The peace and joy and wonder of childhood!

You know what day it is today? It’s my yearly blog post update day! Yay! Look I just wait for something to really move me before I type. So some of you know that I am setting up a new business, this post is not about that, since if I were to start writing about that I will not be able to find time to set up the business any more. All I can say is its much more resource, money, time intensive than you first imagine it to be, but more on that later, maybe or maybe not. Back to what moved me.

So, Jahnavi is now about 2 & a half and terrible twos would be a huge understatement, one dialogue between me and Ashu doesn’t go by without some background score of a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-i-j-k-l-o-meno-p-q-your-s-t-u-v-double-u-x-y-and-zee or some other song from that genre. Dance and music is a large part of every toddler’s entertainment and mine prides herself in being a self-proclaimed ‘balina’ (meaning ballerina). We were filled with mixed emotions when her pre-school sent a letter about her participation in the annual concert, mostly we were excited but we were also sad mainly because the costume charge, ticket costs and video recording would set us back by over $100. Anyway, so that happens of coming Friday.

Now if you don’t have a toddler (you would probably not read this) let me tell you that teaching them a dance, or anything, is a HUGE task and the key is practice and more practice. Beginning of this week Janu fell ill so she couldn’t go to school, which meant she missed her practice, today was her dress rehearsal. So, giving it due importance I thought I would take her to the concert hall and get her familiar with the place, loud music, big lights etc. a tiny voice at the back of my head was telling me that wasn’t the best idea but I went anyway. You get an idea where this is leading right? Yes, it wasn’t a great idea, she cried all through the practice, did not dance at all and hated the entire experience and understandably I was extremely sad as well. Only silver lining for me was she had a very grumpy face, while all others were smiling in all her photos, which I thought I would buy at some atrocious price per print (in this era of digital photography) to show her when she would challenge me for being emotional or stupid or other such stuff few years later. Need to be prepared! You might have judged me by now as a mean parent, but I heard lately on Ellen show, ‘What you think about me is not my problem‘, so living by that these days.

She is a very thoughtful person, my little Janu! When we came back home from the concert she slept off and then when she woke up she gave me a photo opp that would save me quite a few  dollars, its a pity the powder-pack was only half full or we would have had a whiter Saturday than that! Notice how she refuses to look into the camera.


OMG - One Mad Girl!


This incident and especially this picture gave me immense joy for many reasons one of them is, as I am told, I did the same thing decades ago (I am that old! boo hoo!) with kajal and on a beautiful & aspirationally expensive dress which my folks bought to dress me up for diwali. When I did this, my mumma let me just enjoy, the dress was already painted in black with kajal smeared all over, but she let me soak the moment. Some might think that my mum at that time and now I, should have disciplined our child but I think sometimes we should just let them live as they want, not singing or dancing for other’s entertainment but their own, sometimes being covered in powder all over, or blowing bubbles on a very rainy evening aren’t these the joys of childhood that we all yearn when we grow up?

I won’t really change my parenting style but just for curiosity tell me:


A Game Of Shame And Revenge

Make way for our next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

He didn’t seem to notice her staring at him. His balding head, grizzly beard… gave her goose bumps. He was an enigma. Despite every criticism he had faced in the last couple of weeks, he had remained stolid and unabashed. If nothing else, she admired his superior, almost brazen self-confidence.

But how could she forget the taunts she had to face – because of him? He had shamed her. Beyond words could explain. Everywhere she went, people associated her with him. They called ‘her’ and ‘her people’ a ‘cheat’. The real reason for her taking this so-called vacation was to escape the taunts from her colleagues and friends.

‘This is my chance!’ she muttered under her breath, with a determination she never thought she was capable of. ‘I will have my revenge’.

Liz gave flashed her best smile. He didn’t notice. She jerked slightly, spilling water over herself. He noticed. She then took off her jacket with one quick sensuous movement. Beneath, she was wearing a lacy black vest.

This time, the man put his magazine down, and gave her a small grin. ‘Water spilled huh?’ he asked in a thick Indian accent. Liz smiled sheepishly, eyeing the little document holder tucked away in his seat pocket.

‘Hi, I’m Liza..’ she introduced herself with a firm handshake.

Hellow’ he replied, not letting go of her palm.

‘So what takes you to Sydney?’ she cooed.

‘You see, I have to build rapport.. we can have relationships, you know’ he winked.

