Vyas, for some reason, is sharing quite a few contextual jokes with the mom and dad these days. Sample this:
“Ma, read this joke where A tells B that a brilliant artist can change a smiling face into a crying one with a single stroke. For which B says that his mom does it with equal ease”!
“Pa, a teacher tests a kid for his numerical abilities. She asks him how much money will he have if he already has six rupees with him and his dad gives him ten more. To which, the kid answers that he’ll have six rupees. The teacher frets and says, “You don’t know basic addition”. The kid says, “You don’t know my dad”!
Varun wants to change from his shorts to a pair of jeans. It is 8 PM and he has already had his dinner. When trying to reason that its almost time to hit the bed, he explains politely that he is going to sing – Why this kolaveri di! How can he sing with a shorts? Some things don’t change!
Amma wants to make the most of this and so strikes a deal with the brat. I extract a promise. Actually, a couple of promises.
1. “I promise to wear shorts to school tomorrow”. He religiously repeats.
2. “I promise to wear a smiling face to school and stay that way the whole day”.
No time is wasted bargaining, and the fella readly agrees.
Now, how can the anna not have a say in such serious matters ? He extracts a promise from his thambi like this:
Varun, repeat what I say. “I swear by the River Styx, that I shall be nice. To purify a God’s symbol of power from human/demigod touch, it must be washed in person in the River Lemnos”.
I told you. Some things NEVER change!
PS: Have loads of catching-up to do. Missed reading all your blogs. Coming, coming:)
1.Dad V is the bowler, anna V is the batsman, little V is the wicket keeper, but one who keeps wickets differently. He squats on the bowler’s end or sometimes at silly point and takes position, with his tiny hands cutely cupped to receive the ball. Both the field positions are equidistant from the bowler/batsman when playing inside the house.
2. When its Varun’s turn to bat, the ball is sent rolling on the floor either by dad or anna. He sweeps the bat clearly. 2 out of 10 times, the bat comes in contact with the ball. The rest of the time, the ‘bat turns’ letting the ball hit the stump (the door) and anna yells ‘bowled!!’. This enthuses Varun and he takes a quick single. Sometimes even two.
3. The anna sometimes acts bossy and does not rotate strike with his thambi.. Amma is annoyed at this show of meanness and intervenes.. Varun pitches in with, “vonnimshon da. amma, naangalaam kirkate veladrom maa..” (asks his brother to hold on for a minute- oru nimisham da.. and clarifies that they are playing cricket. I have no business to interfere and rebuke his anna). Vyas is quick to stick out his tongue at me, and happily passes the bat to thambi. With all the love.
I’m too tempted to do an elaborate compare & contrast between Vyas and Varun. I’d start with, well, never mind!
There is this terrible urge to tear my hair when I fail (miserably) in explaining to the soon-to-be 3 elf that the same jeans cannot be worn for 3 continuous days! How do you all manage to do it? That is, without resorting to a tight spank or without screaming your head off?
His favourite slim-fit blue jean is the beeeg trump card to get any tough job done. Like getting him eat his ‘rasam saadham’ or not to take away anna’s books when he is pretending to study and is anxiously waiting for his chella-thambi, his Perseus, to deliver him from his misery called amma. Anna is all for returning the favour and says that it’s perfectly OK to wear the same jean for 2 or even 3 days at a stretch. “Style!” he emphasizes.
Picture this. Varun wakes up early on a Sunday morning and shakes amma out of the deep early-morning slumber that she so looks forward to the whole working week.
“Amma, jeans olandhuthaa?” (Is the jean dry now?)he asks. I try shooing him away, a totally useless effort! “Amma, naan gubboy ma. Chamatha brussh panniti kulipen. Aprom jeans pottukanam. aprom t-shat. aprom paal chaapannum” (I’m a good boy. I will brush, have a shower and then wear my jeans and t-shirt!). I have to curse everyone and everything that comes my way and drag myself out of the bed. More so because the brat will act all cuddly and insist that only I give him a bath. Not the dad who is happy to continue burying his face in the newspaper. Without even a fly disturbing him, hmpf!! I resist the urge to swat this big fly and oblige.
It takes no less than a world-war to peel it off him the following day before his bath. Unnecessary warfare and some bloodshed later, he changes into something and doesn’t take his eyes off the jeans till it makes it to the washing machine. The first thing he looks for as soon as he is back from the ‘payshkool’ is if the blue-thing is drying on the clothesline! From then on it takes a dozen trips to where the clothes are drying to keep a tab on the progress and assess the percentage of dryness. “Adhu olandhuthaa” he starts again and I thank the sun for setting! “Dho paar. Sun ille paar” I tell him and quickly sprinkle some water when he is looking at the sky. I convince him it will dry only the next morning when the sun rises. He isn’t all that convinced and puts his hand on the blue-thing and looks suspiciously at the fresh wetness, but doesn’t argue further. At the same time, he doesn’t want to take any chances. “Amma, adhe hanger-le pottu, room-le fan podu” (put it on a hanger and dry it in the room under the fan)! What if it rains the next morning?!! When the dad is back home, he wants him to confirm if it is dry yet. Appa has to continue the performance and so makes a sad face..”Ayyoo.. ille da. naalaikku morning ok?”! “Ummm..” says the little one and declares that its time to go to bed. He has THAT important job the next morning! At this point, the anna brilliantly suggests that I try the obliviate charm. The urge to swat the bigger fly comes back!
On a cold working day… What? You are not buying the ‘cold working day’ because I’m talking about a day in Chennai?.. Well, it can be a cold working day in Chennai if you are inside my new office premises (same company though) when the AC temperature is set to make your fingers and mind go numb… Well, I digress..
So where was I? Yeah, so on one such day, the sonny boy calls up after he is back from school.. Which by itself is unusual.. He used to call once in a while to ask if he could take a bar of chocolate.. But that was when he was a small boy till a few months back.. Now, this big boy calls and asks me to guess why he called.. It was not chocolates, not a sleep-over at his friend’s, no beyblades, no books, no pizza.. And the amma gives up..
And then, my dear boy tells me on phone that he was awarded the ‘All Rounder’ prize for the last academic year!!! The mommy as expected, reacted with a stupid- “Really? Wow!!”, but it was lined with 200% enthusiasm!Really! Vyas on the other end reacted with, “Yesss ma! You know what, when the teacher read out my name, I thought there surely was a mistake”!! Trust my boy to say just that.. He really takes after me and ONLY me!!
I’d be lying if I were to say that it didn’t matter to him or me, though this was never the goal we ‘chased’.. It is a happy moment for the V-family:) He did not want any of us coming to watch the prize distribution, but we all sneaked in without a noise and cheered every kid that walked the stage..
What this prize means to Vyas: Varun will not be refused admission for the coming academic year by virtue of his anna being an all-rounder;)