27 July, 2007

A hefty dose of "Abhayisms"

There was a pretty bad thunderstorm one afternoon.

On hearing the sound of thunder, Abhay came running with both his hands on either side of his face and said

"Oh My Gott !! That's a big thunder".

A while later, it started raining too. A very heavy downpour.

This time around, Abhay, who had been sticking his hand out of the window, came over running and said

"Mummy It is Storming outside".




The other day he was eating an icecream cone and the icecream started to melt and flow down one side of the cone.

Abhay came running over with his eyes as big as saucers saying

"Uh Oh ........ I'm melting".




A few days back, after he had just had his shower, Abhay was heard saying

"There is my eyes in the water. There is my ears in the water."

I don't really have to translate that one, do I ?



The first couple of times Abhay's eyes had "magically" started to water, he had been utterly confused.

That was when we introduced him to the connection between onions being cut in the vicinity and eyes watering. So now, he's quite a pro at it. Eyes start to water, he comes around seeking confirmation that the onions are indeed the culprit.

The other day Mommy was peeling a particularly mean batch of shallots in the kitchen when, quite apparently, Abhay's eyes must have started to smart.

He tottered over to the kitchen with a tissue on both his eyes (special effects really work - they help drive the point right home), peeked in, peeled a little bit of the tissue off one eye and said

"Mummy cutting the onions ?"

Mommy answered in the affirmative and feeling a wee bit sorry for him, what with the tissue covered eyes and all, asked him if there was water in his eyes.

"Mummy cutting the onions. My eyes are feeling sad"
came the reply.



Yesterday, as Mommy was giving Abhay his shower, something went slightly awry with the water taps and the water in the shower was .... well ..... unpleasantly warm.

Pat came the statement "The water is hot"

immediately followed by another statement

"Mummy put the AC. The water will get cold".




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25 July, 2007

Fun with Play"dough" !!!

Could an activity as routine and humdrum as the making of dough for rotis well turn into something creative and interesting ?

Sure !! Why ever not ??

The way I'm saying this, one would feel that I normally dish out creative wonders with roti dough.

Hah !!! Far from it !!! Very far !!!

On last Sunday morning, as I got the dough ready, I was kind of lost in my own world. Thinking not of anything in particular but thoughts kind of drifting, wandering ....... The kind of little migrant thoughts that unfurl and twirl almost lazily from all corners of the mind. The little nomadic imaginings, which, over a pretty short span of time, lull and encapsulate and drag one into an ostensibly serene state of inactivity.

So that was where I was ...... in a stupor of sorts with that comfortable buzz of sounds and activity registering somewhere in the back of my soporific mind. Sounds, the resonance and reverberation of which indicated towards two little heads, four active little arms and four coltish legs – a rather delightful mélange with the occasional shriek of delight, the intermittent squeal of amusement thrown in for good measure.

And it was from this faraway land that I noticed two little black spots staring at me. And those two little black spots seemed to grow larger by the second.

Coming back to the present with a thud, I realised that Abhay was giving me rather curious looks. And then, once realisation dawned that mommy was indeed fully awake, I heard him say

“Want to make something with chapatti maavu .”

“And why not ?”
I thought to myself.

By then, Appu's creative aptitude had kicked in too.

We got to work. And gave vent to creativity with a ball of dough.

And this was the end result ........





A very doughy snowman :-) !!!

And, it would be very unfair on my part if I were to omit the fact that it was such fun.

In the process of making the snowman, the nose used to fall off or one or more of the buttons came off. Once, there was total mirth around when the head rolled off the body of the snowman.

A ball of the usual "run of the mill" dough turned out to be the source of much exuberance and merriment. Pardon the pun there !!

Incentive enough, for a few bottles of food coloring to be picked up from Bombay when we visit next.

And after all that art and craft activity, colorful rotis would be pretty much fun to consume too :-)

So, Desi Play”dough” anyone ??? !!!!


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20 July, 2007

Live and Let Live !!!

