A glimpse into the mind of a 21st-gen kid

What was I thinking not recording the conversations with my fellas this past few years? The first-born of course has officially told me not to share stuff about him in the blogosphere. Privacy and all that! A matter of time before the second-born imposes stiff rules on what I can and cannot write about them.

I need to tell though that at 10, Varun is officially 50. Yes, it’s possible. Here’s a conversation during our walk up to the nearby library yesterday. We have to walk past the school where the boys study to get to the library. And this past Friday/Saturday happened to be the cultural fest in their school. Vyas was one of the volunteers pretending to be busy and was still in the school premises around 5.00PM when we were on our way to the library.

When we neared the school,

ME: Hey Varun, I see some students there on the ground. Let’s hang out here for a while and see if we can spot Vyas. Let’s see what he’s really busy doing.

VARUN: Ma, no, let’s keep walking.

ME: Please da. 5 minutes?

VARUN: Ma, please. You’ll embarrass him. Don’t make him conscious.

ME: Embarrass him? How? Why would he be embarrassed by me?!

VARUN: No, it’s not like that. See, the thing is, he’s grown up. He’s 17 mom. He doesn’t need you around all the time, watching out for him. You know, he doesn’t need your help like how he did 5-6 years back. You should try and understand the 21st-gen kids’ ma.

ME(Aghast): Hello! You are still my kids and it doesn’t change anything. If you 21st-gen kids are going to feel embarrassed about your own folks, I guess something’s wrong with your generation. That attitude I’d say is being insensitive and shallow. Don’t you think? Why I will never be embarrassed about my children.

VARUN: I’m pretty sure we’ve embarrassed you quite a few times. Maybe you don’t want to admit or you don’t remember.

ME: Nah! I still think you are wrong. So what do you think I should be doing? (By this time, we had walked past the school)

VARUN: Nothing much. Maybe just back-off a little? You know? Like, not crowd him?

ME(floundering for words): Wh–What? Oh, you think so? Ummm.. (I go quiet, wondering where all this was coming from)

VARUN: (After almost a minute of quiet): Ma, did I offend you? I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you. Just wanted to let you know how we kids think..

ME (At a loss of words still): No, it’s okay. You didn’t hurt me. I do want you to understand how parents think too..Okay?

VARUN: Alright mom. I love you. You know that right?

Right! I’m trying to catch up. That is all!

Some English lessons!

Why am I reminded of that little wisdom someone shared with me a long time ago-that it takes only 18 years to raise a child? šŸ™‚

Having read one Famous Five, the 7 year old brat has declared that it is boring and ‘kiddish’ and that Enid Blyton is boring too. He’s asked me to give him something ‘interesting’ to read.

SomeĀ lessons he imparted the last couple of weeks:

Varun: ‘Madre (yeah!), do you know what ‘outlaw’ means?

Me: (?!!!) No, I don’t. Please enlighten.

Varun: An outlaw is a thief. Bad man. Do you at least know what it is to mug someone?

Me: (#$@#%#$^$!) Eh? No! Tell me.

Varun: Don’t know how you passed your exams in schools and college (rolls his eyes). To mug someone, is to steal from someone.

(Well, I’ve not been looking at the right places for lessons in English :/)

Me: That’s awesome da. Where did you learn all these?

Varun: From friends.

Me: Who are your friends?

Varun: Friends ma! You don’t even know Ā F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You knowĀ Ross, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Joey.. Don’t know? Vyas’s favorite is Chandler but I like Ross.

(This is not happening! No! This is happening!)

I’d like to save the best for the last. Only that I don’t know the difference between ‘best’ and ‘hopeless’ anymore :/

Varun describes a scene from some program called ‘Community’ on Comedy Central where somebody spills a lot of wine.

Me: What is wine da?

Varun: It is the famous juice of Americans. Mostly made in 1968.

Why am I bothering with schooling when so much self-learning is happening?!!

