Fourteen!


Kanna,
I remember wondering how you’d be at 14 when you were 4. And I wonder how you’d be at 24 now. I also imagine myself being a difficult mom at times and a fun mom mostly and also that special person who’ll be privy to some of your secrets 🙂 Who am I kidding!

At 14, you remind me of my teenage self- argumentative, assertive, but mostly fun. You are an awesome big-brother and here is a tiny convo with the little imp that I’d stored on my notes:

Me: Isn’t your bro a makku (meaning – a nutcase) FullSizeRender
Varun: No! Anna is a cool bro!

He is quick to come to your defense these days and for some reason thinks you know better than his parents, no matter what it is about. But there are times when he lets us in on all the TV shows you’ve been watching and he seems to know most of them. Here are some for the record- Jimmy Kimmel Live, Quantico, Mentalist, Shark Tank, Friends, Impractical Jokers, Seinfeld, Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This is the list your little bro rattles off :/ Other than Friends, I have no clue what the rest are and when you watch them. Brats!

It was also your ‘report card’ day in school today. You made us all proud by getting a certificate for good conduct and that comes before any other achievement, academic or otherwise!

On this birthday, there are a couple of things I’d like to reiterate baby, things that I’ve been talking to you about more often the last couple of years. I’d like to say it again:

  • Be that adorable anna your little bro can look up to, and be available for him always.
  • You have an enviable zest for reading, gathering information, and learning (this does not include academics ;)). Keep at it.
  • Nurture that funny bone in you. All your friends like that humorous streak in you 🙂
  • Travel all you can. Reading and travel make for organic learning and teach more than what any school or person can hope to teach. It makes you a more rounded person and heightens your sense of right and wrong. And when you know, please choose what is right.
  • Please understand when someone says, ‘NO’. It doesn’t mean anything other than NO. It could be a girl or a boy you know, a stranger, your family and friends, or someone you dearly love.
  • Just like how you appreciate when someone says NO, you be firm and say NO when you have to.
  • Put the people first, and your ego last. It might mean a compromise. It might mean you are relenting. But then, it also means you are stronger. Because, people are worth putting first, and ego is worthless.
  • Know that you are loved and dear to not only your bro, me, or appa, but the entire extended maternal and paternal family, and that makes you really, really rich 🙂

Live it up my big baby. Have fun on your 14th and all the years to come. May your Manhattan-apartment, Honda job, and several other dreams come true;) Will love you always!

Varun Bond 007


Yes, my champ, you turn 7 and I must say you are on a roll! As cutely shameless as 7-yr IMG_1821olds can get, you called or whatsapped all and sundry to remind that it was your birthday today.

Between last Feb and this, the single biggest change  I see in you is that you speak nineteen to the dozen and continue to be that drama king.  You roll your eyes in frustration, and still say the darndest things. Like you went about telling the folks in our apartment early morning to pick just one chocolate each!

FullSizeRender (2)You have style and tell the barber how and just how much of hair he can chop off your head. You run your fingers through your hair standing in front of the mirror and make sure there is no damage done to your style. Jeans are still your thing! How do you not tire of wearing them?! And you must be the only fella in entire Chennai to sport a tuxedo at 3.00 PM and not sweat. You practically gave your dad and mom a heart attack when you waxed eloquent on how to make a bomb! I hope we don’t get tracked down just because you learnt google/youtube search.

Your business idea of launching a ‘Dog Hotel’ was simply cool. Only until I knew that there was such a game and you were playing it:) But you ARE serious about doing one when you grow up. Special menu cards for the canines, a dog spa, dog rest-rooms, play area, children in attendance – all these sound cool! You have already decided the names for the ten dogs that you are going to pet when you grow up.

When everyone in our apartments was fretting over the flood water and lack of power, you woke up each morning that week asking if Wi-Fi will be restored.  And you’d go back to making paper boats of old newspapers and float them in the water till the water tired of your boats and receded as fast as it could! When will I get to talk to you about first-world problems?

