Freeze this!

*Soppy content alert. Strictly not for the pooh-pooh-ers*

K and I got back pretty late from work today- not so unusual for K, but really rare for me because I generally ensure I wind up and reach home by 7 max, so that I can spend a good amount of time with Pattani before he hits the bed. I was pretty bummed today – partly irritated because my work was being a mule(literally. Geek alert!ha!) and refusing to solve its own problems and also guilty that I’d been away for so long. I was hoping he wouldn’t be too sleepy and there he was, sitting on his cycle. The minute he saw us, he let out a squeal of delight – Ammmaaa!!!!Apppaaa!!! I went in and scooped him up and gave him a tight hug, and at that moment, quite inexplicably, all the guilt vanished and came flooding back at the same time!


When I lie face down down on my tummy on the bed, Pattani instantly drops whatever he is doing, comes running and launches himself onto me with a thud. Then he climbs up and lies down on top of me on his tummy, and hugs me(how much ever he can manage with those kutti hands at least). It gives me the feeling that he thinks it is the best place for him to be, but I wonder if he knows that his mommy has never been in a better place before.


After 30 mins of unsuccessfully trying to put him to sleep, I just give up and as a last ditch effort, pretend to be asleep in the hope that he will follow suit. He notices that I have gone still, peers into my face, mutters ‘amma. Thaachi(sleeping) , snuggles closer, gently pats my head and goes ‘Jo Jo Jo’. I can barely suppress a smile and open my eyes to look at that tiny face. He is delighted to find me awake and coos – ammmmaaaa!!! And the sleep effort starts from the scratch again.


When I am at home, but busy in the kitchen and don’t nondify him for a while, he comes sauntering to the kitchen calling out ammma ? Maaa?
Me: enna ma?
Pattani: maaa ?
Me: enna ma?
Pattani: ma?
And the same thing 5-6 times.
Me: enna da venum?
Pattani: tooki(lift me up)
I lift him up, starting to glow in his affection.
Pattani(spotting the sugar dabba):kakku!!
Since affection makes me generous, I give him a few crystals of sugar.
Pattani: keeya!(put me down )
Me: dei. Kakku kuduthen la. Let me konjify you a little.(shameless bribery that transcends language)
Pattani suddenly starts bawling ‘keeeeeyaaaa’ and makes me look like a kidnapper caught red handed.
I hmph and set him down and he instantly bolts like he can’t wait to get away from me. Man of priorities indeed!
Naana onna koopten! I mutter to myself :/( Did I call you in the first place ?)



100 Happy Songs – Day 11

Here is a song that has always made me feel extremely happy and psenti at the same time – Anjali Anjali from Anjali. Well, the occasion is such – my entry into year 29 was marked by Pattani running around calling out ‘tooooo youuuu, tooooo youuuuu’ every now and then(the outcome of K coaching him to sing happy birthday to you), a relaxed Saturday at home with a luxurious afternoon nap(which means the Pattani did not decide to end his afternoon nap exactly at the same moment when I finished off my chores and settled down to catch a breath), loads of wishes from friends and relatives, and a nice dinner at a new Gujju eat out. It has all the markings of growing old, doesn’t it? But I think this year I have kinda come to terms with it, so I am going to bed with super contentment and a big smile, after spending the last half an hour singing various lullabies as per the Pattani’s demands and watching him finally doze off to his baby sleep – that explains the contentment.
As for the song, there is only so much justice words can do to explain such magic. To think one person conceived it all in his head – #IRisGod. Second interlude-aha!
Peace out.

Nadandhu nadanthu varum poochendu
Parandhu parandhu varum pon vandu
Edukka edukka iru kai kondu
Inikka inikka varum karkandu

PS: This song also evokes fond memories of my psenti music nite at college where we performed this with a bunch of super-stud musicians. Those memories never fail to bring a smile 🙂

Pattani Peek – Some Random Snippets

The kkkkhhhh days are long gone. He can now comprehend everything you say(especially if it involves people making plans to go out) and speak quite a bit.

