Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Horror, the Horror

It has come to the stage where I have realized that I now stand at the exact weight I was when I was full term pregnant with the brat. And being weighed in before being wheeled away to be anaesthised. To ensure the man poking the needle in my back got his dosages right. And I had then put on 14 kilos. Which I had whittled away back to sub-prepregnancy levels when he was latched on and feeding, within a couple of months of him popping out to say his hellos. The body obviously has plans of its own. And them polycystic ovaries don’t like me staying that way. Therefore stick insect is so not me. Beached whale more like it.

Who am I kidding? This is not curvy and voluptuous and Nigella Lawson minus the cooking skills, this is Oprah Winfrey minus the dietitian, the cook and the personal trainer.

Do you think there is a baby in happening somewhere in my hips?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Since we have a cold wave going on

A couple of days ago, the Manral household was the scene of an almost successful crime. Committed, I am ashamed to say, by the brat. Picture this. The dead of the afternoon. Lazy post lunch siesta for all concerned behind shut doors. Excluding the brat and yours truly. Of course, there is never ever complete calm in this house, nor ever complete quiet. The carpenters and the brat were ensuring decibel levels were at a level just below the Call The Police by Neighbours level. Therefore, while the brat was roaming around find new weapons of mass destruction, mamma decided to do some long pending work. She climbed into the loft and began throwing down suitcases like an Asiad bus helper only to find the brat had wheeled stool away to point of no return and thereby leaving mamma stuck in the loft. (We have a very high ceiling which has been brought down to bump your head levels by the insistent interior designer who insisted on that three level false ceiling with multifarious lights that on a bad day could make a very drunk person feel a spaceship is beaming him away). Having said that the loft stays unreachable except for stool and scrambling in positively undignified and field hand way over high stool and refrigerator and kitchen counter. The purpose of this entire exercise of hauling the corpus collossus to such extreme heights without the assistance of pulleys and the elephant on the roof as tried by the Nizam of Hyderabad for his beloved chandelier? Getting down the woollies. Lets face it. In Mumbai, the woollies are best left in lofts to be aired periodically and looked at ruefully. When, one asks in rhetorical fashion, will one ever be able to wear that wonderful bee striped pullover knitted by the mother in law's mother in the days when she was able to distinguish between a knit and a purl and has attained heirloom status in the house? When, one asks, in further rhetorical angst, will the brat wear the wonderful handknitted sweaters the mother in law has paid extra luggage fine on everytime she has travelled to Delhi and the native pahad land, to lug from the chills of Dehradun to the basting heat of Mumbai. The climate having taken a nosedive recently, one was prodded by the still voice of conscience to get one's butt moving and get them sweaters bunged in suitcases down. Therefore, the acrobatics. Therefore the stool. Therefore the brat having moved stool in classic defensive move, one that any chess great would have given half a brain and temporal lobe to acquire.Thus it came to pass, that in the dead of the afternoon, when the rest of the house was asleep behind shut doors, I was perched in a loft, calling piteously to be rescued, while the brat laughed evilly at my plight. And then fled for undisturbed play with power ranger SPD troupe battling a headless Spiderman. Finally, a thirsty carpenter who meandered towards the kitchen for a bottle refill took pity on me, or decided he was not going to miss out on his evening tea and snacks purely because of his reluctance to push a stool from point A to point B. Once one had clambered down and redraped vestiges of dignity around self, one rushed off to investigate and complain bitterly about the lack of forthcoming aid from members of family. Do you think, the diabolical mind raced, I was meant to be left there to wither into a carcass? Does this come as revenge for throwing tantrums at the making umpteen cups of chai for chai addict hubby? Or, worse, gasp, the brat is taking inspiration and tutorials from Damien?
Never mind. What matters is now we are layered with wonderfully warm woollies, while the rest of the city shivers under a cold wave. And the brat marches forth in totally coordinated sweater beanie cap ensembles with the elegant pace and confident swagger of a sailor on shore leave, looking around for the admiring glances from them ladies. If he does feel that any girl in his vicinity has been immune to his newfound sartorial charm, he does his best to rectify the situation. He marches upto her and pulls the seater to her eye level. "See, see, I wearing new sweater." Disinterested gaze as reply. "See, see, I wearing macchhhing topee." Disinterested gaze of fellow pint size four year old girl glazing over. "See, see, I looking very handsome." At which point, the disinterested gaze turns around and marches away. "Mamma, she's feeling sad because she doesnt have macchhhing sweater and topeee?" Mamma picks herself from the floor from which vantage point she had been rolling around laughing in most undignified manner and composes self. "Yes, dear. Do you want to give her one of yours?" "Noooooooo. How will I look handsome then?"

