Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Main Hoon Don2

The brat, as most of you who follow this blog on a regular basis would know, is a movie buff. A Bollywood movie buff, to be precise, with a condenscending tolerance and part time fling on the side with Hollywood superhero movies, specifically, Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Ironman and the Green Lantern. Within Bollywood, he is a fanboy to the two Khans, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan. And neither takes precedence over the other.
Ergo, when Don 2 was glutting the television screens with its promos, the brat stared gape mouthed at Shahrukh Khan taking on his enemies with moves slick enough for him to put Neo out of business in The Matrix Trilogy. Speaking of which, sigh, we were warned there would be a Don3 at the end of this movie. Be still my beating heart.
So it came to pass that Don 2 was released over the weekend. "What are peepil on twitter saying aboud Don 2?" The brat asked, knowing that mamma seeks her informed opinion on movies to watch from the tweets of those who have watched said movies, rather than the puerile reviews that plague our print media. "Not too good, son," I told him straight out. "Is okay, I still wantu see it."
So see it happened yesterday. In 3 D nonetheless. Pet Peeve No 1025 coming up. What is this about every second Bollywood movie being released in 3 D whether they merit it or not. Not only do those damn 3 D glasses cut the bridge of the nose, I end up taking them off and watching the movie blurred because the image is so unclear most times. Anyway, having got that out of the way, we settled down in our seats with our sammwiches and Pepsi and the movie unfurled. Shahrukh Khan going down a tropical back water kind of place, to much whistling and cheering from the audience which mainly comprised new pimple sprouters.  He then proceeding to bash up one million people, blow up a shanty by the riverside and escape. Then in a scene straight out of 7 (remember Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey?) he surrendered himself to Interpol officers Om Puri and Priyanka Chopra whose lips, god save me, have now a zipcode of their own. So Don goes of to jail, not before rattling off some smarmy dialogue. (Psst Bollywood, go out and find some good dialogue writers, for the love of God, this corny overload drags the action down to zzzzz level). Speaking of which, this was the point when I drifted off to sleep, god forgive me. I awoke to see Hrithik Roshan waltzing Priyanka Chopra around and immediately perked up, thanking my stars I'd woken up at an opportune moment, but then Hrithik Roshan peels off his mask while seated in a car and instantly has a height, bodystructure and voice change and becomes Shahrukh Khan. Gah. I went right back to sleep. I woke up again during a car chase, dozed off again and woke up when a building was being blown up and people were being taken hostage and couldn't help but think of Heath Ledger and the bank heist in The Dark Knight, and went right back into Noddy land.
The movie over, the brat woke me up. "You laikt it?"
I confessed honestly that I'd dozed off through most of it. "Did you like it?" In true testosterone fuelled boy manner, he exulted, "Yus, dere wuz faiding and car chasing and shooting. And now dere will be a Don 3. An I'll see dat also."
I hoped by then he would be old enough to be allowed into a show on his own or with his friends. "An wen I growed up I wantu be Don. An I will rob banks."
Errm. "But robbing banks is fer bad peepul. Den how Don is d hero?"
Is it too early to begin explaining the concept of the anti hero to the brat, you think? Especially to nip any emulation of said antiheroism as being threatened?The brat resolved the crisis for me. "I'm nod becoming Don. I habtu become Green Lantern. Someone else can become Don."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The brat attends his first Catholic wedding reception

