Friday, August 29, 2008

The music in me..

Was reading a lullaby post and became nostalgic...

I can't sing. And its a big deal for me. 
I grew up listening to my parents sing all the time. As a young boy, my father would run away from home to learn classical music from a muslim Ustad in the pre partitioned Punjab. My father is a very fine singer with a soft, melodious voice. 
My mother could sing in that sweet simple way that Tabu sings in that movie Virasat ! It used to embarrass me endlessly though she wasn't all that bad at all. She sincerely believed she had a voice and would diligently note down lyrics of Hindi songs in a worn out little diary. She wouldn't wait for an invitation to sing at weddings and parties while my father would act pricey as family and friends would indulge him no end before he obliged.

I so wanted that I could sing. I knew every song that my father hummed as he sat tinkering with anything that needed to be fixed in the house ! He was a closet mechanic for all kinds of electrical repairs and he would hum his music while he went about his favourite pass time. Ashok Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Manna De, Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi, Mukesh, Muzzarat Nazeer, Munni Begum, Farida Khannum, Iqbal Bano....

As a 7  year old, whenever I was alone - in the bathroom, the terrace, cycling home from school... I would sing his songs and pretend to be the greatest singer on earth :

Dheere Dheere, aa re badal...
Ye raat, ye chandni phir kahan
Jaag darde e ishq jaag
Bequrar karke hame yun na jaeeye
Bhala tha kitan apna bachpan
Aye maa, aye maa teri surat se alag, bhagwan ki surta kya hogi
Aanchal se kyun baandh liya, hai mujh pardesi ka pyaar
Jab deep jale Aana, jab shaam Dhale aana
Kitna dukh bhulaya tumne, pyare
Madhuban main radhika naachi re
Na tum hume jano..
Many still to add to the list

...lest I forget them, if that is possible.

I wasn't sure if I was good. I yearned for my father to tell me how I sang but he he never did. Often, he would make fun of my shy attempts to sing. I tried very much to improve, but there was never a word of encouragement. So I never sang in public. In most birthday parties of my childhood, there used to be this standard game of passing the parcel and my heart would jump up to my mouth if ever the parcel stopped at me. There was extreme probability that my chit would require me to sing a song and though I would have rehearsed ten different songs for every such occasion, I would never, never sing.

My youngest brother showed some of my father's talent and interest in singing and I took it upon myself to groom him ! It was funny ! I'd make him learn the lyrics of my father's songs which were rather difficult to sing anyway and every afternoon I'd make him rehearse and like any 'Ustaad Ji' I'd correct the alaap ! I feel so sorry for my brother now ! Though he dutifully sang and danced on call at every birthday party, I never heard him sing a song after he grew up into a boy and a man !! I must have scarred him for life.

When Ruhi was born, I would stay awake most nights for the first couple of years, cradling her in my arms and singing my father's songs to keep her calm and to keep myself awake. 
My favourites were " Dheere dheere aa re badal" and "Bhala tha kitna apna bachpan". Both these reminiscent of my childhood and my bittersweet relationship with my father. Since the songs are so ancient and my husband had never heard them before, I was spared being ticked on how badly I had twisted the tune, just in case he woke up to hear me bray. He is a fine singer himself !
Soon these became lullabys for Ruhi to sleep. Ruhi grew up and much to my husband's disappointment never showed any inclination to sing. 
My son came by three years ago and didn't ever need a lullaby to sleep. I'd put him in the crib and he'd shut eyes like clockwork. I do not remember singing to him at all, though once in a while I may have done it in an absent minded way. 
A few days ago, he was pretending to write a doctor's prescription as I was preparing for Ruhi to be go to bed (its still a ceremony!). He was talking in the background - he talks all the time, often to himself. Methodically, he cut the chatter and started singing :
 "dheere dheere aa re badal, dheere dheere. Raindrops, lollipops, O wott fun itood be"

I stood very still, completely afraid that he would stop if I gave him any attention. He did stop and moved on to the next ditty. I was exhilarated with emotion. He remembers the song from somewhere! My husband gave me a knowing smile. He knows how much these songs mean to me but more than that he is finally content that his son has his music (and mine) in him. 


I won a prize for this photo

A Sony Ericcson mobile phone, just when I so needed a new phone !

Friday, August 22, 2008

And they walked into a shoe made of ice-cream and fluff...

This evening,  the slimy mother pretended to enjoy watching the special assembly school photos for the umpteenth time. She pointed a curious finger at each little kid and asked all the names. 

'Boo Boo Sticks' was excited like hell and she sang out the names....Nanaki, Meher, Ridhi, Yashaswi, Ashna, Ahaan and Raj and the rest.  The slimy mom made a mental pause. Smiled at the cute little boy with the hint of a dimple, so engrossed with a rather sheepish Ruhi! 
So that be him ! Choooo Chweet ! 