But then, those talks can wait. I’d want to read to you some more, cuddle you, strike deals with you, listen to your nightmares that feature all the characters from your commando games, lose arguments with you on why you can’t go to bed with your jeans or commando gears, let you believe that iPads and TV talk to the ‘bad neurons’ and that sports, music, reading and stories talk to the ‘good neurons’, let you still be surprised to find me home when you are back from school and draw you into that glue-ey hug, see you beg, cajole your brother into finishing that game for you even if he hates it, listen to you sulk about how unfair it is to sit through the same grade for one full year, and how unfair it is that you are expected to write in school! Don’t grow up yet my Bond. There is a lot of time! I love you to bits my baby!

 

The craziest V


The soon-to-be seven’s  ambition is to become a black cop, whatever that means! Says they can be found in America. Practice sessions are in full swing.

He talks about assault rifles, snipers, bazookas, pistols, shotguns, combats, and commandos. He sets alarm to rise early and work out. Does push-ups both one hand and two hands, stretches, punches and other such wierd things. ‘To get 25 packs’, he states.

He is in full combat attire most evenings when we return home from work. Includes a head gear and mask. He partners with our apartment watchman and takes careful aim at some people on the road who he claims are in the ‘Most Wanted’ list. He is sure that a couple of the bad ‘mens’ are in disguise and alerts the watchman.

He insists on installing security system at the apartment entrance and a security vault inside our house. The purpose of the vault is to store his guns. He urges me to accompany him to the ‘security shop’ to get it. I tell him that it is very expensive and not affordable. He asks if it costs over hundred rupees. I tell him that it costs over two hundred thousands. His come back is, “Why fear when the piggy bank is here?”. We are planning to go vault-shopping soon!

Here’s until the next crazy thing.. Have a great day!

My buddy of a few months


Meet Kaaw, my morning buddy. We’ve been friends the last few months. Kaaw’s kith and IMG_1998kin fly by the kitchen window too. What makes this champ different is that, she alights on the window sill the moment I enter the kitchen, and waits for 15 full seconds without a noise. She feeds from my hands and loves chapathi, warm dosa, vada, papads, chips, and such crunchies. Kaaw hates idlies, cold dosas, rice, veggies, and bread and refuses to even take a peck. The folks who notice this blatant refusal, do not miss the opportunity to drive home the truth that even Kaaw doesn’t like my idlies :/ She turns her face away and waits till her favs arrive.

I sometimes deliberately ignore Kaaw till she announces her arrival. And the announcement comes as just a single ‘Kaaaw’ 🙂 The rest of her brood maintain a wary distance and wait for the food to be placed on the window and there is one that waits for me to disappear from the kitchen! They aren’t as selective about the food offered too. Still I look forward to engaging in the one-sided silly banter (which is moi) and feed rotis to Kaaw.. On some days, she comes back a few more times for repeat treats.. Haven’t had to disappoint her so far 🙂

 

And when in love..


… with Cricket and the Cricketer Ashwin, everything gets painted blue. Including a school project. The convo went thus:

Varun: Amma, I’ve got to make a t-shirt from a chart. Need your help.

Me: Done. I’ll do the sketching.

Varun: Okay. A round-neck t-shirt, Okay?

Me: Can we do one with a cute collar?

Varun: No ma. You just draw the shape and cut. I’ll do the ‘detailing’. (he said that!)

Me: Alright. What ‘details’ are you going to add.

Varun: I have an idea. You first cut the shape.

I draw the outline, and cut the shape. And then this chap brings out the model t-shirt and takes my help with fine-tuning his drawing. We finally end up adding a collar too because the model t-shirt has one:)

And here is output:

\

Much Ado about cricket


My little champ wakes up in the morning and comes into the living room with a bowling action.  Doesn’t let his dad off the hook till the daily dose of ‘practice’ happens. He has stuck Ravichandran Ashwin’s picture at random places in the house and sometimes blows a kiss his way.  Sharing a picture he did a few days back:

   
   
Continue to color our lives in all your bright hues little buddy 🙂

The little story teller


I’m sharing a couple of stories  written by Varun. His stories seem to be inspired from several sources, his dreams being one such source:) I have punctuated here and there, but have left the text unedited:)  Pictures of the original are attached.

