The little green bus

Yes, I’ve been madly busy and that’s always a good thing, right? Oh go on, say yes even if you don’t mean it! Make my day.

But something happened that made me want to stop and record it. Do old readers remember the green wooden bus Chhota Nana made for the Brat? For those who came in late, the Brat’s first word was ‘bus’ and living above the busy road that we did, that came as no surprise. I’d blogged about the bus because Chhota Nana sat with a carpenter and worked on that bus. If his first grandchild/nephew liked buses, he would have the biggest and best possible, no matter what it took.

It was made with love and care and thoughtfulness (Chhota Nana is well known for his thoughtful gifts) and it was personalised. Bicycle support wheels made its wheels, little plastic dolls sat as passengers and the number plate was the Brat’s date of birth – 555. It obviously went from Allahabad to Delhi and had Abada-Delhi painted on it, because that is how the Brat pronounced it in those days.

The bus did its duty and took them on my flights of fantasy. The years went by and they outgrew it but I couldn’t bear to give it away. And then we moved homes and I could no longer even find a suitable spot in the nursery in my new home. Buried under a bunch of stuff to give away it lay languishing and I still couldn’t let go. How could I ? It wasn’t just a store bought toy.

And then a few days ago I heard of a school for the underprivileged and I knew the bus had found its new home. I am sorry to say I didn’t let the kids know that I was giving it away. I didn’t want to risk them objecting because I had just about mustered up my own courage. They imagine it is still buried under the winter storage stuff. I’m not sure when they will ask for it – they have a couple of times and I’ve had to refuse them because I just didn’t have the strength to pull it out.

Lying around the house as it did, I’d forgotten how many memories I had of it. It took them on a space odyssey, some days it was a horse to their cowboy antics and on others it was a train taking them to Madras. Sturdy and built the perfect size to be ridden on, it was a ride-on toy like no other and had even once been pushed down the stairs ‘to see what happens’.

As the old bus settled into the back seat and Β took off on its last long journey I knew I’d done the right thing. I hope it brings as much joy to those little children as it brought to mine.

This might not seem like much to most. But for those who’ve taken this journey with me from the start, you’ll know why this has been emotional. It’s a coming of age. That bus truly was one of the last few things I had from the Brat’s baby days and as I watch childhood slip away and my 7 year old frown over homework… I (wo)manfully hold back tears.

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68 thoughts on “The little green bus

  1. Awww. Such a lovely gift and it looks like something I’d like to hoard too but I am sure it’ll make some other brat very happy. Brat is 7 years old now. 7 years. 7 years…… when did this happen?

      • *joins Maddy in the bawling while frantically looking around for the damn hankies *

        Seriously Maddy, I have been reading about how he is growing up, I have been seeing his pictures, but suddenly I am sitting back and thinking about it and it’s hit me like a beating on my knuckles, 7 years? oh me lord!!!

      • πŸ˜‰ iknow, i am torn with keeping stuff for memories, and then have to remind myself its just stuff, and if given can create more beautiful memories! never have had many toys for my kids. except the zillion lego and the mini cars. But books give away was a wrench. all the seuss and the rest the kids outgrew. wd have loved to keep for the next gen. but like u said mm, they should have enough!

  2. Recently bumped into your site thro boo’s & have been gulping down old posts… Motherhood just hit me(3 months ago) and its heart warming to know that you are not alone in so many things…. So many of your posts made me think, rethink and debate with myself which is why am going to be strolling in more often…

    The bus is an awesome labor of love… But u made the right choice in letting go… They do grow up too fast 😦

    • Three months, eh? Welcome aboard. You already know they grow too fast so I won’t do the annoying thing all mothers of older kids do and tell you to appreciate it. I am sure you’ll fling a dirty diaper at the next person who says that.

  3. Aww… Lovely gift! I am sure it is going to keep many children happy. I would have hung in on to it, painted it different, & used it as storage/display for something like stationery.

    Missed you a lot in this space. The header is awesome!

    • You know how much I hate giving away stuff and you know how I love to upcycle. I did think of making it their bedside table but it just seemed like the poor kids deserved something nice for once.

      The header was what I had on my old blog.

  4. I vividly remember the bus. It looked so nice and big around the Baby Brat and now it looks all small and I don’t know why I think it looks forlorn in the car seat and the thought breaks my heart.
    Wasn’t it really just yesterday that I was discovering your blog and falling in love with your baby boy (little realizing the hurricane that was to follow, called the Bean and how she will have so many of us besotted aunts, wrapped around her tiny, cute, baby fingers). I don’t like this babies growing up business. Not the teensiest bit.

  5. Dear MM,
    Banner is awesome!!
    Bus looks so cute… even I hoard such stuff!! but it was a thoughtful gesture to give to to underprivileged school.. I don’t think i would have done that πŸ™‚ MM, as a mother who just sent her daughter off to college, just hold on to every minute dear! time flies is said for a reason! now where is my hankie – no I need a towel?? 😦

  6. *Gulps back a sob* I LOVED that bus. But I can more than understand about your need to spread the happiness it brought. Well done MM.
    And the brat turned 7..*sniffle*..what an amazing young man he is turning out to be too. Well done there as well MM.
    Huggie.