The brat watched Superman returns the other day as it came on television and was promptly enthralled. So was I by the clean cut, laser visioned Superman, but that is another story. He stared in rapt attention allowing unprotesting ingestion of gu gu and fruits and even food, straight from the plate into the gut without periodic protestions of "Yuck" "I do athoo to you" and such pleasantries which are the invariable accompaniments to food items not deemed palatable including essentials like Palak and Paneer and green veggies and salad.
The movie over, he ran into the bedroom and opened his cupboard and dragged out a red towel. He tied it on as a cape. He put on his blue nightsuit. And then he pulled on a red Spongebob Squarepants chuddi over the entire ensemble and charged back into the living room. Stood on the sofa one hand stretched out. "Look mamma, I Superman. I flying." And promptly took a flying leap to the ground. He picked himself up, no damage to anything but ego. "Mamma, I wore red chaddi outside nightsuit, then why can I not fly?" Evil glint comes into Mamma's eyes. "Did you have gu gu four times today? No? Thats why you cant fly." Lets just say, we're ordering in extra milk for the past two days. And yes, Superbrat will definitely fly. Red towel and chaddi included.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Something special to talk about

Another tag from Dipali. This one on an object which holds many precious memories and by default has become priceless. I thought long and I thought hard, and I thought so much that I decided I had no memories left anymore. At least none that could match upto Dipali's wonderful atlas. Then I thought of the elephant. A simple elephant carved of black stone. The brat loves it. He played horsey horsey with it when he didnt know better and assumed all four legged creatures were either doggy or horsey. He now enacts elaborate war games with it leading the charge, a miniscule Spiderman perched on top of it as the mahout. And at times, he goes into the jungle sitting on the elephant, and then bathes the elephant in a tub of water, much to the mother's horror and ruined carpet. The black stone elephant, you see, is at the mother's.
The other day I sat back, and saw him line up the elephant, and have it charge around the house on a mock rampage, with other Power Rangers skittling in horror at its advance and I had one of those cystal clear visual flashbacks. Of me, bathing the elephant, powdering it, and tying a pink ribbon around its neck, and then pretending it was my doggie and taking it for a walky. While my father looked on indulgently from his armchair, half hidden by his newspaper, and the smell of his Charminar cigarettes heavy in the air.
This elephant is my childhood. And is now part of my child's childhood. It has given me so many moments of joy and happiness in simple play that no amount of automated, cutting edge technology toys can ever hope to give a child today. Is it any wonder that the brat chucks aside his moving blinking Power Rangers for the simple, docile elephant who does his bidding uncomplainingly. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt here. The simplest toys are the ones that work the best. The toys made of wood, and paper and stone. The toys that force the child to use his mind and hands in tandem rather than being a spectator in its preprogrammed agenda. And I'm sure some research out there would support me on this.

I would like to pass this tag on to Ceekay, Dotmom, Sue, Parul and Surabhi. Have fun girls.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I be Ishaan Awasthi, I go drawing class..

