30 November, 2011

Happy Birthday, Aps

(Image courtesy : amazon.co.uk via Google)

There was once a little girl

To “Maine Payal Hai Chankayi” she loved to twirl

Chubby with rings of baby fat

Now what can be cuter than that ?

No clich├ęs but time does fly

Leaves one breathless, my oh my !

You stand before us today, all of twelve

All set for the future, into which you want to delve.

A complete transformation is what we’ve seen

You are definitely not what you’ve been

Quiet and shy, you were an easy target,

For friends who tried to treat you like a carpet.

You had your share of pain and tears

As you were bullied time and again by your peers

It caused in you a lot of fears

All through those few years.

But you’ve emerged from it much stronger

You fear arguments and fights no longer

“Not any more” is what you say

“No one can do that to me, come what may”.

As you stand before us today, all of twelve

And as your fears and inhibitions you steadily continue to shelve

Know this and know it well,

I am proud of you, the way your fears you now quell.

I love the way you’re changing

The way that cheekiness is emerging

I see you laughing a lot more now

As, to jokes, you no longer raise your brow.

We all start as caterpillars

We grow up in life, using our feelers

Life, in its own way, makes us emerge from our cocoons

As we dance to life’s tunes and bassoons.

“We love you” no matter what and will love you forever

That, I hope and pray you always remember.

Be strong and always smile

As life takes you on its path, mile upon mile

Know that beauty lies in your inner self

Always, always believe in yourself.

Never do anything just because everyone else is

Always stand by your beliefs, even if no one else is

People around you might gripe and moan

But always stand up for your beliefs, especially if you are alone.

Believe in magic, wish upon the stars

Life’s nothing but a very fast car

Travel and soak in the sights, in lands afar

Time waits for no one, it just whizzes past

For the bounty that this universe has to offer, is very very vast.

Love, Trust and be compassionate

About things you believe in, be totally passionate

Always be true to yourself and give it your all

Remember that He will always be around to catch you even if you fall.

A very Happy Birthday to you, my precious tot

Go out there and show the world what you’ve got

A very Happy Birthday to you, my “not so little anymore” dot,

Always have, always will love you a lot !!

All my love and then some,

Mum :-)

24 November, 2011

The early morning treasure hunt !!

Imagine this - the early hours of the morning. A whole bus load of passengers who look as though they are still in the clutches and claims of sleep, some drifting away kind of suspended halfway between the woken up world and the sleepy world, some snoring away, seemingly lost in a world of their own dreams, some struggling to keep their eyes open despite sleep trying to lay its claim on them and then there are some who are hellbent on being very industrious - even while travelling on the bus at such early hours of the morning.

There's this individual I've been observing over the past few weeks, actually. Sometimes he has his compatriots (who are equally industrious, by the way) while on some other days, he ploughs on rather diligently. Now he has a choice between two paths that he can take. Both are equally dark, equally deserted and equally obscure and murky. You never know what dangers lurk in such dark, unexplored places but this brave trooper - he cares not. He marches through those pathways, just about every single day, rather staunchly and boldly.

There are people who look and him and wonder why he does it day in and day out. There are people who stare at him with eyes as wide as saucers. Then there are others who look at him from the corners of their eyes, furtive glances as though they simply cannot bear to watch him venture out on that dangerous path. There are people whose eyes widen at the prospect of what they are about to witness and in people who fall into this category, you can virtually see the realization sinking in, you can hear the clink of the penny as it drops to the floor of the skull (I presume). You can see it in that split second widening of the erstwhile sleepy eyes, you can see it in those hands which fly across to cap their mouths to prevent any sounds from emanating or escaping.

In the midst of all this, that brave trooper makes his decision and decides to march on.

I do wonder about the amount of courage, nerve and pluck that it takes to start out doing something as dangerous as this gentleman in question is about to. Beats me, honestly. I mean, what is it that can drive a person to such extremes - that too day in and day out. Virtually everyday. I really don't get it.

Anyways, I did not mean to digress and deprive you (you, who is reading this at this given moment) of the adventure - freeze frame by freeze frame. It is almost as if he is about to fight an enemy. Such intense concentration on his face, seldom seen in the human race of today. He marches forth, seeking information at first, slowly and cautiously, extremely carefully and further and further he heads, down the dark, murky paths. Not once does he stop or have second thoughts. Such strength of conviction !!

