Thursday, May 27, 2010

germ warfare

I am sick.
Day 10 now. Coughing like an old car, and head thumping like a new drumset.
And I didn’t do NOTHING to get sick, honest !
What’s happened to my immunity?

Down Memory Lane :
Memory 1 :
I lived in a place where they bred cows for the milk next door. I used to spend my time hanging over the cow shed wall – making friends with all the buffalo calves – they are downright cute! All that cowdung and smell ! And I’d be in the middle of all of it, cuddling them up. Come right home, feeling hungry and make up a sandwich WITHOUT washing my hands.
Healthy as a horse ! (Excuse the mixing of metaphors and animals).

Memory 2 :
Playing all day – dashing around in the mud – hot sunny day – buying 2 rupee iced water in hideous colours of parrot green and orange from the roadside (though it was rumoured they made it from the gutter water).
Gastro-enteritis? Not a whisper !

Memory 3 :
Icy-cold Jamshedpur winter. Freeeeeeezing, and on top of it, it was raining. Saw from my verandah, some lil puppies getting drenched and howling on the road. Went running down (umbrella? Nah!) – and carried them all to push them under a culvert –, and wiping the rain streaming down my face -off at the same time.
Unhygienic? Fleas? Rabies? How do you spell all that?

Not fair. Fast forward a coupla decades – and here I am – being good. Using umbrellas in the rain, and hand SANITIZER – and half the preventive pharmacy – and guess what?

Caught some big bad bugs.
My kids cuddling up to me, kissing me all over my germ-infected nose - and still healthy as - horses!

Learning : Guess those guardian angels that they say kids have? That’s really true.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Early bookings

Every alternate Sunday morning, like a good convent-educated girl, I make my way to worship. In the crowded, dusty environs of Eloor library. Which holds, in the most no-nonsense style, the best books to be had in the city. There, I spend a good part of the morning hours browsing, reading, searching, giggling at a funny line, raising my eyebrows at the audacity of someone who can’t write at all, tip-toeing to the top shelf to get a look at the books hidden up there, sneezing at the cobwebs.
All, in all, it’s a fabulous wouldn’t-give-it-up-for-the-world morning. I come away feeling refreshed (though a lot grimier).

Once in a while, S and I take the boys, in an attempt to introduce them early to this wonderful world of make-believe that makes the world of non-make-believe a lot more livable. Each time, we do this, we promise never to repeat it again.

S goes down one aisle to his section of books heavy enough to start weight-lifting with, with pages full of words no one but the author (and apparently S) had heard of. He then turns to his other interest – absolute mind-smashing Wild West comic books. Similarly, I window-shop through all the erudite master-pieces, cluck at the wisdom and the beauty of those Pulitzer prize winners, and then settle for some nail-biting thriller I can read before falling asleep.

Neel reads (has just learn to read) in loud stage whispers : “P-A-N-T-H-E-R TALES.”
Nik : Whasthat mean, Neel?
Neel (who admits to not knowing nothing) : It’s about why you can’t wear pants if you have tail.s
A couple of giggles around the library. A loud sssssssssshhhhhhhh.

Chastised, Neel goes on to read another book, loudly and all wrong.
Niks soon bored, goes to his favourite task here. He rearranges all the reading stools. He stocks them up on each other, then tries to climb up the whole unholy pile, and before he crashes to the floor, someone kind thankfully catches him. Then he starts all over again.

S often thinks of charging Nik’s audience for the entertainment he never fails to provide.

Neel, meanwhile, has moved to another section of the library, it seems from his loud rendering of “L-A-D-Y C-H-A-TTTTTT-something – L-O-V-E-R”.

Sorely tempted to disown both, and leave them behind in the library, S and I, nevertheless, act the part of responsible parents, and quickly hustle them away. We pay for our books, and rush out red-faced, promising yet again, never to bring them here again.

We are half-way home when we find that Niks has become the world’s littlest shop-lifter, and certainly the first in our family. He clutches on, innocently, to the Little book of Classic Quotes.

With a sigh, we turn back.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jane Funda’s workout

To those of you who ask me how I stay slim in spite of 2 kids, I say I stay slim BECAUSE of 2 kids. But here's my secret - the daily exercise regimen - never miss a day.

Yoga : Start the day by lying on a mat staring at the ceiling.
Breathe in, saying “Oooooooooooom”
Breathe out, saying “WHO threw ketchup at the ceiling?!!!”

Aerobics : (good for the heart)
It’s gonna rain. Run up the stairs, to pull in all the clothes drying out. Kids run after me to help. Niks throws a clean bed sheet over the terrace wall. It falls to the ground 3 storeys below.
Run 6 flights of stairs down to get the bed sheet, run up 6 flights of stairs back to the terrace. Find that Niks has thrown all the clothes clips over the wall. Run down…. (to be repeated at least thrice).
Scream and rant and rave at Niks (bad for the heart).

Rest : (Finally slump down on pillow for well-deserved rest).
Jump up, with pillow jumping with me. Why? Someone has stuck chewing gum on the pillow. Spend 1 hour vigorously washing hair, and finally have to cut off some strands.

Dance :
So angry now, that should catch and whack the butt of some offending kid. Easier said than done!
Lunge to the left. Bend to the right. Jump over the chair. Dive under the bed. A 1- and a 2- and a- 3- Stretch to the top of the cabinet – a-4- and a- 5- (count till 30 and if haven’t caught the kid till then, let him go!)

Meditate :
Close eyes, sit in a dark room and listen to the sound of …
“Mama, potty!”
“Mama, Marcopolo is chewing up my underwear.”
“Mama, how do I get a crayon out of my nose?”

Learning : Dash around doing three things at once, maybe 40 times a day, and I guarantee you – even after eating comfort-food of a double bar of rich chocolate a day – you will – on this exercise plan– lose 5 pounds a month (and a lot more hair).