Little brother, big brother


My little nephew, all of six, keeps his four older cousins on their toes, whenever the whole family meets up during the holidays.

It is fun to watch these four teenagers drop all their eye-rolling and headphone wearing behaviour to play games that my nephew wants. Games that mostly involve buses, cars, airplanes and a lot of role-playing and running around.

Image courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

He demands and gets their undivided attention, from the moment he is up everyday till he decides that he’s had enough.

And woe betide the cousin, who slinks away to do teen things. He goes after them and ensures that they get back to being drivers or pilots. But the older kids indulge their little brother every single time. They call him ‘their bundle of cuteness.’

When we all met up during the December holidays last year, my son and my nephew were engaged in playing games the entire morning. By lunch time, my son wanted a break. He pleaded with my nephew, who would not let go, and the boys ended up squabbling.

In just a few minutes, my son walked out and sat down on the couch, with a loud sigh.

My nephew came to me, clutching the right side of his chest and said, “Periamma, you know he (pointing at my son) punched me on my heart.”

My son jumped up to retaliate, “I did not” and then with his eyes narrowed my son said, “By the way your heart is on the left of your body, not the right, so this proves that I did no wrong.”

My nephew looked slightly taken aback, but was not going to back down. Very quickly he shifted his palm and placed it slightly below his right chest and said, “Ok, not my heart, but he punched my right lung.”

The entire household burst out laughing.

And very soon the two brothers made up and disappeared to play.

How quickly time flies.

And, just this week, my little nephew has a baby sister in his life. A tiny, pretty doll, whom he adores.

He has transitioned smoothly from being a little brother to being a big brother. He spends all his free time looking after her, cooing to her and generally showering her with love.

Time flies, kids grow, but our love only gets deeper for little, big brothers and their even tinier sisters.

The 94th of July…


It is 6 a.m. in the morning, and I have just finished my first cup of filter coffee for the day.

One of the first things I do every morning is change the dates on the calendars at home. I love doing this. There is something so satisying about knowing that another day has begun – a day that is filled with hope and promise.

One of these calendars is made up of two square wooden blocks, one each for each of the date digits, and a small rectangular block for the month. I set the date manually on this calendar every morning.

This morning, when I go to change the date, I am surprised to see that the date has been set to the 94th of July. This makes me smile. The reason? My little nephew, who is staying with us this week.

When he wakes up, I ask him what the date is? He quickly rushes to the calendar, changes the blocks and says, “It is 43rd July.”

And this is how much fun it is….with my nephew around, there is a sudden energy in the house. For this six year old, every day is filled with possibilities. He creates a buzz when he flits from room to room.

Giggles are lurking in his throat, ever ready to spill out in torrents, accompanied by eyes that are glinting with mischief and curiosity.

All of us at home are constantly taking rides on all his toy vehicles, flying from the kitchen to the living room, fastening seat belts and readying ourselves to land.

We get quizzed about cars and aircraft, we run around playing hide and seek.

Even my kids, who are too big to play with toys, have now let themselves go. We find ourselves rejuvenated.

Through the eyes of my nephew, we look at things with curiosity and excitement – where fans are propellers, the sofas are trucks and where every activity is carried out with the sole objective of having fun.

And now, all of us gather to celebrate the birthday of a family member. The cake is ready to be cut, and we ready our phones to click pictures.

My nephew quickly runs to the cake… runs his fingers on the buttercream icing and puts a blob into his mouth, his eyes reflecting his delight. He is totally in the moment; his joy complete.

We look at him and feel infused by his enthusiasm, his energy and his spirit.

So much to learn. If only we could retain this curiosity and this zest for life, we would have so much fun every day.

Living in the moment and giving it your all….!

The Curious Case Of The Grazing Sheep


I am spring cleaning my digital cupboard today. A virtual cupboard distributed around the house, across numerous phones and laptops and tablets.¬† How did we manage to hoard so many files? Music, photos…phew! Millions of them. Selfies…(who started this trend?). My eyes hurt with clearing up.

I am ready to give up within the hour. Maybe I should take this up device-by- device. With that decision made, I feel less daunted.

As I browse through the photos, a couple of them from late last year make me smile.

A couple of years ago, we picked up a unique chess set from New Zealand, during our holiday there.

The chess board has green and yellow squares and all the pieces are sheep – black sheep (ha ha) and white sheep.

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I treasure this chess set a lot; and my kids are banned from using it to play chess – as the material from which the set is made is breakable.

Late last year, my little nephew came to visit. After having his milk in the morning, he would walk around the living room. I conducted conversations with him from the kitchen, as I experience the ‘mom-goes-crazy-every-morning’ syndrome, and was usually tied-up with my chores.

When the children left for school and I sat down for a breather, I was amused to see that the sheep had started grazing in the meadow. My ‘no-one-touches-this-chess set’ policy flew through the window.

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This picture was taken that day.

So everyday, till he was with us, my little nephew grazed his sheep in the green and yellow meadow.