Monday, April 28, 2008

April Shower

It's been a weekend of showers. After the big treasure-hunt baby shower The Doula Gang threw for Boo, Moppet's Mom, Kodi's Mom, Desigirl, Lavs, RV, Planet Halder and Rohini, I hosted one for my friend Gayatri who's expecting her second baby in six more weeks. She's Punjabi, married to a German and they have a 16 m o daughter, Tara. Preparations for the Doula shower made me consider going ahead with one in real life so I contacted Andi (G's husband) and we started scheming. From stealing phone numbers off G's phone to going into the intricacies of making a chicken salad, we emailed and phoned and I tried not to get scared. Because a Bengali baby shower, a traditional shaad, is something I've not really had, so I was pretty shaky on what's done. Add to that a total lack of knowledge of Punjabi rituals.

So I asked around, and picked up a custom here, a dish there. Called up a couple of G's friends and they rallied around with enthusiasm. Called up my favourite non-granny too. Brought out the silverware, the dinner set and the enthusiasm from storage.

Here's the gang:

From l to r: me, with Tara on my lap, Steffi with her younger daughter Shreya asleep on her, Gayatri looking pretty, Adriana of the beautiful smile and in front, her daughter Tamires who reminds one of how wonderful daughters can be.

First Adriana started a game where we all tried to guess G's girth. Guess what, a pregnant mum, look she never so huge, is still much smaller than you think! We all misguessed like mad, obviously.

We sat around chatting some, then G cut the cake brought by Adriana. It was delicious, softly melting and wonderfully chocolaty. In short, quite perfect. You can see Dipali's alu chaat behind it, to the left, and the dhoklas she brought just above. To the right is a plateful of salsa and cheese crackers, most yummy even if I do say so myself. The silver glass contains water for G, but there was also some watermelon juice made by V before he, along with his son, was kicked off the premises.

Apart from all this, there was un-payeshlike payesh I had made. Am quite crestfallen about that one, because that was pretty important ritual-wise. Oh and since Andi and I had discussed a chicken salad, there was a nice, cold egg salad on the table.

Dipali and I served it on the silverware and Tara fed her mum the payesh. Traditionally, a little boy does it, to ensure that the baby turns out to be male too, but in this case it seemed silly and I also wanted to make this a special evening for T, because pretty soon she's going to be an elder sibling and that's as permanent as parenthood!

So she had a little plate of her own, and was seated in the high chair and fed by Dipali. Apart from the payesh-feeding, we did the Marwari thing of whispering into the mum-to-be's ears of what her baby was going to be like; I also handed out some bangles to all. Not sure where that's from, but I like bangles! You can see people wearing them, green and red glass ones.

V had blown up lots of balloons and Tara and Shreya played around with them.

Steffi's youngest is an extremely pretty child, with the most arresting grey eyes, as you can see here. Last I saw her she had a headful of pretty hair so imagine my shock when I saw this!

I wavered for a minute but I don't think I can bear to contemplate The Bhablet going bald. Even though it's hot enough here.

Tara has got used to our new place and made herself right at home.

The bat and bright orange ball you can see in the foreground were The Bhablet's share of the spoils. Dipali refused to leave him out of the gift-giving. Did I ever mention she reminds me of my parents? That's their philosophy too.

And lastly, here's a shot of our photographer-babysitter:


karmickids said...

Brill, abso brill. Loved it. Why didnt I have this instead of that ugly thing thrown for me, where I was gifted really trashy salwar kameezes and made to touch everyones feet...

Sue said...

Ah Kiran... mine wasn't all joy either. G wasn't thrown one for her first baby because her mum doesn't believe in them. I guess that's what made this all the more fun. That and the fact that it was a surprise.

Jasma Gayatri said...

Its absolutely fantastic Sue! I can't thank you enough! The food was great, the company was fantastic and the food was scrumptious! I haven't so much fun in a long time with my gal pals!!!


dipali said...

It was lovely, Sue!
The first actual baby shower I've ever attended. Never had any ceremony at all while expecting.
First a virtual baby shower, then a real one- what fun. I'm so glad the stars above conspired so that I could make it:)
Tashan was ghastly, BTW.

Sue said...

Gayatri -- It was my pleasure, I promise you. Now you've finally de-lurked, comment some more. And welcome!

Dipali -- It was, na? I thought it would be. Oh well, let's go for the play next Monday. I can't go on Friday because I've got work.

Anonymous said...

That was so sweet of u all. Nice pics. God bless the u all and the mom-to-be.

Poppins said...

Sounds so beautiful. I love reading about baby showers and organizing them too!

Mona said...

aww, sounds beautiful.
and those gorgeous babies!

the mad momma said...

what fun this baby business can be if you have the right company :)

Jasma Gayatri said...

It was fabulous! I love the idea of a baby shower and since my family doesn't follow these things, I was so pleased that I have sensible friends who do! Nothing like a good time! And just so all your friends know, it was almost impossible to eat breakfast this morning! You fed me some lovely stuff!!

Dipali Aunty - thank you for the presents! Tara's had lots of fun with her cups! Was wonderful meeting you - hope to see you again sometime soon!

Sam said...

I went and bought a balloon pump for Soubhik and Bheblu - they need one.

Squiggles Mom said...

That sounds like so much fun. I want to be pregnant too....................
PS Dont worry DD is in London!

dipali said...

@jasma gayatri: We must indeed!

Mystic Margarita said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. :) It was wonderful of you to arrange it for your friend.

Rohini said...

The bangles thing is part of the Tamilian baby shower custom called Valaikaapu - my mom had one of these. But I like you hotchpotch one so much better ;)

Suma said...

this was such a sweet post...these definitely are moments to be treasured...

mayG - /meɪ̯ - ʤi/ said...

aww this must've been such fun!

baby showers are not so much the fad in our culture and the only baby shower that I've been to is the virtual one.. I can't imagine how absolutely cool it must be to have a shower thrown in ones honor!

Collection Of Stars said...

Looks like you have been having loads of fun :)
So sweet of you to have arranged a baby shower for a friend.

Thanks for writing the riddle for me. It was great :)

upsilamba said...

april showers bring may flowers :-)

Sue said...

Brundha -- Thank you!

Poppin's Mom -- Yes, we did have fun, not least for planning it secretly!

Mona -- :)

MM -- What, you're getting bored of your pet trolls now?

Gayatri -- Let's have a coffee somewhere one of these weekends, what say? Ladies only?

Sam/Baba -- Oh all right! Now go away.

Squiggle's Mom -- Who's worrying? We'd have got to plan another shower. Now, you sure you don't have any good news for us?

Rita -- Yes, it was fun and that's why I think I should do more of this than sit around feeling sorry for myself. No?

Rohini -- Yeah, hotpotch rules. You can choose what you like and forget the rest!

Suma -- :)

MayG -- Why don't you throw one next chance you get? Shaads are important in our culture, but not like this one. And they follow a lot of rules and stuff. This was just a fun party.

CoS -- You kidding? I enjoyed writing it. Was only sorry I came across your blog so late. Hope you are both healing fast.

Upsi -- Yes! Trust you...