Heart of Gold

It is 10,227 to this day when I carried the best bundle of joy, a precious Gift that I ever carried in my arms – just seemed that the entire family waited for that day for lifetime to see her appearance into the world. The first Girl of the family in generations and how lucky we are to be her parents, uncle, aunt, cousins and most importantly Grandmother. (I so badly want to add Arun into the equation but then let me confirm if he really is :-P)

A lot of what I write here maybe a repeat, because she never ceased to be the great human being she was ever since she came along – it only got better? To write instances will need Terrabytes of webspace, but suffice to say “Trust me, ask anyone who has crossed her path – what I said is truth and nothing but truth”

From that day on 3rd April 1993, to a being a bride last year and first Birthday as a wife, you have grown gracefully into an amazing young (and beautiful – my genes you see) woman. You are that human being that I often wished I could be. You are beautiful, confident, smart, and well-liked by everyone.

This was the journey so far. My Precious one in my Arms at 28 hours and 28 years

Thank you Divine, for this wonderful gift – Akhila a.k.a. Divya – who has been more a friend than a daughter. It is always tough to write my heart out in limited abilities with words – because there is so much to write and to choose some is a challenge when it comes to writing about you. To start with, incredibly proud of you darling for the way you managed our expectations, by and large exceeded meeting it. You made up more than for small little disappointments when in the rare event you did not meet it. Looking back, it was great that you yourself set such a high expectations on yourself, which means you never ever felt you are undeserving of anything great that the creation has on offer.

As I have kept saying, I only pray that you continue to remain as confident and experiment. Best learning we all drew from you is not to be afraid of making mistakes. Many doors opened due to that, a lot of lessons learnt making you even greater person. As some wise man (don’t know why it has to be a man always :-P) said mistakes create the path to the amazing life one can aspire for later.

Isn’t it a great virtue of how you make friends and people are so easily drawn to you – highly magnetic feature that is everyone’s envy. You can go to a God forsaken place, half way across the globe, or into a desert, where you know nobody, yet I am sure you will come back with loads of new friends (and yet a few more of Whatsapp groups, Amma would say this). No adversity has ever dragged you down as we saw over the years. Just shed the moment and keep moving forward. I pray to the Divine that all these characteristics are never lost on you ever.

You are the best daughter, best grand-daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend and now (assumedly) a great wife too. Keep smiling like you do while you make light of navigating the worst and most choppy seas of challenges. The way you, Arun and Vishnu managed along with everyone in the family those days when a lot of us were down with Covid, was simply unbelievable. Made it so easy for all of us to come out of it unscathed. Those words you wrote after it was over (in a week) was very touching – not showing any worry outside but what you were going through was so evident in that FB/Insta post. WoW Darling – You are unmatchable

Loads and loads of love from all of us here

Happy birthday Di, my beautiful and invaluable Friend! It’s still unbelievable that it is 28 summers ago on this day that we met for the first time – as a few minutes old, 3.1kg lively “staring” bundle. Keep your chin high and stay happy and progress in life retaining all those great traits that you possess. I love you more than you will ever know. Have a lovely day and a great year ahead.

From Grateful Dad

On this special day, here is my pick for you (or rather for me)

Time Flew away…It’s Pearl Day

Yes, 3 decades to be precise and so what. With a Pilot like Aparna, it is has been such a delightful flight. Thank you dear one for 30 years of tolerating me with a smile (make it 37 years if we add the years after we met for the 1st time and thank God again, 7 years did not change your mind despite me). I claim the privilege to have met someone at 16 and continued to go on and on forever and here we are batt(l)ing at 30 not out.

Looking back, there are so many things I could talk about. Was it love at first sight (yes, maybe), Did it ever occur that marriage is where we were headed? (I don’t want to answer, I don’t want any injury on 31st March revealing the truth) When did we know we are meant for each other (no idea, and it does not matter – WE ARE TOGETHER AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS) and here we are. What an amazing Journey it has been and I am sure it shall be for years to come.

When someone asked me if looking into each other’s eyes is Love, I shared a piece I wrote earlier (25th Anniversary) You can read that here Thanks I am Not-a-Philosopher

As I said then and I say that still “ Real love is not looking at each other but looking together in same direction”

Is real love looking into each other’s eyes?

