Roadtripping

We don’t travel as much as Red or I would like. It’s our fault actually…didn’t get the offspring used to anything but comfort so the mere thought of zipping along for 7 hours or more to get to someplace he can get to in 3, starts the ‘are we there yet’ litany and am not good with litanies. At all!

Although, my ‘put on your seatbelt’ and ‘use a tissue, ‘cover your mouth when you sneeze’ can rival even the most nagging kids on a ‘are-we-there-yet’ loop.

We tried to get him understand the value of such trips by talking to him about it and went nowhere fast. Kids of today don’t get enthused about seeing windmills-moving or otherwise. They’d rather make faces and take selfies with silly filters…thanks for making a entire generation drop a few IQ points Snapchat!

Rivers, lakes and flora are treated with a ‘Meh’ unless it’s truly spectacular and a hotel room counts only if they have a tv with the kiddy channels easy to find.

Last year we decided that there were going to be more trips in our future, more time spent travelling to get to the destination and to do a good mix of travel via railways and roads so the offspring knows more about India overall than which airport has the KFC counter and which doesn’t.

And so the 1st trip of 2018 was to be a road trip. And we were off! With little delays and all the double checks to see if the water and gas had been switched off and the milk and paper cancelled while we were out.

We decided to split a 14 hours journey over 2 days so the driving bit wouldn’t tire any one person out and we could also get to see places we hadn’t hit while we were growing up.

With all the breaks needed when a kid is chugging down juice and water and shovelling down packets of nachos, we managed to make pretty decent time and are now in a place I’ve never really had on my radar-Bijapur.

It has a lot of ruins and ramparts of the forts built during the time of a ruler by the name of Adil Shah.

Seeing the people is like going into a time warp. Middle-aged and old men walking around in Nehru topis and dhotis with signs of the present seemingly in the John Deere, Kubota showrooms and not the jewellery and sporting goods stores that have become a part of the landscape of what were earlier called the tier-two cities in India.

We got turned around in one part of the city at night and had to navigate through market places teeming with people and bullock carts and horse buggies. But the eagle-eyed kid who can never find his slippers could spot a Dominos pizzeria in the crowd. Go figure huh?

I haven’t seen a single Audi, Merc or Beemer yet. I have seen Bajaj Chetaks, Lunas and loads of cycles. A far cry from Hyderabad where I can come across a Triumph Bonneville, a Mustang and too many luxury cars to count just walking across a parking lot.

Not everything is well maintained but it has a charm and that’s what we wanted to capture and give the brat a taste of.

More to follow…next stop: Belgaum!

Patrick Bergin Had It Right!

Well his character, of Martin something or the other in Sleeping With The Enemy, had it right. There’s no reason why things can’t be kept in a particular (I mean PROPER) way. Just no reason at all. Barring the fact that Bergin (lovely old stud that he is) did play the role of a psychopath, his insistence on a neat and tidy order to things is something I appreciate. And how!

When I thought about having my own place, and my own kitchen in particular, I knew the size would be a toss-up. I wasn’t going to get my studio apartment with a wee loft for the bed and an open kitchen. I did however want a kitchen a la country rustic and pretty with glass jars labelled with blackboard paint labels, all facing the same way so it’s easy to know if you’re reaching for the dill instead of the rosemary or parsley or the powdered cumin vs the powdered coriander. If only everything was a dead giveaway like chilly powder and turmeric, then we’d be gravy!

Image result for chalkboard label kitchen jars

But with more people using the kitchen and in their own ways, it was deemed best (with a lot of difficulty…look down to understand the extent of the difficulty and you’ll know what I mean) that we stick with plastic, Tupperware and other things which may not be aesthetic and terribly eco-friendly but more than earn their keep by being big-time user friendly.tantrum throwing a fit GIF

I also like the idea of hand towels and face towels being used for… well the hand and the face…DUH ! rather than a bigass beach towel being used to wipe a tiny portion of one’s body. I can blame my father for this bit of idiosyncrasy outright because that’s what he instilled in me..there’s a grammar to everything aka the madness aint madness if you can justify it. So I justified it BIG TIME- matching sets of hand towels, face towels and bath towels. Each one neatly hanging on the rod and the spares nicely rolled up next to a small dish filled with potpourri. And it is nice too…for all of 30 minutes. Then the dinos eat the potpourri or else they end up rummaging in it and for a bathroom that stocks up 2-3 towels of each size, there’s usually nothing around when you enter it.

