Thursday, December 20, 2007

1st house on left, Down Memory Lane.

parents are queer people..i guess..all our lives we try to figure them out. and they reciprocate the curiosity and concern by trying to figure (read it as fix) us out. by the time we get a hang of things, in all probability, we have another bunch of weirdos trying to do the same on us..oh ya!! our kids.the vicious circle of life.

case in point - my parents.. yes, ofcourse.. i love them to bits and all that. but at times i would have i turned out, if i was born in some other household.

my dad is the strong proponent of the idea that a child's most active brain cell development takes place during the time he/she is in the 3-7 age group. he never gave up trying to develop those non-existant cells of mine during that time and later.. he never got very far.. but true to his character, he played it fair and tried the same stuff on my younger sis as well. he still tries his tactics with my nephews and nieces, alas, with similar results.

some of the activities included :

mechanical toys - not the colorful ones, but the serious fix-it-yourself-if-you-wanna-play types. needless to say, those lay discarded, while me and my sis played with the cardboard boxes they came in. we were very ingenious kids..the most mundane stuff would be our play things.. oh! if only i count recount the number of times my mom had to buy new bedsheets and curtains coz we tried making paperman cut outs in them.chuck those lego blocks... the red LPG cylinder,used coconut husk, thrown away drawstrings, pens, slippers.. we could spend hours playing with them..

next in line was the formula food that dad got with much difficulty from his yankee friends. now, i was never a problem kid as far as food is concerned. no tantrums there..put it in my mouth and i'll chew it dutifully. sis on the other hand was a picky eater. she had no sense of appreciation for all this firangi stuff.. she decided to go raw.. worms that is. lunchtime was hunting time for her. she'd be out in the playground with a twig sharpened to be her one pronged fork and poke at unsuspecting worms, stab the ones that caught her fancy...and slurp..its gone.. mom had a tough time making food look like worms and squished bugs to get her to eat.

mind stimulating games followed the, it did not matter a bit that dad was a chess/badminton champion and mom a baskie player.. i apparently dint inherit any of those gene sets. despite the painful efforts to appreciate the game of chess, my chess playing ability was (and is) limited to smashing the pieces together, picking out what has fallen and then repeating the same motion..he did have some luck in badminton though.. but not so much to claim as a feat.

finally dad struck a started out as the daily night time read-to-sleep ritual. he finally realised that, i never can sleep until it came to 'the end'. so very cunningly, he would read the first half of the story to me.. and then leave it at that i am compelled to read the rest by myself. i got so enchanted by the books.. that it dint stop at night time stories. he enrolled me in all the libraries in the city.. took me around for the weekly quota of books. but then, one big glitch - as a 6 yr old i was reading Enid Blyton.. 10 yrs- Enid Blyton still.. 15 yrs - oh ya!! Enid still.

now..dont u go assuming that mom remained a spectator in this personality development arena. she was in charge of the interpersonal skills section. on that, she had to handle the extremes with us two kids.. i was a tomboy and my sis a hide-in-closet kind. on a regular basis she handled cases of me biting other bullies/non-bullies in kindergarten and sis crying when asked any question in class. she had to train me to shut my mouth when i feel like biting and shouting and open sis's when asked to say something and not just whimper. phew..

one incident she recollects of trying to housebreak me on the 'small talk' protocol is the 'How do you do?' one. Days after days of training me on the correct way to answer a 'How do you do?' with a similar 'How do you do?'.. i finally get a chance to put my skills to test...An unsuspecting friend of dad who came visiting shook my chubby 4 yr old hand and said 'How do you do?'.. my chest swelled up in anticipation as i became aware of my mom's eyes resting on me.. and confidently i belted out


"eh..what baby?"


"..".(.the guys looks around for help.)

(by now i am screaming at the top of my lungs and baring my fangs in a way my mom knows too well.. ya! i am ready to bite)

mom swooped in and picked me up, thereby rescuing that poor guy of mortal danger.

why a sudden trip down the memory lane.. u ask? back in the cradle of life-my home.. for 12 whole days..and these are some of the excerpts from the stories that my parents enthrall poor visitors with..this and other very unflattering ones... like the time i cried on stage due to stage-fright during my speech.. or the time i tried to kill my sleeping sis by building a tomb of pillows on top of her... or the time..... oh no!! i cant tell you that..

bye for now.. have to convince my mom that no amount of coconut oil hair massage is gonna rid me off the maroon and copper hair streaks...and that snug-fit jeans does not cut off blood circulation to my limbs....s'long...