For the eight years of his life, the brat has never been to a Catholic wedding. Fewer cousins getting married, and he being very small when the initial weddings happened, and ergo kept back at home rather than me chasing him around the venue was the reason he wasn't around at the few weddings which happened post his being born and then, when this, the wedding of a cousin cropped up mamma thought it would be good for him to experience how wedding receptions happen in other religions, him being exposed only to the standard stand in line, hand over gift and then go eat of most weddings we go to.
"Do you want to come to my cousin's wedding?" mamma asked him.
"You gotta cuzin?"
"Yes, I have many cousins," mamma replied. "How many?" Mamma did a quick head count and named the number 16.
"Yer lying. You cannot have 15 cousins. I have four cousins."
"But I do. Come to the wedding and you'll meet my cousins."
And mamma added as temptation factor, "There will be lots of chicken mutton fish."
It was the clincher.He agreed to come.
We landed at the venue with nana, where he was most fascinated by the three tier cake and the figurines of the bride and the groom on top. And the beautiful icing flowers. And then the entire shindig of the confetti throwing on the bridal couple, the bridal march and the jiving, waltzing, foxtrotting, insisting on doing some, butchering mamma's corns in the process, and finally coming into his element when the dance numbers began spinning and mamma was kindly excused from the dance floor and he danced his heart out.
He returned to the table, sweat pouring down his face, drinking up the carbonated beverage placed in front of him, looking around hungrily.
"Mamma. Catlick weddings have no starters?"
Luckily, service of said starters began quickly enough and he ate. And ate, and ate. And loaded the tissue paper in front of him with some more. Mamma was meeting up with relatives she hadn't met in years, some since childhood, and he was quite surprised to note the number of aunts, uncles and yes, cousins who were popping up.
And finally, dinner was served, and more gluttony happened given the menu was nothing short of a feast for carnivore brat.
At last fed and sated, his eyes drooping heavily, given it was way past his bed time, we made our way back home. Mamma asked him, "Did you enjoy the wedding?" Yes, he replied. "Wen I ged married, I'm going to have a Catlick wedding. With all the chikkin, mutton, fis. And a DJ an a dancing. And I wantu wear a flower in my coat. And make my hair in spikes wid gel."
Of course, mamma told him. "An in my wedding we'll have strawberry icecream. Nod kulfi falooda."
Ermm. So that's all settled now. All that is needed is the bride, I guess.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Of Robots and robotics

So it was the annual day yesterday. The brat, it would seem, was a robot. The costume was all silver and black and the first one that came in had his stomach out when he raised his arms and the trousers to around calf length so he looked like a flood affected robot. It was sent back and the next size was sent back which then had the neck so wide, he could do an offshoulder number with it and the trousers refusing to stay put on his waist, which, by any standards is not fall off standards. Given that we had a couple of days to said annual day, Mamma let it rest and assured him we would manage with safety pins and a black tshirt inside the offshoulder number.
Asked to show his dance steps, the brat would shrug reluctantly. "I canna do it widaoud d musick."
Errm. So the day of the annual show dawned. And the brat went off to sleep at around 4 pm. We had to reach the grounds by six pm. Much shaking and awaking later he jumped up, splashed his face with water, and dressed himself up. The instructions read, full make up and spiked hair with silver glitter. Mamma had spent a some precious hours scouting stores for gel with silver glitter and failed to procure any and finally settled for regular garden variety gel mixed with a packet of garden variety chamki procured from the neighbouring stationery store. And the black shoes with silver laces were managed by converting regular black school shoes with silver ribbon rolled tight. I mean seriously. A black shoe is a black shoe, how are the silver laces going to make an impact on a stage above eye level. And the hair, given brat's hair is poker straight and soft, it refused to stand up and stay up in respectable spikes but just about kept flopping down wearily onto his forehead. A determined holding up for five minutes had some strands decide to stay put in the direction contrary to gravity. Much rolling on the floor tantrumming happened because the hair refused to spike up. Then came the moment for the make up and the tantrumming increased. "I is nod pudding make up," he spat out. "I is nod a gurl. Eveyone vil laffatme." Mamma managed to get some powder compact onto his face and some rouge onto his cheeks but he firmly drew the line at me approaching him within ten yards with an eyeliner or lipstick in my hand. "Robods don pud make up. Did Sahrukkan pud lipstick and black eyes when he was G.One." Errm. Then he wanted dark glasses. Of the Rajnikant Robot variety. Dark glasses which would come off and come back on at will. And some more rolling on the floor tantrumming happened before he was convinced that those are special sunglasses meant only for big people robots and not small children robots.
Rushed to the venue, informed the classteacher that make up didn't happen because the mard ka bachcha forbid it. She said she will do the needful.
We sat through the concert. Now in open air events in December, you spend half your time swatting the mosquitoes away. That keeps you awake, god bless the little children who performed bravely on a terrible script. Finally it was time for the brat's dance. And they entered. There was the brat, front row, centre, with him as the lead dancer, if that were possible in a group dance. And he danced so brilliantly, so brilliantly, I was open mouthed and the hubby had to put the jaw back up gently. It was a dance which was heavily break dance and robotic movements and he was smooth when required and jerky when required and, maternal love and pride apart, he was quite the cynosure of all eyes and clearly head and shoulders above the rest. That's where I stop gushing.
On the way back to the enclosure they were seated in he passed us. "I danct well? Properly? How I danct?"
Very well, I assured him, fantastic, mindblowing and some more adjectives thrown in as well to bolster the ego.
"Den can you ged for me four Slam Attax?"

