Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A visit to the Doc.

So it was time for another round of shots for Puttachi, and I called the doctor to fix an appointment. The receptionist said she would call me back. A couple of hours later, she called, and I answered. But there was some confusion at her end, with probably another call coming in at just that moment, and my call was left unattended for a while. But I didn't know all this yet. This was what happened from my point of view.

Phone Rings
Me: Hello?
A faint female voice: .....Dr.X's clinic.
Me: Yes?
She: What did you say the problem was?
Me: Problem? No problem. My daughter is due for some shots, that's all.
She: Oh, does she have any loose motions?
Me: What? Loose motions? No, no, nothing is wrong with her - she just needs to be vaccinated.
She: Oh, how long has she had fever?
Me: Fever? Are you not able to hear me? NO FEVER! VACCINATION! INOCULATION! MMR! VARICELLA!!
She: Have you given her anything for the fever?
Me: Ohhhh.... look, I'll call you back, okay?
She: I'll call you back. Please give me your number.
Me: But you just called me.... oh well, my number is so-and-so.
She: Ok, thank you, ma'am.
Just as I was about to hang up, the line crackled, and the same voice spoke in my ear, loud and clear.
She: Hello?
Me: Hello?
She: Sorry to keep you waiting, ma'am. Are you Puttachi's mother?
Enlightenment dawns on me, at last.
Me: Ahh!.. Heh heh.. (sheepish).. yes, yes..
She: Can you come at 5 30 today ma'am?
Me: Heh heh... heh heh.... heh heh... oh, yes, yes.
She: Thank you ma'am.
Me: Heh heh...
I collapse on the floor, laughing helplessly, delighting Puttachi who promptly collapses on top of me.

Next scene: Evening. We are on the way to the clinic. Puttachi, despite being so friendly and cheerful with everybody all the time, is known to scream horrendously at the very sight of the doctor. So I am trying to prepare her.
Me: Puttachi, we are going to the doctor!
Puttachi catches sight of a dog.
Puttachi: Bow bow!
Me: Ah yes, bow bow, nice black dog. Now listen, we are going to the doc..
Puttachi: Bow bow bow bow!
Me: Yes yes bow bow... the doc is a very nice man..
Puttachi: Bow bow bow bow...
Me: He will examine you..... like this.. like this....
Puttachi: Bow bow!!
Me: Ok, ok, bow bow, bow bow tata... now listen.. he will give you two tiny shots...
Puttachi: Auto! Car! Light!
Me: Here, on your thigh... like this... tiny shots....
Puttachi: (Starts singing and dancing) 'Appy know! ("If you're happy and you know it")
Sigh. So much for trying to prepare her!

When we arrived at the clinic, she was her usual cheerful self, smiling at everybody, playing on the slide in the waiting room, looking at the fish, playing with the wind chimes, calling kids twice her size "paapa" (baby). Then we entered the ante-room where the doc's assistant spoke to her and took some notes. We then told her..
Me: Puttachi, we will go inside to see the doc now.
S~: Will you smile and say "Hi" to him?
Puttachi, already fidgety and uneasy, waves and says a small "Hi".
Me: Not to us, to the doc!
Just then, we are asked to enter. Puttachi walks in with a smile, and a wave, and a cheery "Hi!"
Doc: Ah, what a pleasure to see Puttachi smiling for a change!
But Puttachi is already clinging to my clothes.
Her length and weight are measured, and she starts her bawling. I pick her up, comfort her, showing her the toys in the room, while the doctor surreptitiously examines her. Meanwhile the assistant prepares the shots. Her bawling continues unabated.
"Aache! Aache!" (Outside), she says, pointing to the door.
Me: Yes, yes, just after two tiny shots....
The shots are ready, and are administered to her. But she is already bawling so much, that I don't think she even feels the pain.
I pick her up again, hold her close, rub her back, and carry her out of the doc's chamber into the waiting room - she points to the door, saying "Aache". I take her out into the compound, she points to the gate saying "Aache"... I take her out of the gate into the road, where, fortunately, a blessed dog saunters by, resulting in a complete mood change.

And that's the story of the visit to the doc.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It is becoming frighteningly familiar. Bombs placed at crowded areas, killing and injuring unsuspecting people. Breaking their lives apart. And causing that tremor in the minds of those not directly affected - will we be next?

Last evening, we had been to a popular shopping area close to our home. As we merged into the crowds, I couldn't help but feel uneasy. I found myself looking at dustbins - could there be a bomb in there?

If these events can get to a die-hard optimist like me, then it must be working. Terror seems to be taking root in our hearts. And I don't like it one bit.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Award!

Thanks to Shyam, Ano and Snippetsnscribbles for this award. :)

This award is for blogs whose content and/or design are brilliant as well as creative. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.

