Seven Times The Fun!

Girls’/ women’s trips are something completely off the charts and unfathomable till a person has experienced them first hand. You not only have a bunch of people who are raring to go, cutting loose from the everyday but wonder of wonders, also clean up after themselves and make sure everyone else is also having a great time.

So picture this-a group of women who randomly came up with the idea of going on a rather short getaway during a run of the mill evening walk. The entire planning process was arduous because it had to get vetted against 7 different personal calendars; getting stymied by the looming specter of PTMs at almost all the schools the respective offsprings attend.

With unforeseen flight cancellations, odd hours of flight reschedulings and painful follow-ups with what can only be emotionally and mentally deficient contact center people; the gang landed up in the one place where fun is guaranteed- GOA!

While people who are part of my social circle know how to count their blessings for all they have, everyday life piles up. Especially when you are a multitasking expert aka A MOM. Add a full-time job to the mix and you’re someone who can’t always count on the number of times unstructured, unscheduled times can be availed. If you can get even 2 days where there are hardly any To-Dos barring exploring a place, having fun (in the sun and out of it), complete with tasty libations, lip-smacking food and dangerously naughty sense of humors- it’s a recipe for laugh-till-you-pee times and something which is usually hard to come by- a group of people who are consistently showing you the mirror about the best part of yourself.

Women like to embrace life and seek out new experiences and often, be bang in the middle of it rather than be spectators from the sidelines. A bit of indulgence goes a long way in making you happy and creating memories to relish when life becomes all about school bus timings, homework, grocery shopping and whatnot.

Here is a quick look at how fun was experienced and why this will be one for the personal history books…Note: we have repurposed the saying about Vegas and now “What happens in Goa, stays in Goa!”

Movie Review: Black Adam

I have to be honest here, I kind of like The Rock. I have ever since he was a smooth-bodied WWF wrestler with his trademark eyebrow lift. Once he became more of a man mountain and became ripped to a ridiculous degree, he was able to transition into movies with a bit of deadpan humor and it worked in some cases and it some, it didn’t.

Black Adam didn’t work for me. It gave oodles of ROI for TO but he’s a kid who still chews on his tshirt collars from time to time, so he’s not the most discerning critic one could say. But getting back to the movie- it pretty much fell flat from the time that Black Adam was freed from his underground prison cell.

With no real badass villains to dislike, the movie is a sludgey-walk through the stereotypical narrative of people needing a savior to look up to; quite literally in this case since Black Adam can soar like a bird. The supporting cast of Pierce Brosnan looking like a bored English aristocrat and Aldis Hodge acting like IBS is his daily companion, don’t do much to make the narrative pick up the tempo at all.

Noah Centineo should stick to teen romcoms if he can’t find something solid to sink his teeth into and Quintessa Swindell barely has much to say or do expect for twirl into the storms she’s known for. And we know special effects do all that and more.

It seems like am only trashing the movie and I’m not; not entirely. But I’m an avid watcher and follower of superhero movies courtesy TO and the little kid who lurks inside me still. And the Marvel movies outpaced this narration and left them in the dust!

But since the munchkins who chew on unnecessarily expensive movie theater popcorns and the box office rule the roost, the less than stellar opinion of someone who grew up watching The X-Men movies doesn’t count for much. One parting tip: Wait for it to air on OTT, you’ll feel better watching it at the end of the day without the cost of movie tickets factored into it!

Movie Review: Luck

TO has been choosing the movies he wants to watch for a couple of years now and thankfully the ones I’ve been watching with him have had something as a take away barring the entertainment factor. We watched Luck on Apple TV+ last night and except for a few parts which were a bit hokey IMO, it’s a decent watch for families.

Movie plot: Sam, a 18-year old orphan is aging out of the last orphanage she lived in; having spent her life going from one home to another without ever having found her “forever family” aka get adopted.

This doesn’t make her too down in the dumps however and she appoints herself as a big sister for the other girls in the home, most of all Hazel. Sam, unfortunately, suffers from chronic bad luck and something or the other always goes wrong for her till the day her luck changes and she accidentally finds a lucky penny dropped by a bad luck omen- a BLACK CAT!

