Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A question on drawing

I met a kid I know after her Board exam. “It was super easy,” she said. “Everyone cheated.”
We all laughed. That was funny. And then sad.

It took me back to my own student days. I remember an exam where I squinted hard at question no. 29, all the while being prodded by someone’s foot from behind, getting a loud whisper from the left, and a dig in my ribs from the right. The 2 students ahead of me had their heads joined into 1 big solar eclipse.
Did I cheat?
No. Maybe…. Yes ! Once or twice. Or maybe thrice. To help out a friend in need. Or just to be cool, and ‘with it’ and ‘with them’.

It took me to the future too. What am I going to tell my own little boy? To draw the line? To be honest, and then get shredded to pieces outside the class by his mates? Will I sweep up the pieces, cello-tape him up and tell him I’m proud of him? Or will I tell him to go by his instincts? To go with the “flow”? To do what he wants to do?

No, I will have to say No. Not once. Not ever.
Because I’m not his pal. I’m his Ma.
Because I first put that pencil into his tiny hand. And now, if I don’t teach him to draw the line, who will?

Friday, March 27, 2009

8 women vs 1 decision

Who said women can’t decide? A blue dress or green? Both ! – that’s a decision, isn’t it? Yesterday, for example, 8 of us women met for lunch and decided on where to have the next lunch. It took us 4 hours – but that’s not the point !

Minutes of the meeting :
-Let’s do Saturday lunch for a friend’s farewell. 2 women going to be stuck in hospital. 1 will be stuck with 2 kids (not even her own). So Saturday lunch is out.
-Saturday dinner? With partners then. 4 for the motion, 3 against, 1 in the loo.
Too much for 1 woman to cook. So eating in is out. Eating out is in.
13 restaurants discussed, 13 excuses for not going to any of them : - Too expensive - Too cheap (waiters are pigs) - Continental – too bland - Andhra – too spicy for kids (Kids? We’re bringing the kids?)
Realise kids are tearing each other apart in the other room. 1 is learning to skate, with another learning to trip him. 2 are trying to sleep on the floor, while the others play hopscotch on them. 3 are fighting over 1 car, while 77 other cars lie close by. 2 are trying to pull the fish out of the fish tank.
Eating IN is back in. Too much for 1 woman to cook. So who cooks what? (The last time we spent 3 hours discussing a picnic and who would bring what, and then 3 seconds the next day canceling it all).
EMERGENCY BREAK : 1 kid locks himself into a room. 35 minutes spent with everyone trying to explain to him how to open it. 11 minutes spent planning to climb the balcony to the window sill to the room – to find the kid is already out.
55 minutes spent discussing how we cannot decide on anything.
Monday lunch is now in.
Phew ! Finally ! 3 hours, 59 seconds !!!
The girl to be farewelled walks in. She cannot come for Monday lunch. We cannot have a farewell without the girl to be farewelled.
Back to the beginning.

Learning : S tells me it takes 8 men (or 80) exactly .33 seconds to decide on where to have lunch. There is only 1 criterion. There has to be beer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love goes around - and around

6 years ago, I opened an anniversary gift from Shilpa, to find a poisonously-pink scented candle, with a huge LOVE carved into it. I grimaced in pain, put on my dark glasses and hid it on the top shelf (don’t deny you have one) – to give the gift you’re never going to use – to someone else who’s never going to use it.
When Riyah, an arty-party-pink-candle person insisted I come for her kitty party, I gave her the LOVE candle as a sign of protest. (She’s been giving me sly smiles ever since). Riyah then gave it to her boyfriend as a sign of their eternal love. He left her next month, and gave it to his new girlfriend Alia, as a sign of their eternal love. Alia put it on her grand-aunt’s grave, hoping they’d bury it too.
But the priest took a liking to it and took it back. He gave it to an Australian called Barry for a reason no one knows (or dares guess at). Barry took it back to Australia and gave it to Sam as a sign of Indian Tribal Art. Sam flung it out of his back window. Vanessa D’Cruz, who was Sam’s neighbour, found it flying at her while she was de-worming her plants, and saw it as a sign from God. She took it back to Goa on her next trip back to India, and gave it to Sr. Nobilia as a sign of Australian Tribal Art.
Sr. Nobilia put it on the altar, and Cindy stole it (this part of the story is not proven, since Cindy denies it). But Cindy, who wanted to make it in Bollywood, gave it to Kareena Kapoor’s make-up assistant who was doing a shoot in Goa. Who gave it to his wife’s younger sister, Meera, as a sign of his love. Meera hated him and the candle. She left it in a fish market.
OK, so here the story got lost… but last week, I met Tanya, whose hair I once put chewing gum on. Tanya tells me all’s forgiven, and she’s taken days to make me something special. It smells of fish and graveyards. And there it is…in all its pinkness - the LOVE candle.
Learning : Please don’t send me candles. Please don’t send me invites to kitty parties. Please don’t send me junk mails. And please do send this junk mail pink candle story to atleast 43,118 people you know immediately, and wait for a miracle to happen tomorrow

Friday, March 20, 2009

Look Ma, 10 hands !

“My son can count 1 to 100 – backwards – in Latin,” said 1 proud mom in the park.
My son thinks Latin is the next action hero. I gotta do something NOW… so I dashed around picking up info on how to make my kid into Superkid. Surprise – there are tons of classes offering to turn Neel into Tiger-Bill-Gates-Barrack-Obama-Woods !

Where I live, every kid goes to math genius class, soccer genius class, Art genius class, reading story class (takes a genius to start a class for that), music genius class…. So I enrolled my 4 year old in music, badminton, swimming and dance class – all of which he lasted a week in.

