Monday, September 29, 2008

Baptising the baby

If you are planning to Baptise a baby, it is better to do it young. or else wait until the kid is about three years old. The same goes for ear piercing, and giving hair cuts and all those sort of things. If that means that you will have a wildcat with too much hair, it is not that much a problem.

Then again, you may wish to take a deep breath and just do it, as other people (namely us) have.

Anjali's Indian baptism ceremony was done when she was a year old. She cooperated beautifully, but that was mostly because she didnt know enough and had a much shorter memory than she does now.

since we were going to Romania, we decided to club together with our visit two events - husband and my Orthodox marriage ceremony and Anjali's baptism. After speaking to Bu and Tata Sile, it was decided to hold both ceremonies on the same day and to hold the baptism before the marriage, given that Anjali may be tired if she had to sit through a one hour ceremony before the action began for her.

I discussed in detail with Bu about the ceremony and found that it would be an hour long, would involve Anjali staying with her Godfather (little Alexandru) throughout the ceremony, the priest putting perfumed oil on her, and what worried bu the most was that the priest would dunk her in water.

Bu offered to negotiate with the priest to sprinkle water over Anjali instead of dunking her in water.

"Would the water be cold?" I asked.


I remembered how we had poured cold water over Anjali, the priest, me and husband, during her puniyajanam and decided that dunking Anjali in Apa would be alright.

Of course, i had not reckoned with the increased awareness, stubbornness etc (for more details, see top of post).

It began fine. Anjali took her (admittedly shorter than usual) afternoon nap and then got dressed in a beautiful traditional costume, wore stockings to complete the picture and came to the church. The ceremony began. She was suspicious, but decided to see what was going on. As the priest read passages from the Bible and Alexandru did the same, Anjali listened very carefully. The priest, seeing Anjali decided that it would be a better option for me to hold her through the ceremony and that Alexandru could simply keep a hand on her.

All went fine until we were given the instructions to remove her clothes for the dunking in water event. Anjali, already suspicious, put up with us until she was back in my arms. Then the priest came along with perfumed oil. The crying began then. But it stopped soon after the priest withdrew.

Then the priest had to take her away from me to put her in the bucket of water. Now, there was a problem she hadnt foreseen. Who was this oddly dressed man who is taking her away from her mother? She didnt like it, not one bit. So the crying and screaming began. And you can see how it was.


When we took her out of the apa, she had to get dressed, and fast. But I wanted to hold her a minute against the towel, to comfort Anjali as she cried out her indignation.

That was
When we went around the icons after getting dressed (her "thai" had brought her nice clothes to wear for the ceremony), the crying began again, and then she pointed to the doors of the church, saying "Out"

Incidentally, I want to retract the blog post where I was worried about Anjali talking. Ever since we got to Romania, her vocabulary has been growing ever stronger. Pity that her favorite words for the moment are

"No" (For almost anything), "Ammamma, Up" (when i am sleeping), "Ammamma Out" (regardless of the time of the night or day) and "va va", (for when she is going out and I dont want to follow)

Back to the baptism, just to conclude the story on the Baptism ceremony alone, we respected the "Out" bit and took her out for five minutes for a break before the start of the marriage ceremony. The minute we stepped out of the church, we saw two dogs across the street and Anjali got all excited, saying "loll Loll".

But then we had to go back inside (for obviously the priest cant perform a marriage when the bride and groom are outside the church looking at loll lolls), and then the circus began all over again, but more on that later...

Some photos for now...

A quiet beginning
The godfather's part in the ceremony

Just before dumping in apa
The actual dumping. there were no frontal photos
We dont like this one bit.
Here is when she peed on me.

Refusing to leave mummy

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some funny scenes from the mountain trip

There are still many photos and videos to process and add. Here are some really funny ones from the trip to the mountains, where Anjali either learns something new, makes important discoveries, acts funny, interacts with others or is simply amusing.


Town squares

The thing about Europe is that many towns have a historical center, which has a central square. The town squares became a very interesting spot for Anjali because, firstly, they were very big, with plenty of space to run around, secondly, no one would stop her when she ran around because there were no vehicles around the square, thirdly, the squares were full of people, and surrounded by shops, so there was plenty to see.

Most importantly, for some reason, the town squares were full of pigeons. They provide a lot of chasing and running after material, which Anjali enjoyed very much.

You can distinguish the town squares by the fact that in each new one Anjali wears a different dress. The first one is in Amsterdam, the second in Sibiu (Romania) and the third in Brasov, also in Romania.

Bu and tata

Anjali took to Bu very fast, thanks to photos and because Bu played a lot with Anjali on the floor.
In the morning, the little madam would get up, point to her shoes and say "su"

Once the shoe gets on, she would go to the top of the stairs and call

"Bu, Bu"

And when either Bu or tata sile came out she would laugh very loud. It was quite funny to watch.

Mostly she was very cheeky with Bu, going to the kitchen, calling "Bu, Bu" and when Bu came out, screaming and running back to me.

When we came back, there was a stop over in Ansterdam, where was we sat in a sofa in the airport. A woman sat at our back, with short hair.

Anjali kept pointing to the woman and saying "Bu, Bu", refusing to understand when i told her that that was not Bu. She kept calling, puzzled when the woman didnt turn. It was not until the woman turned and she got a glimpse of the face, did she realize that it was not Bu and then she went back to other monkey business.

But she didnt voluntarily go to Bu, not until we were about to leave and then she said bye and went into Bu's arms. That, i guess made Bu cry after we left.


Playing at Bu's house

This is Anjali watching and reacting to her video and then dancing to the teddy bear rhyme.

