A little belated,but wanted to put down this lovely memory to reminisce about later on

My veliacchan and veliamma( chacha and chachi) , their 2 sons with their families  decided to celebrate Onam in Bangalore at my parents place this year. So my Dad’s younger brother(appan) and his wife(cheriamma )and their 2 sons also decided to join the celebrations.My parents had also invited my in-laws and my sister’s mother-in-law this year for Onam.

How did it become a celebration of national integration?

My dad’s younger brother wife (cheriamma) is a Tulu speaking Mangalorean. Her sister and her husband also decided to join us for Onam this year.

My brother-in-law(sister’s hubby) is an Kannada+ tamil speaking Iyengar. My sister’s MIL K aunty came along with her sister. K aunty decided to add yummy Vangi bath to the traditional Onam Sadhya. So while the there was the Paladda paysam bubbling away on one stove, all the ladies were standing around learning to make Vangi Bath from K Aunty at the other stove.

My in-laws are originally Rajputs, but their ancestors migrated to Tenali(in Andhra) generations back. So they speak Hindi at home, but they follow the customs,food habits and festivals of Andhra. My MIL’s brother,wife and his in-laws who are from Tirupathi were visiting us and so they all decided to join the Onam celebrations at my parents place.

My sister, BIL and my niece could not make it for the afternoon Onam Sadhya,but they joined the celebrations later in the night.

BB had a blast with my cousin’s little daughter A and later on with my niece N. He almost smothered A with his love and affection.

The simple pookalam was completely the handiwork of BB and his cousin A.

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BB has been introduced to 3 languages-Hindi, Malayalam and English.

PP speaks to him exclusively in English. FIL, MIL and SIL talk to him in Hindi and I speak to him in Malayalam.But the smart dude has slowly figured that knowing English is good enough as it is the common language that we all know. So he has quietly stopped conversing in Hindi and Malayalam and responds to everybody in English. Even when I make it a point to talk to him in Malayalam, his responses are always in English and I have to force him to give me a response in Malayalam. Only his Dadi  (my mother in-law) who is not very conversant with English gets the special treatment and he makes it a point to speak to her in Hindi.

And I have to say that while Hindi and Malayalam are being ignored royally, his grasp on the English language has improved by leaps and bounds.

About 3 months back, PP’s  uncle visited us. He is a very dramatic person and likes to express himself in a similar fashion. So he was trying to convey how BB and his antics have taken over our lives and so he taught BB the famous ‘I came, I saw and I conquered’ line. BB learnt the line and went around parroting it for a few days after the uncle’s visit.

Last week, BB was playing with a balloon. The balloon kept slipping away from his hands and into the air away from his reach.He spent about 5 minutes frantically running after the balloon, trying to catch the knotted portion with his tiny hands.Finally he managed to get a good hold on the balloon and shaking the balloon excitedly in the air, he shouted out ‘ I conquered the balloon’.  PP and I stopped in our tracks, looked at him and then at each other with surprise and then smiled proudly at our little conqueror.

He had not only remembered the slightly complicated word  from about 3 months back, but had also understood the exact meaning of the word in the line and has just used it in the right context.


Shruti, this one is for you.Thanks for the lovely idea.

I had shown this lovely tree to the hubby and PP being a tree lover and an artist had loved the idea of using simple hand prints and finger prints to depict a tree.

It was his birthday this week and Baby Banana and I decided to surprise him by hand printing a tree for him.

 

The brown trunk of the tree was BB’s contribution and the leaves were my contribution to the surprise. (The original idea was to get BB to do the whole tree. But BB got quite carried away with the hand painting and had to be given a fresh sheet of paper to try his creative prints  on while I completed the leaves).

Needless to say,PP loved the card 🙂

When my niece was about a year old, I remember being very amused as I watched my elder sister clap, stomp and shout in tune to a video version of  ‘When you are happy and you know it’ all the while trying to get her daughter to join along.The niece on the other hand also seemed very amused by the antics of her mother and seemed to prefer watching the performance rather than join in.Almost 10 years later, it’s probably my sister’s chance to be amused at all that we do to entertain his little highness BB.

