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Zohaan’s diary-8


Three years on this wonderful planet with so many hours of discovery behind me and yes I can see the ocean stretching vast in front of me. Whew!!!! Life is beautiful indeed!

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I sometimes watch my old self in the videos my Ummamma had taken and I find it difficult to believe that that gurgling, crawling , tottering kid is me in another dimension. I find him cute though 

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My favourite pastime these days is role playing. Why limit myself , I ask , when I can get into the skin of so many characters ! My Ummamma is sporting enough to help me be different each day and sometimes during different times of the same day. So I am variously the scare-crow, lion, horse, doctor, policeman, vegetable vendor, chef, Santa and so on.

 

 

 

And I watch lots of Peppa Pig. Her piggy family is very endearing. I particularly like George to whom I relate a lot. For one thing, he’s always asking, “Why?,, which I too do a lot and then he has a “pet toy” obsession, just like me. He is fond of dinosaurs much in the same way as I am fond of horses. I have them in all sizes and colours and believe me, I know exactly which one was gifted by whom. I am a bit of a” clever clog” that way, just like Edmund the elephant in the Peppa series. Just for the record, kids at three can develop a sense of humour and I am really amused when Daddy pig tries to hang a picture and breaks the wall instead and by the scare the bull creates in the china shop. I admire Miss Rabbit a lot too. I actually noticed and remarked that she was doing so many things from selling ice-cream to driving the school bus, managing a stall at the fair, being in charge of the rescue helicopter and a host of other things. Peppa’s circle of friends have become my friends too and I kind of vicariously enjoy the fun they have when they all start jumping in muddy puddles. I try to do it occasionally nowadays when we go for a walk after the rains and I find one on the way somewhere. Besides, I’m picking up a lot of new words and expressions like “Yuckkkk!!!” and so on. The other day, Ummamma was very surprised when I said , “Hey Presto” , when over-turning the paper tumbler filled with sand to make a sand-castle. I think she made the connection later on when we watched that particular episode when they were in the sand-pit and doing the same thing.

That is to say…..we kids naturally pick up grammar, vocabulary and expressions , if we are exposed to it and we love it that way. I’m sure I’m going to hate it if the teacher is going to sit me down and make me learn idioms and phrases by rote.
My Ummamma is a bit concerned that I am not picking up Malayalam, which is supposed to be my mother tongue with as much as the same speed., although she does try to speak to me in all three languages..English, Hindi and Malayalam. All in good time, I tell myself.

Meanwhile, I’m paying more attention to the workings of the computer. C.mon, you have to admit that that is what I have to keep abreast of in my time. Ummamma is co-operative. So I’ve learnt to click on shapes and fill colours using MS paint. I can save my files and drag them to the folder she made for me, close the window and shut down the computer. I learnt to “Skip Ad” , long ago as also to choose new videos from the list showing up on the side-bar. Don’t be surprised. Most kids my age will be able to do that if you let them learn. Just be around to see that we don’t get into trouble. That’s all we ask. Leave the learning to us.

 

Ummamma lets me do most of the things I want to do without getting bugged, except when I won’t put back stuff after I’ve spread them all over the house…most of all when I maraud her kitchen shelves looking for props for my “chef “ act. Secretly , I think she enjoys role-playing with me, but won’t let on and I can quite understand that she gets tired of bending and picking up stuff. The thing is I like teasing her too and my refusal is not so much impertinence as much as a strange delight I get when I look at her face trying to pretend anger. I can see through it and she knows I can see through it..but we both persist with the pretence .

Ummamma is glad that I like singing because it gives her an excuse to bleat out herself. I like songs with a good beat to it and I like to see them being performed alive . I try to ape the swaying movements of the singers when I’m crooning with my toy guitar much to the amusement of those who watch me. Enjoy… I say…just don’t go cackling too loud. I still find that upsetting.

 

Food is full fledged…love fish fry and chicken with rice and pappad and tomato salad. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Not fascinated by chocolates or biscuits , although I love to go around the grocery store picking them up from the shelves and putting them in the basket. Grandma puts them back before we reach the counter.

