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!

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!

And we’ve learned how to caution!

A tiny rat (real one!) sneaked into our room last night. All the four Vs were up and about trying to chase it away. And we finally did. The rat wouldn’t take the route we showed. It probably thought it best to leave the way it came. The moment we opened the door to the balcony, it ran out. We discussed strategies on keeping the rats away and finally realised that there isn’t much we can do other than keeping the doors shut.

This evening,  Varun decided to take things in his hands. And this is what he came up with. A notice stuck on the door through which the rat sneaked out. The slate contains illustrations of the ‘equipments’ or ‘gears’ (he said that) that we need to keep the rats at bay. And he was dressed to kill 😉

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? 🙂

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  F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You know 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 🙂 As always, never a dull moment, I tell ya!

Fruit Seller

Varun: Amma, naan Apple-karan, no auto-man (Ma, am an Apple man (Sorry Mr.Jobs!), not an auto-man.)

Me: Oh super! I want some apples.. How much does an apple cost?

Varun: Ummmmmm…. Lemon-apple venuma, Orange-apple venuma? (You want lemon-apples or orange apples?)

Whatever that means!! Amma bought few of both!! 🙂

Though the fellow gets most words right, he still struggles saying few. Guess what ‘Kuffsheesh’ means???..

Varunisms- June’11

Amma, aer-kat pannalaam – Lets have a hair-cut amma

Naan chamaatha ikkaeeeeeeenn (says it in a sing-song way)- I’ll be good

Yenakku theriyuuuuuuuuuuuunnn (I know……….)

Me: Varun, adikka koodadhu (You must not hit)

Varun: Adhippen (will hit)

Me: Chamattha saapadanum (be nice and eat)

Varun: chamattha chaapamaataen (will be nice and not eat)

Me: Saapadalenna, enakku kovam varum. apporam enna aagum? (I’ll get angry if you don’t eat. And then you know what will happen)

Varun: Paush kaara, inge vaanga.. Varun chaapamatenga. (and then turns to face me and says)Paathiya? Paush kaara vandhutaar paathiya (Policeman, come here. Varun is refusing to eat. See? I told you the Police is here).


Varun: shaar, vaanga shaar. diver vandhuken (sir, come here sir. the driver is here.)

Us(anyone): yennanga sir? (yes sir, what do you want?)

Varun: autho diver vandhuken (the auto driver is here – refers to self)

Us: Maambalam varingala sir? (Will you take us to Mamabalam?)

Varun: autho-le okaanga (or okachikonga) shaar. (Get into the auto)

Us: okay sir. Evvalo rooba sir (how much will you charge)

Varun: anjroooba shaar (Five rupees sir).

And the driver drives away faaasht. On his tricycle. Propelling it forward by paddling his feet fast like a duck on the floor instead of pedalling the vehicle.


Insists on playing ‘Hosanna’ song from VTV every now and then and says he’ll dance. And he does. The steps are gorgeously cute and would match even if you were saying “*aadu raa raama, aadu raa rama”. He is mostly on all fours when he dances.

*Have you seen monkey dance on streets? Yes, that’s the one.

Mazhalai – A toy-train ride nearly coming to an end!

1. Varun is fast outgrowing his mazhalai and seems to comprehend every spoken word at home and manages to communicate anything and everything. He has to say something even if he does not understand. For instance:

Amma: What is your name? (I ask in English)
Varun: Vaaashisshanaem (he says in answer)

2. His English vocab is for now restricted to:

1. Wait (says with a long drawl)
2. getthup (get up)
3. No, no, no
4. gethchet-go (get set go)
5. cumm eeyah (come here)
6. Sith (sit)

besides few rhymes, title songs etc..

3. The little Vs and amma treated themselves to a pizza a few weeks back, when the dad was out of town with his friends. On his return, Varun had this to tell him and says it even now every time appa is back from work:

Varun: Appa, peeesaa saatomaeee… (appa, we ate pizzas- says it in a sing-song fashion)
Appa: Enakku? (for me)
Varun: Naalekki vaaintharaennn (will get you one tomorrow, and we’ve made sure that tomm never comes!)

