Thursday, August 16, 2007

Uncle Abhi and Aunty Richa come to visit

Two of my best and oldest friends, Richa and Abhimanyu, came by yesterday to visit. Both are still unmarried (hey, they are still me!), and for them, kids are a slightly far away prospect - in fact, just a few years ago, none of us could have imagined cooing over a little baby -especially one of ours.

Which is why it was most fascinating to see their behaviour around Peanut.

Abhimanyu ( 'Don't call me Uncle' ) could only keep staring at the baby and grinning like an idiot. He was the first person outside the family to see Peanut, at the hospital itself - and I don't think he has stopped grinning like an idiot ever since. These spells of grinning idiocy were broken only by his shocked gasps when he saw Vijay manhandling the baby.

Vijay, of course, believes in, umm, 'strengthening' the baby with a little bit of occasional 'exercise' - he does get carried away a bit and tries to manipulate her facial expressions by hand - Abhimanyu was totally aghast to see this behaviour, and kept telling Vijay that her bones are soft and still forming and he shouldn't be doing stuff like this, as below:

Vijay laughed cockily at Abhimanyu's expressed fears -until Peanut decided to get her own back. Now, she occasionally tends to cross her big eyes, and while my sister and I had seen this before, Vijay had not. So he was grinning in her face while playing with her, when she decided to smile really widely -but with her eyes crossed. He yelped in fright 'Hey! Iss ko kya ho gaya!? Why are her eyes like that?' He clearly thought for that one moment that his rough-housing had resulted in rattling something loose inside her, resulting in a cock-eyed child. She went back to normal again pretty quickly but it was good fun to see his reaction.

Abhimanyu, being a product designer by profession, had his usual know-it-all attitude about the pictures I've been taking. 'You suck at this...your settings are all wrong...let me do it...'. Being around the baby had clearly addled his brain. This was made clear when he finished a supercilious remark with the information that I needed a 'gooder' camera.

And again, by his reaction, when he kept failing to find a setting that did not use the flash (He was convinced that the constant use of the flash is going to blind the baby). After he took a yet another picture of her at close range and the camera flashed in her eyes, making her blink, Vijay heard Abhi muttering to himself 'Dammit! The flash went off again...hurting her eyes...I better delete this picture...'


We laughed at him a lot.

This is him following his self-imposed 'Look but don't touch' policy.

Richa had flown down from New York with a whole load of baby stuff, on which she has clearly spent a fortune. She clearly feels a sense of ownership of 'our baby' as she puts it, as borne out by her first SMS to me after Peanut was born, asking 'Does she have my eyes?'. Being a fashion designer, she took on the role of Peanut's self appointed hair stylist and subjected the poor baby girl to the following looks.

1. The Pixie Look

2. The disgruntled fat, oily bureaucrat look:

3. The Punk Rocker Look (Richa is holding up a tissue behind Peanut's head to show off the style in all its glory):

Vijay left after a while, and then it was the three of us, talking about our lives, and how things had changed in the 12 years we've known each other. We kept breaking off to watch the baby making her usual funny faces in her sleep.

Abhimanyu's sentiments were summed up at the end of the evening as they were leaving. He gripped my shoulder tight and in a gruff voice, said the two words any woman is always delighted to hear in this new phase of her life.

'Good Job'.

Anyway, this is one of the three decent pictures (out of 30 attempts) that Abhi had taken. Given Vijay's constant hogging of her, I am quite happy to have at least one picture with my daughter. I am only attempting a slight tug at her cheek to cause a smile - not at all distorting her features like her father does.


  1. Finally a pic of you two. :)

    Listen, the bones really are less than set hard like ours, so make sure that Peanut is always perfectly comfortable with the roughhousing. The Bhablet always let us know when we did anything wrong!

    Also, your friend is right about the flash. She can only see bright colours and mostly in monochrome now so very sudden bright lights can hurt her eyes.

    I used to chew apart people who took pics of The Bhablet with the flash on. I hated to see him wince and squint right after the photo was taken.

    Sue the Censorious

  2. Sue,

    Peanut always lets us know too - is a very expressive baby!

    Agree with you on the flash part, need to find the right setting on camera - or stop taking them from close range, especially when she is awake!

