23 November, 2012

RIP Rajam Mami

The love for music is in the genes for a few.. I'm one of them. My grandmother learnt music, then my mother learnt music and I learnt music... Carnatic music. I couldnt finish because of the long boarding school life. But at the age of two my mum sent me to maami my neighbour. She taught me slokas and Carnatic music.

During summer holidays my brother and I used to go to her every weekend for a two hour long class. She would start and end with the sapasa. Her handwriting in Tamil was huge letters that filled our 'Paatu notes'. She remembered every lyric... However long the song was. My grandma learnt from her for almost 40 years. She always taught about how Mami remembered the lyrics of Ashtapathi that she taught my grandma for three years (it was that long). She taught 10 other maamis along with my grandma. Everyone found it weird how my grandma joined a group of maamis to learn music. My grandma was the start to music in my family and Maami was the reason.

Maami came from a family of singers from Tanjore. She shifted to Tirupur after her marriage. In and around the lanes we lived, many children and women came to learn from her. She never raised her voice to a naughty child. Never. Children cuddled around her during the weekends.

Every time she sang 'kurai ondrum illai', we would switch off our TVs four houses away to listen to her voice. Her voice was magnetising. She was probably the first person who took me onstage. I don't remember participating in anything on stage other than music.

Today I sing to my son while cradling him to sleep the songs that she taught me. When I knew I was pregnant, I knew I wanted my child to have some love towards music or anything related. I made sure I listened to music every time. There would be 'om' chants echoing in the walls of my house or there would be music playing on the speaker. At night I connected my iPod to a tiny tortoise speaker and kept it near my belly. My mum suggested I went to maami to learn a few new songs

My mum visited her in the hospital last week and she very sweetly reminded my mum to tall me to drink 'jeers water' since I was feeding my son. sweet old lady.

Around my third month I learnt five songs from her and then she fell ill. She had to have injections in her eye and many other procedures. She called and informed me not to come for a few days. Her family situation started getting worse and she was sent to a far off relative's house. Her health condition deteriorated and she was brought back here. With all the shunting around, she was slowing down. We expected her last and it came today. She breathed her last this evening at 530pm.

When the call came this evening, we knew what to expect. In a way we were all hoping it would come sooner, because of the suffering she was going through. I don't believe in the organised form of prayer through religions and their beliefs but from the bottom of my heart - I hope she attains peace in heaven with all the gods she sang about. I hope she enthrals many souls there with her voice.

Her voice echoed in the street we lived in... I can still remember her call me 'bragathi' and my brother 'pranava sai'. Not only do I remember the lyrics of the songs she taught us, I remember the handwriting of hers cause I stared so much at the letters till I learnt each . The woman who taught me my favourite songs and hopefully my son's too.

If I have to be thankful for something today, Maami, I thank the almighty you believe in for having sent you here and made us in the family love music. Thank you for the wonderful alaipayuthey times and long hours of music.

Truly the end of an era. Hope every woman and child you have taught sings for generations to follow.

RIP Maami.

22 November, 2012

Super 100!

It's my little boy's 100th day today and I'm super happy! Days have not gone by in a wink and all..every day has been enjoyed and photographed with joy!

Around the time I was pregnant with Gnan, 3 other very good friends were also expecting. 3/4 are boys and all my friends are enjoying the season just as much as I am. It's a very different journey as a parent. All of a sudden im the voice of someone entirely. The responsibility is fun!

Like one of my friends said "it's like I have a doll of my own that I can dress up, bathe, clean and cuddle!" It was one hilarious thing to say about her own child but the initial days felt like that. Mummy did the tough parts of putting him to sleep, bathing him. All, I had to do was feed him and choose the clothes he had to wear! (what fun)

100 days down! Online hi-fi!! 

21 November, 2012

Kasab.exe

So many people, so many opinions. Finally one giant secret and Kasab is hung. All the government needs to learn now is to maintain secrets like they did with this one.

 RIP Kasab. You took the wrong lane and you you die in shame. 

13 November, 2012

My no-cracker Diwali

Happy Diwali first of all!

Every year I keep thinking I should not burst crackers during Diwali, but fail miserably. This year the same thing happened, but I didn't buy any new ones. I finished all the old ones that were lying n my attic. Mum is happy the attic has more space now. It is my first Diwali as a parent and yet I acted like a kid when I saw my dad light the first cracker! Will power and self control.

Baby G's first Diwali - With the mild winter setting in, he loves to cuddle close into me and sleep with my quilt over his. He woke only at 845 which gave me loads of sleep. All I had to do was hand him over to my parents and start getting ready. When I was ready and downstairs G was all dressed up and smart! What fun it is to see dad carry him to the little Ganapathy statue in our lawn and make him pray there!

With a long photo session with my grandparents and his grandparents, G went back to sleep. He woke around our lunch time and Skyped with his mama in the UK. With all the excitement of it being Gs first Diwali and all, I was still feelIng low that it was my very first Diwali with my brother so far away. We had sent him a courier with murukkus and sweets and a bunch of new clothes for him.

Diwali this year was relaxed, slow, new, and wonderful in its own way! I watched Padhu burst a few crackers and then watched me little boy. Everyone else was saying he would burst crackers next year by now. 

It was definitely a happy Diwali! Hope all of you had a wonderful Diwali! 

NRIs, Overseas students, travellers who didn't get their Diwali at home in India - here's hoping one Diwali here will come soon! Distances make the heart grow fonder, don't they. 

08 November, 2012

Back actively, I hope.

The past couple of months have been a whirlpool of emotions and events. The baby arrived on August 14 and yes, my husband won. It's a boy and we're naming him Gnaneshwar. Gnan meaning knowledge and Eshwar name of the god whose temple we got married in. Not exactly his temple, but... Well, u get the point.

Gnan is 89 days old now. And the 89 days have been so new. Every minute he is awake is a moment to treasure (that's what I'll say now but I don't remember much from the labor room itself). I've been told a million time not to watch Gnan when he is asleep, but I just don't listen. Watching anyone sleep so peacefully makes me want to sleep too!

 After two months with my mother's guidance and care, Gnan and I have come to Padhu's house and started as a family. It's wonderful to experience one more person in our little nest. Now that I'm the only girl, I hope I get more than my share of love from the boys. Padhu wants Gnan to play hockey like he did, I want him to play hockey, badminton and football. Women ARE greedy! Padhu wants him to be a day scholar and I want him to go to boarding. Baby G is just 89 days and we are already fighting.

The three of us got a picture taken on the way to Gnan's vaccination and it's arriving on Monday. Firsts of everything is so beautiful! I having loads of fun being a new mother. Looking forward to being my son's loveable mother and good friend!

Back to the grind

With the start of the academic year here, life is almost back to the grind. School is priority uno for both G boy and me. This year looks pr...