Monthly Archives: February 2016

The questions kids ask…

We wake up on most days without an inkling of what our dreams were. However, once in a while, we remember with the greatest clarity the vivid kaleidoscope of our dreams; dreams that switch scenes rather abruptly, the appearance of characters from our lives, who have been hiding in the grey folds of our memories, and other absurdities that can never, ever happen in waking life.

I woke up this morning with amazing clarity about the dream I had last night. I was very excited by the funny things that had happened and the swift changes of scene that had made the experience so exciting. I narrated it to my husband and children at the breakfast table. It went something like this –

“I come back home from a holiday to find that my house has a new wing added. I open the door to the new wing to find that the entire furniture from my grandmom’s house has been arranged here.  I look up to find one of my uncles walking up and down the hall. My mom suddenly announces that the banquet is ready. Soon, people are scurrying about, and there is a feast.

And suddenly, I am in bed, in a deep sleep. Both of you (my children) are sitting on either side. A lady with short hair is talking to both of you and you are responding…”

At this point in my narration my son interrupts, “Mom, I have a question?”

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Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

I ask, “What?”

He says, “If you were asleep in your dream too, how did you know what was happening?”

All of us laugh. If one is asleep in one’s own dream, how can one remember what happened!

Hmmm…the questions kids ask. Not that I had any answers.

Data vision

I am stretched out on the recliner and want to listen to some music. I connect my phone through the bluetooth to my sound bar.  Soon, melodious music surrounds me.

I can feel it, every fine nuance. I start thinking about the quality of speakers we have these days, and wireless technology. 

A strange thought strikes me. What if I could actually see the data travelling in space to the speaker. What would it look like.

I laugh aloud, because if we had ‘data vision’, we would probably be shocked by the zillions of zeros and ones, bits and bytes swamping us.

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    Courtesy – http://www.dailygenius.com

Since all messages and texts and music get to where they should, maybe the scene would look organized rather than  chaotic.

What if we could see this data, and just stood and shook all these bits and bytes. What would happen to them?

Music or photos, jokes or videos – they are but millions of tiny fellows marching towards a particular destination, with a clear focus and purpose.

These data bits have to be wonderful team players, since they have to reach their destination together, sometimes in a nice sequence.

I switch back to reality. The music envelopes me again. Hidden bits and bytes working their own special magic.

Why moms need buffer time!

I look at the clock. It is time to wake the kids up. In my sweetest voice, I tell them to wake up.

No movement, not even a flicker.  My heart melts as I see their innocent faces, lost in a far away land.

I raise my voice just a little – there is an answering grunt from one and a rustle of sheets from the other.

I announce that I will be back in 5 minutes. I get back to my chores. Five minutes later, I go back.

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          Courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

My voice is louder. Now I introduce the shake. I shake their feet to goad them into waking up.

The two stretch now, wishing both the morning, and me, away.  I issue a warning that I will not be coming back again.

I go back to my chores. From the eyes in the back of my head I can see two forms ambling about.

One comes into the kitchen for a hug. The other is sprawled lizard-like, on the couch. Hmmmm.

I call out to the one on the couch, and head to the bedroom to pick up something, and find that the hugger is spread-eagled on the bed. I sigh….and mutter.

“Just 10 seconds, mom? Please?” says a voice.

I walk back and decide to stop being the walking, wake-up alarm. I can see the couch lizard heading to the bathroom.

Soon two voices can be heard, alert and ready to take on the day, and to stake their claim on the bathroom.

Business as usual.

Coffee Corner

Coffee!

A word that needs to be spoken with reverence (all you coffee lovers out there, you should know what I mean).

The perfect cup of coffee in the morning is so many things – it deliciously kick-starts the day, it provides ample room for contemplation, it just lets you be yourself for those few moments.

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          Courtesy – en.wikipedia.org

Every coffee drinker has a ‘Coffee Corner’ or a ‘Coffee Ambience’.  A perfect corner in the house, where you are most comfortable; maybe sitting by the window and watching the trees or the road. Maybe sitting in your garden with nature’s magic exploding around you, and the fresh air of the morning invigorating you.

Maybe you share your ‘Coffee Ambience’ with your spouse, maybe you prepare breakfast and take delicious sips of your coffee in-between.

My Coffee Corner is by the balcony, on my easy chair, looking at the traffic and morning joggers, the orioles and the mynas, the green trees and my book shelf.

All is right with the world.

What’s your Coffee Corner or Coffee Ambience? Would love to know!

Butter biscuits

This afternoon, I was out to do my grocery shopping, when my eyes fell on a box of butter biscuits, neatly packaged and branded.

