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Where did the time go….

Hmmm…. now this one I have been meaning to write for so long, its not funny. It’s probably taken this long because it is that special. It’s for my special boy… my hanu boy 🙂

My Dear Hanu,

I met you when I was a naive young girl – 20 yrs to be exact. I can proudly say that I grew up with you on the way of our amazing journey that started about 10 years back. Yes, a decade full of love, happiness, togetherness (whether far or near), smiles, hugs, warmth, friendship, special moments, moments of helplessness….. and so much more.

Ours’ is a special story. A story that just meant to happen with God’s divine intervention, else how does one even begin to understand, the way we met, the way we spent 10 hrs the first day we met, the way we just became – Us. While looking at the “old” snaps you told me that “this is the top you wore when we first met!” – Yes, it was 23rd Aug, 2000 when we first met. I remember crossing the road as I got off the taxi and seeing a guy standing in front of Gorky Sadan. You gave me chocolates, (!) after me telling you that I am not a big fan of it (!) and I said to myself, in my corky voice “What an idiot!” – little did I know that I would be talking or rather writing about the incident 10 yrs from then. That day is etched in my memory like no other day, it was the most special day – the day we met. I remember walking the streets of Calcutta, eating bhutta, going to Kathleen only to access the loo and ending up eating ice cream there. I remember being mighty impressed by you tipping the doorman…. and so many more things. I’m guessing deep in my heart I knew it would be a special day, else even with shoe bites how else do you explain me not complaining 🙂

Its been amazing Hanu… something that you know I can’t express in a single go. You and me have seen some amazing times. Our want to just be together even now is testimony to things being just the way they were when we met. That’s all you and me have wanted – to be with each other. It’s with this simplicity that we lead our days which makes us who we are to each other. Panu coming has not changed a thing. I remember being on the fence about this change, but it has come so naturally to us that it’s amazing. I think it’s to do with the fabric of what we have – its Us and no matter what – things will just not change because you know what, we really don’t want it any other way.

I am not going to use this space to tell you or enumerate instances where you made me feel special, because that happens every single day. I am just one lucky girl to have her special boy (who is a lefty! yay – but had to pass the voice bit)

We are shortly going to be celebrate 10 yrs of togetherness. Its going to be special but no different that any day that we are together. I will not have it any other way. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for understanding my ways, for being patient with me, for holding me when I need to be held, for being my strength, for being my confidence, for being my best friend… I can tell you anything under the sun (Gawd, I remember commenting about a guys butt when we were dating and thinking nothing of it, until I discussed it with a friend who was all “WHAT”!!). But most of all thank you for being my Hanu. I can’t imagine me without you….

Here’s to Us, always always…….

Love you,

Your Hanu

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Stop. Assess. Decide. Smile…

It’s that time of my life where I feel like a grown up making a decision. A decision where my family comes first and most importantly my panu. I have my apprehensions of how will I? But I know that I will…

The idea of a stay at home mom was not something I thought of myself. I grew up seeing my own mother dress up in a saree every morning, carry her hand bag, kiss us bye for the day…. and then return all beaming and happy/tired at dusk. I always knew that I would follow her footsteps of being an independant, working woman. Even hanu and I decided to get married only when  I started earning and was independant. I don’t know why it was like this, but it was like that… When panu happened, never did I doubt that I would go back to work. Yes, it was difficult leaving him but that is something I had to do… for no reason it was, just something I had to. I find myself in unchattered territory now. I have decided to give up work because of some twists and turns in our life and am  ‘dealing’ with the idea. I have my darling hanu tell me that it’s for sometime and yes, I know its a temporary break because I cannot change the way I am – I am a working girl, someone who takes pride in earning her own money, being someone out there by her own making her mistakes, taking decisions impacting a third party, etc – I’m sure this is all childhood conditioning I don’t know. But at the same time, I am a person too… someone who does things whole heartedly, someone who never regrets, someone who stops, assesses, decides and then moves on with a smile. 🙂

I am with a smile going to embrace this new avataar – I’m going to be a stay at home mom very soon. It’s exciting, the thought of having so much time with Panu. Being able to also dedicate some time to myself to do, I don’t know nth things I have put on hold…. but mostly its going to be a time for me where I find my comfort/space/zone again.

