The boy turned 13

Last week, I completed 13 years as a mother in this world. Such a long span of time that went by in a whirl.

The son/kiddo/brat has turned into a fine young man, though he spends too much time in front of the screen. The bane for all parents in this age.

Having met his few teenage friends, I see how distant they are from their parents, with some hardly talking or spending very little time with them. I’m glad my son still hugs me every morning right after he wakes up. It is a very quiet hug, I am not supposed to say anything, rock him or sing or such. Lasts about a minute. I think of it as a recharge hug for both our souls. Early in the morning, before the screen sucks him in, we steal a minute to reassure ourselves of each other’s presence, to comfort ourselves with our mutual love for one another.

I get the occasional barbed response but overall he is a loving and kind soul. Sometimes a very witty, sarcastic and wise one. One night, a few years ago, I was tucking him in for bed. We talked some and somehow ended up on the subject of death. He turns to me and says, ‘Everyone has to die someday. Life is but a waiting game, a wait to die.’

Last week, he had snuggled up to me as we watched TV. Suddenly he says to me, ‘Every teenager is living 4 lives. One is their home life, second is their school life, third – life with their friends and fourth – a fantasy life – online gaming life.’

I didn’t know he had such crystal clear thoughts and could compartmentalize his life. In contrast, I was such a wreck as a teenager, riddled with anxiety, anger, fear and confusion with life.

Day 21: Sleepy tales

I missed a day. It wasn’t that I had nothing to write, I have so many thoughts going on in my head that I find it hard to pick one and make a coherent post out of it.

And I have been losing sleep for the past couple of days. The big happening thing right now is that kiddo has started sleeping in a separate room all on his own…. hai my bachcha is growing up and I am having a hard time adjusting to it. Hubby spent a sleepless first night and kept checking on him every few hours. The second night it was my turn – woke up a few times to check up on him. Though he was deep in slumber land, I worried myself thinking he might fall down or choke or whatever!

Kiddo is very happy though. We have put up Christmas lights in his room instead of a small night lamp and there’s a rack there decked up with his toys and cars. It’s all very cozy and festive in there and the lightening Mcqueen duvet cover helps in tucking him in.

This is the third night now…hope I get some sleep!

Mummy kehti hai bada naam karega…

My son just finished his second colouring book. He has shown patience to complete a whole a page before jumping on to the next, ability to keep the colours within the lines and has torn only 2 of the 15 pages – a vast improvement from the previous one which is lying in shreds somewhere in the dark recesses of and beneath the sofa.

When you are young life is so beautiful around you. Everyone appreciates you, motivates you and makes you think that you can achieve almost anything if you put your mind to it. You feel anything and everything is possible for you. You just need to walk out of the door of your house and there’s a whole world of possibilities out there for you to grab.

Such are the thoughts that I get when I look at my son.

Possibilities. Adventures. Opportunities. Bright future.

Life is very beautiful for him right now he can turn it any which way he prefers.

In this last year he has learned so many new things and diverse activities that given the opportunity and infinite resources at his disposal, any activity of his can be considered as a serious career opportunity. This is another manifestation of our unachievable ambitions and dreams. Here are a few that are at the top of our minds:

Artist/Painter: The colouring book number 2. Just yesterday he coloured for an hour. Continuously. He was even humming to himself during that time. I agree he gets confused between light blue and dark blue and most often the clouds are red instead of grey but then he can always paint a modern art. Here are his masterpieces:

While we are talking about modern art, check out few of his samples. I mean do you really think he should give up on such talent?

Greeting card for Mother's Day
Painting at playgroup
Clouds and sky - another painting at playgroup

He loves to draw on his erasable slate. From son, moon – sorry moon crescent to smileys, fridge, mobile, Tom and Jerry. He can even draw himself and my ma ki nazar can make out an uncanny resemblance. Once he even drew a fat dad and a thin mum who oddly resembled a long thin broomstick. My son is very talented I tell you.