The Ghost and the Zombie

One man wanted money. So villagers gave toothpick and he spent lot money with the toothpick. Every night it will be a ghost night. Villagers try to kill him but the rich man shooted the villages and one ghost night the villagers became ghosts and the rich man was a police. The ghosts touch “the” police and police became a ghost and god watched everything and ghost tuch (touch) the god and they became a ghost.

(The / end)

PS: When asked to explain the toothpicks connection, he says that they are magic ones that turn into money when water is sprinkled on them

Fishing for food

Once there lived a deer hunter. He wanted (to) go for fishing. He went and found 10000 fishes. He tried to eat and next day the deer hunter was strong.

The end

(This one comes with a moral too)

Moral: if you eat good food, you will be strong.

School Stories


The six year old sometimes stumps us like a 16 year old..  Arguments, logics, thy name Varun.

He seems to be a big fan of shopping online, though we haven’t got a single toy for him online. For instance, he suddenly seems to think bracelets are cool on boys and has been pestering me to buy one. “Ma, check on Amazon.in”. I feign checking and tell him it isn’t available. “Okay, check on Flipkart. Else see on Snapdeal. Or on Ebay”, he adds. And these sites are getting poor ratings from my boy because they don’t stock bracelets.. Bad portals, I say!

The other day, he was generally being nice and asked me to show how I whatsapp his friend V’s mom. I did. The next thing I know is that he has clicked a selfie and has whatsapped it to that mom with a note that it was meant for his friend V. In an another instance, he whatsapps me from my co-bro’s mobile stating that ‘Vidya is a waste’. The reason can be attributed to the 100s of denials of the 1000s of demands he makes. He has whatsapped my friend’s son appreciating him on a recitation. He is the self-proclaimed *anna to that little boy and so thinks it is his place to acknowledge and encourage talent. I like that 🙂

When he wants his dad or me to get him something, the sentence almost always starts with: “Ma/Pa, I want to ask you something. But I’m sure you will say NO”. We politely tell him not to waste his breath. We are nice like that.

IMG_0832He has acquired some taste for Hindi and often experiments. He said, “Mein baath nahin karunga”. I had no clue why he was miffed. So I ask him, ‘Kyon? Kya hua?”. “Baath naheeeen”, he emphasised. “Water chill hai”, he added. It dawned on me a few seconds later that he was referring to the English word ‘bath’. And thus, our Hindi trysts continue.

He adores his friend’s baby brother and wonders why he was not born first so a baby bro or sis would’ve followed. He asks if he will ever have one. I tell him, I will only be a grandmother next and that he could cuddle the baby of my close friend C and that of another friend D who will pop in a few months.

The moment he wakes up, he emerges out of the bedroom, bowling like Ravinchandran Ashwin, but without the ball. His action is a perfect imitation of the said bowler. He is miffed that cricket camps in school or elsewhere wouldn’t take in 6 year olds.. “Not fair”, he mutters.

And in the most happening of the school events, he has found his first puppy love. A little girl called S, to whom our man has been blowing kisses and is not getting kissed in return. He has illustrated his love in his rough note book as well.  And I thought some lessons in love could wait.. Boys!

PS: anna- Tamizh for bro

ThirTEEN!


Dear Big Boy Vyas, I just have to ask you two questions to see you color and wag that forefinger at me. I’ll still go ahead and ask them again. When did you grow up? And how come you are so cute (OK, that is ‘mommyspeak!’).

Your ambitions have continued to graduate from being a garbage collector and the guy who’ll man the railway level-crossing, to that of an automobile engineer. There is still a long way to go and I’d not be surprised if it changes another dozen times by the time you finish high school. I however think you’d make an awesome lawyer, specially a defense counsel 😉 Your sense of reasoning and logic is something that should go on the records.

You are ‘unaffected’ by competition. Well, is that good or bad? This mommy doesn’t know. But I’m happy that you are happy when your friends do well, and you are unassuming when you do well. Which I think is good. When I see some parents running from pillar to post, dropping and picking up their kids from various classes, there definitely is a tiny element of guilt. I’ve felt inadequate on several occasions. But you have been indifferent to all that. You are probably secretly happy that you are not saddled with classes and more classes.

