Category: humour I hope

Jumbled mythological ramblings

Jumbled mythological ramblings


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The maid was on leave. I was dusting, sweeping and mopping while trying to keep an eye on the children studying for their geography exam. I glanced at the two of them. N was bent over her book while H lay sprawled on the floor, writing.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked him.
‘I’m making a soil chart – alluvial, black, red, laterite,….’

I tuned out rushing to switch off the tap as water overflowed from the mop bucket.

‘…… loamy, clayey’, the tail end of what he was saying brought me back to their massive Geography portion. I glanced at N struggling through the jungle of vegetations and soils and I remarked rather absentmindedly, ‘Whatever it is, share it with N after you finish, okay?’

And BAM! Right there I knew how Kunti got Draupadi in the five-husband mess. When Arjun won her (Draupadi) in a Swayamvar and entered the house saying, ‘Ma look what I got!’ her obvious response was, ‘Whatever it is share it with your brothers’. And so Draupadi landed up with five husbands.

I have always felt truly sorry for that poor woman, and I mean Kunti. Imagine having three boys and then a pair of twins; boys again! What’s worse, she lived in a joint family with her sons and their one hundred cousins, all boys again. I feel faint each time I think of that much testosterone packed under a single roof. Oh and her sister-in-law would have been little help with eyes permanently blindfolded.

You see now how her patience must have been tried? That sharing line was the most natural thing for her to say.

The thought of the brothers squabbling over whatever Arjun had brought must have freaked her out even before she knew what it was. And she said the obvious pre-emptive thing any mom with multiple children would say, ‘Share it’. Thank goodness they were in exile and the cousins weren’t around. Small mercies.

It’s been twelve whole years – take a few months off for when the twins were infants – but since then, with every living breath of mine I’ve been trying to teach them to SHARE and they still don’t get it. It has been one of my most epic fails as a parent. And yet I persevere, reminding them to share share share till it has become a reflex, I say it without thinking.

Just like Kunti.

H goes to a birthday party and comes home with cupcakes – share it, I say.
N wins a goody bag at a school contest – share it, I tell her.
Her friend gives her a chocolate – give half to your brother, I tell her.
He wheedles a computer game from us – okay we say, but share it with N.

I can completely imagine being absentminded enough to say the exact same thing as I work at my laptop.

Am I being fair? Perhaps not. Definitely not in the kids’ minds. After all, as N tells me, ‘When I win something it is mine alone, and it should be my decision to share or not’.

Right? I’m sure Draupadi would agree and Arjun too.

However, as a mom there comes a point in one’s life when all one wants is peace at any cost and fairness be damned.

I have to add that all said and done, this new age funda of I-for-myself doesn’t quite gel. It’s more than just about keeping the peace – I do genuinely prefer the old Indian way of sharing – sharing willingly and with love. And till the kids get that, they can whine and complain but share they shall.

 

 

Note to self: When your child says, ‘Look what I’ve got’ – check what the ‘what’ is before asking him/her to share.

Five ways in which parents embarrass their teens

Five ways in which parents embarrass their teens

The other morning as we were walking to the bus stop I noticed that H’s collar was askew. Without thinking about it I reached out to settle it and he drew back like I was going to bite his head off.

‘What?’ I said surprised
‘Nothing. Just don’t do that,’ he said
‘Do what?’
‘Fiddle with my clothes. It’s embarrassing. I don’t even know why you come down to see us off to school. It’s not like we’d get lost from the building to the gate,’ he said trying to roll his eyes. He still can’t (roll his eyes) by the way, and I caught myself thinking how cute that is and stopped myself right there because apparently a smile that says ‘You’re cute’ is also embarrassing.

Seriously?? After puking on me in a flight, throwing a tantrum in the mall, flaunting underwear before guests, smearing banana mash all over me at a party (on my good top too, and I had to keep wearing it till the end of the party and pose for pictures in it), he has the audacity to say I embarrassed him

Obviously, the teens are on their way.

Everything I do these days seems to embarrass them – the way I talk (too loud), the way I walk (too slow or too fast), the way I dress (too bright, too strange), the way I laugh (too loud, again), everything. So here’s a list of the top five things that parents (like me) do to embarrass their teens – a sort of ‘do not do’ guide.