I hope I haven’t sounded too cynical becuase I am not. Maybe I am cautious, maybe scared that I do as good a job as I know I do in the workplace (Its so much easy there… coz its so transparent – Parenting is the toughest, most ambigious job :))

PS: Panu just got up from his sleep and called out to me. I was here… in the moment for him. He held me and went back to sleep. I think he told me “mummy, its me and its you – its us… and this is going to be one fun ride. Thank you for deciding” – Anytime my life…. anytime 🙂

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When your heart walks outside of you…

When panu was inside me, we would get very excited to visit the doctor… one simple reason would be to hear ‘his’ heartbeat! It was an experience which cannot be replicated by anything else. I always had either hanu or mummy and at most times, both accompany me to the doctor. We would wait and then it was time to “hear the baby’s heartbeat”! What a wonderful feeling that was…. It was a time when I could protect my little one inside me and do all that was possible to ensure that he was not touched by anything…

Then he came and my heart was not inside me anymore!  He is walking, talking, laughing, crawling, running….. doing everything! But sometimes I so wish he can crawl back inside me where I can again protect him and not let anything touch him again…..!!!

My panu is not well from a couple of days. It has been terrible for hanu and me, but especially for panu. He has clung to me … stating in unsaid words “mama, do something, relieve me of this pain I am going through”… and I have just been able to hold him close to me and maybe in unsaid words told him “we are….. and all things will be fine soon”. I so wish I had control over how soon.. but no soon will be soon enough for my baby.

Hanu and me are growing up, we are learning to handle situations, continuing being a team, parenting, being each others support, crying when the other one is not looking… being strong for his sake and each other. We are doing well and thank god, we are how we are else I wouldn’t have been able to be half the parent I am.

I know there will be a million times in our lives as parents, when we would wish to just take away his pain, comfort him and make all things well so that our panu is the cheerful, superactive baby he so lovingly is… There will be a million times when our hearts will ache and pain to make things better and there will be a million or zillion times when I would want him to go back into my tummy so that I know that I am the one responsible, the one in control ….. to ensure that nothing happens to my little heart.

It’s a crazy mixed bag this parenting thing! But I am guessing that this is something we just have to go through and experience. We are parents afterall and signed up for this and so much more ….. ..well good stuff also, along with the some uncomfortable! 🙂

Get well soon our heart…….mama and papa

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Our musical love story..

I’ve been wanting to write this from quite some now, framing things that I most definitely want to include and exclude (!), but time, god dammit, was just not helping me in any which way. So here I am trying to take a ride from Old Madras Road back home and attempting to write about…Music and it’s impact on me so far….. trust me it’s a life saver in many ways, which I will explain below 🙂

I’ve never really been “into” music like mummy or hanu. I am, by the way amazed how two of the most important people in my life, who never came in contact or had any influencing power on each other can have such similar tastes in music… maybej it was meant to be. Maybe he was meant to meet her and become her son. Awwwww!. Well coming back – So yes, I would listen to my mum’s Eagles, Bettles, and some other very “cool” bands but never developed a taste or want of it. Sure, I listened to our hindi stuff and thought of how I would have played the heroine, lip syncing, etc (well only sometimes) but didn’t have a passion, if I may say so, for it.

My earliest memory, if I sit now and think of is when we were in Crem (!) and I would put off the lights in the hall room and listen to “Love is in the air” – did I ever mention that my ideal guy had to have that man’s voice and be a lefty (Got one of the two criterion right… well life is not perfect) Coming back now… (I don’t know why I am drifting away, but then that’s the fun) I would listen to folks send in thier requests and play all the love songs. It was a fun time, me ‘wanting’ to be in love, the voice – having its own impact, etc, etc……

Then hanu and mummy met and they opened up a world of music for me. My knowledge (what ever little there is, is only because of them talking and almost grooving to thier music)… Hanu is a musician at heart. He would write and compose songs when in Mumbai travelling in local trains and sing to me over the phone… I was the editor off sorts.