The rest of the movie follows her adventures in the Land of Luck as she tries to reclaim good luck for Hazel and make sure she gets her forever family which she learns important lessons in life, love and about herself.

Featuring the voices of Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, John Ratzenberger among others, Luck is an original Apple film which explains, in a very patient manner, that having only good luck isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. A balance of good and the bad is what makes life the journey it is. Bad luck isn’t all that bad at the end of the day and is just a path towards reclaiming the good luck that gives one a sense of confidence and joy to go further.

Similar to the movie Inside Out, Luck explains the slightly metaphysical concept of good being not all good and bad being not entirely bad to the younger lot and does it in a wholesome manner. Sure, some parts do seem a bit goody-goody, but with all the less than sanitary stuff that’s assaulting the kids from all around, a feel-good movie and slightly goody-two-shoes character isn’t a bad thing at all!

Jurassic World Dominion

I like dinos. Quite a bit. Have religiously watched all The Land Before Time movies and then the Jurassic Park/World ones and I was *quite*curious to see what they would do to wrap things up in Dominion. They didn’t do much.

Given that things have to follow patterns set for creature and doomsday movies, one can’t realistically expect there to be anything totally unique about a movie where dinosaurs roam free amongst humans. However, one could expect to be a bit more entertained in the process. And that’s where this movie lets you down. Pretty badly.

With hackneyed plots and less than stellar acting, this particular installment of the Jurassicverse would be enjoyed if not outright adored only by an ardent fan. The return of Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum don’t hit any entertaining notes and the inclusion of Campbell Scott as the unassuming antagonist doesn’t rouse one’s ire let alone get the feel of an honest-to-god bad guy.

As a parent, the character of Maisie Lockwood (played by Isabella Sermon) just makes you want to ground her till she’s 35 for a) releasing the dinosaurs in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and b) being a typical disobedient, sulky teen who essentially causes the dominoes to start falling.

All in all, this is a movie I saw purely for the love of my child and a bit of my innate curiosity. The love for the child remains but the curiousity is sated; for good!

P.S: This movie proves one thing for sure…the T-Rex always wins!

Eye Roll Blog Post#2

The car mats have got pretty dirty and I wanted to wash them out before we stepped out next. It’s a simple task actually…use a hand shower or a forceful spray to get the initial layer of dirt and dust off, sprinkle a bit of detergent on the mats, let them soak for a few minutes and use a hard scrub brush to get as much of the residual dirt off and let it dry out. Including soaking, the whole thing takes about 20 minutes unless you’re like my father who would probably want some bleaching agent to make the mats look clean and new.

Imagine me doing all of the above and asking TO for one teensy little help viz opening up the foldable drying rack so I could put the mats on it to dry out. But what is teensy in my world is unfathomable in his so our conversation went something like this: Me: “Baby please open up the clothing stand and keep the side flaps straight (they are adjustable in case we need some height).” TO: HUH?!! Me: Can you open up the clothes drying stand and keep the sides absolutely straight so I can dry the mats? TO: I don’t understand...Me: What don’t you understand (washing, scrubbing going on simultaneously)? TO: What’s the clothes drying stand? Me: (voice becoming slightly frosty) The folding stand where we dry our clothes? Everyday? It’s on the balcony? TO: Oh *THAT* thing? Why can’t you be more specific Ayu?Me: (icicles becoming to form on the bathroom surface) How could I have been more specific while describing it?! TO:You know, you could’ve said to me get that clothes thingie we put clothes on!” Me: “Oye ve!

83 days till school reopens…

Eye Roll Blog Post#1

My kid’s school suddenly announced an earlier closure to the school year due to rising temperatures yesterday. When TO found out about it, the joyous whoop he let out probably was audible a few blocks over.

So this is Day One of summer break 2022 and Mr.Zombie-During-School-Days got up on his own before 6 am, bathed, brushed, wore clean clothes, combed his hair, had his chocolate milk and is languidly spread out on the bed catching up on his Netflix To-Do list. He has an almost beatific look on his face and very graciously informed me I needn’t keep the morning alarm on for the next two months since he’ll be getting up when he wants to…Watch this space for more of his shenanigans and my frequent eyerolls…

The Dementia Diagnosis

One of Red’s cousins will be visiting us soon and I was telling TO about him. He’ll be meeting a brand new set of cousins and an aunt he’s not seen before so I was trying to give him some background while we set out for errands this morning.