“Were you out of your freaking mind ?”. “You are mad – well and truly mad”. “My God – Yaar Sacchhi Paagal hai tu.”

This was what I got to hear from one of my acquaintances week before last.

Now where did all this stem from ?

It so happens that we (the whole family) had been invited to a wedding which was to be held at the Conrad Bali Resort and Spa. So here we were, basically staring at a five day holiday in the face. All we needed to do was book our own airtickets.

Now most of these weddings are nocturnal affairs – the partying starts around 10 pm and goes on until the wee hours of the morning. And with two children in tow, this was not the most ideal of situations for us. No child would be able to take that kind of a change in schedule – sleeping thru the day and staying awake thru the night - five days in a row. Atleast ours cannot !!!

So then, the choices

1. We all go over to Bali for the wedding and take things as they come – meaning go over to Bali and get stressed out there because the children were not able to adapt to the sudden nocturnal awakening hours.

2. We all go over to Bali and each one of us takes turns babysitting the children at night while the other goes partying. Yeah Rite !!! And then the husband gets to explain why the wife is missing the party and the next day the wife gets to do the honours by explaining why the hubby is missing.

3. Vic travels alone to Bali for the wedding and me and the kids stay back in HK. That way there is a representative for the wedding and we get by without any major disruption of the childrens’ schedules too, thereby avoiding the highly likely possibility of raising our stress levels.

And number 3 it was.

This was what, apparently, prompted the above comments from the acquaintance I mentioned earlier.

Another socially very active acquaintance had enough cheek to tell me

“Bacche to Bacche hain. Wahan par bhi 9 0 clock ko so jayenge. Lock them in the room and tum dono party me chale jaana. Bacchon ko thodi na maloom hoga”.

I was stupefied into silence. I was still trying to come to terms with the fact that one could actually conceive a situation as obnoxious and abominable as locking up the kids in a hotel room (mind you – a totally unfamiliar set up for them) and going off to party until the wee hours of the morning.

My mind was busy swirling with a multitude of “What Ifs”. Hypothetically speaking, what if the children wake up in the middle of the night and find themselves on totally unfamiliar ground with no familiar adult face around ?. And many many more questions like such continued to find space to eddy and churn within my disbelieving head.

Going a step further, this person even went ahead to the extent of telling me what a fool I had been to have let my hubby go off to Bali on his own.

“Baliiiiii !!! Arrey wahan par to women walk around the beaches in all kinds of skimpy beachwear – sometimes even topless. And you let him go there alone ?”

It sounded so corny - right out of a Hindi Movie. And the quite so apparently dimwitted me burst out laughing. The entire situation, with its unsaid connotations and suggestions, seemed so incredibly comical to me.

I just could not take it any more. And I burst out laughing and could just not stop laughing. The acquaintance in question backed off, apparently having reached the conclusion that I was indeed barmy, loopy and so totally round the bend.

Since when did the Trust factor take a nosedive. Admittedly, maybe, not all may have the privilege of enjoying the degree of trust that we do, that too for reasons best known to them, but the sheer audacity of the statement was what made it so very dramatic.

I did not say anything at all to both of these people – not because I did not know what to say, not because I could not put them in their place, not because I was tongue tied – but simply because I did not feel the need to give them an explanation of any sort. And I didn’t. And assuming that such situations arise in the future, I won’t be doing any explaining of any sort. Absolutely not.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
- Edward Gibbon


That said, it kind of brings me to the question of

“Why don’t people realise where to draw the line ?”

How a person lives his/her life or how a family functions is largely based on their values, their standards, their ideals and last but not the least, what works for them. So who are we, with our very own set of yardsticks, to tell others what to do and what not to.

I know of mothers who manage to pack in a morning of sport, a afternoon of some other activity, an evening of out-of-the-area shopping or whatever. I do admire the way these ladies manage their time and they manage to cram in so much into a single day. Time management and multi tasking – they manage to do it all very efficiently, yet ensuring that they give their children enough time too. I would say “Hats Off”. But the fact remains that I am yet to master this art.