  7. I remember the post where you mentioned that Brat’s first word was ‘bus’ (looking at the all the buses from your balcony in Chennai).

    Hats off to you for giving it away to the underprivileged, I understand how precious such kind of gifts can be and it is very hard to let go them.

    Btw, we were blessed with a baby girl (almost 1 month back), the reason why I haven’t been able to read and comment on any of your recent posts.
    My son adores his little sister, I hope their bond just gets stronger with time and would love to see the same kind of sibling love as the Brat and the Bean.

    • Delhi house πŸ™‚ He was 5 months when we left Madras and he used to watch the crows from that balcony.
      Congratulations! God bless your little girl and I am sure they will be very very close. Big hugs

  8. Yes lady, remember the bus πŸ™‚

    At least it is your firstborn who turned 7. In these parts the lastborn turned 7. Boohoooo…

  9. You are a brave woman, you! But rightly given to someone who may never have a custom made set of wheels. I have been reading for about 5 years (gasp!) and I can empathize on how you feel about the last vestiges of the Brat’s baby-hood days. He’s 7 already! How does time go by so quickly??

  10. I love your new header, MM! Don’t change this, okay? It totally fits! Except that the OA is missing in it πŸ˜›
    And although that was v. sweet of you, to give it away, I feel a bit bad for the Brat. My mom gave away all of my baby stuff too, and I wish she hadn’t 😦 I wish I had my childhood toys, just to look back and in a strange way, experience my childhood again 😦

  11. Don’t know what broke my heart the most—him being 7 all of a sudden, Chhota Nana’s precious bus going away to a new home, or you being wonderful enough to let that happen. Probably all 3. *Sniffle*

  12. The Brat is SEVEN years old? SEVEN? MM, I love reading everything you have to say on everything, but can we please have a post on what the Brat and Bean are up to…it’s been ages, and I miss their stories.

  13. why that bus? iam all for donating and recycling esp. those childhood things that they use only for a short span of time… but that bus you should have held it back,, brat might ask you for it.

  14. Wow! that bus looks amazing…

    You have a large heart to give it away, but honestly even I would have done that, because its like a special gift πŸ™‚

    Brat turned 7?? I thought he was 5…oh but that was when I started reading you πŸ™‚

    • I guess the reason it stayed so long was because it was a special gift. I could have kept it longer but I don’t even have a sibling close by to give it to. I could have kept it for Button if he didn’t live in the US.

  15. hey Maddy! I am a new reader , came here from YEON ‘s blog. Did i tell you what kind of laught riot I had had on reading yr ‘Just married ….’ post .I narrated yr JMPE stories to my SIL and her hubby and laughed till it hurt.

    NOw coming back to green bus- you have done the right thing by giving it away where it will be appreciated most though I can uderstand the feeling associated with such give aways that kids are growing up fast.

  16. Dear MM,
    This is such a earnest post, the bus is so nice….And i have seen Brat’s picture. He has such cute cheeks.
    I am no where close to motherhood, but i totally understand how you feel about your babies πŸ™‚
    I think you are one ‘role model’ momma πŸ™‚ When they grow up, and are old enough to read and understand your blogs, they are going to be so proud of you πŸ™‚ Am sure, they already are πŸ™‚

  17. Of course we remeber the bus. I have thought of it often in last 3 months as Abir also share the brat’s fascination for bus. I have always thought of it as the most thoughtful and precious gift.. Sure must have been hard to give it away, but yes, you did the best thing as always…
    πŸ™‚

  18. Oh, MM, how can we forget the green bus? You did an awesome thing. And we all feel your pain when we see childhood slipping away. But we’re all happy that the Brat’s gonna grow and turn into a wonderful, compassionate human being, who will bring much joy (and possibly impart wisdom) to people around him πŸ™‚ Lotsa love to the mad family. Just yesterday and today I was thinking about how you haven’t posted in a while and that it means that you are busying having a life, and how good that is. Hugs.

  19. Oh dude, you done really good here πŸ˜€
    ZOMG..did you say SEVEN? I was so caught up and overwhelmed with the bus and Chota Nanas gesture and youre giving it away, I missed the whole biggness of the smallness that is the BRAT. omg..

  20. what a smart header.. dont change it please… It potrays mad house so well.. Btw, I know you are very busy.. but i miss your posts so much… Cant we have more of it?

  21. The post was Nostalgic, i must say. You must be really brave and selfless to do such a thing. Logic would say that the bus would be more happy now in the hands of some underprevliged child rather than sitting in a corner of an unused stack in your house.

    For the emotional hoarder in me, i’d dare not do such a thing. Kudos to you.

    • Nope, not brave and selfless at all. I like hearing such nice stuff about myself, but it’s a bit disrespectful to those who really are all those lovely things. So thank you, thank you, kind folks. But I must be honest and say, its nothing πŸ™‚

  22. “THE” bus!? This is HUGE. I couldn’t have done it. More power to you and your likes. Good job.
    PS: Please tell me you at least kept the world famous Kangiiii! πŸ™‚

  23. It is not a trivial incident at all. It is about the giving away of a beautiful, thoughtful gift that held so many dear memories, in order to create more dear memories for someone else. πŸ™‚ I don’t know if I would have had the brave heart to part with the bus, had I been in your shoes. 😦 Kudos to you!

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