Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Navels and Mabels

Says the brat to the mother: “Mamma, Navel Teacher told me do phonics at home.”
Mamma does a double take. “Navel Teacher? Beta, not Navel Teacher, Mabel Teacher.”
Brat furrows brow and looks at Mamma sternly. “Not Mabel. Navel Teacher. Neigh. Will.” Enuciated clearly and surely. And phonetically.
Mamma presses on. “What is your navel, beta?”
Brat lifts newly acquired and very precious and currently being worn every waking minute Ben 10 Tshirt and points to the part of the body in question.
Mamma pushes her luck. “What is the navel for?”
Brat looks at the Mamma with an expression that sages reserve for idiots wandering into their premises seeking the font of wisdom.
“Navel is centre of the body. Is where I was tied to you in d stomach.”
Well, one lesson has obviously sunk in well enough and clearly. All those horrific scenes of screaming birthings in Hindi movies have paid off well, with Mamma’s copious explanations of babies growing in stomachs and “from the stomach being born” have all been internalized.
Mamma goes back to the bastardized name of said unfortunate teacher. “Then how can your teacher’s name be Navel, beta?”
Brat strikes head with the frustration of having to deal with delinquent retard level IQ mother. “Mamma, you tell me everybody’s name mean something. Now what means Mabel. Mabel means nothing. Navel means navel.”
Mamma sighs and goes to google baba to search up the meaning of Mabel before the hapless teacher realizes that she’s been re-christened.

PS: The good news is he comes home with a smiley and a star on most days and is ever so delighted to go off to school every morning. Navel Teacher, thank you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Budday mamma!

The brat was puffed up like a rooster. The very concept that adults have birthdays and also like to celebrate them was stuck in his craw like an infernal fishbone that neither hiccoughs nor umpteen glasses of water could smoothen the passage of.
"Mamma," he asks reverently, with all due respect. "Is your budday today? Really?"
Mother dearest answers for the one gadzillionth time, "Yes, beta, it is my birthday today."
At which point brat collapses into uncontrollable little boy giggles that have him rolling around on the floor spinning paroxysms of mirth that infects the rest of the people in the room.
"Mamma," he finally recovers sufficiently from his bout of laughing to say. "How can you have budday? Budday not for big peoples. Only children have birthday." And then collapses into giggles again.
And a happy budday to me.

Later in the day, with the bouquets coming in by the dozens, all the phones ringing off their hooks, and mamma seemingly beatific like a cat who'd swallowed a rat, and the cake coming in, reality sunk in that probably, it is really, really mamma's budday.
The Brattish Inquisition began again.
"Mamma, where your budday party? Papa Johns? Pizza Hut? McDonalds? Hotel?"
Given that circumstances had dictated that we didnt really do the celebrations thingie, Mamma was as sore as a hedgehog on that prickly subject.
"No party, darling. We're going to celebrate at home." This said throwing baleful glance at impervious husband who was staring at the television screen like he could devour Udayan Mukherjee right now and not even burp in delight.
"Then how can it be budday? Come on. Wear new clothes, put your eyes, put lipstick and lesh go for pahty."
Seeing as mamma was still moping along in her pjs, the holey ones with the elastic having had seen better days, and now being held up only by luck and goodwill and sheer expanse of hipline, he galvanised himself to action. Dived headfirst into my cupboard and riffled through the contents. And emerged triumphant with sequinned chiffony number and swinging with a pair of Next indigo blues still on the hanger.
"Gerready, Mamma. Become pretty." And he proceeded to get out his jacket and machhin shoes and pants, and put on his machchin sunglasses.
"I am ready, I going for your budday pahty. You're not coming?"
Mamma shook her head mock ruefully, "No darling, am not coming."
"Okay mamma, I get one more return gift for you."

At the end of the day, when the lights were off, and the day was done with, the brat lay in bed, his head on mamma's shoulder, small body curled up against mamma, eyes wide open in the dark. "Mamma, how many years you are today."
"I finished 37 years beta, I start my 38th year. That is 30 years plus 8 years."
"How many fingers and hands?"
Mamma demonstrated.
"And how many years I am?"
"You will be five years now in October."
The circuitry in the brain sparked and whizzed in contemplative silence. "When I become three hands and so many fingers then even I dont have budday party. I told you, only children have budday party. Old people dont have budday."
Ah well, yes, thank you son.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So, where am I in this scheme of things

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to offend anyone, raise any hackles, or bring on hate mails. Its just me thinking aloud about my life and my dilemma.



