Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 129

Dearest lil Manu,

Its 129 days since you have brightened up every single moment in our lives. You are 04 months and 06 days today. You have no idea how blessed and fulfilled the gone days have been. For both your mom and me.

As you know, when you were inside mom, daddy used to write more to you. Its simple to guess why. Lately, any time I get, I choose to talk directly to you and miss the chance to document all that is going through my head.

Today I want to tell you how I have been waiting to see you and your development unfurl before me.

Even from the first time I saw you as a whole, doing that super fast cycling that you picked up so early, and that which you still do, I wanted to see you all the time. I would insist to mommy to go with me and do a series of more scans, just to see what you are doing in there. She would refuse and that was the most reasonable thing to do too. Who would like to expose one's own baby to so much unwanted waves? And who better than a doctor to realise that, dont you think? But these are times when your head stops doing any thinking and your heart completely takes over. Well, the bottom of all this is that I have been worried about you a lot. I used to freak your mom out with my queries. Did he kick? Why isn't your tummy growing? Is he having some kind of growth retardation? Why isn't the belly really as huge as it should be? Should we pleaseeeee do an other scan? Did the sonologist find something abnormal in the scan which you think he isn't telling us? Why don't we recheck that? Why hasn't the pain started? Why don't we ask Amma to induce you so that the baby isn't overstaying in there? Do you want to go through the normal labor? Lets go for a Cesarean and get him out! Oh boy, as I write this, I realise how paranoid I have been.

Little Manu
But the funny part is that, ever since you have born, I have been worse. Right from the moment you scared us by not crying loud. Why did he not cry loud? Are they holding something we need to know about our baby from us? Why isn't he breastfeeding like other babies? Why isn't he gaining weight? Why doesn't he have hair on this scalp? Why isn't he pooping on all days? Its about time he rolled over right, then why isn't he already?

Ha ha. I am laughing at myself right now. Because at the end of all this, I have a baby who is perfectly fine and doing things as nature would have it, in the most perfect way. But I think this is the thing my dad and all other good dads I know have been doing, and have been telling me about. The dad's anxiety. Its huge I tell you. Every moment of your life from the time you become a dad, your life fully and unconditionally revolves around your baby. I for sure cannot imagine what I would be to him as he grows up. I had a pattern which I had decided that I would stick to, just to make sure that I am not the overpowering Hitler kind of dad to you, but by the sheer looks of things from then till now, you better watch out, little tyke!

That apart, you have no idea what I wouldn't give just to see that smile on your face everyday, every moment. It truly, deeply, madly makes me happy. Every single atom of my body, soul, mind. Your mother's too. And all those who love you so much. Little Manu, as I already have told you before, I have loved you much before you were born and given into my hands. And I will love you till I breath my last, and yet miss loving you long after I am gone. You are my baby. My first baby. Nothing or nobody can take that place from you. You are the person who will call me daddy for the very first time. You have changed our lives in a magnitude I can never, ever explain. Seeing you, loving you and caring for you is all that I want to do. Just that. All the time. I miss you even when I am with you, my baby. Love you, lots.



Monday, February 25, 2013

I love my bed mates.

I hit the sack with the two most precious things in my life. My wife and my son. And every night I wake up from my sleep just to sit and watch these gems sleeping. This daily ritual has made me closer to His Grace and makes me strive to be a better, worthier person of the so much blessings that has been bestowed on me.

My son, my wife. The best things that has happened to me in this life are them. Life is never just existing, its truly LIVING everytime and every second I am in their presence. Pull me away from those where my heart resides and I wither like a plucked flower in the sun.

His Grace, His Love and to His Plans, we all fully and totally surrender to. And the to the love that I receive on earth, brings me to my knees.


Chicken and White Cream Pasta

One thing Babi craved for during her pregnancy was Chicken Pasta. She never got tired of it. I mean, how many times have you heard somebody telling you about such a craving ever before? But that was hers. And she would not settle for anything other than the one I cooked for her. We tried a variety of places, but none actually satisfied her palate.  So I cooked pasta at least 5 times a week and nothing ever went waste, as she would have the left overs for breakfast and the remaining for lunch!!

I am so glad that we had her sister staying with us and she would help me in chopping the vegetables.

Let me share quickly with you the recipe I used often. Its simple and keeping the basic framework in place, you could try various new styles too. Also, most importantly, this is the first time I am trying to compose a cooking recipe. So please ignore if it sounds funny. Here we go :

Ingredients :

1. Pasta : 1 packet 500gms serves 06 gluttons easily. (I personally like to use fusilli, and brand : Andalini)
2. Chicken :  ½ kg. Cut into small cubes, or you could also use chopped sausages (it saves time)
3. Vegetables : You can use all that you like. I use carrots, capsicum and occasionally broccoli. Just a half more than a cup full, including everything. You could also add a bit of spinach. It tastes good too.
4. Eggs : 02
5. Onions : 03 big, finely chopped.
6. Tomatoes : 02. Finely chopped.
7. Ginger garlic paste : 3 tablespoons.
8. Blackpepper powder : 1 teaspoon.
9. Fresh cream : 500ml.
10. Salt to taste.
11. Olive oil.
12. Chilli sause : I tablespoon
13. Soya sause : 1 teaspoon
14. Hot sause : 1 teaspoon

Method :

