Demonetization impacts..

I’ll spare you the agony of reading through yet another account of the boons and banes of Modi’s demonetization and will instead share a couple of instances to provide some comic relief.

1. I was counting a few old 500 and 1000 rupee notes that were to be deposited in the bank. The brat who was watching this asks:

“Ma, is that black money?”.

2. Varun: I want the next Geronimo Stilton book from the series.
Me: Okay, but not now. No money.
Varun: Yeah, I know. You can buy me after Narendra Modi gives you.
Me: Done!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ As always, never a dull moment, I tell ya!

And when in love..

… with Cricket and the Cricketer Ashwin, everything gets painted blue. Including a school project. The convo went thus:

Varun: Amma, I’ve got to make a t-shirt from a chart. Need your help.

Me: Done. I’ll do the sketching.

Varun: Okay. A round-neck t-shirt, Okay?

Me: Can we do one with a cute collar?

Varun: No ma. You just draw the shape and cut. I’ll do the ‘detailing’. (he said that!)

Me: Alright. What ‘details’ are you going to add.

Varun: I have an idea. You first cut the shape.

I draw the outline, and cut the shape. And then this chap brings out the model t-shirt and takes my help with fine-tuning his drawing. We finally end up adding a collar too because the model t-shirt has one:)

And here is output:


Introducing another poet..

This is by my dearest Aashi.. Tinkle overdose surely ๐Ÿ˜‰

My wonderful dream..

When I was sleeping late at night
I heard someone call my name
I opened my eyes and saw
Suppandi, sitting on his watch,
Sayingโ€ iam on time!โ€

I looked around, to find
Raghu looking very sad
And Tantri creating a bomb!
Doobdoob and Chamataka
How happy for once, together!

Kaliya, Keechu and Meechu
Were not far behind!
Shambu, standing with his gun
And Shanti, still behind him
Pyarelal and Lajawanthini
Tapping on my head, lightly
Kapish standing with Pinto
And smiling with Singal and Peelu

When I opened my eyes for real
They all whispered goodbye!!!
What a wonderful dream, it was
Will I ever meet them all again???

The golden rendezvous (contd..)

The build-up!

The two teachers were friendly, and Vyas had worked with one of them for a school project!

Teacher A: Hello!

Varun: (Turns and sits showing his back to the teacher).

Teacher to me: Please come and sit with him so he feels comfortable.

I do.

Teacher A: Shall we stack these rings? (and hands him a ring)

Varun: (Grabs the ring and throws it near the other teacher’s feet. Repeats it the 2nd time too!!)

The dad and I exchange that ‘gone-case’ look..

Teacher A: What’s your name?

Varun: Solla matten. I’ll not say

Teacher A: Sari, indha book pakkalama.? Shall we see the pics in this book?

Varun: Enakku yedhuvum vendam. I don’t want ANYTHING

Teacher A: (Points at a bicycle pic and asks): What is this?

Varun: Adhu Auto. That’s an auto-rick.

Teacher A: (Points at the auto and asks): Appo idhu enna? So, what is this?

Varun: Ummm… Cycle

Teacher A: (picks another book, points at a camel and asks): What is this?

Varun: Cow

Teacher A: (Points at the cow and then the same question)

Varun: It says Mooo…

At this point, you’d find an involuntary reflex from the dad, mopping the sweat-beads on his brows, and the ‘gone-case’ look now most visible on both our faces!..

Me: Just a moment. Let me try.

Teacher B: Please do! (And is visibly relieved!)

The brat at this point decides to run and check on the others! I bring him back.. I suddenly feel drained of energy!

Teacher A: Now, do you want a chocolate?

Varun: Chocolate vendam, onnum vendam! I don’t want anything!

Teacher A: A wafer? (And pulls out a wafer)

Varun: (Eyes the wafer and before we realize, has snatched it from her! This boy, who is generous with his ‘thank yous’ and ‘pleases’ when i help pick dry leaves or twigs to make a forest on a heap of sand, when i help find his screw-driver or spanner, SNATCHED a wafer, which is not even something he greatly likes! And we all are of course zapped and for a second I forget to even close my mouth!)

Me: (Opened the books with pics of vehicles): Where’s the scooter?

Varun: (With a bite of wafer in his mouth, points correctly at the scooter for a change)

Me: Where’s the motor-bike?

Varun: (Points correctly..)

The teacher gets a cue and leads from there, and what follows is a rapid-fire round!

Teacher A: (Points at the car) Idhu enna? What is this?

Varun: Car

Teacher A: (the plane) This?

Varun: Aeroplane

Teacher: What’s the color?

Varun: Blue (There is a thin blue line on a fully white plane. Technically, a white plane. But pass)

Teacher A: Where’s blue here?

Varun: Dho..(points at the blue line!)

The teacher pulls out a few rings in different colors and our man identifies all the colors..

Teacher A: What’s the color of your tee?

Varun: Yellow

Teacher: Whose pic is that on your tee?

Varun: Kisshnaa (his mouth stuffed with the last bit of the wafer!) Krishna!

Teacher: You want to play cricket? Here, take this ball and bat..

Varun: Maaten! Naan foot-ball dhaan veladuven. No, I won’t play cricket. Only foot-ball.

And he thrusts the bat in dad’s hand and hits the ball all over the room..

Teacher B: You must be a good boy like Vyas when you come here next, ok?!

Varun: Looks at her, and turns away without a response!

Teacher B (To us): Here, please fill in this form and pay the fee in that counter, over there!