1. Fuss over them in public

Make that ‘any physical contact in public’. Do not settle their collars or their hair or tuck in their shirts. Don’t even brush off a speck of dust from their noses. They’re cool leaving it there all day rather than having their mum brush it off. And God forbid you reach out for a hug. They’ll probably not talk to you for a decade. Which might not actually be such a bad thing.

2. Talk loudly

This is such an unfair expectation considering that the only reason I talk loudly is because they refuse to listen any other way. To hold it against me is rather, as I said, unfair. But then who’s listening? When they have friends over, they can scream and shout and that’s okay but it still holds for you. You cannot even hum softly to yourself, not even in your own room.
Once during a football match a mom noticed her son’s shoelace had come undone and shouted for him to tie it up. There was such silence after that you could have heard a pin drop. Mercifully it wasn’t me.
Corollary: Cheering for them during a game is also a no no. Don’t do it. Their friends can, but you cannot. Don’t ask me why, just don’t do it.

3. Correcting them/their friends

I have a few house rules that I’m rather strict about and one of them is the use of proper language. So if I hear a ‘shit’ during a game I protest or if one of their friends asks me for a glass of water without a ‘please’ I point it out. I mean, their friends are like my own kids, right? So if I can correct my children I can correct their friends too, no? However, all I get for my pains are the most eloquent stares and then an earful later on. ‘Everyone says ‘shit’,’ they’ll tell me, ‘even teachers say it.’

All I’ll say is ‘My house my rules’.

4. Talking about baby stuff

This one is big. You see a toddler walking towards you and suddenly you remember yours when they were little. And you get all emotional and misty eyed and you strike up a conversation with the toddler’s mum, ‘When H and N were babies…,’ you begin enthusiastically until you catch sight of your not-a-young-one-any-longer giving you the daggers. So no baby stories, no baby poetry, no tales of cute antics or cute pronunciations, nothing. No nicknames too, please.

Note to self: Destroy blog before they turn thirteen.

5. Wear anything different

Once I went to pick them up from school and I wore a salwar suit, which is different from my regular jeans/trousers. And I got a, ‘What are you wearing? It looks funny.’ Funny? A salwar suit? I mean half of India wears it. Then one day I wore a dress and got the very same reaction. The thing is you’re not allowed to stand out. If you don’t normally wear makeup, you need to continue not wearing it, if you don’t normally wear heels, you cannot begin to do so now.

Basically you shouldn’t be heard or seen. You’ve to become invisible till they tide over their teens. Find a rock and get beneath it.

Here’s a better plan, though – This is the time for delicious revenge. So do your own thing and totally enjoy it. Suddenly we have the power. Between them embarrassing me and I embarrassing them, the latter is definitely the lesser of two evils, from my perspective of course. Moreso since I had all that practice as a mom to toddler twins.

PS: I have a good mind to fish out a wedding sari and appear in all my finery for one of their PTMs. Wouldn’t that be just priceless?

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I’m taking part in the Bar-A-Thon – the fortnight long Blogging Challenge and really stretching the prompts this time round :-). The prompt for today was ‘Lesser of two evils’.

I know you love me less than him

I know you love me less than him

I’ve written earlier about how much grief the twins give me with that one line ‘You love her more than me’. They’re regular little Sherlock Holmes when it comes to finding proof to support this hypothesis of theirs. I’ve become a pro at measuring out my affection carefully, equally, kiss by kiss, hug by hug. And yet they mange to find proof in places I’d not even dreamed of. And then they jump at it and brandish it in my face and yet again I have to listen to that detested line.

Here are a few crazy reasons I have to put up with.

You love me less because you gave him/her more neebu pani than me.

This one is a classic they’ve stuck to ever since they learnt to talk. No matter how much I measure and pour I end up messing up once in a while. It’s easily resolved though, all I do is take a sip from the offending glass and that’s it. Yup love is measured in sips of neebu pani.

You love me less because you gave me more milk.

Yeah, right! This one’s as much a classic as that previous one, only more ridiculous. That I can force someone to drink something as vile as milk is proof that I don’t quite like that person to begin with. Then I give the other one less of it – sure proof I love him/her more. Solved rather easily again, though. Small mercies.

