The Scorpios

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Friday, October 29, 2010

I Always Thought My Kids Embarrass Me in Crowds

They find small excuses to cry or fret or complain everytime I am busy in a crowded party.
But on hindsight, I realize they do it only when I am one of the organizers and they feel neglected. They check on me from time to time so they seem to be the only ones coming in the way of my work.
The last party was an eye opener.
1. While most of the other kids were screaming, jostling and clamouring to be first - my kids were politely saying- me ? me? Not even once insisting "Me first - Me first".
2. While most of the other kids were crowding around the toy basket and snatching and collecting many toys for themselves, my kids were asking or at the most crying to me saying which toy they wanted- and they would settle for just 1 toy.
3. And when Tejas got a prize - a bag of toffees, all kids snatched the toffees while Tejas was content sucking his earlier prize of a lollipop and Ojas was simply annoyed that why others were snatching Tejas' toy and pushing him. Even then he did not go to snatch the toffees. Only expressed his annoyance to me.
4. While most of the kids surround the hosts with- where is my return gift where is my return gift, my kids ask me and me alone for the return gift. Never once "assaulting" the host with questions.
5. Second helpings? More juice? Another ice cream? Only if I permit or someone directly asks them. They never walk up to the host and demand.
6. And, they never go uninvited anywhere.

Well, I convince myself- as long as their tantrums are with me only, I am ready to bear it even in public. But I don't want them to trouble others or push and jostle and snatch....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Siege of Mithila

I thought the book started slow but to my delight, it picked up pace as it progressed, so much so that towards the end, I began to wonder how the author will finish the story when just a few pages are left.
The book covers the journey of Ram & Lakshman along with Sage Vishwamitra towards Mithila. And what happens during this journey? They meet Sita travelling incognito with her companion through her kingdom in search of asuras preparing to attack Mithila. Does love at first sight happen?
The author beautifully puts through the fact that Rama can reach out to people independent of gender/ position bias therefore he finds it so easy to simply follow Vishwamitra's instructions- no questions asked. Whereas, on introspection, Lakshman realizes why exactly he questions every instruction or decision of the sage.
The book is a medely of divine and dark arts, fantastic characters, events that defy logic yet keeps the interest and curiosity alive. In no case it is a replica of the clean Ramayan that we are used to but a total cocktail of fantasy fiction.
Kaikeyi/Manthara are not just wicked but pure evil.
Sita is not at all demure- she is a tomboy warrior.
So what exactly is the Siege of Mithila? How does it happen? Go on, read it and find out.
And yes- I read the chapter on Sita Svayamvar with bated breath. Even though I know the outcome already.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vande Mataram

Total Concentration on Ojas' & Tejas' faces as the promos of KBC came wherein a participant was singing Vande Mataram.
Made my eyes brim with tears of pride.

In their countries series, they have also learnt National Songs / Anthem too.
Seriously I am facing difficulties coping with their studies!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now That Makes Me Feel completely Jobless

Neighbour's Kid R- What are you making?
Me- who was loafing around doing absolutely nothing- Nothing!
R- Then make cakes
(the unsaid was of course- don't roam around uselessly, do something useful)

But then- since he is my biggest champion - the one who can charm my cake off my baking pan- out of my greedy hands, I take it as a compliment!

Monday, October 25, 2010


So Tejas can read with the book held upside down and Ojas can effortlessly write Mirror Language.
The two can manage their guests on their own- which includes bringing out bowls and serving snacks to their friends afer a decent interval of the visit has passed -on their own accord mind it- no prompting from me- rather this prompts me into action when I forget my manners when guests are at home.

Apart from that, they entertain well too- put on the cartoon, bring out books/ toys/ sketch pen(aargh) & paper for the friends to write.

Then why am I still washing their bum?

Friday, October 22, 2010


Ojas- Radha is Krishna's Girl Friend
Mamma- What is the meaning of Girl Friend?
Ojas- Girl पता नहीं?
तुम girl है ना
(You don't know Girl? You are a girl naa?)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obsessive Cleanliness Disorder

Hop over to Hip Hop's to read this post about queer people with OCD on Cleanliness.
It is strange to see such high levels of obsessive behaviour- so much that one doesn't even care about the comfort of the people living in the house.
To me the concept of cleanliness itself has evolved over a period of time. I come from the Northern part of India where it is not uncommon to walk all over the house with your "outside" shoes/ slippers. I never really thought it to be dirty especially because we do not really use the floor for sitting/ sleeping or preparatory cooking. And moreover, the weather does not permit us to walk bare foot at all.
When I landed up in the South, I was majorly irked by the concept of leaving the sandals outside - it is very common for North Indians to joke- wear any slippers and go, anyway you have to walk bare foot inside the house, so what's the point in wearing your strappy sandals to a party.
Or stuff like- I went inside and could feel all eyes on my feet- then I realized that I have walked in with my sandals.
Just imagine a new year bash inside someone's house and you saunter in a mini skirt, fashionable jewels and ahem... bare foot because you are forced to leave your chik sandals outside the door. Most annoying. Thankfully I haven't had an opportunity to attend such funky dos at anyone's home.
And more than anything else, half my self confidence goes off if my footwear is not right, or to rightly put it - absent.

When I first set home here, I did not have "rules" like shoes outside. But as per the practice here, people would leave their footwear outside before walking in, even when I explicitly told them to wear them inside. I found people happily plonking down on the floor when they came home. When kids happened and they were crawling all over the place, putting stuff including slippers in their mouth, the cleanliness dragon within me got unleashed. Today the rule is all sandals outside in the shoe rack that got specially built outside the main door like it happens in all decent self respecting South Indian homes! So I have finally joined the club!

