Our Own Spin On The Puranas

My kid has his own way of narrating things. He’s big on prepositions and paraphrases to his heart’s content and the end results are hilarious to say the least. However, we dare not laugh. Thankfully he doesn’t read (or get) my blog so this is my safe place.

He was interested in knowing about the Greek and Roman Gods and so I told him whatever I knew. But with the multihued Hindu pantheon up for grabs, it was just a matter of time till the mother-son team descended on the unsuspecting celestial beings and twisted them to our own understanding. So here goes a conversation between TO and Red. All the stuff in parentheses are my interjections.

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” So there was this guy called Prahland and he totally liked Vishnu. His dad was a really bad guy, I can’t remember his name (Hiranyakashipu)..oh yeah, him. So Prahlad was good and his dad was bad and his dad wanted to kill everyone and so he kicked the holding thing in his palace (wtf…it’s a pillar not a holding thing…oh wait yes it kind of is) and the lion swami came out…he was half lion and half man and we had seen him in Pondicherry (Hampi), oh yeah Hampi and he was wearing a cap (a crown) and he ripped that guy’s dad’s stomach and he killed him.”

Red: semi-proud, more than a little confused and wondering what nextImage result for dafuq gif

Me: this kid is going to kick ass in precis writing if that’s still part of the curriculum for him laterImage result for nazar utarna gif

Here endeth the lesson

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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!

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.

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…

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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Lessons In Parenting

Letting your kids win at games may cause tiny faces to erupt into smiles but it doesn’t always teach them how to aspire to win. Even worse, they often begin to expect that everyone who plays against them will also lose. 

When this happy state of affairs doesn’t come about too often, the little face is nothing short of woebegone with signs of tantrums lurking here and there.

So be a good parent and do your kids a solid…beat the pants offa them! Winning isn’t everything but they need to want to win enough to try for it. Everything else, the fun and giggles, is just the icing on the cake.

Nuff said.

Lessons In Parenting

Letting your kids win at games may cause tiny faces to erupt into smiles but it doesn’t always teach them how to aspire to win. Even worse, they often begin to expect that everyone who plays against them will also lose. 

When this happy state of affairs doesn’t come about too often, the little face is nothing short of woebegone with signs of tantrums lurking here and there.

So be a good parent and do your kids a solid…beat the pants offa them! Winning isn’t everything but they need to want to win enough to try for it. Everything else, the fun and giggles, is just the icing on the cake.

Nuff said.