The brat has drawing class today. To him it is the equivalent of him going in for IIT JEE coaching. He prepares for it. He insists on taking out his pencil box and checking if all the pencils are sharpened to appropriate points, sharp enough to puncture an inflated tyre if need be. I suspect he has his own system for testing the sharpness of point, and other such means of torture reserved for the hapless friend who shares the time spot with him for this class. The erasers have to be just so. Red and white. And the Mickey Mouse one. And the Spongebob one. Have tried to explain to him that using an eraser is, contrary to his belief, not a sign of prowess. He is great at erasing. He ends up erasing the entire page to perfection. Including whatever miniscule he managed to get right in the first place.
Yes, yes, yes. Despite my avowations to the contrary I succumbed and put him into drawing class and am now investigating the possibilities of dance class and skating class and martial arts class and swimming class....there is energy floating around like free radicals which needs to get burned up constructively. In fact there is so much excess energy flaoting around that our house is lit up by a faint glow caused by self combustive brat.
To come back to drawing class. I will sit on the stoop of the building and wait patiently for him to emerge triumphant with heiroglyphs that only an indulgent mother's eye can see as a fish and a cat. He will insist on showing off his masterpieces to all and sundry including driver, watchman, liftman and carpenter, all of whom are too terrified to voice dissent about his artistic skills. He will reach home and promptly remove crayons to draw some more and should mamma's eagle eye shift elsewhere for a nano second, she will rue the ruining of her newly painted walls. Putting the father to supervise self drawing exercises doesnt work. Pappa believes that his physical presence, lolling on the bed, and watching CNBC TV 18 like his life and his bank balance depends on it is enough deterrent to vagrant hands with crayons creeping towards impeccable walls. Mamma has therefore allocated the back of the bedroom door for artistic expression, given that crayon marks can be soaped off sunmica quite happily.
The first day at drawing class had the teacher emerge with a befuddled expression at the end of it all. "He doesnt hold the pencil or the crayon properly," she says, her brow knitted into a cable pattern. "I know," I replied with the zen calm that comes from having explained the issue to countless other cable knitted worriers. "Which is why I have got him to you. You need to work on his grip and his fine motor skills." Having thus dispensed my words of wisdom, I now sit out and read through the book du jour while I wait for him to finish his class, listening to an increasingly frantic art teacher trying to explain to the brat that the art has to come from within his brain, not from climbing out of the windows to check out the birds chirping on the trees.
He's a trooper this boy. After a gruelling day at school and therapy, he still manages to rustle up enough energy to want to go to drawing and dance and skating and swimming class and then play in the garden when all his poor mamma's aching bones are doing are handing in their papers in sheer disgust at the amount of running behind that is required to keep pace. And when mamma is flopped out like the living dead on the bed at 10 pm, uncaring whether her snores are waking up the neighbourhood he sits up and goes to his writing desk. Pulls out his drawing book and his crayons. And does the mindless deliberate scribbling that is so essential for him to get a good grip on his pencil. And then goes around the home showing it off to all and sundry. "Look. I am Ishaan Awasthi. I do drawing. I get a prize." Yes, my darling son. You get a prize for being you. Krish Manral. So determined. So intent of enjoying life. You give me a lesson in living every single day of my life.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What is the right way to be a parent?

I am still grappling with the question. Am I doing the right thing by my child? Am I doing all that is needed to help him grow and flourish? Is he getting the right soil to fuel his growth? Is his diet giving him all the nutrients he needs? Is there enough of all the vital vitamin and mineral groups? Are those random few white spots on his skin signs of some deficiency. I rush to read up about it, and terrorise myself into dragging him to the doctor, who shushes me, and tells me its nothing a multivitamin wont cure. Nothing to work myself into a lather about. He doesnt have a second glass of milk at night, because he's downed some fish for dinner and the MIL does not recommend milk after fish. "Khoon phathta hain," she says. With gory images of the blood in his veins curdling into sour cream, I hold back the glass of milk and run behind him begging and pleading with him to ingest the Calcium Sandoz soft chews. Is he eating enough fruits and veggies? Did he get his five colour groups into him today? How much junk did he actually ingest, including Lays and burger and chocolate? And why am I consumed with guilt over the amount of junk food he is actually getting away with, thanks to a charming manner of begging others around at home?

Am I sitting with him enough to help him develop his writing skills? He holds the pencil like a butcher's knife and cannot manipulate it well enough to get it from point A to point B without taking a detour across the page. How will he manage when I am not around to hold his hand? Who holds his hand in class? And why should anyone hold his hand? Why can he not remember something I have told him barely a minute ago? Am I doing enough jigsaw puzzles with him, am I reading enough to him? Am I curtailing his television viewing enough? Why does he know Hindi film songs better than his nursery rhymes? Is he getting enough sleep? Why does he have dark circles under his eyes? Is it sleep deprivation or is it a blocked nose? Why can he not stand on one foot yet? Why is he not able to narrate what happened in school today? Is he unable to, or is he disinterested? Does he get enough playtime with his peers? Does he really need to go to therapy or am I just being paranoid?