Liz shuddered inwardly, but nodded. ‘I see. I’m so cold! Would you mind lending me your jacket?’ she asked sweetly.

‘Of course, anything for a beautiful girl like you!’, the man replied, and gallantly left to fetch his jacket from the overhead locker. Liz used the minute, to do exactly what she had planned.

By the time he had returned to his seat, she had covered herself with a small blanket, and pretended to have fallen asleep. The man frowned upon the opportunity lost! He looked for his magazine, but it was gone.

The next couple of hours were spent in silence, interrupted by the drone of the airplane, snores from the man, and the quiet ripping of some papers beneath Liz’s blanket.

When the plane landed, Liz beamed upon the man ‘It was a pleasure meeting you, good-bye’. He smiled half-heartedly. She sniggered, and quickly walked away to find a spot from where she could hide and watch the fun.

At the immigration gates, the uniformed authorities surrounded him. He seemed to be searching for something. He rummaged through every pocket, but couldn’t find what he was looking for, so desperately.

‘Sir, you have to produce your passport!’ the staff shouted impatiently.

‘You know who the hell I am?’ the man replied arrogantly.

‘We would if you could show us your passport’

Liz giggled.

The authorities looked at each other, and decided to take him in! ‘Bring the cuffs’, one of the security officers threatened. The man shook his head miserably. He looked wild and angry. ‘I’ll destroy you!’In a moment, his expression changed to Sad and Hurt. ‘Please believe me!’ And finally, helpless.

‘Take him to the interrogation cell!’ The authorities led him away unceremoniously.

Liz strode out of the airport, laughing under her breath:

‘You shamed me, you a*shole. You brought dishonour to me and my country. Made us a bl**dy laughing stock. Everywhere I go, people snigger at how corrupt, inefficient and shameless we are! Now you deserve this! May you rot in prison, you slimeb*all!’ she laughed to herself, and hailed a cab.

She stopped at a dustbin, to drop the shredded pieces of bluish-greyish paper. The passport of Suresh Kalmadi, chief (dis)organizer of the Common Wealth Games 2010.


A Moment to Forget (or Remember?)

Here’s the next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

He glanced up suddenly at her, and then smiled – a bemused smile. He removed the headphones from his ears, and then studied her intently for a moment. She swallowed uncomfortably, looked at her boarding pass to check which seat she’d been given, and then cursed her luck. She was in the wrong seat.

Worse luck yet, her actual seat was just one row behind. She got up, and then looked at the numbers again.

“Excuse me,” she told the guy, who still wore the same bemused smile on his face, “But I think that is my seat.”

“So it is,” he said, getting up and moving to seat next to hers. She took a deep breath, composed herself, and sat down.

There was a loud crunch. She got up, shocked, and then winced when she saw that she had sit down on top of what she presumed were his glasses. He grinned more (what was making that man smile so much!?) and picked up the glasses. She could see that the glass had cracked.

“I’m really sorry,” she began, only to see his expression change for the first time to a frown.

“Sit down, Liz,” he said, his tone suddenly different from what it had been a moment ago. Suddenly he was no longer the polite stranger, but the old acquaintance. The shift made her heart start beating a little faster. His frown turned deeper, the chocolate brown eyes squinting in a way that she remembered rather fondly. “You do remember me, don’t you?”

How could she forget? The fairytale whirlwind romance, the wild week in paris with the handsome stranger, those days when she was happy?

“Of course I remember you,” she said, but she had to struggle for a moment to place the name. “Brian.”

“I’m glad,” he told her, and the boyish grin that she also remembered very fondly returned. “I haven’t seen you for…what…two years now? How have you been? And what’s up in Sydney?”

“I’ve been, fine,” she answered cautiously, not really sure where she wanted to take this. “Just going on a vacation…what are you doing?”

“Visiting my family. My dad lives in Sydney. You know – Rottheimer, from the Rottheimer and sons…”

His dad was the biggest business man in Sydney? Now that was really something she would’ve liked to have known before.

“So, as you’re in town,” he said with a grin, distracting her from her thoughts. “Why not join me? For, say dinner, this Tuesday?”

She opened her mouth to reply, but he ran a finger on her hand, reminding her of too many things at once, making her forget what she was going to say.

“Sure,” she said instead, and decided to leave the explanation of the fact that she had a boyfriend for another day.

Later, years later, when she tried to remember (or forget) this meeting…she felt bad – just not bad enough.