I took a break from my so-called career in 2002. I had worked with some of the best media houses in the country, and I had started young, fresh out of college. I was part of the start up team at a newspaper, and that was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, I worked with megalithic leading newspaper on a supplement that was read by millions across the country and never appreciated the high I should have felt when a byline appeared in print while I was there. And there were assorted moves here and there. A women's magazine, an advertising agency, a television channel, started one's own content providing company during the dotcom boom and did pretty well too, before the boom went bust. The husband quit his job at a multinational to become a start up advertising agency. I was helping him out, doing my own work. High pressured life, stress levels on overdrive, polycystic ovaries and the increasingly common fertility issue of our crazy chaotic times, too stressed and tired to make babies. And then it was time to have a baby. And we were trying, and trying damn hard, and zilch. Every month, I would wait and zilch. Then started the round of the doctors, and the trying to find out what was going wrong, yes, it was the polycystic ovaries. It was secondary infertility since I had had a miscarriage very early in my marriage. Then the treatment, the shots, the cycle monitoring, the putting of my entire life on hold to get pregnant. And I did in my third cycle.

Needless to say, I had hopped off the career wagon now. I was obsessed with having a baby, and nothing would come in my way. The husband too, who was quite happy to let things be status quo and us be sans offspring was bulldozed by me into accompanying me to the specialists and cooperating with the treatments.

The brat happened, and I was joyous, over the moon. And three months down the line, the husband felt I needed to get back to work, so I did. I worked with him, I guest edited magazines, I went out to meetings, I came home pretty late. In fact I did all the things I am still beating myself up for. And then at around a year and a half my life fell apart. Krish had his first episode of febrile convulsions. That began the round of specialists and opinions. And then came the chilling diagnosis. My child was not like other children his age. He was slow in everything developmentally, but now he was not even responsive. Red flags went up when he wouldnt respond to his name. Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder I was told. PDD/NOS/ SID/Semantic Pragmatic Disorder...the list seemed endless.

I enrolled him into playschool much against my instincts (he was not toilet trained, but nothing a diaper couldnt manage, he couldnt speak at all, he did have some strange repetitive behavior and major tantrum meltdowns) because I knew that he needed human interaction. Being cooped in the house the entire day with no other children for company was not doing him any good. I began speech and occupational therapy. Yes, I gave up any pretence of working again. Just threw everything up cold turkey. I am not going to go into the details. They're not pretty. Just that his therapists worked really hard with him. And I prayed a hell of a lot. And took him out as much as I could, to expose him to new people and situations, no matter how difficult it was for him to deal with it, no matter how terrible the tantrums. My prayers were heeded, and he's okay now. Not the brilliant class topper, no. But brilliant in other ways. And absolutely adorable. Even if I say so myself. Touch wood. Just another really hyperactive, restless, attention seeking naughty kid, with his school and his friends, and his schedule fixed.

Who doesnt really need mamma tagging along everywhere. Who would rather be without mamma, than have her hanging onto his coat tails. "Mamma you go, I play with A." Which is brilliant because it does leave me free to get on with my life and my work and all the wonderful things I thought I would do once I had some time to myself, but now, that I am here, almost at the edge of independence, I find myself holding back. Does he really not need me at all? What if I get back to working, and he regresses? A fear that churns my stomach worse than any amoebic infestation could ever. Am I doing the right thing? Should I wait for a year more? Let him get into full time school, let him come to the level of the rest of the kids in class, and then I can move on to conquer reams of newsprint?

Because I know there are no half way measures with me. When I decide to take on something, I will give it my hundred percent. And being torn between the child and the career is not a choice I will want to make again, the child will win hands down anyday. And the clock is ticking away. I am nearing forty. No one wants to hire forty year olds. Young sassy upstarts are infesting publishing houses, with their wavering grasp of the Queens English, and absolute lack of ethics, given some of the stories I hear going round on the grapevine. Yes, I keep in touch. Would I be able to fit into such a professional world. It scares me. I think sometimes, I would be better in my little corner of the world, writing for people who want me to write for them, and earning my money in bits and pieces. And not hanker for more.

