Happy New Ear

“We have to. It’s part of the tradition”, says my mom. With so much love.

To fact that our one year old daughter will be tonsured and have her ear pierced is something that we were reconciled to, but haven’t been able to come to terms with.

Happy New Year - Kavi Arasu

“Will it hurt?” Asks the missus.

“Well, you are the one that wants it and besides, wears the earring. Some recollections would help”. I quip. Half in jest.  But only half.

For the missus has already bought a variety of fancy earrings just for the little one.  Each purchase warranting a special trip and intimate analysis and design that if it were applied to other matters like economics, for instance, would have won her a Nobel Prize and pulled the world out of recession!

‘We’ll do the ‘Gun-shot’ thing’. The missus adds. “It’s quick. Non messy. And relatively less painful”.

I can say for sure that the missus has done the research, looked up the web, watched countless YouTube videos, checked with the doctor and is ready to go.  Yet, the notion of pain is difficult for her to take. For me too.

“And may I ask”, I persist, “what does ‘relatively-less-painful’ mean”?

Silence engulfs the room.  And returns whenever we discuss the topic.

The tonsuring is something that we think will go off easy. The ear-piercing is a different matter altogether.  I am all super-duper anxious. Mildly put.  So is the missus.

That was a month ago.

Today, in the morning, the tonsuring was done.  A small family ceremony. Ancestral home. Eager beaver relatives. Garlands. Prayers. And such else. She wailed and wailed. Seated on one of her grandpa’s laps and under the watchful eyes of another, locks of hair kissed the stone floor as a practiced hand worked to perfection. 15 minutes was all it required. Her wailing continued till the time she discovered that her head was indeed a nice round thing to touch, play and laugh!

She was ever so cheerful after that! It’s evening now.  We are now at a beauty parlour for the ear-piercing business. The traditional way of piercing ears has been negotiated out of.  This one, we were promised ‘would be over in a minute’.

“Will it hurt”. I ask. Tentatively.

The young lady at the beauty parlour smiles, as she walks in with a small contraption and a set of other instruments. .  “Are you her dad”, she asks. I nod.

She smiles. “Slightly”. She says. She has handled many fathers, I can tell.

“But then, she will have a new pair of ears”. She adds and surveys the ear.

Cursory instructions are passed on how to hold her. She could well have been saying ‘one more kilo of potatoes please’. But her confidence had a calming effect.

In a brief while, the first shot is fired. Screams engulf the room.  A lump that is larger than the rock of Gibraltar sits in my throat.

In a jiffy the second shot is fired. She lets off another volley of wails. She is in pain. Or maybe the discomfort. Or perhaps she wasn’t held well. Whatever. Tears well in my eyes. I notice that the missus is in tears already.

The beauty parlour lady smiles. And says, ‘done’.

I am glad it’s over. I grab our little girl and whizz out of the room. On to the road and let the others do whatever else remains to be done like settling the bill and such else. She is still wailing.

I try to calm her down. I sing. I show her the bikes and cars on the road. I even pull my tongue out, which mildly amuses her every time.  She is in no mood to be amused today.  On a whim, I peep into the rear view mirror of a parked bike.

For the first time, she sees her ears. And the new additions to those lovely lobes. The wailing gradually stops.  Curiosity makes its stealthy march. After an elaborate fifteen seconds or so, of intense staring into the mirror, a smile escapes her lips.

Tonsured Head of a Baby

I shake my head and say, “Congratulations on a new pair of ears”.  A few babbles and cackles escape her mouth. I have a strange feeling she understood what I said.

I sigh. A big sigh. Of relief.  I hold her and say, ‘Happy New Ear’. She still is looking into the rear view mirror.