Varunisms- May’16

Deep conversations and some.. Most of our ‘serious’ conversations these days seem to start with him saying, ‘Listen, I want to tell you somethin..’. No typo there. The fellow has an acquired accent, dunno from where!

Varun: Ma, N is very bad.
Me: Why? He seems nice. He’s a star cricketer too..
Varun: I want to tell you something. (pause)
Me: Well?
Varun: Getting a grade or being a star is not important.
Me: Okay!
Varun: Really. I’m tellin you.
Me: So, what is important.
Varun: Behaviour.
Me: Oh?!!
Varun. Really. I mean, in school. At home we can be how we want.
Me: Right!


Me: You know how to fry vadams? (rice crispies if I can call it that)
Varun: Yes, I know.
Me: Tell me.
Varun: Light the gas with the firing machine and fry the vadams in fire.

Was not aware that my boy looked at a gas lighter as a firing machine;) It must be the commando games.


To confirm or make sure I heard what he said, this is how he asks:

Varun: Ma, do you copy?


Varun: Ma, do you read?

According to him, he is an FBI/CIA/Commando in the making


And this one takes the cake..

Me: Varun, it’s 11.00 PM and you are still not asleep :/
Varun: (Jumping on the bed even with the light switched off. yeah, my monkey!)
Me: You are going to get one tight spank.
Varun: (Silence for 10 seconds. He then gathers his pillow and sheet, bundles them under his arms and heads out of the room).
Me: What do you think you are doing.
Varun: I’m going to grandma’s room.
Me: Why?
Varun: Listen, I wanna tell you somethin..
Me: Listening..
Varun: I hate you.
Me: And why is that?
Varun: Because you are strict.
Me: Is that wrong now? You don’t listen if I’m not.
Varun: Be kind. Try telling kindly.
Me: Kindly how?
Varun: Try saying, “Varun, please stop playing and go to bed”.
Me: And you’ll listen?
Varun: Try me.
Me: Ok, let me get this straight. All I need to do to get you to listen is, say kindly?
Varun: Yes.
Me: Okay.

And the kindness worked for 6 days. We now go back and forth between our old and new ways šŸ™‚ As always, never a dull moment, I tell ya!

Where does this road lead to?

Following kolaveri, Varun has moved to yet another ‘mokka piece’ (borrowed vocabulary, so pls excuse) by Danush.. The song embed is at the end of this post..

Varun: amma, avan yen maa appidi cholraan? (ma, why is he saying that?)

Me: Eppadi? Yaaru? (who?)

Varun: andha anna onnun therille cholraan? (that anna says he can’t see?)

Me: Ummm.. avanukku kannu theriyalle. paavam. adhaan. (he’s blind. sad. that is why!)

Varun: Yen therille? (why?)

Me to myself: Vidya, wrong route.. take diversion.


Me to Varun: auto-man, will you take me to Mylapore?


The anna on the other had, has invested some ‘cricket-coaching’ time in learning to sing the song with a tweak to a line like this:


Free-a irukkum bodhu ‘dash-u’ illaye
Pidicha-‘dash-u’ ippo freeya illaye..

Me: What ‘dash-u’ da?

Vyas: Amma, it seems that it is a bad word..

Me: Oh! Who told you?

Vyas: XYZ of 5th std. He comes for the cricket coaching.

The dad religiously wakes up at 5.20 AM, makes bournvita, gets his son ready and drops him for the coaching class at 5.50 AM. Sonny is showing tremendous signs of learning. Like the one above!!

Here is the source of inspiration if you haven’t heard it already:

Season’s Updates:)

Hope you all had a great Diwali!