Another bone of contention between me and many of my acquaintances here is the fact that I don’t feel the need for any household help from a helper or a maid. I don’t have a maid – full time or part time. And many find this terribly hard to accept.

Many find the fact that I am, for the most part, a very hands-on mother to my kids, very amusing, something akin to a bone to sink their teeth into and chew on and on. And I am tired of the snide remarks and the insinuations that follow.

The other day someone whom I’m familiar with was hardselling the concept of about four or five of us going together to learn golf in the mornings. And then, there it was ….
“I know you must be really really busy with both the kids and that you don’t really have the time ……..”
Sugar coated as it may seem, it does not take an Einstein to latch on to the sarcasm that is loaded into the statement :-)

I have nothing against anyone going to learn golf or for that matter anything else at any given time of the day. If it suits you fine, then by all means, go right ahead. All I’m saying is that while you are happy living your life the way you want, let others live their lives the way they want.

Is it asking for too much if one lives or chooses to lead life the way one wants to, especially so if ones idea of “life” is not in tandem with the framework set by a said majority of people who consider things a rule unto themselves ?

And if they do find a person/persons willing to go against the said flow of events so laid out by them, does this give them a right to pass spiteful comments which at times border on being outright insolent.

Is it tantamount to anarchy if one chooses to break away from standards that have been set by a majority ? I personally do not think so.

Last but not the least,

Is it asking for too much when one expects others to keep their opinions to themselves, especially when they are not asked to give their opinions, just because of the simple reason that they would be inordinately crossing lines by expressing their gratuitous opinions on issues that are most definitely personal ?

Live and let live – is a proverb oft heard.

It is so very difficult to practice ?

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17 July, 2007

Begun with a Bang !!!!

Oh sure !! Abhay’s summer holidays have begun at long last – and that too with a bang !!

Yesterday night saw elevated body temperature levels and the beginnings of what was to turn into a pretty nasty cough. Sure enough, mommy opened up the bar so that he could have a shot of his Tequila Sunrise. The bar, for those of you who were not aware of the fact, does indeed hold items of medicinal value. So does the bar at our house. And it opens up only on occasions when one of the minors is unwell. The rest of the time, the children are pretty much teetotals. The Tequila Sunrise held up till about 1.30 am and then his body caved in once again to the onslaught of the invading bacteria. Another peg – Vodka this time around which lulled him into deep sleep. Also brought the temperature down.

Today morning, which incidentally happens to be the first day of his summer holidays, saw a very dismal and piteous looking Abhay walking out of the bedroom. Still groggy from the Vodka, sunken eyes which had none of that usual mischevious twinkle in them, little feet that were dragging themselves around the floor – the works, basically !!!

He even let Mommy brush his teeth without a whimper. Did not even ask to hold the toothbrush once. Hmmm ...... Things were not looking good at all.

So the first day of the summer hols, a bright sunny day, saw Abhay and Mommy take an outing – to the pediatrician’s office. Once there, much to his dismay, the usual bunch of nurses (the ones who play with him and the ones who get showered by a lot many charming smiles from him) were missing – apparently they were on leave. So then, poor Abhay had to fall back on Plan B – count tubelights in the ceiling of the doctor’s office or have Mommy read him a book – both plans looked equally glummy.

Once we met up with the doctor, disaster struck once again. She’d run out of chewy candies and all the kids were being offered little jelly cups. Jelly cups which would have to wait until they were within the safe confines of one’s home, to be consumed. No mother would dare hand a open jelly cup without a spoon to any of the kids – not without being prepared to run the risk of having to wipe and mop the floor and the sofas in the doctor’s office. And no – the doctor was not supplying spoons. Bless her !!

Oh !! What a day this was turning out to be !!

Once back home – lunch got done and over with – only to be followed by a “throw upping” session.

Once tummy settled down a bit – mommy turned up with medicines. And the way Abhay looked at the medicines, judging by the quantity there was – he sure seemed to be wondering if Mommy was getting him to drink medicine or soup.