I was holding back from getting back to work in the futile hope that I would have another baby. But since thats not happening too, it doesnt make any sense to hang around morosely, does it. Chockloads of magazines are coming into the country, and I know I would be damn good at the helm of any. No, modesty is not one of my strong traits. But will I be able to give the job the sort of time and dedication it deserves? I need to sort that out in my head before I take a call. The husband, as usual, is against the idea of me needing to get out and work, a slur on his masculinity of sorts. Do I not keep in sufficient comfort, he asks, hurt. But that is not the point. The comfort isnt. The grey cells going rusty and dying on me is.

Am still thinking, still mulling things over, still deciding. And the least of my issues, convincing the mother and the mother in law to watch over the brat if I hire a full time maid for him. But, yes, helicopter mom me wonders if that will be good enough for him. Given he still needs a lot of help. And what if they are unwell, I cannot leave him with a maid. God knows he's a handful. And the guilt factor, they are done with the raising of their kids, do they really deserve me to inflict the brat on them. Decisions, decisions.
But I think I have reached the nadir of aimlessness. Its high time I shook myself out of my pretty little comfort zone and got going.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Donwanna go to school!

This is the whine that greets me the moment the brat opens his eyes every morning. A plaintive screeching whine that escalates in pitch till it begins drilling holes into my cranium. "Mamma, please, please, please, I dont wanna go to school. I dont wanna wear uniform, I dont wanna go to school."

It is infinitely painful dragging 18 kilo resistant mass of flesh off the bed, when every means to cling onto a pillow will be employed. Cajolery moves to admonishment to threats then to blatant bring the house down yells and nothing moves the child. Until the water splashing happens. This generally done by the good father who manages to do a Rang Barse on said child, and get him up and spanking alert within five seconds, after half an hour of mamma dearest circling the bed like the lion circling their prey.

Mamma then sticks earplugs into her battered ears and drags him through brushy, potty, bathy, milk and biscuits and dressing up. The last of which is the father's domain, since he will not protest too much with the father about the absolutely unstylish uniform that he is being forced to don. Liberace in a black suit? Similiar stylistic issues here. Brat in plain vanilla school uniform? Without d jacket? Without d macchin shoes? Blasphemy.

But I suspect, the style factor is the last on a list of long long issues he seems to be having with the current class. For one, the teacher seems to be in no mood to indulge him. I dont think she would have the time to indulge anyone of them, given that the class seems to be an assortage of the worst behaved kids of the entire batch. Brat included. In fact the day we parents scrolled down the list of names to check class allocation, many hyperventilations happened and smelly shoes called for, and the new tiled courtyard suffered many cracks to its pristine surface. We enquired kindly on what basis this allocation of students had been done, and whether said class teachers were made of the requisite mettle (read iron fist in velvet gloves kind) to handle this bunch of scallywags. Well, we were told politely, that the teachers were quite up to the task ahead. We raised skeptical eyebrows, shook hands with said teachers, much like the bachelors shake hands with the just married chappie fresh off from exchanging rings and doing the first public smoocheroo with the kind of gusto which will next come into display with new and freshly minted mistress.

It seems the iron fist is ruling over said class. From the little I gather from occasional dark mutterings from the fruit of my womb, the terrors have been allocated the four furthest corners of the classroom. My terror in particular is seated between two goody goody two shoes and bang beneath the teacher's eye. And no, he isn’t allowed to go to "Miss may I please go dToylet" everytime writing activity comes up.

And he's got a talking to, already it seems. I wouldn’t be surprised. He's forgotten the art of sitting and listening through the long vacations. He's long forgotten his ABCs given that holidays was for playing and only school is for padhai. And heaven help us, what are those heiroglyphs called numbers? Looks like the advanced mathematical skills of the mother have been inherited where subtracting fifty from a hundred requires the assistance of the calculator on the phone. Alas for all my wily strategic planning of marrying a maths and stats post grad to ensure the offspring lucked out on the mathematical front. The teacher has already begun voicing her concerns about how he will cope in class given that his retention of what was taught in Jr KG seems to be close on zilch.

Therefore he begins tuitions today. Yes, yes. I fainted at the thought too. Tuitions? For Sr Kg? After spending a packet on the school, this additional kharcha is gnawing at my conscience much like rat gnawing away at stash of grain in granary. The husband snarled, he figures I am passing the slack onto a teacher rather than sitting and getting the fellow to do his work without bounding all over the room. I don’t have the throat to scream anymore for him to write an ‘I’ without meandering through the entire house between the start point and the end. I am beyond cajoling and flattery to get him to do his homework. And his syllabus frankly, honest confession time, scares me. Multiplication and division? Thats more maths than I thought I would ever need once I cleared the damn standard ten for the rest of my entire life.

