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!

Don’t Have Kids…

but be around them. Children are Nature’s balm. They may come across as incomprehensible, demanding, whiny brats who you often fantasize about leaving on someone else’s doorstep, but kids have something we end up losing as adults- an ability to laugh at the silliest and simplest of things.

Take a little boy who’s recently become a friend of mine. He’s suffered an irreparable loss. That of a parent. He’s asked all the questions kids do when they don’t really understand death. He’s cried. He’s been sad and am sure he’s looked up quite often when the doorbell’s rung, hoping to see a particular someone. But while adults around him grieve and struggle to let go of their pain, shared and individual, he has his armor on and it’s keeping him safe. And the beauty of it is that it’s intrinsic 

He’s laughed at oranges that rolled off a table and went under a couch, a squishy grape that hit him on the chin while being deseeded, a wobbly banana that could no longer hold its pose and fell down with a splat or the little toy engine that went off the tracks and into the belly of an alligator.

He laughed again when he remembered what seemed like utter and complete silliness to him and seeing him we laughed as well. And felt a little better. Because unalloyed laughter is precious. And rib tickling, clamp-your-hand-over-your-mouth kinda laughter is infectious, uplifting and makes things seem just a little bit better; even on the really tough days.

Thank god for children. Thank god for all they find silly and thank goodness for fruits that’ve stopped being firm. It would seem that there’s plenty to be thankful for at the end of the day after all.

Of Romance and Fried Eyeballs

Four years ago I wrote this blog post and I’m still laughing about it. Sometimes all the way to the loo because when Red ends up being funny inadvertently, it’s bad for my bladder.

One of the biggest yarns ever spun in my home is about Red getting a 92 in Hindi many moons ago. Anyone who knows him knows that to be the biggest crock of malarkey. Ever.Not surprisingly, no documentation of this mythical “92” has ever been seen.

Every now and then I’ll listen to a couple of mellow, Hindi songs which particularly pluck at my romantic vein. And that’s when Red strikes. With a seemingly innocuous question, a guileless face and completely out of the blue, he’ll make me go from a mellowed out woman to someone who looks like this- Image result for dafuq gif

Tonight was no different. I was looking up the lyrics to Roz Roz Aankhon Tale. Now it’s not entirely phonetically spelt out in English, I accept, but the husband cottoned onto just ONE word from the entire song, took it out of context and changed the meaning from love to cannibalism in one fell swoop!

“Taley” in Hindi means below, underneath. Talna means to fry. Somehow, Mr.92-in-Hindi grabbed onto that random memory from his vast, spacious vault of Hindi vocabulary and asked me, “Doesn’t tale mean fried?” And now, instead of remembering Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle’s mellifluous duet, I’ll see eyeballs sizzling on a skillet.

Don’t be too surprised if I walk around zombie-like after sometime and turn into Cole Sear and say 

substituting eyeballs of course!Image result for eyeballs gif

 

 

 

Tech-Savvy Woes

I’ve written earlier about the advent of Alexa in our lives. Red was in the market for good quality speakers and was considering buying Sonos and then suddenly got his head turned by the cute lil dot that now talks to us in a STRONG American accent and frequently gets our song choices wrong because she doesn’t get us much. And that’s funny because the offspring has his own twangy accent that sounds kind of like Alexa and yet they don’t always communicate correctly.

Properly enunciated crisp diction rings her bells though. Take for example, MLM wanting to hear Ra.One’s Chhammak Chhallo. He yelled out into the general direction of Alexa, “AlexaplaymeChamakChalo” and pat came the reply, “I’m sorry. I am unable to understand you.” El Brato grumbled, “Stupid Alexa” and then yelled out to me, “Ayu…come and tell Alexa the song I want to hear. It’s not listening to me.”

And there I was, speaking to the dot, yet again, telling her to play Chhammak Challo, said with tight lips and no hint of any accent anywhere. And she popped up saying, “Here’s ChamakChalo from VishalShaker”. I swear there was no difference between her and MLM but someone must have a hearing problem somewhere so I’m still running interference for them both and waiting till he asks me to tell her to play ‘Rashke Qamar’. Last time he asked her to play the song she played Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush

For my troubles, I get to hear the dratted song on loop till my brains start to leak out of my ears. *rolls eyes*

Signing off!

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Bedhair: A Quick Look

Have you ever had one of those days when you got up, stumbled to the loo, turned on the light and thought,”Dang! My hair looks awesome!” How’d it get like that? No? Well, that’s understandable…the likelihood of bed-hair looking good rather than freakish…well the odds are against it.