I like helping Ummamma water the plants and I do share her joy at watching things grow. She likes it that I do. What she doesn’t like is that I’m a bit stingy with my smiles and take a long, long while to warm up and become friends with grown-ups. What can I say? The other day, when I went around to meet my friends wearing my Santa cap and mask, Chrysalda Aunty who happened to be around told me that she had been good and so should be given a gift. When I asked her what she wanted, she said that she wanted a smile and hug from me. I was quick to respond, “That I don’t have”. May be I meant that I didn’t have that in my Santa bag. My Ummamma was aghast, I know. I think she has to accept that I’m coding my own individual software and it may not always tally with her own or anyone else’s.

Come to think of it , I’d have a lot of questions to ask the grown-ups around me too, you know. For one, why can’t all my dear ones be staying under the same roof ? Why do I have to be lugged around to different houses to be spending time with them during different slots ? My parents live in one house, Ummamma lives in another, Uppappa is still further away and my Dad’s parents too live in another house, though not too far  away.  I love it best when they’re all around together at the same time.

For the present , I am making the most of being a child. I am swamped with love and they do try to make an effort of trying to understand me for most of the time. The rest I guess, I’ll have to say , “forgive them, for they know not what they do “ 

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And I know that animals and people die. I haven’t quite got the hang of it completely…but I know that my great grandmother and great grandfather died and that they were both old and sick. Then I heard that the doctor uncle in the neighbourhood had died too and that he too was old and sick . So may be old and sick people die. I’m not sure . I’ve seen ants die and mosquitoes die and that they stop moving. I was more than a bit scared the other day when a lab attendant used a syringe to draw my Mamma’s blood for a routine health-check up. Was she not well ? Don’t quite know what was going through my head…but sometimes acquiring knowledge isn’t all that pleasant, let me tell you. I think you need to slow it down sometimes, may be , or at least be aware that we kids find it difficult to process the new inputs as rationally as you would want us to. Just be sure you’re explaining it to us in a way that doesn’t unnerve us, okay?

So that’s the round-up for my third birthday. Looking forward to a lot of fun in the evening.
Love you all. 

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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s diary-7


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That’s me as I look now at one year and nine months. People say I’m cute and I tend to believe them . I’ll try and not let my endearing ways go to my head. It’s difficult when I have my dear and near ones doting over me. But I just don’t want to have it any other way.

A quick update on how much I have grown since I last spoke to you all. I’m learning to speak, I have stopped eating mashed food and have regular stuff which I’m now able to chew . I love fried fish and chicken and cheese and as of now, not one of the teeth I have, is a sweet one. I’m picking up words in three languages, Malayalam which is supposed to be my mother-tongue , English and Hindi as well because the grown-ups around me speak in all three of them.

I have caught on to all the nursery rhymes I’ve been hearing and can sing along in my own style. I don’t get all the words right but am generally in synchronicity with the tune and rhythm. I can recognise shapes and match colours although I would still not be able to tell you which is which. I’m not too much of a toy addict but I love all the story books Ummamma has bought for me. We read together a lot and I can answer quite correctly when she asks me questions in between to check whether I’m following the tale.I want to do things on my own and am learning quite a lot in the process.

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My toilet training is continuing. A few days ago, I literally got shit-scared. I was walking about in my shorts without my diapers and suddenly the pressure built up in my bowels. Even as I started walking towards Ummamma declaring my intent , saying “poopoo” as loudly as I could, a big one slid down catching me unawares and giving me a fright. But I’m slowly learning to give advance notice.

I’ve just returned from a ten day trip to Delhi and I absolutely must share evertyhing with you all. There was so much packed in, that only putting it down in some semblance of order and chronology will give some respite to the sensory bombardment going on in my little brain. Must confess…I just loved it 

For starters..this was my first flight and guess what ? This was my Ummamma’s maiden flight as well !!!

I loved strolling around inside the airport and the take-off and watching the huge wisps of cottony clouds as we flew above them; loved the twinkling lights of Delhi as we started landing and the stillness of speed gradually getting tangible with the beginning of movement on the long stretches of the roads seen windingly between buildings looking like stacked-up matchboxes. Ummamma feels though that barring the the thrill of a first experience, I would definitley enjoy a train journey much more as there was so much to see of people and places. All in good time, I tell her.