Anyways, so we’re going to have, in the next 10 years, every child who is brilliant, comes 1st in class, is a tennis pro, a swimming champ, wins the Oscar, Nobel and Pulitzer together, plays 6 instruments, speaks 16 languages, and builds a submarine with his bare hands, while doing backward somersaults on the trapeze bar.
Or they’re gonna land up to be very bad losers (because no one wants to come 2nd !). And pick up a gun and shoot everyone who’s done better than them.

Learning : So – me ! I’m going to find something my son is really bad at, and then train him to do even worse. We’ve all gotta learn to come last – I did in the marathon – even after taking a taxi half-way ! He’s going to land up as a loser-hippie-rock n roller on the beach (hmm – should I send him to Rock music class?)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've got less friends than you on Facebook

I just got a ‘friend invitation’ from someone I don’t know on Facebook who has 872 friends. Some collection huh? Beats my mom’s collection of old newspaper recipes since 1958.
Anyway, I’m sorry, it’s a no. I’m not a collector’s item – but I could put you onto my Ma, if you’d like.

So here’s a list of my own :

If you’re my friend, you gotta earn it, dude (And never call me that) ! Meet over a coupla coffees (and spare me the lecture on my 3 sugars), have a few earth-shattering fights (over an issue you can’t even spell when you’re sober), rush me to hospital after bad prawn curry with me puking all over the back seat of your car, sock someone in the eye because he called me a bad word (something only you can do!), let me fix you up with a blind date and threaten to kill me later.

Do 872 people actually know your deepest darkest fears, like the chicken kabab on your plate may suddenly come to life?

When I change my status line on Facebook, only those who know me will say “Jane has now changed her status to “Jane is a raving lunatic” but hey- isn’t that what she always was?”

My apologies to the 872 – or now 871er ! Put it down to a bad case of Sour Grapes, ok?
And hellooooooo there to my good many good friends on Facebook, and out of it. And a few who are almost there! But first I’ve got to find out if they’re worthy – or rather if the backseat of their car is puke-worthy !

Friday, March 13, 2009

Do the Fetness Quiz now

I’m not fat, and definitely not fit. Somewhere in between...fet?
See – being Fet is gonna be the latest craze, and remember you heard it first from ME.

1. Fet is looking at this skinny girl in skinny jeans, with a skinny IQ walking past, and sucking in your belly – and then letting it out with a whooooooosh, that almost blows her away like a leaf – sorry, skinny leaf. 25 points !!!

2. Fet is promising to exercise everyday. Before I can swim, I need to exercise to wear that swimsuit. Before I can do yoga, I need to buy a mat. Before I can go for a walk, I need to pull my jogging shoes out of mothballs. So drive around instead… it’s a lot of stress – which in turn, burns calories. 18 points !!!

3. Fet is getting your lingo right. You have child-bearing hips (not called a big butt) - 20 points. Delicious curves (not bulges) that drive men in Cosmo crazy – 25 points. You have muscles (not called fat arms) (all the better to smack them with, if they’re looking at Ms Skinny). 142 points !!!

Scoring : Now add up all your points. If you’re over 3 points, you’re very Fet - go treat yourself to a hot chocolate fudge. If you’re over 4 points, you’re a Fetness guru - buy yourself a pair of jogging shoes and put them into mothballs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Supper Theatre

Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper. Lucky dude! I need to dance a jig, bribe, wheedle, and run negotiations that would make a Trade Union Leader proud.

“Dinner’s Ready !” (Me)
Neel : Why?
Me : It’s Yum spinach and corn
Neel : Why ? (Neel’s reaction to anything not Pizza)
Me : Because it will give you muscles like Popeye
Neel : Why ? I wanna look like Ben 10’s aliens (one of whom has Four Arms, and another a Crocodile Head)
Me : Nothing I cook will ever make you look like that !
Neel : So let’s order Pizza !

Next is Nik’s turn. I spend 45 minutes stuffing his face. It’s like stuffing cotton into a pillow. Nik never chews. Nik never swallows. His mouth keeps getting fuller, till the hi-tech machinery inside his mouth churns all the accumulated food into a looooooong noodle which he spits out at the nearest impossible-to-clean surface.

My dog Marco pops an eyebrow up at his dinner bowl with a Where’s-the-pizza,-Woman? Look and goes back to licking his balls, which he thinks are tons tastier.

By the time, it’s all over, I’m boiling and my own dinner’s cold. “I’m going to bed hungry,” I announce, expecting everyone to melt with sympathy.
“That’s not fair. Why can’t I do that?” – from Neel.

Thank God for S, who is a human vacuum cleaner and eats everything that’s left over. He is one of those gifted persons who eats like he’s pregnant but still looks like a noodle (that Nik spat out).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When did you become an Aunt?

I was 24, and sprinting across the playground to my cousin’s place, when I heard the words that made me turn around in slow-mo.
“Auntie, pass the ball !”
Auntie? Who Me? Noooo !
I kicked their dratted ball right even further away, right over the wall, and ran to the mirror.
No grey hairs, butt’s in shape, or is it? … Auntie? Reallllly ?! I decided to start kickboxing classes immediately. (kick-butt-boxing classes – multiple puns intended).

My husband, before he became my husband, that is, got his first ‘uncle’ when he was a bachelor on his first job. At a dinner at his boss’ house, the boss’ pretty young 18-year-old pranced in…and S got his hopes a-soaring.
The Boss then introduced them “This is Manya. Manya, say Hello to this UNCLE.”

One day, you’re a nose-ringed, dirty-jeaned rebellious teen, and the next day, you’re the one being rebelled against. It’s a fine line…the next fine line’s called a wrinkle.

Learning : Years later, when my first-born first called me “Mama”, I yahoooed with joy. Why do I love being called Mama, but break into red spots at ‘Auntie’?