Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bollywood Babies

Yesterday I did something that made me and I hope a few others, really happy. I threw a Bollywood-inspired baby shower for one of my dearest friends. Siobhan has had a complicated and inspiring journey to parenthood – she kindly gave me permission to let you read about it on her blog if you would like to know more – so it was an extra special pleasure to be able to honour her in this way.

My own experience of trying to become a parent has also had its challenges and we have shared many moments of joy, fear and despair as we wondered if we would ever hold our babies in our arms. Well, Siobhan is going to have those arms very full very soon as she is expecting twins!

Siobhan chose the Bollywood theme for its sense of fun and colour and joie de vivre and its execution was just my (western) interpretation of India and Bollywood – no cultural appropriation intended! Helpfully, Siobhan is pregnant with girl/boy twins so I was able to indulge my inner sexist with a hot pink and hot blue colour scheme. I bought huge swathes of organza to drape around the soon-to-be Mum's (very cool and spacious) apartment as well as lanterns and tissue flower pom poms – chosen to represent the marigolds that are ubiquitous at Indian festivals.

(Click to enlarge photo. Photos by Caroline Serrano Tran and yours truly).

I hung a poster of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity, light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm) partly for the glorious colours and partly because I love that she is associated with fertility and abundance. These, and her other outstanding attributes, are all that I wish for the beautiful babies about to join us in the world.

The food was easy and fun – a visit to a great Indian restaurant provided much of the feast, generous friends brought cake and curry puffs and a couple of trips to an Indian supermarket provided the rest.

In honour of the babies I also included lots of cute elephants (Indian elephants, naturally) which added to the general sense of fun. Games were played, Bhangra music was listened to (and in some cases danced to) and many beautiful gifts were given.

To round off a very special day we had a Valakaappu ceremony. Literally translated, Valakaappu means bangles and bracelets and a really sweet part of the ceremony is the adorning of the pregnant woman with bangles as a blessing for the Mother-to-be and her baby/babies. We all gave Siobhan a bangle together with a wish for her babies and needless to say it got a little bit emotional.

A lovely day for a lovely friend. How wonderful that making someone I love happy should be the very thing that makes me happy too. Ain’t life grand?


  1. One of the best occasions of my life Rachel. So long-awaited and everything was just perfect. Thank you so much. There were so many lovely details to take in and the food was out of control. The music was fun and the bangle ceremony made me cry. It's nice for women to get together and support each other at times like this and I felt so loved. These babies are so lucky to come into a world so full of good people and I am sure they will love their Auntie Rachel very much indeed xox

  2. Oh no I've got something in my eye! I'm so glad it was everything you hoped it would be, all I wanted was to give you the celebration you deserved. I cannot wait to meet my niece and nephew, I'm considering sleeping in my car in the hospital carpark from, like, now.

    1. Haha! Don't worry..I'll be texting you updates so they'll probably just let you have your own adjoining room so they don't need to keep yelling at me to turn my phone off!


    2. I shall iron my pjs in readiness!

  3. Looks A-Mazing Rach!!! What a brilliant theme and celebration and sounds like it is totally deserved - congratulations to your friend Siobhan on her impending mama hood, I just read a little bit of her blog - sounds like Agatha is going to have two very special playmates soon !
    becks xx

  4. Thanks Becks. I can't wait for Agatha to meet her "cousins" and for the happy carnage to begin. :-)