The Smiley
Self Portrait

Travel and living: Not travelling in Mumbai and living in suburbs. That’s horrible. This is more like what they show on the Discovery channel. This one is also a secret ambition of my husband, an alternate career if you like. Since coming to Scotland, we have been on many trips – Amsterdam, London, highlands for short trips and many day outings and the son has enjoyed it. As long as he is outside the house he is happy. On weekends, when the kiddo wakes up and realises that Daddy is at home, he asks, ‘Where are we going today?’ He has his daddy’s genes. The husband can never stay at home for an entire day. He has to go out even if it is for grocery shopping or just to take a walk. The son is the same. The husband is enchanted with the Discovery channel and can watch it for hours specially the programmes in which  the host travels to exotic locations. You get the idea.

Modelling: This ambition is nurtured by the kiddo’s grandpa, my Father-in-law. Bachpan se, the kiddo’s looks have been compared to that of Ranbir Kapoor. I don’t know what the connection is. He doesn’t look like Ranbir and I for one had a crush on Rishi. Anyway, I have been told that my FIL had this ambition for one of his nephews as well who he thought looked like some good-looking actor at the time. The FIL’s further secret ambition is to be his Manager. No comments. Here’s our model for you:

The model in a stylish camera friendly pose

Chef: Cause, let’s face it cook is just mediocre. This again I believe has been the secret ambition of my hubby’s and since the kiddo shows some excitement about what’s cooking, we now have daydreams about his becoming a Chef. Not SRK in Duplicate, more like Jamie Oliver. Oh how my daughter-in-law would bless me!

Singer: ‘The wheels on the bus’ has close to 50 odd versions if not more. Did any of you know that? It’s been more than a year now and this is still the kiddo’s favourite song. It is played on Youtube throughout the day and when it’s not playing on Youtube, the kiddo is singing it. At the top of his voice. The best part? I have to do the actions for round and round, beep beep beep etc etc every time he sings it! He definitely has the sur and taal.

Dancer: He also has the laya. Apart from jumping around in circles and some other dance steps, he has perfected Dev Anand‘s walk! Dev Anand style walking he says. Now Dev Anand has been my first crush ever since I saw Paying Guest. Husband doesn’t like him, never did and makes fun of me every time I sit down and drool over his songs. The son doesn’t know who Dev Anand is – but he vaguely considers Ganesha to be Dev Anand – it’s the Dev in it, I think. The husband doesn’t want Dev Anand to be his dancing inspiration and idol and I am just happy that he picks up the beat for ‘beep beep beep from Wheels on the bus’ and can clap 3 times on it. Perhaps I should show the kiddo the song ‘Khoya khoya chaand‘. I haven’t yet told my husband that I sometimes secretly dream of enrolling the son for Kathak classes. 🙂

Acting: He sure can act and on cue. He knows when to throw tantrums, when to make that baby face that makes us go awwww.. and has perfected the tear faced look – when his eyes are filled with tears but not a single drop drops and his face looks dejected and saddened. What else do you need – dancing and singing along with acting! He is a boy wonder.

Writer/Composer: This child prodigy of mine has composed a song of three lines. I mean that’s something. And no, he poem is not like Rosesh’s. He has even composed a tune for it. I have already started nudging him to write a story because let’s accept it, most people like to read novels instead of poetry. At bed time though he does compose some short stories to tell us so I have hope.

Footballer: This is another one in his long list of passions. He loves to play football. In the house. He cannot bend it like Beckham as yet but he makes it up in speed and accuracy. He knows just how to kick the ball in the air and aim it at the ceiling lights without breaking a single bulb. That’s timing and accuracy. He can even aim it at the TV without breaking the glass. Seriously football it is for him!

Cricketer: He already has the timing, you know placing the ball and all. He doesn’t play cricket with the huge football. He likes the small tennis ball. My only disappointment is that he is a left handed batsmen, I would have liked him to be a right-handed batsman but then I guess that’s too much of expectation!

Seriously, why would you want to be an engineer, doctor, teacher or an IT professional when you have such brilliant talents and glamorous career options. Besides, those are just jobs and these are careers, mind you. That’s why I have excluded them.

