Sunday, April 13, 2008

Surviving the wonder years!

I am planning on writing a book on guys. No, no... it is not a book on 'how to snare guys and keep him in 10 steps' kinda books. But the kind of book that makes a guy less of an alien to girls.

I grew up in a house infested with guys. That was two batches of friends of my two brothers and some gate crashers. Till today we have no clue as to who the gate crashers were. In fact we came to know of this phenomenon at a family dinner the other day.

Dad: And must be almost 20 years since you met G (eldest bro) right?
Suman: Yes! But I am not his friend.
Dad: Then you must be M’s ( second bro) friend.
Suman: No.
Dad: hmmm then how do we know you?
Suman: I was walking by your house one day and saw your dog. I stopped by to pet him and aunty came and made me wash my hands and sit for dinner. Since then I come here regularly.
Dad: Ah! Some more chicken son?

We had boys all around us. In fact I am sure I saw one of my brother’s friends when I first came into this world.

"Uncle come see what came out of aunty’s stomach!!"

Ha ha I am kidding, but I am sure my Dad would have rushed to the hospital with at least a dozen boys in tow as leaving them in the house would be more destructive than leaving a running unmanned bulldozer in the house. And people who would have noticed a man rushing into the maternity ward with several small boys in tow, would have shaken their heads in exasperation and pointed their fingers at my Dad as an outstanding example of the failure of the country’s Family Planning policies.

If there was an Earthquake in Bangalore, most people would grab their two kids and run out of the house. My folks had it a little more difficult than others. They would have to look under the beds (sulking boys), water tank (chilling out boys), garage (taking the car apart but dunno how to put it back boys) kitchen (snacking boys), kitchen cabinets (collecting cockroaches boys) kennel (teasing the dogs boys) Outhouse (sneakily trying out cigarettes boys) trees (climbed up but dunno how to climb down boys) etc. etc etc etc The only place there were no boys in the house was my room. Most 8 – 12 years olds treat little girls like vermin.

If we were invited for weddings, the card specifically said, Mr & Mrs Philip and “their” kids. People realized soon enough that mentioning the word family would mean that the Philip family would outnumber the guests 1 - 10 out of which 8 people would be very dirty, very unkempt and very uninvited guests! My parents usually attended weddings alone so that one of them could baby sit the house to ensure it is not burnt down by the time they came back from the wedding.

Meal times in my house were interesting. Guys eat only meat! Period. And the ones who didn’t were soon converted with or without their knowledge!

Venu’s mom: What is that thing Venu ate at your house yesterday? I searched the whole vegetable market but no one had Shahi Mussalam!
My mom: err umm it is out of season at the moment. Will let you know when it comes into season.
Venus mom: Ah! Appadiyaa!

Venu's mom waited many seasons in vain and then forgot all about it and blamed her son's subsequent conversion to pure non vegetarianism, to Kalyug!

Side stepping the vegetarian parents and maintaining good parental relations was a task more daunting than ballet dancing on a tight rope!

Mrs Srinivasan: Mrs Philip, what is that bonda you packed for G’s lunch the other day? My son says it was delicious!
Mom (cursing G) : err that is called Potato Kabab!
Mrs Srinivasan: You must give me the recipe!!
Mom: I am so sorry I can’t. It is a secret family recipe handed over from my great grandom you know!
Mrs Srinivasan: I understand! I wouldn’t part with my secret Lemon Rasam recipe either! Heh heh
Mom (nervously): heh heh *whew*

Since corporal punishment was banned in the house via my Dads diktat, my mom had to take her frustrations out on the then cat called Amminikutty!

Mom: I am so mad at those boys. One day I will land in a mental asylum because of them!!!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom: How long can I keep side stepping peoples questions!!!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom: Soon people will stop talking to us!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom (breaking down): I can’t take this anymore!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom (brightening up): Thanks Amminikutty! You are such a great help. Here is a piece of fish for you!
Amminikutty: *mew!!!*

Amminikutty died of feline obesity soon after but not before my Mom had learned to better control her feelings with Valium.

There were certain rules in the house for my brothers and their guests. No swearing. Water bottles had to filled up and kept back in the fridge after use, no littering and no troubling their host’s sister and her friends (and thus the cockroaches collected had to be set free).

