August 25, 2011

scooter ride

In the good old days before we bought our first car, KG and I owned a scooter. Yes, a scooter and not a bike like everyone else. The only reason being that we could keep our shopping in the space at the front whereas in a bike I would have to carry it (that's how lazy I am!!) - also I could hold on to my darling rather than tons of plastic bags ;)

We have had quite a few romantic drives on the scooter (often we were the only 'two wheelers' on the road while it rained heavily!) and have lots and lots of happy memories associated with it. Even after we bought our car, we preferred to go to work along with our buddy. It was only after we shifted to Koramangala to our new home, we finally stopped using our dear scooter and opted for our car - only because of the non-existant road from our home to the main road and also the Koramangala 80 ft road was then more of potholes (and very deep ones at that) rather than tar. However, we never sold our  companion and it stayed in our basement - unused and gathering dust.

After nearly 6 years - our old friend is having a fresh lease of life again - probably a better one. Couple of months back KG told Adi about the scooter and that it was in the basement. Adi immediately wanted to go on a ride - but of course, the scooter wouldn't start. We soon got it repaired and there it was all set to go. Now, its the kids in the building who are having a blast with it. Either KG or Deepak (our driver) take the kids on a ride and it feels fantastic to see them having a good time and even more fantastic to see the scooter back on the road again. I hope it lives long enough to take Adi and his girlfriend on a ride someday :)

August 24, 2011

The Indian Flag

Is what that kid wanted to draw today. Along with a picture of his tennis racket.

My personal model

I have promised myself that I will take a few pictures everyday and improve on my photography. I have lots of time on my hands so might as well use it fully. And what better subject than my kiddo. Its very tough to get him to pose but when he does he's the loveliest model. Here are the shots from today - still far from perfect but I seem to like overexposed and blurry shots!

August 23, 2011

Overflowing Heart

Every parent has their own unique memory of the first moments with their precious baby. For most it would be in the hospital when they saw their baby taking its first breath or heard its first cry or saw its first smile or when they held the baby close for the first time. For us it was at Mrs. Nomita Chandy's office at Ashraya.

It was 10th Jan 2006 and Mrs. Chandy had grilled us with some really tough questions for almost 30 minutes. After each question I wondered if what we said was satisfactory and if she found us worthy enough of becoming parents to one of the precious bundles at Ashraya. Strangely, both KG and I were very calm as though we already knew that this would be the day that our life would change. After what seemed eternity, Mrs. Chandy handed two sets of papers to us – they were the photographs of two babies along with their birth and background details - both were 4 months old. We went through both the documents without knowing what to look for - somehow the details didn't matter at all. To make it even more confusing, Mrs. Chandy suggested that we see both the babies and then take our decision. She wanted to know if we knew whom we wanted to see first (based on the papers) and both of us together said ‘No’ and asked her to let us meet any of the two. KG and I didn’t speak to each other during these moments but I kept thinking how could I ever decide between two children. When we had filled up our adoption papers, we had absolutely no 'special requests' on how the baby should look like, what features he should have or what religion or caste he should belong to - all we wanted was a healthy baby boy. As I kept thinking, one of the Ashraya's staff walked in with a tiny baby boy and placed him in my arms. However, even before I could have a proper look at the very sleepy looking boy, KG took him from me and held him in his arms and said 'we're taking him home'. When KG gave him back to me, the little one had a long look at me and then fell asleep. We had made our decision and did not want to look at the other child - I am certain he is now with a very special family. 

Once we informed Mrs. Chandy that we would like to be Adi's parents, she let us have some time together all by ourselves. As most parents would like to claim, trumpets didn't blow and heavens didn't open up when I first held Adi. As he lay asleep in my arms, my mind, my body, my heart and my soul were all at peace and all I wanted to do was keep holding him and not think about anything else. In all the excitement, we did remember to take a few pictures to record our first time with Adi (we had already decided that our first born son would be named Adit) but I dont remember what KG and I said to each other during this moment - or even what we said to Adi. I dont think I said anything clever like 'you're so beautiful' or 'i love you' to him. The moment that we had waited for so long is all big blur to me now - I guess we just fumbled around making some inane conversation. After some time together, through out which Adi was fast asleep, we went back to check on the rest of procedures.  It would take another week for the paperwork to be done and before Adi could come home but Mrs. Chandy said we could come to Ashraya anytime during the week so that we could bond with him, hold him, feed him, etc. We were asked to come back again the next day to take Adi for his medical tests and then we could take our final decision on whether we wanted to be a part of Adi's life or not.