When he finds what he's looking for, the look of sheer accomplishment on his face tells the whole story. Beyond compare, is what his body language seems to say.

I watch the spectators now as some of them seem close to fainting and others, not wanting to witness that spectacle, turn and avert their eyes. This time around, there's no looking furtively towards the man. The spectators have their firmly averted gazes fixed the other way.

The triumphant man all but lets out a bellow. He looks like a man whose mission has been accomplished - fully and finally. And for all that effort that he put in (quite literally), for the bravery he exhibited, he finally holds out his treasure. Well, not all of it. A bit of it. But that's more than enough to convince people around him that such courage is simply not their cup of tea.

On his finger, his pointer, to be precise, rests the treasure he'd been looking for.

A huge wad of booger !!!!!!!!!

This visual spectacle, witnessed on the bus almost every morning (NO - I don't look every morning. I am among those people who firmly look the other way) will be filed away as The HongKong Experience - Part 2.

23 November, 2011

Gotcha !!!!

(Image courtesy : multimedia-graphics-download.com via Google)

And Pecan is back !!!!

As expected, the camp stories have begun. He seems to have taken a little break right now cos his sights settled on my ITouch which was apparently looking a little too relaxed for Pecan’s comfort. He plays some soccer game on the ITouch and for the past three days, the ITouch has been having a holiday of its own – since it was being used solely as a source of music output. Now that Pecan is back, it’s days are numbered, yet again. It is going to have to work overtime. Thankfully, it does not demand OT payment !!

Two days without any electronic stuff” proclaimed Pecan. Trust me, Sir Edmund Hillary would not have huffed and puffed as much when he conquered the Everest !! “Oh ! It’s been so long” he said a tad too warmly, to the ITouch while Yours Truly (who looks like Mount Everest in repose on any given day, in terms of the fat around the middle) looked on. Yours Truly kept looking on, waiting for those warm glances to fall on her good self but it was all in vain. Those warm glances seemed to be reserved for the ITouch and the ITouch alone !!!

While he was in the midst of telling Yours Truly something about camp, he paused rather dramatically and fixed his stare on Mummy who, by then, was rooted to the spot under that fixed, unrelenting gaze. His mission accomplished (in terms of having his mother rooted to one spot and having the entirety of her attention fixed on him) Pecan wagged his finger at Mummy and said “But let me tell you one thing, Mummy This camp was SO NOT about teamwork”.

“Huh ???!!!” was all Mummy could manage, given the intensity with which that sentence had been spoken a few moments back. “Yeah” continued Pecan “this camp was SO NOT about teamwork” he said, this time his brows furrowing as well, to compound the wagging of the finger and overall adding to the effect, which, by the way, was dramatically rather vivid and striking. Impressive enough to mesmerize one momentarily.

With Mummy’s seemingly hypnotized gaze fixed on him (pretty much like those hapless snakes in India that look at the snake charmer), he went on “There was NO teamwork !!”. Momentarily recovering her footing, Mummy gathered her wits around long enough to ask him “Why – weren’t you kids working well together ? Were you guys fighting with each other or bickering over something ?”

“Pssshhhahh !! Not US” hissed Pecan. “The teachers SO don’t know what teamwork is” he retorted, eyes blazing and what have you. By now, Mummy was completely confused (not that it takes much to confuse her in the first place). “Teachers ??” she queried. “Yeah, T.e.a.c.h.e.r.s !!!” retorted Pecan, looking as though he was scraping the bottom of the barrel for patience. “What did the teachers have to do with the teamwork bit ?” asked Mummy.

“See” said Pecan, whose left hand was now on his hips, alongwith the furrowed brows and the wagging pointer on the right hand. “They did not help us make our beds at all”. “They just stood there and kept saying “this is so messy. do it again” or “this is not right. put the bedsheet on again” and all that. Would it not have been simpler if they had worked with us as a team and helped us get the bed spread on the mattress ? See – now THAT is teamwork. Not standing around and watching while the other members of the team struggle !!”