The medicines began to work their charm on him and in a while, he seemed to get somewhat chipper and chirpy. And in celebration of the same, he decided to stash the pencil eraser into his toy minibus. In the process, the right index finger (pointer) got right royally stuck between the door and main body of the minibus. Result – a mildly crushed and skinned pointer (index finger – that is).



Mommy put some soothing ointment on his finger and followed it up with a bandaid (by popular demand) and the chirpiness seemed to return in a while. Just as he deemed it fit to move on and get active again, he stepped onto one of his toy cars that was lying on the floor.

“My foot got hurt” claimed an extremely exasperated, now crabby and cranky Abhay.

Once we got over that crisis, his remote controlled car would just not work.

Giving up on the car with an extremely baleful glance at it, he turned his attention to a couple of Oreos that Appu handed him. Opened up the Oreos only to realise that the cream would just not budge. What impudence !! The sheer audacity on the part of the cream on the Oreo !! How dare it !!!

That was the last straw that about broke the camel’s back. And the little camel, tired by it all, chose to give in to the slumber that had been threatening to claim him for a while now.

And now for the icing on top of the cake .......

Instead of sitting with him and crooning over him and droning all his woes away by saying “You poor baby” over and over again – this bright tool in the box that happens to be his Mommy is actually sitting and blogging about it all.

(*sigh*) Abhay’s cup of woes sure brimmeth over !!!!

And, oh yeah, here's a picture of the bar. With all the vodkas, the tequilas, the gins, the rums and the shot glasses !!!!



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13 July, 2007

A Beary Simble Phawnic Konphushion ......

..... A Very Simple Phonic Confusion, I mean to say !!!

Another one of those activities that can peg Abhay down for quite a long time is - Spelling Words !!! And he's kind of hooked to Spelltime now.




What began rather innocuously, has kind of caught on now. Initially, what fascinated him was the fact that he had 4 blocks per alphabet and the whole activity was so colourful. Then came curiosity and that innate need, the desire to know more, to be able to spell small words. Now that he can well spell his own name and also write it without any dots or traces, much to the delight of all the elders around him, it has served the purpose of encouraging him and of egging him on with his endeavor to learn spellings.



He would select a sheet and I would help him spell each word out. That was how it worked initially and for a few days that was how it continued. Somewhere along the way, he figured out that the alphabets were color coded. So he would look at the color of the rectangle on the sheet and his finger would hop on to that particular line of alphabet blocks on the other side of the box. I still continued spelling out the words for him.

The whole confusion began when I decided to turn this into a phonic puzzle of sorts. Basically, when he would look to me for help with spelling a word – instead of just spelling it out alphabetically, I began to use phonics. The phonic of that particular alphabet. That way, he would also learn to associate phonics to the respective alphabet. Phonics do go a long long way in helping children gain independence in reading. Though this is quite a long way off for Abhay, getting a good phonic fundamental would definitely not hurt in the long run. And what really clinched the deal was the fact that he began enjoying this turn of events. He would listen to the phonics, then figure out the alphabet and pick up that block and put it against the word on the designated place on the sheet.

Things came to a head when, one day, I had to phonically spell out C-O-W and then
K-E-Y. Now “C” and “K”, phonically speaking, are pronounced the same way -“K”. How then, was he to differentiate between the two, phonically ?


The problem seemed to sort itself out because he started using colour coding to figure out whether I meant “C” or “K” when I said “Kh (phonically)”. If it was a red rectangle on the sheet, he would reach for the alphabet C and if it was a blue rectangle, he would reach for the alphabet K.

All was fine until one day, when we were busy with Spelltime, and I phonically said “Kh”. This time around, instead of looking at the colour, Abhay asked me

“Curly Kh or Kicking Kh ?”

Honest to God, I had no idea what he was talking about !!

He must have seen that blank look on my face and the silence that followed as I tried different permutations and combinations in trying to interpret a curl and a kick phonically.

“Curly Kh or Kicking Kh Mummeee ?” came the question again.

