Johny Johny..?!?

The moment you become a parent you become virtuous. Instantaneously. The pressure of setting an example for a much smaller human being starts hitting you. So you try to always be well mannered and righteous. Well, almost always.

There are a few things one loves dearest. I mean ‘things’ not people or even living things just material things.

CUddlyCoo

Now if your off spring grows to love the exact same things – there are 2 possibilities – unbreakable bond (Like Fevical ka jod!) or unending conflict (like milk and curd!)

There are few- very few kids who I have heard of – who hate chocolates. They love fruits and veggies. WOW! How I wish my progeny was one of that kind. Didn’t wish hard enough I guess.

Chocolates – It seems will make us the worst enemies we can ever be to each other – my son and I.

Dhruv is done with his lunch and demands for his daily rather hourly doze of the brown evil. I open the fridge and scream. Whaaa!!! The whole pack of Lindt had disappeared. I just saw it last evening!

I look at my mom in law. Eyes narrow and sharp, so sharp that I could have her heart piercing with my gaze. She is usually the first accused in times of crisis like this – by the virtue of she being the ‘in-law’.

She quickly defends herself ‘Don’t you dare give me that look! It isn’t me. Ask your son, he is the one who so diligently had one chocolate every hour like a doctor’s prescription’. Damn!

The fridge which is usually always stacked with chocolate bars, suddenly seemed devoid of any. The last of lindt was smiling at me.

It was tough fight between the split personalities within me – A true forever giving mom Vs an ardent chocolate lover.

The argument that ensued was thus:

True Mom says: Oh C’mon. It’s just a chocolate, let him have it.

Chocolate lover says: Just a chocolate?? Whoaa!! He emptied the whole box for God’s sake!

True Mom says: He’s just a child. Let him be. He’s finished his lunch. SO just give it away.

Chocolate lover says: Precisely. He is just a child. So much chocolate can harm him. So just give him jaggery and let him be. What sort of a mother are you? A box of chocolate? Imagine the calories and cavities…

True Mom now is thinking hard. Jaggery it is.

The chocolate lover does an ecstatic jumpy dance. She then quickly picks the chocolate and puts it in her pocket.

‘Maa…Where is Dhruv’s chocolate??? Dhruv finished his lunch. Seeeee. Tummy full.’ Innocent smile. But not even to shake the chocolate lover in his mommy.

‘Dhruv – there is no chocolate in the fridge. See? We will ask Acha to buy some more. Now you will just have to settle for some jaggery. Sorry baby..’ followed by a hug and a kiss.

He settles for jiggery. My understanding little one!

The moment he is out of sight I quickly open the wrapper and hurriedly dump that chocolate into my mouth.

Bliss! I relish it with my eyes closed. Suddenly I feel someone pulling me from down. Arghhh. Do not disturb!

But the pull gets tighter. I open my eyes and find my little detective.

‘What are you eating?’

‘Hmm??’ slowly moving the chocolate from the right cheek to center so it would be less noticeable.

‘What are you eating?’

‘Hmm?’ trying to look around..

‘Ammmaaaa WHAT ARE YOU EATING?’

‘Hmm?’

‘Oh God! Can’t you hear?’

By now the chocolate has molten into a liquid state and I swallowed it slowly.

‘Jaggery??’

‘Yea!’

‘But why does jaggery come in the Lindt wrapper??’

Damn!!!! I can see the True Mom giving the narrow eyed stare to the chocolate lover. You dare teach my baby to lie!!

HELP!!!

Phonetics – The Aa Aaaa E Eee of English..

English is a very tricky language. It may come as a surprise that I say this considering the complications in Indian languages.

So languages are very tricky. I’d rather prefer sign language!

We all think office meetings and presentations are fabulous.

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So I attend one such product presentation. The presenter is a middle aged man who makes it seem like he definitely knows his stuff.

Apparently neither he nor his content seem to interest many people. Well, quite obvious in a post lunch session.

Then as part of the product presentation, he says ‘Let’s not have all this erotic information randomly placed all over the sheet’.

