Sunday, October 16, 2016

Six and fabulous

Dear Shreya,

Its been almost 24 hours that you turned six but it has yet not sinked into me. Six, the age of being politically correct, the age of perfection. The age of saying things as they are. Of doing things as they should be done. I should be delighted, but strangely, I am not. I love it when you say things the way they are not. 

I don’t know what milestone this year hold. I have never kept a track of whether you were doing age-appropriate things. It has never bothered me. All I know is that you are perfect to me and you brought out the child in me. The child I was mostly exhilarated to find.

You wore my dresses, my shoes, my jewelry, you turned my dupattas into saris and gowns, you twirled me and pretended to lift me up, like a ballet dancer and it reminded me, this is how I was as a child. I too wanted to be a dancer, although I am sure I wasn’t as graceful as you.

For the last two years, birthdays have meant a big deal to you and you have already become somewhat of an expert in all these arrangements, yours being the most important, of course. This year, you told me. “On my birthday, I will do whatever I want to do for the whole day.” I quickly agreed, and this is what we did through-out the day. We slept like there is no tomorrow, baked, had homemade food, you played while I prepared your favorite dessert, both decked-up in sari, prepared for puja at home and then read until we collapsed.

As I write this post you rush up to me with yet another bit of dog related trivia -they’re your latest obsession. (All thanks to Twinkle and her antics that we need absolutely nothing in our life to entertain us.) I don’t pay attention to a word, smiling at you besottedly and tousling your curls. I am a bad mother to you. Bad, because I find it hard to look beyond my love for you. I am so absorbed with indulging in it, examining it, working my way through it, that I am unable to rouse myself enough to scold you. It helps that you rarely need any correction.

I’m glad I didn’t try to ‘toughen you up’, because I’d be going against your nature and turning you into something alien. Everyday you make the world a better place with your gentle smile and your dreamy eyes. Just yesterday when we started reading a Encyclopedia which I choose as one of your gifts, you teared up when you heard about volcano and earthquake. You hugged me tight while you slept and I soaked up in the softness of your cheeks. Your feet are almost the same size as mine and I run my fingers through your rough but perfect curls. 
Mostly you just ignore me and my fussing over your hair and keep your nose buried in your book. When you’re not reading, you’re drawing - creating a fantasy world and each creation absolutely stunning. Or singing in your own tune or maybe dancing the latest steps your teacher taught. You are so excellently good in all of them that if I ever have to choose anyone from the list, I would fail (anti-jinx, anti-jinx).

This year you will go to big school, to class one. And I can’t help but feel bereft. My little baby will spend longer hours in an unknown school, out of her second home "Foundation School" which has given us so much in past 3 years that I will always be in debt of it. I worry yes, more so, because you are a little girl in a violent world. I worry because you are trusting – having a full time two sets of grandparents who were always present with us to support you, giving you no reason to suspect others. And that just makes it harder for me as well as for you.

‘She looks just like you..’ people say and I look at them in pride as well as shock. Not at all, I want to say and I’m not being modest. But I remember the same scene over and over again – years of visitor telling my mother that I look like her, and she looking quite annoyed. Maybe its a family thing. Maybe we are obsessed with our daughters. Maybe our daughters are a distilled version of us, each generation a little sharper than the previous.

Time’s flying and my little baby is turning into a kid with personality to rival any adult’s. I watch you slip through my fingers, light as sand, delicate as foam, strong as silken thread.

Welcome to year 6, Shreya, Your father says this is just the first 6. The other 66 will appear in time and you are gonna rock them equally gracefully.
Gentle, sensitive, compassionate, stubborn, affectionate – you are everything that your Papa is, probably ten times over.
As for me, when I grow up to that age, I want to be like you. 

And just like that, I know someday you will grow up and win over everyone who ever crosses your path. You tire me but fascinate me and again drive me nuts – and yet, I’m your biggest fan.

I love you.
Mimme

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#Weturn9






That was a week before Anniversary and the husband was fraught,
With a wee bit of indecision or so he mistakenly thought,
While he looked for an excuse to make a run to the the mall,
The wife asked the right questions to make him stall.

So is the husband thinking clothes or a watch?, she quipped, 
Neither, answered the husband, a wee bit tight-lipped. 
Hmmm, she smiled and said, so the man hasn't bought it yet?
No, he said kindly, but then I kind of know what to get.

Sure enough a day later the wife saw something right near the bed,
Which looked like a gift bag, that she opened in a tad.
There it was, an iPhone to her surprise,
The very thing which she had set her eyes.

Disclaimers:
Poem reflective of actual events.
Knowing the wife for over a decade helps the man to decide the 'surprise' very easily **wicked grin**

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy birthday to the man!

He is Hobbes when I am Calvin
He is Woody when I want to be Buzz
And he is Vice when I want to be Versa (and sometimes the other way too)
He is the S on the superman logo
He is laughter when I need some lightening up.
And sometimes he is the tears too.
He is there, an unfailing safety net
He persists long after I have given up
He brings a perspective I would have never seen
He listens patiently even when he knows I am wrong
He has in him a capacity to love me like no one else
Also to annoy me like nobody else (wonder if they go together too)
He is a part of me.

Happy birthday to the man.

Another year older and maybe a little wiser, you still make my world go around. Whatever you wish for, I hope it’s momentous. Here's to a year full of good things!