Mummy could well see what was coming next and her face was beginning to resemble a 60 watt lightbulb going on 100 watt. Just today morning, Mummy had posted a comment on the camp blog, telling Pecan that since he’d done it at camp, he could start making his own bed at home too, starting tomorrow.

And Pecan walked straight into it, much to Mummy’s obvious delight.

“OK – so that was that at camp. And today morning you posted a message saying I need to do my own bed at home too ??” he whined, eyes as big as he could get them to be and all that. “One of our teachers read the comment out to me and my friends even came and told me “awww we’re so sorry that you will need to do that at home from now on. Don’t worry, it’ll be OK”. He sure was making it sound like Mummy was about to put him on some torture regimen of sorts !!

Mummy’s grin was widening by the second as she could see the fish swimming directly into the net !!

“Why do I need to do that at home ?” countered Pecan.

“Ahem ….” began Mummy.

“Just a couple of days back, I do believe that someone said something about independence and being independent ?” asked Mummy, waiting for a couple of seconds to see if she could hear the clink of the penny dropping. Nah - no clink. So on went Mummy ...

“Something about your not having a problem with being independent but that Mummy does not want you to be independent ?? Mummy does want you to be independent. Which is why you can start with little things like the bedspread” said a now grinning Mummy, prodding those memory cells into action.

The slow smile spreading on Pecan’s face and that sheepish look just about said it all !!!

“Yeah ….. but but but ……” spluttered Pecan as we just collapsed into giggles and gave in to the mirth.

He had been outwinked for the moment, and he knew it !!

Knowing Pecan, he will look for a loophole in this situation too, find one and swing it right back at Mummy. But fact remains that for the moment, Mummy did catch him on the wrong foot. Knowing Pecan, that is definitely not an easy thing to do !!

As of now, all Mummy can say is “Gotcha !!” :-)))))))))

21 November, 2011

Pecan flies the nest !!!

(Image Courtesy : pccrafter.com via Google)

The younger sibling has flown the coop too !! The nest, I mean :-). He’s off on a three day / two night camp. We spent the morning laying out all the stuff that he needed to carry. There was a lot of banter, a lot of laughs and fun as we took turns labelling all his stuff.

There were some little butterflies fluttering away inside Pecan’s tummy and occasionally there would be statements like “Hmmm ….. my first camp ever. My first time away from home” or “I’ve never been away from home without you guys”. But those little butterflies would always be covered up with a sense of intrepid bravery. “I can do this” is what he seemed to be telling himself, convincing himself of, over the past couple of days. With Pecan, if there’s one thing he IS good at, it is facing his fears. No matter what the fear, no matter how big the butterflies – he has learnt to face them head on. He does not shy away from them and this attitude, if he continues with it as he grows, should hold him in good stead through the vagaries of life.

Among many other things, one thing that he mentioned to Vic this morning, made me think really hard. He said to Vic “I don’t have a problem with being independent but Mummy does not want me to be independent”. :-) Made me think. Made me ask myself, after having reached into the deepest recesses of my heart whether this was true. Well – it is true that every time Macadamia goes off to camp too, there are those eeeny weeny butterflies inside my tummy too. Now, when it is time for Pecan to set off on his camp too, the same eeny weeny butterflies are flying around my tummy too. But I guess this is something every parent feels – when they, albeit for a few days, entrust their offspring to the watchful arms and eyes of The One Above and The One Above alone. It is not as much the entrusting part – it has more to do with the “letting go” bit.

In that sense, perhaps, these camps are just as a learning curve for the parents, as it is for the kids. The kids have been told that there are going to be many activities at camp, some of which may or will make them face their fears. It could be something as simple as facing the fear of a few days away from home (the comfort zone that they’ve known so far). For those who have a fear of heights, it could be the session in which the kids do rock climbing. This camp, as will the ones to follow next year and the next, will see the children taking more and more risks (controlled risks, I’m sure) but end of the day, it is all aimed at making them more independent – independent in terms of making decisions for themselves, by themselves, independent in terms of facing their fears, independent in terms of taking accountable risks. For the parents, it is yet another lesson in “learning to let go”.

Mother Teresa knew what she was saying when she said “Life is an adventure ; Dare it !!”

