The Magic Of Coffee

Caffeine is defined as ‘an alkaloid compound which is found especially in tea and coffee plants and is a stimulant of the central nervous system.’
I, on the other hand, would call it the life-giving and life-sustaining elixir which enables me to tolerate my fellow man, open my eyes in the morning without wishing a piano fell on people around me; basically not putting a hit out on people who keep me from my coffee.


Take this morning’s scenario- TO has trouble getting up in the mornings. So do I but I have been given the divine duty of getting my kid off to school ergo sleep can be sacrificed for the joy of knowing he’s boarding the yellow bus. Anyhoo, after what seems like eons in getting him to get out of bed and the zombie-walk to the loo where he can brush, he decided that *now* was the best time to lie down flat on a skateboard and S-L-O-W-L-Y roll his way to the dining table that was maybe 5 feet away.

Why, one might be tempted to ask. Well apparently the flesh and blood wanted to have his morning milk ‘on the go’ as it were.

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In such moments, coffee is the most glorious of gifts. It prevents you from turning into a banshee, dumping said cup of milk onto otherwise lovable offspring’s head and as the caffeine enters your system, you feel calm and barely-there tolerance pervade the space around you.

I do agree, I might have a wee addiction towards the bean. It has been my constant support for more than 26 years now. It has got me through many a thing. Kept me from throwing things at odious people and throwing odious people off other places.

A few weeks ago I was asked to cut back on milk and caffeine as a part of a “diet”. That it didn’t work out is a given. I took to lingering in the kitchen gazing at the cupboard where the coffee is kept. I sniffed the coffee powder a few times a day and wished I could mainline it. Yup…total junkie.

But all jokes aside, we all have our crutches in life. Some worse than others. Of all the things I could be doing, coffee seems to be the most benign.

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Lost In Translations#501

TO has an accent. We’re not sure which country it belongs to. It’s a relic mishmash of whatever animated programs he’s grown up watching. 

He, however, doesn’t know Hindi; a language he loves listening to songs in. His pronunciations are decidedly foreign and poor dear Alexa often has problems deciphering what he wants.

The new addition on the playlist is Dilbar. TO pronounces it as Dill(the herb)+Bar(the place where people go for a drink). Needless to say Alexa’s response of, “I don’t know about the DILL-BAR. Dill is a herb ah blah blah and bar is either blah blah blah”, wasn’t unforseen. By moi. TO was part- disappointed and part-annoyed that Alexa wasn’t “getting” it.

I was called in to speak Alexan and translate the song name into something darling Alexa could make sense of and finally when the song played I got the epithet of “My favorite mother’ and a hug…the rewards of a job done perfectly.

Hang on…I have to go again…someone’s trying to tell Alexa that there’s something called  ‘Abytoepaarteeshoeroueeaye’. My translator’s ears are picking up signs that it may be Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai. I’d better unconfuse the gadget before she blows a fuse.

Ta!

Lost In Translation#498

Kids extrapolate things based on their own frame of references. Mine does it quite a bit and even more so with words of a different language.

He loves music and at different times we have played hosts to quite a few different earworms of his. One of his old favorites reemerged due to a shuffle in his playlists and we were both humming along with it when he started off with that singsong tone he singsongs more whenever he has a question to ask me, “So A…is the Bulleya song about…?” And I reacted with a mother’s instinct and one honed from dealing with these particular gems- “No baby, it’s not about bulls. It’s about a poet and thinker (because early morning rushes are rushed enough without stopping to explain what a philosopher is) whose words have been put to song and who people sing about.”

And sure enough, came the expected rebuttal which led to this bit of head scratching fun-” But it says Bulleya…BULL-eya. Are you sure it isn’t about bulls?”Am positive! Baba Bulleh Shah didn’t have anything to do with bulls.” “Baba??” That’s what you call P (his nickname for my dad). Why is he called Baba?” “GO TO SCHOOL. BYE BYE. HAVE A GOOD DAY. LOOK IT UP ON WIKIPEDIA.”

Mom over and out. Oh how I miss Red when he’s out of town.

Loving Your Child

Isn’t tough. It gets switched on almost from the time they are born but liking them every single minute of every day, that takes some doing.

Imagine seeing this gorgeous sunrise and feeling at peace with the world at large…

when suddenly ‘Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Bamb bamb bamb di gi di da dam (whoo)‘ blares out from the room behind you and the magic of the moment is gone. Poof!

I listen to all sorts of dumb songs myself but there’s a saying in Hindi about ‘waqt ki nazaqat’ which roughly translates to the delicacy of the time and may seem uppity to some but actually makes a lot of sense. There’s a time and place for things. Some things need a bit of a soft touch rather than going ham-handed on it. 

