Monthly Archives: October 2016

Afternoon couch nappers

It is late afternoon. And in the tropics it means that the sun is blazing away mercilessly. It is that time of the day when the trees hunch their shoulders waiting for a breeze to lift their spirits, when the plants curl their leaves to keep cool and the normally vocal birds drop a few decibels. One can only hear a caw here or a muted chirp there.

I am sitting on the couch trying to catch up on my reading. And slowly the intruder walks up my hands, my shoulders and my neck and gently presses down on my eyes. Oh! The pleasure of catching a few winks.

My body relaxes, as my eyes close involuntarily. The words blur in front of my eyes, dancing into each other. My head starts lolling to one side, my body starts keening to the right.The brain is alerted suddenly, as it knows that I am going to topple over. As if by magic, my body straightens itself, and again the eyes droop and the lolling starts.

Courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

The book starts its journey from my lap to the floor. The characters from the book inhabit my dreams, as I fall deeper into layers of sleep. 

The cuckoo from the cuckoo clock announces the hour. I am startled awake.  I realize that it has only been 10 minutes since I fell asleep. I stretch and smile. 

I feel so refreshed and good. 

“Must be genetic”, I say to myself. My family has many ‘afternoon couch nappers’.

I remember happy and lazy Sunday weekends when aunts, uncles and my dad would nap, while sitting on the couch and reading a book or the newspaper. My cousins and I would giggle as we saw them nod off, or watch their books slide down, or hear gentle snores escaping them.

The moment you shook them awake and asked them to lie down, they would become alert and lose all interest in napping..they could only steal a few winks while seated. I miss those fun days.

At least the ‘afternoon nap’ genes have been passed down.

Advertisements

Food phases

The festival of Navrathri is finally over. My dolls are back in their boxes, for a year-long break. The couches are back in position, and sarees put away to be dry cleaned. It’s been back-breaking work, and it’s finally done.

I take a breather and stand on the balcony watching the late afternoon sun cast long shadows on the park below. The park is empty except for a mom and her toddler.

It’s the toddler’s snack time, and the mom has a colourful bowl in her hand, filled with the snack.

It is so much fun to watch the scene below, unfold. The kid keeps running away each time his mom approaches. She chases him, he runs faster. She calls him, he hides. She pleads, he giggles. She bargains, he relents. He comes over for a spoonful of food. The cycle repeats again.


Courtesy – http://www.illustrationsof.com

The mom is fully determined to ensure that the contents in the bowl are transferred to the toddler’s stomach. The kid wants to ensure that he maximizes his time outdoors in the park, without the constant interruption of something as trivial as food.

I laugh out as I remember how my daughter used to drink liquids only from medicine dispenser cups (those really teensy ones). It took forever, but i still remember how my husband and I never gave up. 

With many years of parenting wisdom behind me, I want to tell the mother in the park below that there will be different ‘food phases’ in her children’s life.

There will be a phase when the child will eat the very same meal for days on end, there will be a phase when the child will detest a particular vegetable or meal, and then again, be prepared, for the same child will love these very same meals and relish them.

Then will come the phase when the children will love the food cooked by their friends’ moms,  and the phase when they will constantly raid the kitchen for food and more food, and then the phase where they will get bored with mom’s food, and the phase when they will go away from home for school trips or to the hostel, and then come back and tuck in to a home-cooked meal and say, “Wow, I so missed this food.”

I watch the park below. The mom-son duo are still running around. I smile and head back in.

The sounds of home

A home is filled with love, laughter, petty squabbles, music and home-cooked food; a home is also filled with the sounds of various appliances that support us and make our lives easier. 

People usually tell us to stop and listen to the sounds of nature. But I tell you, if you stop and listen carefully, you will hear the ‘sounds’ of your home – the spinning of the washing machine, the wind flapping the curtains, the kettle boiling and lots more.

And most women I know have this uncanny ability of knowing when something is not quite right with these sounds. A discordant note here, a flicker there, a creak here or a rattle there. 

We just know.

And sometimes, many such devices at home gang up and create a cacophony at the same time.

This week was one such for me. It all started when our washing machine seemed to have decided that it wanted to run from its place in the service area – it rattled and groaned and thrashed about with a high-pitched creaking sound. Adding to this were the washing basin that went on strike by clogging itself, a faulty electric connection in the study room and a drip in one of the pipes.

Courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

So it’s been a long week. Only one problem has been fixed. The others will happen this week hopefully.
After which, the sounds in my home will be harmonious once again.

Has this happened to you?

Magic in the sky

One of the first few things kids are taught in kindergarten is about rainbows and their colours. I am sure every child has at some point coloured rainbow colouring sheets or drawn a smiling sun with a colourful rainbow!

It was just another day yesterday, a busy Friday, with the promise of the weekend looming. As birds flew back to their nests and people wound down at work to head home, there was an ‘oh so gentle’ drizzle, when I turned my face to the sky.

In a few minutes, traffic slowed down, people stopped in their tracks and children paused their games – to see two absolutely stunning rainbows across the sky. Wow…there was magic in the air. The excitement in my children’s voices was palpable.

Why this fascination with the rainbow? What is it that it does to us? 
For me a rainbow is a rare thing of great beauty, which appears when certain conditions are perfect, and combine to create this spectacle. Rainbows bring out the child in each of us, filling us with joy and hope.

Each time I look at a rainbow, I check for the VIBGYOR colours. Sometimes the colours are blended in, sometimes they are distinct and clearly visible.

I still remember seeing twin rainbows in the sky in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, as a herd of African Elephants walked slowly across the grassland, the calves seeking shelter under their moms.

Every rainbow is a moment, a moment of possibilies, childhood memories, colouring sheets and sheer magic.