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Monday, October 26, 2009

Yet Another Penblwydd Hapus!

Now, I admit, I have been "29 and holding" for as long as I can remember. For, you see, Time froze that part of my brain that keeps track of such things.

And, when you throw in the day with 'Nakshatram' date (per Panchangam Lunar calendar), the day with the actual 'English' date (per Gregorian calendar), plus, the day one gets to share chocolate treats with school-mates as the Gregorian date fell on a weekend, coupled with the recent phenomenon of celebrating over the weekend as weekdays are too busy for anything more than a perfunctory peck and a wish, over the years, it tends to complicate things...

By mere addition of 'birthdays celebrated' (never mind the multiples in a given year or the actual definition of 'celebrated'), I should be nearing a ripe old age of 108, I am guessing.

Nevertheless, it is nice to mark the occasion, not only to kick myself in the rear for not having done all the things I set out to do in the last 12 months, but also to pat my back at the same time (think Contortionist) for having tried my best to do all the things I set out to do in the last 12 months and getting an entirely different set of things done all the same.

D is not into making a fuss about birthdays. Or anything else, if it comes right down to it. If I drop enough hints and set up reminders in his calendar he might do something about it.

But, that's okay. For now. Because, once Ana gets wind of an approaching birthday, she starts planning a celebration all of her own. Which usually involves a cake, balloons, some candles, some fancy dress, and an original greeting card.

And that's how I woke up to a Raspberry Chocolate Torte decorated with as many candles as Ana thought Amma's age was (which was 9)! Aiding-and-abetting Amma's delusions, atta gal!

And this lovely card.

While they say typically reading comes much before writing, and she has been "reading" phonetically for a while now, it almost seems like she has been secretly working on her writing in tandem all along...

She writes phonetically as well, so, it reads like Welsh to me... those darn vowels are tricky. And, English, as we all know, has more exceptions to the rule than it has rules.

So, I was immensely thrilled when she gave me her card which phonetically reads,
hap E brs dA amma,
with the lateral inversion characteristic of her age for p/q, b/d and such tricky consonants.

It shows the 4½-year-old's version of the world where the various colored areas are conjoined continents, with the ocean at the bottom laid out like flower petals.
  • enjoying the break from cooking, glad that D thought of an assortment of Asian-flavored take-out knowing the weakness Ana and Og have for fried foods, especially tempura and spring rolls, not to mention the greasy noodles and orange chicken;
  • beaming at Ana when she said, "she-she, Appa" (xie-xie) when D set up the take-out food and served her some favorites, explaining that is how her Chinese friend in class says "Thank You";
  • licking Og's cake-smeared face, and hair, and chest, and hands, passing it off as my usual shower of kisses;
  • catching Ana wipe the corners of her mouth after daintily stuffing tiny pieces of cake into it, pushing aside thoughts of the inevitable sugar-crash;
  • waiting for kids to be in bed so I can get that extra helping of cake without morally constipating myself;
  • opening my "surprise" present of divinely luxurious and aromatic Body Butter that D managed to get after I attached my wish-list in a shamelessly desperate email;
  • having a non-motion-blurred, stationary and discernible D by my side, albeit dozing away after 12 straight hours of buzzing about
  • sipping some rich and thick porter, watching Season 2 of Mad Men on DVD - one of the few indulgences I have patience for these days - hoping to top it off with a couple of episodes of Flight of the Conchords...
What more could one ask for by way of celebrating this gift of existence?!

Keep up your spinning and rolling, Mother Earth, for, as you go round and round the Sun, I get to take a magical journey and accumulate memories.

p.s: Penblwydd Hapus = pen-bloo-widh haa-piss. Seriously. That's how it sounds. And after hearing it from D for almost a decade now, it has stopped making me giggle - and, it means 'Happy Birthday', in Welsh!

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At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Ramys S said...

Happy Birthday Sheela! May this year be as enriching and rewarding as always!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger VJ said...

Happy birthday Sheela.
God bless and have a great year.

At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Poppy said...

Such a lovely card from Ana! You are spoilt by your angel in residence I tell you - she shows such maturity and thoughfulness:) Much like you I suppose :D

Happy 29 something Sheela, have a great year and life.

P.S I liked the licking of the cake from Oggie's face the best - oh the simple pleasures of smothering them babies with love!

At 5:33 AM, Anonymous utbtkids said...

Sheela, I am just loving Ana's version of the world. With every pic, I am thinking, now, what running around in her head when she drew this? This kid has some out of the box thinking.

Happy birthday again.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous sole said...

What a lovely summary Sheela. Glad you had the best day.

I am so in love with your daughter. It is such a lovely card and as perfect as it can be! I second poppy -Ana comes across already as a mature and thoughfful person - much like you :)!

Wishing you many more such lovely years and fun times with your kids! It is only going to get better in future with Oggie also pairing up with Ana for more surprises!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks Ramya! Very sweet of you to leave me a wonderful wish.

Thanks, VJ! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a "God bless" wish - it always makes me happy and humbled.

Thanks, Poppy! As to maturity, I don't know... refusing to acknowledge years past my 29th sort of rules that out, doesn't it :)

Thanks, utbtkids! Hopefully she will learn to express herself more and I can learn from it...

Thank you, Sole! What a nice picture you left me with - of Og and Ana ganging up to make things special :)

At 11:39 AM, Blogger the conflicted cook said...

Happy Birthday Sheela!

Thought I'd mention. I love the new layout with links to all the other areas of the blog. It made me go through some of the older and interesting posts.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

::the conflicted cook: Thanks!! It means a lot to me that you left a note about links to other areas of my blog - and that you explored them!
Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Reva said...

Happy Birthday Sheela.. am just a little late! It was fun reading your account of the day and Ana is simply amazing.. :)
A long pending email coming up soon.. :D

At 10:49 PM, Blogger ChoxBox said...


At 8:07 AM, Blogger Subhashree said...

Belated birthday wishes, Sheela. Thats a lovely card from Ana.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

::Reva::Thanks! Looking fwd to the email :)

::Choxie:: :) right back at you!

::Subha:: Thanks!


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