Baap-Beti Times

24 Nov

Some of the OH’s conversations with Bubboo, after getting home from work:

You know what, your Amma wanted to go out to have pizza. She said she was bored out of her mind, and wanted to do something fun, but I stopped her. I told her we cannot leave Bubboo at home.

I am going to sell our car and buy a cow. I will tie the cow in the parking lot of our apartment, so that you get a lot of milk.

I am going to give all your milk to the neighbourhood cat, if you do not drink it fast.

Amma is checking her Whatsapp messages. First, she will check whether there are any messages from her friends. Then, she will check her mail. Then, she will glance at the book she was reading last night. She will feed you only after that, so you have to wait, alright?

What complaints did your Amma have against you today?

See, this is Amma’s bookshelf. I’ll read out the book titles to you.

Amma is reading a book, so let’s not disturb her, ok? She is reading so she can tell you a lot of stories later.

I am going to take you to office with me one day, you know?

Bubboo’s response to all of this is a wide-eyed stare at her Appa. Why do I get the feeling that this baap-beti duo is soon going to gang up against me?

 

Her Highness And Her Antics

23 Nov

What do we do when Amma puts her feet up and leisurely begins sipping at her cup of tea?

We grab our hair in fistfuls. Of course, we don’t know how to let go of it later. Then, we have to cry. Slowly at first, then louder, louder, louder, till Amma comes and releases us. :)

What can we do if her tea goes stone cold in the meanwhile?

Milestone

22 Nov

New anklets — check

New dress — check

Daddy on leave from office — check

Keeping Amma on her toes — check

Lots of pampering — check

Lots of cuddles — check

New name — check

Yes, folks. Bubboo acquired her official name yesterday. :)

One Month Old

20 Nov

Dearest darling daughter,

You turn one month old tomorrow, and what better occasion than this to write my very first letter to you?

I must tell you that every single day of this month, we have fallen more and more in love with you, your Dad and I. You are such a vivacious bundle of activity even at one month of age, and we can’t help but adore you. You are the first thing we want to see every morning and the last thing before we go to sleep every night. We love kissing you good morning and good night. We love observing you and your antics, which are a-plenty.

My little doll, I love dressing you up, and do it at least twice every day. I love how your Dad, while at work, wants to know what you are wearing every day after your bath in the afternoon. I usually send him a picture of you, all dolled up after your bath and blissfully sleeping away, on Whatsapp, so that he doesn’t miss you too much. I love how his face lights up on seeing you dolled up all over again, every evening when he returns from work.

You are the light of our lives, darling. You have your parents wound around your little finger. We want all the very, very best for you, like every parent wishes for their child. Some wise person once said that having a child is like having your heart walk outside your body for ever, and I think both of us now realise what that means. We pray for you all the time.

Tomorrow is when we have organised a naming ceremony for you, when we will be officially ‘giving’ you the name that we have chosen for you. This name is special to us for more reasons than one, one reason being that it was the name your Amma was going to be given before the decision was changed and she was named something else. And that reminds me, I am so not used to being called ‘Amma’ – I can’t wait for you to call me that!

This is going to be your very first party, if you can call it that. I hope you will be awake for at least part of it. I hope you will love your name and the significance behind it. I hope you will grow to love your parents as they love you. I hope you will move mountains when you grow up.

Little doll, here’s wishing you all the very best in life.

Loads of love,

Amma

The First Look

19 Nov

The first time we viewed Bubboo’s face, in utero, was in my fifth-month scan. The radiologist showed us how the baby had lips and tiny toes and fingers and even a heart and kidneys and a spinal cord. That was the first time, I think, that someone referred to Bubboo as a ‘baby’ and not as a ‘foetus’. Yes, we realised then, there was very much a ‘baby’ in my tummy now, with its own set of organs, past the first trimester, past the stage of being a ‘foetus’.

The scan made us feel, for the first time, that the baby would be a boy. Somehow, the zoomed-in face of the child that the radiologist showed us looked like that of a little boy. And so I felt till the seventh month, when I suddenly started having a feeling that the baby might be a girl. A girl it turned out to be too, finally. :)

The Goa connection

17 Nov

We came to know that I was pregnant shortly after the OH and I returned from our holiday to Goa, earlier this year.

There is a strong possibility that Bubboo might have been conceived in Goa. Bubboo might as well have a Goanese connection. In fact, the OH often calls her ‘Dabolima’ fondly, after the Goa airport.

