The Mom Image


I was coming home this evening from the supermarket. As I entered the lift lobby, there was a young mom with her two children, a boy and a girl. They were between 4 and 5 years of age. They were getting off the school bus.

We did the polite smile exchange cum nod, and got into the lift together.

The boy suddenly looked at his mom and asked, “Did you wash her (pointing at his sister) lunch bag?”

The mom asks, “Hmmm..yes, why?”

Boy: What did you put in it? It was stinking.

The mom looked at me. I so…. knew what she was thinking. Was I judging her or forming opinions about her?

The mom said, “Will see it when we go home.”

Boy: The whole school bus was stinking…it was baaaaadd (this in a booming voice).

By this time the lift had reached my floor and I stepped out with a nod. I could see the mom sighing in relief.

I smiled as I unlocked the door. 

I want to tell that mom that we cannot control what our kids say. Kids have this ability to say funny things at odd times.

I remember, when we were kids, one of our neighbours had come to visit our grandmom who was unwell. The said neighbour had come to our home directly from work, and had a biscuit packet with her, presumably for her children.

When she saw my sister and me, she opened the packet and gave us two biscuits each.

 My sister piped in, “Why can’t you give us the whole packet?”

My mom looked mortified, and we got a few of her choicest ‘mommy looks’ that we decoded and analysed, knowing what was going to come our way.

There are many such incidents, when we as kids have embarrassed our parents, and now, as parents face such funny situations.

Most of the time, we worry about our ‘Mom Images’ for a while, but then motherhood being what it is, we get on with our busy schedules and love our children more and more.

                     

Image Courtesy – Good Morning Quote.com

Steel dabbas


Indian kitchens are usually loaded with stainless steel – cutlery, utensils, ladles and cookers.

As kids, most of us carried lunch to school in small round or rectangular steel boxes. In India, they are called ‘dabbas’ (singular ‘dabba’).

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

The dabbas usually had two compartments, one for the roti or rice, and the other for the vegetable.

My Dad and uncles had a bigger and more sophisticated version of the steel dabba, which was called the ‘tiffen carrier’. The carrier had three, four, five or six compartments, stacked one on top of the other, held together on top by a metal clip.  The ones my Dad usually carried had three layers – one each for rice, gravy and vegetable.

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  Picture courtesy – http://www.alibaba.com

When we ordered food for family functions, the caterer usually supplied food in huge ‘carriers’ – those that had many layers! It was a joy to open these carriers and see what was inside each layer.

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               Picture courtesy    
           http://www.meeramarketing.com

I have a four-compartment tiffen carrier at home now, which I use when we go out on picnics. It stands vertical, and hence occupies very little space.

Steel dabbas usually served us for many, many years. Except for a dulling in their silver sheen, they carried warm, lovingly-packed, home-cooked meals for us throughout our school days.

The dabbas carried special treats on our birthdays, and small notes from mom or dad sometimes.

There was this group of friends, who went to school with me, from Grade 1 through Grade 12. Over all those years, on every school day, all of us had lunch together. We would open our steel dabbas and share our food with each other. We knew which mom made the best rice dishes or rotis. By the time we reached high school, we were such good friends that we actually demanded certain dishes for lunch, from each other, and our loving moms usually obliged.

My mom’s specialty was her sambhar rice with potato fry, which my dabba lovingly carried for many years.

So many wonderful memories contained in a small steel dabba.