the “soothing” range of decibels.Now – when he is couple of months shy of a year, he gets excited with good music.I love to think that someday he may do what I could not. Follow his dream (be it music or not) and be the person he wants to be.Nice !!

e) I love how we are so unprepared !! Kinda like the words from the song in Sound of Music® – “totally unprepared am I”. We do not have child care books lying around the house. Sometimes, I know it is not the best thing.But then there is no book in the world which will include every last bit of information about everything in parenthood.Why read when life has given us a chance to experience it – one on one.I love to think that someday we can be good parents, enough for him to know – “no matter what, I have two people who will love me unconditionally”. I want him to learn from life just like his parents have had to do and to know that there cannot be a better book that was written than the chapters of life itself.I want him to enjoy every smell, every taste and every color like he should.Unprepared !!

Whoa … I did not realize that I had all of that inside me…and probably more !! Special thanks to Aparna for making me live my favorite memories and happenings (in real time) through a post.Some day when we – “blogger” friends are exchanging notes and are probably even closer (geographically) and our little ones are not little anymore, we will have looked back at each other’s posts, broken a smile and loved our lives some more …..for having worked in the best jobs of our lives. ……as parents !! Yay …!!

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