When panu was in my tummy, I didnt particularly concentrate on him listening to alot of whale no ises (that’s recommended btw), or music in particular. One of the miracles or let’s say it’s the connection between father and son is how he would reacted to “500 miles” sung by hanu. I have mentioned that panu was quite active when inside and miraculously, when hanu would sing this, he would just calm down and in turn, so would I. There were instances, when my poor husband would need to just continue singing it come what may 🙂 Please remember, I was doing the hard work of carrying him ;p …. So this we thought was a tummy thing, but to our wonder when he did actually come and started reacting, he would react in the same way to hanu singing this in person. I think he knew this was his papa from inside and that calmed him, reassured him that his guy was around…. My lil boy would just stare into oblivion listening to his fav guy singing his fav song. Needless to say, I think hanu sings it very, well integrating the english and its hindi copied version very very well. So I think, that was the begininning…. of what I call a musical love story between my son and Youtube, the radio, us singing, etc, etc, etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLeyCX3Em-c

Masakalli is a life saver for our family. I don’t know how but when panu would listen to this ‘one’ song and all his sorrow would literally disappear. This became a tool (much needed) for us, whenever he would cry, instead of concentrating on pacifying him, we would run to the tape, to any of our mobiles and play “the one” song 🙂 and viola (!) he would miraculously become the joyful baby we are all so very fond of. So, Mr. A R Rahman, I am eternally grateful to you… .May all the Gods bless you and may you come out with such impactful “panu” songs!

Such is the musical love story  – wehave  along with Masakali, a no. of others (I am almost embarassed) hindi numbers. He has a wonderfully varied taste… with the marjani’s, he is also fond of the pehla nasha, meri duniya, hey shona (Oh thank god!) .. and all the old nos. It’s so fantastic to see him make intelligent choices from now itself.. Makes me wonder if I have a musical Mozzart in the making… Whatever it be… I am so eternally grateful to music coz it’s obvious that my boy enjoys it alot and thankfully, is following the likes of his nani and papa…
To many more musical notes ahead and many jam sessions awaiting us with panu, hanu and nani

… cheers manna panna 🙂

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He knows … it’s me.

Right during my preganancy, I would more fear what kind of a mama I would be. Will I be able to unconditionally love my child? Will I be able to manage the physical aspects of carrying a baby and giving birth? Will I be able to do all to make my baby comfortable… but most of all I would question or fear – Will my baby know that I am his/her mama? To mummy and Hanu, the last one would be a no brainer and they would just say… of course, you are the mummy! But for someone who hasn’t been one before this one was the biggest question left to be answered…

I’ll have to admit that only when Panu came into my arms did I fully understand what had happened, that he had ultimately arrived. Until then, I was busy managing work, a difficult pregnancy, and generally our life. Only when he came did I begin to comprehend what had happened. Our little bundle had arrived and I was faced with all those difficult questions – some for which answers came easy and for some which I still have questions around and probably might never fully be able to answer them. But one question I am so sure about i.e. will my baby know that I am his mummy? He knows…….. and it’s in the most special things he does from me and only me from the time he’s been in my tummy to know, where he let’s me know that for now I am the most special person and the centre of his world…

  • When I was pregnant with him and in my umpteenth meeting, he would get all excited and move around almost ‘frantically’ in reaction to sounds. The only thing that would calm him and in turn me was me keeping my hand on my tummy and periodically pat him
  • I would be the only one who could pacify him when in pain after a vaccination or the after effects of it (How I hate those!)
  • He would sleep on my chest and no one else’s. How I miss those days… [for a brief time though and then Hanu got the honours which was the cutest ever]
  • It’s only my ‘dant’ which has him show his lower lip and cry was if there is no tomorrow and then it’s only me who can pacify him.
  • Its only me for now who can give him a hair cut (with alot of help from Youtube and Hanu)
  • Noadays its only me who can put him to sleep after much singing and kajoling for the night (I so wish someone else gets this priviledge as well. Maybe not, given I am bound to get jealous!)
  • And today, when after 1 year or so, he again fell slept on my chest the same way he would when he was 6 months old.

