Sunday, January 31, 2010

The brat gets into training mode.

Post the sports day, Pappa has been a man on a mission. And that mission is to ensure that the brat makes it to the first block of the steps that make the winners podium on annual sports day. Given that the brat has had the bad taste to pick the set of DNA that govern sporting ability from mamma, this is bound to be a tough task pappa has set for himself. Even tougher given that the brat complicates matters in his own unique way by being flat footed. The exact opposite of mamma who with her high instep arch wears high heels in order to balance herself or she might just topple over Barbie style.

The training regimen has begin, and cruel it is. For one, the brat is awoken rudely at the crack of dawn. Well, to be precise, half an hour before his normal wake up time, but the rolling around, groaning, grumbling and generally sulking that ensues takes away 15 minutes from the time allocated to exercise and the Development Of Stamina.

Let me insert here that the pappa has been a swimmer of national caliber and has swum many races to medal finishes and has wooed me with stories of Asiad camps and events and jumping off the blocks and demonstrating of breast stroke he specialised in (no, no, what on earth are you thinking!), therefore, the man has enough cruel coaches he wants to exact revenge on and here he has a captive trainee.

The brat is taken, rubbing sleepy eyes and yawning, into the bathroom where water is splashed on his face, and then taken out where shoes are put onto his feet and Pappa and brat disappear into the lift to go down to the compound where this actual training process happens. Now, Pappa takes himself and his training very very seriously. Mamma is the kind who would give up after the brat whines twice Pappa just yells louder and gets him to:
Hop up the stairs with his legs tied together (to improve his leg muscles)
Walk on his hands (to develop his upper body)
Do leg lifts (though the need for six pack abs to woo the girls is a long way off)
Run at top speed.
At the end of which, mamma thinks the brat would probably just curl up and sleep, but he instead gets all charged up for the day.
"Next year," he promises his father every single morning, "I will win the gold medal."
Mamma doesnt care about gold medals. But she loves the father and son finally bonding over exercise, of all things to bond over and comparing biceps and muscles. She just prays the brat doesnt morph into them overbulked strutting types in tight tees and tighter pants who make up the stud populace these days.

"Mamma, lookit my abs." Mamma casts duly admiring glance at stomach. Nice and round like a child's should be.
"Mamma lookit my muskills," here flexing a bicep, Mamma feels the proferred arm with appropriate look of awe.
"Mamma see my leg muskills," holding said leg upto Mamma's nose for closer inspection. Mamma ooh and aahs sufficiently.
"I is making my bawdy."
Why, asked mamma, was the body being 'made'? She thought she had done the needful six years ago, with the help of sperm and the good Lord.
"If I have a bawdy and I wear d batman costuum, eveybody wil get fwightened of me. "

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A meeting with the Special Educator

