To Amma and Achan, With Love

Born as the first kid to a couple is a BIG, GRAND thing. Or that’s what I wish to believe. It becomes even more significant when you are born on your mother’s birthday. Yes, I am the blessed child who as my Mom describes is the best birthday gift she has ever received.

Look that’s why I call myself God’s Own Child. I am Happy. 🙂

A Daughter, that makes me the dearest to my Dad. Both of us have a friend-cum-critic for life now. Cradled in the comfort of my Mom’s love and care and being my Dad’s pride, life was bliss.

After 4 years, my parents had their second baby, again a Girl (my wish to have a sister was granted). Lots of fights, hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, ghar-ghar, differences of opinion, sibling rivalry and a sweet soul to confide in. That’s what Renu is for me. Love you lots. 🙂

Mom gets busy handling both of us together along with the additional members we used to have in our family. We used to have one or the other members (our Chacha, Cousin Bros, Mama, Mausi and her son) with us almost all the time. All this plus the burden of exam papers and class preparations owing to her job as a Teacher. Hats off to her patience and perseverence. Its just the beginning.

My Dad used to work for a private firm, apart from which he also used to take up freelance assignments that he used to finish working late into the night (I have heard the typewriter keys going up and down around 3 am sometimes). After this, he even used to help my Mom dress me up for school in the morning. Such a wonderful couple, isn’t it? In the evenings, I could make out his Bajaj scooter arriving. I used to be there at the garage before he reached. He used to listen to all my chitter-chatter without getting irritated even once. A complete morning-to-evening update I used to give him at the garage before he finally got into the house. 🙂

When I was five something and my sis not even two, one fine morning (around 4am) I find myself standing in the driveway of our building along with my parents and few neighbours. My Dad was kissing and hugging me tightly, saying,

“Guddu, I’ll be back soon. Be my good girl, study well and help Amma.”

Then he gets into a cab and leaves. Something inside me breaks into pieces and pains.

I am still rubbing my eyes, coz I am still in sleep. Mom takes us back with tears in her eyes and puts me back to sleep.

When I wake up to get ready for school, I finally realize that my Dad has left for the Mid-East leaving us all alone. Once at school I had wailed almost all day long with Prabha teacher taking special care to console me. That would have been the first and last time I have cried like that.

The chatter-box now becomes a mere answer-box.

Phone calls weren’t possible then for two reasons: 1) we didn’t have a telephone 2) ISD rates could almost give a heart-attack to Aam Aadmi then. Thanks to my Mom, who taught me to write everyday to my Dad and sincerely posting all my letters to him without even once mentioning the high costs of AirMails then. I didn’t loose touch with my Dad even for once.

Our anthem then was Papa Jaldi Aa Jaana…a song from the movie Taqdeer (1967) sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Sulakshana Pandit.

He used to visit us for 30 days every two years. 15 days he used to spend in Kerala with his mother and siblings. The remaining 15 days…it was like we had to live a lifetime in these 15 days making it memorable for Dad and for ourselves.

It was after 10 years, when I was in 12th standard that my Dad finally decided to abandon  the lonely slogging in the deserts and share the burden of raising us with my Mom.

Life seeps into all of us once again…

My Mom had done it all alone all these years and had been rewarded with endless needles owing to her Blood Sugar, High Blood Pressure, Lichen Planus and Thyroid by the age of 40.

A sacrifice both my parents made to secure our lives. Going back into the past makes me wonder, was it all worth it?

I wouldn’t want our kids to have a childhood deprived of either of their parents for anything in this world. I know God only writes in the book called Destiny. I also know he’ll definitely listen to his own child’s humble request.

This one’s for you Achan & Amma…Love you a lot.

We needed you then, we need you now and we will need you forever.

Your and yours only,

Rekha & Renu

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Mismatch turns into Luck

 

Ever felt proud to have spent Rs.700 for something that doesn’t cost more than Rs.70?

I did. 🙂

An extremely struggling month I had starting February 20th, with the World Book Fair along with Ananya’s Final exams and our National Sales Meet. We were working on weekends for four continuous weekends. Amidst all this, I am reminded by my friends-cum-colleagues about the “Showcase your Region/Tradition” on the Gala  Dinner & Awards Nite ceremony.

Pinks: Let’s all wear a Saree this year. I’m also planning to wear one.

ME: Yes. Yes. I am game for it. 🙂

Pinks: Chalo, then pakka…pack up your stuff without fail. 🙂

ME: Sure. Lemme first finish all my PPTs. 😦

On the night before we had to travel, I packed up my stuff in a panick-striken mode at 11.40 at night after having slogged for two continuous nights on the PPTs.  Didn’t get the matching blouse and was almost thinking of taking a different saree than our traditional Kasavu Saree, that the feeling of betraying my state, Kerala – God’s Own Country,  overcame me. Somehow managed to get a blouse almost matching with the saree. Not so happy though, went to sleep for 3 hours. 😦 

Finally all set for the Sales Meet, we head for our destination. All thru the bus journey, sleeping and falling over and over again, finally we reach Le Meridien, Jaipur. Though tired almost to death, our delight was reflecting on our faces upon reaching our respective villas. Some perks of working in an MNC. 🙂

The day before the Gala Nite, I suddenly realized that I had brought in all the necessary accessories except the most important one, the Petticoat (Underskirt; Adipavada in Malayalam ).