Small rant, forgive me. Time to collect the children post show. Parents pushing and shoving, no line, no waiting patiently for their turn to sign on the sheet to collect their kids, the fathers with no qualms whatsoever about pushing the moms out of the way. I signed on the sheet to collect the brat, who couldn't get out because of the throng of parents blocking the exit and when he managed to squirm out, I couldn't get to him because of them monster loutish parents, and finally a teacher had to bring him out from the other end and call out to me, and hand him over the barricade. And I say it again, when parents are such louts, what hope do we have for the kids to grow up well behaved. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why common courtesy is becoming increasingly uncommon

Last evening the spouse and I reached home after a long day at the office. The brat was home with his daadi. We waited at the elevator bank in the lobby for the lifts to come down, this being a building with twenty storeys, it does include a fair bit of waiting. As the lift reached the ground floor and opened, a man, his wife and his little son, who could have been no more than six came from outside the lobby, the man bearing some grocery bags pushed past me and entered the lift, his wife followed him, dragging the child with her. The spouse and me let them pass, and then entered. The man had stood near the lift buttons, pressed his floor and would not move to allow me to press my floor button, nor ask which floor he should press on our behalf. I had to actually lean across him and press my floor button which was higher than theirs.
They stood in the lift, spread out, taking up all available space. When their floor arrived, a smidgeon of delight happened when the little son pushed his mother aside and strode out first. Followed by the man, and then the woman. The house they were entering as far as we could see had a lavishly done door and lobby area.
How can I be surprised when these are the sort of children who come down to play with my son? Children who come from absolutely boorish families, where the menfolk think nothing of pushing out a lady standing patiently for an elevator, like it is a train which is being missed. Where the very concept of personal space and politeness does not exist.
These are the kids who push, fight and yell down in the playground and these are the children the brat is suddenly picking up vile behaviour from, behavior so vile that he has been grounded more often these days than he has actually been allowed down to play.
These are wealthy people. Or at least people from the upper middle class segment of society. I would assume a fair amount of education has gone into making them able to earn a living. I assume they also don't come from a mentality of deprivation that results in this push and shove mindset. I put it down to an absolute disdain towards others, a me first syndrome that seems to populate our neo riche. And I am worried what the next generation raised by these parents would be like. I am even more worried thinking that maybe, the brat will pick all these cues from his peers and not what I try to set forth for him. Have written about this on the other blog, this death of public courtesy. Yesterday was such a glaring example, so close to home that it hit me bad. Have you noticed this too? In your society, building complex? The absolute appalling behavior of the neo-rich? The complete dearth of regard, the rise of the 'ugly Indian'.

Mission Eat Fruit begins

The brat, following in the footsteps of his mother, has appallingly unhealthy eating habits. Ah well, not quite as appalling as it sounds, given that he has three homecooked meals a day, and his two glasses of milk, but the fact remains that his intake of raw vegetables and fruits is at the bare minimum. Make that nil.
Ergo, when I blogged last week about his leg pains, I was swamped with concerned emails from friends and fellow bloggers with the same message coming down to me. "Make him eat fruits and especially bananas. He needs potassium."
I gritted my teeth. I am so not a fruit and veggie person and I was happily passing on my bad dietary habits to the child with absolutely zero qualms. I self flagellated myself for a bit, and then rushed out shrieking to stock up the sadly depleted fruit basket on the dining table which only daadi reaches out for in the house, the both of us, mamma and pappa being such unhealthy eaters.
I began the other day. "Brat, come eat an apple," I said. He sneered nastily into my face like I'd suggested he eat worms or something of the ilk "I donwantu eat apil. I want to eat chikkin nuggedz."
Erm.
I started on the spiel about how he needed to eat fruits and raw veggies to improve his mineral intake and to get strong and not to have his legs ache at night and such like. He heard me out calmly. Or as calmly as he could when his eyes were on the television screen which was set on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. "Okay Mamma." Mamma was quite surprised to see the calmness with which he accepted that he would have to increase his intake of the raw stuff.
"I'll eat fruit jellies. Is made from fruit. Is very helldy. "