Why is he constantly bouncing off the walls? Why can he never sit still for even five minutes to do a single jigsaw puzzle? Why is there so much anger in him? Why does it seem that he is constantly throwing tantrums, and why do I need to shout so often to get anything done? Why is he being insolent and rude and backanswering? Why can he not understand rational explanations of why he cannot go down to play in the night, or why he cannot go the mall at ten pm? Is it that he cannot understand or that he will not understand? Why is it that I seem to be saying no to eight things out of ten, and then feel miserable? Why do I feel like I am failing miserably somewhere, and not doing right by this child? Why is he suddenly wanting to be around anyone but me, even people I would fight tooth and nail to keep him away from? Why do I feel drained and tired and constantly annoyed? Why does my child hate me?
Why has my child already become a teenager?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Main apne aap karunga

The above is the new refrain in the Manral house. "Krish, come to change your clothes," shouts harridan mamma. "Mamma, you go now. Main apne aap karunga." Therefore emerges the visual treat of the tshirt front to back, the pant zipping up behind, and the shoes worn on the foot they werent meant for. I should commend the effort I know, but it takes such immense self restraint to stand back and watch him do it himself, ever soooooooo sloowwlllllllly, when the clock is ticking forward mercilessly, and we already have two lovely red little late marks circling dates on our calendar. But the brat is so proud of his effort that one is almost compelled to let him make a public appearance in the self dressed avatar.

"Krish, come for a bath," yells mamma, her butt sore from being seated on miniscule bath stool for at least half an hour before brat consents to pop his head round the door. "Mamma, you come out, main apne aap karunga." This accompanied by throwing all 17 kilos of self against mamma, and steamrolling her out of the door. From whence she is allowed to watch him dunking around in the bath, with the bar of soap in the water, and no mud getting off the body, for at least half an hour of sheer brat delight, before she has to roll pyjamas and sleeves up and step in if dirt has to be physically evicted from brat body.

"Krish, come on, dinner is on your table." This with the plate and sipper placed on his writing desk and erstwhile dining table. "Noooooo, mamma. I will eat at the dining table. With everybody," and of course, his new found mantra, "apne aap." He then drags his plate off his desk, dumps the sipper for a glass of water and proceeds to royally mess up the table cloth and placemats, having chucked me off from my spot at the dining table. And miracle of miracles. Manages to get quite a maximum portion of what is on his plate into his stomach. Apne aap.

My son is growing up so soon, I want to hold him and savour him and hold onto his days of needing me to do things for him. I feel bereft and unwanted already.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I am a blogging buddy

...Thanks Dipali for the kind words and the award. I dont know how, from vanity blogging about myself and the brat I suddenly entered this wonderful community of warm, compassionate, encouraging and very supportive moms, who have now become a team of cheerleaders for the brat. It would be hard for me to pass on this award to just five, because there are so many in the blogging world I would consider buddies, and yet, will narrow the list down to the few who havent received the award yet, I hope, since the bulk have already been bestowed the honours. So here goes in no particular order.

Grail: I feel a kinship with her. She has a beast who is like a soul brother to the brat, and I see her grappling with the same issues that I grapple with. She writes with acerbic humour and immense warmth, and I feel sometimes, she writes for me.

BigZed: She blogs rarely now, what with her two babies, a demanding life. But she was one of the first commenters on my blog, until she came along, I never even realised that people out there were actually reading karmickids and enjoying it.

Childwoman: Not a mommy blogger, but a blogging friend whom I really care about. Whether she's going through her pangs of despair or in a relatively chirpy mood, I wonder when will all be right in the house of Tara, and pray that it will soon.

Rohini: I must say Rohini, because she posts few and far between but makes it a point to be in touch with the blogs, and she took all the trouble to a)travel half the city to make it to the brat's birthday party and b) Volunteer her home for the Mumbai Mommy Blogger Meet. And all this with killer cheekbones, and a killer career.

Moppetsmom: She writes with a sense of humour to die for, and is warm, funny and a soulsister. We almost met, but couldnt quite connect, but I do hope we meet someday. And Moppet becomes the brat's bethroted. Okay, just kidding about the last part.

