Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stop-Gap

I log in and find that there is nothing worthwhile in 'drafts' to publish and tell H that my mind is not working when V walks in with something which is not his.

Me: Give me that...
and try to take it from him when he pulls it away and says "Kaaka oosh" (The crow has taken it away) This is an evergreen phrase used by parents to restrain kids...

Who's kidding now?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Growing up!

We are used to receiving no response. But this was different...

Me: V, do you want this?
V: (No Response...as always, me thinks)
Me: V...do you want THIS?
V: (Pointing to his ear) What are you saying? I am not able to hear you
Me:???!!!

Scene from (outside) his school

One of V's friends from school, N wears her 'sunglasses' everyday to school and first checks her mother's hand before she decides to leave for home after school. My brat and many others make it a point to wear theirs too everyday. This is also a useful trump card sometimes. On this particular day, when V did n't 'feel' like going to school, I had to talk about how N would be wearing her glasses. And so he was all set with his cap and glasses and was dissapointed at not being able to show it off to N. I told him he can do so after school. The school does n't allow all such stuff inside their premises...Wise people!

I picked him up after school and some of us parents were having the usual chat with the kids trying to have a conversation of thier own, when the following happened:

V to N: (At the top of his voice) Hey N, See..I am wearing glasses...
N: Why are you shouting? (Her exact words were: Yaenda katharra?)

V, flushed with anger, threw his cap and glasses down and refused to say 'Bye' to her, and the little girl actually tried to persuade him to do so. I tried to look embarrassed...that was all one I could do!

The Outcome: I hate to admit this. My little one is becoming a boy:(

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some people are like this only-2

The 'park-pannata-paravasam types' (The Parking pesters!)


 I am a selfish motorist. Especially when it comes to parking my vehicle. I park in the inner-most parking space, because I want my scooter to be safe -Who cares about others getting more space to park because of my actions...
I use the center stand, even if it requires some extra effort. I don't want my scooter to fall down - Who cares about others getting more space because of this...

On one of these occasions, after having performed my selfish acts I come down from the shopping mall, child holding one hand, big shopping bag holding the other, walk towards the scooter, when a young motorist, tries to park his vehicle just behind mine...

Now, this is one of those selfless fellows who allow other vehicles to run over theirs or do not bother if their bikes fall down. The towing people have a field day thanks to such guys.

Spotting the guy about 10 meters away, I run like a mad horse (pulling the child and bag along) and telling him to -puffing - wait- panting - for me to take my vehicle away. The guy stops, waits as I struggle to remove the scooter from its space, keeping an eye and screeching when the child runs towards the road.

After a minute, I move aside, when the guy simply parks the bike in the space where he originally intended to (behind the parking space I had vacated) and walks off....


The 'edatha kodutha madatha...' types (That - is - not - your - chair-Chandler/That-is-my-seat-Joey types)


At the beach, we finally find a spot where the little archeologist can do his digging with his sophisticated tools and sit down (well almost) when a family of four or five or six with about three or four or five children, (It took me a few seconds to figure out that they were humans, this number confusion must be ignored) puts down a sitting mat, and the children on it, a foot away from us, causing us and the sand to fly. We move a good five meters away and I get a sprain in the neck by constantly turning my head, almost going in circles, to make sure that we don't get hounded again.

The 'at-you-service-or-so-I-think' types


We go to a (newly opened Dosa-Idli)  restaurant, finish our meal, wait for the bill when this guy comes with a plate of 'Paper-Roast' and deposits it on our table.

H: This is not ours
W: But you asked for 'Paper - Roast' saar
H: No..I asked for the Bill

The man, flustered, does the same at about five tables - beyond us - and then comes back to the table next to ours, because it is their 'Paper-Roast'.

The 'auto-gapla -cycle-ottara' types


We wait at a very congested junction with my 'Nermai-erumai-karumai' (Can't translate. It would mean something like I am fair and I expect you to be fair kind of thing) husband stopping the bike exactly 2 cms before the 'Stop' line and leaving about four feet on his left for a two wheeler or even an auto rickshaw to pass through and take the road on the left. The signal goes green and some thing hits V's leg. It is a bike's indicator. The motorist is in such a hurry that he leaves space for the rest of the world and comes crashing onto us...... to take the left. I don't know if he even realized, but the person seated behind him has the courtesy to apologize.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Girl Power!

