Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Parenting the parents

One February not so long ago, a head-in-the-cloud daughter, under the influence of a ‘substance’ called Mills and Boons, decided that her parents needed to get away from the daily routine of parenting her and her brothers, just like in the story she had read in an M&B book. So she conspired with her brothers (because her pocket money was only Rs 50 per week) and booked a cottage for her parents in Goa during Valentine's Day week. Her brothers indulged their poor junkie sister though they told her that her plan was doomed for failure. The girl who was an M&B addict and like an addict was constantly under “the influence”, refused to believe them in her substance induced stupor. She was sure her parents would hold hands, run around the trees singing songs to an invisible orchestra and maybe present her with a little brother or sister and remove her from the eternal curse of being the youngest.

When her parents heard about her plans they were scandalized, astonished, shocked and absolutely resistant(in that order)to the idea. Her father thought he would be the laughing stock of his community when they were not too busy sniggering about him. Her mother thought that her daughter had finally lost it as she always suspected she would, as being a daughter she had more of her Dads genes.

After much coaxing and cajoling by the daughter, they finally agreed to their junkie daughter’s plans, more to humor her than any other intentions like enjoying a well deserved break. One fine day after the mother had set the curd, bought fish, made fish curry, cooked rice and umpteen throrans, fried the pappadams, combed her daughters’ hair amidst the usual howls and screeches and did another 456855 things mothers generally do, she and her reluctant husband, finally left for Goa. After reaching Goa, the mom called almost immediately from the airport enquiring if the daughter had her lunch and if her brothers were back home etc. Ditto in the evening.

In the night the Dad called up and filled her up on the details of the fish market that he had visited “without” the mother as she wanted to watch TV. The daughter was really annoyed and called them both and told them that they need to go out together, stop being parents and be a couple.

Dad: err… what did you say? That I should hold your moms hands and walk on the road like those hippies here?
Daughter: I didn’t say hold hands and walk. I said go out together, take in the sights, relax….
Dad: hmmm for that I will need to go alone, your Amma likes to walk without stopping
Daughter: That’s because you stop for everything on the way
Dad: Don’t blame me. That’s the way you have bought me up!!!
Daughter: But that was when I was small!!!!
Dad: I am too used to walking with you and stopping every now and then. (forlornly) Wish you were here. You would have loved the fish market.
Daughter: Dad this vacation is both of you. So enjoy your time together.
Dad: *guffaw*Please don’t mention this to any of the relations in Kerala, if they call up. I won’t be able to show my face in public again.

Next day the mother calls her daughter.

Mom: Your Dad is pigging out on meat. Time you talked to him.
Daughter: *sigh* okay ma.

Daughter calls Dad. He was already two Feni down.

Daughter: Dad, what did you eat today?
Dad: hmm errr well one sausage!
Daughter: One sausage? Really?! Lies!!!
Dad: Okay two sausages, but they were real tiny!
Daughter: (in her most severe tone): How tiny?
Dad: Very tiny…
Daughter: How tiny?!!!
Dad: Very very tiny
Daughter: Dad, I am really annoyed and you know that!!!
Dad (in a sulky voice): You told me to relax and enjoy the vacation and now you are nagging me like your mother!!
Daughter: I said, have a vacation and not pig yourself into a heart attack!
Dad (hopefully): You sure you are not coming over? I am missing you all.
Daughter: Dad, don’t change the subject. And watch your diet as the doctor told you.
Dad (in his best fake woebegone emotional blackmail voice): If you say so….but I wish you all were here…

Evening the mother calls.

Mom: There are some nice old churches here. Wish you were here, we could have gone exploring.
Daughter: Take Dad and go and explore the Churches.
Mom: I can’t take a man stinking of Feni to Church!!! Besides he is found some friends in the bar and they are all singing drunk over there.
Daughter: *giggle* err… that’s bad ma!!
Mom: *hmmph*

Night the Dad calls.

