Whatta misadventure….


I just spoke to my mom. She sounded really stressed. The reason ? Read on…..

Last weekend, my mom received a call from her neighbour, who lives in the flat directly below hers. She told my mom that she could hear the utility area tap running. This area is an open to sky area, used for washing.  My mom rushed to see, and saw the water gushing out.  She quickly closed the tap, and worried if she’d somehow forgotten to close it earlier in the day.  A couple of days later, the neighbour called again, with the same message.

My mom was totally spooked. What could it be? She kept up a constant vigil, but it did not happen again for a few days.

During her evening walk in the condominium, she came to know that many homes had had similar problems – of running taps. The building’s maintenance and security staff, alongwith the residents, was on a mission.

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Image courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

And, in a couple of days, they found that a monkey had entered the condo, and was cooling itself by opening taps, to beat the oppressive summer heat. A few residents also had the pleasure of the monkey’s company in their homes – they missed some fruit from their dining tables.

My mom is relieved that it was only a monkey, and nothing paranormal. The tap has now been secured with a rope.

The joke’s delayed


Last week, one of my friends had been to Korea on work.

To overcome the language barrier, there were interpreters and translators in every meeting.

My friend told me something, which I found quite funny.

During their meetings, after the initial shaking of hands and good mornings, the Koreans would talk, the interpreter would translate into English, and then my friend would respond in English, then the interpreter would translate it back into Korean. This went on, back and forth till both teams had settled into a rhythm, and were more comfortable with each other.

By the second day, they were comfortable enough to joke with each other; the funny part was the Koreans would say something funny and laugh. The interpreter would translate, and wait for my friend and his team to get the joke. They would then laugh.

Once my friend and his teammates got the joke, both sides laughed with complete understanding.

Language is no barrier. Jokes can be enjoyed with anyone, even if we have to wait a bit!

Contemplation – A short story


Veronica woke up with a mild headache. Her head felt heavy, and she  wanted to hop right back into bed. Sadly, that was not an option.

She worked at a primary school, and taught Grades 1 and 2. The headache only got worse as the day progressed. She popped a couple of tablets before she entered the Grade 2 class.

Twenty, bright-eyed six and seven year olds looked at her, some smiling, some lost and some grinning.

Today’s lesson was on the basic food groups and healthy diets. As she settled the class down, and gave out the worksheets, she heard a sudden snort of laughter. When she looked in the direction that the sound came from, many innocent faces met her eye.

In a few minutes, stifled laughter that could not be contained anymore, erupted. The laughter came from a little imp named Aarav, whose eyes crinkled in mirth. He held his stomach, as his body shook with this sudden laughing bout.

The headache was shaking Veronica’s insides, and with barely concealed irritation she asked Aarav to explain what he found funny.

The little boy pointed to a cartoon on the worksheet, which showed an elephant seated in a restaurant, with a plate before him that contained just one apple slice. A bubble next to the elephant read, “You call this a healthy diet?”

“So what’s so funny in this cartoon?” asked Veronica.

The laughter continued unabated. A few other shoulders shook silently.

Veronica said, “Aarav, I want you to go to the ‘Thinking Corner’ and contemplate your actions.

So Aarav went to the said Corner, and sat in the chair that faced away from the class.

Veronica’s headache got a little better.  The class went on. Veronica watched Aarav. She saw his shoulders shaking from time to time.  After a while, he seemed to have settled down.

She called out to him, “Aarav, you can come back to your seat. Have you thought about what you did?”

Aarav replied, “I did Ms.Rodrigues, but I still find it very funny.”

And the laughter started all over again. The laughter was contagious. Soon the whole class was laughing.

Veronica smiled and joined in. It was just one of those days!

Cool fragrance


We Indians love our kitchen masalas and powders. These powders are typically eaten with hot, boiled or steamed rice and a dash of ghee (clarified butter). There is a whole range available to choose from – coriander powder, curry leaf powder, lentil powder and many other delicious flavours.

One of my friends recently went to India, and picked up a selection of these powders for me.

After she got back from India, I had the plastic bag picked up from her house.
It was a rather busy week, and I did not have the time to empty the contents, so I put away the plastic bag in my freezer.

My dear friend had bought me a gift ( a perfume bottle and a moisturizing cream), which she had put into the same plastic bag.

As I had not opened the bag at all, the perfume and cream were in my refrigerator for a good week, till I met my friend.

When I thanked her (for the powders), she asked me, “Did you like the smell?”

I was quite puzzled. Why would she ask me about the smell of masala powders ?

I told her that I had not opened the bag yet, and she left it at that.

A few days later, I opened the packet to empty the powders and found her gift. Everything made sense.