A(anybody in the house): Amma chellam yaaaruuu ?
Pattani : Naaanuu! (in mood-specific tonal variations)
A: Appa oda pattukutti yaaru ?
Pattani : Naaanuu !
A: Kutti pattani Yaaru ?
Pattani : Naaanuu.
Absolute fun. We shamelessly demand his allegiance a million times a day, and the poor baby obliges almost always(except when he is eyeing mamm-mamm).
Someday, Paati asks Pattani : Paati yaaru ma ?
And he promptly replies : Naanu !
We get the message. He only comprehends yaaru. What precedes that is irrelevant.  Answer-inappropriate questions shalt not be asked henceforth. On that note, Mr. Pappu, do you know Pattani’s age? 14 months. Not 43.


A: A for ?
Pattani: Aapooo (Apple. We taught him that.)
A: B for ?
Pattani : Bow- bow !
We are stunned, wondering how he managed to come up with that !
Very hopefully, we continue .. C for ?
Pat comes the reply – Chuchu !
#facepalm #PottyTrainingWoes


The most fascinating in-house objects according to him : Tupperware dabbas(The bigger, the better). Stainless steel paathrams. Spoons. Plates. Just-folded and neatly stacked clothes. What he loves doing with the 2 huge baskets of the actual toys :
1. Wait till amma/appa painstakingly fish out every toy from under the sofas and corners of the house and put them back into the baskets.
2. Thothakaa bothakaa nu run to the basket with a great show of enthusiasm to play with the toys.
3. Diligently pull out EVERY single toy and throw it around randomly.
4. Run away to the kitchen to attack the utensils set. Sighs.
Some shots of Pattani in his domestic avtar :

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Err.. kindly excuse the poor quality of pictures. Bad lighting and angles. And these moments don’t last you know ? So yeah, you are not allowed to think ill of the photographer’s skills


Dabbas can go find themselves some space. I want to sit on the kitchen shelf!



Most fascinating creatures : Kaa-kaa and bow-bow(Bow-bow? My kid? Really? I wonder all the time!) Everybody, I mean EVERYBODY else can only compete for spot number 3. You can take him anywhere – be it the temple, or teru mona kadai or the beach or a mall. Once he is home, ask him what he saw – the answer is either kaka or bow-bow. The look of extreme excitement and sheer delight on his face when he spots either of them on the street – Paaah! Incomprehensible only. I dread at the thought of the day when he might just throw a big drama to get a pup for a pet and I may have to give in. No, THAT I will not. DOT.


Me: Pattani, Thatha epdi ma pooja pannuvaa ?
Him: Holding out and shaking his hand, as if to aatify the mani.

In a totally different context, Pattani running around in high spirits at 11 pm refusing to yield to my superhuman efforts to put him to sleep and a tired,sleepy me, desperate to hit the bed:
Me : Pattani, Yen paduthara? Toongu ma. Amma ku tookama vardhu. Mani enna terima ?
Pattani : Stops suddenly, looks and me and does the mani aatifying action.
I look confused, and burst out laughing.
#HowDoesOneExplainHomonymsToAOneYearOld. Well, on second thoughts, one year olds are way cuter not knowing!



How the iPad = Appa

K was away on a business trip for all of a week and he missed out on being home for Diwali. Absolute bummer. It was his first week-long separation from Pattani after I came back from mum’s and the bub was severely warned that he dare not forget Appa’s moonji while he was away. I was instructed to make repeated references to Appa and record the (supposed)reactions of him severely missing Appa. This, despite the fact that we had already agreed to video-chat every single day. So every morning/night depending on when both of us were free, I would log on from the iPad and both of us would excitedly shout out from both ends to Pattani – “Appa paaaruu kutti, Appa paaru. Appa Paaru”(Yes, that was the bulk of our chat on any given day). Pattani would look at the iPad curiously as if expecting Appa to suddenly pop out and take him out for tata. Just to make his point, he would stare pointedly at K and mumble “tata” a few times. When it became clear that Appa was not going to oblige, he would lose interest and proceed to other important activities like
1.try to grab the iPad from my hand and casually drop it down with as much force as he can muster(and that is not less by any standards)
2.make a beeline for the nearest open almirah and pull down the books from the lower shelf and flip through them for 3 seconds before gleefully tearing them apart.
3.stand on tiptoes and pull down the just folded/ironed clothes with great effort
4. scan the floor for the tiniest, most invisible particles, quickly pop it in, and keep his mouth tightly shut when I demand to check.