The loves of your life go and use the bath towel to wipe their faces and horror of horrors…either leave it on the bed, on the back of a chair or just leave it to slink to the bathroom floor in an untidy crumple.

And so it goes…you become used to necessity over emotions at times. Until one day you find the nth damp towel on the ground when it just takes a teensy second to make sure it’s properly put back on the towel rod…and you have a mini eruption inside. And the  you remember Patrick Bergin’s steely eyed, cold-smiled demeanor towards Julia Robert’s handling of hand towels and think…this guy really knew what he was doing!!

And then you think back to HOW long it took you to get the offspring to wipe his hands and face at all, let alone not wipe them on his clothes or on you and you figure you have a few more years to go before you break out the full-fledged psycho mode. Or do you?..

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A Blog A Day- Day 5

Over lunch with a friend yesterday I somehow got sidetracked (as am very wont to do) onto an eponym and that got me thinking about lists. Am very nerdy that way.

I like going through lists. Not because it’s comforting or because holding a list in my hand curbs my tendencies of having to knock on wood 3 times or wash my hands clockwise and then anti-clockwise 5 times. No. A list is pure gold. It’s info baby! Of any sort.

When I was a teen and sneakily surfing on Altavista and Yahoo Search  (yes…those days of yore) with my gang of gals for lists of hunks or hunks with scarce amounts of clothing, or for pictures of the then flavor of the month hunk (teen gals, whaddya gonna do) the lists would be a delight to go through.

Fast forward a few years and you’re making a wedding lists a list for stuff you’ll need when the baby comes, a list for how much the baby’s fed, the rise and fall of the kid’s temperature and as well as the perennial shopping list for grocery and household supplies. Somewhere down the line comes the list of assets for whenever you shuffle off the mortal coil. But today’s list isn’t that grim. It’s actually interesting. And I write this with all the nerdiness I can capable of!

Presenting a list of eponymous things…but with a twist..

  1. Shirley Temple- not just America’s tiny yesteryear’s sweetheart but a drink too! The story goes that the wait staff at a Hollywood restaurant overheard the little girl whining when her parents wouldn’t give her a sip of their old-fashioned cocktails. A member of the staff mixed up a kid-friendly version made with a splash of grenadine, a cup of ginger ale, and garnished it with a signature maraschino cherry to emulate the old-fashioned cocktails her parents drank. One sip of the sweet, fizzy drink was all it took to quiet her cries.
  2. Sideburns- Sideburns were all the rage in the American Civil War well before Elvis Presley was even born. The popular male hair trend of bushy whiskers on the cheeks was originally called burnsides after the Union Army General Ambrose E. Burnside. His wildly different facial hair first caught people’s attention during a parade in Washington D.C. as he led his regiment of Rhode Island volunteers. By the 1880s, the name was switched to sideburns.
  3. Silhouette- Before there were selfies, painted or paper cutout silhouettes were the most affordable portraits that adorned people’s homes during the 18th century. Many people loved their silhouette selfies, but the man for who they were named after was anything but loved. France’s finance minister at the time, Étienne de Silhouette, had a reputation for being a frugal French man and was often seen making the cut-paper shadow portraits, himself, in his free time. Because of his cheap ways and favorite hobby, the French phrase “à la Silhouette“ came to mean “on the cheap” and the shadow portraits were named after Silhouette to poke fun at him as well.
  4. Maverick- Before Tom Cruise popularized it there was Samuel A. Maverick, the 19th century Texan lawyer. He had a client who settled a $1,200 debt with him in livestock—400 cattle worth. Instead of branding the cattle as his own, Maverick let the animals roam free and unbranded, a rookie rancher mistake. Little did he know that neighboring stockmen were stealing his stray cattle and branding them as their own. Once Maverick came to his senses, he sold the rest of his depleted herd. Soon, his last name was used to refer to people who preferred to go against the crowd and blaze their own trails.
  5. And last but not the least…Bobbit- a verb eponym meaning a man who has had his penis cut off by his wife. Coined in 1993 after Lorena Bobbit emasculated her husband when he was sleeping.

