Friday, 22 March 2013

My Holi Dodge!

I grew up with cousins till I was 10 years old. We lived in a joint family in a good South Delhi locality. We were about 8 of us all of varied age groups- ranging from toddlers to college goers! Every festival in the Tyagi Mansion was a riot! How will it not be when there were way too many kids and adults like my Dad and his elder brother who were always party to whatever craziness their kids were doing! When they were not scheming the pranks, they were  safeguarding us from complaining neighbors. With such a support system to back our mischief, our guts were fanned regularly.

The inspiration of this post is that one balloon which attacked me day before and wiped the dust off old memories! Memories of using this same trick to irk every passerby who dared to enter our territory. Not to forget that we were strategically placed on a 3rd floor terrace to carry out our (mis)adventures. You must appreciate that when at least 8 kids are targeting an unsuspecting victim, it must take tremendous team work and understanding to also hide in unison. However, repeated Holis assured everyone living around that it was this particular household that was at the center of all silliness. How we chose our year on year victims was also quite scientific. Whoever looked up and scolded us the most- was naturally the target of maximum mess. I can never forget one Khanna Uncle (is there any chance that he will ever read this blog post?) who was so mad at us for making him a butt of our Holi pranks that for atleast 5 days before every Holi, he used to come out of his house with Henna applied on his head, so if we target him with a balloon, the mehndi will spread on his face and he could have a better case to come and fight with our parents- parents who if were unaware of what their kids are upto still protected us with impromptu excuses like: "Our kids? None of them is even home!" or "Holi par balloon nahi throw karenge to crackers burst karenge kya? Aap chai pijiye!"

Now we are all grown ups. We all have kids who are roughly the same age as I was then. But its their hard luck that they are not together in a joint family set up :). They will never know what fun it is to grow up with older cousins who make you smart simply by being themelves! Trust me all these episodes have made me wiser in dealing with Holi myself! I am going to teach V and N to never target scooters or bikes or people with phones or an old age person or an aunty with a kid blah blah.

Day before yesterday in the evening, when a balloon landed on my feet, I realised that  I am quite a pro in dealing with this! How? This is how....

  1. While I was at some distance, I could see a small kid looking first at me and then up-again at me and then up- I knew a balloon awaited me.
  2. As I neared the small kid, I said to him- "Agar gira na mujhpe balloon, Ill teach you a lesson"
  3. Poor kid made some gesture to his friends on the Top floor of the building and rushed inside his home. He probably meant- "From now on , I am not your friend guys!"
  4. As the kid rushed in, I knew I will be thrown at now- FOR SURE! So I had to come up with a plan to avoid severe damage both physically and reputation wise! This is, in case, my threat which scared the ground floor kid had not scared the Top floor ones!
  5. As I was right under the 'terrace of menace', I moved as close to the wall of that house as possible so even if they throw it, they cannot aim my head. How silly it is to aim someone's head anyways.
  6. Just when I thought I had moved out of the danger zone, IT landed on my feet- luckily not a drop of water on my clothes.
  7. I kept walking as if nothing happened. Now this is the best way to tank someone's best efforts! Ignorance. If you will react (like start running in anticipation or keep looking up while warning them not to throw)- trust me- You will definitely be thrown at!
  8. Ya so, as soon as the balloon landed and I kept walking at my normal pace- the kids felt no need to hide. When I moved atleast 15 steps away from their house, I looked back. They were all hanging from their railings waiting for a victim who would show some respect by getting angry or irritated.
  9. Thats when I shouted- "Do this again and you are all gone!". See the logic is simple. Denial is the first way such people will react if you confront them. Catch them red handed and look them in the eye. Dont smile and encourage them (unless ofcourse you are happy to be targetd again when they brand you their "most accomodating victim")
  10. Yesterday as I stepped out of my house and was still at my gate, the ground floor boy ran inside as soon as he saw me. 
  11. I walked past the house with tremendous confidence (from the inside I was trembling) and the kids above kept hanging on the railings.
  12. I am sure they were saying to each other- "Ye boring hai yaar. Lets not waste a balloon on her!"
  13. Good BOYS!! :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A letter from an angel somewhere.......

