Monday, 29 October 2007

Wild Life

So its Monday morning and I have had a real hectic weekend and should REALLY be preparing for tomorrow's commitments. But its too exciting.

This morning, I woke up a tad late, thanks to several wakings in the night for bathroom breaks. The brand new mattress pad (waterproof) demonstrated its waterproofness, but had to be sent off to the washing machine in the wee hours of the morning. I was in a bit of a bad mood because I was sure that if she had just listened to me and peed before going to sleep it would have been fine. This new funda of saying "NO" to all my suggestions is a bit annoying. I am dealing with it in my usual crazy way by uttering some philosophical mumbles and narrating stories about grumpy children.

Anyway had to show the house guest of last night the taxi stand so we descended from our flat at 8 am, monster and I (and the guest of course). I did my OM (Obsessive Mom) thing and made her wear a jacket although its October in Mumbai. She was of course happy to comply simply because the jacket is pink. So we dropped guest off, who had some conversations with cab driver, I was as clueless as ever about the extent to which the guy was ripping her off, but muttered some vague objections. On our way back, in a sudden surge of extreme love (despite the pink jacket), I picked up the monster and carried her part of the way. Then when I put her down we ran into the dogs, which was cool cause they had a black patch near their eye that made them look cute. Then we saw a squirrel near the stairs. It was scurrying around busily as usual. I remembered the story about Rama running his fingers on its back but neglected to narrate it to her. Then back into our concrete prison.

When we entered the creche premises, past the numerous pigeons and crows that are resident here, I realised that I was supposed to take her to her school first, not the creche. The creche aunties laughed at me for my absent-mindedness. Then I was off. The monster sprinted down the path to get to the car, I was still in a bit of an OM mode so I sprinted after her screaming, watch out watch out. In the process I dropped the school badge. We got into the car, panting, then went a few meters and I realised the badge thing. I told the driver to please take the car back. He went a few paces and stopped suddenly. I thought he must have spied some running children. But he said Saanp. I was all excited. My god, what speed this creature had. A huge one, seven feet I would say. It rushed off into the wild growth before the monster (who has never seen a snake in the wild) could see it, sorrily. But I saw it!

Another mother with child who was walking along totally freaked and asked me detailed statistics on bites and anti-venom availability and exact genus and venom level of the snake. I, like the idiot I am, told her that this was the fifth snake I had seen this month. She freaked so much at this that her kid (a large three year old boy) started howling. I had to contain my excitement and tell her inane stuff like ok if you dont step on them etc. they are quite harmless. She must have thought we are mad because we were jumping up and down, child trying to find where it went, and me, trying to judge its size (you HAVE to insist the snake it at least a foot longer than it actually is, you know that don't you?), while she seemed inclined to run in the opposite direction!

there is something about creatures in the wild, a beauty, a lissomeness, an innocence. Of course they can be aggressive, but it is kind of strange how scared we are of these poor creatures! I am not saying I am a cool wildlife loving person, not at all, am generally terrified of dogs, even tiny ones, have taken a long circuitous route once when I encountered a cat baring its teeth at me, and, at the sight of monkeys that are our companions here, I clutch bag to bosom tighter and move fast, out of their way. But I so wish I was comfortable with animals, I am sure it is much more fun than, say, dealing with cab drivers!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Music Class

You have the picture in your head - of south Indian girls in paavadais & jasmine entwined oily braids going off to music class, the bells from their anklets jingling. Well, we did not exactly dress like that, just ensured we wore our longer frocks despite the fact that this interfered with ability to cycle properly. For a long time sis used to take me 'doubles' on her big black bike, not because she liked to, but only because my parents made the rules and we just sort of followed them. I was tiny so not a particular load for her, but I did irritate her immensely. Used to wear hawai chappals and somehow or the other they used to fall off mid-way. Then I had to scream and make her stop and run back and fetch it. She hated that. I used to try and try, curl my toes in to hold the damn things, but I would see a nice squirrel and get distracted and that was that.

