First time joys for the kid during Janmashtami’22

Last month, we traveled to Berhampore for Janmashtami celebrations at my marital home. Though the kid has traveled by train a couple of times, he was too young to remember. This time, we chucked the car and took the train. Our son enjoyed the onward and return journey as he ate a variety of food, purchased items and toys from the hawkers, and enjoyed the view from the train’s window. Here’s a snap of him at his naughty best on the day we traveled back to Kolkata.

The fun ride on the train

Berhampore sky was at its sunny best for the first two days of our trip. On the third day, the skies yelped and shed tears as I prepared for our return journey. Strangely, by evening, it was back to its gorgeous state. My marital home is located in the busiest part of the town. Surrounded by the local market, the place is forever buzzing. Most of the residential properties are decades old, though some have been demolished to build new age apartment complexes. Our son was amazed by the thriving market area and surrounding landscape that smelt of nostalgia. We spent a lot of time on the terrace.

Berhampore sky and the landscape around my marital home

The boy loves birds. Even in Kolkata, he ensures to leave some food items on our balcony grills for the birds. But in Berhampore, he had the huge terrace to himself to run around and have fun. Every evening, he spread puffed rice, bread crumbs, and biscuit pieces all over the terrace and called out to the pigeons. Almost every day, a few pigeons and some crows came to nibble on the food as we sat at one corner, away from the birds. Though he had done this ritual before, it was his first time acting responsible and feeding the birds by himself. His father and I were mere spectators.

Feeding the birds

There are many other things that the child did for enjoyment. I found him giving signatures on paper to the guests present during Janmashtami puja as a permit granted to them to go upstairs for eating prasad. He spent hours playing the dholak while ensuring that the pen he used to give his autograph was safely tucked into his t-shirt.

The boy with his dholak and pen

Inside the room, he spent hours swaying on his father’s rocking chair that he has already claimed to be his property now. From tasting yummy malpoa and taler bora to eating spicy dum aloo along with polao as part of the bhog offered, the kid experienced it all. These small gestures keep him close to our roots and experience things that were integral to our childhood spent in the small town of Berhampore.

Hijacking his father’s rocking chair.

Food, friends, and fun – summing up July’22

July usually is an uneventful month in my life with no birthdays or occasions to celebrate. It’s also when my son has his first term assessment, leaving us with little time to enjoy. However, his school preponed the assessment dates by two weeks, and we began the month with exams on the 1st of July. But that meant we ended it within the 15th of July, leaving us with half of the month to have fun.

Dessert @Golden Joy

We experimented with a lot of new cuisines in new cafes and restaurants. While we celebrated his finishing the exams on a high with Chinese food at the Golden Joy in Tangra, my son and I went on a book shopping spree to the Storyteller store, followed by sandwiches at The Wise Owl cafe in Golpark.

Snacks @The Wise owl

Last week, I met Kasturi, one of my closest friends from the writing world for the first time. We had breakfast at the Roastery Coffee House in Gariahat. It became a memorable experience not just became of the ambiance and delectable food but also because of the best company I had.

Breakfast @Roastery Coffee House

We ended the month with the best continental food in town at Mocambo, Park Street. While Chicken-Ala-Kyiv satiated our taste buds, Baked Alaska thrilled the kid with its unique presentation.

Baked Alaska @Mocambo

A lot is happening in the health/fitness of my life. Also, there are quite some exciting updates to share about the completed and writing-in-progress books. But that’s for another day in the upcoming blog posts.

We met with a car accident last Tuesday

It is such a bizarre topic to experience and write about, but it’s also my responsibility to share the horrific experience that we went through as a family. On Tuesday evening, we were out for a family dinner. Our regular driver was at the wheels car, and my husband was seated beside him. Our son and I sat occupied the back seats.

We were waiting at the traffic signal when a bus violated the traffic rules and hit our car. It shattered our looking glass on the spot. Instead of stopping, the bus kept moving, thus crushing the front left door. It was a traumatic phase where I couldn’t stop worrying about my husband’s safety. Since our 6.5-year-old child was also in the car, we failed to calm down our nerves.

The condition of the car after the accident – the shattered looking glass and the crushed front left door.
Continue reading “We met with a car accident last Tuesday”

The kid goes back to school after 2 long years

It’s more than two years of spending every minute with this munchkin. While his father was busy as a frontline warrior, this kid and I held on to each other for support. From his online classes, restaurant outings, and going on trips within the city to dealing with my sickness, we faced it together.

At times, I felt annoyed with not finding a moment for myself. My writing schedule was messed up, and my daily routine went for a toss. Can’t wait for the school to reopen – I often voiced it out.

Day one of school

Last Friday, when he wore the uniform after two long years, picked up the bag, and got into the school bus at 6:40 a.m., it hit me hard how much I was going to miss having him around in the house. When he waved me goodbye at the school gate, I fought hard not to tear up in front of him.

On Monday, he cried a little, and I realized how much he missed attending classes with me. It’s a huge change for the kids, and along with them, parents and teachers are putting in a lot of effort to make this a smooth transition.

On Tuesday, our car followed his school bus in the morning. He wanted to wave me goodbye at the gate, but he also assured me of returning along with his friends by pool car.