I can categorize my bedhairiness ranging from mild to oh-my-god-give-me-a-hat.

It can manifest in a mild cowlick a la Dennis the Menace that I either ignore or pat down with some water to the slightly creepier Bride of Frankenstein look. 

Btw, I chose Mrs.Frank as a reference point because a) Einstein’s hair is just so passe b) I am graying these days ergo…

Anyhoo, bedhair is only troublesome if you have to meet people. Especially people you don’t know and have to make small talk with while some other work is on-going in the background.

Nothing is makes conversation falter more than having a head of hair is which partly curled inwards and the rest is staticky and pretty much pointing every which way it wants. Some days there’s just not enough hair serum in the word.

I remember a scene from the movie Moonlight and Valentino (not worth watching) where Elizabeth Perkins wants to look more attractive for Jon Bon Jovi and gets her hair styled to get a “I just got down from a bike” look and when she sets out on a date with JBJ, he of the less than perfectly styled head of hair, rolls up the windows because he doesn’t want his hair to end up looking like hers.

But away from all the references, the way you wake up in the morning, makes a huge difference to how the rest of your day plays out. You can go from happy to hilarious to hillbilly in a manner of seconds. The worst situation is when you think there’s an intruder standing right behind you- your hair looks *that* out there!

So, slightly vain people…oil your hair a bit especially if it starts to frizz, don’t comb it with 90 brush strokes like you read you needed to do before bedtime. We’re challenging a lot of the gyaan the 90s threw at us and always keep a spray bottle handy…it’ll either help you calm your hair down or jerk you awake to see the intruder you thought was lurking behind you, was just you with an angry head of hair and grumpy countenance.

P.S: not a single bad hair day can compare to this lady though…so take heart…

Of Deaf Leopards&Animal Scat

I’d overslept this morning and headed out to the gym midday, MLM in tow. Boy! That should have tipped me off exactly what would ensue while driving those measly 4 kms. But by all means, let me wax on and wax off Daniel-San!

Sorry, couldn’t help the last bit. Watched the original movie after ages and have been saying Wax-on, Wax-off in my head. Damn you Pat Morita!

Anyhow, among the less than pleasant traits that the offspring has inherited from moi is his urge to listen to the same song till he tires of it. Never mind others are already stuffing their ears with whatever they can to stop the earworm from advancing, but MLM and I remain oblivious to our surroundings and keeping blaring the songs.

After a few weeks of Fugly- Fugly ruling the roost in the car, I was finally given an opportunity to play something I wanted to listen to. A random selection brought up Vault and Hysteria came on. The little man instantly liked it (YAY!) and asked me who was singing. I often think about filtering my words before speaking to him but I was navigating through midday traffic and thoughtlessly said, “Def Leppard”. And we were OFF!

From laughing his hieney off about leopards being deaf to talking about big cats; I heard it all. I heard about animals marking their territory albeit in the uncensored version aka the leopard does “susu” on the tree and then kicks some sand on the tree with his feet backwards et al”.

Note: Anyone who doesn’t know how kids talk might think it was a very special kind of leopard or it was a mutated one, but “with his feet backwards just means with his back feet.

On we go…once he started talking about the big cats, I had to hear about each animal marking it’s territory, one by one. After the leopards came the tigers, lions, cheetahs, the jaguars, the ocelots, the panthers, the pumas and the snow leopards as well.

Just as he was running out of breath and I was pulling into the parking another thought meteorite hit him with a bang! “But why don’t they poop when they pee?” is the question he wanted answered.

As I herded him out of the car and up the steps I thought to myself, this kid is either going to be a naturalist a la Attenborough or he’s going to be a zookeeper! In any case ‘deaf leopards’ is a moment etched firmly in the annals of mother-son time.

Image result for leopard with headphones

Book Review- Fowl Language

This book speaks for itself. It’s non-preachy and basically talks about the incomprehensible, inexplicable turns a person’s life takes once they become a parent. From juice boxes to joy, partying to poop and basically the utter, utter delight and nerve-wracking situation that is parenthood. Brian Gordon is someone every parent and non-parent should read (although parents will be the ones nodding along like bobble heads while the non-parents pat themselves on the back on having dodged that particular bullet!) to see the humor that often escapes us during parenting. Especially during poopy-times 🙂

Pick up your copy today. I did! 🙂

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