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We stayed at Madhumamma’s place. They go a long way back together. Ummamma told me that she knew Madhumamma from the time she used to visit her best friend at her home, while in the 2nd or 3rd standard. Madhumamma was a tiny-tot then and was staying in the same building in the lower portion of the house and she would follow them around with her beaming smile, which remains her signature even now. I love her lots . She had come and stayed with us in Banglaore in June with Naani Ma and Bina Aunty and her niece Tavisha and we gelled well even then. The comfort level between us is amazing. She really is a sweetheart . I call her Madhumamma most of the time , but sometimes I just like to address her as simply Madhu and she swears that no boyfriend of hers has uttered her name with the same endearing inflection.
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The day after we landed we went out for lunch. Boy!!! Was it hot out there!!!Got back and ventured out again only after sundown.Kajal Aunty, Ummamma’s friend had met us for lunch and she accompanied us back and while I had my siesta, they sat talking reminiscing about old days. I came to know that not long after Ummamma took up her job in Delhi, she had taken my Mamma along with her to her office on one of the mornings when they had the rehearsals for the Republic day parade and that she was then only as small as I am now. Imagine that !!!!

Dilli Haat was a nice place to visit in the evening . It’s a place where all the artisans come and set up their shops and sell their stuff directly. Very colourful it all was and Mamma went strolling around on her own and picking up stuff, while Ummamma, Madhumamma and I waited for Vijaya Aunty and Vidhya Aunty to join us. I just had a cursory glance and didn’t have lingering eyes for the most of the other stuff there , but a balloonwala continued to hold my attention till the grown-ups eventually finished all their gup-shup and decided to call it a day. Then they let me choose one. They kept commenting on my choice of a heart-shaped red balloon. Believe me..it was the colour and not the emotional sissiness that helped me decide.

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The next day all of us went to Noida to see a film along with the teachers of the school they are all a part of. Pretty cool it was..the huge big , bright hall suddenly becoming dark and the screen coming all alive with all kinds of colours and movement and sounds. Of course after the novelty wore off, I preferred to go up and down the aisle and sit down mid-way, humming all the nursery rhymes I knew. I could see Ummamma keep a watchful eye on me even in the darkness . I didn’t want to give her too much trouble , the poor dear and at the end of it they were all quite impressed by my sober and almost grown-up co-operation.Well! What can I say? Some days are like that.

Ummamma marched off to meet her friends and collegues in her old work-place the following day, while Mamma and I went off in another direction to be with her childhood friend and schoolmate Suparna Aunty. Ooh! Her little baby was so cute and Ninnu Didi , her elder one was a sweet darling too. After she got back from school she spent all her time playing with me,till it was time for us to get back. Supu Aunty gave me a lot of lovely books. By the way, I can actually say all those names out loud and quite clearly at that. I picked up a lot of new words these days too and I even surprise myself when I realise that I can actually seggregate the English, Hindi and Malayalam words. What do you know of how much we have to learn to handle and assimilate so early in our lives!!!!!

And then there was this visit to the school in the running of which Madhumamma, Ummamma and her other friends are involved. I can only say that I was kind of overwhelmed. Any which way I turned there were kids around and after a while I think I tired myself out a little trying to focus on each group, one after another.

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It helped a little that I got to see my bhaiyyas who had come to stay with us for a few days in Bangalore.. I recognised all of them and I was particularly glad to see Sunil Bhaiyya who I prefer to address as Shubham Bhaiyya, by the way.

Some names get stuck in my brain and I can only assosciate certain people with the names that have sat lightly on my tongue. There is this boy of my age whomis my next door neighbour. His name is Faizi , bur for some reason when I had tried uttereing it in the beginning it would come out as Jabal and that’s what I continue to call him . And this other friend of mine, Sareena is Tabathatha for me. If I remember correctly, Ummamma had at some point of time introduced her to me as Sareenathatha (in Ummamma’s native place, muslims refer to their older sisters as “Ithatha”). So that’s how this particular nomenclature must have got wired in my head.Anyways, I don’t think they mind.

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We packed in a trip to a place called Mukteshwar as well. As far as I was concerned it could’ve been Timbuktoo or Jumrathalaiyya. What pepped me up was the fact that I had three doting women accompanying me. And don’t let it be said that I am a cranky little brat. It took us around eight hours to get there by road and I not only was well behaved , but kept them entertained as well with my rendering of Old Macdonald had a farm all through the way. I did a lot of improvisation as well which added to their amusement. So in my version Old Macdonald had a Mamma and an Ummamma and other animals making all kinds of queer sounds.

We stopped by for a while near a huge lake called the Bhimtaal. I could see many boats around , but they were in a hurry and didn’t let me have thew pleasure of a ride in one of them. Saw plenty of very tall trees. Heard the driver uncle say they were green and silver oaks and deodars and pines.I liked the look of them.

