Category: Me

Hello Potter

Mr. Harry Potter has taken over our house. Despite my misgivings she got her wish this summer and she read the whole series. She is too young for the books, I feel, but she insisted and read the seven books.

Now that is all we talk about. There are detailed questions about things she does not understand. There are games about the characters, that she has made up. There are back stories she has given all the characters. ‘They only spoke about Harry growing up, but everyone has a story, right Mumma!’ Even Bugz who was least interested in all the happenings in the world of Mr. Potter knows that Ron and Hermione are the good guys, Diagon Alley is the place where good things happen, Quidditch is the best game there is and Dumbledore is the greatest wizard there is.

The books do get dark as the series progresses and I was worried about how she would handle them. The biggest blessing came in the form of adults during her summer camps. Apparently people don’t think twice about giving spoilers about books. Way before she got to the end of any book, she knew who was going to die and sometimes the how. In her case it was indeed a blessing because she was mentally prepared for it. She was mad at ‘You know who’, ‘Bellatrix’, oh and Snape – so so angry at him! But the only time she shed a tear was on Dobby. That one she could not take. She shut the book and walked away for a good couple of hours. Then again the seventh book was the hardest she found to read. She took the longest time reading it and would not touch it for long durations in the middle.

The child who figured out Santa and Tooth Fairy are not real, all on her own really wants the words of Harry Potter to be real. She wants to visit London and find the entrance to Diagon Alley. She believes that she will get a letter from Hogwarts when she turns 11 and is worried that she will be called a Mudblood. I ask her, ‘How she knows I am not a witch’ and she replies, ‘because you do everything by hand. Our house is not like the Weasley’s.’ When I insist that I am a witch and chose not to use magic, she asks me details about my wand.

Our camping trip this past weekend had both the kids found wood twigs and pretended they were wands. They would stick their wands in the campfire and scream ‘Luminous’ and then run around to make sure the glow on the wands were gone as they screamed ‘Nox’

Why would someone pick dark magic over good magic she does not understand. Was Bellatrix every good? How could Voldemort not know he created another horcrux? The questions are endless and the passion never ending. The world of Harry Potter has another avid entrant.

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Get Milk

D’s trip to a grocery store follows a general pattern –

Me: Can you head to the grocery store? We really need to and I am stuck with xyz right now.
D: Sure, can you make me a cup of tea before I leave?
Me: !!!!
D: OK OK, what do we need to get?
Me: *rattle out a list of things which are everyday grocery list for me* Onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilies, eggs, milk..
D: What? I can’t remember all that! Can you write it down for me?
Me: *rather than argue, I quickly find a paper and pen and write it all down*

20 minutes later the phone rings.

D: I lost the list. I kept it in my pocket but can’t find it. Can you tell me what all I need to get?
Me: *goes over things again*
D: Wait, I can’t remember all this. Let me grab things from the veggi section and call you back!
Me: !!!!

Call after 5 mins

D: Do we need Penuts?
Me: No
D: How about juice?
Me: No
D: Oh oh I see yogurt?
Me: No! we make our own. Can you please stick to the list?

2 or 3 calls later, what is required is bought and paid for and I get a message saying, “Done, heading home!”

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All this is of course when he is going to the grocery store from home. Then there are times when I tell him to get something on his way from work.

6:15 P.M.
Me:  Can you get so and so on your way from work?
D: Sure!
Me: What time are you leaving?
D: 15 mins

6:40 P.M.
Me: Have you left yet?
D: Got stuck. Leaving in 5

7:00 P.M.
D: On my way
Me: Don’t forget to get so and so
D: Yeah!

7:30 P.M.
Garage door opens. The kids run down to greet him. There is general cheer everywhere. And it all comes to a stand still as soon as he sees my face.
D: Oh no! I forgot. I will go now and get it.
Me: Never mind! We will make do without it for today.

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I was out for a run when a car caught my eye. It had something written on the driver side windshield. As it came closer, I looked closely. In bold letters, with a red sharpie, it read – GET MILK!

I had to stop to take in the brilliance of it! It was practical and funny and perfect, all at the same time. Try and forget that one, dear husbands!

 

 

Question and its answer

Buzz has this fascination with family relationships. There are always questions around Bua, Mama, Tau Ji, Nana, Dada – the list goes on. But more importantly there are always questions around how do people come together to get married. Or I should say there were.

The other set of questions she has are – Do I have to *insert question* when I grow up?

