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I have spilled quite a lot of beans about the second-born in many a previous blog and yet here I am again to write more about him. The second born aka the blue-eyed boy was born on a bright sunny morning on this same day years ago at the Military Hospital in Trivandrum. The blue-eyed bit is no metaphor. When he was born the second-born had blue-gray eyes that surprised both the Lord and Master and I with both of us going, ‘Aahhh looks like one of your family members in some distant past had transgressed!’ Snigger snigger. Of course it was moi doing more of the sniggering and pulling the L & M’ s already long legs while he stuck to rolling of eyes and smiling good-naturedly. I had to eat my words soon afterwards when a cousin of mine gave birth to a daughter with the same blue-gray eyes! Oh well. Anyways, the blue eyes of the second born, a topic of discussion wherever we went, it being so unusual, turned gradually to light brown in later years and now remains stable at that lighter shade of brown.

The arrival of the brand new baby, a brother as per his wishes (‘someone to play cricket with’), thrilled the first-born no end. Brought over to the hospital as soon as school got over, he stood there, a look of pure bliss on his face. “He looks so cute!” had been his verdict which I am sure he had reason to revise a number of times in subsequent years, especially when the second-born donned the mantle of ‘Terminator’ as far as his toys were concerned.

A baby with a mind of his own was the junior son. He knew what he wanted to do, what to eat, what to wear. He even wanted us to do things his way. At two he would wait outside the bathroom with a t-shirt for his Dad and follow him around asking him to wear it. Dad of course couldn’t oblige, the Indian Army being strict about what their officers wear when on duty. He had a reason for requesting Dad dear to wear the shirt of his choice. He had gotten it into his little head that if Dad wore a t-shirt he would stay back home. Each time his appeal was rejected, he would come to the kitchen where I’d be busy making breakfast, bawling his heart out at this apparent callousness of the pater and wave chubby accusatory fingers at his ‘recalcitrant’ Dad.

He liked milk. Well, liked is a too mild term. He lovvvvved milk. He just couldn’t wait to have his glass of milk. He would sit impatiently on top of the dining table watching me cool the milk and chant, ‘La-la paachi, la-la paachi, paachi la-la.’ Don’t ask me what that means, just some term his crazy mom came up with for milk (paal in Malayalam) and sang to entertain him while he waited. While cooling the milk, I used to move the hot glass of milk between my palms and my finger-ring used to make a ‘tik tik’ sound. It so happened that one day I was not wearing my ring. But what is pachi lala without the tik tik sound?? Would it be pachi lala at all?? The junior son insisted and in no uncertain terms that I simply had to make the tik tik sound! So I had to go find my ring and then go tik tik before he would drink the lala paachi.

Being the youngest in the family and always being asked to obey the rest cramped his style a lot. He was at least okay with having to obey his parents (of course he had no choice, what with a Hitler Mom around) as he found his elder brother also doing the same. What bugged the poor fellow the most was being asked to obey the elder brother! When he had been littler, he would imitate me and scold his elder brother in his baby language. ,But as he grew older I told him categorically that he couldn’t scold his brother or order him around. Instead he as the younger one, was expected to respect and listen to his elder brother. After many such repeated attempts in teaching him his place in the scheme of things, one day, he came right back at me with,

“Okay. But after many years when I am bigger and older to him, I will be the elder brother and then he has to obey me!”

Irrefutable logic, what??!

He was crazy about (still is into) games. Cricket and basket ball (he was in both school teams) were his favorite games till he left school. He had a lot of friends who would be waiting for him after school and would come looking for him if he was even a little bit late. He just about managed to finish his homework before shooting out of the door and making straight for the playground. Even his holidays were spent in coaching classes and such for which he never minded getting up early.

Spats with the elder brother became common years down the line. Take a sensitive second-born, add a teasing first-born and disaster is what a mom has on her hands, especially when the second-born thinks he is (or should be) equal in all respects to the first-born and the first born himself thinks he is juvenile enough for fights with the much younger second born. I played referee in their shouting matches, not that it did any good.

Somewhere along the way as they grew, the Hitler role was discarded by me as it rightly should be by every parent. Sadly some of them make it a life long profession of it, not realizing how absurd and silly it looks and how inconvenient it is to all concerned. Anyways, soon, with the first-born having moved away from home and the L & M working at a different city, it was just the second-born and me at home and boy did we start acting crazy or what?? We scrapped each other on Orkut and messaged each other on Yahoo sitting in adjacent rooms.

We laughed and acted silly and didn’t care what the world thought. Well that’s not the absolute truth. I laughed and acted silly and he didn’t mind it that much and laughed with me. But the point is he also started treating me and teasing me like he would a sister. It seems amazing to me that the little son who didn’t care if his Mom was ill but would insist that she get up and attend to him has now grown up and is taking care of her! Of course technically he is still under our care as he is still a student ….and today is his birthday.

Happy Birthday son!

It is unfortunate that I am back home today instead of having one more day of fun with you, a continuation of what we have been having the past couple of days painting Bangalore in our own colors. But moms cannot have too much fun. Sigh. Sons have classes to attend, assignments to do, tests to take and the teachers are not going to look too kindly on those moms who take their students away from all that hard work. Besides, the Mom’s purse also got empty. So the Mom had to reluctantly bid the son and Bengaluru adieu for the time being with promises to return later with her energy and purse replenished to whisk the son away from the task-masters at college for more fun. Till then the Mom too better do some work, for all play and no work makes a woman (man too, in case you were wondering) unhealthy, un-wealthy and unwise, as the famous adage by Shail Mohan goes.

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