The Happy Sunday Syndrome :D

During 1960s, Amma has shared with me, how Sunday was the most awaited day. My granddad worked in WHO in double shifts some days to earn some extra bucks. Sunday was no less than a super day!

It was the day when my grandmother was not allowed in the kitchen. Grand-dad would buy mutton and cook it with his own recipe. Papaddams would also be fried. My mother says how eagerly her 3 siblings and she would wait to lay their hands on the yummmm mutton curry. After piping hot lunch consisting of rice, rasam, mutton and papaddams, there would be a game of cards. After a card session, finally the siesta. My mother still remembers every tiny aspect of the lovely Sunday she used to enjoy with her brothers and sister. 
Then came 1980s. The legacy continued in my home too. My father would bring chicken every Sunday around 11 am. And as it became 12:30 pm, the home would be filled in with the aroma of ground spices and chicken simmering away. I still cannot forget the whiff of the chicken being cooked with garlic inside the cooker. With every whistle, I would stop studying and wait impatiently for the moment when Amma would call me to taste the chicken. It was also the time when Papa would get into his nostalgic self and put on some old Malayalam movie songs. It used to followed by some movie which came in the Doordarshan channel. Oh, I will never forget those lazy Sundays. 
Fast forward…2010s. I have deliberately brought in this customary routine in my home too. Sunday is the day when lunch is special, no matter what. And what is special without good ol’ chicken, I say. The feeling is lovely when A keeps entering the kitchen every now and then asking me whether food is ready. N and A would keep peeping in, saying..”Ummmmm, it smells so good!” I cannot describe the feeling I have. It is like rewinding all the past Sundays my mother and I have experienced during our respective growing up days. The feel of having rasam, chicken fry and papaddams is unbeatable. This is then followed by a game of carroms or UNO. Ofcourse the siesta cannot be left behind. 

What is with Sundays?…I wonder. It has FAMILY written all over it. These days, most of us have the weekend off, but Saturdays never do to me what a Sunday does. I honestly do not like going out on a Sunday. There have been times when M has suggested going out for lunch and I refuse. I have never said the reason. Maybe I never realised there was a reason. But I guess, there is. Somethings never change, rather we don’t want to change. For me, Sunday is one of those things. 
I truly wish such Sundays keep coming in and the legend goes on and on….

A hug at night and a walk in rain.

Sonny darling has been sleeping on his own since he turned 5, which is like 3 years back. I still remember the big small eyes, full of awe and I-am-a-big-guy-now feeling, not to mention a tinge of fear and a dash of uncertainty. The bed time ritual then and now is still the same. We hold hands, talk for a while, kiss, hug, say good night and finally a small prayer. A very short and sweet prayer which my dad had taught me when I started sleeping alone.

Dear Lord Hanuman, Please do not let me see bad dreams. Even if I see it, just wake me up hitting me with your tail. (This is translated into Malayalam)

In the initial days of his new venture, a small zero watt bulb was left switched on the whole night in the passage between his room and ours. And then one fine say he said, “Switch it off Amma. I anyway don’t see the light when I sleep” 😛 It definitely helps that a faint light warms up the whole living room from the street light.

He is free to come to our bedroom any time during the night. He did that a lot initially, but now it hardly ever happens. But he knows, he is welcome anytime at night, without any questions asked.

During all these past days, there have been times when after going in for a while, he has come out with a pout. It mostly happens when M and I are watching TV. He comes to me and waits…for a hug. The first time it happened, it was quizzical and confusing, and almost worrying. Worrying because he would say, he is getting scared or he has heard noises, or he feels someone is coming to hurt him. I would just take him in my arms and hug him. Just that….hug him and whisper in his ears that M and I are always there for him. No one ever can hurt him with us being around. Almost in a jiffy, I can feel his heart beat calming down, the shoulders relaxing and a smile coming up. “Good night, Amma and Papa. I love you.” He says and goes off to sleep.

This painting has been done by my dearest and closest friend, Suhasini Vinayak. When I saw it, this experience with A came up in my mind. She was sweet enough to let me use her painting here.

You see, I could have asked A to start sleeping with us again after his bout of anxiety. But I reminded myself that, our kids at any point of time just need the security that we are around.

Life is not always sunny. Sometimes it gets cloudy and it pours too. As much as the rains could get uncomfortably wet, there is also an experience of the invigorating smell of the wet mud, the feel of wetness dripping through the body, the mild chillness which is amazing…? That’s when a child needs an umbrella and a short walk together with a loved one. We need not necessarily ask the child to stay indoors. Because, once the rain is over, and the sun is out…the child learns that the clouds were just temporary and that he has emerged stronger and happier.

Note: You can see more of Suhasini’s paintings here. 🙂