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Growing pains

When I was around brat's age, I remember ruining my mom's sleep by begging she dabbed my legs. My calves to be specific. My legs ached and ached and ached and they ached every single night. I don't really remember when they stopped aching but am sure they did because I don't remember the mater pressing the calves with maternal love when I hit college.
So last night when the brat rapped at our bedroom door gently and begged to be allowed in, I jumped up and let him in. "Mamma," he whispered, "My legz are paining. Very badly."
For a moment I panicked. Why were his legs paining? Did he hurt himself? Where were they paining, I asked him. "Here," he whispered back, telling me to "Tok soflee or Pappa will gedup and shaoud."
He lay down on the bed and I pressed his legs, acutely aware of the flashback to my childhood and my mom pressing my aching cramping legs in much the same way.
After around 15 minutes of energetic leg pressing my sleep had much dissipated and I asked the child whether that was quite enough. He nodded his head and disappeared into daadi's room, where he co-slept with her. After approximately 20 minutes there was another rap on the door. "Mamma," he hissed in faux whisper, "My legz is still painin badly."
He was allowed in, his legs pressed a while and then packed off with a heavy pillow and the advice to put said heavy pillow on his legs. Ten minutes later he was back. "Mamma, nutting is happening wid dis pillow. Is still paining badly." My heart melted over. I did some more leg pressing. He drifted off to sleep. Sadly I can't carry him anymore, he's too heavy for that now, so I woke him gently and shunted him off to the other room.
"Mamma," he said. "Thank you." And pecked me on my cheek. "Is okay now. Is nod painin. Is because you pressed it. I knewed if you pressed my legs it will stop paining."
What goes round comes round. This is karma biting me on my substantial butt for all those nights I made the mater press mine aching calves.



Sunday, December 04, 2011

Post the PTM

The brat has performed terribly. Even for a mother like me who is content to let him grow like a weed, this was crab grass level of performance. So dire and shameful, that had it been me in my youth I would have refused to return home and show said report to my progenitors. But the brat has no such misgivings.
Mamma spent the day in some sort of funk that his grades had dropped so miserably, chastising herself more than she chastised him.
The brat has also been on an extremely badly behaved, tantrummy kind of spree that is making mamma question her parenting, and everything that goes with it. Insolence, stubbornness, back answering, snarkiness and outright disobedience.
Ergo, Mamma was terribly sullen and withdrawn all of Saturday. By evening the brat was feeling distinctly nervous and uncomfortable with the sullen mamma.
He came sat in front of mamma in an attempt to make casual conversation. Discussion topic being a movie brat and mamma had watched together. Mamma's heart was not in the conversation.
He wandered off and brought back a book. Much to mamma's open mouthed shock. And began reading through it loudly and earnestly. This is a child who has to be dragged kicking and screaming towards a book. And once with a book in front of him will whine and whine till Mamma gives up attempting to make him interested in the book. And here he was reading Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (yes it is his textbook for the term) with great apparent enjoyment. Chuckling to himself, reading out bits aloud to me, and looking to me for approval. Which I gave him wholeheartedly.
The next morning, he pries my eyes open. "I want Charlie and D Grade Glass Ellivator." Okay. "An I wantu read Matilda." Sure child. "An I wantu read Charlie and Willy Wonka adventurz." Mamma's maternal heart overflew. Yes, yes, of course son, I will get you all the books you want. As long as you take an interest in reading.
Reading, mamma began, will develop your language skills, your sentence construction, help your spelling and so much more. You will do so well in Language Arts and comprehension. "Bud I don wantu read to do well in Langveg Ardz." said the brat. Mamma was puzzled, why then, she asked the brat, this sudden interest in books. "Because you ged so happy when I is readdin a buk."