Eyes pop out and now he definitely has everyone’s attention. Good job! Well done!

He continues ‘How can we present all the information so erotically?’

OKAY, I thought it was a brilliant trick to grab everyone’s attention. But it clearly wasn’t. For a moment I had immense appreciation for this man for awakening all the sleeping souls.

All those uncles seated far behind, who were snoring are now wide awake desperately looking for anything close to erotic on the screen.

He gets nudged by his well-meaning colleague – this man will be his best friend for life – the one that pinched him in the middle of a meeting – stops him from further damage and corrects him – ‘you mean erratically..’   ‘Yeah! That’s what I said – erotically!’

Whispers, giggles, laughs follow.

‘e r r a t i c a l l y – erotically’.

Ahhh….and I wondered what the big deal about phonetics was!

His colleague takes him aside and explains quickly his blunder just so that he avoids the forbidden word.

He is as red as a beet. He sums up the courage to continue ‘Now that I have everyone’s attention: we may now look at the slide being presented with information just ‘randomly’ put across’ No more erotic or erratic. Safe!

He continues ‘If you look at this image of the concourse.’

A friend who just couldn’t hold the laugh within himself and realizing that this meeting is not going to be taken seriously anyways mumbles: ‘Are you sure concourse or intercourse?!’

This incident will haunt the poor man all eternity.

All for an aa and aww!!!!

Old habits die hard.

So I have spent almost all my childhood never once using the Public Loo.

Never.

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I am sure I am not alone in this. I, for certain know at least a handful of people like me.

This forms the bottom line of every small and big decision we make which includes but is not limited to the following:

While I book a hotel room for a stay:

Single bed / Twin bed – I don’t care, I can sleep on the floor if I have a mattress.

Room service – I can compromise there too; I could go to their kitchen (which I hope is not mice infected) and make my own food.

Bathroom – Does the website give a picture of the bath and the toilet? If not then can we send an inquiry asking for the same of the room we are allotted to stay? I am okay if they only have a shower and not a bath. Do they use a bathroom freshener by the way?

If I am reviewing a restaurant:

The food was good. I loved the chicken. BUT I think they need to put in atleast 10% of the cost of the food into maintaining their washroom..(I may then go into the details which I refrain here).

Visiting a friend’s place:

Like a recent ad rightly mentions, they are classy if they use a toilet freshener; all other mistakes are forgivable.

This has not changed despite living in a hostel with 400 other inmates. Now you’d think my hostel had the cleanest baths/toilets. Nope, the bathrooms were not close to clean, but I appreciate that I didn’t get used to the filth in all the 5 years being there!.

The phobia remains.

The golden rule every time I step out of home is – Drink water if and only you think you are going to die out of dehydration; I somehow pulled through that while I was pregnant as well!

In the rare case when I have to re-hydrate myself; I practice special yoga to retain the water within. It is not that I have an unusually large bladder. I’d rather go through the physical agony than the mental distress.

And then Dhruv got out of his diapers, got toilet trained. That should have come as a relief and I would have celebrated the milestone BUT his pee could come in a sari shop, a jewelers store, a crowded temple or the Indian Railways – which would result in him yelling out to me ‘Amma peeeeeeeeee coming..’ every time he wants to use the loo, followed by ‘Ooo Oooo Urrrrgent!!’.

Not good. Especially because none of the above mentioned places pay any attention to their restrooms. So even if I’d take him to a loo there, he’d rather pee in his shorts than pee there (followed by me puking)!

But pee he must. That is when I nudge daddy dear and ask him to run with the kid to the nearest relief point.

When we are unaccompanied, we close my senses and his and carry out the process.

Damn. I see all the public toilet signage mocking me saying ‘Its payback time – for all those years of looking down upon us!’

Can I get him back into diapers please?!

Shut up. Will you!

Disclaimer: This is a sincere dedication to all those invites gone wrong.

So you meet some friend’s friend (& family) visiting your town at some get together. You are meeting them for the first time in your life. You feel nice talking to them.

Nice people, you think.