Thank you all for enriching my life in your own way. Now go on distribute your badges.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The birthday party from hell

The brat had a birthday party to attend last evening. As anyone who has flicked a cursory glance over these posts would know, a birthday party is to the brat, the teenage equivalent of a prom night. Short of gearing up the courage to find himself a date, he gets into prom night mode everytime he has a budday pahty to attend. He decides his wardrobe well in advance the previous night and then chucks it all out for a different, and should I say in politesse, uniquely combined ensemble which includes cargo pants in camouflage print, red and yellow and blue striped tshirt, argyle socks (No I didn’t get him the argyle socks, thanks for asking) and blinking light shoes with Power Ranger SPD icons flashing their swords on each shoe side like so many guardian angels. The phase of the leatherite jacket, thankfully, has gone the way of the lull in the career of the Himesh Shamishamiya. The hair will be spit and gelled into the peak in the centre, aka Nikamb sir and Ishaan Awasthi (better role models anyday than Mr Shamishamiya), and thus having made himself into an avatar fit for display in any museum of horrendously bad taste, and earning walk in rights to Mr Blackwell’s list of badly dressed non celebs, he jauntily marched out to the budday pahty, bearing gift and bonhomie. The brat is a very social child. And if I may say so myself, very lovable. I don’t say this blinded by maternal blinkers, but as a matter of fact. To know him is to love him, despite his hyperactivity, his restlessness, his destructiveness.
This birthday party was held on the 7th floor of our building. The kid whose birthday it was had informed me thrice in anticipation that the party would start at 6pm. Given the brat was bouncing off the walls from 4 pm, getting his clothes and his shoes and his socks ready and waiting, we managed to land there at 6.15 pm, to find exactly one more momma guest present with two girls. The three had sprawled themselves over the entire sofa leaving no space for moi to park my butt, and there were no other chairs lined up for seating purposes, so I gingerly dragged out a dining table chair and sat facing the other guests and smiled politely, they smiled back and continued talking amongst themselves. The hostess was getting ready. She got really ready in elaborate detail, by which the brat had bounced all over the house, (which had no grills and the balconies all open, consequently, me running all over the house to ensure any climbing up the balconies didn’t happen). Rounds of really cold drinks were offered in orange and cola flavours while the hostess was getting ready. Given that the entire populace of Mumbai is sniffling with runny snotty noses, and barking congested chest coughs, the brat included, he was sternly warned with evil glare and wagging finger from partaking of the beverage, which ofcourse he shrugged off like so much water off the ducky’s back and gulped down in a single shot. I prayed some to the Gods above to let it not contribute further to racking cough already giving us sleepless nights. And then, having ingested evil cold beverage, continued to run around some more. Then for lack of better things to do, he began investigating the birthday boy’s toy collection. Now, he is not the most gentle with expensive toys and I was getting extremely antsy. This was an hour into the party. So I connived with birthday boy who was already jittery about brat destroying any of his precious collection and hopping on his toes in fear, to move brat out into the next room, where he decided to play fighting fighting with one of the girls, a grown up 12 year old, who suddenly went ballistic and demanded that he be removed from her presence while her mother glared at me, ostensibly for unleashing a monster onto her precious princess, even holding and cuddling precious princess to soothe her while the brat stared on in amusement. A girl almost as tall as her mother. Throwing tantrums because a three footer was pretend boxing with her. Here is a right diva in the making. Can almost see her driving some poor man insane.
The brat was playacting fighting fighting like he has done one million times with his cousins and friends, and it is like shadow boxing, nothing gets damaged, no fistcontact happens. He just picked the wrong partner. Nonetheless, I made brat apologise and give the girl a hug, and gave him a stern talking to much to his bewilderment.
The hostess had by now emerged from her make up and dress up megathon and looked just the same as she does walking the garden everyday in her tracksuit, with her stomach hanging over the waistband. And smiled politely, asked me to make myself at home and disappeared into the kitchen. No sign of any other guests, nothing to keep the brat amused and no sign of anything being offered to soothe a hungry stomach. And nothing to keep him occupied. No games. No music. No other kids, except for princess and sister. One and a half hour into the said party. The stomach began rumbling unbecomingly. Mine and brat’s. Then the birthday boy, ballistic princess, her sister and mother went into the bedroom to watch Heyy Baby. At which point, I bodily picked up the brat who was having too much fun swinging from a door, and marched out. Return gift, what’s that? I wasn’t even asked to stay back for the cake cutting. And no cake made its way to our house on a little plate. I would have preferred we weren’t invited.
The house is a cornocupia of modern day nouveau riche taste. Mirror back crystal display units. Fake silk carpets. Prints of artists framed in plastic fake metal frames. Italian marble, fake plaster of paris pillars, etched and beveled glass doors, and new money splashing around so much you could swim in it. But, try explaining why common courtesy of a piece of cake and a return gift were not extended to the brat, and all the glitz and glamour of the house fall flat. Heck, I have a drawer full of little somethings to give any little critter who enters the house and the fridge is stocked with chocolates to hand out to those who come in on playdates. I make little bags of crayons and sketch pens and chocolates and pencils and erasers and keep them handy for emergency brat friend visits. And this is for regular times. At birthday parties I ensure that every kid who hasn’t had a shot at the khoi bag loot gets their share of the stash separately. Kids delight in coming home with good memories of birthday parties. I didnt have any of this one. I dont think I was even wanted there. Just called in to fill the numbers. I dont wonder why no one of the invitees turned up. I don’t think I will be visiting them often.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