Anyway I must have gone for some four years to this music class. Our teacher was a family friend, an old lady with loads of children and grandchildren flitting in and out of the house. We sat in a small crowded room on a mat. Sometimes I fell asleep on the Tamboori when sis was singing, making her even more irritated (I was a constant source of embarrassment to her :-(). Sometimes we would go 'GAAAAAA' and a mosquito would fly in. Much coughing and sputtering would ensue, water would be fetched. This water business is always tricky. Generally you are supposed to not touch the sides of the tumbler, just let the fluid trickle in miraculously. As a child and a klutz this used to be a problem. With the mosquito thing, I always forgot the not sipping steel tumblers rule and got looks all around. Eyes would be made, the room would echo with reproach. Thankfully I was tiny enough that people always thought I was younger and found forgiveness in their hearts.

We found every excuse under the sun to skip class - too much homework, exams, cold, cough, guests. Our teacher had her share of excuses too. Somehow we still managed to fill a notebook with the songs we had supposedly learned. Sis spent several vacation days copying this from one notebook to another (she still does). Betting on this, I once covered (to her horror), all the remaining pages of the previous year's notebook with my attempts at drawing profiles of faces. I was fascinated by noses and eyelashes, so my profiles had a good sprinkling of those things. She was angry enough to complain to mom.

This was several years ago. Today I can sing passably when the mood strikes, and remember something like three songs from the lot. I tried to put in a lot of practice when the monster was just born, keeping the notebook (not the one with the profiles, the next year's one) next to my pillow, and singing singing singing while feeding bathing changing anxiously watching the baby, not to mention of course during those long hours of trying to get her to sleep. Sis does much better, has routinely taken new classes in singing, and keeps it up, although it is not Carnatic Classical music anymore, she has branched off to all sorts of other genres.

I have been reliving these times this week, having decided to inflict these classes on my own child now. We found a couple of teachers around, convinced them to attempt this as a pilot, for the next month. Hopefully it sticks, if not, well it may not matter much, really. She does have the ability to hold a tune and a pitch, as far as I can tell, so perhaps a bit of training will do her good. But then she has to have the right attitude, the time, the right kind of teacher, if it all falls in place, great. If not, hopefully, she will remember the pink mat, the pictures of gods, with some measure of fondness.

Out with the old, in with the new. I made this rule for the child just a few days ago, based on csm's suggestions. She gave away the dresses that were small for her when my mom bought her some new ones. Unfortunately, this now has another connotation in my life. With the arrival of this new music teacher into my life, I hear about the loss of the other one. The grand old lady passed on; sis tells me now. Of course she lives in my heart, she wears a majorly pink sari and flashes her diamonds at me, the turmeric shines from her earlobes and feet, and the mosquito has flown in again and choked me...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Bedding Kenny

Sharing a bed with someone is something I suppose I looked forward to with a mix of excitement and apprehension, growing up. I had a nice twin bed in a room I shared with sis (who had her own identical one), complete with iron rods to hold the white mosquito net, and a handy window shelf where I could place my nightly collection of novels & textbooks & notebooks & puzzlebooks. I usually had my bed near a wall, and would slip my feet out of the m. net and run it up and down the wall. I loved being near a wall, it somehow was (in fact it still is), the ultimate in luxury at bed-time for me. Even in those days (and times) when I did the unthinkable and adjourned to parents room, I ensured I was on the wall-end.

Then it happened. You know, moving away to another country, city, marriage, motherhood, middle-age, and so on. So today you will find me wedged in a sliver of space between the crib (whose one side is removed and the bottom raised, so it is level with our bed), and the bed. The springs on the bed are ruined beyond repair. There is, recently, a faint smell of su-su (it is possible that this is imagined, we are quite rubber-sheeted) thanks to the onset of night-time diaper training. The sheets are usually all crumply. I seem to have several pairs of arms, legs, feet, all over me. I most certainly have thin long tiny fingers scratching my upper arms at various points in the night. My sheet (to wear a-top) is always missing; or balled away at the bottom of the bed. My pillows under the foot (I need to have this ever since that long ago time when the doc advised me to elevate my foot to help heal the ankle sprain; that was about twelve years ago, but still..) have been kicked out on to the floor. There is snoring. There are those long legs leaning out of the bed and threatening to trip me during my nightly visits to porcelain goddess-land. There is a tendency for the air-conditioning to be on for (a)too long or (b)too short a time. There is the annoying red flashing light on the blackberry. There is the harsh blackberry alarm (on the other hand, my own mobile has a refreshingly cool alarm sound).