Clicked this morning before going to school

Last night, we discussed his fears and insecurities in this new phase. He didn’t cry while speaking about them, and I was glad to be the patient listener instead of my husband. We decided that he was ready to make both onward and return trips by himself. I silently swallowed the lump in my throat; I had to let him find his way out.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on the boy’s unusual capability to get emotional and shed tears while he was a preschooler. It became a little better after he started pre-primary school. Deep within my heart, I know that he might still feel sentimental, and we would need to repeat these pep talk sessions frequently. Yet, his efforts and baby steps toward becoming independent touched my heart.

As much as I feel happy that kids are finally going back to the life they deserve after being deprived of the joys of childhood for two years, a tiny part of me will never get over the feeling of a void in the house and my heart.

Returning back to normal after 2 long years

After two years, the world is now opening up to life as we knew before the pandemic hit us in 2019. The kid’s school will commence from 21st February. However, it’ll only be for students of class 4 and above. So, we still have three more weeks of online classes and exams to wrap up this session before he gets back to school.

Family picnic and games

As much as I would get annoyed by my schedule gone choc-a-block due to his online classes and additional academic pressure, the reality of missing him at home hits me hard now. After a couple of weeks or probably a month, he would be back in school while I would deal with an empty house for hours.

Playing football at Maidan

Of late, instead of taking him to restaurants or fancy places, we are making trips to parks and playgrounds. The happiness on his face beyond four walls is unmatched. Last weekend and last month, we went to Maidan at Park Street for a mini picnic and games. There’s nothing more refreshing than spending hours with family amidst nature, inhaling fresh air.

Maidan

Here’s hoping for a brighter, safer, and healthier future for all of us.

The fountain in front of Victoria Memorial

Happy Saraswati Puja – 2022

Yesterday was the puja of my favorite Goddess, Ma Saraswati. When I went through the archives of my blog this morning, I realized I’ve always published a blog post on or after the day of Saraswati puja. It started the year my son was introduced to reading and writing (hathekhori). Now that he’s in class 1, I’ve no desire to make an exception.

Goddess Saraswati

Like every year, my father took up the responsibility of carrying out the puja at home. Since last year, my son has become his self-proclaimed assistant, and I’m reduced to a mere audience at home. The enthusiasm was a bit on the higher side this year since my husband could manage a day off from his hospital duties.

My father and his tiny assistant

After fulfilling the rituals of worship, prayers, and pushpanajali, we couldn’t resist overeating the prasad called bhog in Bengali. From luchi, dum aloo, suji in the morning to khichdi, labra, beguni, and chutney in the afternoon, we ended up with an overdose of the delicious bhog.

The phase of preparation

His books, notebooks, pencils, and even the laptop were kept at the feet of the deity to seek the blessings of the Goddess of knowledge. Thus, the kid didn’t have to come up with another innovative excuse for not studying. It was a no-study or workday for all of us, and as a family, we relished this time for fun and bonding.

The ritual continues

I hope and pray for the Goddess to bless the world with wisdom and knowledge so that we make the right choices for ourselves and the generations to come.

Home, greenery, nostalgia, and a child

A child and his curious love for nature

I grew up in Berhampore, the only place I call home. The rest are only residences. I spent countless afternoons reading books as Ma spoke fondly of more new plants in her garden. Neither Baba shared her enthusiasm, nor I inherited her love of plants, flowers, and nature. Her garden misses her warmth, care, and love as much as we feel its absence in our daily lives.

Last afternoon, I came home from my in-laws’ house in the same town. The kid couldn’t wait to spend the weekend with his grandfather, who he calls Dadan. Today, something unusual happened. The kid spent this morning gazing and querying about trees and flowers. He refused to move away, mesmerized by the greenery. A decade after her demise, she has her successor in her six-year-old nature-loving grandson. If only I could turn back time and make them meet, the boy and his Dimma would’ve made a perfect team.

Battling sickness and celebrating moments in September’21

I’ve been unreachable and unresponsive for quite a while now. What started as a ligament tear in the knee 1.5 months ago was diagnosed as a probable case of early osteoarthritis some weeks back. Unfortunately, the blood tests, X-Ray, and MRI reports led to a more complicated scenario. While I’m trying to stay brave through this turbulent phase, pretending to find humor in living with pain as a constant companion, it’s both scary and depressing. I’ve stayed away from social media for a while now while fighting this personal battle.

Swollen fingers led to a no-writing phase for almost a month. It’s both frustrating and depressing. Yet, for once, I didn’t fret over the lost time and opportunities. Instead, I focused on reading some delightful books and treading on the path to recovery. It’s a long and slow process, but I’m not letting it affect my resolve to return to normalcy soon.

Birthday celebration of the kid

Amidst such a gloomy ambiance, we decided to celebrate my son’s sixth birthday with our families at my husband’s ancestral home yesterday. He was basking in the love of his grandparents on his special day. The look on his face was priceless. It’s so difficult to believe that the kid is growing up so fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that he was born?

Surprise gifts from us

On 13th September, my blog completed four years. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I only hope it gets better from here. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who chose to be a part of my journey.

October is the month of Durga Puja, and I can’t wait to restart my writing journey. But enjoying the festival with my family tops my priority list this year. Until we meet again, take care and stay safe.