On paying a little more attention to the rather “taken for granted” alphabets, the answer was so very simple.

You learn something everyday, if you pay attention ~ Ray LeBlond

C curls and hence is called a Curly Kh


(Picture Courtesy Google)

K looks like a person with outstretched legs kicking someone and hence the kicking Kh


(Picture Courtesy Google)

Now all that remained was for me to find out where he learned this from.

And before you rush to conclusions, NO, not from school. Atleast not from the current set of teachers. They have not even gotten them well versed with phonics.

It so happens that the kindergarten had given out VCD’s which had been made a few years back by a teacher who then used to teach there. She’s no longer with the kindergarten but they still hand out the VCD’s. And during the beginning of the year, when the CD was sent home, I had tried it with Abhay and found that he had no interest in it whatsoever. That was around the time when anything and everything associated with school was viewed negatively by him. And we did not push the issue.

Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves. ~ Abbé Dimnet, Art of Thinking, 1928

And he has a bunch of CD-ROMs which he uses. I had put this VCD in the same CD bag. More out of curiosity rather than anything else, he wanted to see this particular VCD some days back. And since he can handle the mouse and the keyboard, once the CD is on, he knows his way around. And since they are all kiddie CD-ROMs and VCDs, he does not need to be supervised.

It was through this VCD that he learnt the concept of the Curly Kh and the Kicking Kh.

And it was through Spelltime, that I learnt the concept of the Curly Kh and the Kicking Kh from him.

These are alphabets that I stare at, day in and day out. Alphabets that I’ve used ever since I learned to recognize and use them where needed. Yet, when a simple phonic confusion arose, I found myself all at sea. And it took a four year old child to clear that for me.

The situation reminded me of what Richard Feynman had once said :

"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. "


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12 July, 2007

The Chortle and Guffaw Series - Part II

Received this through email from one of my friends.
What am I talking about ? See for yourself .......



Part I of The Chortle and Guffaw Series can be found here.

10 July, 2007

Mummy is the Pig !!!!

Was blog hopping this afternoon and a little voice chimed in

“I’m a Spider”.

"Is that so ? So you’re a Spider today huh ?" I asked

“Yea, Abhay is a Spider and Mummy is a Pig” came the reply

"The spider want to sit on the pig".

I kind of had a fog swirling around me right then. A very nice kind of fog – the fuzzy, dreamy kind of fog. Because I was sitting there, all content with looking at The Niagara Falls and The Big Apple through Tharini’s latest post.

“Mummy is the Pig” said the little voice once again.

A bit of what he said, a little something did manage to find its way through that dreamy haze because it did make the curtains go up on the post that I was reading. Reality permeated the dreamy haze and I came back to real time with a resounding thud.

“A Pig ??” I squealed, watching to see whether that naughty twinkle was evident in his eyes.

But no – he was totally serious.

"Is this some new way of giving people a compliment ?" I remember thinking and asking myself. "Something that the younger generation has conjured up, of late ?"

But from the looks of him, a compliment seemed to be the last thing on his mind right then.

“A Pig ?? As in a Oinky Pig ??” I asked him.

And all I got in return was a huge smile and an equally earnest nod of his head.

“A pig and a spider”?

What on earth could he be talking about, I wondered.

Trying to clear the confusion a bit, I asked him whether he, the spider, had a name.

“Yea – my name is Charlick” he said.

Nope – did not strike any key. Was just as blank as I had been when he first called me a pig.

“Do I have a name ?” I asked him.

“Mummy’s name is Gauri” he replied, with an equally nonplussed look.

“No No No” I said

“Yea – Mummy name Gauri” he said

In as calm a voice as I could muster right then, I asked him

“Does the piggy have a name ?”

“Mummy is piggy” he said

“Yes Abhay – I am a piggy."
(I don’t believe I said that, but I did. And I so wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery. As the saying in Hindi goes – Majboori ka naam Mahatma Gandhi.)

“So what are you going to call this piggy ?” I asked him, pointing to myself.