Kavi dabbles in writing, reading, traveling, photography, long distance running amongst other things. He and Shanti have their hands full with their adorable toddler, Kayal. In-between all of this, he gives an arm, leg and everything else to earn a living. Usually accomplished by punching keys, attending meetings and trying to sound profound. He blogs at http://kavismusings.blogspot.com & tweets @kavismusings. Just in case you are intrigued enough to know more about him please head to http://about.me/kaviarasu.

  • Reminded me of the time when my daughter,all of 12 days, got her new pair of ears 🙂

    Have to admit it was way to easier to get those tender lobes pierced… the daughter didn’t even realize what happened and was calmly asleep when the goldsmith did his business !

    Happy New (Y)Ear to the little pretty girl and to both of you too Kavi!

  • Hello @Scribby!

    Thanks for the wishes! A very happy new year to you too!

    12 days seems to be a swell idea in retrospect! Alls well that ends well I guess ! Heres to glorious times ahead ! 🙂

  • Fab

    That was such a lovely read!!! I could almost imagine myself in that room!!! Those itty bitty earrings look so cute; and the fact that she loves them too – priceless!

    • Thank you ! You indeed are right. What is most priceless is the fact that she loves them and has gotten comfortable with them too! 🙂

  • Roshni

    Kavi!!! You here?!!! How wonderful!!! I’m so happy to finally see you and to see your cute daughter…..well, your daughter’s cute ear!! Congratulations and happy new ear indeed!!

    • Hello Roshni !

      Delighted to connect up here after all the years on the blog! Well, well, I had to show up with my face and all that. Sometime! 🙂

      Thank you! I look forward to staying connected and reading your wonderful posts too! 🙂 And by the way, Happy New Year ! 🙂

  • Hi Kavi,

    It was lovely reading your account about your daughter and your emotions. Lovingly written.

    • Hi Shail !

      Thank you! Especially when you say ‘lovingly written’! There cant be a better emotion to anchor this post !

      Look forward to staying connected ! 🙂

  • It was a sweet post.. loved it.. It made me recall my pain at the time of piercing, I got it done at the age of fifteen and that time my Mum and Dad had been by my side to lessen the pain.
    Happy New Ear to the little one and family.

    • 15 ?!?! That sure would have been something. It must have been quite something for you and your parents too! Phew!

      Mighty glad that you liked the post. Look forward to staying connected! 🙂

  • oh oh oh!…. damn, this is what I am gonna go through very soon!!.. N I m so petrified on it… 🙁

    • I know what you mean. The zillion butterflies that swarmed my tummy are proof, that I know what you mean!

      Well, well, well! In retrospect it appears that my fears were exaggerated! It is indeed a ‘happy’ pair of new ears for her! Good luck!

  • I read. I remembered. Eyes got a bit moist………………..but…………

    Thank god for Dads…!

    • Ah ! Dads !! 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Wonderful read, KaviArasu! Its quite a normal event, including your and your missus’ fears. But the articulation has a silky feel to it. It made me visualize the entire story in a 5 minute episode. Keep the writing going!

    • Thank you Desikamani! A silky feel to a ‘normal’ event is stuff that gets me chuffed up no end ! 🙂

      Thanks a ton. Look forward to your support in the days ahead too! 🙂

  • Ranju

    I have never gotten my ears pierced and now I will not do so! 🙂

    Excellent and captivating post! Happy new ear!!

    • Hello Ranju!

      LOL ! Well, well ! I am told that I had my ears pierced as a kid. As part of tradition. But then, I never imagined that parents go through this!


  • 🙂

    Ah dads! 🙂

  • Girish Raghavan


    I went through the same experience for both my daughters! The piercing though was in the traditional way! Reading your article was like reliving that experience once again. Looking forward to more musing from you.

    • Thank you Girish! Am mighty glad that that this has evoked a few memories! I look forward to staying connected and thanks for the all the support on my musings! Much appreciate it !


  • Kavi… thats interesting… i have come across such instances and have snapped some years back 🙂

    • Hello George!