Monday, July 4, 2016

Dream on


“I want to finish my dream,” Shreya announced today as I wake her. I know the weather is lovely and perhaps it makes for better dreams too. I often envy her for having whole, vivid dreams, full of texture and detail, unlike my fractured, muddly ones.

On striking a conversation with her, she told that these days she dreams a lot about mermaids and she told me that I woke her just as she was about to turn into one. I felt really guilty about that.

Some days I wish I could have the sleep of my childhood when dreams were things you slept for. Once in a while, when I do have them, and I wake up thinking of them, I do try and go back to sleep, before my rational mind gets in the way.

Shreya once excitedly told me, “You can change your dreams Mimme!” It seems all you have to do is think really hard about what you want your dream to be just before you go to bed. “I have changed my dreams many times,” she said. It is when I realized that as adults, we accept reality too quickly. And that makes us give up on dreams and the world of magic too easily.

This early morning conversation kind of hit me really hard and I kept on thinking over it throughout my day. And every time it crossed my mind, I found myself smiling and a silent wish came from my heart. A wish to dream on. It’s the only thing that will last a lifetime, if she lets it. So Shreya, dream all the things you want, all the things that you wish for because if you can dream it, you can make it real.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Life comes in full circle

Growing up in Silchar amongst the whole gang of relatives from both side of parents, one of my biggest privilege was solid dose of family gatherings. Close-knit family get-togethers and the functions used be a regular affair. For some of those where I could not tag along, my greatest pleasure used to be watching my parents get ready. 

Right from choosing the perfect sari and jewellery to go with it, I used to witness the whole of it. While Ma would be struggling to run a comb through her mass of waist length hair, my dad would be ready in no time and waiting patiently for her. I’d be strutting around in Ma’s vertiginous stilettos. She’d catch my eyes in the mirror and give a smile back. And then I’d regretfully give back her heels and watch her slip her beautiful feet into them, her slender neck barely able to hold up that massive bun. Spritz of perfume and they’d kiss me and leave in a cloud of perfume and fantasy.

Fast forward 20 years and I find that while I get ready to dress, Shreya is either prancing around in my heels or lying in the bed looking at me like I’m the most beautiful woman on earth. Just as I looked at Ma in her neatly done hair and graceful sari.

And probably this is one of the many good things to have kids for – for those few moments when we’re perfect in someone’s eyes. And this is what childhood memories are made up of – perfume, music, magic and nip of wonderful stories.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Life as it goes...

Summer vacation and it has been one of those months when three generations were coexisting under one roof in my house – my mother, Shreya and I. We have been bonding and sharing space and enjoying every bit of it. Talk is a necessary byproduct of it and yes, we have been talking a lot.

Grandparents are amazing things. When they walk in, parenting looks easier. My mother can access the personality of Shreya that I can’t. And my father is Shreya's all time big comforter, right from her birth.

And it’s often not because of what they do; it is their mere presence that has its magical effect on the entire household especially on Shreya. They also silently seem to applaud you for everything that you do, even the small things.

In the true spirit of our family, vacationing, cooking and eating are what mostly brings us together.
Last week, Shreya and I got down with a few baking expeditions (it somehow seemed like better weather for baking) and we made muffins and baked a cake. Unlike me who never stepped foot in the kitchen (unless I was forced to when I moved away from home), Shreya has been at it since age four.

The thing about baking is that even the most seasoned baker often waits to see if the cake has risen. Even if you have the complete recipe, you are never sure you will get it right, much like parenting *wicked smile*. Shreya by now has understood that and stands in front of the oven asking me every microsecond, ‘Is it ready yet?” and we both glue our eyes on the oven waiting for it to rise. When we were done with the toothpick test, she licked it and declared, “wow, delicious!”

My mother watches this and sighs. “I am glad you are doing all these with Shreya. This is nothing but making memories.” I am glad she said it because else it would have never occurred to me. Simple things in life and so much to treasure.

I remember when my mother let me in on her cooking expeditions, there were too many boundaries. Everything has to be perfect and my mother’s watchful eye often made me nervous.
Everyone loves the perfect cake. But I have learnt that there is no such thing as a bad cake. That even the hard ones can be redeemed with ice cream or frosting. And still has the power to put a smile on your face.

With my mother's comment, it made me feel that my parents were too focused on my perfections that they never saw my broken bits. Sometimes I feel like asking my mother for my childhood back. At other times, I am grateful to her for letting me grow up as I am. I have significantly lowered the bar for Shreya, but in doing so, I have lowered the bar for myself too. I am allowed to have bad days and burnt cookies. I am allowed to bake cakes that don’t rise. Or make custard that doesn’t set.

Although I have not inherited my mom's passion for cooking, but the other day when I baked my first walnut muffin in 30 minutes, she asked me in amazement, "How did you do that?"

At that time, I knew we had made a fresh start.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Movie magic

We had a mini milestone beginning of this month, 3rd Feb to be precise. 
We took Shreya for her first movie at a cinema! 
We’ve been putting it off for the longest time because the volume levels are so high at all these cinema theatres, I was not sure how she will react to it. Our cut-off was 4 years and we also wanted to take her for a regular children’s movie but everything being 3D these days, we didn’t want her first movie experience to be with grubby cinema glasses. 
All these made us to postpone her cinema experience for so long.
Although I hate to say that I did not take her to a children's movie but I tried my best to made the whole experience, minus the movie part, memorable for her. 