All this I can take with equanimity. I am able now, after several years of practice, to step over sleeping forms with my eyes closed. I always have an extra sheet under my head-pillow for situations when the original one is missing in action. I have cruelty that gives me the permission to push away scratching fingers from my arms; I have the will-power to not look at the oh-so-cute sleeping face next to me while pushing away. I have the strength to bodily roll the 6ft2in sleeping snoring form to the other side (although it complains occasionally that its back aches thanks to my rolling). I can almost fit into the crib myself, in situations when the war zone that is our bed becomes too tough to handle. I am open-minded about my foot-pillow. But oh, if only, if only, I could have a wall. A cool white-washed wall to hug, run my feet on, trace imaginary butterflies and flowers on...

Monday, 22 October 2007


As a parent, I ask myself, what is it I want for my children? Do I want them to be doctors, engineers, scientists, the Prime Minister perhaps? Do I want them to be happy, contended, pot-bellied, world-citizens? Do I want for them all the riches they can possibly ever desire, a large house with five bedrooms, all with attached bathrooms, all decorously made up in leather, and red brocade curtains, and maroon shit-pots with their own personally matched wash-basins? What is it I want, I ask myself.

Then I glance at my husband. He has donned a suit for the occasion. He looks preoccupied with trying to figure out how to work the lock on the suitcase. I glance at the youngest one on my lap. Its nose has a tendency to run. I wipe it with the end of my pallu. It leaves behind a yellow trail, creating a new pattern on my sari.

I close my eyes for a second. Imagine myself in Kashmir, the flower-laden garden of my dreams, the place I transport myself to, mentally smoothening out all the edges to curves, distilling all the emotions so I am left with nothing but happy memories and anticipations. I hear a thud, and the eyes open out. The husband has gotten frustrated with the lock and dropped it down. The child has started mewling a little. I am back in the present.

It is time now, time to go in to the children's room, gather them together, and head over to the airport for the flight. What is it I want for my children? The question is refusing to go away. I walk in to their room, the little one on my hips. The room is chaos. Toys, mostly cars, are everywhere. I see a pizza box, crumbs around it. The boys have a strong aversion to hygiene. My mother would have been appalled to see a room look like this. I am more open-minded. And less energetic. I catch the eldest by his ear and yell, "I want you in your clothes and out of the door in five minutes." They show a tendency to complain. I yell like a wild animal, but inside, I am calm, the question still in my head, my palms protecting the little one's unstable neck.

They obey, for a change. They are out of their room and running to don their sandals in no time at all. In fact, I am the one who is late, my last minute chores of shutting off the gas, the water taps, the windows, the cupboards, take longer than I anticipate. The husband has that look on his face. The boys are sniggering, as I come out of the last room. I glance at all of them. I look down at their legs. The answer comes to me in a flash. What I want most of all for my platoon of children is - PANTS! Their ankles are showing, they look really pathetic. So what if they have omitted to bathe, their finger nails have not been cut in ages, their toes have gunk between them? If I can only buy them shiny new pants...Jeans perhaps?

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Office Office 2

So I am at this office today. You know, the kind filled with clerks behind ledgers, and people in khakhi whose sole job is to take file from Table A to Table B, and, of course, to answer to 'Eh Raju'

What am I doing here? I am asking Mr.Office Clerk for a favour. Oh heavens! I stand in front of his desk. Smile. Address him as Sir. Introduce myself (this is important, I generally look enough like a student that everyone gets irritated at the sight and sound of me).

I need so and so sir. My husband so and so sir. I realise it is out of the ordinary sir.

I switch quickly between Hindi & English. You never know. Don't want to irritate him. Anyway I am making a reasonably reasonable request. He is adamant. Insists its impossible, he has to call so many people.

Shall I call them sir.