Vyas has crossed a stage where comparisons don’t hurt him anymore.. He is okay with his 7 yr old sis and 2.8 yr old brother being comfortable with crackers.. “Its ok. Let them do it. They like it. They are not scared of fire and explosions. I don’t like it. And it scares me”, he says. He reasoned that we could have bought a beyblade base stadium in the amount we spent on crackers! Which was an amount of thousand odd rupees between 3 families. It indeed is a big amount and I totally agree that it is a huge waste of money.. The hubby and I are not ‘crackers’people. Its a different matter that I have enjoyed a loot during my school days and took great pride in breaking the max.no of Waterbury’s tonic bottles by using them as rocket ‘launchers’ or competing with friends on who will light the max number of atom bombs and Lakshmi vedis held in hand and thrown aloft just before it explodes. Looking back, i now realize how dangerous it was and how stupid I have been. But then, I don’t remember my parents or those of my friends supervising! We all used to sun-dry the crackers for a week before Diwali and pray hard for the rain-gods to stay away (RM, are you reading this.. those were the only times I did not want rains:)) With Vyas, we have wanted him to outgrow the fear and it doesn’t help with a house full of cousins, aunts and uncles having fun bursting crackers and only your child has withdrawn into a room, shutting both the ears with the hands. He did not withdraw as much this time, but managed to ‘stay away’. I’m giving up this effort from the next year because I realize it is not worth it. We all have our bogarts isn’t it?

It has been a different story with Varun. Few high’lights’:

Varun lights a flower pot with his dad in tow. Is awed by the effect and goes — waaaaaaaaooowwww! And follows it up with several wows every time he lights one! Anna is miffed and thinks we are putting his baby-brother at risk.

Varun: Dei anna, vaa daa, pattachu vedhikalaa.. (respected anna, come, let us fire crackers)

Vyas: Naan varale (am not coming)

Varun: Jollyaa ikkun daaaa (it will be fun..)

Vyas: Nee vedi da. Am not coming! (you go ahead..)


Amma: Naan light off panna poren! (am switching off the light!)

Varun: pleeeese maaa.. spyinmins kaeeechi. (any guesses people?)

He loves watching movie songs. A discreet attempt at switching channels when something ugly comes up, is met with- enakku dappankutthu pakkanummmm.. Someone save me pleazzzz!!

His current fav songs are :

Bum bum bole from Taare Zameen Par
Ennamo edho from Kho
Kaalankaathale from Vengai(its anna’s current fav too though he wouldn’t admit.. rolls his eyes when challenged!)
Enna solla pore from Vengai?

Hosanna from VTV remains his all time fav.

He sang, he danced and was generally living it up!
Being a true V-blood, he has inherited our famous temper. No hints here. EVERYONE in the v-household is short-tempered, and Varun is no exception. The only difference is that he is utterly cute at such times (if i may say so myself:))! He calls us all names and how-

He lets out a quick –raaaskall– and realizes he has made a mistake because he steals a quick glance at me and catches me glaring at him. Wanting to believe that he didn’t actually say it, continues with – rashagulla (rasagulla), gulaap champhan (gulaab jaamun), myshoor-paak (mysore-pak).. The anna is of course, not content.. he helps him with kaju kathli, doodh peda, jalebi, badam halwa etc.. Yes, it was in keeping with the Diwali season:) Like always, I counseled myself with – This too shall pass! And I hope it does.

PS: Am resisting the urge to provide a Junoon-translation (remember) of the kidspeak.. excuse the ones that still make their way here:)) The Junoon Tamizh deserves not one but several separate posts:)

Amma is proud of you..

Varun. You are at a stage where I don’t know which are the things you understand and the ones that you don’t. And so when I told you this morning that we are going to the doc’s for a blood test, you simply asked, “Oosi pooduvaala” (will I be given a shot?) and still came without throwing a tantrum.. In the clinical lab, when i held the plastic container for you to pee, you were not sure what you should do, but did at my bidding without further ado.. And then, when the ‘akka’ there was explaining that I should hold you tight and turn your face away from the needle, and that if you shook your hands or legs, she might have to repeat the process, you were listening to her intently. I held you close and tight and there! From the time of prick till she finished extracting a syringe full, you did not utter a sound!!!! And the moment we were back home, you begged and pleaded to be taken to your ‘payshkool’. To me, its a big deal! I’m not worried about your fever now.. You are a strong, brave boy. I love you.

