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? ­čÖé

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.

Some 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 ┬áF.R.I.E.N.D.S? You know┬áRoss, 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?!!


Vyas trying to recollect something he’d spoken to me the previous evening:

Vyas: Amma, we were laughing over something last evening. What was it?

Me: I don’t remember either.

Vyas: Am sure someone has cast the OBLIVIATE spell on us.

Me: Silly!

Vyas: I’m going to put a ‘Stupefly’ charm on the person.

Me: On who? Btw, its ‘Stupefy’. Means – to stun.

Vyas: No. Its Stupefly. Because the death-eaters and others on whom it is cast fly backwards!

Me: No da. Its because the dementors or whoever, are stunned by this spell.

Vyas: Still, they could have called it Stupefly- to be stunned and thrown backwards!

Me: Sigh!!!

Effect of having watched Deathly Hallows.

More Hindi

Question: Tumhare guruji ka naam kya hai?

Answer: Tumhare guruji ka naam xyzeee hai.

Me: You must say, “Mere guruji ka….”

Vyas: Ok. But imagine this conversation is between my classmate X and me. So, his guruji’s name is xyzee too. Which means I can say, ‘your guruj’s name is…’.

Me: For the purpose of learning it right, let us assume that this is not a conversation with any of your classmates!

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!

Independence Day Special.

On our way to his favorite stationery shop on Sunday, Vyas caught me muttering under my breath on seeing someone spit on the road. Vyas agreed that some people lack ‘civic’ sense and then a little brooding on how such things spread infections et al… I told him how I once escaped a spray fountain when waiting for a bus at the terminus; A ‘kindly lady’ decided to empty her ballooned mouth just then and thought that the window seat in a stationed bus was the best place to do it! The biggest ‘civic’ joke of the decade however was she considered me rude for pointing it out in ‘public’!!

My son gave the story a serious thought:

Vyas: “Amma, this government is very bad”, he said.

Me: “Government is bad? Why do you think so?”.

Vyas: They don’t care about us anymore these days..

Me: Really? Was it any better before?

Vyas: Yes, it used to be nice when Gandhiji was around (saying it with an air of a person born in the 1930s!).

Me: Oh! But wasn’t there a struggle that time? People did not have freedom.

Vyas: Yes, but they were doing useful work. No?

Me: (I liked the Gandhiji tangent and so..)Did he do anything special? How do you think he was different from ‘this’ government?

Vyas: He was good. So the people who worked for him were good too..

There were different branches to the conversation by the time we reached the shop. But one good old message stayed with me: ‘Yatha rajah, thathah prajah’!

Kids and lateral thinking

With kids around, you always wish there is an intelligent camera focused on them and capturing those right moments!

My friend JC and her tiny 3 yr old drama-king, Harish make a wonderful mom-son pair. If the little fellow is not sleeping, he surely is at something! They were at a game of naming things and here’s a recap of the conversation between.

Harish: Name a living thing.

JC: Elephant. Name a Flower.

Harish: Roja (rose). Numbers?

JC: Three zero – Thirty. Living thing?

Harish: Elephant.

JC: Hey.. I named the elephant already. Try naming some other animal.

Harish: No way! You named a big elephant. I named the kutti-elephant (the calf).

JC: ##???!!!?!?!

Now that is some lateral thinking I say!


Family history shared in a bus

Bus travel is an experience. But never knew that it can be so very interesting. Come to think of it, the conversations we overhear (this is not intentional mind you!) are excellent bloggable materials. And am sure this deserves a special section in the blogs and am going to add special tags.

The travel time last evening from work to home was just over 35 mins. Between, ‘time’ is a tricky thing and I have a feeling it customizes itself according to people’s mood, place, or circumstance. Otherwise how could I have learnt the family history of 3 families spanning over 3 decades in about 30 mins? Many such conversations have made it to our lunch table discussions and then forgotten. They are worthy of being recorded for posterity. Precisely why am going to jot them down here!

Claimer 1: All characters, names, incidents, events cited below are real and have not been distorted.

Claimer 2: Hey you all women reading this. Don’t you ever believe when the guys say that they do not gossip or indulge in small-talk. They do it big time. There will be few smart guys who will attribute that gossip also to the presence of a girl or two in the group!