No that is not required he says. Then 'Eh Raju Phone Lagao' Raju proceeds to lagao the phone. He speaks to someone for like ten minutes in Malayalam. They are discussing a trip. They are talking of Udipi and temples and driving and hotels to eat at and road conditions. I think wistfully of our much-talked-about road trip; now that December is almost upon us, all we can talk about is our road trip. We have never taken one, of course. He has nice pictures underneath the glass on his table. Kurinji Flowers (purple & white). Elephants (Bandipur?) Waterfalls. Some stuff from possible foreign locations. I glance up at him. He really has these Soda Glasses. His eye is all distorted to look at. I wonder about his Visa photo. He is still going on about the trip with his friend. AAh he is finally hanging up. I breathe. Smile again.

Raju is summoned again. Although he insists he is Nitin, he is called Raju. He fetches the keys I wanted. Miraculously this has happened. What was an impossibility fifteen minutes ago, has happened here, now, during a phone call about Udipi. I am a little breathless. Of course, there is more.

Sir this is great, but see, we want this key at 5 pm sir, not now. My husband will be back then. Sir.

oh ho madam, why did you not say so, he says. So much trouble I took to get the keys. I launch into major apology mode, and whatever. He questions my husband's ability to reach at 5 pm. I am tempted to tell him that I have already questioned this one and got a bit of my ear bitten off by said husband. I just laugh a bit, you know, to ease up the tension.

You have been a great help sir. I am sure you can do the same at 5 pm. If he does not show up then we will never, ever, till death do us part, trouble you with this matter again, sir. I give you my solemn word, sir.

Now he is embarrassed. Its no problem Madam he says. Huh? I am wondering what suddenly happened. Anyway I thank him again, using the Sir in Club Sandwich Mode (Sir Thank Sir You Sir types). Scoot. Check on Raju's real name. Bestow smile on Nitin, known erstwhile as Raju. Scoot more.

How do I treat people who come with random requests? Do I judge them based on the hundreds before them that have asked me the same thing? Do I colour my interaction with them with irritations that have nothing to do with them, personally? It seems quite possible. I must check it out next time, examine myself, so to speak. For sure, I ignore emails from people who address me as 'Dear Sir' :-)

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Psmith in the City

Well, this is the last of them. I cannot find any more Psmith books.. :-( :-( It was with something approaching sadness that I thumbed through the very yellow pages in the book from the library. BUT HEY WAIT! There is PSmith, Journalist. WHOPPIE!! BTW the library is called 'L'Amour Library' How cool is that?

So the plot is simple, Psmith and Mike find themselves working in a bank because of various reasons. Psmith is still drawing his allowance from father so he hires Mike as his Secretary & Adviser, with the idea that Mike should listen to his expositions on Life and what not. Mike is glad of this because he gets to live in a flat which he could ill afford, although a little worried about the imposition and stuff.

This is the book in which the most hilarious episode in Clapham Common occurs. The first thing to ascertain, says Psmith, that such a place actually exists... You will meet here Psmith's abilities at brawls (and punches). Those that would like to hate the man will be happy to note the way he sneers at Mike's suggestion of riding in a tram. I tell you, this episode is a must-read. Also, Manchester United fans are ably rewarded with copious amounts of commentary here. The only cricket you will find is towards the end of the book, but it is good cricket. There is also a scene involving their boss at the bank, Mr. Bickersdyke, an aspiring politician, in Turkish Baths, & one more where the dude is giving a speech. Both are really hilarious, and extremely illustrative of Psmith-ness.

There is this mirror outside my office window that is glaring the sunlight into my eyes, making me see blue spots even as I type this. For a second there I was sure Psmith, monocle fixed in eye, was standing there, reflecting light. Reality brings to me no such luck, so I make off now, with the warning that Psmith is too addictive, so the weak-hearted may kindly refrain.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


this is a tag by way of choxbox. hope you enjoy. I dedicate the Last N to you choxbox.

