Creativity Unleashed

I came home from running an errand to find Red and TO at lunch. Red opened the door and told me with his usual straight face that our child was telling him a VERY interesting story which was catastrophic in its scope but had some pockets of optimism and redemption in it.

So it goes like this- It was the end of the world and I had died. Red had died too but TO had a way of bringing him back from the dead. That courtesy was not extended to me. Anyhow, I was dead, Red was dead and quite a few people who were known to us had either perished in the bad ass earthquake that leapfrogged up the Richter scale and touched a 100! For a few others who weren’t lucky enough to die of the super earthquake, a Megalodon came and swallowed them up.

TO was able to save a few (not all) people from the gigantic prehistoric shark by using a knife. Cue the ‘awwws’ people! And then there was a tsunami which came and swept everyone else away. All in all, it was not a good day for humanity.

The one bright spot, if one can call it that, was before I died and set off the chain reaction of humanity’s extinction, I wrote down the all-important, uber-secret, mysterious and obscure password to the iPad on a piece of paper that my darling son found while surviving an off-the-charts earthquake, killing 95 ft long sharks and apparently coasting through towering waves that drowned out millions. This is called unleashing the kraken (of imagination).

Welcome to Apocalypse 3.0

Image courtesy: redbubble.com

In Bits and Pieces

I have a MAJOR quirk. I NEED things personalized down to the last detail to feel comfortable in a few things that I dabble in. For eg: the phone I use will need the font, wallpaper and ringtone done ‘just right’ before it’s ready for use. The same applies to my blog. Aesthetics or functionality; whatever be the case.

Till now I’d kept my rather obscure photoblog separate because it wasn’t texty and dealt with only pictutes but the need to have everything under one roof has been nagging me for a bit. So the photoblog will gradually be integrated into this one and there you have it. Quirk handled!

For now, enjoy (or not), the endless cloud pictures I just can’t seem to help myself from clicking.

Ta!

Snapchat? Snapshut!

I was reading an article about Snapchat and it said that the app had been gaining momentum in India. Their filters being what draws people (read silly youngsters) to download the app and a gazillion images of themselves and unleashing it on another gazillion and equally silly youngsters.

Quite a few smartphones are riding that same wave and have integrated the fun (silly) filters in their native camera software to make it for enjoyable (??) for the users. I have that feature on my phone and it’s an occasional stopgap session of silliness with my kid when we have to kill time and can’t think of anything else to do.

I decided to test drive Snapchat for a bit today and see what the fuss was all about. And I did see it. But am not 16 anymore and don’t take kindly to my skin being airbrushed to ridiculous proportions. As for barfing out rainbows…that can get old really fast.

So here are the Snapchat memories I’ll carry with me. For as long as it takes me to finish writing this blog post anyhow.

Toodles!

Selectively Linguistic

My native language is Bangla. Am not entirely proficient in it. I can speak it but the “purists” can usually gauge that I’m not one of them. Apparently it reeks of being an “outsider” aka from outside the hallowed boundaries of West Bengal.

I can manage to read and write it but it’d be better if I didn’t. I can manage better with Gujarati and can more than scrape by in Hindi. Not counting English here since it’s the global ‘must-have’ language we were brought up to regard and revere.

Red’s native tongue is Telugu. He’s proficient in speaking, reading and writing. The less said about his spoken Hindi the better. I’ve written a few blog posts trolling it and he hasn’t been a happy camper.

The Offspring (TO) has chosen English as the language he’s most comfortable with and is sticking to it with the tenacity of barnacles on a sunken ship. See…all those years of cramming figures of speech in my head finally did some good.

Anyhoo, back to TO. He has been spoken to, yelled at, cajoled at, cooed at in both the languages Red and I speak in but somehow it was the whole water&duck’s back scenario.

But every now and then, he slips up and answers, verbally or non-verbally, in response to a question asked in Bangla. And it makes me annoyed and smug at the same time. Would it hurt his otherwise perpetually busy mouth to speak a few words in other languages? Especially if they’re a part of his cultural make-up? But noooo…one cannot hope to prevail upon children of today over these sentimental issues. They (the kids) are pretty pragmatic and don’t see much value to doing the ‘little things’ which make their folks giddy with happiness.

This morning over breakfast at a resort we’re staying in, I asked him if he wanted a repeat of his soupy noodles. I asked him in Bangla and he shook his head no. I asked him again just to be sure and he said “No”. When Red asked him a bit later, he still said no. So no was the way to go.

But am onto his little tricks. He pretends he doesn’t get what I’m saying when I speak in a different language but I know better. No kid can spend 7 years being scolded in a language and not pick up bits and pieces. No sirree!

Although, and am just playing devil’s advocate here, given his Bong genes that are predispositioned towards food and gluttony, he could just have memorized every tense of the phrase containing the words ‘eat’ and ‘more’. Going by my luck with this boy, it’s far more likely that’s what he did.

There go dreams of my conversing with him and teaching him the mix of Banglish (Bangla+English)+Hinglish (Hindi+English) I usually speak.

I is sad. I is annoyed. These kids! #smh but since every parent’s goal is to get their kids to do things without telling them 20,000xs or throwing stuff at them; as long as he answers back in ONE language I guess that’ll have to be enough.

Siiiiigh.

Oh God! You Ape!

The Offspring (TO) had his second brush with the Big Questions- where did all life come from, does God exist et al? The first one was when Red’s grandma passed away.

Apparently the child who can believe in different categories of dragons, is having trouble believing that a “Supreme Being” created Man.

He got off the bus one day, engaged in a minor aggressive strap fight (hitting someone with the strap of the bookbag) with a classmate. The reason? The classmate sided with another child who said God made the Earth and people and is R-E-A-L. TO took exception to all of the above and then the problem began in earnest.

Most parents tell their kids that God exists and He should be deferred to because he made the whole universe etc etc. For Hindus, we have a whole smorgasbord of Gods to choose from and we even mix it up depending on the days of the week or festivals or situation that’s on our radar. Might sound flaky but it isn’t. Just years and years of indoctrination in following and believing in a way of living that works for most of us.

Red and I discussed raising TO to either believe or not believe and decided that we wouldn’t stop him from getting exposed to religious practices that are a part of our traditions and surroundings but neither would we fill his head with stuff about Heaven and Hell.

However, we have not got around to taking him to temples or any places of worship either; proactively. If it’s happened, it’s been purely incidental. And in the process we have a child who has questions about a LOT of things but who essentially perceives the world mostly in black and white.

His thinking hasn’t allowed much of gray to seep into his cognitive palette (ooh that’s a nice example of a neologism) and he tends to be rather absolute as for the most part.

When I was listening to him talk about the “incident”, I asked him how he knew there was no God or that He/She hadn’t created the World and he said that he’d learnt in science that homo sapiens came from apes. And that all life started from small “things” in water and then they started to grow and change and we got reptiles, birds and dinosaurs. The conversation unfortunately lasted too long while being expounded on dinosaurs but that’s par for course. *rolls eyes*

Then came humans who were weird looking (am paraphrasing here) and who crawled and then they learnt to stand up and walk straight. Then we got apes and “normal” human beings.

I kept trying to ask him in as many lay terms as possible about the point of origin of creation etc and finally simplified it to stating that reptiles, birds, mammals are all different from each other so how did all these different forms get created. For example, where did the monkeys come from? And pat came the reply- from monkey parents. Can’t top that can you?

So cheers to you Darwin and whoever and whatever created the world. We’re sticking to our monkey parents, thank you very much!

P.S: Maybe when he’s 30 I can tell him my theory about the galactic amoeba who may be responsible for the whole kit and kaboodle!