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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Image credit – http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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!

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.

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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.

Marriage in a Coffee Mug


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In the early days of our marriage, my husband and I went out one evening to a home exhibition and sale, as we were setting up our new home, and wanted to buy stuff for the house.

There was a sale on,  for porcelain kitchenware. I was drawn like a magnet to a set of coffee mugs, that looked like pieces of tree trunks, with gnarled knobs and ring patterns. They looked unique, and so inviting.

My husband did not like these mugs at all. He wanted something simple. We argued (must have been one of the first arguments, me thinks).  Finally, we agreed to disagree; and the coffee mugs came home. All six mugs are still intact and have lasted us many, many years. My husband has grown to like them over the years.

While the lasting love, commitment and promises are the foundation of a marriage, it is these simple things and moments that form the bricks of any marriage.

Be it about making up after an agreement, or letting go ‘for’ your spouse without allowing ego to walk-in to a situation.

It is about his choice versus yours many a time, and having the wisdom to disagree without malice. It is about the small joys of reading a book together or shopping for grocery. It is about egging each others’ fitness goals, and then also indulging in a huge dollop of icecream together.

It is about seeing yourselves in your children, and also realizing that your children are not you. It is about being able to laugh at yourselves and being able to cry together. It is about doing everything together, and then doing nothing together.

It is about watching movies and munching popcorn together, as much as it is about who will clear up afterwards.

It is this and that. It is black and white and all colours. It is about being a team, as much as it is about being two individuals.

It is also definitely about having strong filter coffee from coffee mugs that have witnessed all these moments in your marriage.

Ludo, digitally!


The kids are super excited that their father and I have joined them for a game of Ludo. We are a little rusty but quickly reacquaint.
There’s a huge difference, we are playing Ludo digitally on the tablet. We get started…the first thing that hits me is that there is no dice to roll, the application does all the hard work. Cleverly positioning the dice on the board, while appearing to roll it, is no longer possible. No scrambling on all fours to look for the dice that has rolled under the sofa.

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The kids are very enthusiastic….razor sharp observers..every move is planned and executed. Maybe it is age; or maybe it is a dulling of the competitive streak within me, but I am very passive in my play.
However, the children more than make up for it. They boo, they clench their fists, wish the worst for their sibling, cross their fingers & toes ….all wishing for that magical 6 or 4 or 1 that they want.
My shoulders silently shake in mirth. I can picture this scene 30 years ago, as my sisters and I bayed for each others’ blood, even for these simple board games. My daughter catches me laughing…her irritation peaks.
My son has assumed two Avatars for this game, the first is that of an aggressor…out to vanquish his sister; the second as a protector of his innocent mom, who he feels is so innocent as to require saving from the wily moves of the other players. He sacrifices a move to protect my coin, his sister smirks…’oh, how kind you are’! My son holds my hand reassuringly and glares at her.
The game goes on…they swear that they will not speak to each other. The winner does a victory dance, the other heaps curses…business as usual. The house is silent..the children are not talking to each other.

The next day…they are at a loose end, ego is sacrificed as they sign a truce and the game starts again.

Not a cent…


A couple of years ago, my son came up to me, and asked if he could start getting pocket money on a regular basis.

I asked him if he needed to buy anything?

“Yes, I need many things. So,  I thought I would plan out what I need, and buy it with my pocket money”, he said.

We agreed on an amount, and a few chores that he needed to do to earn a portion of the pocket money. The deal was signed.

After a few weeks of saving up, one evening, he came to me with a list of things he wanted to buy.

So, we went down to the local super-market, and a stationery shop. 

My son looked for all the items he wanted, noted down the prices, added, subtracted, deleted and prioritized…and then guess what?

He did not spend even a single cent!

I asked him for the reason.

He mulled over my question and said, “Things are so expensive, I have to plan better.”

I smiled. Kids…give them their own money and they are loath to spend it!!