So here’s what happened – I watched the film (Baby) with my colleague. Liked it much and wanted to take my parents for the same. Since we had no option, we had to take Shreya along with us but as I said this is not the movie I wanted her milestone to start with. Nevertheless, I called my Mom during the lunch break asking her if I can book ticket as things look pretty cool work-wise. She was all happy-happy and I booked the ticket, left office at 4:00 pm, packed snacks (noodles) for all of us and reached home around 5:00 pm. 

All decked-up and excited we reached PVR much ahead of time and allowed Shreya to choose her flavour of popcorn, even before she asking for it. Shreya was floored at the sight of the bucket and thanked me zillion times thinking that popcorn was her special treat :). Then I asked her "Why do you think we are here?". Before I could utter anything else, pat came her reply " To watch a serial" (Thanks to my Mom and her never-ending TV soaps!). I was gobsmacked – she had never been to a cinema before so she didn’t have a clue about where she was. So how did she guess? Frankly I do not have any idea yet.

Next came her innumerable questions as to how it will be and will the screen be bigger than her ipad screen and will she seat next to me etc etc. I did not answer anything and told her that she will come to know in a while. But the excitement that was reflecting from her eyes were a sight to remember.

Finally with popcorn in one hand and ticket in another, the moment she  entered the auditorium and saw the screen, all we got from her was a squeak and a ‘Whoa!’ For quite a while, she was mesmerised with everything around her. Looked at the screen for good 1 hour without any questions or disturbance. Once the popcorn bucket was empty, she started getting little restless. I took her out and we choose Nacho with some creamy dip and this was enough to keep her engaged for next hour. At the end of it all, she told us she had a great time eating and couldn't wait to go for another "serial" (yes, she thought that the movie is something similar to TV serial) for one more treat of popcorn and nachos!

Do you remember your first movie at the theatre? I am sure it was a magical experience. I think at this age, she is unlikely to forget this for a long time. 

Welcome to the movies, Shreya!
Your next movie experience will be much more about the movie than the food part, we promise :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

48 ways Shreya changed my life...

Come October my mind starts drifting to all the activities that I did four years ago around the same date. Blessed with the most comfortable and pampered pregnancy that one can dream of, neither me nor my baby was in hurry to come out. Eventually the date arrived when I was seen rushing around the house, ticking my list for hospital bag whereas everyone around me including my Doctor worried that the baby inside had overstayed her welcome. And then we chanced upon a curly top and our life changed for ever...

A compulsive list-maker in me loves making list and so here's a list of 48 ways in which Shreya changed my life (for the 48 months that she has been in my life):

1. I started respecting my body...much more than I ever did.

2. I believe once again in things that I believed in as a child.

3. I think of you 976428085 times a day.

4. I (almost) forgot the meaning of silence. Silence? What's that?

5. I started loving the hours I spend in office. More so because of the welcome that I get makes me feel nothing less than a rock-star...every single day.

6. The days when I am not working, my bath has become longer. I am okay to answer 1001 questions from inside or even open the door to look at the drawing, as long as I can shut it back on you.

7. I love my friends. Especially the ones who've made babies.

8. I realised that I can have the most wonderful conversation using only vowel sounds like 'ahhh' and 'ooo'.

9. Nothing is mine any longer. Including my good, old husband ;)

10. I always have time for one more baby hug from you, even if I am in the middle of customer (escalation) call.

11. A new respect for my Mom. Strange as it may sound, one overpowering new feeling I had ever since you came to my life and it made me appreciate my own mom so much more.

12. I have developed a new timeline. Before, if it took me 10 minutes to get somewhere, I grabbed my bag and left 10 minutes before I had to be there. After you came to my life, I soon realized I had to add about 30 minutes on to my 'leave by' time.

13. When someone says good things about you, I am very happy to take the credit.

14. I can spend an hour looking for a Dora shoe.

15. And appreciating those cheap-neon-pink bracelet just because it is 'pink'.

16. I love to see you sleep. And I switch the lights on just to watch and admire your sleep-heavy eyelids and curls covering your face.

17. A new perspective as I see the world in a different way. Never knew that a mundane thing can be appreciated with such wonder and amazement.

18. I always knew but your presence made my realisation even stronger that your Daddy is the most important person in my life. He is the one person I have relied on more than ever, from the moment I said 'We're pregnant', through pregnancy, delivery, and those first few days after your birth. Watching the man you love shift into a new role as a daddy to the amazing bond that is building up between you two -- it's a wonderful journey. Priceless!

19. No sleep. No problem.

20. Movie makeover. Before you, its movie 50 times a year and now it is the same movie 50 times a day!

21. There is nothing called "too many pictures and videos".

22. "Me-time" never sounded so pleasant to my ears.

23. I have learnt to lower the bar of expectation from my end and I am now at peace.

24. I love my parents/in-laws much more now. Especially when I leave you with them.

25. I take it to my stride when my relatives asks me about you before they ask me about me.

26. I love the imaginary picnic that we have with moon, stars and their cuzzin (read Sun) almost every fortnight.

27. I am surprised at how much confident I have become.I feel like being a mom gives me the confidence to not care so much what other people think.

28. I never knew that I can be friends with women I don’t give a shit about just because their kid likes you.

29. I am obsessed with all girlie things like gown and bangles. Not mine, yours.

30. Patience is something which I never knew I had so much that I can listen to you speak for 15 long minutes on the number of ways letter 'f' can be written.

31. ..and that I don't mind listening to the same song on repeat mode just because you love it.