I was never a great singer and with the exception of the occasional group song on stage where louder vociferous voices drowned my little squeaky voice, I have not attempted to torture people with my singing skills ( or lack of it ).But for some reason when I was pregnant with little BB, I turned into a bathroom singer.I guess the joy of knowing that a little being was growing within me released me from my inhibitions and I sang all the old Hindi songs I knew as I bathed myself. Soon after the BB was born, I realized that he was the kind who did not believe in wasting time in napping during the day. So all that natural urge to turn into a bathroom singer during my pregnancy days was just nature’s way of preparing me for the days ahead. I diligently looked up lullabies s on the net and crooned  for  hours  as I rocked my little son to sleep. I went back to working full-time when BB was about 8 months old and the MIL   and the SIL who are his caretakers in my absence realized quickly that the only way to get the little fellow to sleep was by singing to him.Not being tech savvy enough to download lullaby lyrics from the net , MIL reluctantly resorted to singing bhajans to lull the brat to sleep.

Little BB grew up and was  soon sitting, standing and walking. Now he also needed to be  entertained during his waking hours. PP and I were  soon singing and enacting all the rhymes,barking like a dog, mooing like a cow, bleating like a sheep, mewing like a cat, roaring like a tiger, rumbling like a bus, chugging like a train, flying like a plane , dancing to his favourite dance numbers and so on . The SIL who is his playmate all through the day  was also under immense pressure to perform.  And slowly the shy SIL who would probably dance in public only at gunpoint was soon teaching the brat her own dance steps  namely ‘ the peacock dance’, ‘ the butterfly dance’  and ‘the martian dance’. The FIL, the BIL and the co-sister who are party animals on the other hand have only been too happy to swing a leg with little BB every now and then.

Now at 20 months little BB has directed his attention to the wonderful world of books, pencils, pens and crayons. SIL and PP are the artistes in the family with PP being very good at sketching and SIL very good at painting. Both of them actively followed their artistic passions till about 3-4 years back. But their professions soon took over leaving them little time for their artistic skills. Little BB soon changed all that. His constant demands for sketches of car, auto, tractor, concrete mixer and the occasional aana ( elephant), flowers, grapes, apple, his favourite pooh bear etc have ensured that not only the artistes in the house, but also novices like me have been brushing up on my drawing and sketching skills. My tractors are not as perfect as the artiste PPs, but my little son loves them just fine.

Singing, dancing, mimicry, sketching – our little brat has sure drawn out the family’s hidden  talents.

In all, I  just love how having a little baby at home helps us rid our inhibitions and how the laughter is more free flowing.

Every now and then, I need that little break from the mundane, routine city life and head out to the jungle/country side. But due to PP’s frequent travelling, visits from the brother-in-law and just the intense summer heat this year in Bangalore, we have not had that much needed break.

Last weekend, I  desperately considered my options and realized that we don’t need to always head out far away from the city for the sight of  greenery that soothes the city tired eyes and the nerves. We have our own little patch of  greenery in the middle of our concrete jungle city of Bangalore.  And so on Saturday morning, we packed a basic breakfast, fruits, some books and toys for BB and headed out to our little paradise, We reached early and after taking in lungs full of the fresh morning air and a  little walk around the park , we spread out our picnic mat under a  wide canopied tree and settled down to have our breakfast. There is something wonderful about having a meal in the open. The fresh air, the exercise we had walking around the park and just the joy of sitting under a tree had worked up our appetites and  BB who has to be goaded into having his breakfast on a regular morning quickly  gobbled up his own breakfast and then proceeded to feed us ours :).

Soon it was time for BB’s mid morning nap and the the Papa who firmly believes  in always being the true role model , spread himself out comfortably on the mat and was off into slumberland long before BB had even settled down in my lap for his quota of shuteye. While the father- son duo were catching up on their beauty sleep, I used the time to do my own thing. I slipped off my flip flops and walked barefoot on the grass, taking pictures of the flower laden trees and later on joined the sleeping beauties on the mat and caught up on my reading. It was nice and cool under the tree and I didn’t feel the heat of the noon sun at all.

Father son enjoying their little nap

Had a glorious time under the shade of this tree

Father and son woke up refreshed from their nap and after a quick snack of fruits headed in the direction of  the fountain while I continued relaxing on the mat.But I guess I was not destined to relax for too long, coz the sprinklers came on and I got attacked from 2 different directions. Completely amused by this turn of events and giggling away like a college teenager, I managed to pack our stuff  and walked towards the fountain, looking more wet than the little son who was spraying himself with water from the fountain .

Father and son heading towards the fountain

Little BB enjoyed all the unconstrained running around

A couple of mynahs enjoying a little shower under the sprinklers

We then parked ourselves and our stuff under another tree, kicked a ball around till we were all tired and then headed out to join some friends for lunch.

So in all it was just a few hours at the park, but these few hours energized me enough to help me get through another few weeks of the mundane city life.