While I mulled over whether the kids would enjoy the biscuits, my mind raced back to my Grandma’s home.

Back then, we lived in a joint family. Most savouries and Indian sweets were made at home by my Grandma, my mom and my aunt.

However, we did not have an oven at my Grandma’s.   We were nine people at home, and most items were cooked or prepared in large quantities. 

Once every two months, my Grandma would walk down to a small bakery that was located close to the local race course.  She would buy baking flour, sugar, butter and other ingredients, and take it to the baker’s.  She would place  an order for a large quantity of butter biscuits.

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   Courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

In addition to the ingredients, she would also pass on a steel container that had a lid and a handle, which we called ‘steel thooku’, which means steel carrier. The order was usually ready the next day.

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Courtesy – http://www.trade.indiamart.com

On their way back from work, my dad or uncle would pick up the steel thooku filled with butter biscuits.

The moment the ‘thooku’ reached home, the children were called. The steel carrier was opened with fanfare. Perfectly formed golden, cream butter biscuits, nestled snugly between layers of butter-paper. The aroma that wafted out made our mouths water.

Each golden treat was a slice of bliss.The biscuits usually lasted only a week or slightly more. But while they lasted, we enjoyed every crumb and waited for the next lot!!

Mrs & Mr. Myna

It is about to rain. The skies are about to open up. Time seems to have slowed down. A cool breeze sweeps into the house giving us a heads-up about the rain that will soon follow.

The trees are swaying and whispering. I am sitting on the couch, between chores. The house is dark, with the sudden grey enveloping us. Outside, the green of the trees contrasts beautifully with the deep grey of the sky.

It is at this specific moment that two myna birds land on my balcony. They are quite vocal. Looks like they are husband and wife, and for sure, they seem to be arguing.

One of the mynas pecks at a wooden twig from my white orchid plant, and says something loudly to the other myna. They go back and forth, debating the merits of a certain twig, or a certain tree to build their nest in. They are oblivious to the breeze, and the grey, heavy clouds.

Their eyes and beaks flit constantly – possibly evaluating the strength of my orchid twigs. All through, they keep up their banter, now loud, now soft, now raucous.

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  Courtesy – http://www.wunderground.com

As the first heavy drops begin to plop down, the pair jump on to the balcony railings and swoop down into one of the trees. They are now beautifully camouflaged, probably continuing their conversation about where they can set up a stable and cozy home to welcome their little ones into the world.

Maybe, if the twig from my orchid plant passes muster, they will come back again.

The rain lashes on.

The Anatomy of a Ladies Trip

We are in Chennai. A bustling metropolis. Four women, who have travelled to this city to attend the dance debut of one of our mutual friends’ daughters.

All of us arrive the night before, from different places. The excitement of meeting like this – without husbands, children, work and everyday mundanities is potent.

We are staying with another dear friend. We wake up lazily, indulge in hot cups of aromatic filter coffee, gossip and sip more coffee. We laze about, finding this strange abundance of time so refreshing; where work, chores and children seem unreal. We catch up and discuss our lives.

When the sun hangs directly above our heads, we decide that we are famished. We are food-sisters, if you could call it that. We love food and enjoy eating out. So, the ubiquitous South Indian Thali gets our vote.

The four of us wait to hail autorickshaws for the short ride. We think we may need two autos to accommodate our frames. All the autos seem to be busy. Finally, one stops for us. The auto-driver bravely agrees to take the four of us. We squeeze in, with one of us spilling onto the side bar. Amidst a lot of giggling, we get dropped off at the restaurant.

The server asks us if we want the ‘limited’ or ‘unlimited’ Thali? The vote is unanimous for the Unlimited Thali, meaning you get more of any item you like.

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The delectable Vegetarian Thali with its tantalizing aroma, and vibrant colours, is placed before each of us. We tuck into the delicious food, mixing the gravies with rice, crushing the papads, tasting the tangy pickle. The eating process is made more enjoyable as we tease each other, and continue to be amazed at our appetites. We finish all the courses and wait for the dessert of hot gulab jamuns with icecream. Pure bliss!

We walk out into the afternoon, content with ourselves, and living in the moment, our busy lives temporarily erased.

We amble back, to burn off some of those calories. We then laze about discussing our wardrobes and what each is going to wear to the dance debut. We catch a few winks.

After another hot cup of coffee to revive  ourselves, we start getting ready. We leave for the function, enjoy it and head back to change into our everyday clothes. Back to airports, train stations and bus stations. Back to the routine.

It is so wonderful to be back home with the children and husband. The trip feels like a dream now.