Aviyal-bit of everything

Michelle -Congratulations!God bless

Posted on: January 27, 2009

Many of you, by now know my craze for Obamas would think it is about the First lady..well this Michelle is First lady too..sort of . She is the first grand daughter of my parents family in traditional terms the other 2 grand daughters: 1 is mine and other is my sister’s. we are married OFF; our daughters are the first ladies in the respective in laws families).

Confused? Mallu catholic families follow patriarchal system so the boys carry the family name (I am not necessarily inviting comments on this part especially after the recent gems from Mr.Dutt).My older brother has 2 boys ; younger brother and wiffy are recently blessed with this first lady.

Michelle Ann James; my 3 months old niece( it is pure coincidence that she was born on 4th Nov 2008, the day Michelle Obama became the first lady elect. My niece was not named after her though).

Anyway, the reason for this post- She was baptized (christening) on last Sunday at Trivandrum (my little Sil’s parent’s house). Like with every addition to the family in the form of grandkids we all get excited. Michelle was exceptional to the extent that Acha (my dad) went and purchased a lottery ticket; got a hair cut the day Michelle was born ( sincerely, later when asked him, he said he had no idea what to do out of excitement…hear that from a macho guy!!). Because My SIL was with her mother in another city (Trivandrum), my parents could not just go to meet the baby on the same day. So where to channel the excitement!!

Coming to the baptism-again bit of intro on the tradition. The first child of the son is given paternal fathers/mothers name as Christian name depending on boy/girl. In this case she was to take my mom’s name translated in english would be Elizabeth. But you might have noticed the first lady is not Michelle Elizabeth James but Michelle Ann James. ( FYI- most of the mallu people take the Christian name as their middle name). And grand parents take great pride in giving the name( read consider it is their right) and believe me some family fights during baptisms are mainly on this and whose right it is to be the godparents.

That is where my mom comes into action.U and P (My brother and wife) were keen to have my parents as godparents and Michelle to take mommy’s name. But mommy never ceases to amaze us; though coming from a village background, she is never a conventional one( I could make few posts on that). She thinks ( and rightly so) that the role of God parents is to help bring up the child in Christian faith along with parents and therefore someone young ( not grand parents in old age) should do the honors and stick by their responsibility. So she convinces my dad ( unwillingly agrees) and appoints R and N (my younger sister and hubby) to fulfill the job.

Secondly, the name giving part. Mommy is very ardent bhakht of St.Alphonsa( translated Ann), first saint from India (mallu nun sister). So she decides, it is not her own name that matters, Michelle be given Ann as Christian name. Kudos to my mommy, you will not see giving up the rights and name giving easily in these days of tug of war.

Got the story? it can be confusing…

Michelle was blessed by the entire family from both sides. After the baptism, they brought her to my parents place in Ernakulam. Now Michelle,U & P are home for few days before they leave for their place London UK next week. Mommy is super thrilled and pampering Michelle with all the care and plus ( read turmeric bath, oil bath, special porridge etc); Acha is super duper thrilled (I can hear in his voice when he picks up the phone these days)…(I am thinking the impossible – dads should have grandkids first before their own kids..with their own kids its different story; this may be applicable to only mallu Christian dad of my dad s generation though).

Now when we call, nobody wants to be on the phone; we hardly get mommy on phone. Once they leave, home will be back to the silent mode; just mommy and Acha. But for now…turmeric bath time..

Their wait for phone calls from kids begin yet again, then.


6 Responses to "Michelle -Congratulations!God bless"

Good to learn about the traditions at your end. Congratulations to the first lady of your family.

Wow! Kudos to your mum!! I think many of us think that growing up in the village makes one backward/ too conservative. Though such women never cease to amaze. They are clear in their thoughts & have forethought. So, in effect am not surprised about the christening of Michelle Ann 🙂

Your parents must be missing all of you!

@suman: thanks suman;talking about traditions was ahidden agenda:)
@apar:thank you for your kind words.I wish I inherit 5% of mommy’s vision , will power and courage,..my life will be meaningful.long way to go..

What is the hidden agenda?:) Really nice to hear about your dear niece 🙂 How lovely to hear your mom is busy and has someone to pamper too – I loved her idea of godparents – I always thought they would be like a second pair of parents…I enjoyed your mom’s idea. Love to your family, dearie. 🙂

@UL:hidden agenda was to talk about traditions.thanks for your nice words.Indeed, that is the idea of godparents,a 2nd set of parents..but due to the normal ‘vadam vali’ in the families; it is easier to give to to grandparents(only 2 sets right? unlike n uncles and aunts) and became a tradition, it seems.love to you and yours too, girly.

Very interesting write up Shy. Enjoyed reading about the tradition and about your mom and niece. Blessings to the little one and congratulations to all in the family.
@laksh: Thank u for your wishes. I have learnt a lot about traditions and festivals from blogs like yours Laksh. I consider it bonus of blogging

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