I called my friend and we had a good laugh!

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.

When I entered the kids’ room….


Monday morning, and I stand in the children’s room with a dazed look.

Two phenomena seem to have hit the room – a Science project, and a long weekend. Phew!

I survey the C.H.A.O.S. Where do I begin? This is going to take a while. My mind tempts me to run away. Maybe a cup of strong coffee later, this mess may actually not look as bad as it seems?

Maybe NOTHING. I start plodding through the remnants of scientific genius, discarded ideas, shreds of paper in every conceivable colour, blobs of glue that have bound many of these shreds together, twine, miles of twine, that have snaked their way under the study table and swivel chairs. I take a break.

I move to another part of the room.

“Ouch!” A small, colourful board pin has entered my heel. I gingerly remove it. More paper, and many dinosaur toys, all entangled in twine, velcro pieces now, stuck to felt paper, which is in turn stuck to Blu-tac.  There is a shower of pencil shavings as I move a few notebooks, treasures that have been waiting to greet me!

Under the dump that’s the bed, I find 3 pairs of scissors! The icing on the cake is a small bottle of black paint that has not been closed. Now I look part-leopard, part mom.

Some semblance of normalcy is returning to the room, but my BP is shooting up. As my hands sift through the mess, my mind conjures up dire punishments and threats.

The bedsheet seems to have been pulled away from the cot. I tug at it, and look under. There, I find something that makes me laugh out loud.

My son has made a make-shift hospital for one of his Ben10 toys there. The toy has a broken knee. He seems to have fixed it with Blu-tac, and an ice-cream stick for support, giving his toy a cool, dark place in which to recuperate.

This, I am loath to disturb.

The lost suitcase


My friend and I recently took a domestic flight in India, to attend the silver wedding anniversary celebrations of one of our very dear friends.

Each of us had checked-in a small suitcase. The flight was a short one, and before we knew it, we were at the luggage carousel, waiting for our bags to arrive.

Mine was one of the first few to arrive. Fifteen minutes later, my friend was still waiting for her bag. By then, most people had taken their bags and left the airport.

We barely noticed all this, as we chatted on. My friend had her eye on the carousel, but there was no sign of her suitcase.  It took us a while to realize that we were the only ones left and that there was only one black suitcase going around on the carousel. My friend was really worried and we started talking about how we would register a complaint. The more worrying part was that the clothes for the party were gone now.

As we walked towards the customer service counter, it suddenly hit my friend that the black suitcase was actually hers. She had started packing in a red suitcase , but had shifted to the black one later. But the image of the red suitcase had stayed with her!

So, looking sheepish, she ran and picked up her suitcase. We had a good laugh!

What a difference!


It is really fun to watch the difference in the way my daughter and my son react to various situations.

Right from choosing what to wear, to the things they like, to the way they respond to people..they are so different!

My son just pulls out whichever T-shirt is right on top of the pile of clothes in his cupboard, even if it’s for a party or a family function. He says, “This is ok. I’m fine.”

On the other hand, my daughter agonizes over her clothes and accessories.

When my daughter calls a friend or receives a call, they exchange pleasantries, talk about TV shows and then warm-up to discuss the purpose of the call.

My son came up to me yesterday and asked if he could call his friend. I said yes.

As I watched, he called his friend. This is how the call went.

“Hi! I want to share a fact with you about dinosaurs.”

Then he rattled off some statistics about the Argentinosaurus (I think).

“Ok got to go. Bye”, he said and hung up.

The call took 30 seconds.

I asked him, “Was that all?”

“Yes mom”, he said.

Hmmmm.

Music & Lemon Bee hoon


Yesterday, I happened to hear a song from a new Bollywood film, and was hooked!  I played it repeatedly, and needless to say, the song stayed with me through the day and into the night.

This morning, as my husband sat down to have his breakfast of Lemon Bee hoon, the song lodged itself in my brain again.  I told my husband about the song, and played it for him.

Morning craziness being what it is, I soon got busy with my chores and went looking for the ten-odd things that go missing every morning – read socks, notebooks and paper ….sigh!

When I got back to the table, I asked my husband (about the Lemon bee hoon), “Did you like it?’

And he replied, “It’s okay. Nothing great about it.” (about the song).

“Is it really that bad, does it lack salt or should I add more lemon?” I asked, feeling quite deflated.

My husband’s eyes widened in surprise, when he realized that we had been talking about different things.

“Oh…did you ask about the Bee hoon? It’s very good!” he said.

I smiled.

The same song has come roaring back into my head again.  This one will play itself out in my head till the next song gets in.  And till then, this song will always remind me of Lemon Bee hoon.

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.”