Here endeth the lesson for today. Come back tomorrow when we return to our usual program of me and my offspring.

Salut.

Image result for i love lists

A Blog A Day- Day 4

The offspring has a new love- IPL.

He doesn’t really get the mechanics of cricket barring people throwing a ball and someone trying to hit it or get out trying. Those are my genes at play so he can’t be held responsible.

With IPL, the format is perfect for his attention span and it’s livelier, the unis are more colorful and there are dancing girls etc so what’s not to like eh? He seems to be enamored of Virat Kohli even going to extent of asking me where he lives and where he can meet the ‘Captain of India’ as Kohli’s been dubbed. I think we may have a tiny stalker on our hands soon.

He asks us a thousand questions about who’s playing, who won and who lost etc. He also makes it a point to tell Red and I which team we’re cheering for. Woe betide if we don’t fall in with his plans; a pouty face surfaces and we’re left pacifying him and saying “yes, yes…we’ll cheer for Delhi Daredevils (grumble, mutter-mutter, grumble, grumble)”. He loves the Jio add as well and often leaves his dinner to dance along with the jingle and do a victory lap whenever someone hits a 6 or gets out.

Usually he’s hustled off to bed before any side finishes with their batting due it being a school night. So as soon as I toss his tiny butt out of bed in the mornings, he makes a beeline for the paper to check the sports page, after he gets over his mini-zombie phase. He checks to see if his team has won. If they have then it’s jubilation time. If they haven’t then it’s a sad face till he’s reminded that there’s yet another match about to take place in the night and he can still beat one of us via his team.

Is this the Millennial version of sportsmanship, I wonder…

IPL -2018

A Blog A Day- Day 2

I had hoped I’d have enough time and material to write again today. Lo and behold! The universe conspired to bring me a muse in the form of an annoying and kind of naive salesgirl who I’ve hexed from here to Kingdom come for her utter and complete lack of even a half-assed sales pitch and because she hurt my feelings…kind of.

See, when you’re carrying around extra weight, no one is more aware of it than you are. Partly because you’re living with it and also because people around you don’t let you forget it either.

Spouses make fat jokes, kid you about your big bites and even raise eyebrows if you so much as swallow a watermelon seed. Your offspring squeezes your lard each time he passes you by and thinks it fitting to tell you to eat less because you’re getting SO FAT!!

Note: the child in question is pretty young and no clue how close to doomsday he gets when he speaks to a woman about her weight. But then again the ‘foot-in-the-mouth-gene seems to be passed down from the paternal side ergo the kid didn’t really stand a chance.

Moving on, so a myriad of people make overweight people realize that they are in fact OVERWEIGHT; either knowingly or unknowingly.

Today’s incident was funny, sad and kind of made me want to throw a pie in the face of the girl who brought it all about. So it went like this- I accidentally knocked over a few packets of innerwear when I was managing a turn in the supermarket aisle while doing my mother-with-periscope-neck routine.

An eager beaver sales girl came running to help me pick them up thinking I was shopping for the said articles and took it upon herself to help me find stuff in my size instead of the smaller size I’d knocked over. Before I could tell her I didn’t need anything from that rack, she took a quick look at me and started off saying that the size I had was too small for me and she’d find the right one for me…and she did. Or so she thought. While my neck was still periscoping around for the offspring, this proactive child took out something which could have doubled up as the flag of an impoverished nation and waved it around to get my attention saying, “this will fit you!

