Money-Grubbing Altruism

Woman's face peeking out of a pile of money

It is a theory of mine that depending upon the kind of ride TO is in, his thought process changes accordingly.

I had a flat tire today and had to take an auto rickshaw to get around. I think the abundance of the fresh-polluted air got to him and he came up with such gems that I had to get them out to the unsuspecting world at large.

My child has questions about life and death. Mainly death. He knows it happens but not always why and if there are aspects which predicate it; if I can call it such. So this darling boy asked about certain key family members who are no longer with us and asked how it impacted those left behind and came up with a solution: he would learn magic and bring them back to life so everyone who was left sad by their passing would be happy again. Primarily his father, whose mother had passed away while he was still in his teens.

He then went up the generation ladder and said he would revive his great-grandmother as well because she’d been 97 when she passed and should live to be at least a 100. All noble endeavors. In theory.

Soon after caame the kicker! In this process of reanimating all the dearly departed he’d make a ton of money and then be rich! rich! RICH!!! and buy up all the dueling dinos that we (Red and I) have deemed unnecessarily expensive toys.

And in that instant I went from doing this-

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to this-

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Thankfully the ride ended soon after and apple of my myopic eyes raced home to tell his father about the love he has for his fellow-man and how he wants to bring joy in our lives.

Never a dull day with this one that’s for sure. They *never* tell you these things in those damn parenting books which is why I’m writing my own!

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Lost In Translation #234

That’s a random number by the way. It just seems like there’s way too many lost in translation situations with TO.

Today’s was hilarious because of the kind of kneejerk reaction TO gave to the whole misunderstanding.

So the boy needs a haircut and as has been the case with the past few haircuts, he’s been looking at Indian cricketers’ hairstyles and then deciding which one he likes the best.

Today he kept telling me names and I kept searching for images from which he chose the ones he liked the most. We went through pictures of Pujara, Jadega, Kohli, Rohit Sharma and then came the bombshell-Hanuman! 

I kept asking him if he was sure and he kept saying yes, each time in a bit more annoyed tone. So I searched for Hanuman’s images and found one where some of his hair was visible. I showed that to TO only to have him slap himself on the forehead and go, “Hey Prabhu! I didn’t say Hanuman Ayu…I said Hanuma…”.

Apparently I was meant to search for him

Instead of him

Color me relieved! Taking on a powerful monkey God as a style icon was a bit far out even for me. Phew! Of course TO’s DUH expression floored me as well- complete with the right amount of sarcasm and the mandatory eye-roll.

Boy Scout Motto Redux

As a parent and especially a mother you need to be prepared for ANYTHING. Over the last 8 years I’ve got used to stepping on dinos, finding action figures under my butt and the occasion plastic snake in the bath bucket.

Each animal does tend to stay in its own “ecosystem” though. For example the snake I found in the bucket was a sea snake. The dolphins and sharks that crop up on the cistern or in the bath enclosure are technically near water.

Today I saw TO had found a new way to mark his territory- he left a perfectly formed clay ‘S’ in the bathroom. Say hello to graffiti circa 2019!

I thought about the Boy Scout motto-‘Be Prepared’ and believe (now more firmly than ever) that it applies far more to the mother of boys, scouts notwithstanding, than the boys themselves.

Atleast somethings I can still count on remaining the same…

Harsh Truths

TO learnt a rather tough lesson today- about life, death and how you can’t save everyone.

A pigeon had laid her eggs behind the AC unit on one of our window parapets. It was sheltered from other birds, the strong winds and still gave enough access to the warmth of the sun. 

In due time the eggs appeared and eventually a chick. We’ve been keeping an eye on le chick and seeing the day to day changes in him/her. But the chick was in the infancy stage still and not strong enough to fly.

Today TO came running to me to show me something “very bad” that was happening. A male pigeon was trying to attract the attention of mother pigeon and in the process, with all the flapping of the wings and the clawing that went on, the baby bird got shoved out of the nest and is now slowly dying.

