Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Madurai trip - Part II

For Part-I, please click here.

The day of the wedding, Monday, saw less of activity when compared to Sunday.

We got ready for the wedding and reached just in time for the Muhurtham (delayed becoz we had decided to give Jillu her b'fast in the hotel itself).

About the wedding

It was a Saurashtrian wedding and I was surprised to learn their way of doing things. The bride and the groom apparently arrange for their own halls and the rituals happen in their own respective halls. When the ritual involves both the bride and groom to be to-gether, then it happens based on the significance of the ritual. For eg, the engagement and the actual wedding of tying Thali happened in the bride's hall, whereas the reception happened in the groom's hall. And each party arranges for their own food for their guests/invitees. Bride's relations and friends will be catered to by the bride's family and the groom's guests by the groom's side. On the day of the wedding, only the groom is allowed to eat along with the bride in the bride's hall after the wedding ceremony is over. So each party takes care of their own guests, food, hall, gift etc.
I found this interesting and a nice idea, as this gives each their own flexibility related to cost, lavishness etc and also a major plus as there is no serious scope for politics (between the 2 sides) as is seen in so many of our weddings.


Jillu was in a jolly mood and she was singing aloud all kinds of songs (rhymes, songs) that she knew, much to the amusement of various passersby on the road (we were shuttling betwen the 2 halls. Fortunately both were within walking distance of each other). However, she surprised me by singing even "Sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni-sa" :), though the "Sa-ni-dha-pa" did not come out correctly :).

Friends of all ages

She had made friends with a lot of her dad's friends. She started calling them by names and also, as is her habit came up with her own shortened versions of their names. Prem somehow became Priyammadha and then when we corrected her, it became PM :). Along with coming up with new names, she was also running behind every kid that she came across in the marriage hall and it became very difficult to keep track of her :). All kids were branded as either "Annaa" or "Akkaa" even if they were younger to her :) (we have not yet taught her "Thangai/Thambi"). Though, she called very small babies "Paapaa".

Sun evening

In the evening, we went to the "Thirumalai Nayakar" palace. Jillu was being troublesome before we started in the evening, So I told her we were going to see "The Maharaja" and just so that she could relate, I stupidly added "Kamsa Maharaja" paaka porom. (on the naive assumption/hope that there atleast will be 1 painting of some Maharaja there in the palace and any Maharaja could be called as "Kamsa" , Krishna's uncle). So she got that very well and my prayers were not answered as there was no painting miraculously hanging from the walls, though the palace itself was breathtaking and beautiful. I repeatedly had to divert her every time she asked me "Kamsa Maharaja yenga?" (vera yenna panna? as i said before, "Kai mel palan"). I felt very sad when I came to know that what has been preserved till date is only 1/4 of the original palace and the rest has vanished and become a part of the Madurai city :(.

We finished the tour of the palace and then we headed to "Koodalazhagar" temple. The temple was huge and awesome with separate prahaarams for Perumal, Thaayar and Andaal. In the Thaayaar sannidhi, Jillu again had the darshan of another elephant and this time she was watching the elephant with no fear but did not wish to go near it. After enjoying the peaceful serenity of the temple, it was time to head back to the hotel, for dinner and taking the train back to chennai.

Rayil Snegam -II

Yet again this time, one of our neighbors in the train was a kid and Jillu referred to him as "paapaa" even though he must have been nearer to Jillu's age. :). However, this time there was not much time for socializing as Jillu was very tired and the "paapaa" also looked to be worn out and was ready to sleep. However, still Jillu wanted to play with him, but the boy had already slept and I made Jillu sleep telling her that "paapaa" has already slept. (This did not change from the previous Rayil Snegam :) )

The 2 days just passed by in a blur too fast and was a welcome change of routine for me as well. 

I hope 2010 continues to offer me more opportunities to travel :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Madurai trip - Part I

The Madurai trip was lovely and a refreshing change for Jillu and me. For Jillu, it was a big taataa, lots of new people to meet and new experiences.

Rayil Snegam
We started on Sat night by train and as luck would have it, there was a boy, couple of years elder to her, in the adjacent seat. She immediately started "Anna, Annaa" and proceeded to sit next to him. We had to really restrain her as the family were having their dinner. The moment they finished, she immediately started chanting "Anna, Anna" and she went and sat next to him much to the amusement of all. The boy's shyness and reluctance to indulger her was no barrier to her and she kept asking him to wear his "kullaa" (the monkey cap that protects the ears from the chill) which he did not want to do at all. The boy fell asleep soon after and I put an excited Jillu to sleep quoting the "Annaa" as an example :). In the morning, the first thing that Jillu looked for was for her new found "Annaa" friend. Jillu's attempts continued from last night and the "Anna" chose to overcome his shyness and really start playing with her just when it was time to bid good bye and alight from the train