In my defense, I did try. I would sit religiously with books spread out in front of me, tempting glitter pens and crayola crayons (thanks Kodi's Mom) and books arranging in seductive display, hoping the fellow decides to wean himself away from the more challenging tasks of intergalactic battle with his Power Ranger, Spider Man and Mickey Mouse and Noddy, astride cars and motorcycles. To no avail. I read like a maniac, but the fellow has never shown an inclination to emulate my good example, and the only thing from me he thinks is suitable of emulation is the manner in which I put my sunglasses up on my head.

The only point worth noting when he goes to school is how many of his classmates have come in civvies, and why he is not allowed to go to school with the denim pant with more pockets than could house the entire GDP of the country, and some loose change to spare.
And a denim decaled jacket with decals of a culture of Baseball and American universities and such like that he is still some fifteen years removed from.

Studies are for tweeps. “That A,” he laughs sardonically, hyuck hyucking in that infernal manner little boys have when they’re about to bring down another classmate to earthworm level, “Always doing writing, always putting hand up in class. We tease him. We call him Keeda.” Thus making his own scholastic inclinations very very clear.

Therefore, the tuitions. For someone who never went for a single class right till post graduation level this comes as a bit of a humbler. I cannot handle my own child's studies at home. Shame on me. I should find a diving board and an empty swimming pool and just jump off at the deep end with the horror of it all.

But I know he will be better off with another, trained professional handling him. Someone who can be counted on not to go ballistic when he decides he doesn’t want to write alphabets and would rather draw a train. Or a rocket blasting into space, with an astronaut hanging precariously from the side. He was apparently late for take off, I was informed.

The ABCs need to be hammered in. He’s had three years of learning them damn things, you think he’d have got it by now?

He just learnt about dinosaurs for a month and can rattle off names like brontosaurus, stegosaurus, tricepteraptors, tRex and others that have me running to Google baba for help and wisdom. He can watch the Jurassic Park DVD one gadzillion times and ask for a rewind of the particularly gruesome bits that even mamma watches from behind the cushions. Space he knows. He’ll rattle off all the names of the planets to you, and bung in a lesson on why there is life on earth because we have water, and I half expect him to get started on the possibility of carbon based life forms in other environments, intergalactically, given the confidence with which he was rattling this out. But the ABCs, he hates. Much like his mom on cooking and driving. Do I blame him?

Therefore, I will wait, outside the class, the helicopter mom that I am, and read my books in peace.

Edited to add: He’s been going to tuitions for the past couple of days, and has already begun whining. “Don’t wanna go tuition. Don’t wanna go, please, please, please, Mamma.” Tears streaming down his face, needing to be forcibly carried into the tuition class, which is actually a playschool and nursery after work hours, and with the teacher there working with him, so distractions in the form of slide, cars, toys and such are littered around the place just begging for attention from him.

We’re back to square one.

And, I present, the brat in costume...



Mowgli move over?

This is Dbrat on stage, jingoing away to Santana's Jingo, during his annual day last year. Why the delay, you ask politely? A valid question, the answer to which is the fact that we have only just received them from the school. Of course, as part of the dance, the brat sat in the centre and the rest of the troupe circled him and paid their obeisance, bowing down before the fella, who seemed to take this unseemly display of adoration with the kind of insouciance that suggested this happened to him on a daily basis at home.

Come to think of it, perhaps it does.

Monday, June 16, 2008

KArmicKiDS...

Karmickids, Karmic kids, KarMicKids, Kar mickids, karmickids...
And then
Kiran Manral, kiran manral, kiranmanral, KIRAN MANRAL
Can someone explain to me why these are the only key words going through four infinite dronesome pages that my stat counter tells me people have used to reach my blog?
What about the nice stuff?
Aunties, hunks, drool, and such like. Surely I have written a lot about these. Fat butt. That was the previous post. Nothing? Only reams of pages of stalker like Kiran Manral, Kiran Manral, Kiran Manral??? Eeewww.
The nice quirky stuff that everyone gets as carefully randomly selected words strung completely out of context making their sites candidates for R ratings in the google scan stakes?
You mean to say I need to spice this blog up a bit?
Get the leather lingerie ready, folks!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's budday to you!