This uncle of his is a neurologist and the moment I told him that, TO exclaimed in an excited manner that he was a doctor of brains and probably treated people for dementia. And that’s when the Universe intervened and turned it into an ” Why-Hast-Thou-Forsaken-Me” moment” from a “Man-My-Kid-Knows-So-Much-Awesome-High-Fives-All-Around” kind of moment.

It went something like this, ” TO: So this doctor can treat you and P also right? Me: Why would he treat us, we’re fine?!!” TO: No! You guys are old and you keep forgetting things! Me:We don’t have dementia. Sometimes people forget when they are distracted or they are doing a lot of things at the same time. Dementia doesn’t happen much in our age (yes it does, but he doesn’t need to know that!);it happens to older people. TO: I can see *ALL* this white hair on both your heads and you are really old. Not as old as Avva (his great-grandmother) but OLD! So you could get dementia. Ask this uncle when he comes home.” Me: I don’t have dementia but I will become demented soon baby! TO: What’s that? Me: Nevermind, we’re here! C’mon out of the car you little quack! (muttered sotto voce)

Conversations Over A Hot Stove

A little while ago when I was in the middle of cooking the chicken curry for today’s lunch, TO came to get a hug. Now a hot and sweaty person usually runs as far away from being held as possible. Especially more so when she’s doing the taste checks for a new recipe she decided to make on the spur of the moment. However, TO is militant about his hugs and wouldn’t leave without one.

The conversation while waiting for the hug went something like this- TO (making a face): WHAT’S THAT GREEN STUFF??!! Me: It’s coriander. You love it so am putting more in the curry. TO: No, not that green stuff, THAT green stuff. It looks like PUKE! Are we having puke for lunch?! Me: It’s not green. It’s a light yellow from the turmeric. TO: It still looks like PUKE to me. Me: You don’t have to eat it…we have daal and aalu. TO: No,no..I can eat chicken anytime..it doesn’t look *that* bad Ayu (pats my back commiseratingly).

And that ladies and gentlemen is what comes of wanting to create new culinary experiences for your family…pukey chicken indeed!

Let’s Catch Up

It has been a while since I wrote. Been a while since I even thought of writing, to be honest. In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” and it it holds true even now, decades after he said it.

I turned a year older recently. Had my peeps around for a bite of birthday cake while TO manned or should I say preteened a live sundae counter. Kids were happy, dentists will be made happier still somewhere down the line.

The year started off well enough but came with a few hard knocks rather soon into the first week of January with us losing a loved family member and in March me losing someone very dear to me. My process of grieving is usually to write about my feelings or the person who has gone and pay them a tribute in some way but this time around it’s been rather hard and the words don’t want to come forth.

Apart from giving it time, I suppose there’s not much one can do but not everyone’s life is one we can celebrate in toto once they pass. Some lives you look back at and hope for all the turmoil they were in or caused, they gained a modicum of peace somewhere and didn’t feel agony or fear in their last moments. I find it a crushing thought to even imagine anyone I’ve cared about experiencing pain in their final moments. But one must try to accept what life throws their way, however jarring to the senses and move forward. I read an article sometime back about moving on vs moving forward; found it made sense. Posting it here for those who don’t mind a bit of gyaan but not an avalanche of it.

This morning when I started off with my morning routine of Wordle and a quick crossword, I realized how much TO’s influenced my life. The child isn’t a Ross Geller in the making from what I have understood. He can love dinosaurs and other buried prehistoric creatures without wanting to devote time in academia to truly enjoy it. The reptiles he loves have become integrated into our lives and our minds. One of the clues this morning in the New York Times Quick Crossword was Spitting _________ (a five lettter word) and I automatically filled in cobra. Once the crossword was filled, I found it was a different word entirely. Once upon a time I’d have been able to lead with the other word more easily but now life has a place which is dedicated to animal quizzes on road trips and amorphous plans around the world to see dangerous creatures or the slithering ones.

With summer break on the horizon along with exams, our days are busy and minds busier still. Hopefully the writing bug bites me again and I reenter the blogosphere properly and soon!

Ciao.