What is happiness?


What is happiness? Happiness is anything that gives you joy and peace. Happiness is inside each one of us and all around us in simple, everyday things…

To me, happiness is….

….watching a little puppy prancing around and greeting its mother

…..watching the ecstacy on a child’s face as his/her eyes track a bubble

……the bliss of that first gulp of water after a strenuous workout

…..that first spoon of a scoop of ice cream

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……the aroma and taste of that first sip of my morning coffee

….diving into the pool on a hot day

…..writing my name on a creamy white new notebook

…..that moment after piping hot food is served on my plate, and before I eat that first mouthful

….cuddling my children in the morning

…..sitting in companionable silence with my spouse, reading a book

…..laughing at a silly joke

…..coffee with one of my dear friends

….that unique smell when the first drops of rain meet parched earth

…..having lots of things to do

……having nothing to do

…..watching a great film, munching popcorn

…..going on a long walk on a bright, sunny day

…..tucking into a good book, with a cup of coffee, with rain lashing outside.

….writing my blog

….writing my first book

Happiness is in the simplest things.

What are the simple things that make you happy? Would love to know.

Of chipmunks and genes…


I am trying to concentrate on the document in front of me, but the children’s voices float towards me, breaking my flow of thought. I try to get back to work, but their decibel levels continue to rise. I decide to give myself a break, and walk over to see what they are doing.

They seem to have learnt about this new application on the iPad that can be used to produce music. Both of them are rapping, the same silly phrases over and over again.

I tell them that this continuous repetition reminds me of a game we used to play as children, which involved the players saying, ” 1,2,3, Luck, Luck, Luck”, each time a player spotted a water body like a pond, a lake or a well. We played this mostly when we travelled.

My children hear me out and ask me to repeat the chant…1,2,3…! Unbeknownst to me, they record my voice on this app.

Very soon, they clutch their stomachs and roll on the floor. The reason? The app can render your voice as a Chipmunk, or as a Monster, or from a faraway place etc.

Their mom as a chipmunk truly tickles them. Tears roll down their cheeks as they picture their mom this way. I laugh because it is contagious, but don’t find the chipmunk-mom voice funny.

My son asks me, “Mom, don’t you find it funny?”

I say, “Not really. I find the way you laugh funny.”

My son then says, “I know for a fact that I have atleast one ‘Self-developed Gene’ that I don’t get from either you or Dad. It’s my ‘sense of humour gene’!”

I laugh now, totally tickled by what my son just said.

Knocked on the head


This morning, I was cleaning the bath, and the shelves above it that hold  shower gels, soaps and shampoos. While I was at it, the shower curtain rod gave way and fell on my head!

I shouted out, more from the sudden shock rather than from any pain, though there was a little bit of pain.

My son heard me shouting and came running inside.

“What happened mom?” he asked.

When I told him that the curtain rod had hit my head, he looked worried.

Then he said, “Tell me quickly, what is two plus two.”

When I gave the correct answer, he  said, “Phew! You’re ok then. Don’t worry.”

A bathroom singer is born


My son has recently discovered that he has a voice, and that it sounds better when it is echoing off the walls of the bathroom!

So, he goes in for his bath and we get treated to a good ten minutes of non-stop singing.

He starts off with One Direction, then moves to Bollywood.

“Owww!” he yells. Looks like he has stubbed his toe. The ‘Owww’ transforms into a Michael Jackson number. We are all gathered outside listening to him, smiling in enjoyment.

There is a cuckoo that says coo, coo in rhythmic intervals from a tree in the garden. This gives him scope for a new composition of his own.

“Coo, coo, I am singing. Oh Cuckoo ….”, he sings.

Suddenly, he hops genres and is belting out old forgotten nursery rhymes.

We thoroughly enjoy his performance. Suddenly, the shower stops. We hear the latch turning. We flow away like water, to our respective chores.

My son comes out,  humming softly to himself.