Monday, January 08, 2007

Bringing up the grandparents

Being the younger of the two siblings, I have always had it rough. And then people talk about how the younger kid is spoilt. I just don't get it. I wore hand-me-downs and discarded clothes of my sister for the longest time. Until I realised the only way I'd ever get new clothes is to eat my sister's share of food so that her clothes could never fit me. And don't even get me started about baby pictures. My sister's childhood pictures fill tomes. But there's like a few photos of mine here and there. Sometimes, in a bid to appease me, my mom will try to pawn of some of my sister's baby photos as mine. Apparently the camera stopped working by the time I was born. The only few photos that are there of mine, are of me as a bawling baby. Oh god- there I was, crying my infantile lungs out, and all my parents could think of was "hey, let's click a photo of her!". Perhaps it was a rented camera they had to return the very next day or something. If we lived in the U.S, I am sure social services would do them in just based on that evidence. Growing up, all those sisterly quarrels - and the disparity never escaped me. The whole "woh tumse badi hai na" was constantly thrown in my face. I desperately hoped that would change some day, and finally wisened up the fact that that would never change.. I was doomed. Anyways, enough whining. I braved all the atrocities and guess I turned out okay. Life goes on, and I definitely do not hold any of this against my sister. What's she to do , anyway?

A little over a year ago, my parents became grandparents. Kavita, my niece, is the apple of my eye. I have always been crazy about little kids and when kavita was born there couldn't have been a more proud aunt. What I didn't see coming was my parents transformation into doting grandparents. All that childhood trauma is coming back again. So I talk to my sister here on a daily basis, and she updates me on every new thing in Kavita's life. It is all so exciting. Often I wish I lived closer to them so I could see her more often. Whatever I was missing out on seeing live, my mother decided she would make up by way of repitition. So whatever Kavita does and says, my sis relays to my mom, and when I spend my precious calling card minutes to call India and talk to my parents, my mom repeats all that to me. All that could be said in a cingular-to-cingular free phone conversation is now being expressed over trans-atlantic phone-calls. For the second or third time. Recently my sis and family made a trip to India. Ofcourse, my parents had a blast with their darling grandchild. While they were there, my phone calls to India were rendered completely redundant. I'd call, and the phone would pass from hand to hand. Nobody had the time or inclination to talk to me. Ah well..I knew it was a matter of time before my sis and mom started arguing over the T.V and I decided to wait until then. All good things must come to an end and kavita and her parents are back. Now each time I call home, the phone conversations go something like this:

Mom: we are really missing kavita know what she used to say..
Me: mom, she's just a year old- she doesn't really say much yet.

But my words don't even make an impact on the smitten grandma. So I am about to get into this whole saga about how my experiments didn't work and my mom simply overrides me

Mom: so, did u talk to akka today? What is kavita saying?
Me: Mom, you talked to her 12 hours back. Between then and now, a new hair has sprouted on Kavita's india-return takloo head

Mom of course, doesn't find that funny.

Mom: But you talked to her after I talked to her..
Me: yeah, kavita was having her nap then.
Mom: Poor kid must be jet lagged.

One fine day I acquire some methi (green leafy vegetable) from the indian store so am all excited and decide to cook it before it rots. So after a tiring day in the lab, I call my mom.

Me: Mummy, give me your recipe for alu-methi.
Mom starts giving me the recipe, but gets side tracked into: what is kavita saying these days? did you talk to them today?
Me: Yeah mom, they're doing fine. So what do I do after the alu and methi have cooked?
Mom: Why don't you conference call akka now...
Me: Mummy, it is 12:30 midnight. They are sleeping.
Mom: Oh! then what are you doing up so late? OK now goodnight. Go to sleep. Call on the weekend when akka is also around.

Thankfully, for moments like this, there's google and I somehow find a way to cook the damn methi and go to bed.
Well, I shouldn't be complaining. Atleast my parents have forgotten to bug me about my marriage!


Abi said...

Tsk, tsk.

From one youngest-in-the-family to another: it has always been so, and it's just not going to change. Ever.

Get your parents and sis to blog. would be a good choice. You and your family can make it as private as you want.

And no, Vox didn't pay me to write this endorsement ...

Neihal said...