K- Kids. I love them, I hate them. I spend enough time with them during a regular day to explore both sides, and hopefully deal maturely either way.
E- Emsworth, Lord of Blanding’s Castle. A favourite of sorts. Loses his glasses, much like the Kutchu of the CBSE text books fame, although they are on his head.
N- Name Place Animal Thing. Have lots of memories of infinite fun at this game, though I often got stuck at N and Animal (not bird).
N- National Anthem. We sing it often at home at the end of day’s play with neighbour girl.
Y-Yann Martel, memorable in Life of Pi as the creator of a tiger named (Sidney) Richard (thanks Laasya!) Parker.
B- Baby Einstein. Like the books, hate the videos. Annoying voice.
U- Umbrellas, what a pity my bright green one broke!
N- News. What I definitely don’t watch on TV. Newspapers. What I occasionally read.
K- Kenny, the original one. He is the tiny one in the orange jacket with hood in the TV series ‘Southpark.’ Famous for innocent looks, outrageous ideas, and filthy language.
P- Pink. Pink is the new black in our household. I am beginning to see its good side now, another lesson learnt from my monster child.
O- Oodles of fun, this exercise has been.
R- Room on the Roof. I wish I had one, though I would like one with high speed internet.
T- Triumphant Thirty Three. The thirties have been awesome so far, even better than the twenties. I had lots of fun in my twenties but the thirties are wonderful because I have searched my soul.
M- Mumbai Marathon Masala, coming up Jan ’08. Hoping to better my previous performances in the half, and, of course, enjoy Mumbai at its best.
A- Acknowledge Alliterations Above (please).
I- India (Chak De!). This is the mantra now. Unashamedly sung anytime, anywhere.
N- Nostalgia, an event in college & a fav indulgence of mine.
E- Ertl. Err, old guy, won the Chemistry Nobel today. I had predicted this back in 1996 in a meeting in Worcester, MA where he huffed through an invited lecture.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

More Psmith

A chance remark by ludwig led me to this one. Psmith in Blandings, what more does one need? Of course, I have read it several times before, but that hardly matters.

So here we see a romantic side of Psmith. The old devilry and the loquaciousness are still there, as is a certain tendency of nattiness in dress. But this time around, I went ahead and fell completely in love with this new Psmith. The cry goes around the battlements 'Psmith is smitten.' There is quite an evolution from the Psmith of college days (Mike and Psmith). For one, he seems to have gained some more height. For a person who is five feet tall on a warm day (i mean myself - ha ha), this is really amazing. How did it happen? The monocle is still around and used to as much, if not more, advantage, rendering species of opposite gender (again, meaning myself) weak-kneed and what not. He has been left fortune-less by circumstances related to his father's demise (earlier to the book), and jobless because, well, he quits the nasty fishy job his uncle foists on him. Of course. Imagine Psmith sorting fish. HMPH. What an unfeeling fellow that uncle must be. And yeah, that weak-kneed thing again because he bears it all with such good humour.

The main gist of the book appealed immensely. The plan is for all the forces of nature to conspire to help good old Comrade Jackson (yes! the same Mike of Mike and Psmith fame). Troops rally around like anything. Oh, how I wish, when parents bung mud at close friend's (and corresponding life partner's) happiness, I would do half of what Psmith does. Meaning, steal diamond necklaces as the only available means to bring happiness to friend and spouse of friend. Perverse parents opposed to the union of two people in love, nothing gets me more riled up than that. See this is why I read and get lost in books. My friends mean the world to me. Their happiness is of immense worth, I hurt real bad when they are hurt. But what do I do about it? Nothing. Psmith, on the other hand, what does he do? He throws himself into the lion's mouth, attacks the problem with vigour, takes matters into his own capable hands, and, at the end, during fade-away, he makes everyone happy all around. Of course, as payment, he falls in love and finds it reciprocated, but still..oh, and of course, Eve Halliday. She is also generally pretty awesome. She does the same for Mrs. Jackson, who is Phyllis, and best friend of Eve. If I mention Eve only at the very end you will accept it, after all, life is really all about Psmith.

By the way, that Rupert thing, to be found three times in Mike and Psmith, is generally ditched in this one. Never once is this name used here (aah I mean, alongside Psmith; of course the other Rupert (Baxter) is in full force here, throwing flower-pots and all). And, yes, in passing, check this book out, merely to revel in that line of all lines 'Across the pale parabola of joy..'

