Saturday, May 30, 2015

Principal & Interest

My dad was a banker. One of the many things he taught me was the power of compound interest. Of course, there can be no interest if there is no principal. Therefore, saving is a big part of our culture.

In 1988, dad was posted in Bareilly, a mid-size town in northern India. He was the bank manager and living accommodations came as a perk. I was in12th grade and my sister was in the 10th. At this time, a bank officer from another town got transferred to Bareilly and reported to dad's branch. He came with his wife and two daughters. Being new in town, dad and mom took it upon themselves to make them comfortable. Fortunately, they rented a place a short walk from our house. We saw them often and became friends. The elder girl's name was Pallavi and the younger Priyanka. Since they were both younger than us, they called me (and my sister) Didi, a term of respect for elder sister. However, they did not just call me Didi, they gave me all the love, respect and admiration that an elder sister can dream of, specially Pallavi.

Vibrant Colors
One day, Pallavi asked her mom if she could get them a big sister. The mom laughed and said that if they had asked for a younger sibling, she may have considered it. To this day, that story warms my heart.
Warm Ones

Cool Ones
Time passed. The girls grew up went to college, and we drifted apart in pre-email days. And then we reconnected a few years ago with the magic of Facebook and LinkedIn. In 2012, when Paul and I visited India, we stopped in London to see Pallavi and her husband. Unfortunately, her husband was busy at work and we could not meet. But Pallavi, my sweet little sister, was there. She looked the same to me, but prettier, all grown-up and so chic. It is as if the years just melted away.

With Pallavi, in London
I love Pallavi but she idolizes me. I don't know what I did to have that effect on Pallavi. I believe it was just her age when we met. She was so impressionable at that age that if I showed her how to make noodles, it seemed completely awesome!!!

Cool Pattern
Bright Colors

Back to today - When I learned that Pallavi was pregnant, I was so happy for her. In fact, there was a whole range of emotions. There was joy, of course. I was also feeling sadness - I wish we were closer. There was a bit of elder sister concern - hope she is taking her folate regularly.

Paul, the model!

Thank you, Paul
And encompassing all these feelings I chose to make a rainbow quilt for her new baby. The pattern is Strip and Flip. I used 27 colors in the top. The batting is Warm & Natural, as usual. I chose this fabric for the backing. When I saw this fabric, it looked like giraffe heads, first. Isn't that cute?

Backing Fabric

But look again, and it may appear like a dancing man atop the Eiffel Tower. I don't know what you think but it is very chic and modern to me, very Pallavi-like. The binding is a pale green to match one of the colors in the backing. The finished quilt is 40" by 60".

Green Binding

Pallavi's boy was born on April 22. His name is Anay, which is one of the many names of Lord Vishnu.

Labelled with Love

When Paul saw me with the new quilt, he asked.

Paul: Who gets this one?
Me: There is a new baby boy in London. I love him very much.
Paul: Love him? Have you met him?
Me: No.
Paul: How can you love someone you have never met?
Me: I love his mom. She is the Principal. Her boy is the Interest.
I love the Principal. And, the interest is even dearer than the Principal.

Of course, Paul was confused. It is not easy being married to an "exotic" wife from another culture!!!

Love & Blessings for Anay

When grandparents dote on their grand babies, it is often said (in Indian culture) that the interest is dearer than the principal, meaning we love our kids but we adore our grandkids!!!
Now, Anay is not my grandchild but you get the feeling.

I also included in the package two baby blankets. Off to London!!!

Completed this in April but could not blog about it until the quilt reached its destination in London. As always, I look forward to your thoughts.


  1. I SO enjoy reading the stories that go along with your quilts, Preeti! And this beautiful story is just as beautiful as the resulting quilt! SO lovely! The colors are spectacular and the backing fabric is just wonderful! I'm sure both the Principal and the Interest will love this quilt and the wonderful blankets for years to come! :)

  2. The quilt is beautiful! You chose a great pattern with great colors!

  3. Preeti's, you've done it again! Beautiful story, beautifully written, beautiful quilt. Thank you for sharing all of it.

  4. Didi how beautifully you have articulated your love for Pallavi Didi and her Anay .. Your blog is a beautiful expression of your love and care for us .. And of course your colorful gorgeous quilt will be a constant reminder of your love , blessings and warmth for Anay . We all are so proud of you .. Only beautiful people like you can create beautiful wonders like your master pieces .. Hope your life gets more colorful by the day like your creation ..Love you a lot .

  5. how touching! What a great heart-warming story of the connections between people...
    I love it

  6. Such a sweet story to go with this bright beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing the meaning behind the quilt. It makes it even more special. The interest (love the saying) is sure to feel your love when wrapped in it.

  7. Great story. Lovely colours in this quilt.

  8. what a great story. The quilt is beautiful and will mean so much coming from you!

  9. Oh didi, your write up is a reminisce of my childhood. You were always so loving, affectionate and intelligent that every little girl would have idolised you and I still do. My admiration for you if it started at
    noodles cooking it also made me follow in your footsteps to architecture.
    Interestingly, Papa - Mummy keep talking about principle- interest connection. They are always on their toes for Anay.
    Wish we were living closer to each other or atleast we could see each other once a year. Thank you so much for the beautiful quilt. Anay is lucky to have such a loving aunt. Miss you and love you xx

  10. That's a lovely quilt and an even lovelier connection you two have!

  11. Dear Preeti
    We all are very much touched to receive beautiful Quilt you made for Anay. It carries special warmth from a very special Mausi. This quilt and its design is true reflection of creativity you imbibed from your parents.
    I have deep,memories of your Papa. I don't know whether you remember it or not perhaps you and Pallavi developed a special bonding for each when she stayed with you for two nights at your Rampur Garden house. Priyanka who was small kid of 3 years was hospitalised,your Papa visited the hospital and while leaving he took Pallavi along with who too was a kid of 5 years.During that shot stay of two days you became so close to her unknowingly and became a guiding factor for her.She followed you,became an Architect and settled herself in London.The love and affection we received from your parents during our stay in Bareilly is difficult to erase.
    Our blessings and good wishes are always with you..
    Uncle- Aunty

  12. What a wonderful quilt, and a wonderful story. I love the "interest" analogy!

  13. Gorgeous quilt! And your story is so lovely.

  14. What a lovely story to go along with such a beautiful quilt!

  15. Principle and Interest - what a wonderful story and a beautiful friendship! Preeti the quilt you made for your friend is gorgeous!

  16. Preeti, You may not realize it, but you are a "No Reply Blogger" so I can't respond to your comments on my blog. If you want to receive replies from comments you leave on other blogs, here is a tutorial I found to change it on your blog. Have a great day!

  17. Your story is beautiful. So is your quilt!

  18. What a beautiful story!! And A beautiful quilt - it will be sure to warm the hearts of the whole new family!

  19. I enjoyed your story...I have always heard that you enjoy your grandkids more than your own kids. I suppose that is true in all countries!

  20. You are such a beautiful writer. The stories that accompany your quilts are heartwarming, funny, and always inspiring. I love this pattern (and all of Allison Harris' patterns). The bold warm and cool colors are just perfect!

  21. Wonderful quilt, love the colours! Fun story too!