Us.. then

In my arms..

I got the honours first...

And then he got the honours too 🙂

his first pic after his first haircut by us

…………….I know he know’s that I’m his mama 🙂 It comes out so clearly in these small wonderful moments. With each passing day there is a special way where my boy keeps reassuring me that that one most important question is answered and I don’t really need to worry about it in any which way. Thank you, my Panu… love you.

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Long time coming… phew! :)

I am so happy that we ultimately did it! Yes, we took a road trip with Panu and it was great! It was smoother than I could have ever imagined. We did have some hiccups here and there.. but yeah! we did it and now it opens up so many options that I am gleaming and mentally planning already 🙂

The planning for this started…. well sometime one year back. Yes, its been a very long time coming. I can’t even remember the no. of times Hanu and I have sit up thinking; yes, we can… just pack him and his things and let’s go! But then reality strikes us all the while – how do we manage his food, his schedule will get spoilt, etc, etc and I can add one more etc! But this time we thought enough, it’s time to make our little lion a traveller. To our pleasant surprise, he is a born traveller  🙂 Panu just did his thing, we wanted to make him do so many ‘scheduled’ things but he surpassed our expectations and did what travellers do, i.e. his own thing!

It started when we thought there were only a few days before mummy goes back, we needing to get out of Bangalore, our thirst for a road trip and bingo – all said let’s travel. Go somewhere nearby, maybe the sea in keeping with the bigger plan in Oct (Will not disclose it before it happens! – nazaar lag jaeyag)… so research and google threw up Mahabalipuram. Hanu was put on to the job to book the accommodation. And yes, we did go a little overboard but in hindsight, it was worth it. Hanu kept referring to Mahabalipuram as Mahabaleshpur.. don’t ask me why!

So there we were rushing to do the last mid night packing, and I will enumerate what ALL was packed below to the shock many will have. And I am sure when down the years I will look back, I will get shocked with what ALL was packed! It was 5:30 am and we all got up – Ma hadn’t slept a wink. I kept waking up Hanu and utlimately we left at 7:30 am as against the ‘scheduled 6 am’. With my small littlePanu fast asleep – we made him wear “outside” clothes and sleep. We were off on our first road trip with my precious in my arms fast asleep…. he woke up only to start clapping his hands 🙂 I think its his dream to be among moving cars.. and thats what it was exactly, all around him through the windows were cars, cars and more cars.. 🙂 Of course we started talking in what we call normal voices once he got up. It was wonderful… singing along, playing “kui” with nani behind the car, stopping for chai. Making Panu have road side chai ;p and some healthy narayal pani 😦

Stopped for narayal pani

The hotel was a little more than what we expected – in terms of luxury where the bathroom is concerned.

The bathroom was the highpoint 🙂 thats why the first snaps were there!

Panu took to the swimming pool like a fish but he didn’t take to the sea. The sound and the vastness of the sea was a little too overwhelming for my little lion

Clinging to mama...

Threw a big tantrum just before this, and then Hanu took him back into the water

Airy

A special mention for Airy – our car of three years, whose been our companion all this while and always reliable. But this time, I think he is getting a little old and it was a wake up call for us. Hanu and I to our shock found him ‘dead’ – his battery had given up and we had to get it replaced in Malmapuram 🙂 Post that one hiccup… it was all fab.

The trip taught me to relax a bit where Panu was concerened. I think I grew up a little and and he grew up alot. It was a long time coming and we’re so happy that we crossed this bridge. I’m sure there would be many more to cross… but this was was a cruise.