Rickshaw ride
Sun morning, after breakfast, we headed out to the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Our hotel was pretty close to the temple, so we started walking through the streets. Half way through, one of the rickshaw-wallas came to us and bargained for a ride to the rest of the distance to the temple. I think he saw us a fair chance as we had a toddler walking along with us. We were not really keen, but found it very hard to say No to the guy. So Jillu and me got in to the rickshaw with Jillu's dad walking along with the rickshaw fellow (Jillu's dad generally feels real bad about the rickshaw wallas pulling our weight, so didn't get in. I felt the same, but had no option as we could not leave Jillu alone).I forget the last time I ever was in a rickshaw. Must be those days when I was studying in 2nd or 3rd std, when I used to accompany my grand ma for the matinee show. This brings back a lot of lovely memories :)

The Elephant tale
Inside the temple, there was a surprise waiting for us ! Yes, none other than the elephant :). All of us were equally thrilled to see the big and gigantic elephant. Jillu's dad took her near to the elephant, and as is the custom, kept the change in the elephant's trunk to get his blessings. The elephant then placed his trunk gently on top of Jillu's head and blessed her. Jillu got scared by the encounter and started saying "Yanai venaam". The entire time that we were inside the temple, she kept saying "Yanai venaam" and then suddenly when we returned to the same spot, she wanted to see the elephant again. And that's when she noticed that there were a few drops of water (tears???) near to the elephant's eyes.

I hadn't noticed it. We then proceeded to the "Aayiram kaal mandapam" and were walking inside when
she told her dad "Yannai azhardhu" (The elephant is crying)

Jillu's dad : Yanai yen azhardhu ? (why is the elephant crying?)
Jillu : Jillu adichitaa (Jillu beat the elephant)
Jillu's dad  : ???

Jillu : Sorry, Yanai sollanum. Yanai Paakanum (I have to say sorry to the elephant. Take me to the elephant) and this request went on and on and on till we again went inside the temple to show her the elephant.

And in front of the elephant, I told her (going along with her story :) ) , "Ok Jillu, ippo sorry sollu" (Ok, Now say sorry)

Jillu :"Sorry, Yanai" (Sorry, elephant)
Me : "Yanai yenna sollithu? Its OK sollithaa?" (What did the elephant say? did it say Ok?)
Jillu : Its ok yanai sollalaama ? (Shall we say "Its okay" to the elephant)
Me : Yanai should say that, not you :)

And then back at the hotel, she was so excited that she actually spoke to both her grand mas over the phone (the current phone phase is aversion). With bright sparkling eyes wide open, she excitedly shouted over the phone "Yanai Jillu thalai mela 'dop' pannithu"
Me : Yedhaala 'dop' pannithu?
Jillu : thumbikkaiyaala

Dum Dum Dum - Kalyaanam
In the evening, it was time for the reception. We reached there well ahead of time for the engagement function that generally happens the day before the wedding. And she had a lovely time here as well. She was generally running behind any of the "kuttis" that she could spot and I in turn was running behind her to make sure that she was safe.

And then the "Nadhaswaram" started. From previous visits to the temple, I knew that Jillu was entralled by the "Molam" and "Pepe" (Nadhaswaram). The first time that she heard (and watched them playing) the music in a temple, she just froze then and there in front of them and after a couple of minutes, just simply sat down at the exact spot that she was standing on and refused to leave from the place. I was expecting the same thing to happen again and I was right. The only difference was that this time, after watching them from a distance for a while, she went and sat near to the guy playing the "molam". I almost called her back, but restrained  myslef just to see what would happen. She sat there watching them play and they in turn watched her indulgently as they had been doing all along right from the beginning. And, much to my surprise and her delight, When there was a brief lull in the proceedings and there was no need for the music, the drummer actually gave Jillu the stick so that she could do "Dum Dum Dum". It was no nice of him to indulge the small girl. And she took it from him with no hesitation and drummed on..."Dum, DOOM, DOM, DUNG"..

And so, it came as no surprise that she would go back to them every now and then to see if she could get a chance to go at it again :). And she got the chance twice :)
And then it was time to head back to the hotel.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Travel, Atlast !!!

I am so excited :) because we are off to Madurai tonight to attend the wedding of my husband's friend. The excitement is not entirely due to the wedding but, this is Jillu's first ever trip (long distance travel) after Thirupathi (which was when she was 7 months old) and I am so looking forward to it. :).
It will be fun to see how she reacts to the travel. I am also aware of the challenges, but I think its high time that we start moving around now that she is 2 years old.

I think the last time even I traveled (excepting Thirupathi of course) was way back before my pregnancy days, some 3 years back, I guess and it will be a welcome change for me as well.

So, really looking forward to the trip :). Will meet you all once we are back.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wonderful Mum

I came across this article somewhere and found it so true..
Very well written. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the author. Here it goes..

Before I was a Mum,
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about car seats.
Before I was a Mum,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.

I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mum,
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests, or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mum,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mum...

Before I was a Mum -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make! me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mum -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mum..
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mum.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My last day at work

dawned as any other normal day. (It was the Friday of the previous week) -Only the climate seemed to be on the downside - the Sun god having decided not to show up at all.

