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.
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.
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-
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!
Yesterday the offspring went back to school after a little over a 2 month break. Part of the back to school celebrations was a movie before the school opened AND a chocolate milkshake at CCD after school opened. I wasn’t in favor of milkshakes in this weather (rainy, gloomy at times and full of sniffles as far as the ear can hear) but hey…gotta keep the troops happy. More importantly it was to acknowledge and reward the rather difficult decision that was accepted by MLM of there being no television Monday to Friday and being allowed access to t.v. only over the weekend and in a measured manner.
I enter CCD and ask for a milkshake while MLM bounds about like a puppy let off their leash…he has his nosed pressed against the glass with the eclairs and chocolate pastries inside and looking like Oliver Twist. Whereas his mother, aka well-fed me, looks like I caused Oliver Twist’s situation in life. But more about my gluttonous ways later. Now, and this usually ends up happening to me (viz an inexplicably weird and slightly dumb situation) on asking for the milkshake I get this reply, “Madam…our BOGO is not there”.!!!
Reading something and hearing it read out can often have different reactions in people. Even when I read BO-GO, my mind processes ‘buy-one, get-one’. My mind doesn’t phonetically sound out the letters. So hearing BOGO, I said HUH??!! The guy behind the counter gestured in a downwards and sideways sweeping gesture and again said, “Our BOGO is not there.”
By this time, thinking of him lacking in some ahem…parts or “things”, I made a really sad face before it hit me that the BOGO offer wasn’t available any longer. I was so relieved to have understood him that I positively beamed at him and said NO PROBLEM! Which may explain his odd looks at me…since when do customers get happy about knowing that the free stuff stopped?
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*
The brat is keeping us massively entertained with the things he’s been learning in school. And while he no longer has the problem with his hearing that he did before, he is still prone to quite a bit of distractibility. That coupled with things that are repeated while he is in a group, like the school assembly, and the things he ends up hearing and then repeating at home are genuinely worth LOL-ing over.
Sometime in the past week he came home and started assuming poses of being in attention and at ease and had me follow suit. He told me to be in “tension” and then in “sanities”. I could barely muffle the snort of laughter that came out of my mouth and was immediately told off by a rather disgruntled little boy!
Yesterday there was a parent-teacher meeting in MLM’s school and among the many things discussed were his need to learn more patience. Yeah…not gonna happen in my lifetime! His homeroom teacher said she led the kids in meditation everyday for a few minutes and recommended that we try the same at home for more impact.
This morning Red decided to do an impromptu meditation session for the three of us just after we got up. The way Red instructed us did NOT resonate with the offspring so he usurped the role of leading us. These were his instructions:
“Ok…first you IN HELL. Then you EXIT.Good. IN HELL again and EXIT!”
Have you ever tried inhaling and exhaling when your entire body was shaking like a mini earthquake?
I was feeling like Santa viz belly shakes like a bowl of jelly. And sadly with the lard am carrying, it won’t take me too long to get their either.
All in all, it was the most novel way I’ve ever started any of my Sunday…In HELL and Exiting..
Oh lord…I love being this kid’s mother. Life is a lot of things but seldom boring. Even when he’s hopping around singing this song.