My nieces are at the age where they just make an impromptu video call on WhatsApp and can go on for a long time. But it has been a while since I had spoken to them as they were busy with school and exams and such. I had sent them a selfie when I had received my reading glasses and I was trying to smile and take a selfie at the same time. I am very good at multi-tasking except for taking a selfie and smiling at the same time. I have never got that right and trust me, I have tried it way too many times and have failed every single time. Something about seeing yourself in the camera and trying to smile and yet thinking about the composition… never works for me. I applaud every single one of you who can take a good selfie.
So last week, when my nieces called, the first thing my niece said to me was “Your face looks so nice and so smooth…no wrinkles”. I wasn’t sure where this was coming from and why I wouldn’t have wrinkles. I am at the age where when I try to concentrate or when I try to smile or laugh you do have wrinkles on your forehead and your mouth which are otherwise called laugh lines. Also, I wasn’t sure if this was a backhanded compliment of sorts. So I asked her what she meant about wrinkles, she told me that in the photograph I sent with the reading glasses on, my face was full of wrinkles and that I looked old but now when they see me on camera there isn’t any and I looked the same as always. I couldn’t help but laugh and be surprised at the same time.
The more I spoke to her I realised that they still see me as the person from 5 years ago. They are surprised when I look a little bit haggard, especially on a bad day and show my age. They are not able to understand how I could age so much in so little time. By the time I finished the call with her, I felt so much older 🤣. I hope that when I move back and they see me more often, these kinds of comments will reduce (not expecting it to cease but at least reduce).
I recently got a gift for my nieces. Identical ones, so that they won’t fight. It was just a small kit with hair band, ear rings etc to be worn on a birthday. Since the second niece’s birth day is in December, I thought those two sisters can wear something similar that day. One of them was modeled after Frozen Elsa’s blue color stuff, with Elsa’s picture on the cover. I didn’t know if they had seen Frozen or not. So was surprised when my first niece (the eldest of the two) said that she will wear Elsa’s hair band. Then during a separate discussion she said that for her birthday in February, she would like to have Elsa’s dress as my gift for her. I thought she might go for Anna’s and again was surprised when she asked me for Elsa’s. When I asked her about it she said, well, Elsa is the eldest and I like her dress. Anna’s has a cape which I am not fond of and it is stifling in the heat. 😆
The gifts are ready, rental car booked, camera ready…all set for my weekend trip to visit my nieces and nephew in Chennai. My siblings are coming to take part in their friend’s wedding reception there. So I might miss out on my weekend posts starting with the Friday photography challenge, SoCS and Song lyric Sunday. But will come back on Monday and check them out.
It’s been a while since I have been to Chennai. There was a time when I used to do quick trips from Hyderabad to Chennai for interviews. After that time, the only other stop I made was as a layover on my way to other places like Singapore/Pondicherry. Looks like there might be some rain there, which I wouldn’t mind given that it is 28 degrees C and kind of hot in Bangalore for a winter. Hopefully there will be time for us to enjoy the beaches there in between the rains. And I am also looking forward to surprise my nieces since they don’t know that I will be there too. And I know that my mom would get me her Diwali sweets supply. Yum, yum 🙂
Catch you all later . Stay safe & Happy Blogging ☺
My nieces and nephew are here for a week for their vacation and ever since then the only time the TV is switched on is for their benefit and the only channels that get played on and on and on are the Pogo (for Chota Bheem 🙄 ) and iKidsWorld for the Karadi Tales rhymes or stories from Amar Chitra Katha. There is one song which is now the favorite of all three kids.
Have you heard of the stories about a person trying to straighten a dog’s tail ? There are lots of versions of it everywhere eg. Version 1, Version 2. The same is portrayed in a rhyme and it’s fun to watch too. This is being played so much that I have started to remember the lyrics and am singing along with it 😯 I hope that is normal and a natural course of action and I seriously wish that I don’t start humming these songs which I usually do, especially at work.
While on my quick trip to my hometown, my first niece (age 6.5 years) had this idea that she will accompany me back to Bangalore since her vacation had already started and stay here with me until her parents and my sister join me two weeks later. I rebooked my tickets after consulting everyone. But when the day arrived for me to leave along with her, my brother was more than worried. He was almost panicking to leave her alone with me. He sat me down and recited a big list of do’s and don’t’s. What to feed her, what to do while I take her out, what she might do and how I shouldn’t react etc. All the while I was rolling my eyes wondering what has got my brother’s pants in a twist. Not that I haven’t take my nieces on my own while I was there. She is totally comfortable being with me and she was ready to come and explore a new place, given that this was totally her own idea. And it is not that I don’t know how to handle my nieces and nephew and they all know that very well.
While I was having a fitful sleep on the bus I realized that this it the first time ever he is going to be away from his daughter for almost a week or, and if she wishes, more. He does keep going for his business trip for a day or two away from home but stopped being away for more than 2 days at a stretch. Irrespective of how active he is or isn’t in their studies or other activities, he needs their presence at home. And one or two weeks of one of his kids away might not have been a pleasant thing for him, I guess. I had to keep updating her status every one hour today after reaching my place so that he would be rest assured that she is safe and told him that these updates will reduce every day except for daily calls in the morning and evening 🙂 So far she is doing good because it is a new place and she is still exploring. No idea how things will pan out in a couple of days. There aren’t too many toys available at my place, obviously. But I do have books and my iPad with lots of games in it, which is more than enough for her, I hope. She is also planning to join me for the gym and watch me do exercises and probably take part in it too (wondering how that is going to go).
While on our way here in the early morning, the bus arrived quite early (close to 5 am) and I had to wake her up and get her ready to get down the bus and catch an autorickshaw to get to my place. All the while, I had an iron grip on her so that she wouldn’t wander away. Even in the autorickshaw, I wouldn’t let go of her. The moment we stepped in our apartment complex, I felt a big relief and was overcome with a sense of safety. I needed a familiar surrounding where I have people whom I trust and a place I have control over, to feel that she is indeed safe with me and that we made it through. That is when I realized my brother’s fear. No wonder he was panicking. And I didn’t realize how much difficult it must be for him or my sister in law or even my other niece to let go of my first niece to a surrounding totally different from their own in a totally different place, where they won’t be available for any emergencies. The cons of not being a parent. I don’t think my brother will let her be here for more than week if not less, but I will try my best to assure him that she is enjoying herself out here as long as she is here (and I don’t think he will be assured at least not in this trip, but I can definitely try) . She wanted a different experience for her vacation this year and I am planning to give her one to the best of my abilities.