Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All for the sake of Rs. 20/-

This is the only reason why we haven't yet become millionaires. Otherwise, with the extent to which we watch our pennies, we'd have become millionaires long back.....

Last weekend, we had forgotten to buy something (I forget what), so we dropped in at Total mall to check if it was available there. The refundable parking charge of Rs. 20/- paid, we went in.. but we didn't get whatever we went there for. Now how to get the refund ? We couldn't lose TWENTY bucks, could we?

There was a Music World/Planet M out there. We went in to see if we could get something worth Rs. 20/- Surely a pencil, or a crayon set, or a small colouring book for kiddo ..... should be easy, right?

Half an hour later, we walked out light-hearted with.....

The Collectors- David Baldacci ( Art and Suma culpa.)
Hour Game- David Baldacci
The Pakistani Bride- Bapsi Sidhwa ( I really like her writing.)
A Dangerous Fortune- Ken Follet
A file folder (Mar being the season to accumulate paperwork)
Aandhi- the video cd. (for my Mom actually )

.... our pockets also lighter by close to a 1000 bucks!

Penny wise and pound foolish.
That's us.
And the story of our non-existent savings.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Holiday plans- bigtime!

Sonny boy brought back all his activity books ( which have been kept at school till now) yesterday, saying his teacher had said that he could keep them at home from now on. Realization dawned on the parents- summer vacation was round the corner!

Acha: "Sonny boy, you're going to have a looooooong holiday. Where do you want to go? Switzerland?"
(this was just because on Sun, we'd had a newly married cousin to lunch- whose husband is in Switzerland, and the place had been talked about)
Sonny boy: *shaking his head* "uhuh"

Acha: "Singapore?"
Sonny boy: "uhuh" *an eager, expectant twinkle dawning in his eyes*

Acha: *sensing that Sonny boy had someplace in mind* "Where, Sonny boy?"
Sonny boy: *draws an M on the table and looks up eagerly at Acha*

Acha: M? Which place is that? *looks at Amma for a clue.* Amma too draws a blank.
Sonny boy: *the twinkle growing brighter* *draws a D too on the table*

Acha: M...D...??????
Sonny Boy: :*the stars spilling out of his eyes*Mac Donald's Acha! MAC!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Books, books and books

This is a tag post courtesy Usha. Following is a list of books that decorate most people's bookshelves but are not always read. In this tag we are supposed to show the ones read in bold, underlining the ones read at school, and italicising the ones you started but didn’t finish.

I always wanted to have this in my blog, so that I can go back to it one day when I am old and jobless.. and read and read and read. Hopefully my eyesight will not be too bad then..

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2. Anna Karenina
3. Crime and Punishment
4. Catch-22
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
6. Wuthering Heights
7. The Silmarillion
8. Life of Pi : a novel
9. The Name of the Rose
10. Don Quixote
11. Moby Dick
12. Ulysses
13. Madame Bovary
14. The Odyssey
15. Pride and Prejudice
16. Jane Eyre
17. The Tale of Two Cities
18. The Brothers Karamazov
19. Guns, Germs, and Steel
20. War and Peace
21. Vanity Fair
22. The Time Traveler’s Wife
23. The Iliad
24. Emma
25. The Blind Assassin.
26. The Kite Runner
27. Mrs. Dalloway
28. Great Expectations
29. American Gods
30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
31. Atlas Shrugged
32. Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
33. Memoirs of a Geisha
34. Middlesex
35. Quicksilver
36. Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
37. The Canterbury Tales
38. The Historian : a novel
39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
40. Love in the Time of Cholera
41. Brave New World
42. The Fountainhead
43. Foucault’s Pendulum
44. Middlemarch
45. Frankenstein
46. The Count of Monte Cristo
47. Dracula
48. A Clockwork Orange
49. Anansi Boys
50. The Once and Future King
51. The Grapes of Wrath
52. The Poisonwood Bible
53. 1984
54. Angels and Demons
55. Inferno
56. The Satanic Verses
57. Sense and Sensibility
58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
59. Mansfield Park
60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
61. To the Lighthouse
62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles
63. Oliver Twist
64. Gulliver’s Travels
65. Les Misérables
66. The Correction
67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
69. Dune
70. The Prince
71. The Sound and the Fury
72. Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
73. The God of Small Things
74. A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
75. Cryptonomicon
76. Neverwhere
77. A Confederacy of Dunces
78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
79. Dubliners
80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
81. Beloved
82. Slaughterhouse-five
83. The Scarlet Letter
84. Eats, Shoots and Leaves
85. The Mists of Avalon
86. Oryx and Crake
87. Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
88. Cloud Atlas
89. The Confusion
90. Lolita
91. Persuasion
92. Northanger Abbey
93. The Catcher in the Rye
94. On the Road
95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
96. Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
98. The Aeneid
99. Watership Down
100. Gravity’s Rainbow
101. The Hobbit
102. In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
103. White Teeth
104. Treasure Island
105. David Copperfield
106. The Three Musketeers

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the stronger sex???

