Whenever we plan a trip, the first question Vyas asks is if it is a ‘temples trip’! He becomes very pecky and restless on such trips (which by the way is a little too frequent in our family with both, my F-I-L’s and M-I-L’s village having a temple that belongs to and is run by the family ) and starts laying out charters! Too much heat, crowd, blaring loud-speakers, long queues, bursting of crackers during ‘utsavams’, improper sanitation facilities,etc are few things that turn him cranky sometimes.
A Samprokshanam was coming up in one of these temples and my F-I-L had been toiling for months for installing a new deity, renovating the temple etc. We all decided to attend the ceremony to appreciate and applaud my F-I-L efforts more than anything else! It has been tough on him the last few months as he had to commute to the village by bus during the weekends (and there are no direct buses to the place) as week days belonged to Varun:) Even on the week days he had to run errands, visit the press to get some materials ready for the function, hold meetings at home with the trustee members, et al. And there is always the add-on duties of picking up Vyas from school, dropping and picking him up from the summer camp etc.
I’d prepared Vyas for the visit telling him how important the occasion was for thatha and that we all must visit the temple and he must not raise a ruckus. He seemed to understand and did not fuss. There is a ‘dress-code’ to adhere to when visiting these temples- nine yards madisaar for the married ladies and panchakajam for the gentlemen! Little girls usually wear long colorful pattu-pavadai (at the sight of which, I, for a moment, wish I had a girl :)) and the little boys wear veshti (dhoti). The dress code is not mandatory for children though! I love to dress my boys in veshti.
Varun is too small for the attire, but the advantage is he would not know what he is wearing:) But I did not want to trouble him yet. Like every other time, I asked Vyas if he would wear it this time, just for a couple of hours.. The boy politely refused saying, “No ma, am comfortable in my jeans.” His dad made an attempt saying that there will be lot of other boys for company. He wouldn’t relent. The elders at home have been hinting us on his Upanayanam and we have so far managed to brush aside the suggestions. I can see a big challenge coming up:)
His dad thought it was best to let him wear the dress which he is comfortable in so that his day is not spoilt brooding over something so trivial! You must see the relief on the little man’s face to believe it. He dressed quickly, came near me and pointing at his jeans, declared, “This is the best and most comfortable ‘down-wear’ ever invented”!!
A few pictures when he was 4 yrs old with the elegant ‘down-wear’ which he so detests now!!