You then think maybe you must call them over home sometime. I mean you are not a people hater. You like socializing with all its pros and cons.

So in your head you say: Wow! Nice people. I actually have something to talk to them about, more than just the weather and traffic! It would be nice to have them over. I could put together a few quickies and we could all munch on and blabber while the kids can be in theirs world of pushing and pulling.

You clear your throat to put these thoughts in your head into words.

The conversation goes like this:

You: ‘How long will you be in Bangalore?’

Friend: ‘A month or so..’

You: ‘Oh that’s enough time. You must come over to our place sometime.’

You should have stopped there. But you didn’t.

You: ‘You should call us and then just drop in.’

Friend: ‘Hmm’

You: ‘Even if you intend to come during weekdays. Just call us and come over.’

Friend: ‘Hmm’

You: ‘You can even come on weekends. Just call and come.’

Friend: ‘OKAY. Got it. We will call you IF and WHEN we come. Don’t worry, we will NOT surprise you.’

shut_up__by_superspeed21-d4qrfj6

Oops. That’s is obviously not what you meant.

You have an option to just leave it there BUT all the crisis management skills come together in your head and say c’mon clear this mess.

So you continue messing it up further.

You: ‘Oh no that’s not what I meant. I mean you are here only for a month and am sure you have plenty of relatives and friends to visit and we may not be your priority, So I mean just make time whenever you can and don’t bother if it will be inconvenient on a weekday as well.’

Clearly they wouldn’t have thought of a weekday visit as inconvenient until this point. And then you get that narrow eyed stare from your partner which says ‘Don’t you utter a word more.’

And I close my case here My Lord – utterly disappointed with my social skills.

Henceforth, maybe I should just get off with a ‘It was nice talking to you.’

My Warrior!

Dhruv and I are on an overnight train journey. We are happily equipped with food and some activity which will keep us occupied till bedtime.

Enter a group of college goers.

CUddlyCoo

All the sudden gush of noise and rambling makes Dhruv realize that people-gazing could be more entertaining that all the silly toddler activities amma’s put together.

They settle down and in less than 5 minutes they take out a huge bag of junk – packs and packs of crisps, soda etc.

They open a pack of crisps. Dhruv is staring harder now.

Each of them pick a crisp and bite into it.

I can see my Dhruv’s eyes narrow and pupil widen like a camera lens. Everything else blurs and focus is only on the crisp.

The crisp breaks with a Krrrr sound and I look at them and my little one in alteration. The moment the crisps went into their mouths my baby was salivating!

Wow! What a commercial! I knew for sure that had the marketing team for the crisps seen this they would have immediately taped it for inspiration!

The youngsters seem less in a hurry after a few munches. Having satisfied their taste buds they look around at other things in the compartment. That’s when they caught my little boy staring hard on their pack of chips and salivating.

Embarrassment. I immediately try to divert his attention and ask him ‘Would you like to have dinner?’

‘Yes’

I remove the pack of chapathis (Indian bread) and curry. Tear a bit of chapathi, dip it generously in the curry and attempt to feed him. He looks helplessly at me, his eyes yelling out ‘Ma..what are you doing?! Chips Vs Chapathi?? I have to be up for the game. Don’t let me down!’

I sense his misery and remove another box. Open it with fake excitement and say ‘See we have crisps too!’ It was box of homemade banana chips. Less appealing. I mean look at my modest box and look at the pack of crisps!

Dhruv looks at me and smiles as if to say ‘I love you!! But please pack it better next time. Substitute the tin with organic paper bag maybe? But for now, I’ll manage.’

He takes a banana chip out of the modest box, looks at the group of youngsters and says ‘Dhruv has chips too. Your chips are from bad oil. Dhruv’s is healthy AND yummy..’

He then bites into the humble banana chips staring in the eye of one of the guys from the group as if to say ‘Ha! You loser!’

Love happens and I can’t help but hug him.  He happily had his chapathi-curry and chip in rotation and when he was done, he looked up at the group again just to reassure them that he was in the game too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present you my toddler – who is already up for the fight against the world. Who dares to take on him?!

