Trying to recollect the way in which we have celebrated Anirud’s past birthdays.
First Birthday: The star birthday was celebrated with an ayushomam at Sri Mahalakshmi Narayanar Temple in London. Sweet ceremony at the temple and a dinner with friends at Chennai Dosa in East Ham. His DOB was on a week day on the same week and we had a simple chocolate cake cut at home.
Second Birthday: His maternal grand parents visited him at UK for his birthday. Invited about 35 guests and celebrated by cutting an awesome fresh cream cake decorated with his favourite fruits, followed by lunch.
Third Birthday: Did not celebrate in a grand way like the year before, as his mom was severely unwell. Spent the day by taking him to a play area at Beaconsfield.
Fourth Birthday: Awesome Foot Ball cake prepared by Saranya and we celebrated his day with immediate circle of friends at our Lords Mill Court residence.
Fifth Birthday: Celebrated at a play area with quite a lot of friends from school, pre-school etc. Pirate ship cake procured from Marks and Spencer was really wonderful and was the cynosure of all eyes that day. We wanted to ensure that he thoroughly enjoyed his day, as it was less than a month after he recovered from pneumonia and chicken pox.
Sixth Birthday: A day before his birthday, we took him to Amsterdam. On his day, we didn’t have any specific celebration as such.
Seventh Birthday: Anirud was in Trichy on his seventh birthday and celebrated it with his grand parents and great grand parents.
Eighth Birthday: Cake cutting happened few weeks before as he didn’t want to miss any friends who might be away on his birthday due to school holidays. Got a Tin Tin cake from Chef Bakers and celebrated with about a dozen kids from the apartment community. On his birthday, as a surprise gift – he was taken to M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore to watch the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
One of the irritable problem with Anirud of late is his lack of responsiveness. One will not have any clue on whether or not he is listening or about his intentions. Sometimes, a bit of yelling works. Sometimes, nothing works at all.
One day last week, he was being asked to do some errands by his mom. As expected, there was no word from him. I was in the other room and I could see Anirud getting up to help her out, but my wife didn’t have an idea about what he is up to. This flared me up and I said, “Why don’t you tell her that you are on the way? Not responding is rude and this is not on……”.
Whenever such conversations happen, he will go on a defensive mode cooking up some reason or other as to why he couldn’t respond or perhaps, why we were unable to hear. However, this time was different. With a sage like look, he said “Appa, it is not possible to make everyone happy! We have to do what we like!!”.
Thankfully, I didn’t have a mirror to see my face when I heard that.
Anirud wrote a short note about our trip to Hogenakkal few months back. Apart from correcting the obvious typos, I am reproducing whatever the brat wrote.
It was 28th of December. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr… I did not expect winter to be that cold. We packed up our luggages and guess what – we were going to Hogenakkal (a waterfall formed naturally). Which transport do you think we were using? That’s right – Its a car.
When we reached Hogenakkal, I loved going on a skiff. Then, we went to a crocodile park, which had 35 crocodiles! We hopped into our car back home, which was 260 kms from that place. It was 9:00 pm when we reached home and it was toooooooooooooo cozy. Oh my god! I have never been that far. It was hot at the atime and I called the place ‘Hot Hogenakkal’.
Our brat has acquired the capability and know-how to change the appearance of this blog, especially its colours and fonts. Although the admin area is password protected, I check the ‘Remember Me’ check box in the admin login page, which enables Anirud to find his way in. He has promised not to disturb any other setting apart from those mentioned above. While we let him enjoy his new found freedom, if you find these pages visually obnoxious or cause you to shrink your eyes due to extreme choice of colours, you know the reason. You are hereby, forewarned.
One thing that Anirud can’t bear when it comes to his lil’ brother is to see Srivaths cry. Whenever he hears him cry, Anirud will drop whatever he is doing and try to calm him down either by talking to him or by making some sound with the rattle etc. Interestingly, Srivaths will oblige his Big Bro most of the time, looking at Anirud in awe (or whatever. Who knows what he is thinking?). However, nothing would work if the younger one is hungry.
Looks like Anirud had thought about this issue (of Srivaths crying for feed) long and hard. He had enquired many times about the frequency and the duration of Srivaths’ feed etc. Much like Archimedes, Anirud gets his ideas while taking bath. One day last week, he screamed from the bathroom like it was an emergency.
“Appa, if Srivaths is having milk every 2 hours, why can’t you set an alarm every 1 hour 50 mins and prepare the bottle, so that we can be ready when he is hungry. How is the idea?”.
“The idea is good, but if you don’t get out of the shower now, you will have to walk to the school, as you will miss the bus”.
In the evening, he started the same topic. I told him that it is not possible to implement his idea, as the baby’s hunger pattern is unpredictable. “Then, how about having the milk ready all the time? That way, my brother won’t cry at all”.
If you look at it, he was clearly focused on one particular thing: Not to let his brother cry.
Sometimes, we do wonder when the role change happened between us – as he doles out advice on how to handle the baby. While feeding Srivaths with a bottle, sometimes he would fall asleep. Whenever he does that, we would tap on the bottle which would awaken him. If ever Anirud notices that he will pull us up with a piece of advice, “Don’t force the baby to have his milk. Let him be on his own and he will be fine. I mean – don’t tap the bottle. Srivaths won’t like it”.
Didn’t I say right at the beginning that Anirud will make a wonderful bro?
Cross posted in Srivaths’ blog.
Anirud and I went to a school (not the one he is attending now) for some enquiries. The school’s campus was well spread out and the infrastructure was visibly very impressive. In the lobby, there were huge portraits of people like Abdul Kalam, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi etc with their famous quotations printed underneath. Dr. Abdul Kalam had visited this particular school few weeks ago and had scribbled a personalised message along with his signature on his portrait. While we were waiting for someone, Anirud went over the lobby and observed everything with keen intent.
After we were done with our work at that school, while on the way back I asked him what he thought of the school and how different it is from his current school. Pat came the reply: “appa, Abdul Kalam’s handwriting is even worse than mine. Was he really a big scientist? “. Of all the things in the school, look what this fella has noticed.
Well, the reason why he had particularly commented about his own handwriting is that, since the beginning of this academic year there is a noticeable decline of standards in his handwriting. As it became too obvious, he started working on it by practising daily, but the speed at which he was required to write at school is something he is unable to come to terms with yet. We know and he knows that it is only a matter of time before the turnaround happens. We are all looking forward to that.
Why shouldn’t we be? Just got the news that Anirud has made it to the Nationals of ‘Spelling Bee’ contest, which means he is one among the 600 left in the fray nationally. To think that we didn’t pay much attention to this competition due to summer holidays and other factors, the entire credit for this goes to the brat.
National Level Championship will happen around mid-September and we are so pleased for him. Wish him luck for the next round folks.