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The cottage we checked into , which was arranged for by an acquaintance of Madhumamma , was really snug and nice and had a little balcony immediately overlooking a small garden with lovely blooms and with a view of the mountains in the distance. It was really nice being fed there ,sitting on a chair with the warm sunlight streaming in.

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Pity we could just spend only one whole day there, having reached there in the evening of the previous day and setting off again back to Delhi the next morning. Now this is not a habit I should be emulating for my respectful old Gran, but I saw her pinch some plants from the garden there. Old habits die hard , she said winking at me. Oh well! But I did learn to recognise the contours of mountains and my Pappa was quite impressed when I pointed to a biggish hillock while returning from the airport and called it a mountain.

The day after we returned from Mukteshwar, Madhumamma drove us to Gurgaon to spend wthe day with Naanima(her mother) and Bina Aunty (her sister) and Tavishadidi(her niece). Naani ma had prepared a delicious lunch of rice, raajma and bhujia with paneer (cottage cheese) and capsicum and raita.

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And my day was completed when a whole family of monkeys dropped by , jumping on to the balcony from the neem tree outside. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

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On the way back we stopped to pay our respects to Ustad Sabri Khan , the renowned Sarangi Maestro, whom Madhumamma holds in high esteem. He was not keeping well and was looking frail and vulnerable and had the oxygen tubes helping him to breathe easier. One of his students sang for us and another young boy accompanied him on the tabla. He had just started learning a few months ago. I loved the rhythm his and created and I tried to follow suit tapping on my thighs . I must be very fortunate because Ustadji placed his hand on my hand and gave me his blessings, saying that I would become an artist.

I made friends with a lot of grown-ups who were Ummamma’s friends and who had known my Mamma from the time she was a little child and the next evening all of us went for a programme at India Habitat Centre,in which Venkitesh Uncle’s daughter Kunju didi , was performing along with many other senior artistes.

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Ummamma had decided that she would take me out of the auditorium if I got restless. It was an elite crowd and they all sat very daintily and “prohparly” on their chairs waiting for the programme to begin. I just couldn’t help myself and I began singing Old Macdonald, softly at first , but when it reached the second “EIEIO” , my voice had attained quite a crescendo . I guess they had all tried to ignore it at first, but now almost every head turned in my direction and Ummamma grabbed me up in her arms and walked out as nonchalantly as she could. As for me, I couldn’t have wished for a more packed audience for my first public performance.

We sat for a while on the grass outside and walked around the little pond full of lotuses, breathing in the rather intense fragrance of the Alistonia blooms and then Ummamma decide to have a peek at the photographs of one of the famous dancers , exhibited in the hall across. I spotted one where the background was all dark and there was this figure in red, highlighted in the centre. Before I could even ponder over it I had bleated out “Spiderman!!!”. I think Ummamma thanked her stars that there was no one close by to have overheard it. Grr!!! No point in explaining the myriad ways in which we form assosciations of colours and sounds and forms in our cerebral centres at my age.

Now that I am back , I can spend time again with my friends here and I’m enjoying that as well . And I will also get to wear all the new clothes Ummamma picked up from Sarojini Nagar. She just isn’t satisfied with the clothes she buys from the shops here. Way overpriced , she says . She won’t really admit it , but I think she misses Delhi from time to time.Mamma must have known that too 🙂

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s Diary -Part-6


May 13th, 2014

I know Ummamma has not really given you a chance to miss me as I know of her regularity in posting pictures .But a heart to heart teta -a-tete is a different thing right? Ah! You should all see me now, walking about on my own feet. I feel so liberated. I keep walking around the house, with no other specific purpose than that of exercising my limbs. I’m so happy my little leg muscles are so well co-ordinated now. Sometimes, yes, I am not able to control my pace .The lane outside had been all dug up and had even prevented my evening strolls in the pram. Too bumpy it had been. But now it’s all neatly tarred and it’s such a temptation to start running when grandma takes me out for a stroll Nothing comes in my way as the lane is pretty much away from the main road and in that hour in the morning when Ummamma takes me out for my walk, the office goers in my neighbourhood are still probably taking their bath or having breakfast.May be it is that my upper body has not learnt to keep up with the speed of my legs , but when I try to do a sprint , I fall down or may be I haven’t quite learnt to control the inertia of movement. I nearly had my first bruised knee this morning. The skin is intact, though it did turn a nice blushing pink.