As most readers of this blog would know, the brat receives concessions from his school and help from a special educator. For those who came in later, the brat was diagnosed PDD/NOS when he was 19 months old and received two and a half years of intensive speech, occupational and physiotherapy. He is in Grade 1 now and receives special help and also has daily tuitions at home to help him cope with his syllabus. Which is rather tough for him, if I may say so myself. He doesnt go for therapy anymore, his last trip to the pediatric neurologist resolved that he is fine now, except some emphasis on phonics and writing. The last the school conducted an IQ test on him, they found he had an above average score, although they couldnt get an exact score because he tired of sitting for the test midway and stopped concentrating.
Therefore, I worry for him. But not as much as I used to. I know he will cope. I try not to pressure him too much. I want him to gravitate towards books and studying and have the compulsion to learn come from within him, rather than me turn the screws.
I received a call from the special educator yesterday that I was required to come in for a meeting on his case. My heart sank like a stone to the pit of my stomach. And if possible began beating at thrice its normal speed, and at a volume so deafening it was impossible to hear what the poor lady was trying to communicate to me over the line. At the appointed hour, pappa and I, spit and polished were stationed before the special educator. Turns out we needed not have panicked so much. This was just a regular meet up to discuss his syllabus and the areas he needed extra attention. And where I needed to work with him at home. Pincer grip activities because of his handwriting, which though a little shaky, is perfectly legible according to me but then I'm a doting mother. Mathematical skills which had been outsourced to pappa, but since pappa has slackened on it, mamma needs to take it up again with redoubled force. I know how the brat has struggled to reach where he is today. From a child who didnt respond to his name, to a child who asks me about life pre-brat and post-brat. From a child who could barely speak a few words till the age of three to a child who argues logically with me today. From a child who was so unsteady I couldnt trust him to descend a flight of stairs on his own till he was almost four, to a child who now climbs the jungle gym the fastest of his gang of pack dog six year olds in the park. And who is undisputably the best dancer amongst his peers. I'm proud of him because I know the odds he has struggled against. And I will not let him be defined by an insane curriculum designed to suit the creamy layer of the class. I will not spend all my waking hours drilling his syllabus into him. He has school. And he has tuitions. And I do fun stuff. And try to weave in some stuff while I do the fun stuff. Thats all.
Which is why it gets my goat when folks around me go all righteous and horrified when they learn the brat goes for tuitions. And start edging away from me in the manner one would edge away from rabid hyper-mom. Tuitions! For a First Grader!! What are you thinking? I get this so often it isnt funny anymore. Why dont you sit with him, they ask me, it will barely take an hour, and you can teach him much better than a tuition teacher would ever be able to. This is the nice version, the more scornful version is the one I got another day by a mother of a twelve year old, "You mothers today, you dont want to take the effort. My son is 12 and I take all his studies myself, and he tops his class." And when I replied that the brat needed extra help and already had a special educator at school, she replied, "Oh, I didnt know. He doesnt look retarded." I was a minute away from breaking her kneecaps with a hockey stick. Seriously. But better judgement prevailed and I just walked away. I'm delighted her son tops his class. Mine might never top his class, but thats not something that I'm losing sleep over. I'm good with him graduating by the skin of his teeth. I'd rather he makes a life for himself beyond percentages. I want him to find something he is good at and get passionate about it. It could be art, dance, sport. Anything. And in the meanwhile, if he gets a graduation certificate that would be nice. And if he doesnt, it doesnt matter. I would rather he became street smart. And a survivor. He can always blame his lazy mother, who tried to get him an education and not a degree.And look to Richard Branson and Bill Gates and Thomas Alva Edison for inspiration.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In the jungle, the mighty jungle...

...the lion goes to sleep. And around 10 little monkeys did the dance steps for the lion going off into noddy land, of which one monkey had his cap undone and askew, and was looking frenetically into the dark audience rather than concentrating on his steps and keeping pace with the rest of the tribe. And who ran back on stage after his dance was done, cap off the head and in the hand, still looking into the dark audience trying to spot me. And his pappa.
Yup, it was the annual day performance and the brat, was a monkey in the dance based on the Jungle Book theme. Thanks to some rather bad planning and layout the stage was absolutely not visible from where mamma was sitting, (pappa getting a heads up on the view by virtue of the fact that he is three stilletoes taller than mamma in his bare socks), therefore when mamma finishing slapping at the mosquitoes chewing her feet and ankles, she decided it would be a better bet to actually stand at the periphery of the enclosure and watch the stage. The sad part about annual days, (and mamma is being very politically incorrect here) is that you have to sit through a slew of performances, some great, but mostly middling and uninspired by the time one's own child appears on stage. At which point you have to suddenly jerk yourself out of the somnolence that has set in. When the brat came on stage I almost jumped up and down in my excitement, yelling, "Thats my son, the monkey with his cap untied..." Of course, folks standing in my near proximity edged away slowly, giving me strange stares and wondering if the security needed to be called in to restrain lunatic going out of control. And the monkeys danced and the brat looked into the dark, faceless audience, unable to locate me hopping up and down like a frog, yelling his name, and they were marched off the stage and taken to their enclosure. Mamma left the seating enclosure and ran behind them, "Brat, brat..." mamma called. The brat turned around, his face all shy and happy. "You seed me mamma? I din seed you."
"I was there beta, I'm so proud of you, you danced so well." His face lit up. "An pappa? Pappa seed me?" Yup, Pappa saw you too, and he's so proud of you. You are the best dancer in the world. (Note to gentle reader, forgive mamma the superlatives, this is one area where the brat warrants praise.)
The brat simpered a bit, and then came back to his original form. "Whachyull ger me?" What do you want? Mamma asked fully expecting a Ben 10 real omnitrix plus a Batmobile and Bruce Ween sidding inside and changing his clodes to Batman costuum. "I wan..." he thought long and hard, "Chikken Lollipok. Lods of it. Big plade full."
Thus it came to pass that at 10 in the night mamma and son were hunting the streets for a Chinese takeway joint to find Chikken Lollipoks. With the brat still in Monkey costume. And appropriately reddened simian nose.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sports day