Anyway, the Diwali was thus spent with us showing off our new clothes and the gazillion bakshanams that the paatis had whipped up for us, over chat and K gloomily holed up in a crazy office/hotel room. The only good thing that came out of this was that Pattani properly learnt the word Appa. His vocab list now reads : Appa, akkam(water), tata(but of course!), mumm-mumm and some random gibberish animal noises like kaa-kaa, boww.

When K returned, and things got back to routine, one morning K was holding Pattani and I took out the iPad to book some tickets. Pattani suddenly leapt out of his hands and made a grab for the iPad, shouting ‘Appa! Appa’. K was quite confused by the sudden outburst of paternal louu and very importantly said – “Kutti, Appa inga irukken ma, inga vaa”. Pattani refused to so much as look at him, kept turning the iPad and looking at it from all angles and going “Appa! Appa!” all the time. K looked stumped while I burst out laughing. One week of “Appa paaru” at the Ipad had done this to him! 😀

Now, more than ten days later, the iPad is still “Appa”. Even when K is playing with him, and he happens to spot the Ipad, K is royally ignored and he rushes to grab the iPad going “Appa!Appa” with great delight while K quietly mumbles -“Dei, naa thaan da Appa!

Ten. Almost..

Taa taa is the biggest obsession. I reckon he dreams of tata even in his sleep. He wakes up in the morning, you pleasantly coo a “Good Morning Pattani” to him, he gives you a wide smile and goes taaa taaa, with those hand movements(you get the picture?). Ditto behavior when both of us get back home after work. Appa and thatha are his standard tata-takers(?!). They only have to change to some decent t-shirt to activate his tata-radars. Irrespective of which corner of the house he is in, he crawls to them in top speed and lies right beneath their feet and looks up with those large, puppy eyes. Of course, the ONLY thing one can do is pick him up, cuddle him and take him out. For all this, one must think we take to to some fancy place each time, but no! His daily visitations extend to no further than the end of the street, but those HAVE TO HAPPEN, rain or shine, at least 5 times a day. Either that, or you can have your head eaten by taaa taaa taaa taa till you give in.(with those hand movements, of course. I admit he makes a damn cute sight when he does that.)


Veshamam is his middle name. I cannot exactly recall when the tiny helpless tot turned into this tsunami that he is now. From rolling over, he proceeded to commando crawl, then sat up and quickly learnt to grab on the sofa to hoist himself up to stand. All of two feet that he is, the damage that he is capable of is about tenfold. At least five hundred times a day he HAS to:

  • Grab on to anything that he can lay his hands on(least affected by insignificant issues like his hold-object not being strong enough to actually support him) and stand up.
  • Pull down with a flourishing clash anything he can lay his hands on
  • Appear mildly startled if the subject in question breaks into pieces(like a forgotten teacup)
  • Act as if nothing happened exactly one second later and proceed to pull down the next available item.
  • Meanwhile, suddenly forget that he is still needs to hold on to support to remain standing, and flail hands wildly to reach out to some fascinating object beyond reach. Crash land. Look around to see if anybody gives terrified gasps or shrieks. If yes, howl loudly and bask in the pity and consequential cuddles. Else, ignore and stand up again.