32. I realised that I have become a soppy fool. I’d never cried at a TV programme before I had you. Recently, got a lump in my throat watching wildlife documentaries. Why are there always baby elephants getting lost? Won't I call that soppy fool?

33. I developed an in-built toilet-tracker. Even if I am in the middle of shopping, the moment I hear the alarming phrase "Mimme, I need to pee!", my toilet-locating reflex will kick in to work hard and finally answer back “Marks and Spencer, top of the escalator, turn right”.

34. I finish my evening cup of coffee in 7 instalments.

35. My definition of bad-hair day has changed. Completely.

36. I love like I never knew I could love!

37. A huge shift in the friend circle. And strangely I care a damn about it. Still have a handful of awesome pals and quality always beats quantity.

38. I discovered my uniqueness and love it. I somehow don't relate to those mummies in the park who are either whining about their kids not eating, or that the child still don't know 'that' rhymes or that their child had mastered piano at the age of four. I always found it very strange to compare milestones between babies and realised eventually that I am not in the rat-race and neither are you.

39. I can multi-task bloody well.  I can be listening to you, typing on my laptop and answering a phone call and reading WhatsApp message at the same time and perfectly well.

40. I am almost on first name basis with Samridhi, Ishaan, Aradhaya, Simran, Prenika, although I have not met anyone one of them yet.

41. I can read and be-read-to a book million, billion and zillion times a week and still pretend to enjoy it to bits.

42. I have learnt and still learning some important lessons of life. A child teaches their parents much more than the parents do. And Shreya taught me to live life in present.

43. I have become my parents. Yes, and this is the fact. However much I may try to insulate myself, it is true that I am turning into my parents in strange and insidious ways. In my ways of looking at the world. Myself. In raising you. That’s the treachery of inheritance and I feel honoured about the fact.

44. My instinct is more valuable than I think, mostly in case of parenting. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn't right.

45. Learnt it hard way but it is the fact that you are always watching me and that I should never ever let you down.

46. Dancing is so much fun. And so is painting. And so is playing. And so is singing. And so is reading. Doing so many things in so little time and enjoying it is something which I have learnt from you. That happiness need not have any boundary nor any set of rules. Simple pleasure of life, I say!

47. That I have become addicted to your sloppy kisses and selfless hugs. Never ever stop them coming my way.


48. You are still the funnest person to have around, and I am so happy to be your mom. Watching you grow is the most fascinating experience of my life. Thank you for coming into my life.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shreya r - golpo

Sunday evening gyan:

Me while reading a book to the toddler: Chameleon changes colour.
Shreya: Why? **curious**
Me: Well....hmmm..
Shreya: *without missing a beat* Because it swallowed a rainbow!!!

#facepalm

I wish my imaginations were as creative as the 3-years-old or rather almost-4-years-old, as she likes to call herself.

#sheerjoyofchildhood

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As I am working from home today, I decided to surprise Shreya by picking her up from school. After answering 1000 questions as to why I did not go to office to Am I planning to pick her up tomorrow as well, she started blowing an endless stream of kisses my way while jumping up and down in the middle of the road screaming, "Mimme, mimme, mimme!" 

Man, she makes me feel like a rockstar!!! 

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Scene: Parents-teacher meet.

With all the informations on their cirriculum, lesson-plan and praises lastly the teacher told that she has a not-so-good-thing too to tell. Curious me asked her to reveal it and she told that "Shreya is almost glued to her best friend through out the class. So much that both of them mostly forget to eat their snacks during break. I have to literally make them seat separately". 

Much to the teacher's surprise, I was amused hearing this - firstly because I am glad that my daughter has started experiencing the awesome bond of friendship and secondly I can see history repeating itself 

#########################################

Shreya and I walking down the stairs, me in front. 
I’m wearing a long night-dress that’s trailing behind. 

Shreya: Mimme, your dwess is doing jhadoo **giggle** 
Me: Oh, ok
Shreya: You can also lift your dwess and walk. Like a pwincess.

So I walked like a pwincess and felt really good.

#simplejoyoflife

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Early morning conversation:

Toddler: "Is it holaday today?"
Me: "No, it's a school day" (she goes to summer camp)
Toddler: "But I want it to be holaday"
Me: "But it’s school day" 
Toddler: “I can’t go to school because I have turned into a pink fairy last night!”

Welcome to our world of imaginations and excuses!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Amazing seven years!!!

"Just friends" - yeah right. That's how it all started more than a decade ago...
...and gradually over the years all these got added:
"listener -
guide -
worst critic - 
best admirer - 
reminder-box to help me remember all those passwords -
lover when it is all mushy-mushy -
confidante to keep all my secrets under 
travel mate -
3 am "I need to talk now" friend - 
"sit quiet and let me cry" person -
"ready to share a laugh" buddy - 
"the one who will take your crap and still love you" person - 
"leaves you alone but makes sure you are never lonely" person -
"sharing pride over all simple things that their child achieves" person -
better-half when with all the chaos of life, you want someone to balance it out -
soul mate when all that you need is someone to be there, no matter what, to understand the unsaid and hear the unspoken."