      Happy to hear that all those memories have come rushing back! 🙂

      Lets stay connected

  • Amit

    @kavi very well written. Mirrors all of us Dads’ feeling on this momentous occasion.

    • Hello Amit !

      Someone remarked yesterday at office, ah, “the dadwallah emotion” ! Couldnt help smile! 🙂

      Thank you! Delighted it resonated !

  • Kavi,

    Nice! Transported me way back in time and brought back fond memories – of my daughters ear piercing and …. mine too. 🙂

    • Hi Sujit !

      You have your own story to tell, dont you! Apart from your daughter’s that is! Wonder how it was!

      Glad it brought back memories. They are all with us. Arent they!?!

  • Bala

    Good one Kavi. Though I always felt you would be the traditional type…..And I must tell you the traditional thattan method is equally “less -painful” – if you get an experienced hand at it.
    And the child’s mama had a role to play – which now the beautician’s chair replaced…..

    • Hello Bala!

      Well, well, to many, I am still the ‘traditional’ type! 🙂

      We weighed in the possibilities and felt this would be lesser painful for her. Even if marginally so.

      And this was done on her grandad’s lap. The granddad sat on the beautician’s chair! 🙂 As close as it could get!

      Thank you for your generous comment. Super glad you liked it!! 🙂

  • Viji


    Hope u remember me where were u ena lakhsmi vardrrhaon congratulations called u many times call me when free have lots to talk so whats new happy new year to u misus and lil darling now ur position is shifted 3rd in position

  • Kamal

    Great start; captivating, as usual!

    All I can say to the dads community is that, it’s much more fun to have one of your ears pierced along with your kid. Any takers? :p

    • Thank you ! 🙂

      On the dads getting their ears pierced too, well you lead by example ! 🙂

  • Amrita Thavrani

    Lovely Read. Had gone through similar situation during my daughter’s Mundan ceremony. Yes, their confidence calms us.

    • Thank you Amrita ! I guess all parents go through this and this post has evoked memories.

      Thanks again!

  • Mukta Kumar

    Superbly written Kavi!
    Could visualise the episode through your words.

    • Thank you Mukta ! 🙂

  • Mukta Kumar

    Superbly Written Kavi!
    The whole incident is so easy to visualise through your words.

  • Mercy Livi


    Excellent write up. Enjoyed every moment of reading this. Kayal, is so flipping cute in the picture 🙂

    Now, I am thinking how will my lil one react and do her Pappa while her ear piercing ! #AllExcited (a twitter addict)

    • Ah Mercy! I am sure your little one will take to it quite nicely! I guess they all do. The onus is on us to take it better.

      Will look forward to hear how this went for you! 🙂

      Thanks a ton again

  • You took me 30 years back when my sons underwent this ceremony. I remembered each and every detail. The aachaari came home and pierced their ears on their first birthday after the aayushya homam.

    I liked the way you cajoled her into smiling! Babies are always babies! Enjoy her!

    • Thank you Sandhya!

      We are trying to make the best of our time with her. God has been kind.

      I am so glad that this post took you many years back and rekindled memories. I guess the times havent changed much. Or have they!?! 😉

  • Oh, mine was much cloak and dagger stuff. My father told me that if God wanted me to have holes in my ears, he would have sent me down with them. His princess was not going through any pain!

    I went to a goldsmith and got it done with my cousins. I could not even complain when they pained 😛

    • LOL ! Some pain we inflict. Some others do! But the sentiment of your dad is well understood !!! 🙂

  • Madan Musuvathi

    Kavi, a very appropriate post. My little girl is turning one soon and I have to go through the mottai and ear piercing stuff. I am still resisting the mottai 🙂 Lets see how long I can hold out.

  • shivaja

    haaaa……we are going to face this in 2 Weeks……. couldn’t imagine how my little boy is going to cry……wish those moments pass in seconds ……

  • Hi I am a first time visitor to your post. Really enjoyed reading it. I felt that all this was happening before my eyes.