"I heard that one of them is here. Just over heard as no one has informed me directly. There is no need. I am living in peace now so they generally do not bother me with unnecessary news or developments. Ever since I got this news though, I am very nervous. No, not nervous. There is a slight discomfort. A silly churning in the stomach. Yes it is more like a sense of disgust. My routine is almost set here. From morning till evening, I have things which I stay involved with. I even spend an hour or two looking out to what Mom is cooking, to what my father is going to wear to work- this undoubtedly is the best part of my day. Brings a smile on my face- just watching them go about their normal routines which is now slowly coming on track. But today is different. I do not want to go about acting normal. I dont even want to see my parents today. I dont want to pretend its all okay. I want to sit curled up somewhere, away from even his shadow. This place they are telling me now, is unique. They told me after  gauging my fidget. They know I am not fine today. So they assured me that he has no place around me. He will be far, very far away from where I am. He is here not for the same comforts that I am here for. Infact his life here will be even worse than what it was when he was called here. This makes me feel a little better. Its not that I am happy that his life here will be bad, I am not so mean. I am just happy that he will now not affect me. Infact I am happier that he will not be able to affect any life now! Thats such a relief.

I try to divert attention to other things that need my attention. They make us do some good work here. They keep us busy. There are no deadlines so we can roam about doing whatever we want at our own pace and at our own will. Wish I could call my mother and tell her how happy I am here. But they say I cannot. This is the only one restriction we have. Now thats okay. At least I can watch her thinking about me- which by the way, is every single minute of her day . As they get me my lunch, I make a request. I have thought about it and I want to do this. I want to do this for myself because I know I can do it-in fact I should do it. I ask them to let me meet him. 'Why?' they ask me.

'I want him to look into my eyes', I reply.

'Why?' they ask me again.

'Last time he looked at me and saw courage in them, he got very very scared. He gathered might from some people who too will eventually come here to serve like him and he did not stop hurting me till that courage turned into helplessness, fear, shame and pain. I finally shut my eyes, part due to the pain, and part because I was alone. Today I want him to see my eyes again. I want him to see the same courage in them which scared him. You know he gets very scared of it? And I would love to see him like that again'

'Do you wish to ask him something?' They ask me.

'Oh No No. I know all the answers. I know he is not even here out of remorse. He does not deserve my time or attention. He is a coward and cowardice has no place in my dictionary. He needs help. Many like him do. All they need in the name of help is the same treatment that they met out to us. We should scare them. We should scare them with our collective might. We should stare them in the eyes and tell them that we are not scared of them. Because Humans are not scared of Humans. The whole problem is that he is not a human. And nobody taught me how to deal with in-humans. Where is it taught? Now I see them teaching that too. I am glad this too is finally being taught! can I see him? In the eye?'

They take me out of the room and point somewhere into pitch darkness.

'See him? There he is.'

'But I see nothing', I say

'Just keep looking into the darkness. You cannot see him as we have ensured you never ever get touched by darkness again. Although he can see you. Keep looking at him. We can see he is trembling with fear.'

I keep looking in the sea of blackness. They keep assuring me that with each passing second, his fear is mounting. I finally smile. Just as I do that, they say, he has collapsed. First my courage scared him and now my content has shattered him. I am done with him now!"

Written from The Heaven
By the Fearless one

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dear Mathematics, why the hell are you back?

You have all been with me ever since I started writing about my boys when they were in wet diapers. You have been with me when I was up all night, tending to my new born N in one hand and V( all of 19 months himself) in the other.

Time has progressed and these two nuisances have grown up to become 'too responsible' and 'too big' for everything thats going around them. The troubles have become from worrying about their potty training to now teaching them real time school subjects. I know it will sound very cliched but trust me it DOES seem like yesterday when on my last day of school, I threw my bag on the bed and announced to Mom- "I am finally done with NCERT"! Economics Hons happened, MBA happened but nothing seemed more difficult than the silly school examinations where we were competing like mad dogs for a bone! Hence for someone like me who had promised herself to stay away from school books, having two sons in back to back classes is the worst obstacle in a otherwise happy day to day life.

Just last evening, V reminded me that in my over excitement of spending time with his father over the weekend, I had forgotten his crucial Mathematics homework. To give you a little background on my friendship with this subject- I hate it and it hates me back too! Yes even at V's tiny level- I hate it! Having married a normal student of Maths who not only scored well in it but also loved it, we have decided that I will never let my anxiety rub off on our kids. The truth is, Saurabh and his Mom (a banker) simply CANNOT understand how someone does not like Maths. I have shown them statistics which show that I am NORMAL. 