Do I have to become famous when I grow up?
Do I have to cook when I grow up?
Do I have to give up milk when I grow up?

Most times my answer is, “you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” (based on the questions of course. “Do I have to eat my fruits when I grow up?” has only one answer, a resounding yes.) This answer, I almost always follow up with a “Why?” Mostly because I want to understand her thought process and where the question in coming from.

That the two set of questions collided came as no surprise to me. One evening on our drive back from school, she asked “Do I have to marry when I grow up?”

“No you don’t. That is your choice,” I told her, “but why do you ask?”

“Because then you have to kiss and that is just ewww!” she replied.

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Her class was learning about the life of Martin Luther King recently. The kids were really impressed and spoke about it constantly. Ask me, I had impromptu quiz every day and disgusted looks were given because I did not know the year Martin Luther King was born.

Buzz’s teacher wrote the anecdote in one of her class emails – When I spoke about his marriage, a collective ewww went out in the class. They all looked disgusted that such a great man could make a blunder like this.

Buzz came home with another set of questions”

“Do you know who Martin Luther King’s idol was?”
Ahh finally a question I knew. “Mahatma Gandhi” I replied.
“Was Mahatma Gandhi married?”
“Yes he was.”

Before I could show off my knowledge and rattle details about Gandhi, she had walked away shaking her head. Two great men had made the same mistake!

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“I don’t like S. I am not going to talk to her again!” she told me in her angry voice.
“What happened? What did S say?” I asked.
“She said A and I will get married when we grow up.”
“errr”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“Ever?”
“Ever!”
“OK then.”

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Bugz was cribbing about being the younger sibling (story for another day), so we got talking about how Papa was the youngest sibling and how Mumma was also the youngest sibling and how much fun it was to be the youngest in the family.

“Mumma do I have to get married when I grow up?” Buzz asked again.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” came to standard response.
“Because kissing is ewww, right Didi?” asked the youngest one, remembering the conversation in the car.
“Well Bugz, at some point in your life you will have to kiss someone!” She shrugged.

And she has grown and how, that to in less than a month, mom laughs holding her stomach.

Red Saree

Salwar Kameez was your everyday wear. You wore them while cooking, when you dropped us to school, for festivals, even during weddings. Saree was something you wore very very rarely and hence something that was deemed very special in our minds.

I still remember coming home from school, as a first grader, to see you sitting on the dining table chair. You had your red saree on. My immediate question was, “Where did you go?” You laughed and said, “Nowhere.” “Then where are you going?”, I asked. Again you replied, “Nowhere.” My next question was obvious, at least in my head. “Why are you in a saree if you hadn’t been any place and are not going anywhere?”

I don’t remember what your answer was, even though I remember the house, its orientation, the exact chair you were sitting on. But most of all I remember your saree, red with off-white flowers. As a grown up, I now understand that for someone who wore a saree every day, it would be a regular daily wear type of saree, but in my head it was special. With your height, clear complexion and hazel eyes – you looked beautiful in it.

When you stopped wearing it, when others took its place, I don’t remember. What I will always remember is, my first, most vivid memory of you in a saree. Little details, long forgotten, randomly come to me now, and I gather them close to never forget. Some days are hard, sometimes exceedingly so. As much as I try to distract myself, today is one of those.

Four years in a count that never will end. Miss you so very much!

Fairies

Dear Buzz,

For over a year now you have waited for this day. You have asked endless questions, you have watched your friends closely, you have read books about it and you have been impatient for your turn to come. Kids in your class started out with the phenomena more than a year back and that is when your questions started. Last year just before PD mama’s wedding, I joked and told you to hold on till after the wedding and you took my word for it, but the wedding happened and days and months ticked on after and nothing. You counted out your friends in class and the numbers kept dwindling till you were the only one left and that is when you started pushing.

Pushing hard on your teeth – if you could, you would get those teeth moving by sheer dint of your will. Your friends lost two, four – some even as high as twelve teeth, but the school year came to an end and you did not even have a wiggly tooth. You were so very disappointed.

Adding to it was all the visits Tooth Fairies were making to your friends’ place and your constant struggle with the question, “Are Tooth Fairies real?” You argued – all the doors and windows are locked at night; magic is not real; only birds have wings and even they can’t come in through closed windows. “How can Tooth Fairies be real?” you kept asking. But you wanted them to be real so bad, and that is where you were stuck. With your logic, you came up with simplest of solutions, “if I have a present under my pillow when my tooth falls, then they are real otherwise they are not.” How your Paa and I smiled at it all.