We keep talking about it all the time. We hope to take Bubboo to Goa as soon as we think she is fit and ready to travel. We want to see how she reacts to the place. Both the OH and I are keen on undertaking this particular trip.

Got to love a baby who comes with the promise of travel, right?

Bubboo’s First Book…

16 Nov

…. arrived by way of courier yesterday. The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, a children’s classic. A wonderful beginning to Bubboo’s library, which we hope to build up a while later.

I haven’t read the book ever, so I look forward to discovering it with Bubboo.

A couple more parcels followed soon after, other gifts for Bubboo and her parents.

Thank you so much, Smitha! :)

Change In The Equation

13 Nov

Back in high school and college, I used to spend a major part of my money on eating out and dresses.

A little older, and I was spending a chunk of my money on books and dresses.

I got married, and the largest part of our money started going to books and travelling.

Since Bubboo’s arrival, though, this equation is all set to change. Now, it seems, the chunk of our money will be going towards the buying of kiddie stuff, particularly dresses.

I have discovered the wondrous world of goodies available to the girl child of today, and it is no less magical to me than Alice’s Wonderland. Hordes of gorgeous, tiny, cutesy dresses in all shades of pink, apart from those in several other colours to choose from. Booties and socks and bibs. Bodysuits with quirky slogans. The smallest of pillows. Feeding pillows. The tiniest of combs and brushes. Cute nail cutters and scissors. Pretty blankets. Funny caps. Gloves and woollen cocoons and what not. Why, recently, I even found a nail starter kit (including four shades of nail polish and nail polish remover – now, why an infant would need nail polish I fail to understand!). And then, there are thousands of other things waiting to be bought when Bubboo grows up a teeny-weeny bit. This is just for now.

To make life simpler for home-bound moms like me (I’ve been forbidden to go out anywhere for at least a month), there is the wonderful avenue of online shopping. Just one click and I can buy anything and everything for Bubboo! So simple and so addictive.

I have been trawling kiddie shopping websites of late, discovering new stuff every day to ooh and aah over. The mother is my partner-in-crime in oohing and aahing over the said stuff. Every evening, the OH is shown a list of products that are interesting, which I cannot stop drooling over.

We have bought a few clothes for Bubboo online, for her upcoming naming ceremony. There are a still a lot of things that we have discovered and would like to get for Bubboo, but not yet bought.

Going off on a tangent, most of the clothes Bubboo had been wearing so far were bought by the SIL when I was in hospital and the baby desperately needed something to wear. Plus, there were a lot of lovely clothes worn my cousin’s kid, preserved by him with a lot of love and care for Bubboo. We didn’t buy anything for her before I went into labour – I didn’t want to tempt fate by going against tradition (the rebel in me refused to comply in this case). I always dreamt of dressing up my daughter to the hilt, if and when I had one, but I have been unable to do that so far. There’s lots of time for that yet, I guess, though.

Getting back to the point of this post, I can’t wait to buy little silver anklets for Bubboo next, something I have always loved seeing on little baby feet. Amma says that can wait, that she is too tiny for anklets yet, but I don’t think I have that much of self-control in me. Next on the to-buy list are tiny bangles.

The more I look at the variety of things that are on sale for Bubboo and her counterparts, the longer the to-buy list grows. Day after day, I am turning into a little kid in a candy store.

God save us!

Just Read

11 Nov

The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman – Denis Theriault

All of 27 years, Canadian Bilodo is an unusual postman. Unlike the other run-of-the-mill postmen in his Depot, Bilodo likes reading books and is practising calligraphy. He hates the impersonal nature of e-mails, and is charmed by old-fashioned, hand-written letters. Whenever he receives a hand-written letter for delivery, he cannot resist the temptation to steam the envelope open and read it. Sometimes, he even replies to some of these letters, through a long-winded hand-written letter of his own. It is in this way that he discovered Segolene, a Guadalupean woman who has been writing regularly to a certain Gaston Grandpre in his locality of work. Bilodo has been reading the letters from Segolene to Gaston for the last two years, and knows that the two have been communicating through haikus. He also knows that Segolene’s haiku are wonderfully evocative, and have the power to recreate the scene she writes about, in the mind’s eye of the reader. Bilodo is in love with Segolene, and eagerly waits for the next letter from her to arrive.

What does Bilodo do about his infatuation with Segolene? Does Gaston ever find out about Bilodo? These questions, and more, are answered in The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman.