PS: October 8, 2008 : Anticlimax ! The dimpled boy turned out to be Shivi ! The slimy mother got it all wrong as usual !!

Eye Candy of the Diligent kinds !

I know I need to say thank you but I am just too stumped and I do suspect here may be a case of distorted vision ("pyaar mein andha hona") ! LOL.
My blog is a a bit spaced out, OTT with emotion, and sometimes juvenile. Very like me. And when someone gives me an award for being Smart & Brilliant, I am Gobsmacked ( yup, thats the current favourite word for the lack of vocabulary). 

Its taken me a few days to recover and so Diligent Candy a big hug for giving me...
The Brilliant Weblog Award- a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is topromote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere. Here are therules to follow:
When you recieve the prize you must write a post showing it, togetherwith the name of who has given it to you, and link back to them. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing them that they have been awarded with the ‘Brilliant Weblog’ award. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional) to.

I pass the sunshine on to:

1. nm : Firstly for being 'there' always. Also for the simple honesty of her sweet blog.
2. my dayzwithmyself : He is funny and its a pity he has disappeared. Temporarily I hope.
3. Mampi : Because 'Singh is King' ! Go figure !
4. Yonearthnot : Brilliantly funny always - without much effort !
5. Amardeep : One of the 'must reads' of mine. Very erudite. Very engaging.
6. High Heel: Always reminds me of 'girly time'. Kewl, funny and so bitchy ! lurvit!
7. Ageless Bonding : Naanstap Naansens !

And many many many others who I do not have on my bookmark bar...copy paste is simple you see ! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And the story progresses !

Ringchen asked what happened next in the 'Ruhi, Raj & the Bracelet story'
I was also curious why she had returned the bracelet. I must have asked her more often than she was expecting me to bother so she gave me one of her 'looks' (the knowing, I am the mother of all mothers look) and asked if I wanted her to get the bracelet back ?! 
Checkmate !
I said it was her own wish. She insisted she will get it since I seem to like it ! 
I didn't ask again and it hasn't come back. Yet.

2 days after she returned the bracelet, under the usual pile of paper cutouts, scraps, dried leaves and flowers in her school bag I found a folded bit of thick paper. It had a cute drawing of a little girl in a ninja pose ! Could have been a dance pose. The girl had long black hair. I stared in fascination. She peeped across my shoulder and said " Raj drew it. That's my picture" ! So the story progresses!

I ironed out the sheet, folded the extra paper and pinned it on her soft board. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just like that.

My husband has the quality of making the most mundane of incidents sound filmy. A few days ago he said : "I have news to share with you that will gobsmack you" ( my words to translate whatever it was that he said).

My pulse fell. I hate surprises. In my life surprises are never pleasant, not till now.

I barked back "NOW WHAT?".

He smiles dramatically, modulating his voice, said " Ruhi is in love". And he almost giggled. I told him he was so absurd and that he needed to seriously grow up before the kids do and I walked off.

He persisted, and offered more details " his name is Raj - she is wearing a bracelet that he gifted her, the maid told me ".

Ruhi was fast asleep and I wriggled her right wrist from under herself to find an oversized plasticky band with shiny multicolored rectangles. I let it be, must have been some innocent thing that had been misconstrued by the maid who it seems has been brought up on a strict diet of cheesy hindi movies.

The next morning Ruhi woke up chirping about an elaborate dream about pink beaked birds and elephants and a tiger who slouches while shaking his bum and pointing his curved finger at her friend Ashna. She slouched on the bed shaking her pointy little bum and explaining the tiger's gestures with her finger. I watched with familiar fascination, marveling at the beauty of the world she sleeps in. Then I pointed at the band and asked "what's that Roo?"

She smiled "friendship band. Raj gave it to me. You know mama he specially bought it for me with REAL money". I tried not to scowl at her and asked " Who is Raj ?"

"Arre, my best friend in school. I love him mama, he kissed me on my cheek in the nap time" ( the kids take a half hour nap in school).

I wasn't liking the thought. What do six year olds know about kissing ? I tried to sound indifferent so that she doesn't feel it was some big deal "Did you tell Namrita Ma'm ?".

Ruhi was getting impatient now " Why ? He didn't kiss on the lips ?". I almost chocked on my toothbrush. I must say I am completely unprepared for this conversation so early in our relationship. For God's sake she is still a baby.

I decide to leave it at that for the moment. She goes on "you know Ma, he gave me the band so that when we grow old and if we get lost, he can find me"!

Hmmmm... straight out of Karan Johar movies. Her father's daughter for sure.

Yesterday, the grotesque thing was missing from her tiny wrist. When I asked her she said she had put it back in that kid's pocket.


"Just like that".