Dad: Rajesh! How many times have I told you that you that you cannot put Cockroaches in the girls room!!!
Rajesh: But Uncle you told me to release them!!
Dad: You make sense I won’t thrash you! Sigh.

Now having two sets of boys in the house of two different age group had its problems. Especially since the age difference between the two group was three plus years. The elder group members (EGM) considered the younger group members (YGM) essential vermin as they were easy picking as child labor for their various activities. As a result, the younger group earned quite a lot of money in my house, fetching stuff and polishing bicycles and telling lies on their behalf.

YGM to Dad: See I got 50 paise for cleaning Vinods bike!!
Dad: Good! So you must be making fifty paise per bike everyday? You will be a rich boy at the end of the month!!
YGM (proudly): This is my whole month’s salary for cleaning all the bikes!
Dad: $%@&!!

The EGM’s however underestimated their slave’s capacity to hold fort for them.

Dad: Where are the big boys Anil?
Anil: They are studying!
Dad: And what are they studying
Anil: They are studying some girl’s pictures behind the house!
Dad: $%@&!! err I mean thank you!

We girls were also entrusted with special errands by the EGM and made quite a lot of chocolates out of them!

Dev an EGM: Tina, will you give this note to Anita in 8th A tomorrow?
Tina: We are not allowed to go to the High School!
Dev: Please!!! I will give you a Chocolate da!
Tina: Ok!

Next day while Tina and me chomped on the chocolate wondering how we could get past the Primary School gates and reach the High School, Anita walks past!

Tina: Dev gave this for you!
Anita: Thank you! Is he your brother?
Tina: No!
Anita: Then how do you know him?
Tina: We deliver notes for him!
Anita: $%@&!!

Dev spent many a day hoping for a reply and then resigned himself to rejection. This was his 657th rejection and Tina and me became a beacon of sorts for the high school gals…a beacon that says, here comes the girls who deliver notes from losers!

Atul (another EGM): Anju, will you take this note and give it to Sheela in 9th B?
Me: What is this?
Atul: err just some Maths homework!

Next day, while Tina and me chomped on the chocolate wondering how we could get past the Primary School gates and reach the High School, who but Sheela’s Maths teacher walks past! No prizes for guessing what happened next, but Sheela and Atul spent some quality time in detention...alone and the entrepreneurial talents of two budding Courier tycoons was very tactfully, nipped in the bud.

Now with experience this rich and varied, I am sure you will all agree that that my book will be a definite best seller!


രാജ് said...

We deliver notes for him!

hahaha truly a laugh riot

[ബാക്കി വായിച്ചിട്ട് ബാക്കി കമന്റ്, അവിടം വരെയേ എത്തിയുള്ളൂ :-)]

രാജ് said...

മാത്ത് ഹോം വര്‍ക്ക് അല്പം ക്ലീഷെ ആയി ;-) പോട്ടെ സാരമില്ല. ഇതൊക്കെ സംഭവിച്ചിട്ടും ഒന്നും പറ്റിയില്ലല്ലോ.

Adorable Pancreas said...

I realy did laugh out loud. Potato kebab! Can I have the recipe? ;)

Neena Padayatty said...

Hilarious as usual...had a lot of Neil's friends in the house too...but being of the same age the guys were shy to attempt "disturbing the host's sister".

Nikhil Narayanan said...

loved the classification/types of boys you mentioned..

Nikhil Narayanan said...

and congrats on that IExpress mention

jj said...

can't stop laughing after reading this.
loved the earthquake part!
rock on silverine!

thomas said...

That's one big fat family, err i mean family plus friends. Did you really give the notes to Math teacher, lol.

Philip said...

Reminds me of a similar incident. My father was taking some of us cousins on an outing. There were about 7 kids, of varying ages. While on the bus, an elderly ammachi kept looking at us disapprovingly. After some minutes of staring, she couldn't hold herself back and leaned towards me and asked, "are you all brothers and sisters?". I should have told her yes then. But my mind didn't work in such crooked ways then. Would have loved to hear her give a lecture on family planning to my father..hehe.

btw, congrats on the mention :) was surprised to see my name in the list too!

g-man said...

lol, amazing how you come up with these posts. now i'm kinda regretting the fact that i'm a single kid. what comes to my mind is...well, one day my friend arjun was home (so were both my parents), and for some reason or the other he had to say (say as in yell at the top of his voice) "dey praveen njetti poyi nee valikkum ennu njaan paranjappol". and then there was this time when another friend of mine was narrating his love life, also at around 10dB higher than the volume of the tv my ma was watching in the next room. nothing blogworthy tho :( but i still survived...till date anyways

rk said...