Over the next couple of days, I know my thoughts will wander time and again about what Pecan might be doing at that point of time or whether he’s eaten enough or whether he is wearing his blanket at night (cos this is something he does not really like to do) or whether he is cosy enough at bedtime and lots of other little things. But everytime I do that, I will pause to remind myself that Pecan is probably having the time of his life, with his best buddies for company, with his teachers for guidance.

He might come back from camp a slightly different person – with a much stronger sense of independence, of the person that he is and most importantly of the things that he can “do” and “be”, all by himself. These camps, ideally, are an excellent opportunity for them to experience life, look at life from a slightly different point of view, an independent point of view. Probably, some of the best lessons that they will practically learn in life might be through these camps.

Nowadays, one finds kids interacting less face to face and interacting more with and through machines – emails, IPads, ITouch, IPhone, TV, NDS, PSP, XBox – you name it. For the most part, one sees kids with their nose stuck in one of the above at most given points of their free time. I personally think that these three days / two nights in the absence of technological gadgets is a really good thing for them. This will probably see better social skills emerging in the kids and existing social skills being sharpened and honed.

Another thing that camp is bound to teach them is team work. The dynamics of working in a group in an environment other than the ones they are normally used to, will indeed teach them valuable lessons – some of which may stay with them through life.

Knowing Pecan, he will, in all probability, come back with a whole load of stories from camp to share with us. Yet again, knowing him, they would be a good mix – some outright funny, some downright outrageous, some very philosophical with a touch of his deep thought to it and hopefully some things about camp that he will treasure for a lifetime to come.

I do hope this is the beginning of yet another innings in his life – one in which he learns to navigate, learn and enjoy life, one in which he learns to look at independence as a valuable asset that strengthens him and lays the foundation for him to build his character, for what he is. I do hope that whenever the opportunity presents itself, now and later on in life, he learns to stretch his neck out of his comfort zone – for, as Herbie Hancock says “that’s where the joy and the adventure lie”.

11 November, 2011

The HongKong Experience - Part 1

(Pic courtesy : apessimistisneverdisappointed.com via Google)

For those of you who don’t know HongKong firsthand, HongKong is Asia’s World Class City – or some such thing. For those of you who do know HongKong firsthand, HongKong is still Asia’s World Class City – indeed !! Now, now – don’t get me wrong here. Don’t all of us have our very own quirks. Yes, we do. I do, too. I vaguely remember blogging about mine too. But then again, the quirks of the local HongKongese (that word does not exist but it sure has a nice ring to it) are simply unbelievable, rather bizarre, at times.

Of late, I’ve been commuting by bus to and from work and I’ve been subjected to an awful load of the unique behavioural tendencies that the HongKongese are capable of exhibiting rather unabashedly.

The most common sound effect that one is subjected to, just about everywhere in HK, is one of those loud, ear splitting belches. While burping is a rather controlled exercise in other cultures, the people here seem to view burping as some sort of a pecking order contest. The louder and grosser the burp, the higher up on the totem pole that individual is deemed to be. Just cross your fingers and hope you’re not sitting (or standing) next to one of those persistent burpers or your olfactory senses would go bonkers. They’d either go berserk trying to process the smells of all the half digested breakfast or lunch (depending on the time of the day) wafting towards their unfortunate nostrils or, at the other extreme, their olfactory senses would simply shut down – steadfastedly refusing to process any of the smells inhaled. Such is the power of those killer burps !! Now I know why so many of the local HongKongese choose to wear facemasks, at the first given opportunity.

The other sound effect that one is subjected to – trust me – you don’t even want to know !! It is rather hazardous to even talk about it (or in this case, type about it) !! Even more dangerous than the noisy kind, is the silent kind. Absolute killer, that one !! Not to mention the fact that most of the public transport is airconditioned. The windows shut, there is no room for the air to escape and those killer fumes just travel all the way down the train or the bus. Oh !! Sheer joy compounded !!

Remember the Tokyo subway Sarin gas attack. Well, the Japanese needed the Aum Shinrikyo to accomplish that. We just need our very own HongKongese who seem to think nothing of dropping human gas bombs at split second intervals. You want chemical warfare, send across a human gas bomb from HK. You’ll find plenty of them on the public transport here !!!