We had been to a friend's place recently. This friend has two daughters - S who is about eight years old and N who is as old as V. N and V were playing with a box of marbles each. Suddenly N realized that V was playing with her box and demanded that it be returned. Her mother tried persuading her to let him  play with it, but the little one would n't listen.

She asked S to bring another box or container for V. S brought a small pink cup, which her mother thought was too small to be played with. S, undeterred, removed the marbles from the box with which V was playing, deposited them into another box. She then stood in front of V and N and asked, "Now, who wants this pink cup?". N grabbed the cup from her sister and V was left in peace and he continued to play with the first mentioned box.

As I looked at my beaming friend, she said, "Now you know how I get some free time..."

P.S: I gave the above title only because I wanted to use the phrase. Otherwise it should read, "First Daughters Rock!". I am sure all 'first daughters' will agree!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Some people are like this only!

At a vegetable shop...

A middle aged man (MAM) is in the process of selecting peas, when he sees the price and asks the shop attendant (SA),


MAM: Excuse me, have the prices come down?
SA: Yes sir.
MAM: Will it go down,,,again?
SA: Don't know sir...it may
MAM: If it does, how much will it go down by?
SA: Can't say sir, May be by another 2 rupees

(Mean while another SA joins the conversation)


SA 2: It may come down to Rs.24 sir..
SA1: (Whispering) Dei..it is already at Rs.24
SA2: err..ok...probably by another two rupees...
MAM: Will it come to Rs. 15?
SA 1 and 2: Can't say sir...
MAM: Tell me properly... I can then buy 2 Kgs..

The SAs quietly slip out and tell the supervisor who then fields the same questions and gives the same answers. Don't know what happened netx because it was my turn to slip out of the store!


At a Supermarket 


An old gentleman (OG) talks to the shop assistant (SA)
OG: Where is XYZ  brand of mosquito repellent?
SA: Not available sir...
OG: Why?
SA: (Looks perplexed) No stock sir..
OG: Athaan..why?
SA: Stock over sir (continues to do her work)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of mosquito menace and getting back to the basics...

I don't know if the Chennai corporation's initiative of getting rid of mosquitoes is helping its people or not,  but it seems to have sent all the mosquitoes back into the houses. For the last two or three months, we are living in a cocoon of creams and repellents and mosquito nets. The last mentioned is the savior really. V's skin problems continue to haunt him and us and he looks like a fencing champion minus the helmet and the sword (?), every night. After trying out mosquito repellent creams and vaporizers we decided to settle for the net. Even if the mosquitoes mange to enter our netted 'fort', we have the bat (yet another weapon) to fight with.

Sometime in December, when we had had enough and failed to procure the 'conventional net, we found this . It is a portable mosquito net and can be folded. It appears like a larger version of the umbrella-like baby net. The problem is getting and getting out, thus increasing the chance of mosquitoes coming in. But then...you have the bat! It is best suited for those who sleep on the floor or those who have cots which are only a few inches above the ground. Even otherwise we find it useful. The prices vary with the size and the net for a double cot cost us Rs.1800.

The regular nets are available at Ratna stores and garment shops, but are of poor quality. Good ones (with 'falls' for the net) are available at Naidu Hall family store, T.Nagar (not at Naihaa).

Unfortunately, V wants to stay in the 'cage' all day and insists on wielding the bat himself!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Scenes from the Beach

It is now a weekly routine for the little one to be taken to the beach. His endeavors follow more or less the same pattern every time, except that, these days he cares to 'draw' and play in the sand. There are other things that catch my eye these days (I am leaving the 'Jodis' in peace!)...

I find many young people standing alone, looking towards the sea or in the opposite direction or on the waves. They smile or simply stare or even strike a pose..Even before I try to comment on how stress and work and family pressures are affect youngsters, I see this...A few meters away, one of their friends plays the photographer clicking his/her friend in the open studio. Little wonder I find many FaceBook and Orkut profile pictures with such backgrounds...One guy is desperately trying to an 'Alaipayuthey' Madhavan and his friend is franctically clicking him.

H tugs at my sleeve, "Look...your twin". Well, a lady is trying to towel her wet child dry even as her husband holds the child high enough that her dangling legs do not touch the sand. The lady changes even changes the child's clothes this way!

A Frisbee game is on.... I've read about it but am watching one for the first time. The players are so damn good that one need n't duck or crawl on the sand to avoid being hit...

We walk on, and find another game in progress and I almost begin to crawl, before someone dives in front of me. This time it is a football game.

