Tag Archives: wishes

What A Difference A Year Makes

24 Nov

A year. It’s been a whole 365 days since this happened and I played a cheesy Disney song to announce it.  Clearly, I’m not going easy on the cheese anytime soon, for here’s a letter I wrote my baby today, on his 1st birthday, as I watched him sleep and plotted how to sneak in a few kisses while he couldn’t protest. Thanks for being patient with my absence from this blog and coming along on this journey with me. Things will be more regular around here, fingers crossed, because we have a new series starting on the blog next week!

~

My precious pumpkin, Daddy’s titto tapeto, our babyjaan,
Today is a day I did not dream of. Blame it on your Mummy’s limited imagination. I couldn’t look past my pregnancy beyond the point of your birth. I knew the months that followed would be a whirl, a blur, and require all my resources, so your first birthday wasn’t something I actively thought about. Yet, here we are. And I’m short one infant and tall on a trailblazing toddler.

I have frequently wondered after having you why people (and parents in particular) focus so heavily on the hardest bits of those early months. They go on about sleep deprivation and 360 degree life changes. Nobody actively comes up to you and simply says this:
It will be more wonderful than you ever imagined.

And it has been. It is.
Except for 3 hellish days in the hospital at 9 weeks old, when you smiled at us through a haze of 103 degree fever, every day has been pure joy, every moment a blessing, every smelly diaper as fragrant as Kate Spade’s latest perfume. Okay, I kid about that last one.

From beaming megawatt smiles starting at 6 weeks to calling out to passersby in the park to charming a planeload of passengers, people are your thing. In your universe, there are no strangers, only babies and big people waiting for the immense privilege of showering Your Royal Divaness with attention. First-born much? To steal a line from Plath, you endow the sun with gold, our gleaming California raisin.

Before you arrived, I was convinced you would be your own person, with independent attributes and characteristics. So it came as a surprise (and a burgeoning sense of alarm) to see you were so like me. Not just the shape of my eyes and my poker straight hair and large flat feet, you have a giant dose of your mother’s rather… umm, wilful, voluble personality, and poor Daddy doesn’t know what hit him. Two fire signs in the house are a shade too much roaring for your patient, gentle father, the love of your life and clearly your preferred parent.

I am your dal chawal, your constant, your everyday. You can’t miss someone who won’t go away. But Daddy, he’s your tandoori chicken, the cherry atop the icing atop the butter sponge cake, and my gladdest, most contented moments this past year have been watching the two of you together, mock-wrestling, giggling, grabbing hair and collars and using Daddy’s ears as handles while perched on his shoulders.

You complete us in ways we never thought possible. Physically, Daddy and I are ready to retire and nap for 7 years. As late 30s parents, the relentless exhaustion of it all has taken a toll, to be honest. But we wouldn’t have had you at any other time. Because it is now that we are mature enough to enjoy you without sweating the small stuff, stable enough to be a team and provide well for you, and old enough to know what matters to us without getting into skirmishes with other parents on their opinions and preferences.

With the exception of your refusal to sleep through the night consistently, you’ve been an easy baby, doling out radiant smiles to everything in your path, staying on a schedule like a clockwork mouse, adjusting your own meal and nap times as you grew, and amusing yourself while I tended to chores. You are secure in the knowledge that you can roam free, Mummy is a mere grunt away at any given time, and I love how you look back to check for approval for just half a tick before you hurl yourself into new discoveries or at an unsuspecting person not used to your friendliness.

And this is what I wish for you today, my solitary-candled babe: Fly into this world that so fascinates you, fling your arms around it, I will ardently wish for it to love you back. And when you need the comfort of home, my sweet child, your dal chawal will always be waiting.

Happy birthday, mein Liebling. Mummy’s got the whole world in her hands. ❤

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Some Dates More Than Others

10 Sep

Apologies for being AWOL! I’ve been cheating on this blog with other social media and should really enter rehab. Or maybe just post oftener. Which would you prefer? I hope you enjoy reading this straight-from-my-bleeding-heart piece. And come back after you’ve wiped off all the mushy goop! I’ve got more posts lined up as penance.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. What you’ve been up to, the most annoying thing about last week, your biggest accomplishment since I last posted, to tell me that there’s a universe beyond Baby Pooped Today!!!….or simply to say hi? 🙂

~

As teenagers, we would go shopping and she’d rein me in. “No, you cannot buy all seven tee shirts. Choose two.” And I’d grumble that she was my mother all over again.
When I was between degrees and unemployed, I packed up my life in far too many boxes and landed up to share her little room with an eccentric heater in Philadelphia. Freezing Philly winters were no match for this girl’s warmth.
When the Boy and I decided to get married and all hell broke loose, she gave me the confidence that I was doing the right thing. She spent the night before my wedding holding my hand and the morning of shedding quiet tears as I was dressed and made up.
Her hand was on my shoulder as I signed on the dotted line that would legally permit me to torture the man forever.
Her baby is my first baby. Moving away from him was physically painful. Forever a cheerleader for little girls, he taught me how to be mad about baby boys, setting the stage for the full blown Raja Beta Syndrome I now live with.
I informed her I was pregnant using an inside joke we had laughed about since college.