So, you have any unfulfilled wishes that you want to intimidate your child with? 🙂


It’s a bright sunny day to put down my thoughts. Autumn has not started yet officially but the leaves have started changing colour and it is lovely to watch. For once, I am not suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although all is going to change for a couple of months. I am going back to Mumbai (yay!), home sweet home in a couple of weeks. It’s a planned trip, well ahead of time, and yet I am sure that I will forget to carry something and wish that I had shopped some more 🙂

I’ll miss Autumn in its full bloom, the leaves, the colourful gardens, the fruits, everything but am going back for a very important event. My kid brother is getting married (still can’t believe it!) but there it is. I still get worried about him and how he can manage himself let alone another person, but I guess after a certain time you have to let go of the people you love. You cannot control them and look after them forever and they are able to take care of themselves. This sounds as if I am his primary care taker but then you always feel responsible for your loved ones. Anyway, all this is for another post. Though I know that his mum will find it the hardest, this is a glimpse for me and my kid but well, that is far away in the future. So I have been busy with shopping and not so much of packing.

On the other hand, my son seems to be obsessed with symmetry! All his toys, are arranged in perfect order, be it cars, soft toys or other mixed assortments. When he is bored with toys, he picks out spoons and forks and arranges them in a straight line on the floor. (We believe he has great potential to become an architect but then his grandpa wants him to be a model! Let’s hold the argument about his profession some other day). Among the many cars that he has, he points to the most shiny bright blue one and tells everyone that this is his dadda’s car. Not his but his dadda’s. His dad is his hero and the best of best belongs to dadda, yet. His words and vocabulary have increased ten folds and can now hold great conversations pertaining to his interest.

At bed time, we have tricked him into telling stories to us as both mum and dad are dead tired, and he kindly tells us stories or cows, tigers, dogs and horses. It is a little surprising though to find that everything these animals do is what the kiddo has done during the day. The cow eats Weetabix, drinks chocolate milk, the tiger goes to the garden and puts stones in the pond and plays with his dad and so on. Papa madhe dagad takato..Du-book! (puts stone in the water…du-book!)….that is how the stone goes…with actions! 🙂

His social skills have also improved in that he talks to random people while travelling, in buses etc and starts his chatter in Marathi having no doubts whatsoever that the person understands every word he says. And his favourite song is still ‘Wheels on the bus go round and round…’ Yesterday I took him to his play school in bus and the entire time he kept singing in his clear, distinct and loud voice ‘Mommies on the bus go chatter chatter chatter..all day long’ giving me sheepish smiles in between.

When it is time for his dad to come back from office, I keep telling kiddo, ‘Dadda aala ka bagh’ (See is dadda has come). This goes on for some time till his dadda actually turns the key in the lock and enters. Then kiddo will rush to him and ask ‘Tu aala ka dadda? aala ka tu?’ (Have you come dadda?) to which his dad will solemnly reply, ‘ho mi aalo’ (Yes, I have come)! At other times, he wants me to open the door and he will stand outside with crossed arms and one leg outside the door with a big smile on his face to welcome his dadda home.

Anyway, I started with updating you guys about what I had been up to and digressed into a mommy post, but life is seriously revolving around the kiddo. Am not sure how often I’ll post once I am in India, but still, do keep visiting, if not commenting. 🙂

Back to routine life

It had been a good two months with the in-laws visiting and all of us travelling. Lots of fun was had. Tummies filled with delicious food cooked by MIL. Our house achieved unprecedented records of decibel levels with six adults trying to manage two kids who are two years old. Luckily, we weren’t loud enough to be complained for noisy neighbours. It is difficult to come back to the quiet home after having such a lively atmosphere. But sonny seems to have taken that in stride. Though I feel that he misses his grandparents, not a word of sadness has been uttered by that boy. I wonder at time where do kids get this adjustment mechanisms from?