Ever seen people clipping their fingernails on public transport ? If your answer to that question is a horrified “NO !!” , it is about time you took a trip to Asia’s World City. On just about any form of public transport, you’re quite likely to come across atleast a couple of HongKongese hellbent on leaving their DNA samples all over the floor of the bus or the MTR. If it is indeed your lucky day, you’d be sitting across the aisle and you’d see someone slowly taking their feet out of their shoes. As your nostrils are once again bombarded by the steamy odors of smelly socks and as you stare, totally paralysed and horror stricken, you will see a pair of feet emerge from those socks. By this time, your sense of smell would be dead, your mouth would be hanging open (well – you have to breathe, don’t you ??) and your body would be going into a mini seizure of sorts – well, the kind you see when you take a fish out of water. In the midst of all these reactions (which nobody cares about, really), you’d find that a nailclipper has magically appeared and the concerned person with the dinosaur-like toenails is busy leaving their nail shavings on the floor of the bus or the MTR like those little pixie fairies sprinkling magic dust rather liberally when they are so in love with this world of ours.

Come winter and you face the prospect of a 45 odd minute journey (if you’re lucky it won’t be more than that – the pixie fairy will ensure that you faint well before that) standing or sitting right next to a person who’s merrily skipped the teeth brushing ritual that is so common amongst most of the human populace on this planet that we call Earth. And if you’re really really lucky and your good Karma is pouring on you in truckloads that morning, those very people would be taking a nap with their mouths wide open. Now, for those of you who have not been fortunate enough to travel in public transport in HK, let me assure you that it is pretty much like being in a strait jacket. You are guaranteed to feel like a sardine in a can with a whole load of other sardines – all packed so tight that you have no choice but to inhale the air which has just been exhaled by your fellow passenger (who, if I may remind you, might not have brushed his/her teeth that morning). Like I said before, that’s your good Karma pouring its goodwill by the buckets !! Let’s not go on to the Bad Karma bit – not right now. That’ll be a bit too much to stomach !!

Oh well !! Did I not mention at the beginning of the post that HK is Asia’s World City !! The smells of a world class city – you’ll find them all here, in HK, for sure !! Live here for a while and your olfactory senses and your lungs could well start serving you with a lawsuit for assault.

But then again, this is a city that grows on you. It kind of creeps up on you. One may crib, moan and bitch about all these quirks in the HongKongese (like I’m doing, right now), but the pros definitely seem to outweigh the cons.

These quirks do bring about a short lived sense of irritation and annoyance but over a period of time, some say, no one really cares. Small correction - I, for one, still do.

Just the other day someone said "When you've been living here for many years, you just have to learn to live with it".

Well, apparently, where such things are concerned, I still haven't !!!

P.S : Watch this space for more quirks about HongKong and its people and believe me when I say - There's plenty more to come !!

04 November, 2011

The Mask .... A writing prompt

(Image courtesy : clker.com via Google)

The dust seemed to have a life of its own. Rising, falling, engulfing, coating just about everything it its path. It was almost as if it wanted to leave its mark on everybody and everything, it seemed almost lifelike in its childish insistence to mark its territory, to claim things as its own. It had a good friend, a very good one. Sand. When they joined hands, they could wreak havoc, render things absolutely useless. Nothing would move unless they did – the two of them – hand in hand – dust and sand.

The sandstorm continued to advance as he watched things get worse. There was noise all around him. Desperation hung heavy in the air as vendors pushed their carts around, tried to sell their produce before the sandstorm barged its way into their town. The smell of sweat mingled with that earthy smell that emanated from the barren, hot land he stood on. He stood there, in the middle of the market, with his eyes closed, absorbing the multitude of smells all around him. The fruits – some sweet, some sour, some in various stages of rot. The raw smell of the meat nauseated him on the one hand while the aroma of barbequed meat caused his mouth to water, his stomach to rumble with hunger.