RRV[Credit: Raja Ravi Varma, Lady Holding a Fruit]

I named my son in her honor.
Considerate even as a zygote, she arrived on the planet 10 months ahead of me to vet the place for suitability. “It’s fine,” she yelled, giving me two baby thumbs up, “head on down!”
This girl I met a month shy of 16, I don’t know how I would have lived these past 21 years without her. But thankfully, I don’t have to know. Because we’re going to grow old and crotchety and annoy the eyeroll out of each other across the continents, an Indian in America and an American in India, for that’s how we roll, her and I.
Happy birthday, my J.
I thank the powers that be for September 10th, 1977.

Rounding Up

31 Dec

Because bullet points are my new best friend, here is a quick round-up of the year we called 2013.

Discovery of the Year: Mascara. Hitherto discarded as something that made my lashes bump into my glasses, I got the waterproof version and Oh. My. Lord. My life will never be the same again. On some days, I even manage to wear it clump-free and not look like Helena Bonham Carter’s Kumbh Mela twin.

Realization of the Year: I am capable of single-minded devotion and razor-sharp prioritization when it comes to relationships. Exactly 7 people in this world truly matter. Everybody else is lovely but entirely peripheral.

New-found loves: Pilates and dancing. And the former had a lot to do with the latter.

First-time travel: Seattle (stunning), Leavenworth (so charming), Las Vegas (dazzling), Blue Lakes (serene), Russian River (picture-perfect), and Carmel (quaint).

Where I would have loved to go: The little Gujarat village I yearn to see.

People: 2 women who came into my life in the latter half of the year and have benefited me tremendously. An addition to the family! One relationship I am relieved is over. My inner circle as supportive and blessed as ever.

Cities: Bombay, still home, still the city of my heart. San Francisco, a new love interest I am casually dating because… *pause for effect*….I discovered the Mission. London, the soulmate I continue to miss, knowing it is out there but we must live apart.

Time well spent: In a hospital. As a caregiver. Night and day, for weeks on end. I have never felt more fulfilled.

Culinary Development: Baking from scratch! Butter sponge (perfect texture, not enough sugar) and French Apple cake (bellissima! Yes, I’ll share the recipe sometime).

Focus: Telling stories for non-profits I believe in. Meeting some incredibly inspiring people through my work. Discovering that the Valley is a generous, socially responsible place.

Connections: To some really smart, successful, and interesting people who are part of the Indian diaspora doing wonderful work for the motherland.

Most terrifying moment: Watching a loved one battling for their life. May you never have to witness it.

Rediscovered: Swimming. How I love the water!

Lost: A pant size.

Gained: Two jasmine plants, a newly-minted sister-in-law, and the perfect gold pump. *respectful silence*

Not lost: The ability to roll on the floor at potty jokes. The hope that 2014 will be bigger, better, brighter. I’m champing at the bit to get started!

~

Happy New Year to you, dear reader. 😀

Let’s wish each other’s dreams come true.

Turning Five + A Birthday Giveaway

1 Jul

Five eventful years ago, Little Blogette (a moniker so creative and original, it blew rings of neon smoke from the ears of all who heard it) made her debut with this post. As is wont to with a newborn, plenty of well-wishers came to oooh and awww and tinkle silver-and-pink rattles by her cribside. As is also wont to, by the time you’re done attending the 5th birthday party of a child whose cutest years are past her, you stagger out, topped up with delicious but predictable cake and a lame return present that looks suspiciously recycled.

So you’re off the hook with all the cutesy things fond parents expect to hear about their snot-faced little wide-eyed monster. But wait! I’m not quite done. If I have reaped the joys of connecting with so many of you over the years, if only through the limited interaction of a comment, a friendly email, or “Hi, I’m a lurker, okay bye!” kind of message, it’s time for me to pay it forward.

As a small gesture of gratitude for the sustenance of this blog and to show my appreciation to those of you who come back, year after year, I will be donating $50 to a non-profit organization of my choice, one whose work and cause I believe in and support. But HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN:

For every comment received on this post, from the time it is published until midnight on July 15th, I will add $1 to the base amount on your behalf. So feel free to say hello, tell me you’re a lurker in your tiniest font and then vanish forever, share your favorite birthday memory, or….only if you want now, no pressure….wish this blog a happy, meaningful birthday. Multiple comments from the same IP address will not be approved, and yes, I’m so magical, I can tell. 😛 Comments are moderated, so don’t be concerned if you don’t see yours right away.

