Trysts with ants and random things..


A baby is just an extension of the mommy till it learns to turn over. Life is fairly a simple affair the first few months where all the baby needs to do is let out a small cry. The mommy knows if its a hunger call, a tummy pain, sleep, or well, a wet diaper! How do the babies grow so fast?!!

Time never ceases to amaze me! It seems like it was just a few days back that he attempted to turn on his tummy and failed! And like Ghazni, succeeded after several attempts! He is turning 9 months old next week and is all set to take on the world, which by the way is a small one for now. His world now comprises of his doting brother, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, the maid, the telephone, anna’s small chair, grandpa’s spectacles, and big black ants among other things!

Doors and door-stoppers fascinate Varun. He drags himself on his tummy at a lightning speed, turns around to see if anyone is catching him in action, and makes one big dive at the stopper and thrusts it into his mouth. We dare not rush up to him to stop because he still has an eye on us and moves even faster and bangs himself on the door. We device a strategy not to notice him and casually walk-up to him and pick him up! This goes on in a loop until we are tired of distracting. But he seems to have his goals clear!

The phone rings, and you see him making an about turn with the eyes lit like a 1000 watts bulb!. And makes a dash at the person picking the receiver! And insists on holding the receiver and licking it, or holding it at his ears and smiling at no one in particular! The person most affected here is the grandpa, who is a person on a trapeze balancing Varun on one side, the receiver on the other while also trying to save his dear spectacles. His spectacles make a crash-land at least 2 dozen times a day. He is seriously considering switching to contact lenses!

The yellow-colored Winnie-the-Phooh on the red wooden chair is his dear friend. He’s still not got his acts of sitting right, but crawls up to the chair and manages to hold and stand. While he manages to get on his feet with other support systems like us, or other furniture etc, this chair is special. He can be at it for an hour at a stretch or maybe more, trying to lift his feet off the ground, going around it, pulling it down, falling on it, tapping Winnie et all!

But the game he best enjoys is chasing the big black ants, which for some reason seem to be breeding too fast this season! Like a cheetah on a prowl, he spots the ants going about their business, and makes a dash at the one nearest. His anna is going mad with his little brother’s trysts with these giant ants because he has taken it upon himself to chase like crazy and smash the ants, lest it gets to taste his baby brother. The other day, tired of hunting down the ants, Vyas desperately tried driving sense into the 9-month old head, telling him how dangerous the ants are, only to find his cheeky brother holding 2 ants in his hand! Enjoy baby. You will soon know what it is to be ‘licked’ by an ant that size. If you are lucky, the season will pass through and the ants will mysteriously disappear. So what’s the next on agenda?!!

Learning to Share..


The best place to learn about sharing your space with fellow humans is but a Share-auto. That is, among other things like optimum use of real estate, balancing act, patience, journeying with closed eyes, and of course experiencing cattle-class first-hand even before you board a flight.

I have no special fondness for the share-autos though, but at the same time do not dread them like my folks at home do. Its yet another convenient transport system operating between different points in Chennai besides the regular, popular Chennai autos, and ideal for short distances at a fair price. I do not mind using the service once in a while. A tactful auto driver neatly packs about 7 to 9 passengers into his vehicle and if you are one of them, you’ll be lucky to catch up on the roller-coaster ride that you missed the last time you went to a theme park. On a boring day, you’ll find just 5 or 6 passengers with a lot of leg-room and more zip-zap-zoom action.

Am one of the privileged users besides the famous PTC buses, and believe me, you are missing something if you have’nt tried a ride yet. Really. But what called for this post is an interesting auto-driver whom I met sometime back. I had the choice of waiting for another bus from where I alighted, or cover the distance by foot, or take a regular auto or a share auto. I got into a share-auto as the sky looked threatening and just stopped at that without an actual show of torrential rains it portended! And the regular autos were having a field day charging 2 times the usual fare, thanks to the weather. The auto had barely moved a few meters when we were stopped by two friendly traffic police. Yes, you got me right. They were on ‘duty’ and were ‘working’. The auto-man had violated the rule (which by the way is the norm!) by sharing his seat too with a passenger (the sharing lessons are for the drivers also..).

What ensued was interesting. The driver and the police engaged in an animated conversation for a couple of minutes, where the driver was trying to convince them and was willing to ‘let-go’ a passenger. Sincere that our system is, the police would hear none of it. The driver was requested to step out and fill in some ‘forms’. Read ‘harassment dressed as duty’. Just as I was contemplating on whether to wait for the process to get over or just look out for another bus or auto, I heard a police telling the driver to pay Rs.50/- and get moving or pay a fine of Rs.100/-. The driver promptly offered to pay the fine! Those of us watching this scene from within, were zapped! This must have upset the men in uniform for they were not making the process any easier and an intentional delay was quite obvious. The driver politely requested us to alight and take another vehicle. He was not embarrassed, not upset, and seemed to have a hold on the situation. I liked it. Not to say that such violations be allowed. But, his ‘No’ to bribe was a bold stand.

Long live such auto-wallahs! I wish the other small vendors selling food, flowers, toys etc follow suit and say NO to maamools. Now start sharing to learn…