The brat had his sports day today and he has been practising for the past week. Or rather his father has been training him by the expedient method of chasing him across the house with an open water bottle threatening to splash him with water. This normally gets him running at top speed, as tops as he can run given his flat feet.
The past night saw the father giving him pep talks till 11 pm while I squawked in the background about him needed his full 12 hours of sleep and how he had to report on the grounds by 8 am, and how he was going to doze off in the march past.
He woke up bright and early enough. Ambled past happily in the march past, and then stopped midstride when he caught a glimpse of us waving like maniacs on Speed from the stands and waved right back while the child marching behind him collided right into him and yowled in pain. He marched on head turning at 90 degrees and waving manically till he went out of sight. And was taken back to their enclosure. From where he came careening out again to wave at us while his teacher chased him down and dragged him back to sit with the rest of the class.
His race came about. The class was lined up in readiness from where he smiled and gave us the thumbs up sign and punch in the air, while he limbered up by kicking the unsuspecting critter blocking his view of us. Finally his race took off. And he ran. How he ran. Keeping all pappa's training tips in mind, look straight ahead, dont move your head, keep your elbows at 90 degrees, run in a straight line.
He ran well. For a child who forgot to run the first year. Stopped running mid race in the second year. And strolled across the track in the third year, he ran his heart out. With a big smile on his face. He insists he came third. But the teacher didnt see him. To me, he won gold. He did his best and that is what matters to me. That his best was not good enough for a medal doesnt. Next year, he promises me he will win gold. I dont care. I just want him to run for the joy of participating.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What is with these children committing suicide?