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I’ve picked up a few words like “dress”, ta ta bye ( the usual stuff) , Mboo ( for the cow), and the more difficult word in malayalam for “water”. It still comes out a little garbled. Guess that particular sound is not easily mastered. It has to be rolled out from the tongue and my Ummamma says I can take my time because a lot of her grown up North Indian friends cannot say it even when the word is repeated to them several times.
But then I learnt to say “Thubham” for “Shubham” and that was quite a feat.

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Shubham is one of the group of students who had come visiting Ummamma from the school where she used to teach in Noida. She had been missing them I guess and had requested them to come over for a few days.

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I really loved having them around. They were ready to play with me any time of the day and I really got into the swing of things. And I got to roam around a bit too. Of course I loved the Bannerghata zoo the best. Got to see lions and tigers and bears and elephants at close range. We also went to Cubbon Park and Ulsoor Lake was also kind of nice . Went around boating in the lake for a few minutes sitting on Ummamma’s lap. Not much fun that.

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I preferred walking barefoot on the grass in the park . I remember how I used to lift my legs up when I was initially put down . Found the grass too tickly. Now I love it.

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I’m discovering “feelings” too. I remember that right from the beginning I’ve never been comfortable about increase in the decibels. I remember bursting into tears even at “Good boy!!!!” if the exclamation was rendered too loudly and when I wasn’t expecting the sound to burst upon me like it did. I still start crying when Amir Khan comes all wierdly dressed , making all those strange sounds in that song “Bum, Bum Bole”from the film “Taare Zameen par” but now, Ummamma keeps the volume quite low in the beginning and increases it when it comes to the part I like, because I do insist I want to watch that video. I can say “Bum bum” you see. Also know that the word also denotes my buttocks and can point towards it, if you askme to. I pretty much know all the body parts, external, that is. How could I not when I keep watching “Chubby cheeks” and “Head shoulders, knees and toes” for breakfast, lunch and high tea? No I don’t really have tea..it’s just an expression. I do like to take a few sips of lemon tea flavoured with mint from Ummamma’s glass whenever she has it, but it’s not as if I’m addicted to it or anything.
Those videos I’m addicted to though. I have to watch them when I’m having something to eat.

I was telling you about my emotional growth. Well, I’m not comfortable about anything being broken or something falling down or the characters crying.I don’t like to watch Piggy on the Railroad and Hickory Dickory Dock in the version where an elephant climbs up the clock and the clock breaks and it falls down. I don’t like watching the animation video of the malayalam song “Kakke kakke koodevide” either, because the crow comes flying down and snatches the cookie from the girl’s hand. It was pretty much okay in the story book “Sonali and the crow”. I had even learnt to imitate how Sonali cries when the crow takes away her biscuit and I think the expectation of turning over the page to the picture where her mom cuddles her in her arms, took away much of the trauma. In the video the swooping down is too real and there is no mother around. I’ve realised there is a pattern there because I also don’t mind the story where the little kid breaks his balloon and cries because in the very next page the dad appears with a bunch of balloons and takes him in his arms and gives him a nice big hug. My Ummamma would tell you that we never really grow up and that our sense of well-being will always depend on that need for being comforted, come what may. It isn’t really the events that are significant , but the certainty and security provided by the presence of those around you, that makes you feel alright, see?

My motor skills are quite okay , I think. I have a firm grip and I’m able to hold the plastic mug, dip it into the water in the bucket and lift it full of water and pour it into the flower pots that my grandmother keeps outside. Love those watering sessions. Sometimes a tiny little frog jumps out from a pot and of course I’m fascinated.

Kaalu, the black street dog and I have become close friends. It can spot me from a distance and comes running if it is anywhere in the lane outside.Grandma and I feed it from time to time. The poor fellow is quite scared of the other dogs though. There is quite a gang in the neighbourhood and one or two of them are real bullies.

