On this day nine summers ago, you were all of 21 inches, wet, sticky, with few black lines on your scalp suggesting the presence of baby hair… I thought you looked like a cute wet puppy:) You were a hot, red boy then- thanks to the heat- and momma thinks you are hotter now:)
At 9, you sometimes act 6, sometimes 16, at times even 36! But mostly 9:) Now I have this one big doubt.. Are you, by some standards, a BIG boy now? I ask this because I catch you blushing more often. It was funny (and cute) the way you and Keshu exchanged glances, shrugged your shoulders, and turned slightly pink when Imran Khan’s girl friend gives him a peck in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.. And one of you whispered to the other- ‘Love’ and I thought I heard a giggle too:) You already have plenty of secrets and I’ve caught you smiling/blushing thinking about something- I mean I literally caught you staring into space and smiling at some sweet memory. When countered, you dismissed saying ‘Nothing ma..’ and quickly changed subjects… You know amma is quite proficient in the art of *’pottu-vaangufying’ but of-late, am letting you be:)
There is also another trait that makes me think you are all grown up now- your ability to sense amma’s mood. I know I act grumpy and sore at times and have been unreasonable with you. I’m sorry. But you seem to understand and magnanimously say, “its ok ma, leave it! adhu mudinji pochi. ippo namba adha patthi pesavendam! (translates to – that episode is over. let us not talk about it)”. And you don’t ever bring it up again! I love and appreciate that you understand the need to accept your people the way they are. Your unconditional hug and several hugs on-demand, flushes out even the tiniest bit of gloom that threatens to descend on your ‘senti-mental’ amma:)
1. You remind us to buy something for your grandparents whenever we go out of town
2. You love listening to the stories of your maternal thatha and paatti who did not live to see you. they really lost a big deal I tell ya!!
3. You always watch out for your little brother and are keen on ensuring that he is safe, and what a doting brother you are!
4. You don’t let me hand over my bag to a stranger in a crowded bus or train. instead you offer to carry it and loudly announce that you must not trust your possessions with strangers unless there is a need. (reminding me that you are still a child)
5. You cannot contain excitement when you see your cousins and friends.. so much that by the end of the day you end up with a sore throat and get told by the doc that the treatment for voice abuse is to learn singing:) And yes, you turn a deep red at that observation.
6. You have an increased appetite when we go out, specially for stuff that has more cheese, butter or cream!
7. You keep switching your future avatar and am happy that you have contemplated becoming a civil engineer, a ticket collector, a ‘railway gatekeeper’ who mans the railway level-crossing, a garbage collector, a writer, an astronaut, an astronomer, a dad (yes, a dad!), a cricketer, and recently a poet:)
8. You love night-stays with your friends/cousins and love to invite them over for a stay! yes, already!
9. You love to buy gifts as much as you love to receive them!
10. You don’t yet know what it is to act subtle and manage to blurt out at the most inappropriate moment:)
11. You are still scared of moths (yes, moths and even dragon flies!), lizards, crackers and darkness!
12. You have the laziest of bones and mostly decentralize the jobs meant for you- for instance, fetching a glass of water for appa, putting your pencils, books back in your bag, stuffing the socks back in the shoes..
13. You are yet to understand the importance/intensity of the word ‘SORRY’. Am sure you will come around. Someday.
14. You have spouted a thousand logical reasonings in the last 4 years that I could actually write a book. must admit that I like your take on things mostly!!
15. You love reading mystery but are still scared of reading it late into the night, specially when the suspense gets more intense:)
16. You laugh, cry, growl, fight, cuddle, withdraw, agree, contradict, go out of the way, enjoy, sulk, talk big, talk small… you make my day!
I can go on da kutta! I still consider your nape the safest place to bury my face and also my worries:)
Amma, Appa and Varun love you for what you are! WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! And yes, remember to work for your brother’s admission, okay?!!!
*’pottu-vaangufying- a wicked means of asking irrelevant questions to extract the information that you can’t have otherwise!!