How the brat proved me wrong

I have never done month by month updates on the brat. Primarily because, with him, updates and milestones have come by slowly and with much difficulty. Each achievement that most parents consider normal and ho hum, have been wrestled for by me, getting him to speak, to get toilet trained, to learn to drink from a glass, to dress himself (still struggling on that one, but thats another story) getting him to climb stairs on his own, getting him to even learn to throw and catch a ball. But there have been other milestones, like the time he suddenly frog leaped from two word sentences to complex sentences within a couple of days. Leaving us all open mouthed with shock. Like the day he sat at the table and fed himself a complete meal without dropping a grain. I could barely be restrained from doing the hula hoop down on the streets. Like the time he suddenly decided he wanted to voluntarily (without threats of Papa, doggie, no play time, no chocolates, and no big toothed shark) sit and do his writing practice. Sadly of course, that was really too good to be true and hasnt been repeated. His balance has always been a bit shaky and uncoordinated. He's just about learnt how to climb down stairs on his own, and still climbs up holding onto a banister or an adult. Therefore, when he demanded a scooty (the type of cycle where you put one foot on the flat base and wheel it along with your other foot) I was in two minds. I could just about picture him going flat on his back everytime he got one foot on. And how on earth was he to coordinate leg movements, I had absolutely no clue. Yes, I would teach him, I thought. But he would play with it for a bit and then relegate it to the loft from which it was never to be brought down again. Nonetheless, the scooty was bought home to much glee and jubilation and thank yous and sticky kichus all over the face. The brat got one leg on and the other leg was placed judiciously by the side. Mamma dearest stood at arms length ready to hold falling brat should judgement be impaired in terms of push and movement dynamics. And sure enough, his first step and he and the scooty did an elegant midair somersault and landed on their respective tushes. No way was this going to deter brat. He's made of stronger stuff than some sore butt can deter. Back again he went. And fell. And went. And fell. And kept on going until, he was zipping around fearlessly with me standing far far behind. In an hour, he had mastered the art of riding the damn thing and I have never been so delighted to have my misgivings proved wrong. Our children are hardier, stronger and more determined than we give them credit for.
And yes, the brat is now a pro at the scooty, and the novelty of it hasnt worn off yet. And he is climbing the high slide and the jungle gym to the highest point, all on his own. Perhaps, in reality, the only thing that was keeping him down was his mamma's fear of him falling.

Monday, January 07, 2008

When the brat got lost...