I’ve also learnt to purse up my lips in a shy smile that leaves them all enraptured. Perfecting that these days, much to my advantage.:-)

Going to be one and half next month. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of interesting things to tell you in my next despatch. If my scribe isn’t lazy, that is. See you around folks. Take care. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s diary-Part5


February 6, 2014 at 11:20pm

There is a saying in Malayalam which goes something like this….”You can keep a betel-nut in your lap , but not a palm tree”. Well, I’m not that tall yet, but my Ummamma is getting the drift of that adage these days, if you know what I mean.. The only time I deign to sit on her lap is when she reads me stories and shows me those colourful pictures from books. Thanks to Ummamma’s friend Madhavi Aunty , I’ve got a new collection of books published by the Childrens’ Book Trust , all the way from Delhi. Thank you Uncle Venkitesh for carrying them to Kannur. Much, much appreciated.

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I’m having a blast.Sometimes I have to fight sleep , so as not to miss out on each precious moment. Ummamma doesn’t understand that and she keeps rocking me in her arms, sometimes for a pretty long time just so that she can lay me down on the bed and have her break. And then, many times, I wake up again just as my head touches the bed. She is pretty patient, but I make out from her sigh that she can’t keep pace with my exuberance. 🙂

Occasionally I give her a real scare…like when I was fidgeting around with this small plastic casio kind of toy which played different tunes when you pressed each key and managed to prise it open at the back and extract the small button like cells. Before she had noticed ( Ah! I am quite a fast one),I had one of them in my mouth. She had literally to fight with my jaw- bones to get my mouth open and take it out. Every other woman in the neighbourhood, has some tale to narrate, of some little one , who had either swallowed naphthalene balls or got fingers stuck in the door that they had tried to bang shut or some such misadventure. It freaks her out , I think. Hopefully, I’ll be more smart.

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I am smart that way,believe me. I’ve mastered this gesture of bending my head to one side and smiling at my parents and Ummamma with that angelic smile we babies have, when I’ve done something to piss them off.And it works like magic every time. 🙂

We celebrated my uncle’s birthday a few days ago. Nice it was…cake and all. The guy is kind of strange though. He’ll take me along the lane till the turn to the main road, in the mornings ,when he leaves for work and walk me around when he gets back and all, but he just cannot understand anything I try to tell him. True it all still comes out as Ba..Ba….., but Ummamma and my parents catch on quite quick. This guy just looks at me and smiles and when my decibels increase, Ummamma has to come as the interpreter and explain . Very frustrating, I must tell you. Yea, I know he is not very talkative..but here I am just beginning to learn to communicate and he won’t even nudge me along. I’m told that we share a common trait though…that of tearing bits of the page of the books we are reading and nibbling at it. Me….I’m a little one…. He was in the 4thor 5th standard apparently when this habit took hold of him. Ummamma has now stopped leaving her books around within my reach, even that book which had a picture of a bearded bespectacled guy. I loved staring at that picture on the cover and the one on the first page inside….Chekhov something ..she keeps telling me. I’m missing him. Oh well,,,I’ll make do with my own set for now.

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What else?…Yes… I can make sounds like the dog barking, the cat mewing, the snake hissing and of course that which comes easiest to me…Baa.Baa 🙂 You see this grandmother of mine has nothing else to do the whole day long and she keeps talking to me and telling me stuff. And it’s kind of cool …learning new things….specially about animals. There’s this series on the you-Tube ..Baby Einstein…very nice,with puppets introducing the real animals. I can watch that any number of times and not get tired. And the Vinci songs. Really cute 🙂 Some of those songs makes me want to dance along. Pity is, I can only shake my body as of now. Still too unsteady on my feet, but stay tuned. Soon I’m going to be making all the right moves.

Ah ..that reminds me. I did falteringly take two steps forward, the other day. As luck would have it, Mama and Papa had just come to pick me up. Mama was so thrilled that she didn’t miss out on that while she was away at work. Says now I can take my own time going about it . Can’t be long now before I’ll stop being so down to earth.

So how’s it been with you all? I do get to see you all everyday because before Ummamma goes to the You-Tube for my songs and videos, she quickly browses through her Facebook wall. And I love seeing my own photos and the videos she posts. Yes…I am a bit of a narcissist . Be honest, you guys…who isn’t?

Will catch up with you again soon with more exciting news . Bye till then 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s diary-Part 4


December 10th , 2013 at 10:08am

Hello out there, hope you’ve all been in fine fettle folks.