If she wants it on tv, she would stand in front of the tv, say "T", then "Aaannie", meaning that Aaannie should go on the tv.

it runs something like twice a day. every one else is bored of it, except for Aannie


Romanian trip in a nutshell

Anjali is extremely jet lagged. slept at 3.30 am last night. As a result, so am I, and am sitting at the office, eating coffee flavored toffees to keep me awake. Here are a few quick photos to summarize the trip. The trip was so wonderful that it would probably take several weeks of posts to talk about it all, and videos and everything, so details will come in as and when i can put them up.


At Singapore airport, start of the trip
Amsterdam, on a three hour trip during a 7 hour stop over. We visited the town square, a church courtyard, a flower market
And took a boat ride around the canals of the city
In romania, we took a five day road trip to the transylvanian mountains (Carpathian range). Some photos of the road.

An apple tree
Outside an old church with Bu (Bunica)
Lets get back into the car asap, the wind is cutting through the bones - on the way to Bula lac, high up in the mountains

Bran castle. Garlic anyone? It is a beautiful castle, set in very nice surroundings.

At Sinaia, 1800 meters above the sea level. Sheep grazing in the background. Anjali has some interesting opinions about sheep and horses as you will see in some videos.
Peles Castle, Sinaia, with mountains in the background
Anjali's Baptism and our Religious marriage ceremony
Group photo outside the Church, more details coming soon.
Buzau, mud volcanoes. One of the most exotic places I have ever seen, less than an hour's drive from Buzau, Anjali enjoyed the volcanoes very much.
Eating watermelons in Bu's garden
The vegetable market at Buzau (apples sell at one dollar a kilo, peaches at 2 dollars. Grapes hang from Bu's garden by the tens of kilos). i tried to get as many as possible back with me but had to return most due to over baggage :(
Back in Schipol airport, Amsterdam for a short transit before coming home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A bun in the oven

If it is kept warm and fluffy, it will come out crisp and golden in a few months.

How cool can it get :P

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another sleepless night

I do wish it would stop raining in the evenings, then Anjali would play nicely in the evenings in the playground, get tired, have a bath, have her dinner and go to sleep. The last couple of days it had been raining really badly. Anjali didnt have the opportunity to climb, swing, slide and do whatever it is that little monkeys do at the playground.

As a result, last night, she just wasnt tired enough to sleep soundly throughout the night, and woke up for three drinks of milk. Between feeds, she was fussy, crying, wanting to be comforted and in general reefusing to sleep.

At 5.30 in the morning, when the third milk bottle went down, she had slready been up and gnawing at me for the past hour. When husband came with the bottle I told him "Listen, if she doesnt sleep, can you take over the entertainment? I have barely slept a wink all night."

Accordingly husband tried to pick up the little girl and walk with her around the house. A royal blue yell followed, which semi culminated in the barf of most of the last intake of milk.

When husband brought her back to the bedroom, she climbed on top of me and cried, until i assured her that I wont let her go. And the she fell asleep, just like that, across my torso.

Then, when I was fairly sure that she was asleep, I tried to tip her over on the bed.

The royal blue yell began again.

So she climbed back on me, tummy to tummy this time, and went back to sleep, with husband singing My Bonnie Lies over the ocean in a half sleepy and befuddled state.

I fell asleep and when I woke up at 7 in the morning, she was still sprawled over me, tummy to tummy. It was rather like sleeping with a large teddy bear with no fur.

It was rather fun (in retrospect)

Except that I have a hangover

And so does husband.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Elevator adventure a.k.a. The most scary moment of my life

This morning Anjali and I went as usual to patti's house. I was a little more befuddled than usual because of a very disturbed night's sleep (Anjali woke up almost 8 times last night, as opposed to twice, which is the norm).

We got into the elevator as usual and pressed 11. The lift went up and stopped. I went out. Anjali didnt. She wanted to swing the monkey from the lift bar.

I stayed outside the lift, holding the open button and said, "Anjali, come out". Anjali shook her head. It was all very fun.

Until the lift closed.

I hit the down button. It kept closing. I hit the up button, it still kept closing, and I watched helplessly through the glass panels as my daughter's face went from smiling to sober as the door closed behind her and the lift went up. It stopped at 13.

I jammed the two lift buttons as hard as I could. The next lift came. I took it up to 13 and raced out to the lobby.

No imp.

The lift had gone down to 1.

The last time I had panicked so much was when I was afraid that my dad would hit me because I had flunked a tamil test in seventh grade.

I took the next lift down to 1, prepared for the worst. It had happened. The lift that Anjali was in was going up. All the way past the 20s. I watched helplessly, all the time screaming Anjali in my panic stricken voice, as I hoped against hope that she had dropped off at 1 and gone to the playground or something. But Anjali's friends were in the playground, and she was not there.

The lift stopped at 28. There is no way that it would stay at 28 while I took another lift up. Yet, what could I do?

(If anyone who is reading this is laughing, leave a note in my comments section. I will personally hunt u up and box your face.)

It was the longest elevator ride of my life. I dashed out of my lift at 28, glancing up with a sinking heart. The other lift had gone down.

"Anjali!", I screamed, more in desperation and despair, than in any real hope that she would hear me.

"here!" Came a voice.

It was the most beautiful voice that i had ever heard.

And Anjali was standing at the doorstep of a house three doors down.

"Amma", she said, coming towards me.

That was when I burst into tears. Gathering her to me, I lifted Anjali up. She pointed to the lady, with whom she had been.

"you were with aunty?" I asked.

Point "um".

"I brought her up from one", said that lady, "because she was alone"

I told husband this over the phone.

"Thats the second time!" he said proudly. (He can be proud! He wasnt there and didnt feel the same blind panic as I did.)

But you ought to hand it to the little girl for displaying a presence of mind and not crying, and going with the lady to wait for me. I still dont know whether to be terrified or thankful or both.