Friday, 1 December 2017

South Indian-ness

K at 20 months is turning out to be a consummate south Indian. I know this because:
- She checks out what's for prasad even before praying at the temple
- She stuffs cash notes into my blouse (even in public, much to my embarrassment)
- She calls me Booba

Meanwhile, its been a fun month with birthdays, meetups and much needed downtime.

Picking up the ABCs of ABC

Loves her 'ding ding'

Cool shades

With Harish








Monday, 27 November 2017

Desh darshan

Its been the most hectic month for K yet (in her 19th month), with a two week vacation to the Himalayan foothills, Nainital and Ranikhet, followed by a five day stay at Delhi in its most polluted. K fared very well - she is an enthusiastic traveller, hardy against cold and pollution, and loves - LOVES - meeting new people.
Unlike me, who cribbed about the cold, reeled under a terrible attack of allergy and was in my least social, preferring my blanket to friends. I was very close to calling it quits twice and rushing back to Bangalore, but Conscience Keeper took charge of K and I dragged myself around.
However, this trip taught me some lessons I better not forget:
1. Do not plan long duration travel with a baby. Anything more than a week is just plain stress. It kills their routine, pushes their limits, and worse - all the stuff they would need will land up as excess baggage at the airport. We paid Rs 6000 in excess baggage for just carrying her clothes and woollens.
2. When travelling with a toddler to meet multiple friends/relatives, its best to camp at a centrally located hotel. After staying with extended family for three days, where I had to deal with a cleanliness obsessed aunt, a mobile addicted sil and an exam burdened nephew, staying at a hotel in central Delhi was such relief! Also, its really taxing to take the baby everywhere - so much easier for others to visit her.
3. Remember the safety instruction that airlines repeat before every flight to those travelling with a baby: in case of emergency, put your mask first before attending to the child. That's really good advice, as I learnt it the hard way this trip. Despite my ongoing problems with allergy, rhinitis and nasal polyps, I completely forgot to carry my nasal pump, sprays and anti allergy meds, while remembering to carry a bag overflowing with medicines for K to meet any health crisis. I landed up sick and using her meds, including one for ear pain that served me well during my drive to Ranikhet.

But soon - when this cough and cold is behind me - I will remember this trip as very enjoyable. I guess this is why I enjoy travelling so much - it's great to look back at them with nostalgia.

Thandi sadak in Nainital
At the Naina Devi temple

K brooming at Latika's place that is located right on Mall road facing the Naini lake. As kickass the location is, it was the main reason why I fell so ill - because it was much colder than the rest of Nainital.

Tanu and K meet for the first time. Tanu clung to Conscience Keeper, K clung to Tanu and Conscience Keeper and yes, he landed up with a handful.

A secret sunset point near Aurobindo ashram


The beautiful Naini lake




Warm and cozy


Geetika and Abhinav host their anniversary celebrations



What would we do without our baby sling and carrier

K in the dress Nisheeth and Richa gifted
K's first rickshaw ride

K's first ropeway ride


Playing with new friends Aradhya, Adu and Tanu at Gangola's house
With Tanu's twin cousins Monty and Mohi

A two day visit to Ranikhet to meet Gaurav and his lovely daughter Yashi, with whom we enjoyed an interesting trip to the War Museum

Room with a view at Ranikhet

A lovely afternoon spent at Latika's village Chakalva, near Haldwani. A place I would definitely visit again.

*****
Our arrival in Delhi

With Mili, Ishaan and grandaunt

Delighted to introduce K to pizza at Wengers, my fav joint in Delhi

A bright morning at India Gate, two days before the infamous smog hit Delhi
Jai Hind!

Cousins Twee and K meet for the first time
Met my oldest friend Koel with her daughter Mia
Us with Pushpi, Koel and Mia

The tyre seating was a DIY project of Koel's husband Pushpi

Loved the colours


*****
Meanwhile, life in Bangalore was hectic too, what with festivals, festivities, family and friends. K and I had a quiet and rather dull Diwali, but we did peep into other people's celebrations and enjoyed firecrackers from afar. Diwali was followed by Anand mama's daughter Pooja's wedding, so it was a busy month indeed!


Beti bachao!

Subhash Mama and Prabha visit us for Diwali

Diwali get together hosted by Jayashree, with Dodamma and Giri Anna

At Pooja's wedding


















Saturday, 7 October 2017

New Me

When in school, I had read an Akbar and Birbal story I still remember. Akbar challenged Birbal to show him the most beautiful child in his kingdom. Birbal chose a snotty wailing poor baby from a construction site. Akbar felt slighted, till he observed the baby's mother run to console the child, using the sweetest endearments for her perfect little one. In the end he agreed, that every child seems to be the most beautiful one to his or her mother.
Now I am totally this kind of mother. I find K very pretty when she agrees to wear a hairband, very innocent when she searches for me with sleep filled eyes, very  entertaining when she blabbers in a tune, and very smart when she remembers my instructions.
This also makes me kind of a bore. Oh, the many times I catch myself carrying on and on about the silliest thing that K would have done, despite the glazed eyes and stiffled yawns of my hapless listeners. I mean, every person in this world learns to walk, talk, eat, drink and dress up. There is hardly any novelty at all. But yet, there is! I have never seen anything as fascinating as K growing up and doing things for the first time.
But since the socializing season is upon us, what with Diwali and catch-up vacations coming up, I did work towards becoming socially acceptable again. I read up on current affairs, caught up with popular YouTube videos, watched some episodes of Game of Thrones, ironed my clothes and practiced my smile. However, I wouldn't say it's working. In the few social interactions I had today, with the neighbour who opened the door to throw trash, to the electrician who came to replace the bulbs, to the newspaper boy who knocked to collect his dues - each of them had to carry a K story back.
So I have done the most practical thing to do: I have stuffed this one too into my bag of Abnormal Years of a New Mother, which is already crammed with Not One Night With Uninterrupted Sleep, Toys And Utensils Popping Out Of Every Corner, Long Hours Of Lunch And Dinner and Road Trips Without A Nap.
I don't know if the others have come to terms with the new Me, but now, at least I have!

Meanwhile, with the 18 month old:

- K goes on her first train journey, to Chennai by Shatabdi.

We then did a road trip to Pondicherry to meet Mansee and Satya.






- my nephew Ashwin had his janev ceremony in Chennai, and K was introduced to Appa's side of the family. 
Ashwin's janev






Pics from a lovely photoshoot by a cousin

Us
And then there was Durga Pooja