Aadyaa was 6 last Friday and has just gone to class 1.The excitement of the upcoming birthday was on for a while – the party, who is to be invited, what will be the theme, the return gifts…….issues that did not exist in the less complex times when Mukta turned 6. And, since she was an only child, I did not have close encounters with the growing up of boys or the complexities of sibling dynamics.
Early last week, on the last day of their year-end break we had a ‘day out with Naani’, an outing to get Aadyaa her birthday gift. The plan included a trek to Lodi Gardens followed by shopping and lunch at Khan Market. This was to be negotiated so that we got back home in time for Aadyaa’s gymnastics class at 4.30 pm. The three of us set out at 11am, battled the mid-morning Sohna Road traffic chaos and hit the highway. And right then, Aadyaa claimed that she had to make an urgent wash room stop.Since Lodi Gardens was an hour away, we were left with little choice but to make the U-turn at Rajokri and head back to Ambience Mall. Fortunately, early Tuesday morning is slow there and we could make a quick entry and exit. Once we were on the road again, there was the brother-sister tussle to deal with – one wanting to dance to the latest Bollywood hits while the older brother only wanted to listen to the Western music channel. One piece per person deal broke down quickly, and peace had to be brokered with some Oreos – and then we were at the gardens.
I had brought enough tech support for both – a camera and an iPad – and so both went beresk clicking away. They love open spaces and are partial to monuments – which may have some genetic basis!! After clicking the birds around the small pool – ducks, geeese and swans – and trying to capture the fish, both moved on to their own interests. Aadyaa went about clicking every flower – and what a lovely time of the year it is in Delhi parks – the poppies, dragon flowers, phlox et al… the double color poppies catching her eye. Udai wanted to try angles and lines and perspectives – of the fencing, pavement, the fort itself…..Then we wandered around the walled tomb of Sikander Lodi before heading for Khan Market.
The agenda was short – a school bag and hoola hoop for Aadyaa and books for both. Aadyaa took a few minutes to select a bag – as red was her only choice. She also wanted a red hoop (red being the current favorite color) and settled for a blue one when red was not available. Book selection was easy – Udai picking the latest Asterix and Aadyaa a coloring book. And finally we headed for lunch – where my decision to order 2 dishes between the 3 of us turned out to be a mistake. Udai is adept at studying menus and deciding on what he wants to eat – and I ordered something else, with promises to share. When the food arrived, Aadyaa, who is younger and more restricted in her food forays as yet, pounced on stuff in Udai’s plate – and this led to another set of tussles!!! And then Mukta who was at a meeting in the area joined us – dessert went off without another tussle as Aadyaa was full by now and Udai was allowed to have his choice all to himself.
And then Friday came and it was Aadyaa’s birthday. Mama (Papa was not here), Dadi and Naani went to her school for the class celebration – a tradition in their school. Udai was allowed to walk over from his class and as we all sat in a circle, Aadyaa wanted only Udai to sit next to her. She was leaning on him through out and when it came to sharing time (every one in the circle saying something about Aadyaa), she wanted him to speak first. He was a bit self-conscious – but later said of her “Aadyaa is a quick learner” – the final big brother pat-on-the back. The sibling dynamics are fascinating to watch – so different, so much to argue and tussle over and yet the absolute hero worship!!