Happy anniversary to us.
It's been seven amazing years!!!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

A typical day of the toddler during her summer break


1. First thing in the morning, confirm that it is a holiday

2. Get delighted and announce it to Papa

3. Declare that we can 'so much paint'

4. Paint 'so much'

5. Decide painting is boring

6. Do 'frog dance' for sometimes

7. Get tired and finish the whole bottle of water

8. Skip breakfast

9. Build a building

10. Break it and build it all over again

11. Shows-off to Mummum & Dada and expects compliment

12. Declare today is no-bath day

13. Pull out entire set of playdoh and make pretend-biscuits and Pizza

14. Serve it to all

15. Wake-up Sofia (her doll) and take her on a walk (in the corridor) in doll-stroller

16. Put Sofia back to sleep on the shoe-rack

17. Sofia is boring too and decide to show her stunts by jumping from one beanbag to another

18. Bring a book and demand it to be read

19. Read it back to Sofia, who is now sleeping on the window pane

20. Bring another book to Dada

21. Read it to back to Sofia

22. Bring another book to Dada. Try blabbing it on her own as Dada refused to comply this time

23. Raid the fridge and eat whatever she fancies

24. Skip lunch

25. Call Mimme and plead Mummum to say that she has been a 'good-girl' whole day. Request a gift from Mimme in return

26. Hunt Mimme's bag for gift once she is back

27. Disappointed goes to park with her friends

28. Come back home. Have her first proper meal of the day

29. Choose her bedtime books and doze-off to sleep even before Mimme could complete reading them all

30. Go back to point 1

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mixed Feeling

Happy new year to all of you (if at all there is anyone who is still reading this blog :( ).

I know I have been ignoring this blog for ages but me being a flowing-with-my-mood kinda person, I just did not force myself to come out of my vacation mood to update this blog. Silly I know but I do not have any other excuse to offer **hide face**.
But now I have decided to shake that blanket of laziness and get this blog active. So lets start with whats been happening at my end. A LOT to say the least...

S and I have been in a constant state of dilemma regarding settling-in-Canada-for-some-year ever since me and Shreya (S is here since 2years) landed in Canada. This particular oversea assignment has brought an entire new perspective towards applying for Canada-PR. Unlike our last trip, this time we could experience the real-feel of this place and absolutely loved it, either because the duration was much longer than last time or could be that I was exposed to an entire different group through Shreya's school, activity-centre and our community centre. 
If I think **only** about Shreya's education and future, I would prefer to settle down in Canada right away. They have whole new perspective to education and I totally loved their style. Shreya too had a blast this time and so did we. Made some amazing friends and a BFF for life. But the bigger decision of applying PR has many other fold and we are still contemplating the pros-&-cons of it. The client for which S is working is super satisfied and wants him to continue here and so does S, although he has rejected the extension offer for this stay only because I have to join back work by Apr '14. Hence, as you have guessed by now, the only confusing-factor (read barrier) in the whole decision-process is of course yours truly and her job back home. 

We have already started our packing and my brain had been working on the moving-scenario since last couple of weeks. But every night after Shreya goes to bed, when me and S sit with our cup of hot chocolate we discuss and talk about the mixed feeling that each one of us is experiencing about the move. We are undoubtedly looking forward to go back to our own home, meet our friends and family after such a long time and do all the stuffs we had been longing to do but deep down in our heart, we are sad that we are leaving this place - awesome locality, group of friends, our elaborate family time (which for some reason is very difficult to get in India) and not to mention every waking minute with Shreya. 

Life was perfect. It was not smooth everyday but it was a perfect-memorable-vacation, which I would love to hold close to my heart. 
When I left Canada last time, I shed a lot of tears and it was only for leaving behind S back here. Canada did not move me much, but I knew I would miss it for the perfect-family-time-we-had and for the fabulous city that it was. 
But this time, Canada means something else. This house gave me a lots of realization, made my biggest and most important dream come true, gave us countless unforgettable moments and memories. And now it's time to move, yet again. And this move is a difficult one, albeit, a move that we chose to make. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Precious moments

Considering how poorly I am updating this blog with Shreya's moments, I thought I would rather jot-down a quick update so that I can capture those moments in words before I forget or she out-grows it and lock that feeling in this post.

Weekend mornings: Shreya is a morning-snuggler (not sure if there is any such word like this :P) and we relish that more on weekend's mornings. She wakes up by 8am even on weekends, crawls to our bed in between both of us, snuggles next to me and pops back to sleep until both of us are ready to start the day. It’s incredible to wake up to soft cheeks near your nose and tiny arms wrapped around you. I know I don’t have long before she stops doing this….so for now it makes me want to stay there forever!

Library: Library membership was one of the very first things that we did after we landed in Canada. For us, going-to-library is a part of daily routine after I pick Shreya from her preschool. She gets to pick her book and I pick mine and mostly we sit quietly next to each other and read our books. We have been doing this for quite sometimes and now she thinks that it's "our thing" and at some level I think that it's her quite time too, considering the amount of play-time they get in preschool and also a power-booster before she heads to her after-school activity centre (fondly known as "Tanya's school" by Shreya).


Bed-time stories: and here the story teller is Shreya, incase you think that its her parents. Shreya prefers her bedtime with S and S is seen happiest during that time.
I too have happily delegated the responsibility to him and that makes all three of us happiest-at-that-time-of-the-day **wicked wink**. But the amount of snuggling and cuteness overload-wala story-telling (remember that party-in-moon story I mentioned in this post) that happens in that time-frame does make me want to demand my role back. 