Remember how I said he takes to strangers pretty well? I think I spoke too soon. The size of the world population that is allowed to hold him stands at a grand total of 7. That includes me and K, both sets of grandparents and an uncle of ours(for the reason that he tirelessly takes him out for tata.) Everybody else, you may entertain Pattani from a distance, he will bestow upon you the most beatific of smiles. He will constantly keep checking if he has your attention for all his exploits. If you ignore him, he will draw your attention. You may talk to him all you want. But hold him, you cannot. I do not know why or when he developed such deep stranger anxiety, but it peaked during a recent family function that we attended where he absolutely refused to leave our side and created a massive scene if anybody tried to pry him away. Who am I kidding? Somewhere deep down, I felt like a million bucks. Who knows how long this phase is here to stay, and when it does, who wants to pass up the chance of being the most favored person to earth to Pattani ?


His favorite toys are not the bagful of innovative stuff that loving friends of ours have bought him on their visits. Not the ones that we so carefully and thoughtfully picked out for him. What he loves playing with are our tupperware lunchboxes and other storage cans, laundry bags, preferably full of dirty clothes and Appa’s cherished xBox games(pull, bang,chew – what else qualifies as play? Huh ?). Oh, I forget paper. Some paper passion he has. A fond mother can only hope this obsession for eating paper will turn into a passion for books some day. Wondering what the connection is? I said fond mother,right? Other sly activities include pulling down the tomato/onion basket down and squashing tomatoes, spotting an extremely invisible grain of rice or urad dhal and stuffing it into his mouth.

Such is life now.



Just as I was giving Pattani a sip of water yesterday from the feeding bottle, he held the bottle firmly in his tiny hands and tried to drink. He pulled away from the bottle briefly, distracted by something, and just as I thought I should bring the nipple back to his mouth so that he could continue drinking, he managed to do it himself! It was a first, considering he started drinking from a bottle since barely a fortnight. For a second K and I looked at each other, with a wide grin on our faces and continued to stare at him as he happily drank away and K said – Dei Bondoos , big boy aitiya da nee ? Neeye kudichipiyaa ?
6 months it has been.From time to time, I flip through the gazillion pictures that we have clicked right from the day he was born, and every single time, it seems incredible – the transition from the helpless infant , wailing away for the most part, and fitting in a highly packed eat-pee-poo-sleep cycle in the remaining time to this bundle of energy who leaves us wondering what is on store the next minute all the time. He is already rolling all over the place and grabbing at everything in sight and invariably putting it in his mouth. The teethers don receive as much love as his favorite kutti pillow when it comes to chewing. As conscientous parents, we randomly mumble – hygiene, infection etc, but then just give up and watch the fun!
Since I am doing a pretty bad job of putting down the woah moments here as and when they come to pass, I thought I would record some of those before they become hazy memories !
1. Right from around 3 months or so, he kept turning to his side, trying to turn his hip. We thought the hero was going to disregard all milestone charts and roll over at as early as three months. It did happen – in the middle of a huge fit of crying and anger(you would be surprised at how angry 3 month olds can get). We put him down on the bed for a bit as a desperate attempt to stop his crying and suddenly he started making valiant efforts to turn over, forgot all about his crying and plonked on his tummy successfully! We were, as usual being the excited paparazzi and surrounding and capturing the moments on various dokku phone cameras. Sadly, he forgot about this little feat of his for more than a month. And then, there was this mega-cool wing meetup that was happening in New York(oh yeah, Amreeka is the new Ispahani). Remember how we were back in touch after college days through Whatsapp? That group is still very alive and is somewhere on the top of the chart of non-baby stuff that totally make my day(s). These girls wanted a facetime date with Pattani when they met up, and when it happened, I was desperately trying to engage MY friends in conversation while they were busy cooing over him. He realised all the attention he was getting I suppose, and like a puppet on cue, rolled over like a pro and flashed a smile. The brat! I ran out screaming to get K and his parents to watch, and sure enough, he rolled over a few more times that day. So, how cool is that – some of the best friends Ive ever had, who now live across the world actually were the first ones to watch Pattani turn over, real time ! 😀
2. A few days after this happened, he got bored of turning over onto his tummy at the drop of the hat to observe the machining of the world and discovered the fun of being mobile. So we just had to set him down on the bed for a moment , and instantly he would roll off to the other end. Remember Angapradakshinam ? Great fun! Only we could not follow suit, adn had to keep running around the bed like ball boys to protect him !
3. I took him for a concert by TM Krishna, sometime in April. It was at Ram Samaj, where the traffic outside caused enough disturbance to the audience and a loud baby might not make much of difference. I sat down near the entrace and set him on my lap, ready to head out in case he got restless. A brilliant ragam thanam pallavi in the pancharatna ragas was on. Both of us were totally absorbed in it in our own ways. Pattani did not so much as let out a whimper, though he did get startled a couple of times by the sudden enthu bursts of the mridangist.) And so we made our 45-minute kacheri debut. On the same note, the only way to keep him self-entertained when all of us are busy is to play music and leave him with something chewable. Contentment prevails, atleast for a while.
4.He is turning out to be the youngest vambu-party ever known to mankind. Entertain him with toys, he is bound to get bored sooner or later. Talk to him about anything under the sun, you will be rewarded with wide mokka vaai chirippus. Strangely, and thankfully, he takes to new faces quite well. He acts all smiley and social – sometimes i wonder if his restless crying in the house is simply because he is plain bored of us :|. Thanks to this, his everyday walk with K to the end of the street, which is exactly 4 houses away takes close to 20 minutes, with good mornings and greetings to next-door Arjun “Anna”(who, by the way is 11 months old), paal kaari, theru-mona auto driver, pakathu flat walking couple and in general any aquaintance who happens to be at his gate.
5. Peek-a-booo ! and nandu-vardhu,nari vardhu(no point translating that) are his giggle triggers at the moment. Heee-Haww. Also, if you leave a ball somewhere near his legs, he manages to pick it up, balancing it in between his legs, lift it up, transfer it to his hands, and.. take it to his mouth (what else!). You can imagine the circus, right? 😀
PS: The brat has started to sprout a tooth! Cannot see it yet, can barely feel it.. but here is to more biting ! :/