Well, the big news is that I’m officially a one year old grown-up today. But I’m still too young to figure out all that heavy stuff about the relativity of time and about all things happening at the same time etc. etc. etc. So let’s put that aside and talk about some lighter things instead and let’s celebrate the calibrations of my journey so far, shall we? 🙂
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I’m surrounded by a lot of love and that I say is the most important thing. See, I’m already so full of wisdom, I wonder where I can proceed from here. I’m told of this line from an Amir Khan movie, “Dil chahtahai” where he says, “You can’t improve on perfection” and I quite agree. Love is the perfect thing. All I got to do is flow with it.

Except that the elders got to be consistent about it themselves of course. I hope they know all about child- led parenting and so on. I really expect that they don’t freak out when I refuse to sleep when they want me to and that they’ll not stop me from exploring on the grounds that I’ll come to harm. Be there and be ready . But don’t stop me. That is essentially my birthday message

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I still can’t stand on my two feet without support and my teeth are kind of taking a long time emerging, which is limiting , but that’s okay. See, this is one of the things I have to emphasise upon, please don’t go comparing me with the other kids. I have my own individual hardware and I am not an assembly-line product. Don’t go quality–testing all the time. I will evolve according to my own mysterious codes of which I am not aware of myself just now. But you got to trust me , just as I am trusting myself.

And don’t go about stuffing my mind with the things you are paranoid about. Let me learn to love snakes as much as I love the cute bunnies and the dogs and the beautiful butterflies. Left to me , I would discover wonderful details about everything around me. I would seriously not want any of the adult conditionings interfering with that process. Wishful thinking of a one-year-old, you say, eh?

I love living in the present moment. I hope I continue this way. I find it funny that you grown –ups were once here and then you go brain-wash yourselves with unnecessary fears and insecurities about the future and then when you can’t take the stress no more, you try and make that difficult , difficult journey back to where you were as a child. I really hope I don’t lose sight of this absolutely wonderful way to live.

And that message from the Bhagvat Gita…”karmanyevaadikaaraysthe”…..we kids were born with that message imprinted firmly in our consciousness, which is why we can keep doing the same things without tiring out or losing patience and if it’s not happening, well, we just leave it and move on. I’m not really sure how that attitude changes . I wonder why it does.

Whoever said babies can’t philosophise? I say that if only you adults could read our minds, you wouldn’t mess up your lives the way you do and ours in the process. And what a lot of assumptions you have. Didn’t you have one which you had even grandiosely prescribed for cursive writing exercises ?…. “Save the rod and spoil the child”!!!!! I tell you !!!!

I think they’re going to get me all dressed-up and invite people over and cut a cake and all of that drama. They think it is all about me. I know better of course, but this is the thing….as long as it is making them happy and spreading bonhomie and affections , I can take it. And I heard my mamma tell Ummamma that they’re going to play my favourite song , “In the jungle , the mighty jungle” . That I’m going to enjoy.

And I really want your blessings. So open up your hearts and let it come my way generously and let my soul respond to it and bask in its warmth.

Love you all,

-Zohaan

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s diary-Part-3


Hi again dear all,

Glad my bowels are back to normal. Had a queasy tummy last week and was deprived of some of the stuff I had started enjoying…egg yolk with my breakfast and that dash of boiled chicken mashed along with my rice porridge. Real yummy stuff !! Mamma and Ummamma both felt that the stomach upset was a sign of teething troubles . They keep inserting their finger into my mouth and checking out my gums from time to time and then shaking their head. Wonder why it’s taking this long , I too wonder. Could’ve made my menu a lot more interesting.

There’s this guy who passes by our lane in the mornings with a cart full of tender coconuts. I have come to recognize his voice now and I make appropriate sounds to draw Umamma’s attention to his approach. She gets one for me everyday. I have a few spoonfuls of the cool, sweet water and the tender pulp. It just melts into my mouth. Mamma felt I had better not have it for a few days , what with the runny stomach and all. Ummamma agreed , but then cheated And I’m not telling either. We both know better.

My mom reads up a lot on the internet about all kinds of baby stuff. She just won’t take my Ummamma’s word for anything unless it has been been authenticated by her guides from cyber space. I’m not taking sides for now. They may both be right in their own ways and as long as it is not interfering too much with my way of life, why cross swords?

I think I’m getting to understand quite a lot of what they say . They keep checking out whether I can actually understand. I try to help by demonstrating sometimes, but that doesn’t always go too well with them. Like this spittle thing. I’ve just learnt how to let it collect inside my mouth and then blow it through my lips. It’s such fun .So they were all talking in Malayalam (language spoken in the state of Kerala in India) and I heard the word “thuppal” and straightaway took it as a sign to try out my act. “Eee “ and “No Zohaan’’ and what not!!!!Shucks!!!Such kill-joys adults can be sometimes!