I cannot really describe what we felt when we left Ashraya. All the years we waited, all that we wanted, all that we longed for was finally happening to us. We were going to be parents and we were going to have our own bundle of joy to love, to pamper, to take care of. KG was so emotional that he just stopped the car near a park close by - he could't drive. We got off and just held each other for a long time. We then called our parents to let them know that they were going to be grandparents to a lovely boy. To say that we were happy is an understatement. I think we were quite dazed the rest of the day and went about finding out if we could take some time off work from our respective office. 

It was on the next day (11th Jan) that it finally hit me that I was going to be a Mommy and was going to be responsible for this tiny little being who was constantly smiling at me. We went to Ashraya early in the morning and when Adi saw me he gave me a big smile - as though he was waiting for me. We took him to Dr. Arvind Shenoy for his medicals and he took off Adi's clothes and made him lie down on his table - Adi looked so tiny, so innocent, so beautiful and so so happy. There he was without a care, grinning away at the doctor and goo gooing away. It was at this moment that I first felt the surge of motherly love. I wanted to hold him tight and tell him that he was mine and nobody else's. I wanted to tell him that I would love him with all my heart and more as long as I lived.  I wanted to hold him tight and never let him go. I wanted to make him laugh. I wanted him to come home right away to where he belonged.

We spent the rest of the day together going through the tests recommended by the doctor at Manipal Hospital. And every time he smiled at me or said something in his baby talk (he was talkative even then!!) my heart just overflowed with love. When he had to go for his blood test, I couldn't bear to see the needle poking his tender skin and sent him in alone with the nurse. When I went in after a few minutes, I saw him busy chatting away with all the nurses there - he was so happy that day. I bottle fed him (there was a lady from Ashraya who was accompanying us and who helped me with the feeding), spoke to him, held him, kissed him and just enjoyed being with him. From this day on my heart has just overflowed with joy, happiness and positivity. The hurt, the pain, the emptiness from the previous years was just wiped away, never to appear again. Adi changed my life completely - in a way I never dreamt of or thought was possible.

It was with a heavy heart that we left him behind at Ashraya - but we had no choice. The next morning (12th Jan), my Dad and I went back to Ashraya. Dad had travelled from Malpe the night before just to meet Adi. We walked into the compound and there were a whole lot of babies lying in the sunshine. And there was Adi in a blue sweater basking under the sun talking to himself and I pointed him out to Dad. I dont know why I remember this moment so clearly but its etched in my mind and when I think of these first days, this is the image that often comes to my mind. One of Ashraya's staff carried Adi and handed him over to us. Adi looked at me and smiled once again - by now he was already responding to my voice and I was already his Mama. My dad hugged him and had tears of joy in his eyes. He was holding his eldest grandson and was finally a Grandpa.

Radhika (our councillor at Ashraya) had told us that we could take Adi home on 16th Jan but KG's mom asked us to check if we could do it on the 14th since it was Makar Sankranthi and was an auspicious day. Unfortunately it was the 2nd Saturday of the month and Ashraya was closed on that day. She then asked us to check if we can take him the same day. Ashraya readily agreed and gave us a list of items that we would need for the baby (baby food, bottle, clothes, etc). It was already past noon and we had to get Adi home by 5 PM. I left Dad at our friend Kaushal's place in Indiranagar and Kaushal and I set off to The Baby Shop at Ulsoor to do some shopping. We just had an hour's time to shop. Kaushal was mom to a 6 month old baby boy and helped me with all that I needed. We bought a few basic stuff to get through the first few days and went back to her home. KG was at work and came straight to Ashraya. My dad and I reached there too at around 4 PM. Within 30 minutes we were on our way home - this time with our son. Mom gave some quick instructions to Dad to do the 'aarthi' as KG and I entered home with Adi. My dad managed somehow - dont think he had ever done it before!! :) That evening at home was one of the happiest ever - Adi was all laughter and talk. We just kept looking at him and kept smiling like lunatics. Our neighbours came by and showed us how to sterlize the bottle, mix cerelac and change diapers.  I think our friends came by the same evening too. After a long evening, Adi fell asleep on the dining table. Since Adi's coming home on this day was totally unplanned, my Mom was not in Bangalore. But she and my grandma came the very next day to be with us.