Music-time: Shreya loves music and this is getting more and more evident as she is growing up. Shreya and her dad has a mandatory dance-session every evening for good half-an-hour after which S literally collides for rest of the evening..lol. S keeps telling me to start teaching Shreya some basic dance steps but for some reason I adore her baby-steps and all the cute-moves she comes up with. Nevertheless, she started picking up songs from me and this gave me a good booster to take this task seriously. I am proud of the sincerity with which she practices new song, without any prodding by us.

I hope we always have time for each other as we have now and continue to create happy-memories together. Amen.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Shreya-r-golpo" strikes back

Shreya calls out to me – "Mimme, a spider"
I run down ready to help her thinking that she is scared.
“Shall I shoo it away?” I ask.
"Noooo. Or Mimme nei na, tai o eka. I want to keep her as a pet." ("No. She does not have her Mimme and hence she is all alone. I want to keep her as a pet").
Err...

*********

Shreya, in one of those rare quite moment, was telling me her story and this is how it goes:

Her - "Mimme, I am a caterpillar"
Me - "Really, why do you think so?"
Her - "Shreya boy chilo ar ekhon girl hoye geche - caterpillar hoi na sundor butterfly" ("Shreya was a boy before and now she became a girl, just like the caterpillar who becomes a beautiful butterfly.")
Curious me wanted to know more.
Her - "Shreya good na pre-school e tai Thakur oke girl kore diyeche, aar Ken (friend in pre-school) toh dustu tai o ekhono boy" ("Since she is good in pre-school, God blessed her to become a girl and Ken (her new friend) is still a boy because he is still naughty")
Me -"Hmmmm"
Should I be worried with this explanation? I don't know….

***********

Me and S were talking about some party and she runs towards us saying that "Aajke party aache raat e" ("Tonight we have party").
Confused us requested for more details and she goes on saying that "Moon e party." ("Party in moon").
She continues "Moon comes at night and picks Mimme, Papa and Shreya with him. It then takes a long flight and once we reach there, we are greater by Ram-Sita, Shiv-Parvati, Krishna-Radha etc etc and lastly by Amitabh Bachhan who then gathers the crowd and starts singing "Itne bazu Itne sar…".

I was floored when I see S laughing madly at this. It was difficult for me to digest all these and mostly Amithabh B (from where does she know filmstars name? ) and these gaana-shanna when I realize that this story had lots of input from Mr. Papa and it was discussed the previous night during bedtime.
Now I get from whom does Shreya gets her 'storytelling flair'.

***********

Come Nov, we are already in Christmas mode.
The other day when she was annoying me for some reason, I snapped back rudely. 
To which she responded, "Mimme, ei rokom korle Santa kintu presents debe na. Good girl thakte lagbe tomar." ("If you talk like this, Santa will not give you Christmas presents. You need to be good-girl for that.")
I was like "Meri billi mujhe hi meow" :)

***********

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jaadu ki jhappi

I grew up in a "hug-less" environment. It was very late in life that I realized the power that a simple hug carries in it and it was of course after I met S. This realization grew stronger with time and more after I became a Mom where a simple hug from the child is enough to brighten up my gloomiest day. 
But, I still can't bring myself to hug people randomly, no matter how close I am to them. I often wonder why I am this way, but haven't been able to figure it out.

Is it so important to express your love or care, you ask.
Yes it is. 
Because we could just merely want that human contact to feel wanted or to feel close to or to just feel that warmth of another. 

There are different types of 'hugs' -

There are those hugs that you just bundle on top of each other after you've won a bet.

Then, there are the hugs at the airport when you're picking up that family member you don't want to admit having missed.

Hugs of forgiveness with your best friend after a childish argument neither of you remember the subject of.

Screaming hugs with your friends when you hear that fav song being played in FM.

Hugs when you haven't seen your loved one since this morning.

After a fight, there are the hugs that linger just a moment longer with that special someone just before the bedtime, because you both know that none of you can sleep otherwise.

Each of these 'type-of-hugs' are unique in its own ways but the kind of hug that made me write this post is absolutely priceless for me at this point of time. The toddler has recently gone into a phase where she needs 'a hug' every now and then. And those are bestowed on us selflessly, unconditionally and we are happily basking in the glory of this phase until it lasts. 

As I was napping today afternoon and she was busy playing with her stuffs (yes I need the post-lunch siesta while the toddler has already out-grown it), suddenly I feel her trying to reach me in a hug. Chubby fingers with loads of softness demanded all of me. My arm too gently moved around her waist. I opened my eyes to see hers saying "Mimme, hug lage" ("Mimme, I need a hug") to which I obliged immediately. And suddenly all around us the universe echoed the "ageless bond" that we share.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three years of Her Highness

... and I used the term 'Her Highness', advisedly, because she’s quite a diva now. She likes the spotlight, she loves attention and she just basks in the glory of her own happiness (touchwood).

This year was quite an exciting year for her or rather for us as a family. We have spend time together like never before, a complete family time of sheer just-being-with-each-other. Bliss I say!
Big thing that happened this year was her school, which started with Foundation Mont in Bangalore and we have already undergone multiple rounds of changes within less than a year time-frame. After shifting to Toronto, it was 'Queen Victoria Public School' and now its 'More than a child's play', which is more of a pre-kinder garden preparatory program. A huge change for Shreya as she started spending longer hours in school and that too amidst a multi-nationality environment, which added as a great boon in shaping her personality.
She is full of life and has developed a grace which is hard to capture in words. She’s dancing like a pro, learned some swimming strokes with much ease and can hoola pretty well. I watch the supreme control she has over each muscle, the determination to get it right and the willingness to keep at it, and I admire it in one so young.

