08 July, 2008

The trip to the library - A Saga !!

Exactly how exciting does a trip to the local public library sound ? Something to look forward to – yeah – definitely. But exciting as in an adventure – hmmm … not really – right ?

Well, with the nutty siblings in tow, even something as normal as a trip to the library can – errr …. turn into a venture of sorts. Hazardous – maybe. Out of the ordinary – oh! most definitely.

It has been a while since Aparna turned into a bookworm. An Aparna without a book in tow or a book in hand is a species that has long gone extinct. When one sees her anywhere around, it is a very safe bet to assume that somewhere in the near vicinity, one would be able to find a book or two. And once engrossed in a book, she’d probably not realize it even if the sky fell down on her head. That is the intensity and the concentration and focus she exhibits whilst busy with a book.

Ever since Abhay developed a penchant for reading as well, Mommy’s trips to the library, needless to say, have more than doubled in frequency. The siblings are quite enterprising in that sense because when they have a couple of books yet to read, they start working on getting lazy Mommy to make that trip to the library to replenish the low inventory levels on their bookshelf.

Today was one such day. The morning saw the skies open up and it was pouring tigers and elephants but hapless Mommy had reconciled herself to a long trudge in the rains to the local public library. Given the choice between the siblings hankering for books or a walk through a crowded street during a heavy downpour – the choice is rather clear. A latter is definitely a preferable option when compared to handling two kids who go “cold turkey” and start to exhibit all sorts of withdrawal symptoms when their bookshelf gets empty.

The gods, however, seemed to have other plans. They probably decided to spice things up a bit. The rains stopped, the skies more or less cleared and the roads started to dry up a bit. And Mommy, in true Sancho Panza style, asked the siblings to accompany her to the library. “We’ll all go together and get lots of books” said Mommy and for good measure added “Oh ! It’ll be such fun.” The siblings were soon infected with the fun bug too and all three of us set out for the library.

Just as we were walking to the bus stop, pat came the question from Abhay “Do the mini buses have toilets inside them ?”. Screeeeechhhh. “Full Alert Full Alert” screamed just about every working bit of Mommy’s brain. Knowing Abhay and his habit of throwing a spanner in the works by wanting to go to the toilet at all odd places, Mommy was mentally scouring the roadmap to try and ascertain if there were any malls or huge buildings near the library into which she could rush with Abhay in tow, if indeed there suddenly developed a pressing need for him to use the loo.
The “trip” to the library had just about begun and Mommy was already walking on pins and needles !!

Just as we were walking on the sidewalk, Aparna, who was lost in a world of her own, stepped on Abhay’s shoes and Abhay, who thought it was a game of sorts, kept his leg pressed onto the sidewalk. As a result, Aparna who had already stumbled had one leg in the air and the other leg stumbled over Abhay’s leg which was very stubbornly pressed onto the sidewalk. Aparna went flying headalong and Mommy had to resort to hooking her fingers into the neck of Aparna’s T-Shirt to prevent her from crashing into the gate. Honestly, we must have looked quite a sight right then. The elder sibling looking sheepish, the younger one alternating between spates of giggles and claiming that his leg hurt because Aparna banged into it and Mommy – looking wild eyed at more such “adventures” to come and sighing with relief at having averted a mishap.

Reached the bus stop without any further incidents and as luck would have it, the frequency of the mini buses seemed to be extraordinarily bad today. “Why no buses for so long ?” queried the younger sibling. “Oh Gawd. Where aaareee all the buses ?” queried the elder sibling with a disgusted look on her face. Mommy made a mental note to ensure that these two get to travel on Bombay’s infamous public transport system the next time we’re there !! If not anything else, a trip on Bombay's BEST buses will make sure that the siblings don't ever complain about the transport system - anywhere !!

Bus arrived – all of us trooped in and the siblings were all hyped about the idea of all three of us sitting on one of the long seats – together. Not wanting to squash their hopes and those grins on their faces, Mommy complied. And all through upto the last bus stop the siblings were having fun and so was Mommy – cos it was akin to riding a roller coaster without the safety belts on. With every wild turn that the mini bus driver took, the siblings were busy with imaginary steering wheels and what not while Mommy was hanging on for dear life and hoping to God that she would not land rather unceremoniously on the floor of the bus anytime soon.

The actual “within the library” scene was quite uneventful. Neither of the siblings managed to get lost, they did not trip over their own feet nor did they trip anyone else. They managed not to walk into any of the bookshelves or the pillars or the walls. They managed to stay out of fights – with each other, of course. They managed not to fall from the little chairs that were rather strategically placed throughout the library and they managed not to practice Ashtanga Yoga on the library floor.