1. Take a large bowl. Put the pasta in it. And pour water to fully submerge the pasta and stop when the water level is a bit above it. Sprinkle some salt and add a dash of olive oil. (Olive oil makes sure the pasta don’t stick to each other and the salt adds to the taste by not making it feel bland)
2. Cook the same for ten minutes on moderate flame and stop the flame and allow it to cook in the vessel with the lid placed for an other ten minutes.
3. Meanwhile, take a pan and pour olive oil into it. Shallow fry the chicken cubes for half a minute and remove it from flame. While you are doing that you can also add to the flavour by adding some oregano or basil leaves on to it. But this is just an add on.
4. Scramble the eggs and keep aside.
5. Shallow fry the onions in olive oil, and to that add the vegetables, ginger garlic paste, salt and black pepper.
6. When they have cooked, into goes the chicken and the scrambled egg.
7. Add the sauces into this now.
8. Once the ten minutes are up, see if the pasta is cooked fully and remove it into a strainer and wash with cold water and allow it to drain.
9. Take the large bowl again and pour a dash of olive oil. Into that goes the mixture you’ve made. 
10. To that add the fresh crème and stir thoroughly. 
11. Just about when the crème is cooked and hot, put the pasta into it and mix thoroughly till all ingredients are mixed well.
12. Cook on low flame for about 3 minutes and you are ready to serve.
13. You could garnish it with some grated cheese and broccoli and it really brings out the flavour.

At the end what you get is a nice and creamy chicken pasta and yes, it does taste quite good.

So when you have the time and mood to try something out in your kitchen, this is a dish you should, because the chances for it to goof up is minimal and also, it requires less cooking time. 

And for expecting daddy’s similar conditions like mine , this recipe can literally save you.

Got to rush, there’s pasta on the stove. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My leap into Kerala Mural Art.

Murals have always facinated me. And some day, I wish to learn to do it myself. Taking the first step here using pencils. What's below is how it turned out to be. Not too bad for a first timer, I think. No?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fear to love? Just love.

What is the biggest fear in love?

It is the fear of the same love not being regarded or returned. That doubt? The insecurity?

The moment this creeps into the mind then every action is a query, every reaction a test. That constant fight between - he/she loves me (or) he/she doesn't care/takes me for granted.

In the whole frame, what we miss out is our chance to fully love somebody and at the same time, be fully worthy of the love we deserve from that person.

Yes, there are traitors, and the evil ones, but most often than not, we usually end up killing our own relationships. I feel doubt is like a tumor. You either remove it, or it kills you.

So its up to you to choose your audience in the arena of love, and choose to love them as long as they last there. Life then turns out to be easy. And beautiful. And real.

Just love. Its that simple.

Valentines day 2013.

Yes, people do say that we really don't need any special day to celebrate a relationship that we treasure. I disagree. How difficult is it to take a day out from our busy routines for our special ones just to let them know how special it is to have them in our lives and how positively blessed we are for the same? Valentines day, Father's, Mother's, Friend's, Sibling's day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Festivals - I celebrate them all. Who cares if these are tricks by some card companies and food chains to boost their sales? I say they are doing a fantastic job. In a age when life is always on fourth gear with no time to call/spend with the ones you care - these special days that come only a year need to be celebrated and cherished.

Having said that, dear wife, my lady, Babi - Thank you. For loving and believing in me like no one has ever done before. I feel utterly privileged to have you in my life. Let our love know no bounds. ♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Absolute bliss.

Yesterday I woke up from my sleep suddenly in the night because I thought Manu had woken up and was tossing in bed. But when I looked, he was still deep asleep, but was just changing his position in his bassinet.

I looked at the time. It was 05:00 in the morning and still dark outside. As I lay down, tucking myself back in bed, I rolled over to see the most beautiful miracles in my life lying just next to me. I got up, took the bed lamp in my hand and brought it closer to the mother and child to see their faces clearly. With no exaggeration, I felt as if there lay a fairy with an angel lying next to her. What a beautiful sight that was. I wanted to rush and grab my camera and capture every detail of it. But the sight was so overwhelming to me that I could not move my eyes that were so fixed onto them and I was anxious that the moment might pass by the time I came back with the camera.

Even as I write about that night, I can feel the goose-flesh active on my body. That state of tranquil trans lasted for a while. Then, as my hands started to ache, I put down the lamp after fully absorbing that moment by my eyes, and soaking that memory into my heart.

How lucky I am to have these gems in my life. My wife. My baby.

I fell at once onto my knees to thank the Power above who makes these small miracles happen in our lives and adds onto our pocketful of memories.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Life of a daddy.

I've waited for this role for long and I had gotten here long before I actually was. But actually being here has given a whole new meaning to the phrase - being daddy, and also its clear to me how pregnant with meaning it actually is.

I've seen and heard how people associate bringing up the baby with sleepless nights and aching arms from carrying them repeatedly. How often I hear - "it's the end of your happy days", etc. But many a time we tend to forget about this blessing that is in our arms. That piece of flesh and bones that is completely and fully yours and who will carry forward your name in the days to come, whether he likes it or not. One clean, clear slate that is completely up to you to fill. With happiness, with wisdom, with love, with compassion, with humility, with fear and trust in God, and with so much more that you thought would keep your life in balance, in harmony. How overwhelming it is when you realise that your child might some day rule the world or destroy it. And how then the way you brought him up would completely matter.

For me, it is this that makes me shaky in my knee and brings me closest to humility. That fear of filling that slate with just the right things and nothing wrong. From mere-human, not-so-perfect, ordinary person like myself, how much of a miracle can I expect, I wonder.

I just hope I am doing my job right. I really want to.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The rotten apple.

Sometimes you might be part of the best team, but that one bad apple (read as ass-hole) can spoil the entire fun.

Like today for instance. I so much want to take his name and feel happy to hear from all the people whom he has ever met or interacted with ever in his lifetime that he has always been one jerk, but I just dont want to be so rude and personal. Doing that might bring me closer to his way of operation and thinking - that which I am not.

But it is beyond me to just sit there and watch them spilling poison and watching it mess peoples lives. But it is also not a great idea to make this affect my own life and feel miserable. No? Yes? I dont know.

But one thing that's true - I am truly so damn pissed!!