Quite an interesting premise, right? I thought so, and that is why I bought this book as soon as I got to know about it. Sadly, though, it turned out to be an extremely disappointing read.

After the initial few pages, the book lost its charm for me. The story turned weird after a point, and Bilodo began to look more and more psychotic. The twists in the story were extremely predictable, and I could make them out long before they took place. The twist at the very end of the book seemed quite forced and unnecessary. I felt that the storyline had great potential to be developed into a very interesting book, but what it is, instead, is a queer story with very predictable turns. I am sorry to say this book is not something I would recommend to you.

The Dressmaker – Kate Alcott

It is the 1920s. Young Tess loves fabrics and threads and colours, and aspires to be a seamstress. She has ample talent in this area, too – her talented mother has taught her how to sew. It is the one way she knows of to escape her dreary poverty-stricken life. However, all the jobs she seems to find require her to be a maid, which she has neither the inclination nor the temperament to become. When she comes to know of the Titanic’s voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York, she sees an opportunity to escape to a new world, where she can try her luck and build a new life. She runs away from the rude madame she is working as a maid for, to find the Titanic ready to set sail.

When Tess notices the famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon on board the ship, she is enchanted. Lady Gordon is her idol, and Tess is ready to do anything to sail on the Titanic with her. When Lady Gordon tells her that the only position open with her is that of a maid, Tess agrees to do even that. However, is Lady Gordon the wonderful person that Tess has always imagined her to be? The sinking of the Titanic sets Tess to ponder this question, and she is puzzled by the varied thoughts she has in this respect. This is what makes up The Dressmaker.

I picked up the book because the premise was so interesting. I didn’t know anything about the Titanic except that it struck against an iceberg and sunk. This book opened up many new dimensions about the ship’s sinking to me. The book itself, however, failed to strike a chord with me. The characters, though interesting, lack depth. The story is told in a way that is extremely lacking in emotion, and fails to touch the readers’ heart. That said, it kept my interest till the very end, because the facts it revealed were entirely new to me.

I found The Dressmaker to be an average historical fiction book. If the story behind the sinking of the Titanic is new to you, like me, you might want to give this book a try. However, if you have already read a lot on the subject and want to read an emotional, in-depth retelling, this book is not for you.

The Charm Bracelet – Melissa Hill

The Charm Bracelet is about single mother Holly, who works in a New York vintage clothes store and absolutely loves it. She is charmed by the history that the clothes possess, and she loves making up stories about the events these clothes would have witnessed, and their owners. She is surprised when she discovers a charm bracelet in the pocket of a beautiful dress that their store receives one day, as part of a donation. As the owner of a special charm bracelet herself, Holly understands how much it would have meant to its owner and that it must have been left in the dress by mistake. She vows to find the owner and return the bracelet. She soon discovers, however, how difficult a task she has undertaken. There is no way she can directly reach the owner, and must find her through the clues the various charms on the bracelet provide. How Holly goes about the task of trying to locate the bracelet’s owner makes up the major chunk of the book.

Parallel to Holly’s story is that of Greg’s, a stock broker-turned-photographer. To find out how Greg’s story intertwines with that of Holly’s, you have to read the book!

I found The Charm Bracelet a pleasant read, though a bit long-winded. The stories behind the charms on Holly’s bracelet and that of the mystery woman are enchanting and make for a lovely read. Holly is a sweet character, one you would want to know in real life. Greg’s character, though, comes across as selfish and way too self-absorbed to take rational decisions. The book is pure chick-lit, and the twists the story takes are extremely movie-like and unbelievable, far removed from reality. The twist at the very end seems quite forced and unnatural, as if put there just for the sake of putting it in.

The book made me fall in love with charm bracelets, and now, I want one of my own – one with my significant life stories depicted on it. It also made me fall in love with the city of New York, a place I want to visit with all my heart now, especially around Christmas time.

All in all, it is a fluffy book that you can read on chilly days, if you are willing to put your brain aside for a while. It is not a great read as such, but not a completely hopeless one either.

This was my first Melissa Hill book, and I am definitely going to pick up more by the author.

Why Is It…

10 Nov

… that it is, almost always, the OH or I who burp loudly whenever we are trying to pat the baby and getting her to burp?

Amma always looks confused, thinks it is the baby who burped, and claps her hands and congratulates her on burping oh-so-nicely. Only to be told that it was not her darling grand-daughter, but her daughter or son-in-law who did it. :)

Dirty looks from Amma follow, inevitably.

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