Next up - Psmith in the City. This happens just before the one I am talking about above (which, incidentally, is Leave it to Psmith). Psmith & Mike work in a bank in the city.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Theme Parties, Event Managers

Those are normal words you can use these days when you consider Kiddie Birthday Parties. Apparently. Its fine, I can live with it. Thankfully, on Sunday was a theme party, not involving an event manager. Being a-social and all, we rarely get to go to parties of this kind, but this time, it was unavoidable. Meaning the hosts live next door so we had to be invited, of course.

The theme was Pirates (shudder!). I suppose its fun for a kid. There were swords in golden and purple, with scabbards and everything. A treasure chest, gold & silver coin chocolates, a pinata with chocolates, little chocolates all over the house as treasure, a pirate ship cake with a pink wafer sail, yadayadayada.Oh yeah, these swell eye-patches too, for all the kids.

I, being of course, totally clueless about such matters, was not of much help to the host-mamma or host-elder-sis-in-charge-of-games. I hung around, looking less bored than I was, mopped up some apple juice some kid spilled, and tried very hard to convince a particularly annoyingly screechy kid to lower the volume a tad. And when the boys charged at me with their swords saying they would attack and kill me, I told them I would fight back with a hug. They would poke my (fat) tummy with the sword, & I would smother them with a hug. They were quite cute though, despite such weird behaviour from what looked suspiciously like an aunty, they talked to me again. I stuck to my theme of hugs for the entire evening. I was surely not going to indulge in sword-fights with kids, that would go against my everything.

My husband supported me very well by disappearing to the gym for most of the time of the party; returning all sweaty and scaring the kids in the hallway (there was a relay race for pirate treasure going on at that time; my daughter and I were sitting on a parapet wall & watching & wincing), and then speaking on the phone for a continuous hour. Then he asks me (as if I have sole rights on such things), would you do a pirate theme party for our child? So I say, no, of course not. How about a Princess, he says. No, of course not, and he knows it too. He shakes his head, and says, oh the poor child, will curse her parents so much. Well, let her.

What are pirates & princesses anyway? What do they even mean? Do the kids understand what the words even mean? The only princess I know is that one in Jean Sasson's books. Should I talk to my three year old about that, now? I did ask her what a Pirate was. She confidently told me that he is a person who looks for treasure. The treasure is gold, she said. What is all this, really? Why don't I have a theme birthday party on Human Rights or Global Warming?

I have lots of battles to fight with mine child in the future. Already today I was under fire because I dressed her in (what I thought was) these really cute little pair of green shorts & a black t-shirt; and Simmie (school friend age approx. four) was in a pink skirt with twinkly things on & a white t-shirt that had ties here and there. Much upset at her amma was my child. And this is a constant tussle these days. If I say skirt, she says pants, if I say pants, she says frocks... And I cannot get myself, with my own hands, to make her wear shiny twinkly fussy lacy things to school!!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Bridging the Gap

Two harried mothers in the car. Deep in discussion regarding purchase of second set of slates, for practicing writing at home. When suddenly,

Kid 1 (in Hindi):

How do you say What is your name in Tamizh?

Kid 2 (in Tamizh):

What is your name?

Kid 2 (in Hindi):

How do you say it in Malayalam?

Kid 1 (in Malayalam):

What is your name?

Harried mothers stop their inane discussion and laugh. They remember how harried father had asked, during the weekend, whether the two girls have any conversation, and how they had all been unaware of the possibilities.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

How about it?

Let us say, for starters, that this is hypothetical.

Harried mother glances at floor which is strewn with sketch pens with the caps off, pieces of crayon that look like they were bitten, papers fluttering around, misshapen pieces of playdough, hundred small pieces of imitation - miniature kitchen ware, and so on. Vein pops. Blood pressure rises. She takes deep breaths. Counts to ten. Then -

"How about picking up all these things from the floor?"

she says, fixing her eyes on the two girls. The older replies

"Who says how about... ? Who speaks like that?"

More veins pop. BP goes off scale.