The brat and his father celebrated Fathers Day in the original primal male bonding kind of way. We went for a movie. About a father and a son. Sarkar Raj. Amitaaakabacha and who's this uncle who is not shaving face? This uncle being Abhishek Bacchan.
Which, by the way, is a movie you should definitely and absolutely must see if you're having trouble dozing off. I am told I was snoring loud and clear through the second half, as was the brat, snoring in my lap.
The brat was bouncing off the walls since the morning in anticipation of going to a movie, and the incessant questions started all over again, till mamma downed a couple of Disprins with Breezers and floated around, calm and zen and could smile sagely through all queries, no matter how inane. We were now pre-lunch, and there was nothing inspiring being cooked, which was depressing Mamma infinitely.
"Mamma, there be lion in this movie?"
Mamma smiles vaguely.
"Mamma there be fighting in this movie?"
Mamma's smile gets vaguer.
"Mamma, there be horsy in this movie?"
Mamma chooses to dig into the refrigerator for another Breezer.
"Mamma who be the bad boy in this movie?"
Mamma answers finally, "Ask your father."
Having foisted off him of the infinite infernal questions onto the father, Mamma realises it is Father's Day and knows that celebrations are in order. So she marches upto the father, who, nose in the newspaper, is grunting monosyllables to brat's never ending express train of questions.
"Its Fathers Day today."
Rather in the manner of fishmonger squabbling about who has the freshest catch in the market.
"So?" replies the husband, sensing being backed into a corner.
"Where are we going for lunch?" snarls Mamma, not too keen on eating the congealed sludge the cook was slaving over in the kitchen.
"We're already going for a movie in the evening, arent we?" asks the husband plaintively. And, clutching at straws, "Isnt the cook cooking something inside?" Like that ever mattered to him ever if the urge for a pizza struck him.
The brat, one ear to this conversation, asks, "Todays Happy birthday Father day????"
"Yes," says Mamma, a little guiltily, since she hasnt informed the brat of the same earlier, and had him wish his father and do such cutesy things. But figures it is revenge time since Mother's Day came and went in the house of Manral without even a solitary rose in appreciation.
Brat takes charge of the impasse. "Its every body's Pappa's Happy father to you day? Even A, even L, even M's Pappa's?" ALM being the triumverate of bestest friends in the whole wide world.
Mamma nods. "Its Happy Father's Day for everyone who is a Pappa."
The brat's eyes twinkle that insane twinkle which signals his neurons and synapses are on overdrive.
"Pappa," he yells, climbing into hapless Pappa's lap and throwing off offending newspaper, "Come on. Get ready. We have to go for big Happy Fathers Day to you birthday party. So many cakes!!!!"
The father gives me a look, which could slice through metal.
The brat trills on, happily, "And so many return gifts. Come on Pappa. Gerready. What you wear? I wear new jacket and machchin pants. Mamma we going to Pappa's Happy fathers birthday party to you. You stay at home. Is not for Mammas."
Alas.
(Disclaimer: The brat's questions are always answered to the best of our ability, and the answers are not necessarily livened up by intake of alcohol.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He gets his brains from my hips

Or so says this
And who am I, lesser mortal, with no pile load of survey results at my disposal to dispute their theory.
Never mind that his class teachers might have a differing point of view. Now that he actually starts school back again tomorrow, that breathless chaotic, butterfly in the stomach kind of anxiety that one hitherto reserved for exams, and job interviews and first dates with hunk types, is back and churning up the insides like a superfast double express lassi maker.
Given the size of them hips in the body that bore him, this child should have been out Einsteining Einstein. Maybe he will. He's brilliant at identifying the obscurist songs from their initial few bars as they start on the radio. He sings in such perfect tune and pitch, with incredible mangling of the lyrics into a bastardised version that could have the most iron hearted lyricists, toughened by years of chasing producers for their payments, sink to crumpled heaps of weeping flesh on the floor. There is a raw talent somewhere, and its not in writing out his ABCs.
To those who tell me he doesnt recognise the alphabet, I take them to a CD shop and let him pick out all the CDs of his favourite movies. Even obscure ones. There is an intelligence there, that insists on using itself for stuff that appeals to him only. The rest of the numbers, alphabets and such tripe is for the lesser mortals to struggle with. He is happy not doing that. And I have decided to leave him in peace. Enough grey hair sprouting up with every week of homework assignments.
And this year, I have decided that if the teachers haul me in periodically to rant about him not picking up, being the class laggard, being the class terror and such pleasantries, which in actuality need a gazebo setting with tea and scones to discuss, rather than classroom situ with brat hurling himself in dizzying circles around my ankles, I am going to give it all a royal ignore. It doesnt matter. He will catch up when he can. I dont care if he cant write a word straight. Or an alphabet without bribes, threats and cajolery.
I do care that he's been forced into classroom orderly behavior and writing that he runs the minute mile when faced with pencils and paper.
Those brains will activate themselves sometime. Sooner or later. My hips dont lie.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Where d Lion?