His whole body was coated with a fine layer of dust, his eyes grimy, his little feet tired from walking, were all ready to give way under him. His ears buzzed with the sounds that were all around him, a sound so insistent and persevering that it seemed rather resolute in its purpose – that of lulling him into a sense of drunken stupor, imperative in its demand that he lie down somewhere and sleep for a while. It was a tug of war between mind and matter.

He had to force himself to stay awake. His chubby little fingers which had still not lost all its vestiges of baby fat, clutched stubbornly onto the scrap of paper. The stubbornness of his fingers were matched only by the resoluteness in his eyes. He was going to see this to the end – no matter what.

He remembered the time this whole saga had begun. He’d been out shopping for his Halloween costume. He had a scrap of paper with him – the same scrap of paper where he’d drawn the facemask that he wanted to wear when he went Trick or Treating on Halloween. He was very particular about what he wanted and he’d wandered in and out of many shops that evening. It had been a spooky evening too. A slight chill in the air – not cold enough to warrant a sweater but chilly enough to have given him goosebumps. Wait ! Had it been just the weather that had given him goosebumps ? Or was there a sense of foreboding too ? That sixth sense that had, in its own inimitable way, told him that something was going to happen ?

He still vividly remembered the moment when he saw that horrible mask hanging on display mannequin. It was so similar to the mask he’d drawn. There had been something magical, something so distinctly mysterious that it had all but pulled him into its web with its evil glare. He vaguely remembered walking over to that shop while his parents were busy in another shop. He could still remember the cold feel of the mask when he took it off the mannequin and he remembered having held the mask close to his face. He had then taken that final step and put the mask on ….

His growling stomach brought him back to the present. The hunger was pervading. The thought of food was saturating every pore of his body and was infiltrating his mental processes. All he could think of, as he stumbled along wearily, was food, food and food. The sandstorm was beginning to move in and the vendors were beginning to pack their wares.

“The mask” he remembered. Where was it ? He retraced a few steps and there it was, lying half buried in the sand and dust. It was grimy but those eyes had the same intensity. Something glistening and powerful that made him catch his breath and drew him into its spell. His hands were moving as though they had a life of their own. Yet again, it was pulling him into its spell ....

He was feeling very cold. Very very cold. He was curled up into a tight little ball, trying to preserve what little body heat there was, to preserve. He was alone, terrified, very cold and very hungry.

“How many times have I told you not to kick your blanket off at night ?” said a very familiar voice. His tightly shut eyelids, still pregnant with sleep, parted open ever so slightly and registered vaguely the rotund face that was hovering over him. Those familiar hands drew his blanket closer and securely tucked him in and as the cosiness drew him into its warmth, he smiled, secure in the knowledge that it had all been nothing but a dream.

It had been nothing but a dream.

P.S : Writing has become rather sporadic, of late. Now that's an understatement !! I just picked up a writing prompt today morning and gave myself half an hour to come up with a piece of writing. The prompt said "Use the following words in your story. Little boy, torn scrap of paper, market, cart". Hope to do this more often.

02 November, 2011

The Search Engine ...

(Image Courtesy : onlineparentingcoach.com via Google)

“What do you want to be when you grow up ?” is a question that parents often ask their children. I don’t particularly remember being asked that question but then again, had my parents asked me that question, I wouldn’t quite have known what to say then.

But I do, now !!

I could be an excellent search engine. A search engine so good that I could easily put Google to shame. I could beat Google hands down – anytime, anyday. For that matter, so could any mom.

The kids sure have given me their vote. I mean, they’ve outvoted Google and “invoted” (if there is such a term) me as their top of the line search engine. “Mummeeee, I can’t find my shirt” wailed Macadamia, the other day, one finger firmly held down on the “almost in panic mode” button. Mummy seriously considered doing absolutely nothing about that so called “plea” for help (yeah, I’m quite mean that way) but then Mummy’s sights wandered over to Macadamia’s other finger which was dangerously poised, hovering and ready over the PANIC button. Now that’s a surefire recipe for trouble. Once Macadamia hits the PANIC button, the whole world comes to a grinding halt while she whips around the house like a bee on a sugar high.

She’d be seen rushing from one end of the house to the other (and this is one of those few times when I thank my stars that the houses in HK are small), looking busy, seeming busy, with a look of utter worry and concern written large on her face. The diameter of her eyes would keep widening by the minute (I’ve no idea how she does that but God ! it sure is effective as hell) until her eyes resemble the earlobes of one of those African tribes who walk around with saucers in their earlobes.