I’m not ashamed to say I tore right into her saying that wasn’t my size at all and why didn’t she give help after it was asked for instead of bothering the customers for no good reason. And then I immediately felt bad, for this girl had a pout remarkably like what tots do when they’re denied another cookie, pool or t.v. time. So in sticking up for myself I had hurt her feelings. Ye Gods.

I went through the rest of my shopping in record time and MLM, sensing he should stop asking for every other piece of Hot wheels and chips, also came along rather demurely.

I guess I could have also rolled my eyes at the girl at the store and moved on but summers keep my temper brimming + there’s a perpetually chattering child along with his newfound love for IPL and Virat Kohli; tagging along more often than not. I was in no mood to be pleasant and embrace XXXL clothing because somebody didn’t get their eyes tested!!

In the words of the immortal Obelix-” I’m not fat. I’m just big boned, that’s all.’

A Blog A Day- Day#1

I’ve been telling the offspring to buckle down and do a couple of things but being a parent means leading by example (or so we pretend we do) so I’m going to try and hit a few targets of my own. Expect grumblings from time to time.

I want to blog more. I love to write and I’m not picky about what I choose to write about. I’m usually reading something or the other, thinking about doing something and make plans for future trips and travels galore ergo loads of food for thought or bloggy material.

So this is going to be my honey-do list/things-to-do/bucket-list galore and inshallah by 31st December, I’d have done at least 100 consecutive blog/bloglets and been able to cross things off on the ever-growing lists that my brain throws up and Red ducks very nimbly.

And on that note I felt a gaze searing to me and looked up to see MLM staring at me. Locking gazes me with he said” Cookie”. Brief. To the point and hungry.

So here I go to get him a cookie. Come back tomorrow for day two of my A.B.A.D challenge.

Of Middle Fingers And Snakes

I recently changed my ride from a hatchback to an MUV. When I say recent I mean just a few hours ago.

I was picking up the offspring from school and he was happily frolicking in the backseat, bouncing with joy and making crinkly sounds in the plastic covers that I’d not had a chance to take out as yet. All in all he was a happy camper. And as the case is while he’s camping happily, he asks me a series of ‘Do you know’ questions. Today was no different.

We started with a question trap that I’d inadvertently fallen into when I told him I’d seen a monitor lizard cross the street very close to his school. After interrogating me about the size and the gaping maws and the venom of the said reptile, he gave me a disdainful look when I told him I’d only paused briefly while trying hard not to squish the lizard when it scurried off into the bushes. It, unfortunately, hadn’t stopped long enough to give me its life history and venom potency details.

Then began the story of reptiles and their offspring. We spoke of ovi and viviparous snakes; something I’d rather not have spoken of at all. All while I was enjoying the smell of a new car, listening to songs on brand new speakers…which apparently is the most apt time to speak of baby cobras.

Anyhoo, on special request he agreed to stop talking about king cobra babies hatching and killing grown people and then he threw me for a toss! Here’s how he did it-” Hey Ayu…do you know a boy in the 2nd grade showed someone the middle finger in school and then he got into trouble?!! Have you shown (he said showed but my grammar mode refuses to let me be ungrammarly) the middle finger to anyone?

And this is where you cross the realm from being a good, honest parent into one who lies to their kid because isn’t 8 too young to be flippin’ the bird?! Or talking about it?

I told him piously that NO I hadn’t and what did showing the middle finger mean anyhow? I was told very solemnly that it’s a very bad thing and kids can go to jail for saying it. And that’s when I had to know more about this oh-so taboo word that sent kids to jail. So I did a dramatic,” Oh no…really??!!” And pat came the reply-YES!! It’s worse than saying F***!! I never say F*** because you told me that saying F*** is a bad thing so I never say F***. Ever!!”

I think some days the universe has a smartass mode it activates just to give parents their comeuppance and to prevent them from being smug-knowitalls!