4. During the Ooty trip, a colleage G, was made the ‘strict uncle’ who’d tell (on amma’s request of course) Varun not to roam around for a long time without his footwear, and gulp down the food given without a fuss. I continued using G’s name the following week even at home.

Amma: Saaptudu kanna, illenna G uncle-kku kovam varum. Inge vara porar (eat or G will come now)
Varun: (looks towards the door and calls out):G unkallll, cheeekamma vaanga (G uncle, come soon)
Amma: $$$$@@@????!!
Varun: ummm, nee chaaapudhu maa. G uncle vara pora.. vandhu adi kudhupa (hurry up, you better eat now or G is going to beat you!)

5. He was walking on all fours the other day like his Vandalur counterparts.

Amma: Varun, enna pannare? (what are you trying to do?)
Varun: (after a 2-sec pause): amma, naan anilu maa (ma, i am a squirrel – inspired by the ramu/somu squirrels he sees everyday on the mango tree)
Amma: Achacho! Apadiya chellam?
Varun: Marathule ikken maa (i am on the tree ma!)
Amma: Apparam?
Varun: Naan padhandhu padhandhu poren maa (am flying away ma)
Amma: Oh, Anil parakkuma (Oh, does the squirrel fly?)
Varun: (thinks for another 2 seconds and exclaims) Amma, naanu kaakka maa! padhandhu poven maa!!

The other Vs are zapped at this sudden change of mind:)

6. And then this:

Varun: apppaaaaaa, vaasanaaa podhu (put vasana)

We all went through a rigorous stress test before we finally understood what ‘vasana’ meant. He wanted us to play the video of ‘Hosanna’ song from Vinnai thaandi Varuvaaya!

Despite being a thorough-Silambarasan-hater, I love this song! Begin the weekend too with a smile:

Dhymes- if you understand

Composed and rendered by Master Varun at the grand old age of 2 with a mouth full of teeth!!

1. baaa baaa baachee
vaavvu veni vulll
yechar yecha
thee bachh ulll
ann fammma maathe
funn fammma fame
ann -….. dhanne dhain

2. thinkal thinkal ittil thaar
vowwai vandhur vaatooaaa
appabovva vaall cho-ai
ike-a dhaimann indha kai!!

3. humpi dhumpi chaethanna vaal
humpi dhumpi vavve ge fall
humpi dhumpi… dhaadhagain!!

And my fav is this. Let me know if you were able to decipher the progression – the sources that have gone into this composition:)

4. Ek, dho, thee, foe, fii, chich pikuppa shish, sevun yeit dhe dham theit, nain, tenn, bik thaet enn

Two in one

My to-be-terrible-two-year-old has taken upon himself to be nice and learn the alphabet, some rhymes, compose tunes and sing, tell stories (in his own dialect) and spot letters anywhere and everywhere.

He looks at the newspaper, points randomly somewhere and says “amma, aeee, beee, chee”. Sees the credits rolling on TV and excitedly calls out “amma, dho paaru a, beee chee”. And then there are the neon signs on the road, name boards, books- its all texts everywhere, and well, they all are plain “a, beee, chee” for him. In short, he seems to understand the a b cs of life, and probably wonders what/why everyone around him is struggling to decipher!!

At bed time, his anna asks him to sing, and the doting thambi rattles off like this with a raising intonation:

aaaee, beee, cheeee, deee, eeee, eppppp, jheeeee, yechh, aaii, jae, kaaaay, elllalllalllopeee,
elllalllalllopeee koooo aaaur yeshhhh teeee ooooooo, dubloooo huccha buccha allll alll dhaam!

And is nearly breathless when he is drawing to a finish!

That is ore-kallu-le-rendu- maanga, ek theer se dho shikar, two birds with one stone etc..

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