Dad: You are really missing all this. I found some nice friends and we are all going to Fort Aguada without the wives tomorrow.
Daughter: *SLAM*
Dad( calls back again): You are angry right?!
Daughter: (sarcastically): No, I am ecstatic that both of you are having such fun time!!! I don’t want to talk to you again for the rest of my life!!!
Dad: okay tomorrow I will take your mom out for dinner. Happy?
Daughter: *SLAM*
Dad (calling again): Okay I will take her shopping and then to the beach.
Daughter: mmm ok…

Next the mother calls.

Mom: Your dad took me shopping!
Daughter: Wow!!
Mom: What wow?! It was so embarrassing. He kept looking at the clothes and exclaiming that they were so immodest in Malayalam.
Daughter: I thought you went Saree shopping.
Mom: Saree? He insisted in going into every shop including the ones selling beachware!!!
Daughter: eeeks
Mom: And on the beach he was absolutely scandalized at the bikini clad madamas!!
Daughter: oops
Mom: Please keep your grand ideas to yourself. I am never gonna step out with him again. I am sure the whole of Goa must be laughing at me.

Night the Dad called up.

Dad: You had dinner?
Daughter: Yes and you?
Dad: hmm I am having a bit of indigestion.
Mom (cutting in): Ask your father why!!!
Daughter: err Dad is mom around?
Dad: Yes
Daughter: ok then you call me when she is not around.
Dad: I have the cordless so I will go out and we can talk.
Daughter: Dad, you really ought to watch what you eat!!
Dad: What’s the point in coming to Goa, if you can’t have Goa sausage, Prawn Rachedo, Pork Sorpotel and….
Mom (talking from the main phone): See what I told you!!!
Dad: Why are you snooping? This conversation is strictly between my daughter and me…
Daughter (annoyed): Stop it both of you!!! (trying her best not to shout) Please forget about diets and social niceties and for Gods sake enjoy your vacation. You have only two days left!!!
Dad: hmmm ok but you plan another vacation like this again and your mom goes alone!!
Mom: Yes it would have better if you had come with me….
Daughter: *sigh*

The last two days the parents did forget Bangalore and their offsprings and did enjoy their vacation. But every effort to postpone their stay by the daughter met with resistance.

Mom: Don’t know what junk you people eating in my absence. Pinne… is the house still there or have you all burnt it down???
Dad (for the 4567th time): Wish you all were here :(

The by-now highly stressed daughter realized that it was she who needed a vacation for sending her parents on a vacation. She also realised that Indian parents will be parents no matter what her substance induced mind said. The daughter also got over her addiction immediately as though by a miracle and was completely cured. According to her mother it was because of her prayers at the St Anthony’s Church in Goa. St Anthony was apparently very pleased with her, because she came to the Church ”alone” leaving her tipsy husband in the Resort bar.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The new Internet Generation

The golden oldies in our midst are no strangers to technology, though their interpretation of the same may be slightly different from us. For example the Internet, the great tool that gives you any information at the speed of light after making you wait for one and a half and a half hour for a page to load, has tons of information that you never knew affected us in very intimate ways. Take a look at this eye opener of a conversation between two seniors that took place in my home recently.

Aundie one: How is your new grandkid?
Aundie two: He is so naughty, hyperactive and always on the move. I am so tired running after him!!
Aundie one ( ominously): hmmmm That’s because he is an Internet baby!
Aundie two( in consternation): What’s that!?
Aundie one (looking furtively around and then lowering her voice): Today’s couples see lots of stuff on the Internet and the resultant babies are called the Internet Generation.
Aundie two: Oh I see!! But how did you know all this?
Aundie one (smiling triumphantly): That achchan (priest) who conducted the Potta retreat in church told us!!!

Now that is one interpretation of the ‘Internet Generation’ that sure beats every other definition floating in cyberspace!

Guess we will soon have the Church issuing "Security Updates".

Thursday, February 08, 2007

To protect, defend and do some gardening too...

With the tension in the State over the Cauvery Tribunal verdict, the Police top brass have made elaborate arrangements for security in the city, especially around IT campuses. Yesterday I saw for myself how tight the security was. Right in front of my office stood three thagda policemen!! What a terrifying sight they were too! When the rampaging masses come a calling, they will screech and stop right on their tracks when they spot our three Charlies.