You love me less because you made pani puri when she asked you to and I don’t even like it. Oh okay I do like it but she likes it more. Besides, I didn’t ask you to make it, she did.

Humph! That’s all I have to say to this one.

(In continuation to that previous one) …and you never made the green pakoras we ate at Hathgadh.

It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t there at all when they had those pakoras and cannot for the life of me figure out what went into them. So I spend hours on the Net googling ‘Green pakoras’ wondering at the ingredients (spinach?) with my limited cooking skills then give up and try to convince them that regular pakoras were just as good because I sort of know how to make those. And of course they don’t taste the same because
1. they aren’t green (obviously)
2. they’re not quite the right thing to be had on a rather warm evening here in Pune while they were just perfect for the chill of Hathgadh.

So much for all the googling and mixing and frying!

You love me less because you spent a nanosecond more at his bed than at mine when you came to kiss us good night.

So I go back and spend a few more seconds at his/hers only to hear a complaint from the other bed and then I continue to yo-yo between the two beds till they fall asleep and the next morning when my yoga teacher wonders why I am yawning, I make stupid excuses because I do not have the energy to explain and also because I know in the light of day it will sound as ridiculous as it actually is. And I wonder why I ever even listen to them.

You love me less because you are a girl and so is she.

I’m so tired of this one I’m considering a sex change operation to convert myself into a transgender. Do they even have those?

You love me less because you spend more time with him because he falls ill more frequently.

No clue how to handle this one, except to ply the first one with immunity boosters and hope he never falls ill.

You love me less because you go to drop him for birthday parties at his friends’ homes even though they live far away

No matter, of course, that her friends live close by. So when I go to drop her to her friend’s house (in the next building) I take a long drive and tell google maps to shut the h#@* up while wishing it would also show the longest route instead of the shortest one. The guys at google obviously are all single-child parents or they would have thought of this.

You love me less because you made him the older one. I could have easily been the older one if only you had asked the doctor to ‘pull me out’ first.

Umm… technically I’m not to blame for this one because I wasn’t quite in my senses at that point of time, but who cares for technicalities?

You love me less because you only make friends with people who have daughters so when we go out together she has company and I do not.

Tween boys, of course, do socialise with girls. Come teens, things might turn different and I’m still trying to make up my mind if this is better or that, while I look for people with sons to make friends with. If you have a son do write in and we might consider meeting up.
Note: None of these are works of fiction. These are true-to-life instances that have more than once shattered the calm (what’s that?) of our home resulting in stormy tears and lifelong unresolved trauma.

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Linking up with Shantala’s chatty blogs.

Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

7 reasons not to waste time cleaning up clutter

7 reasons not to waste time cleaning up clutter

Are you consistently at war with clutter? It is a formidable enemy, isn’t it? One who vanquishes you simply by its existence? But then one should love one’s enemy, or at least try to. So here I am – giving you a few reasons. Perhaps there will be a happy ending to this war.
1. You save time: Well obviously. No? Look at this – I, a non cleaner, end up spending about 2 hours everyday cleaning, dusting, putting away stuff and I’m discounting the sweeping, mopping done by the maid. That’s 14 hours a week, 728 hours a year, almost one full month. I could go on a nice long vacation in that time. I cannot even begin to calculate the criminal waste the OCDed indulge in.
2. Clutter makes life easy: I remember once my mum came visiting and while I was away at work she cleared up my room. Next morning when I put my hand under the pile of books which in turn was buried under a pile of clothes, I couldn’t find my earrings. That’s exactly where I’d left them last night, I remembered well. But mum had put them away in a neat little box, probably. Why oh why would anyone so complicate their lives? It’s way more comfortable to have things lying around so you can reach out for them when you need them. One of my very dear and very evolved uncles says he’d crawl out of bed leaving the ‘tunnel’ under the covers intact so he could crawl right back in after a hard day at work. Brilliant, I say!
3. Clutter allows for a delicious element of surprise: Now suppose I forget where I left my earrings, yeah the ones under the pile of books, under the clothes. And then one day I pull out a book I want to read and out tumble my favourite pair of earrings. What happiness!! Don’t tell me you’ve never whooped for joy when you found that 500 rupee note tucked away in an old bag.
And here’s an 8th reason. I’m not the only one who thinks clutter is good.