Everyday I open the newspaper with a fair amount of dread. Sure enough, every day emblazoned across the front page will be the news about some child somewhere killing themselves. The puzzled grieving parents saying we had no clue why they would want to take their lives. The reasons as ridiculous as losing a percentage point in exams, dread of examination results or worse, being reprimanded by a parent for whatever reason.
It puts a knife into my guts and twists it around till I feel physically sick. I have a son. It would kill me. I cant even imagine being in their situation. I pray no one has to. But it seems to be an epidemic. Children are committing suicide every single day, in droves. In the last three months, over a hundred students have committed suicide across Maharashtra.
Why? What could be so terrible that they feel they cant face life anymore? Is it, as the articles go, the pressure of studies and the feeling of inadequacy? Is it the terrible competition for a few seats in reputed colleges (therefore the lack of a balance between supply and demand in our educational institutions)? Is it the social stigma? What sort of a society are we morphing into if a child feels that life is not worth living if he flunks an exam? Or is suspended for bunking?
And then I read a story like this. And this. And it gives me hope.
And I wonder why can we not teach our children to focus on the positives. I wonder how I can do that. I wonder how I can make my child understand that education is only one part of who he is, and even if he does not fare well in his exams, he is still my child and I love him more than I love myself.
I wonder where we are going wrong. We are bringing up a generation of children who are completely focussed only on education. Children are drilled with the concept of getting the best marks they can. Parents too transfer all their hopes and aspirations onto their children and consciously or unconsciously pile on the pressure to the child to fulfil their dreams. The child has to yet find and realise his or her own dreams, how can a child fulfil another's dreams. And yet, there are some cases where there is no external pressure from the parents but yet the child feels compelled to end his or her life. How gut wrenching would this be, not knowing why a child you have given birth to and nurtured would not consider the life you gave him or her worth living? Is this making parents terrified of overstepping an imaginary line while asking their children to study? Are parents handling their children with cottonwool for fear that they might just take their lives in reaction to a harsh word?
Are we bringing up a generation of weak willed children? Children who cannot deal with failure? Children who are terrified of tackling challenges? Children who have everything handed to them on a plate that they do not know how to tackle rejection and failure? Placing too much pressure on children to perform well academically, and neglecting to teach them that life is not all about academics and career success?
I am guilty of this too. The brat struggles to cope with the syllabus at school. I work with him. He has a tuition teacher to help him. He is in grade 1. I temper it by being laid back. If he doesnt feel like doing his work, I let him be. But I do worry. I do know that my heart beats faster when I go for his PTM meetings. That I sigh in relief when I see he's made it beyond the red line in most subjects. I would be happy if he just moves up class to class. And if he doesnt too, well, I'm okay with it. But I still worry for him. Maybe the person who needs to change is me.
Maybe it is me who needs to change my expectations from my child. Maybe it is me who needs to have faith that my child will survive and earn a living in this world even if he doesnt top his class, or make it to IIM or IIT. Maybe we really need those reforms Kapil Sibal was talking about.
Maybe it is us as parents who need to accept that if our child is averagely intelligent, we find another option that the child shows talent and promise in and nurture that. It could be art, music, dance, any skill. A sport. Maybe we parents are the ones who need counselling.
Maybe we need to propagate the concept of suicide as the last refuge of cowards, and not as the glorified end to an unfulfilled life. Perhaps that might work. We need more stories of those who stuck it out and achieved their goals. We need more stories of high school failures and dropouts who made it big, as motivational and inspirational stories for children to read and know about. We need children to realise that suicide is cowardice and sticking it out in the long run is the courage they need. And we need parents the children can turn to for support. I want to be that kind of a parent. I want my child to be able to come to me and tell me he has flunked an exam with no fear. And I pray I am able to accept his failure as his own, and not mine. And that I can give him the courage to get up and go on to attempt it again and again till he succeeds. And not give up midway. I pray all our children get this courage. I pray we as parents are able to give it to them.
Links:http://www.indianexpress.com/news/salman-concerned-over-rising-students-suicide-in-maharashtra/569178/
http://www.mynews.in/News/Failure_in_exams_is_no_ground_for_ending_life_Salman_N35757.html
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Suicide-Early-symptoms-overlooked-in-most-cases/articleshow/5475165.cms
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Mere-parental-pressure-does-not-lead-to-suicide/articleshow/5475164.cms

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Of Homework not done

The weekend went by in a blur of television watching, playing, eating and whiling away time. Mamma spent the better half of both days cheeping irritatingly about homework to be done, which was treated by the brat as the GIGO it was. Till last evening Mamma kept droning on and on and on, "Brat, please come sit down at your desk, you have to complete your homework." Which received no response. Till finally, Mamma gave up.
This morning the brat awoke for school. And suddenly declared he was not going to school.
"I dint finis my homewurk. I canna go tu skul. Teacher wil shaoudadme."
Mamma packed him off with incomplete homework file.
"I wil nod give the faaile to teacher," he declared, eager to save himself from the shaouding.
Cruella de Ville Mamma informed him that she would instruct his teacher to take the file out of his bag and mark the incomplete pages with a remark.
The brat burst into geysers of tears. "No, No, I is nod going tu skul."
Mamma dragged him out of the car and threw him through the gates. He walked slowly, shoulders bent, face miserable.
Mamma's heart was heavy. But Mamma is sure next week, the homework will be done on Friday night itself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The cheek, the cheek....

