Friday, February 19, 2010
I first came to know that she was on the way in April,1994-----and she arrived on 23rd.December1994 at 1.44 p.m. in St.Elizabeth's Nursing Home.On arrival the first thing she did was to just grab hold of our hearts and hold them tight in her tiny starfish hands------that's the way it's been since----She is our life----our beautiful grand-daughter!!!
I have this habit of giving nicknames to all the people I love-------thus when I first set my eyes on this grey eyed rosy cheeked baby the first thing that came to mind was----Buddha bless you.She resembled those Shaolin Monks in the movie"The Temple of Shaolin" and so for the first month she was Buddha bless you!!!That month was spent familiarising herself with her surroundings and by the next month she had gained enough confidence to become demanding and imperious---that was when she progressed from the earlier name to the royal"They".Each month had a different flavour to it----so did the names----from being called just whatever came to mind must have been confusing but I must say that she coped magnificently-----if it was Aaji calling in that tone dripping honey---it had to be for her!!!
At age six months my sweet little bundle turned into a little despot----and the name "Raavana" stuck to her ever since!!!It became a battle of wills between her and me---we were each other's best friends(still are)but both being stubborn and self willed we'd fight on petty issues---no words were used---only glaring looks and staring eyes---since then she has felt that both of us are of the same age!!!!On those days when she was a sweet, good amiable baby she was The Maganlal Chhaganlal Paapiwaaley!!!Her father's a Gujarati---hence the two first names and "Paapi" in Marathi means a kiss----so each time I wanted a kiss I'd address her thus----and she'd very graciously oblige!!!!Whenever she'd come over to stay overnight with us,she'd walk out of the kids bedroom with her eyes closed and arms spread out calling"Aaji mala ghey"meaning "Grandma please pick me up!!!" early in morning after hearing my footsteps in the kitchen.Then I'd make our morning Tea while she clung like a Limpet to me!!!We did a lot of things together---she'd sit with me when I recorded my music---she has an ear for Music---or during our afternoon siestas she'd lie with her head on my arm and I'd tell her Fairy Tales,Legends from ancient Mythology,bits of Indian History------she was like a sponge---soaking up everything!!!!Though we are 40 years apart in age we're very much alike----I call her my "Ansh Avataar" or my little Clone!!!
She grew up multilingual---at the age of 3 spoke Marathi,Gujarati,Hindi and English and could switch languages with effortless ease in mid sentence!!!As she grew older, her names grew too---some of the moment but some that stuck-------the most popular ones being Magad the Bagad(Bagad means Fish-Head considered to be a Brain food),Mon the Ton and Mogadishu!!!Now I just like the sound of the last one---it's the capital of Somalia---but somehow it fits my Raavana well!!!
Today she is a tall (5'8")slender but strong young teen----studying in High School----a very clever student who is active in quite a few student activities.She plays Tennis, Volley Ball, Basket Ball and is also studying the Bharata Natyam---a classical Indian Dance form.Even today she loves to listen to old Fairy Tales-----and still claims that her Aaji's arm is the best pillow she can ever have!!!