“Piggy is Wilder” came the reply. The pronounciation was what helped. The WIL was pronounced the in the same manner as one would say WILL and not WILE. WILLDER !!

Haaa Haaaa !!!! Realisation Dawns !!!!!!

Charlick is not Charlick but Charlotte
and
Wilder is not Wilder but Wilbur !!!!

CHARLOTTE’S WEB !!!!! by E.B White

(Picture courtesy Google)

My ham-handed approach (pardon the pun) towards resolving the “mystery of the pig” seemed to be heading somewhere, after all.

Some more queries later, the great one chose to enlighten me with the fact that they had indeed been watching Charlotte’s Web at school today morning.

Oh, and by the way, that piggy (I mean Wilbur) does look kinda cute, right ??

Atleast, in the light of what transpired above, I sure would like to think so !!!!!

Oink !!! Oink !!! ;-)

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06 July, 2007

Antsy around Ants !!!!!!!!

Happened today morning.....

Appu was busy with the project of finding pencils to sharpen. And that was when, I guess, she happened to glance at Abhay's alphabet book which was lying on the ledge. Now the ledge primarily houses a large aquarium and a multitude of plants. In effect, it is our little greenhouse.

Since summer began, ants have been seeking refuge from the heat and have ended up among the potted plants. And since they are the harmless small black ants, we decided that we could co-exist with them. Just as long as they don't harbor any plans of harming us in any way, they could dwell happily in the soil.

Now, I guess there are some very curious ants too. And they had apparently been running over Abhay's alphabet book.

Appu, who had been sorting pencils, stopped dead in her tracks and completely lost track of what she had been doing. When I looked in, she seemed to be in a trance of sorts, staring in abject fascination at Abhay's alphabet book. And since I could not see the eeny weeny ants from that distance, I presumed that it was the book which was the object of her fascination. Did not really make any sense to me !!

When she saw me around, she suddenly sprung into action, exclaiming quite animatedly

"Mummeeee there are ants all over Abhay's book".

"See here, see there, see there ......... oh oh they are everywhere."

Infinitely wise mother that I am, I told her to just use a tissue to get them off the book and onto the ledge so that they could find their way back into the cold confines of the flowerpots.

Now, Appu is one person who is extremely antsy around ants. She does not want to have anything to do with them. If she had her way, she would probably not even be in the same room, let alone get them off the book with a tissue !!!

And Yours Truly had to do the honours !!!

And after all the little "icky" ants (as Appu puts it) had disappeared - in all probability out of sheer fright from the humungous giant who wiped them off the book - Appu says .....

"Next time onwards Mummy, why don't you put mosquito repellent on the books as well ? That way, the ants won't get on the books right ?"

Oh !!! Thank you Einstein !!!!!!

Mosquito repellent on books, for crying out loud !!!!!

What in the name of God should I expect next ????


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04 July, 2007

The summer holidays are here ........

29th June 2007
12.30 p.m

Abhay stands guard near the open front door, waiting for Appu to come home. He’s already seen her schoolbus from the living room window and knows that she’ll be home any moment.

The naughty look of anticipation and that toothy grin playing on that little face was something to behold.

“What is coming ?” he asks

“Not 'what' Abhay. You must say “Who is coming ?” says Yours Truly

Then - the moment of truth ..........

Aparna walks in, sporting a huge grin on her face.

“Hi Aparnaaaaaa” says Abhay sporting an equally wide grin on his face.

And then he kind of walks over to her and pats her hand twice (I guess in an attempt to make sure that she is indeed back home earlier than usual and that she is no illusion) and that grin widens.

(*sigh*) What a scene. (*Sniffle Sniffle*) . So touching, is it not ???

Ever heard of the adage – The Calm Before the Storm ??

That was precisely what it was. A couple of hours, max, before the storm makes landfall, was what I had predicted.

Well, did not have to wait that long !!

“Mummmmeeeeeeeeeeeee – Abhay’s not letting me read my book”

“Aparna don’t want to read book.”

“Oh really ?? By the way, did I ask you ?”

