And, so this post.
I have always been a silent admirer of appa’s lullabies. That is, I used to love them, but never demanded that appa recite the story/sing the song for me. Mainly because, being 2 years older (than my sister), my ego of being a big boy got into the way. But, I loved those times.
*The earliest lullaby (one which, of-course, I do not remember), but often comes up when amma and appa sit down to tell our tiny toddler (kai-kozundai) stories. I would never sleep in the night, unless appa used to pick me up and walk up and down the room. And I would start crying, once he stops. This used to go on for like 2 hours. Finally, appa would just pretend he is walking, so that I do not start crying.
*The one with the trains is one that I have asked him to repeat often. This would just be lying on the ground, and he would just drum his fingers on the floor, fooling us that it is the sound of the train. I would then, just let my imagination flow, and imagine travelling. Train journey was my favouritest part of the summer vaccation, and this tapping of the fingers on the floor, used to lead me the semi-dreamy sleep. Later, when I used to sleep alone, I used to amuse myself with the tapping and fool myself that I am in a train.
*Vidya used to request these all the time. I just sat/slept in the background and enjoyed. This was the story about the pious elephant. The basic story is that an elephant used to take bath in a river daily, and offer flowers to a Vishnu temple after the bath. One day, after the bath, a crocodoile, catches the elephants foot. The elephant calls out to Lord Vishnu, and he cuts the crocs mouth with his chakram. Appa used to spice it up daily with some new tid-bits. Often, the elephant would forget something. Either the towel, or the soap. And, there was the sound effects. Of the Elephant walking, the croc sneaking in, and the God sending the chakram swirling.
*Most often, we would sleep listening to appa sing to this and this. They were sad songs, but we hardly understood the meaning then. The whole concept of a guy selling salt in the rain (for the first song) amused us. Also, Vidya (most of the time) and a few times, I, too, used to get all sentimental about young kids in movies. That was the fascination for the second song.
*A large part of the years, and still counting, has been spent talking about this Calvin that Appa invented, called Ashatu Paiyyan. Basically, this is a 6-7 year old smart kid, who has a witty answer of any situation. There has been not one day, when an Ashatu Paiyaan answer has not been saught for questions. And the Ashatu Paiyyan, has the ashatu paiyaan voice, which is an integral part of being him. There was a time, during the world-cup 1994, when appa would use to come up with a series of stories regarding this charachter. The most famous one, the jokes of which are still rememberd is the Ashatu Paiyaan goes to America to watch the world-cup episode.
We still spend, reading jokes out of tinkle, Readers Digest, Ananda Vikatan etc as Ashatu Paiyaan ones. The most favourite one, is however, to see and observe kids, and put Ashatu Paiyaan in their place.
I cannot wait for December to come, so that Vidya and I can sleep on either side of appa, and crack up jokes.