Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sing Along!

Like a lot of couples, we have our song. However, our song doesn't talk about unconditional, everlasting love. On the contrary, it tells the tale of a woman living the life of regret. In her youth, she saw places, met people, and lived life, barely recognizing what she to feel complete. And now, it is too late.

Ro and I mostly listen to Charlene's "I've never been to me" in the car. We sing along, dissect every line in the song, and listen to it over and over again till we've reached our destination. Eventually we debate over whether this song is more tragic than Brad Paisley's "Whiskey Lullaby"! I think it is.
Now, before you think of us as a much-married boring couple, I must let you in on another favorite of ours, Besame Mucho. It was Sanjaya who first entertained us with his version of this Andrea Bocelli hit. Ro learnt it up, and would sing it on demand. For a while, Ro's version was also my ringtone. Romantic eh?
Now that Adiv is around, he decides much of what we listen to. In the car it is almost always Raffi (Ro and I have learnt up many of his songs).
And when we're home, Adiv and I listen to songs on youtube. He moves to Justin Timberlake (Bringing Sexy Back) and Shakira (Hips Don't Lie), but he also enjoys Sesame Street. In our list of favorites we have Elmo and the Goo Goo Dolls (, Feist (, Andrea Bocelli (, and Norah Jones ( among others. Other favorites include the Elephant Song that I hope to perform with Adiv when he is older (, Papa Pinguin ( and the Lonely Goatherd ( So if I'm online, it usually means we're youtubing.
Ro is hoping I won't steer him away from rock music, but for the moment I'm introducing Adiv to all kinds of music.
Anyway, now that Adiv is fast asleep and Ro is at work, I'm off to listen to favorite of mine! Isobel, by Dido (

Saturday, 6 December 2008

In God's Own Country

The trip to Kerala saw many firsts. It was Adiv's first overnight train journey, the first time he'd meet a lot of my uncles and aunts, and the first time i'd take on the duties of a sister-in-law at my cousin's wedding. So I was excited, though a tad bit apprehensive about how Adiv would handle the new eager faces, and the sudden change in routine and weather.

The train journey was tedious. The newly curtained and upholstered second AC compartment was a huge let down. The AC wasn't functioning, the berths were narrower, and the compartment was filled with roaches. Adiv who is used to a lot of space, found sharing a berth rather annoying. He woke up quite a few times, drinking water and tugging at his clothes. He was drenched in sweat. Eventually, I sat up, deciding to give him more space. A pregnant fellow-traveller who was snacking then smiled at me.
"Few months later, i'll be in your shoes", she whispered excitedly.
That was all the encouragement I needed. I flaunted my experience. I gave her parenting tips, reassured her about her fears, and marketed my pediatrician. While we we chatted, Ro lay on the top berth reading "The Last Lecture", waiting patiently for Palghat, where he hoped to have his fill of appam and mota roast.

A few coffees, and some disappointing idlies later, we were welcomed into Cochin Town by the scorching heat, and the excited faces of my parents. Adiv immediately jumped into my father's arms, looking rather pleased. They gushed about how much he'd grown and how sweet he was, while he lapped up all the attention with a smug expression on his face.

What followed were numerous visits. First there was breakfast (the second one I must add) in my uncle's house, followed by a bigger spread (lunch) in my aunt's house. I gorged on the chicken, took numerous helpings of the salad (with lots of mayo) and handed out presents I'd brought for all the kids. The children were curious about Adiv, who was fast asleep by then. When he woke up, he caused quite an uproar. He upset a 4-year-old by putting his toy in his mouth and rearranging his pillows. But in no time they were friends again, sharing toys (Adiv did much of the taking) and asking questions (Why is the baby making that face?).
A 2-year-old was more open about displaying her displeasure. After her byes to Adiv went unnoticed, she pulled his hair. He put up a brave front, refusing to cry. However, when noone was looking he pulled her hair. That cemented their friendship.

That evening, we went to the pre-wedding party, where there was lots to eat and drink. A disco had been set up on the second floor, and it came alive hours later when the groom-to-be began dancing to some popular tunes. For the first few hours, the room with loud music and blinding lights only saw groups of men (with their drinks), standing against the walls, gently tapping their feet.

The wedding itself was a much-awaited, grand event. Preparations had begun months in advance. For me that meant trying out my blouse every day, to make sure I didn't gain too much weight. Adiv wore a silk kurtha, but not for long. After the first set of pictures, I changed him into a more comfortable t-shirt. Then I travelled with the groom in the best (read "nicely air-conditioned") car. I handed out some last-minute marital advice, amidst yawns (the car was so comfortable). The groom who also claimed to be tired, yawned and feigned pre-marital jitters, till he saw his beautiful bride-to-be. Then he could barely disguise his pleasure. They gave eachother special smiles across cars, a private moment that was rudely interrupted by the numerous photographers. I also smiled, and waddled out (yes, I've been told I walk like a duck in a saree)hoping I'd not trip.
The wedding was long. Ro and I spent our time looking at the clock in front. My duties began after the thali was tied. The bride's sister who was standing behind her moved away, so I could take her position. All I had to do was make sure the bride's mathrakodi saree didn't fall off her head. And after the wedding, I had to fold the saree she was going to wear at the reception and put it on her arm. They smiled, and posed for pictures, while we rushed to the hall. I also had duties in the hall, where four of us were to help the newly-weds cut their cake.

The food was excellent. Beef, fish, chicken, veggies, rice, Appams, romali rotis.....4 different kinds of juices, dessert, etc etc! Despite the heat, we tucked in and continued praising the food even when we were leaving.
After that we rushed back to change. Ro and I changed into comfortable clothes, and Adiv was allowed to sit around in his diaper. He moved from person to person, only too happy with all the attention he was getting. He smiled and cooed, much to everyone's pleasure. He clapped, closed his eyes, and showed them his feet (as trained by us before we left) much to everyone's amusement.

The trip consisted of many visits to many houses. We were fed everywhere, and I was glad the wedding was over. Atleast now I didn't have to worry about the blouse. We had fun meeting people we hadn't seen in two years. We were tired, but we enjoyed the trip.
Now we're gearing up for the next set of holidays; Christmas in Hyderabad, New-Year in Chennai, and Adiv's first b'day in Bangalore. Can't believe how time flies!