I was going back to office after a long two weeks of being a lie-at-home-mother, and Sonny boy wasn't taking too kindly to it.
He had grown to expect me to be there to feed him or at least watch his Ammamma feed him, to be there to tell him stories and cuddle in the afternoon too, generally be around... all the time.....

So in the morning when he came to me with a helicopter whose rubber lining had fallen off the wheel, instead of pooh-poohing it off as I would have done so in the normal case, I took it up.

If I were to set right all the wheels Sonny boy has set wrong, that in itself would be a full time occupation for me. Sonny boy is c-r-a-z-y about his wheels. While I was lying in bed with chicken pox, he would while away his time by going around the 3 sides of the bed with some vehicle or the other fascinated by the wheels going round and round....

Tha Acha advised me not to bother with it, as it couldn't be set right. But the look on Sonny boy's face as he said that, made me direct my efforts towards the errant wheel once again. After some squeezing and pushing and pulling and manouevering, I finally got the rubber casing in place.

Sonny boy *looking up at me with admiration and delight*, "You're so strong girl, Amma! Thank you."
To his Acha, "Acha, Amma fixed it! She's very strong"
Tha Acha *having overheard the earlier conversation*, "yeah, your Amma's very strong.

Sonny boy,proudly, "Yeah, she's like Chota Bhim!
And to his Amma, "No, Amma?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This afternoon, I was reading Pinochio for Sonny boy, in preparation for his afternoon nap.

When we came to the part where the the fairy tells Pinochio that each time he told a lie, his nose would grow longer, he grew thoughtful. I could almost see the wheels clicking in his active little brain.

"Amma," he started.
I waited for the momentous announcement.

"Amma, you buy me Pepsodent, OK."

"Boys who brush with Pepsodent don't tell lies."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

odds and ends

Being laid up in bed with chicken pox somehow reminded me a lot of my ancestral home. Maybe because other than the odd fever and cold, the last time I had been laid up for any amount of time was when I had mumps, while I was in school and while we were living in my ancestral house.

Days there were so restful and yet so eventful. With the chirping of the birds, you were up. The bathroom was definitely not next to the bedroom, it was located at the end of a long stretch of house. Past the living room, the dining room, the kitchen... In the summer, inside the bathroom, if you were lucky, you could hear the mangoes falling on the asbestos roof, in which case you could start off your investigations while brushing your teeth itself. Wandering under the mango trees behind the bathroom, near the hen coop, to find the fallen mango which could have rolled off anywhere....

But these investigations would be cut short all too soon by Mom's call- for me to drink milk. A thing I hated, all the more for the inconvenient times when one had to drink it. And of course, once you got back inside the house, you would HAVE to study or make a pretence of studying for at least an hour or so, before you could get away again.

We had a spinning mill long back, I believe, but part of that had been converted to a lodge some years after Achachan passed away. The rooms near the house were not given out to lodgers tho- other than those of the rat, cat and dog variety. The odd snake might also have been there, however we were careful to keep out of each others' way.

From breakfast till lunch time, I would potter about in the backyard. Climbing up the mango tree to see if there were any especially plump green ones worth mixing in salt and chilli powder, which would last me the whole day... to see if the hens in the hen coop were worth disturbing... to see if any stray cat had laid any new see if the kittens had opened their eyes and were fit to play with... life was utter delight in those days.

Some days my Mom would join me in my pottering- not for cats and kittens, unfortunately, but for drumsticks and banana leaves and more prosaic stuff. I was delighted by her venturing out as well. For when she ventured out, out also ventured a long pole which she used to help her pull down the varous things she wanted. Now this long pole or the 'kokka' was forbidden to me on the grounds that I would use it for all sorts of unwanted things, with the result that the knife or the hook at the end of the pole would get spoilt.

But what was 'unwanted' from their viewpoint was vey much wanted from my viewpoint. There were 4 unused rooms near the well, which was used to dump all sorts of miscellany from the lodge as well as from the house. Broken chairs, torn mattresses, stones, wood, boxes... ah! the things that used to be dumped in those rooms. The farther edges of those rooms piled higher with the miscellaneous mess and they yielded immense possibilities to a mind that believed in "Seek and ye shall find!' I used to not venture too much to the centre of the rooms, always doing my poking around with an eye for quick escape via the door in case any of my reptilean neighbours poked their sinuous bodies out. Now this is where the 'kokka' was an invaluable aide. Many were the times I had used it to poke and pull out some interesting debris.

Interfering with the natural order of things was not done. When there were rats, I used to bring it a piece of carrot, a rotten tomato, a delicious smelling mango (the rats near our house did not know of any cheese). When cats came, they took preference over rats and in my efforts to become friends with them, I used to show them the hiding places of the rats. When my aunt brought home a dog (my frst introduction to the creatures I have ever since been in love with) I used to help it chase the cats as well as the rats in my efforts to win its heart. I think I succeeded well enough, for later on it was my fond companion on all my nosy backyard adventures.

Sigh! What eventful delightful hours were spent there..
I think these ruminations may also have been brought about my watching my son drive himself and us bonkers during his enforced stay within the 4 walls of the house during the reign of the chicken pox. Poor poor Sonny boy. If only you could have been in your ancestral home, my dear. How you would have enjoyed your solitary confinement.