At the doc’s place a couple of days back:

Doc: So champ, what’s the matter?

Varun: Enakku joram vandhukku. (I have fever)

Doc: Appadiya? Check pannalaama? (Is that so? Shall we check?)

Varun: Enakku chaaukkulate venum. (I want a chocolate)

Doc: (opens a box of tiny biscuits): Unakku lion pidikuma, rabbit pidikuma, enna pidikum? (Which one do you like, the lion or the rabbit?)

Varun: Biscuit vaenaa. chaaukkulate dhaan venum. (No biscuits. Only chocolates)

Doc: I’ll buy it the Next time.

Varun: Orange irukka? (Oranges then?)

Doc: Illaye! Naan unakku vaangi tharaen.. (No, I don’t have.. Will buy some for you)

Varun: Shishar ikka? (Do you have a pair of scissors?)

Doc gives up!

Varun: Kaadhule idhe pottuko (points at his stethoscope and insists that he examine…)

Doc: Ok Sir! (and lifts varun’s shirt to put the steth against his chest)

Varun: Hayyo! Varun thoppaiye kaamikaran!! (oh no! varun is showing his tummy!)

The doc is in splits by now..

Grey Matter

… An issue the mother and son discussed. A subject that must have been brought up at least after 10 years from now.. Or so I assumed.. But it happened.. And there was no way I could work around the question so serious.. It deserved only a direct answer.. Nothing like ‘you will understand when you grow up’ sort of answer. Because the boy is old enough to understand the laws of nature…

Vyas was peeping down from the upper berth of the train- a return journey from a trip to the North.

Vyas: Now that there is sunlight, am able to spot a few grey here and there. I mean, your hair.. (And he was not even wearing his spectacles… The little brother had helpfully broke the frame..)

Me: Oh that?! Ummm.. err.. yes… grey it is…

Vyas: Amma, are you getting old?

Me: Yes.. You know everyone ages.. (brilliant knowledge sharing I know…)

Vyas: Ummm.. So you will become a patti soon? I mean, like when I go to college?

Me: Maybe. Maybe (hayyyodaa!)

Vyas: Amma, why don’t you colour your hair?

Me: Let me think about it.. (???!!!$$$###)

The bane of having to wade through the thirties I tell ya!!!

So what say you ladies/gentlemen with a grey here and there? To be or not to be?

Attitude or Luck?

Was talking to Vyas on how our efforts reflect in our work, and picked his recent test scores in the class tests as an example. Given the phobia he has for Hindi, he scored a decent 85%! This served as an example for the hard work he had put in, where it was more of a mental barrier that we had to break. On the day he took the Hindi test, he called me up to say that it was ‘dabba easy’ and that he’d score over 95%. I told him it didn’t matter if he scored less in the subject because I know he had put in his best effort and that he must not feel disappointed or build opinions around his score! As luck would have it, he scored lesser than he expected and I assured him that we’ll work a little more harder next time!

He had an excellent score in another subject and I attributed the reason again to his hard work plus his attitude towards the subject. This formula would work for just about any subject, I opined. Just when I think that my boy is a ‘balanced person’, he sends me rolling down a hill with something that isn’t quite like him! He appeared to give the formula a serious thought and a few seconds later he declared that he scored well in that particular paper because he closed his eyes and blew the lucky hair (from his eyelashes), wishing for a good score in the test! The boy is jinxed I tell ya! From where do the elves learn these? How can we make them ‘unlearn’? I felt like shaking him up thoroughly.

“Its in the mind. You liked what was taught in the subject, you enjoyed doing your lessons. You kept thinking that you must do well in the subject even as you were blowing that hair. Its the ‘positive attitude’ and it always works”, I reasoned. ‘No ma, its the power to wish. To wish for something to come true”, theorizes the man. “Its almost the same”, I say. “No ma, it brought me good luck. Really. You can try. Ippo, for example, wish that your manager doesn’t get annoyed if you go to work a little late”, he pouts. Now I wonder if it was his effort or he really got lucky with the questions! My impossible brat!