Alas! What else can happen to someone who hasn’t been in her senses for the past few weeks.

What I needed was a Cream-colored stuff to match the Kasavu Saree. I hated and cursed the people who made the Kasavu Saree have a default cream colour. 

I thought,  “Why couldn’t those buggers make it some dark colored saree? I could have worn any colored pavada with it. I could have borrowed from someone.”

How I wished I could go back home. Suddenly came the image of the Shopping Gallery of Le Meridien to my mind.  At 8.50 p.m. went to one of the shops, bargained and bought a cream-colored Men’s Pyjama (originally priced at Rs.950) for Rs.700, though it was only worth about Rs.70. I was feeling stupid for having done this crap.

I could have had two Pizzas at that cost. 😦

All dressed up we reached the Gala Nite venue. Pics, compliments, all flowing in and me laughing to myself at the creative idea I had used to save Kerala. 🙂

Then comes the annoucement about the winners for the best Regional Attire. Third prize announced, and winner is a very dear friend who’s been the 1st prize winner  for almost all the contests and she actually works hard towards it. Then came the announcement of the 2nd winner.

Now, all of us waiting eagerly to know who’s the first prize winner and guess what…it was the Kerala Kasavu Saree with the Men’s Pyjama that won the first prize.  🙂

Note from one of my teachers on my FB page :

“After the crowning, u were dizzy with happiness?????!!!!!!!!”

No Teacher! I fainted in the bus on my way back from Jaipur coz my BP (Blood Pressure not the “Bharthavinne Pedi” (Fear of Husband) and my Sugar count (you know how sweet I am :-)) went extremely  low due to the high stress levels.

Rs.700 spent was actually worth it! Ain’t it? 🙂

Do These Sound Familiar?

cycle

Watchman tapping the bamboo stick at midnight… scary and black.

Song of Crickets & Frogs flowing in through the darkness… even more scary and deep black.

Loud snoring of spouse… disgust and blue (feel like kicking, right???) 😀

Dawn Breaks…Thank God 🙂

Bells ringing in Temple to ward off all evils…“Can someone ring it in my hubby’s ears?” Raudram and Red. 😦

Morning Call to Prayer from the Mosque…“Get up man!” 😛

Yesudas/Unni Menon devotional songs running in the background… Sringaram and light green “Only music makes me stick around” 🙂 

The cuckoo clock striking 6 in the morning… First gear! Red Again! 😐

Rattling noise when motor gets switched on…“Hate it!” Deep Red! 😐

Raindrops falling on the window shade… “Life is still beautiful!” Light Green! 🙂

The Call Centre cab screeching to a halt… Panick starts. 😦

A new-born crying out of discomfort or seeking milk… Sympathy and Grey 😦

Sound of colliding utensils from the kitchen… Disgust 😐

Tripping droplets from the shower… Happy and Peace 🙂

Continuous chirping of roosting birds…Wonderful and amazing. Yellow! 🙂

Running water in the nearby water-treatment plant… Grey.

Never tried to analyze them one-by-one…right??? That’s Me! 🙂

The footsteps of neighbourhood uncle upon his return from morning walk…

Leaves blowing through the Light Breeze… Love and again Light Green.

Door bell rung by the domestic help…

The trotting sound of the train leaving the close-by railway station…

Train-induced vibration of the Metro tracks…

Anklets Bells of Ananya ringing… “Yeah, my Baby girl is still fast asleep.” 🙂

Instumental Bollywood song when the mobile phone rings… Like it? Depends.

The newspaper falling ‘Thud’ on the balcony floor… “One of the co-wives of Hubby Dear” 😦

My Love typing on the laptop keyboard… “One of the few inventions that I wish didn’t happen.”

Sound of the kitchen aid Juicer Mixer Grinder… “Bhookh ke liye saala kuch bhi sunega! 🙂

The click sound when the UPS tried to stabilize the voltage…

The noisy “Jigger Valve” sound of the Pressure Cooker… “Look Love would have vanished in sleep itself.” 🙂

The “Shhhhhh” sound when the Dosa is being cooked on both sides… “Hungry Kya?” 🙂

The sound of door opening and creaking… Irritating and Scary at times

The tinkling sound of the cycle-rickshaw bell…

And finally, I can hear my Heartbeat… “Oh No,  No! It’s not Love!” 🙂

It’s a New Morning…with New Sunshine…New Hopes… 🙂