Books borrowed and we checked out of the library – all in one piece. Mommy, with bags slung on both her shoulders, laden with books, was beginning to rest under the assumption that “adventures” were all done and over with, for the timebeing. We went over to the fruit shop which had some real luscious mangoes and bought some. The nutty siblings were sure to drool all the way home.

Just as we were crossing one of the main roads in order to get to our bus stop, Abhay screeched to a halt. Assuming that he’d seen some car which had gotten his fancy, Mommy, who was holding his hand, urged him on to cross the road. “Mom, see – I have a nosebleed” came the statement. Knowing what was coming next, Aparna exclaimed “Oh Shucks ! I forgot to carry the tissue pack Mom”. Oh Lovely ! Normally Mommy always always has atleast 2 packs of tissue in her handbag. Today, with both siblings in tow, Mommy decided to leave her handbag at home and just carry her wallet. Mommy had indeed asked Aparna to carry a pack of tissues as her shorts had a couple of pockets in them. So – just this one day that none of us had tissues on us, Abhay went ahead and had a nosebleed – and a big one at that.

About turn right in the middle of the road and Mommy shunted both siblings into a nearby chemist shop. Now the local chemists stock tissues not by the dozen but in multiples of the dozen. Great work Sherlock ! Mommy now had a huge pack of tissue as well – which contained no less than 36 packs of pocket handkerchiefs. The lady in the chemist shop quickly opened a tissue pack and Mommy handed one to Abhay, who, in the meanwhile, had turned into the centre of attraction. People were staring at him with rather morbid curiosity - probably with scenes from movies like “Pandemic” and the like flashing through their heads. The local populace in HK is rather well known, among other things, for their paranoia.

Once the nosebleed stopped, the entourage continued their journey onto the bus stop with Mommy looking as though she’d just been on a tissue and mango shopping binge. We reached the bus stop without any further incident, only to realize that there were no buses waiting. Normally there are atleast five or six buses waiting at the bus stop for passengers. For a change, we had to wait for the bus.

Once we got our bus, Mommy did not even wait for the siblings to ask. She just plonked next to them on the seat. “Why did I get a nose bleed ?” queried Abhay. “Sometimes one of the little capillaries in the nose breaks and that’s how people get nosebleeds” said Mommy, who was wondering what “adventure” was waiting around the corner.

Just then, Abhay had another nosebleed. Pressing a tissue to his nose, he was repeatedly heard muttering “my nose broke” “Oh My nose is broken”. The word capillary had been conveniently discarded. It was a wonder that Mommy did not get handed over to the Social Services Department. Because he made quite a picture. Tissue pressed on his nose with small flecks of blood in it and completing the effect was Abhay muttering “My nose broke” “My nose is broken”.
The entourage finally made it home.

The elder sibling spacing out and floating somewhere in space, totally lost in her own thoughts. The younger one was lamenting on a “broken nose” with a tissue still held to his nostril for good effect. Mommy was trudging along like a zombie of sorts – with books, mangoes and tissues – looking forward to a good steaming hot cuppa coffee once the whole entourage got home – safe and sound !!!

William Bolitho once said

"Adventure must start with running away from home."

Mommy says Nah !! Nothing that drastic is really needed.

If it is an adventure one is looking for, all one has to do is take the nutty siblings along, wherever it is they are going. That, in itself, will lead to an adventure of a lifetime !!

post signature

6 voice(s) said so:

Swati said...

These kids come up with something beyond my imagination ALWAYS and the way you write , I can almost imagine things scene by scene

Trish said...

Hahahaha.. like Swati,I can pitcute the whole thing.. and I can't stop laughing!!!

Mama - Mia said...

hahahaha!!

we are proud of the Mommy!!

and i cant stop laughing imagining poor Abhay worried and muttering under his breath about broken nose!!

cheers!

abha

WhatsInAName said...

Oops, Hope Abhay's nose is fine now.
What a cute narration. Reminds me of the time I went gallivanting around London with my two girls in tow. I had almost the same experience - the fights on the road, the giggles, the roller coaster on the bus, the untimely urge to pee (in my case its my elder one who does that!!!!)
But really good to know that the kids love books so much.

I love Lucy said...

Awww poor Abhay!
Is the broken nose fixed??!!!
Murphy's Law eh...the one time that you are unprepared is when it hits you the hardest!!

Daisy said...

:) rotfling and poor Abhay.. hey BTW, you have the url to blog wrong( on the right side bar).. :).