Now before you start judging me, I must tell you that these days education is not how we had it. V and N have learnt all alphabets and words through a method called Phonetics (I did not have it in DPS) and this enables a five year old to spell difficult words like- 'Through', 'Shrill', "Dinosaur", "Ghastly", 'Thrust' etc etc. Similarly in Maths, its not simple counting, addition and subtraction. They have "methods" which they systematically follow and everyday they come back home and first teach me the method and then we begin their homework.

Anyways, so V sat me down to finish his homework and a seemingly harmless subtraction related excercise awaited us. Within minutes, I was struggling how I can make him do his reverse counting on his limited number of fingers with a problem that asked: What is 23-15! I was sweating on my forehead and my little baby was doubting my post graduation. I too was doubting it after a while so I asked him- "How has Ma'am taught you this?"

V understood that his mother wont be of much help so he gestured a "wait" from his palm and started putting his fingers up and down, scribbling on his sheet, tapping his fingers on his head and wrote the correct answer. I looked at the process and asked- "What did you do?". He replied: "Dont worry Ma. I will manage" and went on with other similar answers. On hearing my animated 'Wows' and 'Goooood', Saurabh joined us like a principal of the school, quietly observed the method his son was applying and left satisfied with the progress! 

This episode ascertains my belief in the following:
  1. You either love Maths or you dont- you are born with it. Its genetic!
  2. I still do not like Maths! I am trying not to let V and N know about this but for how long will I be able to hide?
  3. A day is not far when Saurabh will stop trusting me with his son 's progress in school. However he knows he cannot do without me too!
  4. The "new" methods of teaching should be first taught to the parents of my generation. The algebra my Dad taught me was the same that he was taught!
  5. In today's age its just not me teaching my kids everything, often its them teaching me newer and easier ways of doing things I have always done the harder way.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Why we should be jealous of KRK

I am not very sure how many people reading this, follow KRK on twitter. I do and I am not ashamed of it at all. Thankfully following anyone on twitter is not like adding friends on Facebook. Unlike FB, twitter allows you to be random about choosing who would you like to "know about" on a daily basis, obviously in whatever they can manage to tell you within 140 characters at one go.

I am not a normal tweeple. I am more of a stalker. I open twitter as many times I open FB but never tweet as extensively. My favorite activity on twitter was to see whats trending in India and then going through all the funny (and not so funny) tweets from people who go crazy with arbitary things trending- from Gauri Khan's reaction to Kolkata's IPL win to Rahul Gandhi's dreamworld where potatoes costed 2 rupees a kg. . That is exactly how I discovered KRK. So no controversy or hype introduced me to him- it was a discovery I made myself, on my own! 

I do not regret following him though. He may be a loser. He may be a maverick. He may be a complete idiot. But there is one thing we can all learn from him- he is bloody confident about all of this! Look at how others react to 'bad tweets' about them- for instance intelligentsia like Barkha Dutt, Mahesh Bhatt or Chetan Bhagat  start justifying themselves when people re tweet their stuff and make inappropriate comments on them. However KRK, in his signature foolishness, remains absolutely unaware whether a particular tweet has been written against him or for him! He is mindless and ignorant about all this. What a contented state of mind that is! I also happen to follow Paulo Coelho and all the quotes from him which relate to attaining happiness seem to have already been practiced by KRK! Now how cool is that?

The whole premise of human unhapiness is the fact we are too intelligent to have opinions on things around us and when those opinions or actions arent 'accepted' or 'understood' or 'appreciated' by even a fraction of people, we start losing  patience with our sanity. We start reacting, trying to explain ourselves- Unaware that its people's business to talk shit. Even if you did exactly the opposite, they will not refrain from criticising you.

But the state of mind that KRK is in, where he is oblivious of the fact that whatever he is saying or doing is actually ONLY taken as entertainment and nothing else, must be so fulfilling. He unbashedly tells Amitabh Bachchan that his water comes from France and milk comes from Holland and he does so with an innocence of a child who has no clue who the hell is he talking to! I envy him. I wish I had the brains like him where good or bad, intelligent or stupid had no distinctions! Where I could be myself, say everything I wanted to say and at the end of it all have no meat in my head or conscience to sit and wonder if I said it right or wrong!

Think about it :) - (Because you CAN)

P:S- Picture courtesy: Google image search! Please do not sue me!!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Short Story

I was super excited for the launch of my first published work but destiny had something else in store. Luckily it was just a delay and not a no show!

But as they say, the show must go on. Read a short story of mine that got published on Indus Woman Writing forum.

Click link below (and be kind enough to comment):

P. S- Before my fate runs ahead of me and this site too faces the infamous technical glitches- READ NOW!