First stay in hospital—when I was 13—a bad attack of Status Asthmaticus—5 days and tortured with intravenous pricks and oxygen continued for over a month back home.

First dance party—I was attending a beginner’s German residential course…we had a end of course party—few Army guys were there as it was Pune where the services have a strong presence. It was not like Georgette Heyer or Mills & Boon dance parties. The song that stuck in my head from that party was “This is the last waltz with you”.

First cocktail party—my Dad had been invited to an official do—Mum was out of town. So my cousin Gayathi and I got into saris, stiletto heels, bouffant hairdo’s and clutch bags and stood around with wine glasses. We were the youngest in that crowd of office bigwigs. Did we enjoy it? Hmmmmm!

My first driving license—last week my brother was recalling my engaging the hand gear in our Fiat. I have a weak left hand and he said that as he was my teacher (important life lesson..never learn driving from a Dad, bro or husband..join  a school) he remembered
how I would leave the steering wheel and use both hands to change gear. In India we drive on the left and we have just been introduced to Auto transmission in the past few years..we still have a clutch driven car. I got my licence alright.

My first pay check for Rs 500—my father put it into my bank account and continued to give me pocket money (no limits) for the rest of my 12 month stint teaching in a college.

My first marriage—and the only one! I live with my one and only husband..still going strong after  forty years. One of us has to go first..but I think this is it.

My first baby—a son. Jai is my first born and even though I wanted a girl—much to the bewilderment of my family—I enjoyed him so much. I learnt to be a mother, a cook, a homemaker, a hostess all at the same time, alone, as I went away to Mauritius with a 21/2 month old baby—that was the time when international calls were horrendously expensive. Spock and cookbooks, Woman’s Weekly and Woman and Home helped me with many things. We still share so many things–books and movies and serials too.

My first daughter—I yelled out to my Mum from the labour Room (she and my brother Arvind were standing outside the door) Amma it’s a girl!! And what a delight Nitila has been to me all these years. She talks to me everyday, she keeps my wardrobe and jewel box filled, takes me for holidays and spoils me rotten with goodies.

My first son-in-law—Viren, a gentleman who has traditional values and makes my daughter happy. He treats us with great respect and affection.

My first daughter-in-law laid many boogies to rest by being a wonderful girl who cares for me, who spoils me too. We share a great deal—in food, books, keeping the traditions, family values. Blessed to have a DIL who welcomes us into her heart and home.

My first granddaughter….I can’t but chortle with delight when I write about Uttara. I was the first one to hold her after her parents and since then she has held me in the palm of her hands. We share a passion for stories, reading and books—just the printed word delights both of us so much. I think her fussiness about food also comes from me. Definitely from her aunt Nitila!!

A second granddaughter—but an important FIRST—chatterbox who can’t make up her mind whether I am a good fairy or bad fairy, her friend or not her friend! It all depends on her demands and whether I give in to them. Madhura means that which is sweet like honey and she is true to her name. She is the first one who can wake me up without getting frowned or grumbled at!!

My first piece to be published—I wrote a poem and gave it to my neighbour who was contributing to a Women’s magazine in Chennai. The piece was hijacked and published by that magazine’s Editorial Adviser, Mr S Muthiah in his own prestigious publication Madras Musings. He has been my mentor since then.

My first full length role in a play—and I donned a man’s role—we are an all women’s drama group. I was the comedian and 22 years later people still remember my character and some of my comic capers.

My first movie..’Bombay’ by Mani Ratnam–I was taken by a friend who was translating his Tamizh dialogues into Hindi. It was the role of an Editor in a newspaper. I backslapped the hero—a hunk who was the heartthrob at that time—and young things thought I was really lucky. Three scenes were shot, 2 came on! A real WOW moment for me to see me on
the screen under the banner of a top Director! And I have become a real life Editor as well!!

Many other firsts have been lost in the mists of time. My three brothers have been part of many firsts—my cycle rides, books, relationships, loss of our mother..the list is endless.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11,  Nema, Noor, Ordinary Joe, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic. This topic is Anu’s. I wonder if she will write on it.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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3 Responses to FIRSTS IN MY LIFE

  1. Grannymar says:

    An interesting list of ‘Firsts’, from which I learn a little more about your life. Uttara & Madhura are two delightful little treasures, I can why they have you want to spend so much time with them.


  2. Rummuser says:

    You simply had the misfortune of the wrong brother for the teacher in learning to drive the car. So, don’t generalise. You had the good fortune of learning to box from another of your brothers to strengthen your weak left hand. Your first southpaw wallop delivered to a male!


  3. Rohit says:

    Very interesting list..and I will have to say this for everyone of us who has put up such a list! What stood out though was the first paycheck..its unbelievable the pay use to be of such a low denomination though of course the Rs.500 then bought more than today. Isn’t it ridiculous how badly the inflation has risen since then?

    P.S: I am back to blogging nearly regularly now so you may add my name in your list 🙂


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