Adi was home and somehow it felt that we were always meant to be together. Parenthood happened in a matter of few days for us, before we could fully comprehend the meaning of it. However, we embraced it completely and cherished every moment - the late nights, the nappy changes, the lack of sleep, everything. Almost 6 years have gone by and we still feel the same (although Adi manages to drive us up the wall at times!!). At night when Adi is asleep, KG and I still look at him and smile and feel so very fortunate. Adi has not only made us complete, he has also made us better persons. He has us wrapped around his little fingers and he means the entire universe and beyond to us. He is our baby, our love and our life.

And now for some pictures:

This is me as an 'expectant mom'. We had been informed a couple of days earlier that we could come to Ashraya on 10th Jan. I asked my friend Kaushal to take this picture of me - no big tummy, just a big smile :)

Adi in my arms, blissfully asleep.

On our way home - with our baby.

Adi very curious about everything that he is seeing outside the car.

Happy, happy, happy.

The rest of the pictures are after a couple of days. Feeding time - thankfully Adi was a no fuss eater - mostly!

My grand mom stayed with me for a month and taught me everything - including how to massage.

Papa's turn. KG was the 'night watchman' for almost 4 years! Thank you Darling!

Cute assistant

Here is Adi in the kitchen once again. He helped me peel the potatoes (some of it went into his tummy!) and wash the spinach.

August 22, 2011


I have this particular shot in mind which I wanted to take today morning with the help my sometimes willing model. I did not get what I wanted but got these ones instead.

August 20, 2011

I love you

more than 'Just Dance' - This is what the kid had to say when he saw me downloading a few games on the iPhone while we were watching Just Dance tonight. And this was quickly followed by 'if you don't download, then I am going to love Just Dance more than you'!!! Definitely has his priorities sorted!

August 18, 2011

Mad Night

A mad night in Ipswich (of which we have many) when Adi was refusing to sleep and doing what he loves best - troubling me!

August 16, 2011

Little Chef

My little boy Adi has always loved to cook. When he was about a year and half old, he would stir gravies (with KG or me carrying him), help sort the greens and roll out tiny rotis (and did a pretty decent job too!). During his London nursery days, he would often choose the kitchen area for his role play activities (one of the few boys who chose it) and would ask us to buy him a kitchen set for home. I cant remember why we never bought him one - maybe it was because he would anyways play with the kitchen utensils all the time. During summer, he would be out in the garden, baking cakes using mud and water and we had to pretend to eat it and of course, love it.

I remember an incident when we were at Malpe (he was 2 then) and we had my family over for breakfast (it was my Dad's 13th day function). We had idly's for breakfast and Adi wanted to serve everyone. When he was done with the serving, he came to me and very solemnly said 'Mama, I want to be a cooker when I grow up' :) At that moment, it seemed very funny and we all had a good laugh :). I didn't realise then that he was quite serious about it!

When we moved to Ipswich, Adi's nursery and then later on his school, would often make them bake cookies, cakes, etc and Adi would want to bake at home too. So weekends would be baking time and we would make cookies and cup cakes. Adi would help beat the eggs, mix the batter and then lick the vessel clean :) Every morning, he would go to the kitchen and eat the cookies or cakes that he had baked. Like before, he would always want to help in the kitchen with the chopping, stirring and cooking.

When it came to TV, he would sit and watch cookery shows along with me without once asking me to switch to a kids channel. In fact, it was only cookery channels that he would let me watch without making a fuss - if I had to watch anything else, I had to beg, plead, bribe, threaten until he let me :) Masterchef India, which according to me was quite a pathetic show, was his favourite and he would insist on watching the whole episode (I have avoided browsing channels while Masterchef India was on quite a few times!!).

Back in Bangalore, his love for cooking continues. On weekends, he works along with our cook Anu and does small bits. And if I am cooking, I let him assist with chopping vegetables (I give him a not so sharp knife) or anything else that I think he can do without harming himself or making a mess. Adi is now religiously following Masterchef Australia Season 3 and even has an opinion on who should win the elimination round!! Since it airs at 9 PM which is past his bedtime, I record the program for him (sometimes) and let him watch the next day.