So there we were, ensconsced snugly in the dark womb of an almost empty movie theatre, with the screen blaring out starting credits.
Brat pipes up in the darkness, with his sharp piercing voice that makes him a perfect candidate for town crier position: Mamma, where d lion?
Mamma, hissing in embarassment: He will come. Let the movie start.
The foursome from Narnia took over our screens. They went through time back to Narnia, to their mythical world of fantastical creatures that the brat stared in wonder and amazement at. While Mamma stared in wonder and amazement at the lustworthy Prince character who had the bad taste to fall for pouty lipped pudding faced elder sister of the lot.
Brat pipes up again: Mamma, where d lion?
Mamma smites forehead, regretting momentary lapse of telling the brat that this is a movie about a lion, when that said damned lion hasnt made an appearance till close on the interval.
Mamma: He will come soon, keep looking or you will miss him.
After around ten minutes of fabulous battles, and griffins, and talking raccoons and badgers and rapier wielding mice, the brat pipes up yet again, clearly absolutely bored with the proceedings: Where d Lion?
Mamma hisses in her I mean business tone: When he comes, you will see him. Now sit still and watch the movie.
Which of course, brat takes to be the command to run loose.
Brat runs down the entire stairway, in the dark, his head bobs like a skittle down the stairs. Mamma tears middle aged eyes away from chiselled face Prince and runs helter skelter for the fruit of her womb who is busy pulling out the water hose pipe tucked away in nice little niche at the side of the staircase and unravelling it all over the nice carpetted floor of thankfully almost empty theatre.
Mamma gasps in sheer horror and effort of rolling back said pipe before theatre staff come in and arrest her for being nuisance to public property etc, and frogmarch her off to nearest police station.
Mamma: What on earth are you doing?
Brat grins, the evil grin that makes me want to do a geneological check with Damien on him: I getting the rope ready for the lion. Or it will eat us up.
Needless to say, Mamma left her Prince Charming midway and it was exeunt omnes from movie theatre before more property was damaged. Alas Aslan. We shall meet some other day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The brat in the rain

We were at a store above Croma yesterday, Grab if you must know the name, the one with the permanent 80 percent discounts on branded stuff, wonderful wonderful, but this is matter for the other blog, so will return pronto to the topic at hand, and the brat was running through the aisles between display like Raikkonen on fifth. By the end of the 15th lap, he went in for a pitstop, into the changing room. Apparently, the sight of himself was enough to get his batteries charged again and he got groovin to the steady loud throbbing music that seems to be patented at all these places targetting the young and trendy, read not me, since I am retro these days. Groovin' and how. The narcissistic, self absorbed, dancing with reflection in smoky mirror type of way, the sort you see many PYTs doing in discotheques in an absolute slap in the face kind of rejection of the poor token male who's paid for their entry into said discotheque.
The brat grooved away a bit, did his moves, much to the amusement of said sales staff, who quit attending confused between sizes and colours customers and stood in a semi circle around changing room, rather like watching a pocket version of John Travolta doing the Saturday Night Fever version of Om Shanti Om.
Some frantic shouts later, the chortling audience dissipated to do the job for which they were being paid monthly salaries, namely help poor me finding things I liked in sizes that would agree to go down my neck and not rip in the process. Sepia tops. Brilliants. Muddy pastels. At half price. Ah, I digress again.
The main purpose of the shopping was cousin sister who could find absolutely nothing she liked that didnt hang on her, so we decided to get a move and move it was to Inorbit. As we left the building, the clouds rolled over black and menacing, and smirked down on us, unarmed with umbrella types and burst. We ran helter skelter across the road and into the first available auto which would have us. As we piled ourselves in, shaking the droplets from our clothes and hair, the brat stuck his hand out first tentatively feeling the rain fall hard on his palm. And then stuck out his face and looked at the sky with such an expression of wonder.
"Mamma, look, look, its raining!"
"Yes, love."
"Who makes it rain?"
"God makes it rain, beta."
"Nobody shouts at God because he's wasting water?" he asks plaintively, undoubtedly bitter recollections of self experiences of being at the receiving end of many earfuls when buckets have been overflowing while Spidermen and Powerrangers were being bathed.
Mamma thinks a lesson in environmental science is in order and launches into a condensed version of the sea and vapourisation and clouds and rain. Huge violent claps of thunder and streaks of lightning rip the clouds, and the road becomes a mistyvision perfect for the kind of movies which then have angry taxi drivers slice up their passengers in retribution for not carrying around exact change to the rupee.
"What that noise?"
"Thats thunder, love."
"Who make it?"
"The clouds are rolling together and crashing into each other and thats why thunder happens."
"Jai jai bhagwanji not tell them walk in a straight line. No pushing?"
"No darling."
"He dont put them in the naughty corner?"
"They're clouds, they're not children. They become rain, and then the rain goes down into the ground and becomes rivers, and then the rivers goes to the sea. "
Brat listens in patiently, hand stuck out all the time, hair like a little newly hatched chicken.
"If sea becomes rain becomes river and goes back to sea, then why it becomes clouds. Just a blurry wasteoftime."
And that was when Mamma choked and sputtered and was for one of those rare moments in her life, at a complete loss for words.
What blurry succint summary of the situation. Blurry hell.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Brat and cousins