I’m learning a lot too. I can recognize many animals, fruits and vegetables. Ummamma shows me the real stuff from the fridge and matches them with the pictures in the books. I really love that . For the animals she uses toys . Now I can lift them and place them on the right pictures as well. I love all the delighted exclamations that comes my way when I do that. Well, so far so good. I’ll have to figure out a way to firmly let them know that learning will be at my pace and only as long as I enjoy it.

I had gone on an outing too , this weekend. But I won’t be able to tell you too much about it because my scribe hadn’t come along with us. I’ll just tell you that I really enjoyed the long ride in the car.

Will share some photos/videos with you soon.
You have fun too 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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Zohaan’s diary-Part-2


November 13, 2013 at 9:41am

I must tell you about some of these obsessive compulsions that I have. No, they are not of the disorderly kind. You see, that’s what nice about being a baby my age. None of those actions considered quirky in an adult is looked upon as such, when it comes to me.
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I have this high chair that I’m belted into every time Ummamma has to feed me. On the backrest is the picture of a teddy. It looks so much like the one in the video of the nursery rhyme, “Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around”. I so love the guy and every few minutes, when I sit on that chair,I have to turn around and point it out to her. I just can’t bear the thought that it’s existence may be ignored or forgotten. I can figure out of course that she sometimes gets tired of exclaiming with joy and wonder, because that is the reaction I expect from her every time. But she is quite sporting about it, I must say.
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Then there is this unexplainable need to drop stuff when my position is high enough. Not just that, they have to be picked up again so that I can repeat the action. No I don’t get tired of doing it. I think she gets exhausted after a while. I wonder if she realizes how good the exercise is for her. Saving her all that money people spend in enrolling in a gym and so on. Gratitude is not readily coming these days, I can see.

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And that statue of the elephant on the pillars of the gate next door…yes I have to be taken near it and I HAVE to touch it every time I am carried past. Call it a ritual, if you may. But the constancy of that routine settles me and there is an abiding peace in my little mind after I’ve caressed the smooth surface of it’s granite body. There is a baby elephant standing next to it too. The contours are not as tempting for some reason. May be I’ll grow up to be fond of voluptuous female forms 😉

And then we have this tour around the drawing room and kitchen as soon as I come here, in the morning. Ummamma has to point out each thing and repeat it’s name . I can go on whimpering for as long as it will take, otherwise. There is a long list….the red and blue and other coloured cups arranged in a row on the shelf, the mixie,the plates, all the things inside the fridge, the wind chime hung from the railing above, which does not chime because it is inside the house and she keeps the front door locked all the time(such a pain that is !)and there is therefore no breeze . I hope she realizes that that is the way babies learn to identify stuff…by constant repetition. Please!!!!!! We are not dumb. Just getting our orientation right.

What irritates her most (My mamma gets irritated too) is that every time she holds me in place to change my diapers , I have to turn on my side and struggle to sit up. I know….I know….it’s just one of those things that I have no explanation for .

There are lots of other things ..but you’ll get bored.

Yesterday , I learnt to point with my index finger as against generally pushing my hand out in some direction that requires navigating towards. I can’t figure out yet how it happens. . I mean, I keep observing all the time and I want to get things right in the first instance itself. But it never works out that way . And then , all of a sudden, I get it right. From that point onwards, it’s just a question of perfecting it. The process is quite fast if you consider that I knew nothing of mobility till a little while ago. Sometimes, I think that babies are taken too much for granted. Not much appreciation of the loads and loads of stuff that we have to comprehend in so little time!!! Comprehension!!!!!! Do you guys ever think about it?
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I can distinguish between the happy sounds and the warning sounds people make and the lovey-dovey sounds too. Like when she says , “Where is Ummamma’s cutie pie?”, there is a different inflection which I quite like. She sounds the same when she is pointing out kittens and puppies in my picture book, so much so that I’ve learned to copy that sound and I even feel like kissing the puppy’s picture. She finds that so amusing. I can make out these responses because she repeats all of it to my parents when they come to pick me up and there is a fresh round of “Sweetie pie” and so on…Grown-ups!!!! I tell you!!!!They’re actually quite easy to please as of now.

Have a good day then. Will catch up later 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Zohaan

 

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