Round and ‘Lound’

Earlier this week, I was watching a movie, when a commercial for Oreo biscuits played. Watching it made me remember a funny incident that happened with my little nephew, as told to me by my sister.

My sister was busy working, when my nephew went up to her and said, “Ma, I want ‘lound’ biscuits (his ‘r’ comes out as an ‘l’ when he speaks):).

My sister replied, “Sure baby, I will get you Oreo biscuits.”


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My nephew said, “Ma, I don’t want Oleo, I want  ‘lound’ biscuits.”

My sister explained that Oreos were also round in shape, but my nephew insisted.

Finally my sister separated the two sides of the Oreo biscuits and gave them to him.

My nephew said, “I want four biscuits.”

My sister gave him four pieces, a little puzzled by his request, and then went back to work. My nephew went back to his toy cars and vehicles, making vrooming (vlooming…..) sounds.

A couple of days later, when my sister was putting away toys in my nephew’s play room, she found a toy bus, whose wheels had fallen away.  My nephew had placed the four Oreo biscuits in place of the wheels of the bus…!


Of Grammar and Haircuts

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon.We are at my mom’s.  After a sumptuous Indian lunch, my sister and I are in food- induced bliss. Our eyes close involuntarily. From sitting positions, we are suddenly stretched out on the bed.

The kids are, as always, energetic and bubbling-over with enthusiasm. The decibel levels drop as the body’s ears work their magic and shut down external sounds in preparation for sleep.

I snuggle into the quilt, as it’s a grey, cold day. My sister must have also dozed off. We are suddenly woken up by my little nephew’s sweet voice. My sister and I wake up at the same time, to see him talking to my children. He is standing by the dresser, his back turned to us.

He says, “Mom, I cutted my hair.”

Pat comes the reply from his mom, “It’s not cutted my hair, it is cut. Can you repeat that again – ‘I cut my hair’.

My nephew replies, “Mom, I cut my hair.”

And that’s when he ambles over to the bed, with a pair of scissors in his hand, pointing innocently to the middle of his head, where he has cut off a little hair.

My sister jumps up in alarm and admonishes him. Then she asks, “Why did you do that?”

With his eyes open wide he replies, “I don’t like the girl-hair style.”

Hmmm…from grammar-teacher to strict mom to worried mom, it is fun to watch the switching mom roles my sister plays to handle her four year old!

Walking down a busy street

In India, most cities and towns have these streets (the equivalent of the high streets that one finds in the West), which are the nerve-centres for everyday shopping. Ranging from supermarkets to cafes and clothes retailers, these streets have them all.

It is early evening, and there’s a nip in the air. Winter’s setting in and wollen caps and sweaters are in evidence.

I am walking down the busiest street in our area, looking to buy some footwear. There are hundreds of people on the street. The street slopes downwards, and from where I stand, I get a wonderful view of the bustle.

People are getting home after a long day at work and stopping-by to either pick up supplies, buy take away dinner, buy vegetables or stand around – eating piping hot samosas and drinking masala chais.

I stroll down and soak-in the spirit of the place. My first stop is before a lady who sells flowers. She is a street-hawker and has a cane basket with different flowers.


I see that she has these lovely purple-mauve flowers, popularly known as the ‘December Poo’, meaning flowers that bloom in December. The flowers have been beautifully threaded into long rolls. I ask her if I can click a picture and she obliges, as do many others.

Twilight sets in and the birds are flying back to their nests, flocks of them dotting the sky. Below, people are also in a hurry to get home.


The peanut seller and the corn seller have set up their trolleys at vantage locations to catch the crowds. The lady selling corn has a burning coal pit, over which she lazily turns a corn cob. The smells are delicious.

There are many more stalls that sell flowers and vegetables. The ladies are seated adjacent to each other, their stalls lit by single electric lamps. The veggies are neatly arranged in baskets.


At every stall, people are bargaining. We Indians (both the vendors and the buyers) love to bargain. So, back and forth go the discussions, till finally both sides are happy.


There are stalls selling earrings and clips and rubber bands. All those small things that make-up our every day lives.

There is so much energy all around me. A slice of everyday life. I click a few pictures.


I stop by at a famous bakery, famous for its butter biscuits and honey cakes. I order butter biscuits ‘to go’, and sink my teeth into a deliciously soft honey cake. I observe the street, as the cake melts in my mouth.

Twilight has transformed into night. Stars make their appearance, a twinkle here and a twinkle there, as I head homewards.

‘Colour’ & ‘Black & White’

A couple of days ago, I took this shot of a temple’s gopuram (tower), for it looked so majestic against the blue sky.


I came home and played about with the photo on my photo editor and gave the picture a sepia tone. And this is how it looked.


On seeing the image, I was immediately transported to a long-ago time, where monochrome ruled our lives.

Of old albums with lacquer covers, and black mounting sheets, on which fathers and moms, meticulously captured family history, baby photo-diaries and lots more.

Where there was no ‘digital’, only ‘physical’.  Photos that aged with a yellow sepia tone, capturing moments from our childhood – big ribbons and pretty frocks, sometimes dressed exactly like our siblings. Seeing a younger version of our parents and a time in their lives before ‘us’, their children.

I am sure most homes have at least one of these old albums, which captured family history and memories.

We will never know the colour in those pictures, but we do have a strong emotional connect with them. In our album we have many such wonderful photos – there is a photo of my husband and his brother on a scooter, my dad and his friend standing on our lawn, with a guitar, my sisters and I, dressed in identical skirts, and smiling at the camera!

The culture of physical albums is fast fading; now, it is all about digital archiving, and having the flexibility to edit memories and tell whatever stories one wants!

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The black eye

As the years fly past, the mirror tells you things that you do not necessarily want to know, or acknowledge.

So, a few days ago, one of my friends asked me if I was sleeping ok, as there were black circles under my eyes. She recommended an eye gel that would work magic.

I spent some time looking at my panda eyes and critically evaluated the possibilities. Yes, I definitely had black bags. Hmmm…

I went ahead and bought myself a good eye-gel. I have been using this for the last few days.

Last night, as I stood before the mirror and applied the eye-gel, I said to my husband, “Not sure if this thing really works. How will I know if it is indeed working?”


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My husband thought for a minute and came up with this very practical solution.

He said, “Why don’t you apply it on one eye only. Then you can very easily make out if it’s working.”

Men!!!! (Sigh). Imagine going around with one black eye!

When a little girl met the PM

Last week, excitement was palpable across our city. Every single school and  every single cultural society & organization in the city was readying itself in anticipation; for a very important visitor, who was none other than the Prime Minister of our country.

Schools rehearsed and practiced their song and dance routines. Many little children were identified from various schools, to stand on either side of the road at the entrance to the main auditorium, where the PM was to make his speech. These children were given flags to wave, and to greet the PM.


Finally the day dawned, and the city was ready.

My friend’s daughter was one of the kids standing at the entrance, waving a flag and waiting to greet the PM. When the Prime Minister reached and made his way to the hall, he stood at various places to shake hands with the little children and stopped at other places to talk to them.

My friend’s daughter was one of the lucky ones and got to shake hands with the Prime Minister.

My friend did not know about this till late in the evening, when they got back home. Her daughter, strangely, refused to wash her hands before dinner. My friend was flummoxed.

And after a little prodding, the little girl told my friend that the Prime Minister had shaken hands with her earlier in the day, and hence, she did not want to wash away that precious memory from her hands.