The brat was getting pretty cheeky in his speech. And very often he says something and looks to us, judging our response. Frankly, my first response was always to burst into laughter, until the spouse had to take me aside and explain to me that the rest of the world would not consider "Aae, chal chup baith," as a statement of sufficient hilarity to bring about a coughing with laughter fit culminating in helpless tears rolling down the eyes. I girded my loins and decided that I needed to tackle insolence and answering back head on, and not let the brat say absolutely unforgivable stuff, and get away with it just because he happened to look so incredibly naughty while he said what he did. And that abusive speech in the manner of "Saale ki potty," which would be followed by clutching the stomach and tears rolling down the face laughter would not be tolerated in this household. As well as its lesser variant, "Teri susu," which would be said with frenetic gesticulation and hand outstretched to point at the party who was the subject of discussion.
Initially, the lesser of the cheeky statements, which were plain backanswering or insolence, were ignored or treated with the disdain they deserved, or if beyond all ignoring, resulted in the brat being ticked off appropriately for intolerable cheekiness. All of this frankly, had me very very worried. This was not my loving, cheerful child. This was some mean, sardonic monster in my house. I wondered how he had morphed into this, given that no one at home spoke in that off hand brusque manner.
And then came this instance of intolerable rudeness with him telling his father, "To mein kya teri aarti karoon?" when told to stop watching television. Confronted by which we parents looked at each other puzzled, taken aback. I collapsed on the bed, hand on my heart, stricken by this horrific rudeness. Metaphorically speaking of course. In actual physical terms my hand developed a sudden urgent itch which would have only been gratified had it landed with impact on the brat's cheek. I restrained myself with great effort. Took deep calming breaths. Asked the spouse to calm himself down and to stop snorting at the nostrils, and pawing the earth. The brat stared at us with a wide grin on his face, waiting, I realised, like someone who has delivered the punchline to a joke, and expects a round of riotious laughter in appreciation. It was time for concerted action as parents. It was time to work as a team. To be the good cop bad cop. And as usual, the bad cop role plonked itself without debate in my lap. Pappa took on the role of the good cop and creased his forehead in appropriate display of concern. "Brat," I began, at a decibel level so soft that the brat knew, from the sudden expression of panic that crossed his face, that he was in for trouble. "What did you just tell Pappa?"
"I dint say nuthing bad. I sayd to kya main teri aarti uttaroon..." with pained expression. This is not a phrase that is ever used in the Manral household, therefore, I delved further into the origins of the phrase. "Is that a nice thing to say to Pappa," the father asked the spawn of his sperm, with aggrieved expression. The brat looked up at both of us and calculated the risks of brazening it out. Sense prevailed. And he replied, no, meekly. "Where did you hear that?" I asked, sure that it was either, a) a television show, or b) peer influence. "A (child from his class) sez tu me awl d time. An den eveybody laffsatme." My heart broke. Pappa and I looked at each other. I took a deep breath. "Brat, the next time A says that to you, tell him that it is not a nice thing to say. And how would he feel if you said the same thing to him."
But obviously this kind of logical reasoning was not going to cut any ice with a gang of cruel six year olds, who had decided to pick on the brat. We have now decided on a plan of action that the brat will employ if he finds himself the butt of sarcastic/jeering talk by his peers. a) He will tell them that he does not like it, and that it is not a good way to talk. b) He will tell the child that he does not wish to be friends with him and avoid his company. And c) if the verbal bullying continues, he is to inform his class teacher or me. I really dont know how else he could tackle this. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Of being disqualified...

The brat's school had a little snafus the other day which disturbed me a lot. They are planning for the annual day function and all the children have been practising excitedly for the day for a few weeks. They had been measured for their costumes, the money for the costumes handed over by said parents. When suddenly, the numbers were cut down. And around 200 children were told they were out of the final performance. The reasons, lack of time, difficulty in coordination, whatever, were not excuses children would understand. All the children got from the entire fiasco was that their school didnot consider them 'good enough' to be part of the annual day. That message is crippling for any child's self esteem. The brat was in. But many of his friends were not. And it was heart breaking. The children sobbed as they streamed out of school, telling their parents that they were out of the annual day performance. The parents protested. The decision was reviewed and all the children taken back into the performance. For this year. The next year, the parents were warned, would have a selection process. Which is what gets my goat? Isnt an annual day performance one where each and every child of the school must participate compulsorily. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is one occasion when the school celebrates each and every one of its students. It is not a competition where the best performers get their day in the spotlight, every child gets a role to play no matter how miniscule, even if it being part of a large squad of group dancers. It is the participation in the annual day that comprises much of the happy memories that make up school memories. The being on stage that builds up confidence. The pride the parents feel seeing their child up on stage, performing brilliantly, or bumbling through their lines. The cuteness of forgotten lines, missed turns, staring into the audience and missing cues are all part of school memories for parents as well as students. I donot appreciate the insensitivity of such a policy which will pick and choose a few students to get the perfect performance up. We dont want the perfect performance. We want a complete performance. We want happy children. And every parent to have their heart swelling with pride on seeing their kid up on stage. What is the policy at your child's school?