But, the question I ask is- by keeping sandals outside can one really claim that the house is spotless? I have walked into "no chappal inside homes" and have come out with grime in my foot that takes a good scrub with soap and pumice stone to come off. I have seen people with feet that leave black marks all over because they walk bare foot in their homes.

And I have seen homes where you can eat out of the floor. Now that is the place I would inspite of myself, hesitate to walk in with grimy shoes.

Since I live in the ground floor, the dust flies in faster. You can find me obsessively mopping the floor whenever I see my kids' feet get even slightly blackened with dirt. Because I don't want any one to walk into my house bare foot and go back to their homes with dirt. To me it is the most disgusting thing that could happen to someone.

But of course, it only takes a demo from a vacuum cleaning company to make you realize how dirty your home is.
Infact a new outfit of homecleaning system that would make us poorer by a lakh rupees was demonstrated in our house. He talked about a continuous system that keeps sucking dust particles flying in the air.
I had one question for him- while all this sounds very good, what about when I am outside my home, do I carry this with me all around?
What do you think of shops that request you to leave your sandals outside?
Simple- I stop shopping there!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Brother- we are going to see Ravan
Me- Why raavan? so late? See Robot
Brother - We are going to see Ravan dahan
So I finally gt to see Eindhran (Tamil). Not that it made a difference- Especialy because I could follow most of the dialogues and especially because- where were the dialogues?
I loved the dances most of all. Loved the songs Pagal Anukan and Killimanjaro. The songs lose the mystery in Hindi. In Tamil to me it was a mysterious jabble with exotic dance moves so it suited each other. In hindi, it loses some of that touch.
The story was no big deal. In the end the villain proves to be right and that did not gel with my expectation that the hero is always right! The ending left me a bit dissatisfied.
But overall a total timepass.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Golu This Year

Has been a different experience in many ways
- the kids have actually sung songs in various homes in front of the golu without much pestering.
- they have, with full expectation asked the hosts- what is the gift you are giving me- even mentioning that - I want paint.
- they have gently played with the decor without scattering them or attempting to damage them unlike the previous years

A few days short of the Big 5, I am marvelling at how things have changed in a matter of the last few months- a growth spurt taking place in front of my very own eyes.

They can do a number of things on their own without my over supervision.
I wouldn't have ever imagined that I would let them play unsupervised in the complex- albeit for short periods, with me rushing out every 15-20 minutes to check on them.
Or that they would set the bed for us neatly, refusing help because- that would be a "gift" for us

Even though they cannot wash their backside yet- which is totally my fault - my cleanliness OCD is holding me back, they can take a neat bath on their own and emerge from their room fully dressed as if it is the most natural thing to do for them! Where are those naked babies running all over the place demanding to be dressed?

They do not wet the bed any more. Touch Wood. But I am still protecting the bed with the rubber sheet because I haven't yet seen them wake up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom. The day that happens, the rubber sheet can safely go out of the window. Or do I dare to remove it now itself?

They keep each other busy, chattering non stop, doing activity books/ painting together and at the same time have separate set of friends in the complex- at one time I was lamenting that they do not make friends and now I am worried why they go separate ways thereby setting me on the run everytime I come out of the house to look for them because invariably they are in opposite corners of the building.

The boys are growing up aren't they? The maintenance factor has come down despite my misgivings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Prince of Ayodhya

The first in the Ramayan series by Ashok Banker covers the start of Rama's campaign against the Asuras led by Ravan. The beginning of Ramayana as we know- the city getting ready for coronation of Rama, Dasrath's illness, the apprenticeship of Rama & Lakshman by Vishwamitra for destroying demons in Bhayanak Van. The novel is fast paced yet sometimes the flow is hindered by too much of description that one is tempted to diagonally speed read.
The characters are realistic and for the first time I see Rama as a warrior rather than a God. A manifestation of the human form in totality, yet maintaining the almost to the point of being annoying decency of Ram.
The book is contemporised for modern audience and even more fantasy filled than the famed TV series.
Needless to say, I loved this take on Ramayana. At times I would pause and think- well this looks quite bizzare and unbelievable - did this really happen in the original.
But then, how would I know that and isn't Ramayan or any other story all about being retold a number of times, seeing from one's own lenses and highlighting the aspects that one loves and even embellishing them using one's creative imagination?
The author has used multiple media to depict the story- realtime, dreams, wordless communication- and one wonders whether the dream sequence is reality or is just a pause in teh story. But well, even if it is a dream, why shouldn't it be real too? For dreams do foretell or reflect reality don't they?
I also found a haunting similarity with another much loved series- Harry Potter.
Ravan could easily be paralleled to the invincible Dark Lord and Ram to Harry Potter- the boy hero. Dumbledore and Vishwamitra - aren't they strikingly similar? Both ancient mentors- capable in their own way to destroy the demon but held back by vows of austerity or voice of destiny?
Sorcery, magic, fantasy, dream prophesies- sometimes I would get confused - which series I am reading?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Why You Shouldn't go Chaddi Shopping with the kids

1. They keep saying chaddi chaddi in loud amused voices
2. They keep pointing at stuff and grab the wares and check them out
3. They point and laugh at the underwear ads
4. They stare at the mannequins
5. They try to open the trial room door and then ask loudly- why is it locked? Where will Dadda go then?
6. They teach other kids in the store to come and look at the mannequin who in turn proceeds to lift the T shirt and inspect in further detail.