I dont think I miss having a daughter with Adi around :) He helps me shop for outfits (gives a very honest opinion and if he says 'no' I dont buy!), cosmetics (even tries the lipsticks and perfumes on himself!!), shoes (he tells me which ones to try) and now gives me company while cooking too :)

Today we made leek & potato soup and Adi chopped the leeks and then blended the soup :)

This was a few days back when Adi helped mix the cutlet batter and then made the patties:

I think I have some old pics too - when he was a toddler. Will look for them and post on a later day :) Until then, am gonna enjoy cooking with my Masterchef :)

Almost a Hussain?

Do you think M F Hussain's paintings would have looked like this when he was 6? :D

PS: The painting is of Adi fishing and the blue streak is a blue whale!

August 14, 2011

Feel better

My son - you are the sweetest darling!! Here I was with a nasty backache and you kiss me on both my cheeks and ask me 'are you feeling better now?'. And when I said 'little', you kiss me some more and ask 'is it gone now?'. My dearest baby, I love you, love you, love you - all the way to the sun and the moon and the stars and space and universe and back!

August 13, 2011

Bedtime stories of the week

Ever since Adi started school in June, we have this new routine at bedtime - Adi reads a book on his own and I read two for him. When I first suggested this to Adi, I was quite surprised when he agreed to the 'reading by himself' bit immediately - probably he was tempted by the '2' stories that I would read for him! The four months that Adi went to school in Ipswich, he was learning to read but then it stopped when we returned to India. When he started school again after a 4 month break and was back into a routine, I thought that I should continue his reading since the Indian schools focus more on learning to write first rather than read. And so came up this brilliant idea (I would like to think so!) of Adi reading his own bedtime story. We have managed to do this pretty much everyday apart from maybe weekends or when we are out of town or when Adi is late to bed on schooldays. Every 2 weeks, I get 5 books from the library, couple of which have very simple words and sentences which the kid can read by himself. Adi is now slowing getting confident with the reading and tries to read words that he sees on T-shirts, mugs, posters, etc - whether he gets them right or not, I am happy that he is attempting :)

The book Adi read by himself this week is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I think he just pretended to read this one (and he is very good at guessing and pretending!!) as this book is one of his early favourites and has known the story by heart for the most part of the last 4 years!! I recently gifted a copy of this book to Madhulika, my friend's daughter, and Adi wanted to read it again too. After a very long time, Adi's copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is back on our bedside table. I think this is such a brilliant book for children. It has everything - colours, days of the week, counting, food, science and a fantastic story that kids will love and remember. Adi fell in love with this book the very first time I read it to him and I must say, this is also one of my favourite from Adi's toddler days :)

The books that I read this week are:

Giant Treasury of Beatrix Potter was lent to me by my friend Jo. This was the first time that I read Beatrix Potter and I quite enjoyed it and so did the kid. Three Billy Goats Gruff is from the library. Adi knew this story from his nursery days but enjoyed reading it all over again.

Raksha Bandhan

Every year Adi gets a 'Rakhi' from his adorable and lovely sisters and he wears them very proudly. When we were in England, he would even tell his school teachers and classmates what it was and who sent it to him. Since we were at Malpe last weekend, his youngest sister Ridhi tied a Rakhi and there was love all around and hugs and kisses exchanged - although Adi was embarrassed by the kiss!! :) Rest of his sisters who dont stay close to him, sent him the Rakhi by the good old postal system (yes, it still exists!) and now they are all sitting proudly on their brother's wrist :). Amidst all the rakhis, there is also a 'friendship band' given by his dearest friend Shloka :) I hope Adi always has the love and blessings of his sisters and friends and their bond only increases with time. I have always treasured my relationships (my family and friends mean the world to me) and I hope Adi nurtures and treasures them too.