The schools and playgroups have closed down for summer vacation and hence our Wednesdays are no more occupied with Tumble Tots. However, sonny has completed the Walking to 2 Years programme. He also got his very first certificate for it. I am so proud. Earlier I had written about him not adjusting to the playgroup environment but the last three sessions changed it all. He not only stopped crying, but in fact, he started enjoying and playing a lot. After summer, he will be going to the next leve, 2 to 3 Years. Here’s the certificate.

Tumble Tots Certificate

Talking about certificates, he got another one from the library today for reading books. Isn’t that totally encouraging?

Library Certificate

Although summer has officially started, this week was full of rains and today, even thundery showers. I wouldn’t have given a second thought to it, had I been in Mumbai. Aren’t Mumbai rains famous? But here they feel out-of-place and the thunders sure rock through the neighbourhood. The overcast skies this week have added to my sullen mood. But it also makes me want to eat hot pakoras and chai.. 🙂

I am getting totally bored with WordPress templates. The lack of flexibility, inability to add java script widgets and, really boring templates. I am seriously thinking of shifting back to Blogspot. What do you think, should I? I mean, apart from the advantage of replying to individual comments, (well there aren’t many, any rather), I see no other reason to stay with WordPress. Hmm, maybe I should keep parallel blogs on both for some time and then decided. What say? Guide me, come on! I have spent a major part of my day browsing through the beautiful Blogger templates and am tempted…

PS: What do you think of the new theme?

World Cup – Mastering the moment

Is it too late to talk about the world cup? Don’t think so. I may not remember everything that happened on Saturday, 2nd April, 2011. But here’s one thing I want to keep recorded. After we won, hubby and I were excitedly calling folks back home and sharing congratulations when sonny was fast asleep. Obviously oblivious to all that was happening around him, back in Mumbai. When he woke up a few minutes later, he started chanting for his food and continued with his routine. Life is so simple for him right now. Priorities straight and only two things such as lack of food and sleep make him upset.

These moments shall fast disappear and it won’t be like this in a couple of world cups. I might be banished from the room, food and hunger all forgotten as he anxiously watches the future world cups. Maybe am being too philosophical and I know there is still a long time for this to happen. But I want to cherish all these little moments before he gets caught up in the latest buzz and hep thing and starts thinking that there’s a generation gap between him and his mother instead of his best friend!

Oh and by the way, if, like me, you’ve been wondering what makes Dhoni such a superb captain, here’s an interesting piece:
“In Dhoni’s case, it appears confidence flows not from an arrogant belief that he is right. But in trusting his instinct for what that moment demands. So quietly he slips in among the troopers when Tendulkar is paraded around the ground, not even offering him his strong shoulders so the limelight isn’t shared. He punts on selections that confound the ‘experts’ and concedes them as mistakes even when they work out just fine…”

More about spring

Last few days have been really sunny. So sunny infact that I have been forced out of bed at around 7 am by the blinding light streaming through the flimsy cloth sheathing our window that is a sorry excuse for a curtain. Aren’t curtains supposed to block out light? Hence shouldn’t they dark and thick? I wonder what made the owner of this house make curtains out of white thin material?

Speaking of spring it’s really here. The birds – the trees – the colours. Here’s this tree right outside our house that has blossomed with a week.


Shantanu has taken to drawing, painting and writing in short scratching on every surface that he can get his hands on. I have blue pen marks all over my blue sweater and on my neck and behind my ears. That’s his favourite spot! Playschool is still a trying time though with Shantanu crying and other mums giving me their sympathetic looks and smiles. Being told that I was the same gives little comfort to my jittery nerves. Insecurity runs high in the family!

Remember the thing I was so happy about? It still hasn’t worked out and am waiting for certain things to pan out before disclosing it.

Been having weird dreams lately, well when didn’t I? Dreaming that my pappa has gone missing when I return to India. Guess that’s because am missing him and this is the longest that we have been apart. To recover, I am planning to drink beer, listen to ghazals and comb my hair before I go to sleep. Don’t ask!

The things on my mind…

It’s been seven months now in Edinburgh and to say that I have enjoyed my stay here is to put it very mildly. The place, the seasons, the sheer thought of living in such a picturesque country elevates my thoughts and puts me in a wonderful mood.

