Thursday 25 November 2010

It starts early in the morning

It’s very difficult for me to sneak away from the bed in the mornings. Most days, I try to get up by 6 (it’s getting harder now that winter is upon us) so that I get almost an hour to myself – brush my teeth without having someone hanging onto my knees, have a peaceful cup of ginger chai while browsing the news, and pack Ads’ school bag – all this before Ads wakes up. But Y has some sort of deadly accurate body clock that senses when I am up, and then she’s up too. There goes my peaceful early-morning routine! 
Last night, I was heading out of the bedroom when I saw her tossing and turning. In the dim almost-darkness of the room, I froze in mid-motion, not daring to move a muscle until I was sure she was asleep. I was so terrified she would wake up I swear I was barely breathing :)
I stayed motionless for almost a minute. My eyes were now accustomed to the darkness and what did I see? A pair of very bright eyes looking straight at me from the bed! She was staring at me, unblinking (Gawd, it was eerie!), probably wondering when I was going to start moving!
Every time I try to outsmart her, she proves that it cannot be done :(

Thursday 11 November 2010

Y speaks

Y has been rapidly expanding her vocabulary, especially since she started school, and ever so often she will throw out a phrase that she has heard someone say. Stock phrases are OH MY GOD (that comes from me!), HOW MANY TIMES….? (again, my contribution!) and WHATYA DOIN? Her newest thing is to question us as soon as she hears or sees something new. She’ll say “What is…” except that she doesn’t pronounce the “is” and instead says “What-ee?” And sometimes, she will say “What-ee, intte-ting?” Translation: What is this, it’s interesting?
Now, SHE is intte-ting!


We visited Akshardham, that stunning edifice to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, last weekend. Although S and I rarely visit temples, we made an exception for this one because it looks so lovely (especially at night with all that cunning lighting) and also because they have a few “exhibitions” which we thought Ads would enjoy. Boy, he did and HOW! I thought he was going to join the Swaminarayan cult right then and there! He was suitably amazed and overawed at everything - the marble carvings of various Hindu gods and goddesses, the giant stone sculptures of lions and elephants,  the musical fountain, and the robotized depictions of Swaminarayan’s life.
What all of us enjoyed the most was the boat ride which meandered through India’s ancient Vedic history, offering snapshots of major achievements in the sciences, arts and technology. S called it an executive summary of ancient Indian history! Ads was mesmerized with every exhibit and didn’t know which way to look – left, right or behind!
I will admit freely that it was all very well-done, well-organized and cleverly-marketed, not to omit how clean the whole complex was (no mean feat considering the throng there on all days). To someone who is as interested in history as Ads is, it was an absolute treat. S and I have been wondering whether there are any good gurukuls in NCR – why on earth are we paying for an international school?!!! J

Tuesday 9 November 2010

An eventful 2 weeks

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted. So much has happened. My mom left, and within 2 days of her departure, my parents-in-law arrived. It's been raining grandparents out here :) As nice as it is for me to have another adult in the house, I am ceaselessly gratified to see Ads (and to a large extent Y as well) bloom under his grandpas and grandmas. My children are so lucky to have four doting and patient grandparents in their lives. S frequently observes that the biggest beneficiary of our India move has been Ads, and the quantity and quality time spent with his thathas, naani and daadhi have a significant share in this. They tell him lots and lots of stories, play with him, cook with him, take him to the park, never ever scold him and are forever willing to fly to his defense when the evil mommy makes eyes at him :)
My parents-in-law visited us because they wanted to spend Diwali with us, and Y turned 2 on Diwali day! It was a double celebration, a bitter-sweet one for me and one milestone I haven't been looking forward to. My baby is TWO - already??? It's heartbreaking. Soon she will turn all tall and gangly and heavy and I won't be able to carry her or throw her up in the air and revel in her gurgling laughter. It doesn't bear thinking of.
Her birthday party was organized a few days before the actual birthday. For the first time in 5 years, I outsourced the whole thing and it was relaxing to just land up and not worry about the decorations, menu, music and games. All I did was pre-order the cake and choose and pack the return gifts. It wasn't even that much more expensive. 
The children enjoyed Diwali - their first proper one, even for Ads. New clothes, crackers, sweets, lights, rangolis! We had a Diwali mela in the apartment complex. Every house was lit up with electric lights more than a week before the festival. The management decorated the complex with tons and tons of electric lights so that it looked stunningly festive. The waste of all that electricity jarred at me but I have to admit that it looked lovely. They had food stalls, music, performances by the kids and an awesome fireworks display. Ads, Y and my father-in-law shook a mean leg on the dance floor!
All of us got into the swing of things. I elected to buy just one string of electric lights and the rest of the lighting was done with diyas. Ads stencilled some rangoli, and painted and set up the diyas for me. Y got under our feet and kept rearranging everything :) Ads loved the crackers - the flower pots, the groundwheels, the sparklers and the pencils - while Y screwed up her face at all the noise and smoke.
We decided to dispense with the traditional meal on Diwali day and after a quick trip to the temple, set out for Hauz Khas village and yummy lunch at a restaurant there. The kids got to play in the Hauz Khas deer park and mil and I wandered the shops in the village. In the evening, S and I took Ads downstairs for a second session with firecrackers.
It was a very satisfactory Diwali, in large measure because for the last few years we haven't celebrated it in any meaningful sense. There's something about being with family and being part of a common tradition that we had missed in recent years. Seeing how much Ads loved everything about this festive season has made me resolve to make more of an effort - from next year!