Phew!! We said a hurried thank-you, lest she changes her mind, and rushed to the counter!The entire 15 mins, felt like an eternity! A good 5 minutes later, when I was leading Varun out of the room, he went to the same teachers and bid a very endearing ‘Byeeeeeeee, voluntarily!!’

Now, we most certainly would not have been refused admission if Varun had not answered even a single question right.. The interview at this school is more to assess if the child is ‘ready’ for school, and if there is a case of a delayed/different milestone etc.. There were cranky kids crying due to hunger or sleep, some simply bored, a few still sucking the thumb, and even smaller kids who were barely stringing a few words together, a few, absolutely mature and so cooperative and at their best behaviour.. (another friend’s son sang Shakira’s waka waka!) All made it… But only our man seemed to be like a fox on an overdose of honey (thaen kudicha nari!). If anything, I’m now sure that they do not refuse admission even for bad behaviour provided, the older sibling is a ‘good boy’:) If they had refused admission, we would have pulled out Vyas also and put both of them in another school just 2 blocks away from my house, and that was Vyas’s worst nightmare:) It was really the anna who sought the admission for the thambi after-all!

How we got our tea!

Varun: (At around 8.00 PM) Amma, I waan tea.. I want tea..

Me: Tea? Now? Ippo poi kutti pasanga yaaravadhu tea sapuduvaala? Will any child have tea at this hour?

Varun: (thinks for a full 5 seconds before saying): Naan auto driver sir. Enakku tea kudunga! Am an auto-driver sir. Can you get me a tea?

Dad: (Rotfl-ing): Adho, tea-shop ange irukku sir (and points at a corner near a door which usually transforms into the destination of our choice, like Mambalam, Beach, Mumbai, or even a road-side tea-stall).

Our man’s face does not betray the disappointment of not having got a real cuppa-chai.. but still goes with the chimerical hot-kadak-chai and even makes a similar payment of 5 rupees after fumbling in his jeans pocket in all earnestness for a few seconds before pulling out the change!

Yaer-cutting man

We have progressed from iron-man to barber. Given his penchant for stylish saloons, this career path is least surprising:)

He deftly handles his plastic scissors and instructs his patti to sit straight and he wants to ‘try’ a new hair-do.. Patti has just heard blasphemy and is mortified! She is pleading with him to let go.. and tries to reason saying he must not do it as it will hurt..

Amma is all game because what remains in the scalp now is just a suggestion of tresses that were.. Allow me to brag at this point about the rapunzellish (but the braid touching a little below the thigh) hair that suffered the treatment of fenugreek, hibiscus, mehendi, white-pepper, poppy-seeds, egg whites and yellows, shikkakai, ‘poongangai’ and such.. sigh!! [Reminds me of Uma’s story..]

Enough digression! So where was I? Yes, amma is a willing ‘customer’.. “Maa, ippi okachi sayya?” (ma, sit like this ok? and demonstrates), he says, showing me how i must relax on the chair.. I ask him if I can lie down on the pillow.. and market the idea that a head rested on a pillow is the best position.. He agrees..

He pulls a small towel from the cupboard and puts it on his shoulder.. perhaps to look busy.. He goes ‘kachack kachack’, implying he is at the snipping job.. Once done, he examines by coming to the front, running a comb through my hair, pulls the towel that he put purposefully on his shoulder, and begins dusting my neck, face, front, shoulders, the pillow, and the wall behind me. And declares, ‘hmm.. aachi sir. neenga polaam’ (its done sir, you may go now). No fees people. Yes, absolutely free… Wanna try? He doesn’t know to massage though.. If you can adjust…?


Roles reversed

Varun has hit the tantrum-throwing peak .. I run out of all ideas of handling the fellow which, by default, includes ignoring.. He has somehow figured out that ignoring is a tactic.. So, he makes it a point to remember that he is in the ‘eye’ of the tantrum and continues with gusto..

Amma wants to give the vaandu one tight slap on his little bum, but decides to resist the urge for a little more while.. and then the amma also throws a fit and bawls loudly- the act complete with shaking hands, legs and all that..

Varun forgets what he is doing and freezes in 2 nano seconds.. Absolutely clueless about what amma is up to!

Amma does a mental ‘well done vidya’ pat to the self.. And..

Amma: Enakku andha jeench dhaan venum – I want only that pair of jeans..

Varun is a sight now with crocodile tears and one drop about to fall.. The expression on his face is priceless.. a suggestion of a smile, a twinkle in the eye, ashamed a little, but still angry and grumpy with a moist cheek which is now streaked with a little nose goo because of his rubbing his palm hard against his nose.. I wonder if he even cries through his nose:) And then..

Varun: Enna? – What? (still rubbing his nose and eyes..)

Amma: I want that blue jeans..

Varun: Adhu eerama ikku – its wet..

Amma: No, I want only that jeans..

Varun: (slightly reddens).. Adhu vachalle olandhundu ikku -its drying outside

Amma: (triumphant, but more shaking of head..) Ille, adhaan venum.. No, I want only that!

Varun: Ippo potunda, joram varum – You’ll catch fever if you wear it now.

Amma: Fever vandha enna aagum?– What’ll happen if I catch fever?

Varun: Vomit varum. coldu varum. cough-u varum. You’ll catch cold, cough and you’ll puke. He has forgotten about the tantrum by now:)

Amma: (making a sad face) Appo enna pannardhu – So, what do do now?

Varun: Naalaikku payskool-kku pottukalam sheriya? You can wear it to play school tomorrow, ok?

Amma: Double okay!!

So, for any tantrum, this is the treatment.. Has worked for nearly a week now… He’ll crack it anytime now.. I have to find newer tricks.. Anything up your sleeves?

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:

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