Proceedings went on as usual and it was time for me to leave for work. I had not explained to Jillu about me not going to work any more as I thought that she was too young to understand. However, that morning I tried explaining to Jillu that Amma will not be going to office any more and will be with her totally from Monday. As expected, she did not respond much and did not understand (I think). Anyways, I bid her good bye and left from home. 

On the way to office, my very dear friend (right from childhood ) who has tread the same path as me and along with me all these years, called up and asked "how do you feel? Do you recollect the first day at work? Flashback odudhaa?". Surprisingly, I was being very normal and it was like any other day for me and I conveyed the same to her as well. 

I think I spoke too soon :). The moment I entered the premises, butterflies entered my stomach along with a slight lump in the throat. They continued to reside in their respective places, as I bade good bye to a never ending list of people, sent out the habitual good bye email to everyone, along with the last day formalities. However, I am glad that somehow I found the strength to handle myself with dignity and grace (read that as not bursting into tears and making everyone else feel embarrassed) through out the day. In fact, I even managed to joke to my lunch companion that "Even the rain god is crying today" when it started to slightly drizzle. The small farewell meet was a surprise and gave me a very nice and warm feeling.

(I do not regret the decision at all, but it was a very hard feeling to say good bye to a hard earned job and a place which has been after all like a home away from home, in-spite of all the cribbing that I do on its shortcomings. It seems like an era has come to an end, to use the words of another dear friend.)

Finally, all formalities over, and the last goodbyes done, it was time to leave the premises. On the way back to the station, it started to drizzle again. The walk back to railway station is something that will be in my mind for a very very long time. It brought back memories, buried deep inside, both good and bad, the highs and the lows, of dear friendships that happened for life and a deep introspection of self - how much I had changed both personally and professionally from the time I joined the company till date. It also brought the waiting tears brimming to the surface at last , but were washed away by the rain unseen by others. I deliberately slowed my walk and gave myself up to the moment totally.

And finally, as I neared the station, it was time for me to say goodbye mentally and to look forward to a better tomorrow, to better happenings in store, to look forward to being with my sweet heart Jillu.

And, as always, thinking of Jillu, brought a bright smile to my face and the familiar need to hurry and be home asap.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

An interesting Proposition!

My cousin bro called me a couple of weeks ago with an interesting proposition :).

Bro : hey, how would you like to model with Jillu?

Me : "What ?" I was swimming in numbers, hours and what not at that time at work and this guys calls me out of the blue with this very strange request. I was not even sure if I had heard right.

Bro : Yes, would you like to model ? Pose for a photo with Jillu ?

Me : ??? Really listening now.. What is it ? Tell me more.. (Though I really know this will come to nothing, my mind is already conjuring up flashy and glossy pictures of me and Jillu in all posh magazines :) )

Bro : A pediatrician that I know is about to publish an article in a local regional news paper and he needs a photograph of a mom and daughter to go along with it. Would you like to do it ? You wouldn't need to do anything. They will come home, take a couple of pics and leave.

Me : As simple as that ? (Still the glossy pics are running through my mind). But.. is it safe ? I find it both interesting and scary. (Well, one doesn't get such requests daily, do they ?)

Bro : Would i even approach you if it wasn't safe ?

Me : Actually trying to give it a thought now... "mmmm"..."Better check with your BIL first." (Now saying bye bye to all the glossy pics and thought that's the end of it now and I can forget it, for I know what my hubby would say and I was not even sure of it myself. Back to the numbers game now.. sigh.. It was nice while it (the virtual images) lasted though )

Bro :OK..will do

After 5 minutes, he calls up and says what I expected :)

That night, I learnt from my hubby that his objection was due to that particular newspaper in question. He was not really comfortable with that one.

This is as near as I would ever get to modeling and the likes :). Hence this post for later reading and remembrance :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A lovely gift for the new year

The new year 2010 dawned on a brilliant note for us :). Well, it was not meant to happen that way originally, but I am so glad that it did. Thanks to my dear cousin bro S and his wife L.

The "Anthakshari" session with Jillu was on at that time and it was already way past Jillu's bed time (owing to New Year Eve) and the bell rings. 

Hubby, all innocence, says "Who could it be at this time ?" (For,I later came to know that he was totally aware!). So off we all go to open the door and our late night visitors happen to be none other than  S & L. And what have they got with them for us ?

A big 20x30 lamination of collage of photos from Jillu's 1st birthday. Superb and Brilliant it was ! It is ! I just love it ! 

It was actually meant to be Jillu's birthday gift, but thanks to the delay from the studio, they could not present it then. But then, it made a wonderful New Year gift :). Though I had earlier got wind of (or rather anticipated) something like this happening when my hubby took a few snaps in the pen drive for S, I was unaware of the impending visit on the New Year eve and the end result is so magnificent and I am so thrilled.

I have to thank my SIL "L" for the idea and bro "S" for the implementation :)

Thank you so much, bro and SIL.