Monday, June 27, 2011


BIDWTF - Because I don't want to forget.  I saw this on some blog/s - so the copyright isn't mine.  I think it's a great concept - when there's something that your child does or says - not really matter for an entire blog, but you'll definitely forget it if you don't write it down somewhere!

So here are two stories BIDWTF.

Puttachi was having dinner, and I was telling her a story.  She gets so engrossed in the story that she tends to overeat, so I remind her from time to time to "ask" her stomach whether it has had enough.  She actually pauses, and "asks" it, and gives me the stomach's answer, which, so far, seems to be fairly accurate.

This time, the story must have been truly interesting, so Puttachi ended up overeating, and she couldn't get down from the chair and even stand.

Me:  Puttachi, you really mustn't overeat - do pay attention to your stomach!

She:  Amma, I just couldn't make out - I ate too much...

Me: I told you to ask your stomach....?

She:  My stomach, poor thing, kept on telling me, "Puttachi, stop eating, stop eating," but you were speaking so loudly that I didn't hear what my stomach was telling me.

Does teenage come ten years earlier these days?  The kid holds me at fault for everything these days :D


She was playing with a foldable hand-fan, and she spent hours with it.  Inevitably, she personified it, and it became her friend.

All of a sudden, she came to me sobbing.  This was real sorrow - deep from her heart - sobbing, weeping, nose red, tears flowing down her cheeks....

Me: (hugging her) What happened, sweetheart?
She: (can hardly speak, her voice is shaking) Amma, the fan told me that it would go away and never come back.
Me: Why?
She: I don't know why.
Me: Did you ask it to stay?
She: Yes, but it is not staying. 
(continues weeping into my shoulder.)

I pause, because truth be told, I wanted to burst into laughter.  Anyway, stupidly, I tried to reason it out with her.

Me: Puttachi, it makes sense if you feel like crying at a story that is not yours.  Here, you are making up this story, aren't you?  you can change it to make the fan come back and stay with you forever.

Puttachi: But you don't understand, Amma.  The fan told me, it told me that it's never coming back.

Me: (cursing my foolishness)  Ok, come on, let's go to the fan.

We hug the fan, kiss it, and "show" the fan how sad Puttachi is because of what it said to her, and thankfully, the fan relents, and decides to stay with Puttachi.

The clouds part, and sunshine fills the room.  Puttachi smiles, and I heave a sigh of relief.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The most momentous developments ever?

I often marvel at the number of changes my grandparents, who were born in the twenties, have seen in their lifetimes.   I'm always keen to know what they feel about all these developments, and how it has affected them.

When I''d been to Mysore a while ago, I asked my grandmother what she felt was the most important, ground-breaking invention/discovery/development that has either affected her personally, or not..

Without batting an eyelid, she said, "The mixer-grinder."

I put the question to my grandfather, and after a moment's thought, he said, "Geo-stationary satellites."

I think this is a very interesting exercise - I urge you to ask this of the elders around you, and beseech you to share the answers with me!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Puttachi and her Tata

The summer holidays came to an end, and I can safely say that barring some hair-pull-worthy times when I just couldn't take even a little more of Puttachi's chatter, it was one of the loveliest times of our lives together.  Puttachi is old enough to do most things herself, and old enough to carry on sensible conversations, and to do things together with me... so we had a wonderful time.

Like my father says, one needs three things - Time, Energy, Patience - and then Puttachi is excellent company.

Which brings me to my father - who is unbelievable amazing with Puttachi.  Funny, how both my father and I have a kind of reputation in the family for being impatient, and yet, with Puttachi, both of us are patience personified.  (In my case, patience with Puttachi has resulted in patience in everything else, but I'm digressing.)

Ever since Puttachi was small, she's had a special relationship with her Tata, my Papa.  When Papa laughs at something she does or says, it is such a fabulous combination of amusement, pride, wonder, disbelief and love. He engages her for hours and hours - and lets my mom and me do our own thing for such a long time.  Going to my parents' house is really such a relief for me - the mornings are not so easy, since Papa goes to college to teach, but the moment he comes back in the evening, by some unspoken understanding, Puttachi just crosses over into his care.  She herself just walks up to him the moment he comes back and takes over his life.

And they play, talk and laugh for hours.  Papa is a wiz at devising little games for them to play.  It is uncanny how he zeroes in on the correct game for her to enjoy at her age.  And not that he has any great prior experience - he played with my sister and me quite a bit, says my mom, but not to this extent.

And his games - you have to see them to believe their simplicity and ingenuity.  One of the earliest games I remember is when Puttachi wasn't even two years old.  Papa and Puttachi tore up a newspaper into tiny little bits, threw the bits up into the air one by one, and watched them fall.  That is ALL.  Puttachi was watching it with such rapt attention, so much fascination, and Papa was watching her face. That is all.  They've played this for an hour at least.

I wish I had written down all the games - but they've evolved over the months to suit her age.  At one time, Papa brought out half a dozen different household objects, and spun them all on the floor, and they watched to see which spun the best.  Then they go to the terrace with lots of chalk, and draw and draw, and Papa comes up with these clever ideas of colouring and drawing differently, using the most unlikely objects as stencils...

Lately, they're in the mood for mischief.  They opened a biscuit packet neatly, put all the biscuits in a box and filled the empty wrapper with mud, closed it neatly, kept it on the road, and sat next to the window to see if anybody picked it up.  Unfortunately, it came under a car's tyres before anybody could pick it up but this whole process of playing a prank worked Puttachi up so much, the delight on her face was a sight worth seeing.  Then just yesterday, they connected a pipe to a tap, and Papa and the tap hid out of sight, while they brought out the end of the pipe, and Puttachi told me that it was a magic pipe, and that if I said, "Water, flow!" it would flow, and if I said, "Water, stop!" it would stop.  I pretended to be flabbergasted while Puttachi doubled up with laughter, while finally "revealing" the trick to me.

They feed bread to the birds, they watch insects, they burn images on newspaper with a magnifying glass and the rays of the sun - Papa sometimes tells her some facts about nature or space -  later, if I try to tell Puttachi the same thing in some other context, she says, "Yeah-ha, I know, Tata told me."

It's a beautiful relationship they share.
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