Ain’t so cool!


I got this picture on our family group a few days ago. My little niece is able to stand now, and one of her very first projects was to check out the refrigerator.

In her earlier crawling phase, my niece would smile and gurgle in delight if she was in the vicinity when the door of the refrigerator was opened. But now, she is able to hold on to things and walk, and she heads to the refrigerator often, pointing out and babbling her intentions to her parents.

At 1 year, she looks at each object with fascination. She touches the cold tomatoes and the glass bottles. She tries to pull things out. Her parents are on alert, allowing her to explore this new world, while also ensuring that she is safe. Everything inside the refrigerator is exciting – the colours, the textures and the cold air.

Cut to the scene in my house. My kids are also frequent visitors to our refrigerator. After all, it serves as a pit stop for them during their hectic day, when they seek rejuvenation of both their spirit and their energy.

My kids open the refrigerator. They see its fully stocked insides. They rummage through each rack; they open the freezer. They explore all the sauces and bottles on the door. They can see fresh fruit, some snacks, cans of juice, chocolate and Indian sweets. They cluck in exasperation. “Mooooooommmmmm”, they holler, “…is there anything interesting to eat?”

I deliberately point out all the edible snacks they can devour, but none of them seem to pass muster. And reluctantly, they make their choice from what’s available, muttering to each other that there’s nothing interesting to eat EVER.

What a contrast between the two age groups. Sigh! And as every mom with teenagers knows, this cycle is on autoloop, and the ending will always be the same. I quietly go back to what I was doing.

Marathon misunderstanding


One of my friends has a daughter who has just graduated from high school, and who is now enjoying the break before she heads to college later this year.

Days of continuous study have suddenly been replaced by lots of time to spend with friends and family.

A few days ago, my friend’s daughter told her mom that she was planning a ‘Marathon session of Movie watching’ with her friends. Her mom was preoccupied and only heard the marathon part and the friends part.

Picture courtesy – Can Stock Photo

She was very happy that her daughter and friends were going to run long distance. Their conversation went something like this!

Mom: Wow, that’s so cool. So when are you planning to do it?

Daughter: Tomorrow 

Mom: So soon? Are you ready? 

Daughter: Of course, Ma. Need to stock up. 

Mom: Yes, what do you need? 

Daughter: Potato wafers, Nachos and cream, Coke, Fruit Juice and maybe some brownies.

Mom (looking dazed): But doesn’t that take away the whole purpose of your marathon?

Daughter (looking puzzled) : But we are going to be up all night, so we need to charge our batteries Ma.

Mom : I think you should buy isotonic drinks, bananas and other fruits.

Daughter (looks shocked) : Amma, my friends will never ‘ever’ come to our home for a Movie Marathon if I serve what you just suggested.

Mom (with realization dawning) : Movie marathon? I thought you were going to run one.

Both burst out laughing. 

Truly a ‘marathon misunderstanding’!

Couch Potato for the day


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Today is Sunday. No deadlines to chase, no lists to tick-off (I mean, there are, but they don’t seem important).  The day has started quite well.  My husband & children have made plans to visit the zoo, yet again.  They ask me if I want to join them, but I decline.

“The howler monkey, at the entrance, will probably call out to me in recognition, ” I say. My preteen rolls her eyes at the poor joke, while my son giggles at this ‘funny joke’.

Actually a selfish thought  takes root in my brain. Imagine, six hours of solitude.

The family troops out at 10 am.  I shut the door and amble back to the couch.  I deliberate on what I should do to maximize these six hours – a visit to the spa? haircut? pedicure? No, screams my brain, no.  My inner voice announces the final decision, stay put on the couch the whole day and watch television, eat, and catch some shut eye.

With the decision made, I make arrangements to transform into a couch potato for the day.  I bring some junk food, a water bottle, and a freshly popped packet of popcorn to the coffee table.  I throw in some magazines to the ‘couch-potato package’. I make two steaming mugs of filter coffee and pour them into a thermos.  This too gets added to the coffee table.

I am ready now.  I plump up the cushions and settle in comfortably.  All the remotes, my phone and the tablet are with me.  I switch on my tablet and browse through some videos.  I see one of my favourite actors from an eighties movie.  My brain immediately hyperlinks to a soap that used to air when I was still in college.  I search for it, and the Internet doesn’t disappoint.  I start watching, one episode after another.

I cry at the sentimental bits without inhibition and without my husband’s voice telling me, “It is only a movie, all those people are going to finish their shoot and go home to a nice dinner. Don’t waste your tears.”

I laugh and giggle at the funny bits, stuffing popcorn and wafers into my mouth, without missing a beat.  I pour myself a hot cup of coffee and sip it as the story progresses.  I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into the couch.  It is mid-day now.  The sun is streaming into the living room and I am loath to get up from the couch.

The series finally gets over, along with the huge tub of popcorn.  Today, there is no place for guilt in my life.  I switch off the TV and stretch out on the couch.  I love the silence in the house.  I hear some thud-thudding from my neighbour above and two mynas calling out from the tree nearby.  Otherwise, pure bliss.

I put my mobile on silent mode, as I feel sleep overtaking me.  I fall and fall into layers of sleep, deeper and deeper.  I am in dream land, and there is a kaleidoscopic panorama unfolding in these layers of sleep. I don’t know what I dream about, but the visuals keep changing.

I wake up and look at the clock.  I have been in oblivion for nearly three hours.  The room has become less bright now as the sun has moved across to my neighbours’ block.  I am still stuck to the couch, no plans to move anytime soon.  I stretch to pour the second cup of coffee and enjoy every sip.  I browse through the magazines and read the news on my tablet.

I am done with all that I’d planned.  What next?  I smile in happiness at the wonderful day it’s been.  I stretch like a cat and feel the tensions of the week dissipating.

I, me, myself…superlative!