4. A cluttered house teaches better body balance: Since you’ll be hopping, skipping and jumping through piles of toys and clothes and books to get across a room, you’d better have good body balance. Somedays I have successfully manoeuvred my way through Barbies, skipping ropes, bottles of glue, hula hoops, sketch pens and superhero action figures while holding aloft a tray with milk glasses and mugs of tea. Oooh I’m good! Do I see a raised judgemental eyebrow? Where’s your spirit of adventure, hunh? If you do trip a few times, well you can only get better.

5. A cluttered house sharpens your senses: Can you spot your pista green cardigan in a pile of a hundred clothes? Well I can. See? That’s what I mean. It takes years of practice to heighten your senses to this level of perfection. Also it teaches you to cut yourself off from your surroundings and focus on the task at hand. And that is a gift, I tell you.
6. Clutter speaks of a gentle heart: How flint-hearted are people who throw away stuff the moment they stop needing it! Downright mean, I say. I still have the kids’ baby sketches and their pre-primary text books as also my clothes from the ‘thin’ era, half finished cosmetics I will never use again and mis-matched earrings and yeah even single socks. I keep them all.
7. You get to know your real friends: There are people who love you for you and then there are the judgemental lot who first check if your house is all spic and span and THEN decide to befriend you. Keep your house cluttered and you drive away fake friends.
That’s it then. Do come on over to our place but give us fair warning and we promise to clear out a place for you on the sofa. We’ll even remind you to dust that half eaten biscuit off your backside when you leave. We’re pretty hospitable like that.

Edited to add: The author takes no responsibility for injuries, physical or social, that might occur if this piece is taken seriously. 

O is for the Ordinary

O is for the Ordinary

I love Ordinary. The plain old, simple unexciting Ordinary. Once upon a time I used to be the Ordinary kind of person – the one who prefers the extraordinary. However, along came the twins and turned the whole equation upside down. Suddenly the Ordinary became extraordinary while extraordinary turned Ordinary. Do I have you all confused?

Well sample this:

The world is full of children, right? Google tells me 4 new ones are added every second. So it should be a pretty Ordinary thing that I got some too, right? Wrong. It’s a completely Extraordinary feeling to have them.

.. and this

Think of simple every day stuff – smiling, walking, talking, dancing, singing – all kids learn to do it. But when the twins did all of that, yeah, just then it became extraordinary.
There’s more to it. 

The twins magically transform Ordinary things into extraordinary. Take a look..

Getting to read the morning news – Extraordinary

A five minute bath without having to answer fifty questions – Extraordinary
An uninterrupted telephone call – Extraordinary.
A good night’s sleep  – Extraordinary
A walk from one room to the other without tripping on toys/clothes/crayons/shoes/glasses/food – Extraordinary.

And some extraordinary stuff turned magically Ordinary:

Scraped knees and bleeding elbows – Ordinary
Sleeping with a head stuck at my waist and a pair of toes up my nose – Ordinary.
Poop talk in public – Ordinary. (though we’re working on keeping it down as the kids enter their sensitive tweens).

Bottles of perfumes and deodorants magically emptying out within days – Ordinary
Lipsticks breaking themselves – Ordinary
Half eaten bread hidden away in sofa folds and under beds – Ordinary
Finding your favourite shirt cut up and made into doll clothes – Ordinary

Life sure has changed. Not that I’d have it any other way but I will say this – an ‘Ordinary’ day sure becomes ‘Extraordinary’ after you become a mum.

Linking to ABC Wednesday for the letter O. Thanks to Mrs Nesbitt who brought us all together with this wonderful meme.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Bodyguard – A #Review

The Bodyguard – A #Review

Book Title: The BodyguardAuthor: Ruchi Singh I was eager to pick this one up as I had read Jugnu, by the same author and loved it. The premise was deliciously different and the cover was enticing. What’s not to like with a brave strong heroine and a rich handsome hero in a sort of role-reversal? That’s […]