But more about how kids really try your patience…imagine (yet again) you calling out to your selectively hearing-impaired child about brushing his teeth and having his breakfast/milk/meal. Imagine doing it again and again till you may reach decibel levels only a dog could hear. And get no response in return. Child in question is about 20 feet away.

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The same child yells out that he wants fried onions, cheese and egg in his ramen but no veggies, from 2 rooms away just because the smell hit his nose. It’s a STRONG internal struggle not to do this at that exact time-

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My mornings are usually a rush to:

  1. get child out of bed
  2. get child off the couch where he went after getting out of bed
  3. haul child into bathroom and dump him on the toilet seat and put toothbrush in his hand
  4. come back in 10 minutes put toothpaste on child’s toothbrush and wake up him for good and tell him to get his butt off the toilet seat
  5. nudge him till he gets off toilet seat and goes and splashes some water on his face.
  6. turn on the light at which point he yells “no lights…aarrgh!”
  7. make him brush his teeth while he mumbles how sleepy he is through a mouth full of foam
  8. pray for coffee grande to magically appear while I try not to lose my shit
  9. I could probably go all the way to 100 but that coffee grande is finally calling me…

The first thing I do when the small child leaves the house is take a deep breath and stop hiding the fact that I almost constantly stream stuff while I potter around the house and get my chores done. When the big child leaves, I usually celebrate…erm…play something soothing or something reminiscent of my childhood and just dance around a bit and reclaim my domain.

As The Bard wrote- Make happy and sad times as you fly by, and do whatever you want, swift-footed Time, to the wide world and all its vanishing delights. The vanishing delights take on another form when the school bus pulls up and you prepare for another round of body slamming hugs, clothes scattered all over the floor and shouts of “what’s there to eat” and “ewww I don’t want this” or “oooh! my favorite! I love you…you’re my favorite mother in the WHOLE WORLD!!!”

It’s not easy to like the little monsters all the time. But it’s no hardship either.

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To mothers everywhere…Salut.

Paying For It…Literally

Once upon a time there was a world which had movies and t.v shows up to the heavens. It was a lovely world. All (almost) the latest episodes and movies uploaded as soon as they aired and it was FREEEEEEE! There were heroes like Yify who made the world a happy, happy place.

This world needed slight maneuvering in stealth aka incognito mode because of the mine fields of toolbars, extensions and slithery worms that lurked and wanted to make their new home on your beloved instrument of happiness (click here for to know about another take on the same).

Anyhoo, after quite a few years of binge-watching AHS, GA, HTGAWM, 24, Bones and whatnot, my online streaming rampage came to a crashing halt. TO was given access to his very own laptop at the start of the school year. To say he loves it like the sibling he never had would be exaggerating it. He probably loves it more. I have seen him caress the damn thing and look lovingly at it!

The first day he got the laptop he was schooled (‘cuse the pun) on the best sites to download music and games from; again in stealth. When he got home, proud to show off his prowess in downloading and claiming his place in the long-standing family tradition, he got a rude shock. Apparently it was *not* ok to download stuff for free from dubious websites. Gasp! Who knew?!

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My goto #dafuq gif. #gottaloveIceCube

Red gave him a whole litany of reasons why it wasn’t the right thing to do especially since access to Prime and Netflix was so easily doable. The child absorbed the shock and immediately told his father, “So that means A can’t download movies anymore either, right?” And then, right there in that little moment, the parents got schooled. And were grudgingly proud of it.

So here I am, paying for Prime, Netflix and occasionally renting movies from Google during the movie&junk food weekends that all kids (big&small) seem to love. At times I wonder why I should have to pay to watch a movie like ‘The Meg but then I remember that I didn’t pay a dime to watch about 3 Sharknadoes and a whole host of shark movies which most people wouldn’t watch even if they got paid to. Well Red wouldn’t. I still did watch this one and swore that I wouldn’t waste precious bandwidth on that kind of imbecility ever again. I’ve kept to that promise. I think.

When I was looking over my cc statement I found an ever-growing list of charges towards movie-viewing: in the theaters, on the telly and all totally 100% legit. Yup…we’ve turned a new leaf. And paying a pretty penny for it too.  But we are not subscribing  to Animal Farm!

P.S: we pay for our music too.

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Mucho Loco Motoring

TO loves to dance. He does his own thang and is unabashed about it while at home or in any place he feels comfortable.

He’s lithe, has expressive eyes (which he widens mainly for more effect) and he loves to twirl, swirl and get his groove on.

Any song he likes becomes our party track for a few months or till the next earworm sets in. Last night I was surprised with an impromptu dance performance to this song

One always hopes that one’s child will be limber and active but this one seems to be choosing artists if their names and songs are animal related. Case in point- Maroon 5’s Animals is another anthem of his.

I wonder if he’d take up belly dancing if I told him snakes can probably writhe similarly…