( Amminikutty died of feline obesity soon after but not before my Mom had learnt to control her feelings with Valium)
.....rofl...amminikutty...nice gramps had a dog named "kuttanpilla" a few years bk...:D...he was one ferocious little critter!!! run over by a truck :((..........

freespirit said...

:) u sure have a bestseller on hands.

I grew up in a more or less guy-free environment at home :D, but i remember this one time period when my best friend was this 'destructive genius' fella who would come home and take apart everything we had at home, from my toys to the dining table to what not! And to think that I played assistant :D, I guess we had a classic case of 'take things apart, dont know how to put it back' boys :)

Amey said...

If you had delivered the notes properly, you would have seen a steady decline in the number of guys who spent "free time" at your place, since they would have found "another" place they would rather be. Remember to include that in the book.

scorpiogenius said...

well done Silverine! Congrats on the Indian Express spotlight...:)

Anonymous said...

One of the very best posts I have read.. Rock on friend!! :)

Nishant Chandgotia said...

Who would collect cockroaches...Ideal for stomping....Congos on the mention in The Indian express...

Jim said...

Don't we all need an Amminikutty to vent our frustrations on? :-)

Now if only someone would (or even could) write a similar book on women...

Anonymous said...

every once in a while, something like this comes along and makes life completely worht it :)
superb stuff.

among your best.

mathew said...

"They would have to look under the beds (sulking boys), water tank (chilling out boys), garage (taking the car apart but dunno how to put it back boys) kitchen (snacking boys), kitchen cabinets (collecting cockroaches boys) kennel (teasing the dogs boys) Outhouse (sneakily trying out cigarettes boys) trees (climbed up but dunno how to climb down boys)"

I seriously doubt you are a psychologist else could some one summarise like this! ;-D

hilarious as always.

and a big congrats for the express surely deserve it and I wish bigger moments for you..

silverine said...

Raj: Thank you!

AP: Cannot share recipe...highly secret family recipe you know...besides the ingredients are out of season :p

Neena: You missed a vital learning exp :)

Nikhil: Thank you! :)

JJ: Thank you dear! :)

Thomas: We actually gave it and did another goof up after that :)

g-man: lol! I have seen people like that and you a single kid? My condolences :)

Cain: Poor kuttanpilla :( Nice name tho. I like names like these :)

Philip: lol! We still go thru this when we go to church or the movie with cousins :p

freespirit: That makes you an honorary boy! :))

Amey: Perhaps thats why they discontinued our services *sob*

scorpiogenious: Thank you! :)

Himank: Welcome to my blog and thanks for the kind words :)

Nishanth: Stomp 'em? ewwww :p

Jim: My mom hated cats..but when we had one she was quite nice to it :)

innocent bystander: Thank you dude! That was very sweet :)

Mathew: Thank you! :) Actually psychology is not necessary here. Guys are simple folks. Observation is enough! :)

Amey said...

Maybe, but then again, "the girls who deliver notes from losers" is not exactly the image you should project if you want to be successful as couriers ;)

Anonymous said...

Came here via desipundit...superb post!!!

Macadamia The Nut said...

Oh my God!!!!
You lucky thing you! Lol! I envy you all that fun you must've had.
And I haven't read a more deliciously funny post in ages!!

Arun Jose Francis said...

Congrats, on being mentioned in Indian express!!!

Way to go!!!

Deepti said...

I know what this feels like, have grown up surrounded by boys :D
And the sister's ( me being the eldest) is the one who does "Operation Cover up" ... :D
And since this extreme boy influence most of my hobbies are like them too like Football, F1 :P ( and most guys I know find this funny :( )

Abhi said...

First of all congrats on th express mention. Hats off to th classifications. Only you could come up with something like this. Loved th note delivering part. Don't know if my sister will also mention such stories:) bt i used her n her friends to make calls to the one's whom i wanted to. Letters were old fashioned by the time i was in high school. Also one bad exp taught me not to giv out notes:). Great post.

