Ruminations@3 AM

I have a slightly off sleeping pattern. I need to time it pretty precisely so I get my required amount of sleep. Too early and I’m up 2-3 hours prior to my usual wake-up time. Too late and I’m rushing through the morning just to catch up with everything that needs to get done by 9 am.

Some days, like today, I’m up early and looking out at the city and it’s pretty darn quiet. No sounds anywhere and few cars around. Almost seems like I’m the only one up for miles around.

I drift from room to room and ultimately set up shop somewhere and start listening to music (right now it’s Sonique’s It Feels So God) or start streaming something-none of which aids in going back to sleep.

Social media can be a boon at this time. Or a curse. But then again it always is. I see whose babies are upto what or where people are travelling to and wonder about life.

I also go and look in on TO and either cover him up with his sheets or demummy him (aka unwrap him head to toe) and start thinking about the morning.

Occassionally I catch up with my BFF because she’s on a continent that works with this time difference. But I mainly go into the bhatakti aatma mode till I give up the ghost (totally bad punning at 4 am) and wait for morning.

I really want to just be able to do this though…

Stupid growing older and messed circadian rhythms.

Grrr!!

What Dreams May Come

For every student who dabbled in Psych, Sigmund Freud is a part of the study one couldn’t escape. He was the pit in the cherry or any fruit that you had to eat around and eventually spit out. And now I’m doing justice to both my Psych and English Litt backgrounds by using metaphors and also showing my subtle dislike for the man.

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But dislike aside, pioneers usually pave the way by being the first one to *do* or propound something. In the course of time people run with it, either disprove it and tear it down to build anew or to use it as a foundation for their thoughts and research.

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Why am I talking about the dirty old man of Psychology on this fine, breezy morning? Well, he spoke and researched at length about dreams and their meanings and I can barely count the number of times I’ve seen non-psychology students get his book and flip through the pages and try and find a meaning for the dream that they had.

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I have rather vivid dreams, complete with background scores and set decor sometimes. We all pick up cues from our environment all day long. Some we’re aware of and others hover on the edge of our consciousness and come out full force when the guards are down aka asleep.

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It’s not only the bad dreams that startle us or make us think. Prima facie even a “happy person” who’s looking forward to something fun and positive could have a dream that makes them think, “why that dream? what could it possibly mean?” And the answer can sometimes elude us and at others it’s right there in front of us.

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I have no idea why I dreamt what I did last night. I don’t even know for sure if it was negative in it’s connotation. So many things get tainted with a negative slant because of fear, misinformation or just because of stereotypes when it could actually be a far more benign thing.Image result for freud dream meme

And sometimes a dream is just that, a dream and not something that needs to be dug into deeper. I’m playing Roberta Flack’s Set The Night To Music while typing this post out…it could mean nothing or it could mean the nights have to be waaaay more chillled out for me going forth.Related image

But one thing seems certain, my kid needs new toys. If I find another reptile while I’m brushing or making the bed or see him search for poisonous snake pictures and videos on my phone then the blame’s squarely landing on a particular pint sized person who clearly overshares his interests with his reptile-fearing parent.

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Mommy over and out!

 

Ye Gods…

My child is currently anti-clowns. Especially Pennywise. Apparently he snuck a look at the new IT and it creeped him out big time. So Pennywise is the present symbol of everything that’s bad in his freaky little world.

Today after he got back from school he was using me as a trampoline and I made a scary face and did my scary laugh to get him to leave me alone. Apparently I was too successful because he called me Pennywise.

Knowing how he feels about the character, I made my sad face (I have a whole gamut, I’m not like Zoolander) and he immediately rushed to mollify me saying,”Don’t be sad..you’re just like Pennywise…only nice.”

Yeah..just call me Gymbo.

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!

A Bit Of Silver And Grey

In the last couple of years my reading material has been fairly unchanging. It’s been the likes of John Sandford (love his work), Carl Hiaasen (cannot get enough of it) and some new authors I came across courtesy the Kindle store. Amongst them Jana DeLeon stood out because while her work wasn’t “hardcore literature” it wasn’t silly fluff either. It was a humorous and quite likely an accurate look into the lives of people in a small town on the bayou in Louisiana.

Each character is well-fleshed out without cutting corners and being lumped into a group of hicks and rednecks who keep chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground. I mean stereotypes only take you so far after all.

The chief amongst them are two old ladies who were counterintelligence back in ‘Nam and came back home without anyone having cottoned onto their true colors. Over the years they’ve become older, more idiosyncratic but are still sharp as tacks and quick on their feet…most of the times.

I’m mentioning the old people here because in the books I’ve grown up reading, old people are relegated to a secondary status. It’s the cheerful grandma who bakes cookies or the grumpy grandpa who eventually gets the sulky teen to realize some truths about life. But these characters are not always flesh and blood. They are bit players. They add flavor but in a restrained manner.

The other series of books which recently caught my attention are by Amanda M. Lee about a family of witches who live in a small town in Michigan. Notice the small town motif? They have a great aunt at the helm of the family and while she’s not an evil witch, she isn’t above bewitching things to punish others or to get her own way. Whether it’s selling her home made hooch (again something in common with the old ladies of the bayou) or growing “glaucoma medicine” aka pot, under the eyes of the law, or wanting a pet pig she’s a character all by herself and rightly so.

The eccentricities that the old people can lay claim to because they’ve seen their share of things in life are nothing short of mindboggling to banging your head against the wall in frustration-types. And you just can’t make them back down and play ball with the rest of the lot. Not in real life and not in stories either.

Am glad that this segment of people have found their representation in books because we’ve had enough of rosy cheeked grandmas and fairy godmothers. We haven’t had enough of crocodile-walking, bike-riding, dentured women who can’t read without their bifocals and can down moonshine with the best of them!

Go silver!

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!

Money-Grubbing Altruism

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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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