It moved feebly in a rather pathetic creeping manner, trying to get away from the danger and managed to get itself further away from the nest. 

The mother flew away in the entire commotion and now we have a tiny life ebbing out on our window. It’s sad. And what’s worse is that due to the grills on our window we couldn’t access the bird and get it back to the nest and keep it warm somehow.

TO kept hitting the glass to shoo away the bigger birds but they kept at it and in time the baby bird was well and truly done for. And such is the unavoidable aspect of life- bad stuff happens, you don’t get to save everything and everyone you want to and yet there’ll be another nest here again soon. Maybe by the same mother bird. 

Resilience, circle of life or animal instinct, it’s all the same thing at the end of the day…you got to keep soldiering on. Or as Dory said, “Just keep swimming!”

Ta 2018!

I’ve been lazing in bed all day. A semi-cold grounded me. But as always, laziness plays a far more potent role than I ever give credit to.

2018 was a year of massive highs and lows. Saying goodbye for good isn’t ever easy. It’s harder still when it’s out of the blue and leaves you reeling. But thankfully there were the same old comforting things like reptiles and dinos and superhero movies to look forward to, while bingeing on nachos and setting up reading challenges.

I traveled a fair bit and I hope to continue that into 2019 as well. Caught up with the dearly beloved and some others out of a sense of familial responsibility but came away with realizations each time around which have been and will be enlightening in the long run.

We took some tough decisions as a family and girded ourselves up for potential big hitting changes but things haven’t rocked the boat yet. That we are prepared, helps me sleep better at night.

I started on my book. It took me forever to see what was staring at me all along; I needed to talk a bit less and write stuff out a whole lot more. It may never end up on a bookshelf barring my own, but it will get done and soon.

As a family we achieved big milestones of forbearance, discovery and made new memories. We had major laughs, hit our heads against some walls (me more than Red) and in the end decided to suck it up and be grown ups!

More than anything else, this year has been one for generating massive amounts of food for thought. What kind of child to I want to be? What kind of a parent, friend or spouse? And most importantly…how do I want my day-to-day to play out. Am getting to the answers despite the lure of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Here’s to a fabulous 2019 from me and mine along with a retrospective of the year that was.

Salut! 

 

A Quick Trip To Uppada

In the district of East Godavari, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, lies the smallish village of Uppada. Know for its hand looms, the place was on our itinerary recently as we took in a bit of sight-seeing while exploring the wetlands of Kakinada.

Our kids, mine and a friend’s, are pure city slickers. Mine cries out for room service like Princess Vespa from the Spaceballs movie.

But all that apart, our target was to get the kids to see how different people make a living and possibly see a bit of village life and how something as beautiful as a silk saree gets made.

Here’s what we found…

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A partially woven silk Uppada saree

 

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The weaving extraordinaire…notice the pedals below the floor level
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The weaver’s grandsons showing us how a bobbin looks.
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A lovely, vibrant and lightweight Uppada silk.

The artistry of Indian weavers is eons old and while in many places it’s a dying craft because of mechanization, it’s still quite inspiring to see a few colorful threads spinning around merrily and transforming themselves into a lush fabric.

Here’s to more visits to the hinterlands and discovering more of indigenous art forms and their practitioners.

Of Mice And Men

TO’s school puts together a pretty good show for their annual day. The stage, the lighting, the whole shebang is something I look forward to each year. And it’s actually rather superlative given that they have to co-ordinate with kids ranging from kindergartners to 5th graders.

This  year’s extravaganza was their rendition of the Pied Piper of Hamelyn. Between the harlequin-like piper and rats (of which my flesh and blood was one), it was quite enjoyable. I seldom need a reason to start tapping my toes and seeing TO’s practice session at home, I knew it’d be fun all through.

They usually end with a peppy number and get the entire jingbang on the stage to take a bow.

Here’s how it went…