Some interestingĀ conversations

Incident 1

Vyas: Amma, hold Varun, will you?! (angry)

Me: Just let him be dear. You carry on with what you are doing.

Vyas: Gir! (says it loudly, prolonging the ‘ra’ sound)

Me: What? What is that?

Vyas: (Rolls his eyes): Gir!

Me: Spell please. I don’t understand what you are saying.

Vyas: G. R. R…R.R.R .. (says with the dot dot dot too)

Incident 2

Vyas: I want to play for some more time. Its only 8.00 PM.

Me: No. Time up. Put all the toys back. You have some homework to do!

Vyas: Please ma!

Me: I will count till 10 by which time you should have started clearing up the mess!

Vyas: (Rolls his eyes this time too): Few!

Me: (Again) What few?

Vyas: (Gives me an angry glare, with hands on his hips and almost on the verge of crying)

Me: What are you saying?

Vyas: Do I have to spell everything I say?!

Me: (I almost got it, but just wanted to hear him say!): You better. To save some trouble for both of us!

Vyas: P.H.E.W! As if you don’t know!

Incident 3:

A conversation between Vyas and Varun

Vyas: Varun, say ‘amma’.

Varun: amma

Vyas: poochi (for insect)

Varun: thoo chi

Vyas: bathroom, sollu

Varun: thaaathm

Vyas: pongal

Varun: thannan

Me: Vyas, get him say simpler words.

Vyas: Ok. Varun, say Chakkarai Pongal.

Varun: !!! (Total silence!)

Me: (looking out for something hard to hit the elder fellow with)!

Parenting gyan in a bus

Another of those ‘bus-conversations’ that I cannot resist posting here:)

This time a mommy instructing her daddy not to take her child to a birthday party. Ahem, and the party was in her S-I-L’s place.. I did not bother to find out if it was her hubby’s sis or or brother’s wife:-) Nosy, I know! But when people talk for the world to listen in to their parenting skills, I think there is no harm in contributing an idea or two!

So, our lady reasoned that the child (referred to through out the conversation as ‘adhu’ or ‘idhu’, the reason why I could not make out if it was a sad son or a deprived daughter), might end up eating chocolates, chips, cakes or pastries, or maybe even some fruit juice. So what snacks does one other-wise arrange for birthday parties? Tell me something other than veg sandwich and french fries please because the child cannot have these items too. The butter/cheese/veg/sauce filling is hazardous to the child’s health..

At which point, am assuming the grandpa on the other end was all empathy for the grand-child and seems to have mentioned there was dinner too and maybe he offered to take care to see that the child does not have any of these other than dinner. Rearing two brats at home, I know how hard it is to hold back a child from going to a b’day party (or from hosting one )if they already know its happening! And they have a blast! I’m restrictive too- chocolates, pastries, chips are not a part of everyday meal. No Lays chips, no Bingo/dingo, no cream biscuits. The regular variety of chips/wafers, chaat, tandoori, anything home-made, hotel-cooked is fine for me. Weekends, parties, when we have visitors, during travel – are all occasions to indulge… How can you deprive your child what every other child the world over loves and has? Well, I digress!

The biggest gyan was yet to come: “No dinner please. Am sure they’ll have a biryani and curd-rice and more chips. “adhu” cannot have curd rice because “adhu” can catch cold!” Give me a break!!

The grandpa made the mistake of saying ‘paavam kozhandai’ on the other end and there ensued a macro lecture that lasted a full 4 minutes. I’ll just give you the gist: “Paavam (sympathy)” will do no good. And she would go home and make ‘koottu (some dhal with veg- hopefully)’ and rasam and feed the child. Amending her ‘parenting’ style is not an option it seems!! Shabbbaa! ‘Paavam thatha and ‘adhu’, is all I can say!!


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