Disclaimer: Am not sure of the authenticity of the tales spun (err.. facts discussed) by the characters though.. And I mean no offence to you guys who traveled, if you chance upon this blog. Which I doubt..

Disclaimer: There might be mix-ups of conversations of B and Mani. Read on to see who they are..

A girl and two guys, all in their 2nd yr Engineering, were occupying the last seat and D70 is the bus route (in Chennai). They got to ‘know’ each other a little recently (this is my inference from the conversation that followed). For convenience, let me call the girl G and one of the boys B (for I did not figure out their names). The other boy is Manikandan and is brilliant. He himself made that claim and B vouched for his academic brilliance.

(Starts from where I picked up)

B ( to G): What’s the model number of your mobile?

G: Not sure da. Don’t remember actually. I shelled out 7K though.

B and Mani: Too bad you don’t know! Ok, what songs do you have?

G: Eei,check the file storage. My brother only knows da. He listens to the songs as I have pain in my ears when I plug the ear-phones in.

Mani: Why?

G: Don’t know. Must visit the ENT.

Mani: I mean, why don’t you know which songs are available?

G: Oh that! (giggles..) I told you I don’t use it. My brother does.

B: You have two brothers right?

G: I have a younger brother and 3 cousin brothers who are older than me. But they are as good as my own brother and are very fond of me.

B or Mani: Do you fight?

G: Yeah, we fight and forget soon too.

B: Yeah, that’s the way to be. I and my elder brother fight too. We are still close.

G: Do you both have sisters?

B: We both have an elder brother. Do you know something. My brother’s name is Karthik and so is Mani’s (it was at this junction that I got to know that Mani is Mani). And both did IT in Jerusalem college.

G: Same class?

Mani: No, my brother is studying while his brother is [some year]-passout.

G: So nice no?!! Do your brothers take care of you (unga annanga ungale nalla pathikkuvangala?).

B: Yeah. I told you we also fight.

G: You know, my brother takes his studies too lightly. He feels that he should have been born a year later.

B or Mani: Why?

G: No exams for 10th std from next year. That is why. He is in 10th now.

B or Mani: I heard that the exam ban is in effect from this year?

G: No No. I do not think so.

G to Mani in particular: I heard that you study very well?

Mani: See, I just listen in the class. I don’t spend hours studying like how others portray. But somehow, I manage to score well. Just listening in class matters.

G: I don’t know about that. I can’t make sense of half the things taught. Who do you think teaches that well? Most of them (i guess it is the faculty) are recent pass-outs!

B & Mani: Yeah yeah, you are right….

B: But what this guy says is true. I’ve never seen him with books at home. He is either watching TV or playing cricket or talking to me or other friends. His brother is even more brilliant. He was the District 7 (or similar rank, don’t remember) in 12th.

G: Wow! Your parents must have been very happy.

Mani: Yes, specially my dad. You know, my dad has struggled quite a lot when he was young. Very much!

B: Hey tell her about how your dad started da!

Mani: He (the dad) started working in a bakery at Red Hills when he was just 7. His dad ditched him after his (the dad’s) mom’s death and married someone else. He has struggled his way up since then.

B: His (mani’s) mom’s a great support. You know, their’s was a love marriage.

Mani: Yeah, my mom is very broad-minded. My parents still have not been accepted by my grand-parents (must be the mom’s side- my brilliant inference).

G: Sad na?! But it is nice that your dad has made it and has also managed to educate both his sons in professional colleges!

B /Mani : True, true! Really great.

G (laughs): Mani, I then don’t see any objections from your parents when the time comes…

Mani: Yes. They are very open to it.

G: I sometimes tell my mom that I’m going to find my own match. And my mom is too easy on that too. She says she’ll happily save the money to be spent on 50 sovereigns gold and dowry if i elope (laughs again)!

B: Hey what photo is this? (presumably the one in G’s mobile)

G: This is our college symposium. And this is when I went to Coimbatore for [something to do with college].

Mani: We should plan an outing with all our friends. Maybe Ooty or some place. It will be fun.

G: No way. My parents will not allow for more than a day or two at max. Maybe beach or ..

It was time for me to alight while their interesting journey must’ve continued. While the three-some discussed their families so loudly in so public a place like a local transport, what was heartening was to hear them speak highly of their family and there wasn’t a trace of vulgarity!

Life sometimes doesn’t seem complex at all. It can be run as a 30 mins slideshow…

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