‘She looks just like you..’ people say and I look at them in shock. What? My beautiful, delicate baby…? Not at all, I want to say and I’m not being modest. I remember the same scene over and over again – years of visitor telling my mother that I look like her, and my Mom looking quite annoyed – how dare they say her beautiful daughter looked like her… surely her daughter was a beauty **wink wink**! Maybe its a family thing. Maybe we are obsessed with our daughters. Maybe our daughters are a distilled version of us, each generation a little sharper featured, a little sharper tempered, a little sharper in every aspects. Her curls are still to-die-for but gets messy within an hour of proper brushing. Beautiful expressive eyes which takes after her father and dominates every conversation. She doesn’t need them really. She could close her eyes and still have people hanging on her every word because nothing is as captivating as the conversation that she gets into these days and those sounds like serious adult-to-adult talking (and I am just not kidding here). She still spends hours with books either me or S reading it to her or she trying to read them, painting and crafting is her new passion and so is dancing (her Papa being her fav companion). 
Another striking thing that we noticed off late is she showing an interesting streak of fair play and diplomacy. So if I grab a hand and drag her in for a hug, she’ll not just submit but twist around and plant a huge kiss on my forehead (in the sweetest, almost paternal way). And I’ll say, “I love you, Shreyu baby’ and she’ll nod, accepting it and add, ‘Papa o bhalobashe Shreya ke **smiley smiley**' (Papa also loves Shreya). The other day we were lazing on the bed, one of those many pros of a vacation, a book in my hand, a book in Shreya's hand and S busy with his Ipad game when I turned around and squeezed the living daylight out of Shreya and said 'You're my baby'. Shreya immediately looked at her Dad's reaction who was too busy in his games (and might not have even heard what I uttered) and solemnly responded with 'Yes and Papa's baby too', just so that her Papa does not feel left out, simply because she know that he's not as verbal as her Mimme. 
And while we’re on the topic, can I add how much I love these moments? We’re now at a stage where she is old enough to be absorbed in whatever she is yet she is young enough to still think of her body as a part of yours. Arms and legs entangled, soft cheeks pressed against your arm, thoughts unselfconsciously expressed. Even if you don’t believe in a God, these are the moments that give you that flash of doubt.

Time’s a-flying and the tiny little baby is a human with a personality to rival any adult’s. 
I watch her slip through my fingers, light as sand, delicate as foam, strong as silken thread.
Yet again, happy happies, my little not-so-hungry caterpillar. Watching you turn into a human being has been the most fascinating experience of our life. We can’t wait to see you turn into the most beautiful butterfly ever.
Welcome to the year 3, Shreya.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Promises and its six amazing years of journey.

In return for all your promises; for rest of my life I promise to be ~
Your friend when you want to enjoy some lighter moments as life tends to get boring.
Your confidante when you want to share your darkest secrets.
Your lover when you are all mushy-mushy.
Your buddy when you want to rant!
Your reminder-box to help you remember all those passwords and bill payments.
Your girl-friend when you are feeling romantic.
Your critic when you are looking for genuine feedback to improve upon.
Your teacher when you want to learn something from me.
Your better-half when with all the chaos of life, you want someone to balance it out.
Your soul mate when all that you need is someone to be there, no matter what - to understand the unsaid and hear the unspoken.


Sweetheart, you always claim that I am the power in our relationship from which you draw all your strength. Of course I do have a difference of opinion here and all the 'essence-of-life' that I derive from you is enough to sustain my life-time of happiness

You have all the qualities that I can ever ask for - 
Calm mind which has the magical solution to all my problems
Superb listening power to my non-stop jabbering.
Sight in which I see 'our' sparkling tomorrows.
Perfect mate who can walk a long way with me tirelessly.
Support from your firm hands clutching me to face every storm.
Words which knows the best thing to say about me.
Smile that brightens up my gloomiest-day.
Resilient arms which is my safest nook in the whole wide world.

Do you think I could have asked for anything more?



Happy anniversary darling.
Its been six amazing years! 

With all my love,
Forever yours.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"What's on your mind?"

...that's what FB asked me as I opened my news feed today. Well, the answer is the most awaited trip to Montreal and Quebec City.

S and me had been longing to visit these two 'French cities in North America' for quite sometimes now. Planned this trip during my last visit to Canada but Shreya being too young then we decided to drop it off from our list, of course with a heavy heart. So this time we had no second thought about opting for this trip. The plan is to take the trip on our own rather than a packaged tour which usually turns out to be cramped one and it might be difficult with a toddler in tow.

However planning the entire trip on our own also means tons of things to plan and work-out. 
The compulsive list-maker in me is rejoicing though and more so as it has to do with vacation planning **wicked grin**.  Most of the things in the checklist are already ticked off and some of the important stuffs are to be sorted out tomorrow. Route map, hotel booking, shopping, packing, attraction details, itineraries...phew.

The planning (and the re-planing) and the mandatory rush before the trip is about half the fun for me. So yours truly is seen all busy-busy and on a constant high since last few days. 
The vacation starts on Sunday morning.Wish me fun people!!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Niagara Falls – Oh, what a beauty!


I had cursed myself for not logging a travel diary during my last trip to Canada (as such trip report makes an excellent memories later) and promised myself to do it this time. But its already been 4 months and I have not recorded any of our tour details..sigh! 
Well better late than never.