You are happy because you are one of the shortest in class because you escape getting paired, specially because most girls are taller 😉 But then, I didn’t stop to tell you that ‘height’ is never a factor. Most of Tom Cruise’s heroines are taller than him 😉 I’ll however tell you when the time is ripe:) IMG-20150420-WA0003

Your brother adores you. When asked to speak about ‘a person’ he likes the most, he burst the ‘mommy-balloon’ and chose to speak about you. I was not even aware till the GA was over. He said that he did not talk about mommy, not about Mahatma Gandhi, not about Sachin Tendulkar, but spoke about his brother instead. And here I’ll quote him so we can come back to this post later and read it together again and again:

Varun: “I like my brother the most. He is my best friend. My brother plays cricket with me. He makes funny faces. I love my brother very much.”

I’ve told you always, (even before he was born), that your sibling will be your companion for life and never your competition. I’m so happy that he chose you over me (amma can be selfish and demanding, okay? yes, moms are allowed that). He wrote in his baby handwriting, wishing for your birthday. It was his special surprise for you. I’m sure you’ll always be available for him and be that unconditional source of support. By that, I don’t mean that you must constantly boss over him. I can see you roll your eyes at that piece of advice. Ok, I know you know. Still.. Be that ‘fun bro’ you always are. What is a sibling relationship without it’s share of fights? So, go on and have them. It’s okay as long as you are not tearing each other’s hair apart. But note that you’ll get yelled at in the process and you’ll be largely blamed, because you are the anna in this equation and according to the law of universe, the older siblings are usually held responsible for all that goes awry among siblings. Sometimes, it IS true, and sometimes partly true 🙂 So, yeah, life is like that! If I had to make a snapshot of your 13th year on this beautiful planet, here is what I’d pull out from the top of my mind:

  • You are very conscious when I wrap my arms around your shoulders in public
  • You have the funny habit of not logging out of your email. Dad and mom are not responsible for inadvertently landing into your mail-box..
  • You like comfortable clothes, specially a track suit and a tee.
  • You look at yourself in the mirror a little more than you did in the previous years
  • You want to sport an hairstyle like that of Ryan Teddar’s!
  • You love good food, and food shows, specially the Master Chef series
  • You make awesome dosas and sometimes offer cooking tips
  • You anxiously wait for the Autocar mag to arrive every month and religiously read through every word.
  • Wikipedia is your GOD.
  • You love using new words in speech. For instance, the other day, when we were going out for dinner with all your cousins and their families, you wore a new tee and said something about it being a little ostentatious for the occasion 🙂
  • You test the patience of your paternal and maternal aunts when they call and you end up picking the phone. They have a hard time getting one straight answer from you.
  • You know the things that’d rile up your dad or me. You ask your dad if he can pre-order the Apple Watch for you and also get the new MacBook and rattle on about its resolution, the aspect ratio, and the 9hrs battery life, even while you know what his or my response to those ‘requests’ will be 🙂 And at the end of it all, you’ll simply say, “a guy can try”!
  • You go on about the differences between and Airbus and Boeing, even when there are no listeners..
  • Your little bro hangs on every word that you utter and whatever we tell him is validated with you. Not fair! I hope you’ll use your influence well 😉
  • You like drowning yourself in books and chocolates.

I can go on except that you might not appreciate me putting some things out here. I cannot take that ‘Indian Constitution’ talk where you’d go on about individual freedom 🙂 Keep going buddy. Your are a terrific thirteen year old, with a lot of zest for life and an awesome sense of humour. This is a smitten amma talking.

Wish you a very healthy and happy life kanna. May you dream beautiful dreams, may all the dreams you want to come true, come true. May you always be surrounded by a big battalion of awesome friends. May you have the will to stand up for all the things right, and also the resolve to stand up against all that is wrong and unfair. May you always be blessed with the courage to stand up for yourself. May you be blessed with infinite capacity to forgive and empathize where needed and be available for those whom you love and those who love you. May you always be blessed with the sense to put people ahead of your ego. I love you my baby! Happy thirteenth!