And for those young ones who wonder, it has not always been “Flying” – only time flew. We also had our share of challenges which was easily navigated (easily may be exaggeration but it was made to look so easy). That is why I consider myself so lucky. That calming, comforting and reassuring shoulders next to you matters a lot. That is why I always tell people around me, I don’t celebrate Wedding Anniversaries or Birthday, We all Celebrate Her! She is the one who ensures that none of us feel even at the lowest moment that the glass is even half empty (in reality it may be stone dry). That is what she means to my (and all others’ lives)

And the biggest gift to the family was the two gems of our lives – so carefully nurtured and values instilled, it takes a big thing to be a mother to growing up children and a husband to a demanding husband. She fit the role to the T, while she kept the household going in all respects.

So here it is from all of us, Happy Wedding Anniversary Aparna. You are amazing indeed. Thanks for being you.

File Picture

I was told by a friend that 30th wedding Anniversary is called the Pearl Anniversary (now you know the significance of the title of this piece). BTW! With a Pearl around, Pearl anniversary should be the name every year. I am sure everyone who knows her would agree with this.

I said this before and I repeat same lines – I have nothing else to add, year after year and after each birthday and wedding anniversary, except to say that it has only got better, like the wine. It has been an amazing journey for me with her presence. As they say in Mechanical Engineering, a perfect fit. People ask me how does it work, the relationship that kept blossoming, the love that multiplied, family and no of extended family getting larger and larger, yet what clicks and where do you find the time to nurture the relationship. My honest answer was “I don’t know! It is her and all credits to her”  For no rhyme or reason, it is simply working well and Thank Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of the Art of Living and also the Divine who chose to shower infinite blessings on me, by bringing her into my life.

Though Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richards was the rage those days, thank God, I chose to fall in love with this number by Lionel Richie “Always and Forever” (I saved this for today knowing for sure that we will get here and Word! WE GOT HERE INDEED)

Happy One over Score, Dear Vishnu

Happy Twenty One!!!

It indeed is overwhelming moment coming up and wondering how to even begin writing this. Unbelievable that it is already 21 years to this day that I laid my eyes on you for the first time. Time flew is an understatement especially after you came into our lives that only got richer and richer, every moment. Blessed indeed we all are, for your joyful and naughty presence – I have so many to vouch for this.

Now as you go past an important milestone, it is reassuring that you are also past advises that we can give. You grew up, learnt many lessons the hard way and any advice to you would be almost redundant. It is a happy feeling for any parent or elder sisters, to get wise counsel from the apple of their eyes who grew right from baby in cradle to a handsome 21 year old, gym going, sports loving lad.

Cool and relaxed

One feature I wish you continue to nurture and develop is your humane nature. We saw this nature, ever since you went out into the world, many a times getting into trouble in trying to do good to others. While only cautioning to be a bit more careful, we earnestly pray that you remain such a loving dear, every ready to help and empathetic to the world around you, just as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of The Art of Living advised you on one of your birthdays.

Another trait is not getting hassled during adversities, that has always helped you decide with a cool head and heart. Be it in academics or in sports or in fine arts or real life challenges we have seen you navigating it without much ado and achieving things in style. While you got everyone worried (almost panicky) on the even of examinations, coming back and setting everyone’s expectation low, you always performed the best as results were evident. Stay calm this way all your life, my dear one. It is not a gift everyone is blessed with. I pray sincerely that this gift is never lost.

Wading and floating over hurdles with a smile

It was with heavy heart that we let you go, respecting your decision to fly away to Universities 7 seas across as the saying goes. Notwithstanding technological advances where we continued to see you, hear you (singing and yelling playing games), there is nothing like being with us in flesh and blood. Life has never been the same ever since. And when the pandemic struck the world, and you staying 1000s of kilometers away only made us regret going away even more, despite all the assurances. When you had to miss Divya’s wedding it only made it worse. As you said, everything happens for good and we had to wait for the last Vande Bharat flight to get you back home and then 14 days of torture called Quarantine – so near yet so far. And the way both you and Di took charge of things when Pandemic struck your parents, no panic, no worries, simply action. Admirable you both were.

Thankfully we tided over those terrible days and thanks to the Pandemic, we have you here with us to celebrate your birthday today. On this wonderful day, A pat on your back and a grand salute as you turn 21 and making everyone of us proud, a handsome young man, with a king sized heart, a caring and intelligent mind and developing a charming persona. May the Divine and Gurudev bless you in Abundance – long, healthy, joyful and contented life. Have a super day and we pray that every moment of the year ahead is filled with days as special or better than today.

Thank you for the times when our roles get reversed. When you give us sound advice, thank you for taking charge and Thank you for Being You

Walking shoulder to shoulder as a Friend

I just realised it is really tough to write a lot when you are blessed to have someone like you in our lives. Signing off for now wishing you a great life ahead as a 21 years + Have a lovely day dear Son! Loads and loads of love