Within our 4 walls

Have I told you about how daughters in the family are trained from a young age to wrap their fathers around their little fingers, shower their love and affection upon them and then have them listen to everything they say? If you haven’t, you should probably talk to my father or my husband.

Our daughter picked on early. She snuggled up to her father one day when he was full to the brim and was lying around after a pint of ice-cream and asked him whether she can decorate the walls in her room with her own drawings. “I want to draw an ice-cream cone also!” she said. The father melted and said “Sure!”

A friend of ours heard all about the permission to paint her own walls and got her a set of Washable Markers. I tried braking the process – jammed on the brakes, but to no avail. Before I knew it, our Lady Picasso had unleashed her imagination.

I am not frightfully fond of wall creativity and was paranoid about this bit of indulgence from the husband. I tried to tell her to plan what she wanted to draw on a piece of paper first and then transfer the drawings to the wall, but the husband said I must trust her judgment and let her do whatever she wants on her room walls. So, I bit down a number of worries, and tried calming myself with antacids: you know – be the cool mom.

This is the result:

photo (3)

Here is the ice-cream cone:

photo (1) 

And there is the overfed unicorn :

photo (2)

It was at this point in time when I idly checked the carton that the markers came in. The blasted thing pulled the rug from underneath me.  Apparently, they were safe to use on clothing, but not on walls. *Duh*

But I am glad we let her do this. Her friends walk into her room and swoon, “Cool! you mean, your parents really let you do this?”

She says, “Yeah!” in that cool tone of hers, but under her cool exterior, I can detect pride. For that, it is worth it.

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Ponies Roar Too

Hitherto, there were two animal related highlights in the daughter’s life.

1) The Wild animal safari  in the UK where she had the privilege of having a fully grown giraffe come and eat out of her tiny hands. As far as memorable experiences go, this is definitely one for the keeps.

2) She saw a Unicorn(!) in the forests of Scotland (Did I mention she wants to be a zoologist now? )

When Linda Chapman wrote the book series, My Secret Unicorn, I don’t think she realized what an ardent fan she would gather in my daughter. The daughter has read the book series at least once a week for the past 63 weeks.

As for the son, the first question he learned to answer to was : “What does a horse do? “
To which he heaps his front lips together, puckers them and clicks his tongue – "Tok Tok". Folks preparing for their college entrance examinations look half as sincere, and practice less often.

The husband is no better at horse riding than at speaking Hindi. There seemed to be no way he could impress his children with bizarre equestrian abilities. So, he did the next best thing and added another animal highlight to her life.

As a birthday present for his little girl, he arranged for us to go to a ranch and have her ride a pony on the trail. The pony was called ‘Spirit’ and I couldn’t think of a better name for my spirited little girl. She drank in the whole experience without a squeak (Believe me when I say being speechless for the daughter is a rare event…)


Her rising instructor kept jabbering us to ask questions, however.  Seeing that the Jane Goodall in our midst had clammed up with excitement; we filled the void. We asked about ponies, fillies, colts and random equestrian feats.

“Does your son like horses? He seems excited!” said the instructor just when we seemed to be running out of topics. I told her he loved horses and that he always answers the  “What does a horse do?” question correctly. I might have swelled a bit in pride.

I looked at him and said, “What does a horse do? Show Aunty”

To which he summoned up his sincere face once again, puckered his lips together and said. “ROAR” ( I don’t think he is going to be a Zoologist any time soon.)

Recent leonine behavior has shadowed the equine. We went to a museum, where, for the touch of a button, the Dinosaur exhibit roared most obediently. Sigh!

Maybe, he’d ride a dino one day (like this picture I found) Till then, ponies can roar in our world.



The Law of Conservation of Body Weight

The husband, every now and then, does  things that make new laws come into being. The latest is a low-carb diet.

Here’s the problem. We are vegetarians and apart from cutting up a kilogram of vegetables and making ‘kootu’ or drinking a gallon of ‘sambhar’ for breakfast; there is little else a low-carb diet has to offer a South Indian vegetarian who is okay with eggs. Then, there is another thing. Low carb is okay, but it should be along with high fat. Pretty soon, I was laying on the ghee to the vegetables, the butter to the eggs etc. It worked out well – he did lose weight and feel good about himself.

But I hadn’t worked in the Law of Conservation of Body Weight into the equation. (You know like the Law of Conservation of Energy ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy)

You see? I am not doing the low carb diet. I am having my regular share of carbohydrates (and let’s face it a little more because I am not accurate when it comes to measurements and with one completely veering off the carbs and self not wanting to waste too much food, I am taking the brunt with the high carbohydrates) 

I am also doing the high fat diet. I can’t possibly fry vadas and pakoras and not pop a few in my mouth? You know? To taste and make sure that the best alone make it to the husband. The ‘Noble wife’ act.

So, here I am on a high-carb and high-fat diet.

I am hoping that this too shall pass and I shall laugh my extra fat away with his next adventure.


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Data Storage & Retrieval

I remember using floppy disks. Not only that. I remember feeling pretty good about myself. You know? The cutting-edge-technology-feeling and all that. The parents were still writing in Diaries – pah!

Then, CDs came along and all the ‘important documents’ I had on floppy disk were not transferred to CDs. I don’t miss them anymore, so I guess they weren’t that important. At first, I dismissed these little things till I started missing the important things too. Like this wonderful video of the daughter, when she was about a year and a half or two years old. She could sing this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘When at home alone I sit’

When at home alone I sit
And am very tired of it,

High o’erhead the Bumble Bee
Hums and passes.


I remember wondering what she was jabbering about till I caught hold of 3 or 4 words in the poem that weren’t entirely masked in baby-tongue and my heart swelled like a balloon. I pulled the proud-parent-act and promptly recorded it to show her children. I used to sing it to her every now and then, but I had no idea she had memorized the whole thing. That video is sitting in some tape somewhere that I can’t access anymore.

Of course, books as we knew them for the past 500 years is changing too. The e-books have wormed their way into our way of life.

Then I read this news article about how scientists encoded an entire book onto a DNA strand. How are we extract the contents out of a DNA strand though?


Now that is something that is really interesting……can I infuse my DNA with the book and hope that the part of my brain that fuzzily recorded the little daughter’s song in my head would merge and help me when I retrieve the book?

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