Sunday, 30 December 2007

Happy New Year

Another year comes to an end, and what a wonderful year it was. 2007 began with the most important moment of our lives; our wedding. The ceremony and the reception that followed couldn't have been more perfect. Our relatives and friends had fun, and I gracefully eased into the role of coy (atleast i tried) bride, after months of adorning the mantle of "bridezilla".

The ceremony went without a hitch. The flower girls walked ahead of me like veterans, carrying their tiny flower baskets, wearing adorable outfits. The family choir gave the ceremony that special touch, as did the pastor who gave us a sermon we'd all remember forever. We did have our share of minor bloopers, even though I didn't trip and fall (courtsey: high heels and heavy saree). I was the smiling bride, who'd forgotten to cover her head (not so coy was I?), and when it was time to place the manthrakodi on my head, Ro merely passed it on to his sister. Traditionally, the manthrakodi saree is placed on the bride's head to symbolize the groom's promise of always clothing his wife. Now that his sister had performed that task, we often joke about how clothing me is now her responsibility.

The reception that followed was as much fun, despite having to pose for a zillion photographs with a lot of people we didn't know. Every smile and frown (they didn't make it to the album ofcourse) was captured, and it felt like we were being mobbed by the paparazzi.

The year that followed went by so quickly. Three weeks in India, and we were off to London. From being used to the Chennai heat, I suddenly found myself in snowy UK. Covered up in thermals, sweaters, gloves, and a heavy coat (just me, not Ro), we toured London, before eventually settling down in a comfortable apartment, where I began my culinary experiments. We were touristy in London, even venturing out to nearby holiday spots. We played hosts to our parents, made new friends, and before we knew it, it was time to head back, and our family was getting bigger.

How has life changed otherwise? Last year this time, I was announcing to my parents that this year i'd be out on New Year's eve, partying with Ro. Little did I know then that I'd be home, enjoying my expanding belly, preparing for one of the biggest changes in my life.

Truly, what a wonderful year it has been!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

After a long slumber

The "ocassionally i come alive" blog promises to be "completely inactive", a month from now. Atleast then I'd have legitimate excuses for not updating my (errm..our) blog. I'm being promised sleepless, tiring nights, and a lot of nappy changes. Strangely enough, despite them, I'm looking forward to holding the little one. And yes, if I might be honest, I'm looking forward to having the baby out, so I can feel the "lightness" that many romanticise.

The pregnancy has been both good and bad, but mostly wonderful. From being someone who was mortally afraid of the needle, I now manage some small talk with the technician, while he retrieves vials of blood from my arm. I have discovered new methods of dealing with my morning sickness (something that never limited itself to my mornings alone during the first three months). Then there was an aversion to certain foods, that was soon taken over by these insatiable hunger pangs. So that meant, a sensible diet (most of the time), walks (most of the time), and those seemingly easy antenatal exercises (well...ocassionally). The rest of the time, I merely read, watch re-runs of sitcoms, catch up with the latest flicks (nothing scary or emotionally disturbing), and listen to a lot of music with the baby. Yes, the little one responds to music. A pretentious mother-to-be, I tried to get it interested in Baby Bach and Baby Mozart, only to give up when I felt excited flutters everytime Shakira danced to her "Hips don't lie." I'm also walking around feeling special (and who wouldn't) because the baby recognizes my voice.

Ro continues to display all the traits of being a wonderful father. He sings and talks to my active belly, and monitors much of what I watch and eat. He is also very tolerant towards to my changing moods. Yes, the hormonal changes make you either deliriously happy or irritably moody. However, it hasn't only been an expanding waistline, changing moods, lots of throwing up, and those annoying aches and pains (whoever knew of those painful, expanding ligaments along the hips)! Pregnancy came with its perks. The bigger the belly, the bigger the perks.

I began noticing these privileges on my flight back home. People weren't just throwing me friendly, interested smiles. They were also keen on making sure I was comfortable. So I could cut queues, expect to be seated immediately, and be pampered. This treatment got better once I was home. In addition to getting pampered at home, I could walk into any crowded room knowing someone would get up and offer me their seat. Even the long wait at the vodaphone outlet was cut short because a considerate employee wanted to spare me the wait. The hospitals were no less considerate. If there was a long queue for a blood test, and a longer one for a container to pee into (yeah, we pregnant women endure a lot of urine tests), I was allowed the privilege of breezing in and out (okay okay..waddling in and out), irrespective of how many were waiting.

If this was wonderful, it gets better. In India, neighbours and friends just need the whiff of a pregnant woman, so they can busy themselves in their kitchens to whip up meals. Yeah, for once, everyone is concerned about your cravings and not so much the calories. I'd just whisper, "I feel like eating a dosa today", and I'd be driving to a restaurant immediately, for my fill of dosas. A neighbour I was seeing for the first time made it a point of coming home everyday with something different to eat. Luckily I was well past all my aversions.

It's been an eventful 8 months, and now I eagerly await the arrival of my baby. I wonder if I'll be a good enough parent, but Dr Spocks assures me that all parents learn with experience. Life sure has changed a great deal, and promises to change even more. But I think I'm ready now, and I look forward to it.