Rioter 1 ( amazed): Look at dem moustche!! Awesome!
Rioter 2 (terrified): And look at 'em laathis, pure cane I say!!
Rioter 3 (losing biological control of himself ): And look at 'em pot bellies, pure muscle!!
Rioter 4 (quivering in his hawai chappals): Lets run for our lives before they beat us to pulp!!!

And all 500 of ‘em run away!

And thanks to the men in khaki, the garden around our campus have begun to bloom and do well. What with our gallant men, 'watering' and 'manuring' the hedges and the lawns everyday. A new proverb we all learnt today:

"People who live in glass houses should turn the other way when people outside the glass house don’t know that the people inside the glass house can see them ‘watering’ and ‘manuring’ their garden."

Thank you Mr. Police Commissioner for keeping our campus safe and green!

p.s. Kudos to the Karnataka Government for having the foresight to beef up security and prevent any untoward incident in the State after the verdict, hats off Mr Chief Minister!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Playing the (weak) fields

A champion sportsperson is one who comes back against the odds to silence his critics. And that's exactly what Sachin did when he scored a dashing century against Madagasacar recently.

The 33-year-old infact said post the match that he knew his batting. He had played long enough to know what was good for him and hence he has decided to play only against teams like Madagasacar, Namibia, Luxembourg and Seychelles. He further told a packed press conference room, that he did not want to know what others were thinking though he knew what they were thinking but that was of no consequence to him as people who think were not his fans!

When queried about his future plans he said "My schedule is packed with ad shoots for Maghai Pan House, Lalchand Bulchand Dalmoth and Snowywhite Washing Powder. And I am also seriously considering the Airy Underwear and Banian endorsement offer."

On the upcoming International events he said " I will be going for a knee surgery during India's tour of Australia and a shoulder surgery during the Pakistan tour.” He will however be 100% fit for India's tour of Malta. Sachins fans are ecstatic and predict that Sachin will soon reach his 100th Century!!

Sachins fans are also very happy that they will see their star more often now endorsing detergent powder, baby diapers,Besan, Sooji, toothpoweder etc. in bewteen Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi and Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki eventhough they would rather die than admit that they watched these serials.

The ton was Sachin's easiest one-day hundred, but importantly it was also the first time he was batting without a single ad contract in his kitty, which according to some is a record of sorts too. He did get two 'lives' along the way after the Madagascarian fielder dropped him in sheer exhaustion when he was 85 and 91, but that didn't stop the fans and experts from gushing about the way he compiled his knock. The Madagascarians had walked all the way from Madagascar you see and had to convene for net practise soon after arrival. One of them was heard enquiring " Why are we being kept in the Net like chickens?".

However Sachin's fan say that this was not the reason for Sachin's great form. The Bombay Bomber showed glimpses of his glorious best as he demolished the malnourished Madagascarian bowlers in the last ten overs. The Madagascarians were at the receiving end as Sachin set the ground on fire and it had nothing to do with the fact the Madagascarians had never played Cricket before.

"The shots he played were outstanding; the Madagascar players had no clue how to stop him. He obviously seems to be on a roll " gushed Prakash an ardent Sachin fan.

The debate over whether he should open, and his indifferent form in recent times has attracted more attention in the media, something the Indian skipper finds quite funny.

"Like I said yesterday, we were not unduly worried about Sachin. Maybe everyone else can stop worrying about it now as we have signed tour agreements with Japan, Netherlands and Iceland, so that we can have a bit of peace around." said Rahul Dravid, Indian Cricket Captain..

"But I think it was a great innings. I think Sachin showed why he is a great player and why he can play in different situations, and why he can adapt though I am not spelling it out," he added.

The Indian skipper could not have summed up Master Blaster's innings better.

The Madagascar team has since thrown their tennis racquets in the sea and have decided to pursue Cricket under the aegis of the BCCI. The BCCI have declared that they will henceforth spend 75% of their earnings in developing Cricket in the above mentioned nations. "Get set to watch some glorious Cricket from Sachin in the coming future" said a BCCI spokesperson with a mysterious smile.

The comments section for this post was unavailable till recently due to a problem with blogger. Thanks for bearing with me :)