...the brat was down in the compound and park. I was hot on his heels. He was running around in circles, with me following panting heavily enough to dub the soundtrack of them interesting movies which are furtively downloaded by many. Many other little sprites came down in instalments making for a huge gathering of kids, squealing and running around like shoals of fish darting here and there. For the brat, used to squeezing himself out through layers of densely parked cars to reach a gate as was the case in our previous building, this is free runnable space heaven. A huge compound that has me get my quota of cardio with just two rounds around it, and a park, with a jogging track, and a sand pit, and slides, both huge and little, and swings and rides and merry go rounds. You get my drift.
So there were we in that intermittent phase when the sun is setting and the lights of the compound are yet to be switched on, and kids running amok. And me running behind them, when suddenly a huge adorable golden retriever puppy belonging to one of the residents bounds up to play with the children, and the horde of children go berserk crowding around him, stroking him, throwing a ball to him, and having a great child meets dog moment. When suddenly I realise the newly hair cut head is nowhere in sight.
Now my vision at best times and with the liquid cleaner on glass frames needs search lights to spot anyone in the dim twilight. The kids were all running behind the dog and the brat was nowhere in sight. Now the two buildings right next to ours are still under construction, and them being towers, there are pile loads of construction material lying around, ditches yet to be covered, open manholes, and the most terrible of my fears, gadzillion of suspicious looking construction workers and labourers swarming the place. Every newspaper clipping I had ever read of horror stories of missing children came on in fullscreen format in my brain. I ran berserk shrieking, "Krish, Krish,..." the watchmen noticed my panic and got into the act, running around looking for him. The lights were switched on immediately. My heart was being squeezed by a giant hand, sweat dripping down the palms of my hands, my legs were trembling so badly, it was all I could do to stay upright and run around. And then, a good fifteen minutes into our shouting, a tiny hesitant head pokes out of one the dark stilt parking spots. "Mamma, has the doggie gone?"
I rushed to him and hugged him tight and thanked the powers above with every ounce of my being. And then prayed for all the parents who are still searching for their missing children, and dont know what to expect.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I fly an aeroplane, I d pilot

Today was dress up day once again at school, and the brat had to become a pilot. Mamma dearest spent hours downloading images of pilot's uniforms from the trusty old internet, with all the zillion good intentions of creating one from white shirt and black pants, and sourcing epaulets and sourcing appropriate cap and such like. Until those good intentions went the way all her good intentions usually go, and she ended up hiring an outfit, paying perhaps as much as it would have cost her to get her butt off the damn chair and go source it from scratch. Anyway, I was never a thrift goddess. Left to me, the domestic budget would go the way of the national debt. Some designer bags thrown in too. Anyway. I digress.
The brat had the mandatory trial run and preened at himself in the mirror. "I be a pilot." "Yes, darling." "I fly d plane?" "Yes, darling." "I not be carpenter anymore?" "I hope not beta." With such pleasant thoughts, having junked all ambitions of being a watchman, liftman and carpenter, we drifted off to sleep.
So there was brat, prodding me in the ribs at 6 am. "Mamma. Get up, get up. Its morning." We're having some modicum of winter here in Mumbai so the glass panes of the french windows revealed a vista of complete and total smog darkened horizon. Without the spectacles the scene was akin to that of the pitch darkness in a cave some miles under the surface of the earth. I patted him in hope. "Go back to sleep. Its still dark out there."
That did it. He sat up bolt upright and plonked himself on my stomach. "Get up I said. And get me ready. I have to fly the plane today. Everyone will get late and angry."
Such dedication to duty. Despite the fog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My New Happy Year Resolutions

By the Brat

1] I will make sure mamma gets her requisite cardio workout everyday by running after me for an hour non stop while I cycle like a maniac in the building compound.
2] I will then proceed to negate the benefits of this workout by leaving behind everything on my plate so that mamma is compelled to eat it up and replace the calories burnt.
3] I will try to have a bath on my own and ensure that mamma has her bath too at the same time, thus saving water and electricity and soap. What a thrifty soul I am!
4] I will recycle broken toys by flinging them out of the balcony to the accompaniment of mamma's screeches of "Stop, someone will get hurt...oh, okay."
5] I will make sure I decide I need to go to potty the moment I am completely dressed and on the brink of stepping into the elevator to go to school on an average of three times a week.
6] I will use an unmentionable word loudly in a public place with many elderly, pursed lipped folks around at least five times a week and then chortle with laughter as mamma attempts to cap my mouth with her hands.
7] I will pee in the bed at least once a week to remind mamma of how things were when I was a baby.
8] I will bring home at least one complaint a week from my classteacher about my aggression in class and my refusal to do class work and my insistence on standing and dancing to Darde Disco on the class desks, with my tshirt rolled up to my arm pits.
9] I will make sure mamma and pappa have a minimum of one hummdinger of a spat every week centred exclusively around me and my lack of a)discipline b)knowledge of alphabets or nursery rhymes or such like or c)absolute insolence.
10) I will make sure I bring a broad smile of pride on mamma's face every night, as she puts me to sleep, by looking like an absolute angel with my eyes shut tightly.