"Oh Miss Know-it-all; are you trying to teach me English? Cause you know, your English is crap. You have no idea. You have no aptitude for it, and, clearly, no attitude to learn it. Everyone who has any idea about the language knows that that is a polite way of saying pick the damn things off the floor before I clobber you on the side of your head and knock your teeth off. But of course, you would not know polite if it was given to you on a platter with horse-chestnuts around it. Besides, remember how you say things like 'The Lamp BEES there'? Well that is the most ridiculous sentence I have heard because BEES are little tiny insects that go BUZZ and make honey; while, all the while, the Lamp IS sitting right there, Miss Smarty Pants. So get those greasy strands of your limp unhealthy hair off your eyes, and PICK THESE DAMN THINGS UP FROM THE FLOOR AND PUT THEM AWAY..."

Of course parts of it are in her harried head.

Monday, 1 October 2007


So when you, as a bloke on the street, hear me say, 'Rupert', what do you picture?

The dude with the big glasses. Geek. Secretary (and bane of existence) of poor old Lord Emsworth. Crony of Lady Constance in being the said bane of said Lord. Owner of fluorescent pajamas. Thrower of flower pots. Rider of motor-cycles across the English countryside. Efficient target of air-gun. In short, everything designed to make you despise him. Rupert Baxter.

It was around midnight on Saturday. My eyes were closing of their own accord. I was persisting nevertheless, with Mike and Psmith (read the Preface), in whose pages lies a mention of a Rupert. Its a horrible prank to play, Mr. Wodehouse (Sir). Our very own, exquisite, immaculate, verbose, Smith (I mean Psmith), with the first name Rupert? Is this true or a mere trick played by my senses at that late hour? Shudder....

Kids, Dolphins, Psmith & so on

That was my Sunday. In the morning, we hung out with our friendly neighbourhood reality check, discovered that children (aged 6) are: (a) capable of untold cruelty & (b) great as companions because they are learning to read and will do so patiently. I resisted the urge to involve the girls in 'activities' although I had a chocolate box, some sparkly things, fevicol, and tons of coloured craft paper, all raring to go. We told stories, read books, and ate a sandwich.

In between I was plowing into Mike & PSmith. After my discussions, I ran to the library in a frenzy and was embarassed when the guy grabbed away a book insisting its for sale, and please madam look in this rack to borrow. Then I embarassed myself more by transposing digits in my membership number. Anyhow, home now with said book safely borrowed (alongside, Clifford the Big Red Dog; Berenstein Bears, and Donald Duck - the first two make interesting reading).

Mike & Psmith
An early novel. They are still at school. They have just been moved out of respective respectable institutions to a small public school called Sedleigh. There is a fair bit of cricket - I discovered a one-day game could be played as a test, meaning with each team batting twice. Wow! Psmith just totally rocks. I was just thinking hey, he sounds more dandy-ish than usual when he neatly redeemed himself (I love sports you know) with cricket later in the book. I guess if you read this before the newer books you may not be as impressed. But in context, a fan of Psmith will lap this one up. There is a dog called Sammy who I recommend watching out for. There is a proclaimed 'keen' ness about the Sedleigh that leads to many hilarious situations. Psmith (who is still referring to all as 'Comrade so and so') is ... Oh enough of my raptures, I am sure enterprising people can find the e-book; I might myself just buy the book I have just borrowed (such things are allowed in my special library).

The IMAX dome is one of my favourite places to go to. Not that I am trying hard to make an educational experience for child or anything. Not so noble. Its just that the type of shows they have there are so damn inspiring. A bunch of people doing what they love, following their passion, climbing the Everest a week after they get married; swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean; prowling through Sub-Saharan Africa, the sort of things I imagine as my calling in life, as opposed to currently what it is. All at Rs. 99/- So we trooped down, it was amazing, the blue waters, the thirty odd species of dolphins, their speech (clicks, whistles, chirps), their feeding (in a definite pattern, taking turns), their dance (what grace for a creature so big). The movie did well in skimming soon over the Orlando type dolphin situations directly to the wild ones in Argentina and so on. Sting was singing the songs. Pierce Brosnan was narrating. Awesome!!

And in the afternoon, with her safely asleep, I caught about an hour of Partner. Govinda is too funny, despite being so damn fat.