  3. good lord duh duh. stop!

    seems to me that what you guys were really looking for was a doll or a toy. stop manhandling your little baby! you know something is wrong if abhi is providing 'value-add' parenting tips

    sorry abhi! just kidding - i will be certain to check with you for tips if i ever venture down the path of parenthood. actually that's far off. i first need to venture down the path of 'finding-a-woman-hood'.

    ah, this is life ... deep sigh.

    wait - wasn't this supposed to be a comment about this post? too late for that.

    PS: duh duh - yes very sweet pic of the two of you. and she is starting to look like you ... especially in the pixie photograph.

  4. Sooo cute! This post was really really funny! And, ofcourse, she sleeps peacefully through the 'bad hair day' and manhandling! Wish we could be as carefree when we grew up! :)

  5. If you're taking votes on Peanut's hairstyle, I'm for the pixie look.

    I have the same problem, since I am the family photographer, I have very few photos of me and moppet.

  6. :) Adorable child .. all this experimenting with her hair will go on only until she's 5 or so .. so u better make good use of the time u have now ... after that its "my hair, my comb, my style" all the way!

  7. Such fun! Enjoyed the hairstyles, esp. fat oily bureaucrat.
    Is she the first baby in your group of friends? In any case, she certainly seems to be a most preferred, privileged Peanut.
    Vijay must have really had a scare when she went all cross-eyed on him:)

  8. The last photo is mighty precious, God bless you both :)

    So is the last photo of the previous post, the daddy-daughter awesome twosome :)

    And so is the "pandit ji, nange" photo.. she winked!

  9. Ganju: You are right, for once. It just hit me. Abhimanyu is providing parenting tips. Good Lord!

    Still Searching: We are taking many liberties now. The backlash will come when she learns how to talk. Will really hear it from her then.

    Moppet's Mom: I agree. The Pixie Look is the winner by far.

    Unpredictable: Till 5? I think we have much less time. She has already begun to assert her personality in many ways - and is only 20 days old today!

    Dipali: Yes, she is very much the first baby in my friend circle - and Vijay was definitely freaked out by the cross eyed expression. I wish I could catch that on camera :-)

    Stuti: Thank you. I love these pics too :-)

  10. gah! i dont believe parents can ever hurt a child... manhandle away vijay.. i'm with you and so is the OA though he doesnt know it.

    and are we going ot keep calling her peanut or do you plan to name her anytime soon?

  11. Mad Momma: I can tell you Vijay is going to really like you for this one!

    Will be naming her before end of this month, shall keep all posted. Vijay and I have not exactly been seeing eye to eye on the name (What a shock, eh?) We're almost there now.

  12. btw, I reread a few of your posts... the '"leetle" more vitriol' bit reminded me of Uma Thurman's "leetle bit more information that I needed Vince" from Pulp Fiction, so thought i'd check - was that in your mind? just an arbit(rary) question i thought i'd ask then, but forgot, so asking now...

  13. Stuti,

    The word 'Eh?' comes to mind.

    I have not seen Pulp Fiction - I intend to but it's a leetle too violent... Dammit! I did it again!

  14. it's NOT violent!! No! No!! No!!! Reservoir Dogs, yes. Kill Bill, Yes Yes. Pulp Fiction - NO!!! No, No.

    Sorry, a little (leetle?? heheh) too vehement, but it's NOT! Only two shoot outs scenes, lasting 5 seconds each.

    Gul, Mehul, Ira, Jiya, Kuhu, Rewa, Sana, Taru, Vani, Panna, Mridu, Pakhi, Meher, Maitri, Aadya, Mishti, Anshu, Smita

    Sorry for the deluge, they are all baby names… I love naming babies (or pets, or anything, for that matter)… have three to my credit till now.. You may want to glance through the list, if you haven't already decided on one already… looking forward to knowing the "xyz" portion of little miss xyz Lal Sharma.

  15. Stuti,

    I will take your word for it then, and will watch the movie soon :-)

    I thought you had lost it for a moment but then realised they were baby names. Thanks, some are really pretty, will use them to add to the confusion. But seriously 'Mishti'?


  16. gosh... i'm all gu and coo inside looking th the two of you... and i'm so so so missing you just now...
    come to bombay NOW!! Been really long..
    am all teary eyed now... really miss you...
    not so appropriate for a blog comment... but am too lazy to type such a long sms...

    am really crying now..

  17. Loved the different looks :). The oily hair one is hilarious!


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