Such is life now !

When you bring your face really close to his when he is lying down, and he intently peers at you while his little fingers run all over your face, at times trying to grab your mouth and at times pinching your cheeks, and always trying to tug at your chain. <spectacle wearers are sure to get their glasses pulled off.>

When you have not had enough of your beauty sleep at 4 in the morning but sigh, you know the little one next to you is up and active already. Gone are the days when he would lie there on his back silently kickboxing into thin air. Now, he moves around till he gets perpendicularly between the two of us and rolls to lie on his tummy, and diligently makes sure both of us are aware of his achievements by kicking K with his legs and scratching me with his hands. You look at the clock groggy eyed and its barely 4. You stare at Pattani as if to ask what on earth he is up so early for. And THEN he flashes that toothless grin. Phut! You banish all thoughts of getting back to sleep, and scoop him up to give him his first peck for the day !

When he is lying on his tummy making valiant efforts to move forward, and you egg him on, going “vaa vaa vaa, pattans vaa vaa” and amidst the million other sounds he is making, he suddenly blurts out vaa vaa vaa in that baby voice. And you feel like he just spoke a full fledged sentence. Remember THIS ad ? We are much like that, yes !  The husband gets over ambitious and spends the whole Saturday coaching him to say Appa, and obviously has to concede defeat. He is all of five months old, after all, you chide him. Somehow it has caught on, and Paati casually sits beside him and says Appp-paa ! The bub looks at her and repeats – Pa , appp-paaa ! The look and smile on K’s face – you are quite sure you have never seen the likes of it anywhere else.

When he makes a big show of feeling sleepy and you put him in his thooli and start rocking. No sir, mere rocking is not enough. You sing all the songs you can recollect. Status:awake. You tune all the gibberish you can muster and make it sound like a lullaby. Status:awake. Repeat cycle. You start losing patience and your shoulders cry in protest. You bend down and peep into the thooli to see what he is upto. He is mildly startled, quickly gains composure and gives you that impish shy smile, the traces of sleepiness nowhere to be found. You grin back, trying not to think of the futility of the efforts of the last 30 minutes.