As we are seated, the ladies with their 'Kuri Josiyam' skills approach and talk about how the lady with the beautiful smile, the one who should have been born a man (Me!) is going to reach greater heights in life. Even as I beam and look towards her, H sends her away...Jealous husband...

We finally march towards a stage set  a few meters away. Every weekend (I think from the last), some folk programmes are being staged. Having missed 'Chennai Sangamam' early this year, we stroll towards the stage, more because V is super excited, as he catches the music from his favorite instruments- the Nathaswaram and the Thavil. He watches absolutely dumbstruck as a group performs the 'Karagattam'.

We come back home and the effect is as seen in the header picture!

 The 'Dholak' in the photo is a real one, a gift from V's Athai and Athimber. This is the fourth of his proud 'percussion possessions'!! The first three were the toy-like Dholaks purchased at T.Nagar. The purchases were persisted with, only because of the little one's interest. Otherwise they are NOT  worth subsequent purchases. Anyhow, our little drummer palys 'dum dum' with anything, from a bucket to his Appa's head!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do you mean what you say???

A few weeks back someone had come home and V was introducing them to his friend-Palli (Lizard). It is in his habit to say, "Bye palli...Neeyum kadaiku variya" (Will you also come with me) etc, whenever he spots one in the car park or anywhere else.

The guest said to V, "Veliya vara sollu" (thinking he was talking about the Palli)
And V said, "Veli...va, seekaram va" (Veli, come soon)

It was confusing and then it dawned on us...
Veliya vara sollu means asking someone to come out. But to a child who is going through the process of learning, veliya could be interpreted as Veli-ya, referring to someone named 'Veli'!

I don't blame his age. It happens to adults all the time.

When I was working in Hyderabad (did not know and was not willing to learn the local language and somehow managed in Hindi), a colleague came to me and said something in Telugu. I told him that I do not speak Telugu. He repeated in Telugu and I said the same thing and he said the same thing in the same language and I was left looking for a translator. Some hours later I realized that I had said, "I do not SPEAK Telugu and not I DON"T KNOW Telugu'. Since I did n't speak the language the fellow assumed I'd anyway understand what he said!!

A few days back we were shopping at a mall, when some a twenty-something girl asked a shop executive, "Excuse me..where can I find Coolers?" and indicated her eyes. The shop is a multi-floored retail giant selling anthing from grocery to crockery and textile to electronics. The executive replied, "Do you want to drink or purchase? If you want to purchase go to the fourth floor". The girl nodded and left the place with a puzzled expression. You can blame neither of them.  Electronics and other things including Water Coolers (Dispensers) are displayed on the fourth floor of the store.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kid Speak!

V and his Appa go to a shop. V wants sit on the stool near the counter and play with a banner hanging from above.


Appa: No... Chamatha irukkanum, atha vechu vilayada koodathu seriya..Illena athu vizhunthidum...( Be a good boy and don't play with that, else it will fall down)

A few minutes later a boy aged about eight enters the store, sits on the stool and plays with the banner..

V to the boy: Chamatha irukkanum, atha vechu vilayada koodathu seriya..Illena athu vizhunthidum... OK...????

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Growing Old..Really?

This post was in draft for a long time. Originally intended to be a "Realizing that you are thirty/growing old etc" post, it lost steam both due to mundane ideas and to the fact that a tag on the same is doing the rounds in blogosphere. It is always fun to read what others write!

This post has come back to life because of the following incident...

A young couple (When I say young I mean this: The oldest of the visiting couple, i.e the husband is younger than  the youngest of the hosting couple, which is me!) came over to invite us for a function. The procedure was complete with the wife extending a kumkum choppu and the husband holding a tray with flowers, fruits and the invitation card. And we received the shock of our lives when the couple fell at our feet for blessings! We have had little children fall at our feet a few times but this was too much to handle.

And it was embarrassing...Not because someone's actions indicated our age, but because of the fact that there are people who still care about such things. We did n't even know what to say, when they performed the Namaskara. H saved the day by mumbling something on progeny and long life.

It is a debatable issue this. But what struck me was, their sincerity and our lack of it. Though we justify our actions (or the non-actions) by saying 'if you don't put your heart and soul into something don't do it'there is no harm done in following simple procedures and rituals our elders established. I don't want to get philosophical, but it will do a lot of good to follow a path that would bring mutual happiness.

We will be attending the function...That is the least one could do to reciprocate...