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing post.
"Guys eat only meat", that is me.

but i dont think girls would consider guys alien as much as guys would consider girls as aliens... so how about writing a book to understanding girls... tall order, i know.... :D just kidding...

btw, could you enable full RSS feeds, i don't get time to read blogs at home, so i usually read it through Google Reader at work as most blog sites are blocked there.

hope u do... I would still come here to comment... :D

and do give some thought about that book on girls

Padakkam said...

hey... nice post... i think the humor was just right on this one ;)

and congrats on the indian express mention... although i still maintain that its a manjapathram (cuz the editor's son was my classmate)

Alameen said...

you rule...
i have never seen a malayali girl with such a great humour sense before i visited ur blog..
You rock kiddo :-)

I remember doing the courier service when i was very young and did a small mistake. I handed it over to the chechi's mother...

That killed a bidding entrepreneur in me...

Congrats to Indianexpress for publishing your blog.. I doubt whether they are the first or not..


Anonymous said...


Nice blog you've here. Came upon ur blog thru a convulted route, but chiefly via someone else's blog - whose? I forget.

Nice post, like the humour. Will probably hop along on other occasions too!

silverine said...

Amey: True! :)

Wandering Minstrel: Thank you! :)

Macademia the Nut: Well...we didn't mingle with them because at that age both the sexes treat each other like pests! :)

Arun Jose: Thank you buddy! :) Nice to see you after a long time!

deepti: I know what you mean! Either you end up becoming a tomboy or just the opposite...rabidly feminist! :p

Abhi: Thank you! I think most guys would have learned from bad couriers like us, that giving out notes was a bad idea :p

aybuk hiawog: Thank you :) I left a comment on your blog,seems to have disappeared!

padakkam: Thank you!

al ameen: Thank you dear :) Chechi's mother...ha ha ha!!!

Bangalore guy: Thank you and thanks for dropping by :)

Wanderlust said...

He he ...With this kind of knowledge, you deserve nothing less than a doctorate on this subject !!
Excellent stuff as usual !!!

Mind Curry said...

Dad: Ah! Some more chicken son?
your dad is one of the coolest guys! :)

and congrats on the IE are celebrity!

Anonymous said...

Got your comment... Moderation was turned on, realized you would need it more than me :D
So, you are forcing me to come to your blog, but that is fine.. ;-) what about that other request.
How about that book on girls... Trust me... its more important. :-))

Inder said...

i guess you did have a crazy childhood... :P

Anonymous said...

Hey u forgot the snoozing boys who were taking a nap on mama and papa's bed! =P

Safari Al said...

we are nice.


Anonymous said...

Well, the courier tycoon in you is obviously undaunted by childhood memories. On the contrary, it seems to be an instigating factor.

After all, you DO deliver at least one post a week on the grateful platform of

And of course, I don't think anyone in their right mind would doubt that any book you write would be a bestseller.

Hell, you could write a book on quantum nuclear motion and still make it a hit.

Great post, Anjs...

You just keep getting better

Karthik S said...

Wow !!! Its truly fantastic...
you really rockin...

Cheers :-)

Rakesh said... it real conversation or fiction created by u..whatever it is good..i read ur blog and found interesting

Sayani said...

It is a hilarious post and thank you for sharing the insightful observation as well am sure its going to be best seller :)

Anonymous said...

hi anju,1st time commenting with experiences like these no wonder you sense of humour is wat it is...after IE wat next a book contract(pls do let us know when u get dat),if it happens shall wait near the indiranagar flyover to get the book autographed:-)

The Seeker said...

tAT would've been a lovely time of growing up in the family. I simply loved the way u've narrated the incidents, the kind of boys. well its always fun to grow up in groups. Even I've this experience of passing notes. well one deserves a special attetion from the group of elders when u are into this profir-earning business. I promise it will make a lovely read !! go ahead n write the book!
It will be a bestseller. cheers

Anonymous said...

This is so funny... cannot stop laughing...

Anonymous said...

enthaa samshayam!! will it be out soon?
hilarious, just like always

Ashwin Raju said...

Your book will definitely hit the bestsellers list..!