Macadamia searching for something when she’s in PANIC mode, is a sight to behold (if you’re watching from far away, that is). She’s quite a cacophony of sounds when she searches for something – what with all those hisses and glares – not to mention the rather liberal scattering of the pssshhhaaahhs (which are meant to convey her disapproval of the fact that the home based search engine isn’t performing its duties efficiently).

The final straw – Macadamia with all ten fingers pressing down on that PANIC button (how that increases in size enough to accommodate all ten of her fingers, I don’t know. I haven’t been able to figure that one out yet !!) hands on hips, eyes glaring, planting herself in front of the home based, home made search engine with a rather plaintive “I stilllllllllll can’ttttttttttttt findddddddddddd ittttttttttttttt”. Each of those syllables uttered through teeth which are grinding and gnashing against each other (pretty much like the grinding stones in the dosa batter grinder), grinding those syllables to mush and spitting them out with the force of an Angry Birds slingshot. Not to mention the Angry Bird which has planted itself in front of the home based search engine. And that is when the home based search engine, also known as Mummy (who will soon be christened with a more apt nickname) is forced to spring into action for the sole purpose of preserving and conserving whatever little sanity she’s managed to preserve through the parenting journey !!!

Pecan, on the other hand, having misplaced something, believes in turning on the doleful look, which, at first glance, would automatically and effortlessly lead people into believing that his pet of some sort had just passed on. Good thing that there are no actual pets involved every time he flashes that look else we would be busy burying multiples of all sorts of animals on any given day !!! “Mummy, I can’t find my homework and I’d put it right there – on top of the bookshelf” Pecan would pipe up, sounding pretty confident. In fact, he sounds so confident and sure that the first few times this happened, the home based search engine rolled up its sleeves immediately and got to work, turning the whole house upside down, in an effort to locate at home, something that had invariably been left behind at school. Now the search engine has wisened up to those mournful looks and downcast eyes. Simply put, the search engine does not spring into action that quickly.

The search engine had found a reply that she considered the mother of all replies, given the circumstances. “Well, if you’d put it there, it can’t sprout legs and walk away by itself, can it ?”, would be the search engine’s first salvo. It worked quite well for a while actually – what with Pecan giving Mummy those “Can you stop rubbing it in ?” looks and with Macadamia rather dutifully siding with her younger sibling and shooting dark looks Mummy’s way in saying “Can you stop looking all smug and try and help him here ? You’re just making things worse for him, y’know”. Pretty soon, in situations like these, we have two bees aimlessly rushing up and down the house in an effort to locate the misplaced object. If only just running up and down could locate misplaced objects !! If that were the case, Mummy would gladly run a marathon !!


While all this panic stuff goes on, when I crawl up the wall painfully slowly and sit in a little corner on the ceiling and watch them from there, a little part of my mind does register the fact that it seems rather lovely – the way they team up against the “dark forces” in the house (a.k.a Mummy).

End of detour

Of late, Pecan has taken to stealing Mummy’s thunder. He would go “Mummy, I have a problem. (What an understatement !!). You see, I don’t mean to sound negative or anything like that (That’s some disclaimer !!) but I had – I really had put my book right there (pointing to what seems like a non existent area) but now it’s gone. See, I can’t see it there anymore. (Well, I can’t see it either because it IS NOT THERE, Einstein !!). And then he goes “I know they can’t sprout legs and walk away, so then where is it ?”. (Hey !! That’s supposed to be my line. Gee !! He just stole my thunder from right under my feet – if that’s where it exists, in the first place).

Despite all the smart assed comments, retorts, smug/amused/nonchalant looks - end of the day, the search engine always ends up doing what it has always been meant to do. It ends up fulfilling its prime responsibility (so it seems, of late) which is to “find” stuff that the offspring and progenies have rather conveniently “misplaced”.

Now, thanks to Suma, this home based search engine has a new name too.

I hereby christen myself – GOOGLINI the SECOND !!!!

P.S : Suma has the honour of being Googlini the First.