Even though winter is still on with winds and cold, the days are getting longer and there’s just something bright in the air; I can’t quite put a name to it, but everyday I wake up it feels like spring will be here soon. And I can hardly wait to experience it!!

In this short span of time, I have experienced many a things that will go down in memory lane as “kodak moments”, autumn, the first snowfall, visits in Cambridge, Norwich, Bury St. Edmunds (which reminds me that I still have to put up that post about our trip on christmas and new year). These small towns are so beautiful and have so much character. I could have spent days there just walking around all over the town, sipping coffee in the small stylish cafes. It just felt completely like home.

Another most important reason perhaps why I am enjoying it this much is because am spending time with my family, specially with my son. In this short span of time he has achieved so many milestones of his own and that in itself is some feat; but being there the very first moment is heaven – the first walk, the first words, the first run. What pure magic it is to see your own child grow in front of your eyes rather than have someone else tell you at the end of the day when you return half dead, tired from office. These moments would never have been the same.

I know I won’t be with him throughout the day once I go back to India, but am here now during his very early formative years and that would help him immensely. He has not yet started throwing tantrums and is quite easy-going and calm but is quite assertive in many situations. I think it’s a good sign though it’s too early to judge. He does lack peer engagement but his school will start soon and am quite eager to observe him behave in that environment.

Making him independent is my main goal with him. He already helps me a lot in my household activities and seems very pleased with himself when he does so, unloading the dishwasher is a favourite and so is tidying up his toys after play. He is too small to allow him to cook but am sure when he is old enough he will be quite a lot of help in the kitchen. He also loves carrying things for me. He will  take out the dry laundry from the dryer, pick up my cell phone if it’s ringing and will give it to me. He can’t actually put out the clothes to dry but today he put a wet hanky on the chair and was grinning afterward to show what a great achievement it was. He loves to do different things everyday and quite often is successful in his effort. He knows his mind so far, haven’t seen him cranky or confused except when he was ill. Though he hasn’t started speaking a lot, he understands almost everything that we say. Commendable for a twenty month old, eh?

This post has turned into a mamma post which was quite unintentional but you got to say whats on your mind and that’s just the tip of where am coming from!

Am running out of titles here!

Shantanu has another trick up his sleeve lately. Every time he kicks me or his dadda, or knocks us down with his head or slaps us, he will very sweetly come up to us while we are moaning in pain and kiss us. Then he makes those dove like eyes and smiles coyly just to add a touching effect. Seriously, from where do kids learn all these tactics is completely beyond me.


Me and hubby were watching this programme “16 and Pregnant” last night. It follows the stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school dealing with the hardships of teenage pregnancy. Most of the episodes end with the girl realising that it was wrong decision to get pregnant and that she should have waited until she was independent and mature. In one of the episodes we watches yesterday, the teen mother said something to this effect, “Sigh, I don’t think I am ready for any of this.” Taking cue, me and hubby also said collectively, “Neither were we, sigh!” I went ahead and said that I don’t think I was even ready to get married, I wish I had waited or I wish I hadn’t got married at all. Hubby said, “me neither.” Then we sighed some more. I said to no one in particular that it would have been great to just have a job and go out with friends and he said, yea and then maybe we could have just lived together, no strings attached! It would have been better yet! 🙂

…and I said, “O”

Such is the deeply intellectual conversation we have!

Baby hates , mommy dreads it :)

Just back from a marathon haircutting session for Shantanu. He started crying the moment he was put on the chair. No amount of entertainment could console him. My dad who tried to divert his attention displaced all the stuff in the saloon under the pretext of amusing him.

At one point, the barber asked me to take him out for a stroll and then bring him back meanwhile he could continue with the other customers. Shantanu was happy once we were out of the saloon but started crying once we stepped inside again. We realised there was no point in continuing like this. We left. Now Shantanu’s hair is nicely cut on the left side of his hair. His right side has a slightly bigger mass of hair.

In all this crying the barber managed to cut only his left side lock. The right one resembles the likes of Amitabh Bachchan in his angry young man days. Think that!