Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good things come in packages!

Scene 1:

Meera Bhawan- BITS, Pilani.
12.30 PM

On the common loudspeaker: 9117(/5217/4216/4217) Nithya...parcel (3X)

Scene 2:

VG/Lemans- Clemson, South Carolina.
11.30 AM

UPS/Fedex delivery staff banging on the door. I open hurriedly and am greeted with "Package for you ma'am".

Scene 3:

Any F1 student returning from an India trip.

SMS/call on the mobile with a 'receive package' message.


The neatly printed out address slip...explaining in full detail who I am, to any person who happens to lay their eyes over it (just misses my horoscope ;) ). The sender's address in a precaution in the case of non/mis delivery. The letter that comes with it, saying that everybody is fine and they wish for the same here....even if I speak to them daily!

All of these and much more are the hallmark signs of a package hand-made by my dad :)

The process of package-sending is very elaborate. It might be prasadam from a recent pooja at home, new clothes for some upcoming festival or something I forgot to get/ running out of. Invariably, there is an independent list of things that mom makes. Pickles, podis, ready-to-eat mixes, sweets, norukku theeni (snacks), etc. And the highpoint of the entire procedure is my dad's highly adept packing skills. Not only does he give multi-layered covers to each and every tiny thing that is sent, but also arranges them so compactly that, if furthered made fanciful, can be used as a magic trick. I end up taking out 5 things out of one big thing.

Ah! I missed out the generous usage of tape. His packages can be vouched to be leak-proof with Indian railways, Indian postal/courier service and recently I discovered...even with international cargo shipping! I can say with as much confidence as I have....give him the challenge of shipping water in a package without leakage and be sure to lose!! Over the years, I have spent my time unpacking these parcels, initially from amusement to irritation to pride.

These packages...whatever they might much ever I like /not-so-much like them....still deliver their message. I know that I have a place that I can return to.. when I fail, when I do not want to try, when I see no way out, when I am too tired, when I don't want to talk about anything, when I just want to be.

And that's what I call HOME.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Firsts dont fade

Well...the title should be very much self explanatory! All this while we are used to listening to people glorifying their first love, kiss, etc, etc. As I generally maintain, life doesn't appear beautiful just for lovers. Somehow love of other sorts have been sidelined all along. Probably because these aren't entertaining enough. Recently, I have had an opportunity to think of a certain first child concept and the complications that it carries.

To start with, I am not a first child and so I probably do not understand it that well. Being the first child is a great thing, until your rival is born that is :)...It becomes difficult for the elder one to accept that whatever they had complete authority over, has to shared by a person they don't know. Like, I would be happy to share a chocolate with a friend rather than a stranger. And when young parents are at this stage when they have to share their love in between their children, it is difficult for them too. No matter how much ever you try, it is not possible to think things won't change. is true, that it is all a transient phase and once they grow a lil older, siblings become your confidantes and how much ever you fight, verbally and physically assualt each other, they will be there for you anytime you need them. But what does a child of three or four know of all this. For that child, the new born is competition. Sometimes, it so happens that the elder one is so protective of the younger one that such issues don't arise. Again, that kinda happens only if the first child is significantly older.

And the bane of being the elder one is realized all through childhood and teenage. The younger ones always seem little to the parents and hence escape most of the pranks they pull. And the elder ones face the canon :P... The elder one is also automatically expected to be responsible and see to it that their younger siblings do not make/get into trouble.

Having talked about all this, it is also true that the memories of first-time parenthood can't be paralleled. The excitement, curiosity and the experience remains unmatched. Their (first kid's) childhood until their siblings are born, is showered with love from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles alike. For they are the FIRST! Actually, no matter how much the first child feels unattended and all that, they can still be sure that their sibling never had the undivided attention of people around, like they did. It might not be realized immediately, but down the lane they need to know what privilege they did enjoy. So...paying a lil price in the form of responsibility shouldn't be a big deal you know... :)

PS: Sorry Sow... :)