What do you get out of it other than warm fuzzies? I’m hoping it’s a chance to band together to offer the world a little humble something. And something is more than nothing, even if only in the number of letters it carries.

So tell your friends and family, sign in as Rumpelstiltskin-does-the-Hula for all I care, but don’t be shy, send some dollars this way! There are some fab organizations out there who could do with a leg up. And I’ll be sure to share details of the donation with you.

Oh, and before you leave, have a slice of lime tart, specially baked to celebrate the occasion.  You know what this means, don’t you? The Happy Hausfrau will be along to share the recipe soon. 🙂 Bon appetit, my friends, thank you for reading Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas and get clicking on that comment button!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sasoo Na Aansoo

20 Mar

Contrary to what you’ve heard, I haven’t run off to perform item numbers in Bollywood (although refusing stampeding hordes of directors is tiresome, ohhh my throbbing temples!)  My online silence stemmed from an inconvenient brat called Life who sometimes demands our exclusive attention.  Posts will be skimpy for a while, so bear up, will you? But now that I’m here, and with Naurooz/Jamshedi Navroze right around the corner, let’s revive our Parsipanu section!

Today’s phrase, uniquely my community’s and one that amuses me most is:

“Tohri sasoo kanda khai”

Pronounced: taw-ree saa-soo kaan-daa khaa-y

Direct translation: May your mother-in-law eat onions.

Mrs. Kandawalla

[Credits: Picture by Robert Recker/Corbis. Located on Google Images.]

Why onions? Who knows. Perhaps we secretly love to see our mothers-in-law weep. Maybe the speaker wants all the eeda to herself and so wishes the humble onion on the sasoo. Or it could be that feeding one’s mother-by-marriage stinky bulbs is a legit way to stay away. Whatever the motivation, this phrase is used as an exclamation when one has done something foolish, best said while slapping palm to forehead.

For example:

Oops, I added salt twice to the chicken gravy!

Tohri sasoo kanda khai! Now throw in a few potatoes to absorb the excess.

 

So this Navroze, wish someone’s mother-in-law a mouthful of onions—but be sure to keep yours happy with a box of mithai. 😉

Navroze Mubarak, people. This Spring, may we look at life anew, and kiss second chances full on the mouth.

Dragonworks

31 Dec

And so it is that we come to another end. Symbolic, obviously, for a shift occurred a while ago and the earth changed, and I with her.

2012 was all about peaks and troughs. Of extremes, learning, and deep realization. A momentous year, of change, insight, and revelation. Like a train changes tracks mid-route, but not quite as seamlessly, I halted, regrouped, and reassessed. Was aided in startling ways by unexpected travelers. I discovered who my very own jedi were, and who wished me harm. Other people became surprisingly irrelevant as I turned inward and focused on my own growth. In the finals weeks of these months of tailspin, more curtains parted than ever before, a path confirmed its existence, and the knowledge I bear became surer, firmer, and better defined.

Gifts abounded. Some were snatched away, others atrophied, yet others morphed into opportunities to burnish the self.This has been less a year and more a journey. And, just as a road has mile markers, today is merely one such in the hike I started longer ago than memory permits.

I leave it to an all-time great to tell you how I feel:

And since we’re on the subject, and not because I wish to boast, oh no no, not at all, listen to this:

Three days ago, I stood in my aunt’s inhumanly immaculate kitchen in San Diego as she flung a casual hand out and asked, “Who was that English singer? The one who died?”

“Cliff Richard? Engelbert?” I asked, trying to rifle through memory for singers from her time.

“No, the Parsi one,” she persisted, “He was quiet, and lanky, with buck teeth.”

“Wait…you mean Freddie Mercury?”

“Yes, that’s what he called himself later, isn’t it? I knew him as Farrokh. We used to play together in Panchgani, and he went to boarding school there.”

“You hung out with Freddie Mercury?”

“We were just 11!”

“YOU HUNG OUT WITH FREDDIE MERCURY??????”

“Look, here’s a picture.”

And so it was, that with a clap of thunder and a strangled scream, this gentle lady with whom I share our fathers’ bloodline, watched me yell for the Boy, disintegrate on her marbled floor, and call out “You knew Freddie Mercury!!!!” until the men in white coats arrived to haul me away.

Happy 2013, my friends.  Don’t stop me now. Much lies ahead.

From Darkness to Light

13 Nov

 

[Credits: OJ and her Olympus E-520 D-SLR]

Our warmest wishes for a bright festive season.