When I grew up, I was always surrounded with cousins, uncles, brothers and sisters. I was afraid when little V would miss that kind of an environment. Making him feel home, is not just putting a roof over his head or parent him and pamper him. It is impossible for two people to play all the roles a child would expect. As always, my friends came to rescue.
My elder brother is my son’s biggest inspiration. He is someone who doesn’t have the word “No” in his dictionary for Little V. If he wants to go around the apartment complex over periyappa’s shoulders, he will be okay with it. If he wants to splash water while standing in front of his scooter, Periyappa is always up for it. Periyappa is the one to jump on the puddles with. Whaterver his Periyappa says, that is the ruth and nobody can convince Little V otherwise.
Mahesh mama was the most seen person because he lived in the same apartment complex as me. So whenever Little V came home, Mahesh made sure he would be there. Little V believes he is from Military because most of the time Mahesh Mama wears camouflage pants or t-shirt. Mahesh mama takes nice pictures of us and also Little V. Right from day one they met, he had been giving Little V, small books and puzzles. Somehow, he had moved on from gifting books to me, the father, every time I visited him to gifting only Little V. But it is okay, I guess.
Chris Mama :
Chris was the first person, I talked to get opinion when I decided to marry A. He is my friend for 17 years. Because of the pandemic, he couldn’t meet A or little V before my marriage. However, when Chennai floated, he was the one who ferried most of our friends to the wedding venue. A had this craving for Arcot Makkan Peda, when we were all isolating ourselves after possible exposure to Covid last January. Chris along with other friends drove to Arcot exclusively to bring us Makkan Peda. Even if A had a sibling elder brother, not sure Little V would have got this ‘thai mamaish’ treatment
Goku Mama :
Gokoulane sadly hadn’t blogged for a while. He is a busy marketer and is always working on pitch decks to present to Clients and travelling all over the country to convince his clients. However, he never misses a chance to meet Little V. Even when he is busy getting his presentations ready, he wouldn’t miss the snapchat video call from Little V, where V would experiment with different filters. Goku mama will patiently see everything and comment about it. Goku mama is going to be the inspiration for Little V to be positive and how to always look good things in people.
Deepu Mama has a distinct voice that Little V can identify miles away. Sometimes wrongly though. Deepu mama is a calming figure for Little V. During our reception Little V was upset that I was wearing some make up. He started throwing Tantrums and none of us could calm him down. Enter Deepu mama. I don’t know what magic this guy has but he could calm the kids down and make them listen to him. He was a story teller and that comes in handy most of the times. He also knows Little V’s choice of books and gets him just that like “Eecha Boocha” and “Bonda Palliyil Bondattam”
For Jothi mama, everything is possible. Most of the times he was the main engineer coordinating everybody to come to my functions. My mother got overwhelmed and had her BP shot up during my reception. Almost all the relatives left and we all were busy tending to my mother. Jo was the one who gave company to the clueless little V. He has always been a calming presence.
Sai Mama :
Sai mama is a doctor. And is one of the big cheerleader for Little V. As a God father, he always has Little V’s best interest in his mind. He is the one who accompanies Little V in his brainy tasks like puzzles, legos and building blocks. It is no brainer because in our set he is one of the brainiest. The youngest gold medalist in neurosurgery in Chennai is very result oriented. Little V got bullied at school once and had his knees scrapped and nose scratched by some unruly kids. Little V was very scared to go back to school again.
We tried our best to pacify him. Little V asked to see his God father. As they spoke, and V explained what is happening, A and I left them alone and went for a walk. When we came back we heard uncle explaining V, “There are three important nerves you can hit to make them be a patient for life….” We took a lot of time and effort to make V understand that it is not okay to use those techniques in school.
Uncles make our lives enriching and I am glad that my friends who are now family take care of V, make him welcome and make him feel belonged. It will not be an exaggeration to say they were instrumental in making Little V comfortable with me and our new family.
Forever indebted to them.