August 12, 2011

Get Well Soon, Papa

KG has been down with viral fever the entire week and Adi made a card for him last night. The card says 'get betr, fom adi' :)

PS: The vertical line that you see between each word is the 'finger space' he needs to give after each word :)

August 11, 2011

Candid Shot

A few days back, caught the kid tasting the dal straight off the kadai! At one time (when he was around 2 years), dal-rice used to be Adi's most favourite food and he used to demand and have it for both breakfast and dinner (lunch was at nursery). Even today if there is dal-rice or dal-roti Adi will certainly have his meal. His 'most favourite' has changed to pasta, noodles and cornflakes (!!) but I guess dal will always remain as his comfort food. And just for the record, the dal in the photo was made by me and not by our cook :D

Rocky Mountain

Well, atleast it seemed like one to my Brat. While we were at Malpe, we had to gone to see our friend's home which was still being constructed and here was this majestic pile of stones over which Adi wanted to hike up and slide down. He called out to his partner in crime, his sister Ridhi, helped her up the pile and both of them went down Wheeeeeeee! :) Such simple pleasures of life!!! Obviously, the two happy bunnies had to be dragged back into the car!! :)

August 10, 2011

Relay Team

Had one of those 'tears of joy' moments today - Adi is part of the school relay team and will participate in an inter-school competition. Maybe the entire class is participating in some event or the other but who cares!! My little boy will be competing and I was so proud of him today :) Running has been one of his passion for a long time and he was thrilled to bits today. And he says 'I'm going to blow their brains away with my running' - wonder where he gets these dialogues from!!! Dont know when the event is but all the boy wants to do at the moment is to wear his sports shoes to school so that he can train - all else is secondary! Kids!!! :)

Lunch Out

Couple of days back Adi and I decided to go out for lunch instead of having the usual stuff at home (I had another ulterior motive as well but was looking forward to eating out with my son). We went to an old favourite of KG's and mine - Spiga on St Marks Road. Adi and I have lunched out by ourselves before, but that was either at the airport or at the movies or the street hotdogs while we were out shopping - we have never gone to a nice, fancy place before. So we reach this place, order our food and then we get a nice plate of garlic bread as complimentary starter. The first thing the kid says is 'Dont have it all by yourself!'. As though I never let him eat anything!! He gave me a slice and then had all the rest (3 slices)! We had a really terrible waiter who kept messing up on our order - so we got another plate of garlic bread to make up for the delay. And again the kid goes 'Take only one' and went on to eat the rest. We finally get our satay and pasta and how does the kid want to eat the pasta? - with the satay sticks pretending to be chop sticks!!! Anyways, we had a nice meal, Adi was well-behaved and made friends with the waiters (even went and had a long chat with them) and both of us enjoyed the time out :) I think I can do this more often - explore all the new restaurants with my kid while hubby is slogging away at work (mean me!!!)..he he!!

Nice day

This is what Adi said before he went to bed last night - 'It was a bad day. No, it was a good day because I was happy all day today.' :))

August 09, 2011

Blue Umbrella

Adi's most favourite possession since Sunday has been the Blue Umbrella which we bought from a small shop at Malpe. He had seen the umbrella the day before and wanted it from the moment he set his eyes on it. Even though I tried my best tactics to dissuade him, he would not relent and with the condition that the Umbrella would be bought from his own money box (which was fiercely opposed by the kid!) off we went to buy the Umbrella. From the moment it came home, Adi and the Umbrella have been inseparable. We get onto the car, we walk around the garden, climb the stairs, get into the bus - all with the Umbrella open and its not even raining!! Soon as we get back to Bangalore, the Umbrella was given a tour of the apartment building and was showed off to the cook, the driver and the building security guy. And then towards evening, the moment that Adi was waiting for finally happened - it rained!! :) He was finally able to use the Umbrella and show it off to his friends :) The shower lasted just for a few minutes but then the garden hose pipe was lying just there and the temptation not to use it was very hard to resist for both Adi and his friend Shloka and the pictures below show what happened next :)

The kids had great fun!!! I guess it is moments like these that make childhood so much fun and so special and it's up to us to make it as special as we can for our children. This moment would never have happened had we (both Shloka's mom and I were watching) stopped the kids. For a fleeting moment, that they could catch a cold or a fever (since it was a cold day) did cross my mind but I just crossed my fingers, said 'what the heck' to myself and let them go on. I have often shouted, screamed and stopped Adi from doing some crazy things. Probably they were unsafe or I didn't have the patience. But I've come to realise that it's the small and crazy moments that makes kids the happiest and it's good to let go once in a while. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kid having a good time :) Love you my Son!