My Genie!

Try this.

Go to Google.co.in.

CuddlYCoo

Type: ‘How to’ in your search window.

Trust me what you find will make you laugh, gasp and think.

Your most recent search will be followed by – ‘How to Kiss’ or ‘How to get pregnant’.

WHOA!! All I wanted to search was ‘How to make a no-bake cheese cake’ and it prompts me to this???

Is it Google or is it me? Is it trying to imply something – anything???

I am intrigued. I would have expected it to prompt me with ‘How to safeguard yourself from terror attacks’. Alas no.

‘Who’ and ‘What’ had less embarrassing answers though.

I am curious.

I go to Google.co.uk I do the same exercise.

It says: “how to make pancake” and “how to make money”.

Obviously as important as a kiss or getting pregnant!

I do the same exercise for a lot of other countries. It is thoroughly entertaining.

Then I get back to my google.co.in. And gaze at the screen after typing in ‘HOW TO..’ Deep breath.

I can hear all my non Indian friends smirking and thinking ‘you desperate people!’. I am trying hard to come up with a comeback line – which could be:

  1. I think it is a huge conspiracy. The world which includes Google is plotting against us as a Nation.
  2. We love research. We research everything.
  3. Remember Kamasutra? We own it and want to know if Google can compete.
  4. We are a nation of 1.25 billion but we still need to be sure if we have been doing it the right way.

Cannot come up with anything else.

Do I need to be embarrassed with the result flashing on my screen?

Does it say that this is all that we search for?

Do I need to be ashamed about the words staring at me from the screen?

A lot of things brush through my tiny brains – some defensive, some offensive and some questionable.

I know if I click on one of it, a range of youtube videos will take me through the whole process.

No Thank you. Not that I think it is gross, but just that I’d like to think a few things are naturally bestowed upon us and long existed before the age of Google.

So we must have done something right then – we can’t be that uninformed.

Welcome to the age of technology where we can do a google search for ‘How to pee’ which will give you a very logical and descriptive way of emptying your bowels!

Thank you my search engine for being by my side through good times and bad – for being the genie who has answers to everything – even things which needn’t have answers!

Hum along!!

It appears having a toddler at home can have more dire consequences than you’d think and the situation will leave you googling about ‘focus’ ‘attention’ et al.

Let me clarify – If you have a toddler at home, you get used to repetition – same game over and over again, same story a million times and the worst is the same set of nursery rhymes day in and day out.

So you wake up in the morning listening to ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ Do your house chores listening to the same, listen to the same one in your car and drift off to sleep at night with ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ playing in the background.

Click on to listen : 5 little monkeys Be warned though. it will haunt you for the next one week!

CuddlyCoo

You listen to it so many times a day that even if it doesn’t play in the stereo; it is always playing in your head. You wake up and you want to say the morning prayer but you can only recollect ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’; that friend of yours ask you about that song from that movie and you blabber ‘5 little monkeys..’

Worse still; rhymes have rhythm…so you are working at your work station and the rhymes go off in your head. You nod your head sideways and up and down; you go to collect a print and the nod continues with maybe a side to side sway and you find yourself calling for all your colleagues’ attention for the wrong reasons.

But the worst is yet to come.

There I am in between my appraisal meeting, trying really hard to prove my point and that I really need that promotion but all I have in my head is ‘5 little monkeys…’ which sort of shows on my face and when am expected to advocate, am only smiling to myself and nodding my head!

So I know am not getting any worthy appraisal thanks to the monkeys. And I am frustrated but the monkey song would not let me be, it forces me to smile and nod!

It is like a bug. It isn’t even appealing like that hip number stuck in your head from a famous album. Because you need to be extremely careful not to let it slip out of your mouth because then you give off way too much about yourself than you intend to.

So you stop by at the petrol bunk to refuel; you are still nodding and swaying; then the rhyme slips out in a hum and there the world knows that you are no longer just a woman – who may or may not be married – who may or may not have kids. You are a mom and you listen to the rhymes more than you have listened to everything else cumulated over the years!