Monday, January 11, 2010

After a long, long, long, long time....


I get an award from Reflections.
Thank you, thank you. I would like to thank my mother, my dear departed father for the inspiration and the values they imparted to me, namely that whatever you do, always wear clean underwear, my wonderful, supportive spouse who demands nothing from me but to be headache free and the apple of my eye, my brat, who makes me believe in the maxim that other people's children are always better behaved. And lastly, without you my dear readers, I would be nowhere, it is your comments and words of encouragement and goodwill that makes me wake up every morning, wondering how best I can bore the socks off folks today.
Seriously though, there was a time when I would get the awards that did the rounds of the blogosphere by the bushels. In fact, so blase had I become about these, that I often didnt take time out to acknowledge or respond to these. Yes, yes, unfortunately, I got my come uppance with no awards coming my way for a long long time. So this one came as quite a pleasant surprise. And a reminder that I need to respond to this, in the spirit that it was awarded. Thank you reflections, I am truly honoured. And humbled. And grateful. And promise to pass this on pronto, rather than sit on it, and watch it have hatchlings before I act on it.
Like all good blogosphere awards, I need to pass this on to five bloggers.
My list of five, plus some more, in random order, all blogs that leave me with a smile on my face, and a lightness in my heart:
The rules that accompany this award are.
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!* *Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Go on now, make your lists.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Of taking sides

The brat is fast moving away from being a Mamma's boy.
Sitting with an entire packets worth of chicken lollipoks the other evening, he rapped mamma's hand hard as it reached out to pick one off his plate. "Khabardaar haath lagaya to!" he said in his best intimidating Bollywood hero fashion. Pappa reached out, picked one and chewed it up in a matter of seconds. The brat looked on and offered him another. Mamma stared on in disbelief.
Brat, mamma asked, why am I not allowed to eat your lollipop and why is Pappa allowed?
Because I'm a Pappa's boy. I don wantu be a Mamma's Boy.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Shouldn't the 3 Idiots have been certified 'A'?

I write this from the perspective of a mother of a six year old. Who came upto me yesterday and asked me, mamma, what is balatkaar? I had no reply. It was not something I wanted to explain to him. Not yet. I'm still hoping he will stay safe knowing to differentiate between good touch and bad touch and hoping he never needs to experience bad touch.
Lets take the film from the very beginning. We see Madhavan pretending to have a heart attack to have a flight return back to the airport, in order to follow a trail leading to Aamir Khan's character, Rancho. The story then goes into a flash back to the engineering college days, where Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Aamir Khan studied together. My next painful scene was the ragging scene. A whole lot of regular guys, totally unbuff, in their undies can be a bit grating on the eyes. But what was really painful was the scene where Aamir Khan rigs up a device to electrocute a senior pissing on his door. Many male members of the audience winced collectively at the scene. Luckily the brat was too young to figure that out. Then came the scene of Joy Alvares committing suicide. Just a moment ago the boy was strumming a guitar and singing. The next shot shows him hanging from a ceiling fan. Some scenes later, Sharman's character attempts suicide by jumping from the 3rd floor. The brat is wondering what makes them want to kill themselves. The pressure of studies. This is not something that mamma wants him to think about right now. This is not something that he needs to associate studying with. Suicide is not a nice thing. Once is enough. Twice is too much in the span of a single movie. Yes, there is violence in the superhero movies he watches. But this has affected him deeply. In the superhero movies he understands the violence is fake. Playacting. In this, he knows it is based on reality. It scares me. I dont want him to be thinking that suicide is the easy way out. If you dont score in your examinations, you have the option of hanging from a fan or jumping from a window and ending it all. I agree, some of the films out there with UA certification have much more violence than is seen in this movie. But these suicides (one an attempted suicide) are disturbing. Especially the brat asking me, if that was Raju's blood from his head on Aamir Khan and Madhavan's tshirt.
And I forget Chatur's speech. The one that introduced the word Balatkaar into the brat's vocabulary. And follow this up with the childbirth scene. With animated diagrams of the baby in the womb being suctioned out. With a modified vacuum cleaner. Which leads the brat to taking out the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner once we reach home and trying to stick in inside my top to bring d baby oud. And me explaining that to begin with I need to have a baby in my stomach before the baby can be brought out with or without the vacuum cleaner. I think there is time for biology classes yet. I dont want to get graphic about where the baby comes out from. I'm still queasy about it myself.

