Monday, February 28, 2011

Letters to a little girl - nine

Dear Ragini,

Well, what can I say? Any later and we can combine the ninth and tenth letter and make it a combo-pack and give some plastic toy free with it.

Right then, first the milestones, except that I don't know where to begin. Any hopes that I may harboured in my secret heart of you being a docile, calm and collected child have been dashed, aided by that big brother of yours. Anything that he does, you need to copy with immediate effect. And he has a lot to offer, here, put your palm to your open mouth and make ba-ba-ba sounds. You rush to obey him. Both of you look very pleased with yourselves. It doesn't matter that the house resembles a pen full of sheep and we feel like we may have wandered into a farm. Actually, that would not be a bad idea. A relaxing day at the farm sounds good right about now.

You have been hauling yourself up and holding on to the guardrails that I have so thoughtfully put in the playroom and you have been cruising along and looking most superior. The battle of the formula has started. We are at loggerheads here. I would like to wean you. You don't agree. So naturally, you continue to nurse multiple times a day. And night. Sometime early this week, you decided that waking up at four every morning was the best way to wish your parents Suprabatham. Wide awake, you would strain your ears to listen to the strains of the morning raagas that must surely be playing somewhere in this household and not finding anything except the gentle snores of the pater, you burst into loud wails. Much consternation followed. Hopefully, that phase is in the past.

My twitter update this morning read, Saturday is like any other day, when you have a baybay, oh yay, yay, yay. Not going to tip Yeats in the poetry department anytime soon, eh, but the sentiment, my dear, the sentiment is what you need to pay attention to. All my days are spent writing stories in my head, whole novels even and none of them are being put to paper because the minutes become hours and the hours give way to days and the task of raising you and your brother fill all of them up. Well, soon, soon, soon, as the ticker in my brain tells me. Cannot forget that it's a privilege to have you here with us and to look after you. I come close, oh yes, many, many times each day but not too close and when I do come too close, then your father takes the day off and lets me off to collect my thoughts and just be for sometime.

Good old Taatha Paati are in the house and you have taken to them surprising quickly given that your normal social self points fingers at all strange faces and bawls her lungs out. But perhaps they are not strange faces and somewhere you understand that they are willing slaves to your princess act and it's alright to give them a chance to serve your babyness.

As usual, we have a revolving door policy when it comes to maids. One leaves, mayhem reigns supreme and then another one comes and so on and so forth till both of you are grown up and off to college. You know, I write these letters to you and give advice borne of my so-called and supposed wisdom but when it comes to maids and help, I have really learnt a lesson from the two of you. I used to get so emotionally invested in their life-stories, most of which would turn out to be complete cock and bull tales later on, they would ask for money and I would part with it and then they would leave and I would be most hurt and upset, my noble intentions of supporting their kids education and so on nipped in the bud by their early departure. You and Adi on the other hand are not at all affected by this come in and go out of maids. If someone is around, very nice, come to our room and play with us. Oh, you need to leave? No problem, safe journey. Stoic as they come. Perhaps you are already better judges of character than I can ever hope to be. Either that, or early cynics.


  • Learn to say it with flowers. Easy, mostly inexpensive and hasn't gone out of style in hundreds of years so there's got to be something to it.When in doubt, go for tuberoses. Perfectly fragrant and so beautiful.
  • Backpack through Europe before you turn 26. Your budget will depend on your college grades.
  • People don't leave jobs because of too much work or too tight deadlines. They leave because of bad bosses.
  • All parents like to hear how wonderful their kids are. Praise a new baby when you see it, you will make a new, tired mum or dad happy.
  • Chocolate, not vanilla. 
  • Figure out your signature perfume early in life.
  • Uncool as it may be, the truth is that we all become our parents. You will start seeing it for the first time in your thirties and from then on, it only gets more pronounced. Tough but true.
  • Cricket is important if you are an Indian. You will need to work with that. 
  • A perfectly brewed cup of tea requires good quality Assam or Darjeeling tea, boiling hot water, sugar and warm milk and patience, patience, patience. It is an underrated drink.
  • Interesting over beautiful. Funny over handsome. Brainy over brawny. For the long run.
  • See it happen in the eye of your mind to make it happen. Everything wonderful that sounded impossible came true for me because I dreamed hard enough and believed and behaved as if it was already in the bag. People call it various things - the secret, the power of positive thinking and so on. It's nothing but wanting something badly enough to work towards making it come true.
  • Learn how to change a spare tire. You are not really a driver till you can do that.
That's it for this time. Keep calm (me) and carry on (you).




sraikh said...

I am not a driver then :0 Cannot change a tyre to save my life.

Parul said... dear, Ragini is not a driver till she learns to change a spare.

i-me-myself said...

"Interesting over beautiful. Funny over handsome. Brainy over brawny. For the long run. "
How about considerate over charming/successful braggarts :)

Sonia said...

Do the maids leaving have anything to to with bad bosses? ;) I am just kidding, dont hate me :)

Totally love the "see in your minds eye" funda, it's so true!

subbulakshmistoned said...

I turn 22 this year and its like a wake up call for me. Thanks Parul!

Richa said...

beautiful the way u write as always.

I wish for Ragini to grow up soon to read them!

dipali said...

Thanks for being there, Ragu-baby! Thanks to you, we get to hear some awesome truths from your mother.God bless you all.

Kippie® said...

Yippie this months letter is finally here!! wooohooo! :)

Choxbox said...

like the ‘for the long run’ addendum ;)

awesome advice as usual.

Aarti said...

Good fun post....

People don't leave jobs because of too much work or too tight deadlines. They leave because of bad bosses.-- so true..

and biggest fear- that i will turn out like my mom!! sigh

Anonymous said...

Lovely advice except - NOOOO - NOT TUBEroses! They give me hives! :) :)

M (feeling pointless!)

Pepper said...

These are such gems Parul. Chocolate, not vanilla has been my mantra since as long as I can remember.

Ragu is going to grow up to be one charming woman!

Cuckoo said...

All perfect - But only Assam, no Darjeeling please :)

javascript:void(0)roop said...

lol Sonia!! :)))

lovely letter as usual! :)

Aneela Z said...

And there are some of us who suffer from 'battered wife syndrome" when it comes to maids. Each night dreaming of escape to wake up and welcome The Tormentor with open arms (she is so nice to me when she is "good")and "who out there is happy with their ' person'" I envy you for opening your heart and house each time and picking yourself up and walking on!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

*sits there speechless for a while as she does so after every letter to a little girl*

Perfect Witch said...

Awesome. Can't believe she is nine months already.
And totally right about tuber roses. I won't have any other flower :)

Nat said...

I always skip to the letter and then come back to the milestones. So good.

Fighter Jet said...

Liked all the advice!

Mom Gone Mad said...

I just adore these letters, P!