Lots happening at my end. Greatest news, as most of you who are in my FB list knows, is that my parents have joined us in Canada last month. Truly a dream-come-true for me as I had been longing to show them this place ever since my last visit. I expressed this desire when S was offered to travel again last July and bingo all the needed formalities and groundwork was managed from his end as he had to sponsor their trip and with all our preparation the visa application was filed during S's visit to India in Apr. Finger crossed we waited for the visa and to our surprise the visa got stamped in a record time of 6 days without any further hassle. Love you sweetheart...this would not have been possible without your help and I am sure this is the BEST retirement gift that I can give to my Mom.

Ever since their visa was done, the planning and preparation started. It took a while for them to travel as my Mom had to finish off her pending retirement-related-monetary-formalities and eventually they landed here on 24th of June. 
What fun and I am over the moon since then - mainly as this is the first time I could spend 24x7 time with them (since no office), secondly the fun that Shreya is having with them is absolutely priceless, thirdly we could utilize the weekdays evening too as we stay bang-on downtown and lastly all the trips & tours and associated planning/plotting/preparation around them is something which gonna add to glorious memories down the lane.

Now coming to our trip part, no prizes for guessing that our first out-of-city tour was Niagara Falls. It was pretty much a day-trip from Toronto but we wanted to do things in leisure and also experience the fireworks-over-the-lake which happens only on Sunday (and national holidays). Since we had been to Niagara during our last visit to Canada, the trip was planned perfectly and a suite was booked by S at Sheraton hotel overlooking the falls. I think that was the highlight of our trip as the view was awesome from the room. 

Adding to little more details here:
Day 1: The bus left from Toronto at 9:30 am. Spectacular view of lake Ontario could be seen along the stretch of the road and the journey was a breeze as Shreya was an angel who kept herself busy with her books and iPad. Reached Niagara around 11:15 am and boarded the WEGO bus to reach the hotel.
The hotel check-in was smooth and we took a record time of half-an-hour to freshen up and start our first tour of the day.
We started our trip from 'Table rock' point which gives an eye-level view of Horseshoe Falls, better known as The Canadian side of the Falls. The Canadian side is definitely prettier and more impressive than the US side and we were very lucky to enjoy it in a beautiful weather. 
The Falls is without doubt beyond any adjective. It is one of those places that just takes your breath away! I could say it was beautiful, exquisite, wonderful, wondrous, poetically romantic and I am sure it still did not do justice to it. No matter how long or from which angle I stare at the Falls, I am greeted by an immaculately gorgeous view. 


Eye-level view


The Table-rock point is a perfect place to take photographs and we took full advantage of it.
Here is my sunshine baby giving all her maar-dala poses


Photo shoot while the toddler was taking her power-nap
Journey-behind-the-Falls was the next thing in our to-do list. This tour takes a journey deep below behind the heart of the Falls and make you stand in the mist where the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 storeys above! The sound of the water crashing in front of our eyes was like a thunder; the sight absolutely awe-inspiring! 
We in yellow poncho at 'Journey behind the Falls

Maid-of-the-mist was the next thing in our list and without sparing any time we proceeded towards the boat point. The Maid of the Mist is by far the most famous attraction other than the Falls itself. The Maid of the Mist is a boat tour which will take you from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls into the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The sheer force of waterfall generates huge amounts of mist – so the boat ride turns into a watery, misty, fun mess at some point! You’ll most likely be drenched (despite the ubiquitous blue poncho they give you) but it’s a lot of fun & makes for great memories!

View from just the bottom of the Falls at Maid-of-the-mist tour

The photo above shows how close the Maid of the Mist boat ride gets to the bottom of Niagara Falls!
The Falls look deceptively calm from above but when you get close by, you realize just how treacherous it really is. The force of the waterfall is really powerful & you can’t really see much since you’ll be shrouded in watery mist! The Maid of the Mist ride is definitely a memorable experience, although taking photographs is next to impossible (due to the mist & the blue plastic ponchos that will be in every photo!).

After this ride, we were too tired and headed back to the hotel. Rested for a while and then started off our evening in Niagara Casino. This was our first visit to Casino and S wanted to try his luck. The end result was not-so-good (S lost a decent amount of money..lol) but it was a great experience for sure. 
Firework-by-the-Falls was the last thing of the day and absolutely nothing can beat the beauty of the illuminated Falls under the sky glowed up by fireworks. What a way to end an amazing day! 
(No picture this time as we had enough from the last time and wanted to experience it rather than getting busy in recording or taking pictures).


Cozy-bed and cuddly-baby. Do you need anything else to end a tired day?

Day 2: It was a lazy day as we had completed most of the major attraction and had not yet recovered from the previous day's tiredness. Lazily we started the day with a stroll by the downtown street. Vibrant shops and loud music was enough to brighten up our spirit and we decided to try the Skywheel ride and man, did I say it was amazing.




View of the Falls from the Skywheel. What an experience!

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No doubt Niagara Falls is one of those must-visit places in the world which just leaves you baffled. But this also means that you’ll definitely be jostling with tourists no matter what time of year you visit. Everyone flocks to see the Falls and when you finally get there, you’ll understand why – it’s just so incredibly beautiful.

I think Niagara Falls is easily one of my favourite memories of Canada! 
And it was certainly an excellent introduction to a beautiful country for my parents. 
Lots more to come. Stay tuned ;)