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”

A while later, they were found tussling over Lego Blocks. I just left them that way – tussling and squabbling over precious little plastic Lego Blocks.

Dared to peep in a while later and found them assembling the very same treasured Lego Blocks that they had been fighting over earlier. Scooted off on the double, before either one of them could spot me peeping in – lest they take it as a warrant to start complaining and telling on each other !!

Quite apparently, there had been some harmony to the assembling process because I found the “objects d’ art” scattered and strewn all over the house later on. Stepped on a few blocks which had been discarded on the floor. Managed to get pictures of some others which were at a safer height.











Later in the evening, Appu went off to her friend’s house to play and Abhay was looking rather sad and pitiful with no one to bicker or quarrel with. The very same toys that had been the objects of a fracas and tussling earlier in the afternoon, were lying around, sorely neglected. Abhay then proceeded to gather all the toys up and stack them all in the toy shelf.

Wow !! I thought to myself. If this was the case, then maybe, just maybe, I should start sending Appu to her friend's place for a while everyday.

Mommy just could not stand that forlorn look on his face and mommy and Abhay ended up in the park with his bike. Fortunately for us, the rains had stopped for a while and aside of a few puddles, he could bike around comfortably fast. After a while, he hopped off the bike and started to jump and hop in the puddles, getting his shoes, socks and feet soaking wet.

And mommy was rewarded with plenty of irate, annoyed and disgusting looks from the other moms around. I mean, just how can you let your child jump into a pool of clear water ?? That too, rain water ?? Much to their consternation, not only was mommy letting him jump around in the puddles, mommy was actually egging him on.

The disgusting looks that were thrown mommy’s way were not because the water was splashing on anyone there, but because of the fact that, for the most part, children here are brought up on leashes. And activities like jumping in puddles is a humungous No No.

While the onlookers were probably pitying Abhay for having a mommy who was sacrilegious, he was having a whale of a time.

Things like getting drenched in the rain, jumping into puddles, walking barefoot on grass ………these are the little, diminutive pleasures of life. And the abundance of delight and relish that the little faces light up with whilst enjoying these modest elements of fun is something one can bask in, for eternity. Time seems to stand still at moments like these. It is almost as if children and nature are in complete harmony with each other and the resultant synchrony gets snapped up in the mind’s eyes – recorded forever.

30th June 2007

Saturday was a complete washout. It was as though the heavens had opened up. It was relentlessly pouring tigers and elephants and the wild animals raining from the sky effectively wiped out any attempts, albeit feeble, to venture out to play.

1st July 2007

Sunday was the 10th anniversary of Hongkong’s handover to China. We spent the day at the Hongkong Museum of History, learning (or rather trying to) a few things about erstwhile HK. All I managed to do though was run after and just about manage to keep an eye on Abhay – who incidentally was hell bent on scurrying in and out of passageways and alleys and stairwells and rooms. The entire museum was akin to one big maze for Mr.Exasperation who did his enterprising best and immensely succeeded in living up to his name. Mr.Exasperation was exasperation personified !!!!

We also caught a couple of short movies about HK’s history and about early China and how Hongkong came to be. Very interesting and very informative. While Appu was busy absorbing a lot of information from the movies, Mr.Exasperation was busy figuring out why the theater seat folded up when he was not perched on it and why it did turn into a proper seat once he was steadily perched on it. I don’t know if he figured out that one and I did not dare ask !!!!!

Been about five days since Aparna’s summer break began. Abhay still has a couple more weeks of schooling to go before they start their summer break. And in the space of this past one week, I have not managed to get a single post done :-) That one does not take much figuring out, does it ?

It sure promises to be an extremely eclectic summer break.

A summer break which might have seemingly equal measures of joy, delight, thrill, a bit of adventure, squabbles, tiffs, disputes, lassitude, tears, complaints, grumbles, hugs, laughter, amusement, mirth, glee ........ All rolled into one.

And by the time this summer break is through and school resumes, mommy expects to have greyed rather exponentially.

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