After quite a few complains of pain in your lower front tooth, for over a month, they finally did start to wiggle noticeably last week. The excitement level went up multiple folds in our household. The only time you talked tentatively about your teeth falling was when it came to the Tooth Fairy. Oh yes the present, I remember sweetheart, so on a recent trip to a store when I came across books, I bought two and told you I needed to hand them over to someone special. Not one more question you asked. You smiled and walked away.

Today when I came to pick you up in the evening, you smiled to show me what was missing, and then ran off to show me your precious tooth. Apparently eating cherries did the trick (along with freaking out your teachers, since they could not tell whether it was blood or cherry juice).  Then the chatter moved on to the gift. Bugz, super excited at sleep time peeped, “Tooth Fairy will come today, Didi!” You smiled big and whispered in my ears, “You are the Tooth Fairy Mumma, but Bugz is so little that she does not know.”

Yes sweetheart, Bugz is little but you are growing to be so big and sometimes I miss my little girl. But but I love the big girl you are becoming. Your next big milestone is here and we are super excited for you. We also know the second tooth is going to fall any day now, so enjoy your special time which has come after such a long wait. As always, stay healthy, stay happy, stay you!

Love,
-Maa

In the middle

Higher, push me higher!

She screams, trying to catch up to Didi. Didi, of course, pumps her legs to go higher still, laughing as she swings back and forth.

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Bugz, come catch me.

Off they go running. Little feet unable to catch the bigger faster ones, but laughter follows and so do shrieks of frustration.

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Biking, biking! Let’s go biking

Longer legs, bigger bike, she zooms off as soon as we get to the trail. With her little bike, sitting comfortably on her bike, training wheels still in place, the little one peddles on leisurely, laughing gleefully as she spots her Didi, every now and then.

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With the perpetual need to keep an eye on both of them, I run between the two of them – sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes backwards, sometimes forward. The sun is out, the day is beautiful, the kids are happy, there are laughs, there are stops for hugs, there are endless smiles. As they go about playing, they run circles around me. Never consciously, always unsaid, mostly unacknowledged, yet I always find myself in the middle – middle of their play, middle of their fight, middle of their love – and every time, my heart swells up.

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Mumma, let me push her now. Higher and higher!

She comes and takes over, while the little one nods her head excitedly.

No Didi! I can’t catch you.

She comes back to hold hands and off they go running together.

Didi, wait for me!

Barely able to keep her balance, she rides alongside, just to keep the little sister happy.

Let’s start

When I first started blogging – reading, writing, commenting was like caffeine – something I needed every single day, just to get through the day. I would blog hop and would sometime come to a blog that just touched my heart, I would read it from start to finish, wanting to know it all. And then wonder to myself why some people suddenly stop writing. They were brilliant, I wanted to read more, I wanted to find them and make them write some more.

My own writing was mostly about putting my thoughts down but number of hits, number of comments can be addictive, even when I questioned why someone would want to read about walking, taking stories of a little girl (at that time). Over time, of course, realization came that the comments were to some extend a back scratching exercise. You read my blog, I will read yours. I started relaxing after that. Numbers stopped being of much concern. What was important was my thoughts and how I gave them words.

There was something exciting about writing – sometimes healing, sometimes a release, sometimes pure joy. I used to formulate post after post in my head and would start writing as soon as I could. Then more and more things started happening in life and time kept on dwindling. Writing kept left behind in the process. Things changed again and time really was not much of an issue anymore, but the inner drive to write, or to do anything at all, was lost. There were a number of times when I would think of writing and then just give up. I call that time my time, I needed to unwind, desperately; I needed to just be and that is what I did. I wanted no one, no thing to put any demand on my hours to myself. I did not want to think, I did not want to do, some days I did not even want to move – so that is exactly what I did.

Cut to present – I feel like spring is upon me, the period of hibernation is over. I itch to do, to start moving forward again. While I was still formulating all this, processing where I was at – something happened on my blog. Someone new came to my blog and started reading it, one post at a time. I don’t know who, I don’t know from where, I don’t know why, all I saw were the clicks. With every click this person made, I made them too.

I read my words the day Maa passed away, I read about Buzz’s question for the future, I read about Bugz stubbornness of days past, I read about fights and making up with D. And I remembered – I remembered how I felt; I smiled; I cried; I remembered why I started this place all those years back.

So here I am to start over again. There is so much more I want to capture, there are so many more words I have left to write. Let’s start then!