This is why it is good to be the youngest in the family. Everyone carries you around and pets you. And feeds you from their plates. And even trim your nails, and bathe you. And in return, you get to follow them around like an obedient little puppy dog.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Random notes

School reopens in a week. The holidays have been a blast. And absolutely zero studies have happened. Therefore mamma attempts to pick up the reins from where she fell off the horse many moons ago.
Mamma: Krish, read this word (showing brat three letter word in the newspaper, of the variety already taught one zillion times pre holidays.)
Brat pouts, sulks and turns away, crossing his arms, much in the manner of offended dowager being asked her age.
Mamma: Krish, look here, tell me what is this word, come on lets read the newspaper together.
Brat: Mamma, don’t disturb me. I playing. I do padhai only in school. Don’t you know holidays are for playing.
Suitably rebuked, Mamma returns to reading in pained silence.

The brat watched Om Shanti Om over the weekend while we were visiting the SIL in Pune. By the wonderful compulsion of a non functioning remote for the DVD, we were compelled to sit through the entire lot of natural overacting (aka Shah Rukh chatting with a hoarding) and really ham hamming (Yenda rascala! Mind it) just to get to the songs. And then it started. The brat went into my bag and pulled out a black shirt top I have, with white polka dots and put it on. No matter that it looked like an abaya on him. And then ran through the house, manic expression in place, hands outstretched, mouth half open, eyes determined, yelling “Shaaanti, Shaaaanti…..” and then standing in front of the balcony French windows banging on the glass dramatically.
And then the hat and the guns brought in the Southern cowboy routine, with us, his ever faithful adoring audience having to say repeatedly. “Waah. Kya acting hai!” “Waaah. Kya fighting hai!”
Of course, the entire dramatization was capped off by a Dard e Disco performance capped off by, hold your breath, wearing an open shirt and spraying himself with water from the WC faucet. He’s nothing, if not a stickler for accuracy this child.

Big Sister from Bengaluru is perhaps the best mother hen the brat could have ever hope, wished, gone on bended knees and prayed for. To start with, she absolutely and completely worships the ground he walks on. But at the same time, she is pretty strict with him and doesn’t let him get away with insolence and bad behaviour. Which is I think just the ideal combination, so have been taking myself off to the office with peace and calm, knowing that he will be bathed, fed and played with to his heart’s content. But it does make me feel rather redundant.
So there’s mamma hanging around the brat foolishly, waiting to be called into service for feeding, pampering, putting to sleep, etc, and getting the royal ignore.
And with a heavy heart, mamma says her goodnights to the brat, sees him sashaying off happily, nightsuited and teethbrushed, doggy in tow to make space for himself and his doggy between Big Sister and Bua. And wonders what a bitch of a mother in law she will make when he finally slams the door on her and sashays off to his wifey for TLC.