*I cud have simply written LOL, but mazaa nahi aata:))*

Neihal said...

arre haa!
so what did Kavita say btw

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, in a bid to appease me, my mom will try to pawn of some of my sister's baby photos as mine.

hee he! ur parents rock! And hows Kavita?

The Smiling Girl said...

Dont tell me u had it rough coz u were the younger one.. U r such a bully... ask the elder born ones how it is.. :( :)

This sounds so much like one of my rants... except that I dont write much about them! See thats how good elder borns are..

And now.. how is baby kav doing?

Rebellion said...

Oye SG, chup karrr!
Don't worry Lajjo, am with you. I know the trauma of being the younger sibling & worst.. the second one off the three!!!

"Woh badi hai na, uski baat suno!"
"Woh chota hai na, uske saath competition mat lagao!!"
ARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH, main kuch nahi hun kya?? x-(:P

Your first & half of second para is, as if you read my mind!! Verrrrrrrrrrry cute post dear.. As ul say, "pull your cheeks on my behalf" or maybe il say, hug yourself on my behalf :)

Take care,

PS: Lajjo, doesn't the first line sound not so shareef?? :P

PS: Btw, what did Kavita say lately?? :P

Sujatha Bagal said...

Happy new year TGFI.

And completely agree with the post. Not about the younger sibling part (although my brother will), but about the parents morphing into some strange people. It is my own kids they are doting on, but still, they don't even have time to ask how I am before they launch into a fact (and fiction) finding mission about the kids. C'est la vie!

Kaushik Gopalan said...


I promise you, coming from me this is high praise: ROFL.

greensatya said...

Haha, err, I should sympathise with you. Poor TGFI, I feel for you ! don't worry this is life. You must be knowing that for parents all kids are equal, but still hehehe.

And yeah, How's Kavita doing ?

Sakshi said...

Damn - it must be catching. Because I have like 8 childhood pics :) And since I have an elder brother, they don't even pawn it off as mine.
And I have the same infatuated grandparent problem. And it never stops. My neice is 6 years old now and till date half my phone card is spent on talking about her :)
So far the only thing I have managed to do to stop them and focus back on me (hello. the youngest kid.. my universe..)is to make up stories of all the things I have taught her that she should not know..

Born a Libran said...

Been through much of the same yaar... When my neice was born, the first letter to me from mom said something to the effect of "Now you are an uncle... Grow up!!!"... Since then, the letters ceased to exist... and its been a decade since I have actually lived at home, but neither do they treat me as a grown up, nor do they give as much attention to me as during those childhood days...

Łóòň Ġãĺ said...

Same scene here .... am getting all nostalgic now ... i wish i was with my sister at this time ... when she's expecting :D

LOL @ "woh tumse badi hai"

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

siigh. so it really never ends, does it? :(
thanks for the tip about vox. shall suggest to the folks. :-)

nice to see you enjoying.



abbe rehne de rehne de.
and kavi is doing well. thank-you for asking. :)

hehehe well said aarti. :) sympathies to you, for being the middle one!

hi sujatha!
and a very happy new year to you too. i lost your blog that was bookmarked in my old comp that died. am glad to have found you again. :)

yeah-fact and fiction finding mission it is! every nuance of the kid is now extrapolated into some action with deep meaning and purpose behind it. what gives?

heh. am honoured, kind sir.
i do think you should ROFL more often, it's good for health. :-)

thanks for your sympathies.
and kavita is doing well, THANKYOUFORASKING!

infatuated grandparents it is! hehe, yeah, make sure you atleast leave an impression on the kid ;)

yeah man. we are relegated to the status of background noise now. :(

hi loon gal!
aww. i wished i could be around my sis when she was pregnant too. i just visited her once then. good luck to your sis and to you becoming an aunt! :-)

Shanks_P said...

Hey buddy,
U r not alone, I am the youngest in my family of my generation and I went thru all this, even going thru this ......

Nieces and grandchildren eating into calling cards was funny ...It is still happening with me ....

aequo animo said...

Sibling rivalry with siblings kid? hmm interesting :D
( am quite jobless..pseudo-psychoanalysing an anonymous blogger)
btw, being the last one in the family.. i hardly have any childhood pics :( so.. there are more out there like that