In all fairness, the film has a UA certification. (Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions' Rajkumar Hirani directed, '3 Idiots', has been rated as a social and granted a UA Censor Certificate (C.C. No. CIL/2/164/2009) by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).This does mean that parental guidance is advised for children. Therefore, I do think it was my job as a parent to check this movie out before I let my child see it. I did not do my job. Therefore it is pointless to state the film should not let minors in. I was given the option of noting it had a U/A certification and decide whether or not to drag the brat along to watch it.
(Edited to add: This is the kind of rating system we should have here in India as well.
MPAA movie ratings are:
G- General Audiences (1968-present)
All ages admitted
PG- Parental Guidance Suggested (1972-present)
Some material may not be suitable for children
PG-13- Parents Strongly Cautioned (1984-present)
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
R- Restricted (1968-present)
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
NC-17- No One 17 and Under Admitted (1992-present)
)
What has exacerbated the debate is the fact that cases of children committing suicide have been on the upsurge over the past week or so. A child has committed suicide in school. A 12 year old went into school and hung himself. My intestines twist at the thought. It might not be the movie. But the coincidence seems too strong to ignore.
The film might be a good laugh, with a message pushed in about not following the system, and learning for the sake of an education and not just for marks, the cheesiness might be a tad overdone but we accept it in good faith and laugh at the Silencer moments of odious farting in good spirit. But I still maintain the childbirth scene, the suicides and the electrocution scenes should come with statutory warnings. Close your kids eyes for the next five minutes. And yes, close his ears for the balatkaar speech. What the hell. I would have been better leaving him at home. There's time for him to figure out balatkaar.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Of 3 Idiots. And one more.

The brat, mamma and pappa went to watch 3 Idiots over the weekend. The brat's concept of the movie was the Aaall Iz Well song. The lyrics and movements to which he has down pat. In fact during his recent tryst with fever, mamma and pappa rushed him to the doctor one evening when all medicine wasn't bringing the fever down and he was scarily sluggish. One shot later, in the car on the way back the above mentioned song found airtime. And the brat, hitherto slumped against mamma, jumped up and did the bouncing chest tapping hands in the air movement with such gusto that mamma and pappa collapsed into laughter.
Therefore from the time the seats were sat on, the whine began. "Wen d aalleezvel song will come?" Soon, soon. Mamma patted him down like the bounding puppy he became. Then came the song. Which had him standing, open mouthed, leaning on the seat ahead, breathing heavily on the bald pate of the unfortunate occupying said seat. The song, followed unfortunately by a suicide scene. Which lead to long theosophical queries by the enquiring young mind as to how Joe went to Jai Jai Jezuz in d sky when dey pud him in a box in the ground an den pud mud on top of him. If he has to go in d sky dey mus pud him in a rocket. Folks behind us keener on the dialogues they paid to hear shushed us ruthlessly.
Then this was followed by another attempted suicide. And the questions piped up again. Why he jumpt from d window? He thought he wuz Superman? He dint put a costuum how he could fly. Mamma took this opportunity to point out pertinent relevant fact considering we live in premises 15 storeys off ground level and with four full glass sliding windows and balconies that this was not, repeat, not a stunt to be repeated under any circumstances.
And the coup de grace was the birthing scene with animated diagrams and ingenious use of vacuum cleaners to pull d baby out wid his head. This led to an instant lifting of mammas top to check if she had a baby concealed on the premises. Mamma thinks a parental discretion advised would have been a good idea given the content of said scenes. She's still trying to explain the exit point of the baby in an age appropriate way.

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