Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Of BPL and other descriptive phrases

So the brat hops up to me, last evening and perches himself on the arm of the sofa I was half comatose in, it being the sleeping hour. "Mamma," he piped up. "Tuday, I gave M a BPL."
A BPL. The last I had heard, this was a brand name of the first truly world class Indian electronics and appliances brand and had the baritoned voiced one endorsing it, before the slew of the international brands came and mowed it down.
Or BPL was an income category which was raised and lowered conveniently depending on how we wanted to project our poverty figures to the world.
"How can you give M a BPL," I asked, verily confused.
I asked for a demo. I was to be sorry later that I asked for one.
I was requested to stand up and turn around, and one hefty one was swiftly planted on my rather cushioned behind. I gasped and sputtered in rage. "Brat," I yelled in Wake The Dead tones. "What did you just do?"
'Bud you aksed me to show yu BPL. Dat is BPL. Bum Pe Laat."
Gah. Yes, I want to plant a BPL on the chappie who said this in Zindagi Na Mile Dobara. And while I'm at it, one on the chappie who thought up Mutravisarjan from 3 Idiots. Yes. Two BPLs ready to be served hot.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who are the terrorists?

On July 13, serial bombs went off in Mumbai. Like they have before. I
called the brat up from play, hugged him hard and kept him at home for
the evening. Call me selfish. The serial train blasts in 2006 had him
a babe in arms. The terrorist attacks in 2008 had had him see the
telecast on the television, he had seen me sitting transfixed in front
of the screen, with tears pouring down my eyes, but he was too young
to realise what was happening. Now he is older. He understands things.
He asks questions.
What happinned?
There were some bomb blasts in town, I replied. Dat's far from our
hauz? Yes it is, I reassured him. Dey wont come here? I hastened to
reassure him that they wouldnt come home. He settled down to his
dinner and his hour of cartoon watching.
While nodding off he asked me, Wai dey pud the bombs? I don't know
baby, I replied honestly. Dey don like us? I don't think so. Wai?
I had no answer.
The next day he returned from school, yes, his school was open and we
sent him to school and I will slap the next person who says "Mumbai
Mamma, he said as we trotted out from school, all d terroridst are Muslims.
Dey wantu kill us because we are Hindus.
My blood froze in my veins. Why, son, what makes you say that? L's
parents tole him and he tole me.
I looked at my one fourth Muslim mongrel and despaired. How could I
explain to him that not all Muslims were terrorists and that terrorism
had no religion except hate.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Review: Growing Up In Pandupur

By Adithi and Chatura Rao

' Growing up in Pandupur' is definitely the ideal book a 9 year old will pick up for a light-hearted , humorous reading. Just hold on as this book takes you on a picturesque and fun-filled journey with the villagers of Pandupur and at the same time makes you aware of society and exposes you to the beauty of nature.

Adithi and Chatura Rao, two undoubtedly talented authors,weave a magical web with their story-telling and take you to the simple village of Pandupur where ordinary people have extraordinary experiences to share. The stories of this book are not merely stories but lessons of life which broaden a child's mind and make him sensitive to other people and their feelings. One story that particularly touches your heart is 'Evenings in 201'.In this story,a young schoolboy slowly bonds with an old, retired army general and realizes that there is more to life than just television and games. Surely ,in every household siblings are squabbling and fighting and being just plain mean to each other.'Sister Song' is a story which reminds us that your siblings are the strongest support in our life and they will always be there for us,they will never let us down. 

Hats off to Adithi and Chatura Rao for writing such an entertaining,moralistic and AWESOME book.I sincerely hope that you like this book as much as I did

'Pandupur' is a book that will leave a mark upon you.This book will stay with you long after you have turned the final page with 'The End' written on it.........
(Reviewed by Ishika Chatterjee, student of Lokhandwala Foundation School, Kandivali East)

Psst: The co-author Chatura Rao, is a dear ex-colleague, we started out working together when she was with a television production house on a show on art called Art Of The Matter, and then were together for a bit at The Times of India. Go buy this book for your babies, and yes, its because I know she's a damn good writer.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Just some singing in the mall

The other day I was pushing along the laden trolley down Hypercity
with the brat trailing behind me, quite chuffed that he had received
not one, not two, but three Gems Surprise Balls with Ben 10 action
figures inside. Suddenly, his joy overfloweth must have happened and
he burst into song. And what a song. A son which had me shrinking into
my very sensible heeled mommy sandals, hoping the earth would open
magically and draw me right in.
Bhaag DK Bose DK Bose Bhaag DK Bose DK Bhaag
I turned an alarming shade of red, and turned around to clamp a hand
on said mouth to prevent the piping voice from ripping through the
aisles. I was already getting snorts of derision from the other moms
in said aisles whose kids no doubt pooped perfect non smelly poo too.
That, I hissed to him, is not a song you should be singing aloud. In
public. Why? He asked, is gotta a bad vurd? Ermm. Yes. Wot is the bad
vurd. BhaagDK? Errm. Yes. Wot it means?
Just know that it is a very bad vurd. Er, word. I said through gritted
teeth and raced the trolley down the aisles. Den, he piped up behind
me, keeping pace, Can I sing nudder song? Of course, I said, smiling
and waiting for his dulcet tones to pipe up pleasanter melodies.
"Character Dheela hai'
Anyone know how Sita managed that Mother Earth Swallow Me Now trick? I
so need it.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The ultimate Ultimatrix

First off. A pox and a damn off on the makers of the accursed cartoon
serial Ben 10. Now having got that off my rather substantial chest, I
can get down to ranting in a somewhat sane manner.
So the brat decided he wanted an Ultimatrix. He already has the
Omnitrix. Millions of them dismembered all over the house. He began
his whine whine whine whine process which is guaranteed to get mamma's
hair frizzing up in classic finger in electric socket manner and head
with the level of migraine that requires hammer to subdue.
Finally, when dadi returned from her trip to the native land, she
handed over largesse to the brat and told him to go buy said
Ultimatrix as a gift from her. He bounded in joy to the cupboard and
began getting dressed to go to the mall to buy said Ultimatrix.
Mamma followed reluctantly, aware that colossal waste of money was to
ensue. Sure enough, when Mamma read the price of said fancy plastic
wrist strapped device, she fell to the floor and had to be roused by
the smelly socks of the sales staff who hovered around looking very
worried. No brat, said Cruella de Ville mamma, this is ridiculously
expensive. Buy something worth it for that money. The brat sobbed fat
tears that would have earned him an Uncle Oscar had he been doing it
for camera. He rolled around on the aisles. He thrashed. Mamma
seriously considered putting him up for adoption.
Anyway, Mamma was migrainey and easily worn down. The Ultimatrix was
worn. The fancy watch type thingie worn. The brat bounced from end to
end like he had giant springs on his shoes or the force had entered
him, mamma despatched him downstairs before any furniture bore the
brunt of his joy.
Mamma sat down in deep contemplation wondering what it was about the
darned Ultimatrix that gave him the joy it did. Well, a small niggling
voice of conscience said, it could be his equivalent of the LV bag.