I pass this award to:

1) Which Main? What Cross? - Beautiful, interesting and strategically captured images of Bangalore, with crisp captions.

2) Bangalore Blues - Very humorous, and very Bangalore. Some of the incidents that Vijay narrates seem too fantastic to be true - and that makes it all the more fun.

3) Anil, who has a number of blogs, each one more interesting than the other.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Puttachi in the Mysore Park

We were in Mysore for the greater part of a month, and naturally, a park visit in the evenings was a must for Puttachi. The park visit is very important because it serves to dissipate the little terror's excess energy, which would otherwise be spent in destructive activity. Of course, it also helps that the activities in the park give her a better appetite and tires her out enough to go to bed early and stay in bed :D

There is a park very close to my grandparents' place, one that we used to go to when we were kids. Some of the monkey ladders that we used to play on still exist. Repaired, patched, mended, painted, but still there. A quarter of a century old at least. There are new ones too, and the park has been spruced up, but it still remains the same old park.

As usual, Puttachi made friends with everybody in a couple of days, and went around waving hi and bye like British Royalty. I even had to fend off paparazzi on her behalf. (Seriously. Young girls trying to get her snap on their mobile phones. Frightening.)

The first few days, Puttachi ran around (when excited to find open space after a period of confinement, she walks around like she is drunk, in a state of euphoria), she played on the slide, and she climbed monkey ladders with minimum help from me. Then I decided to introduce her to the wonders of sand, as the play area had loads of sand. In preparation, I had even brought to Mysore, her sand implements, which consisted of a couple of spades, a cup, a sand truck, and some moulds.

So, the next day, we set out with her sand set, and after her constitutional, I plonked her down on the sand and gave her the sand playthings. She was delighted. She explored the sand with her fingers, and then was content to just pick up sand with a spade, load it into the truck, and then empty the truck, and start all over again. [I hadn't let her play with sand until now mainly because she put everything, and just everything into her mouth. She still does it, but she is better now.]

As I sat watching her, I noticed that the colourful playthings had attracted many kids. They stood around and watched. Slowly, a couple of them started playing with those things that Puttachi was not using. I welcomed this, as I felt that Puttachi would like company. But kids of her age don't yet know how to play "with" other kids, but they just play "alongside" the others. Puttachi did not even seem to notice the other kids, she was in her own world.

The kids kept looking at me to see if I would prevent them from playing, and some kids even tried to butter me up by telling me that "Puttachi was the cutest kid in the world, can they play with the truck please?" Kids, I tell you - they know how to get things done. Since I obviously seemed to welcome them, they got more adventurous, other kids joined, until there was a lot of pushing and shoving and sand flying all over the place. Some of it landed in Puttachi's eye, and I gave the kids a warning. "She is a small kid, please be careful." They piped down for two minutes, before they were at it again. I just removed Puttachi from the vicinity, and she continued playing. But she took the truck with her, and the kids followed the truck. Soon they were snatching the playthings from Puttachi's hands. Puttachi, who until then, was totally oblivious to the others, now looked up and appealed to me. "Ask for it", I told her. "Taa, taa", she said politely to the boisterous crowd, but her voice was totally drowned in the cacophony. She looked pleadingly at me again. I told the boy who had snatched the toy from her to give it back to her. He did give it back without any fuss. Then she wanted the truck which was lost in the sand amidst the crowd of kids. She stood up unsteadily, walked right into the middle of the ring of kids, picked up the truck, and walked back to me, and resumed playing nonchalantly. The kids just stared, not knowing what to do. Just then, one of the boys shouted to another, "Oye!" Puttachi, of course, had to imitate that sound. But as it happened, she said a loud "Oye" just as another boy was trying to snatch a spade from her. Thinking that it was meant for him, he dropped the spade in alarm and backed off. It had me giggling helplessly. Puttachi had absolutely no idea what she had just done!

The next day, I didn't want this whole unruly episode to repeat itself, with sand in Puttachi's hair and eyes, and so I just took along one spade and one cup, enough for her to play on her own. Understandably, the crowd was much thinner than the previous day, though a couple of kids did try to take over the toys. But my little cousin V was with us that day, and he, fiercely protective of his beloved niece, established firm boundaries that stayed for the rest of our visits.

I still don't know how to handle a crowd of kids. I don't want to discourage them, because I don't want to give Puttachi the message that she shouldn't share her toys. At the same time, I don't want her to be overpowered by kids older than herself, so much that she doesn't get to do what she wants to. What do I do? My instinct tells me that things will just take care of themseleves, and that Puttachi will learn how to handle such situations by herself, and that I should just sit back and relax.

In the meantime, let me leave you with a couple of images.

Puttachi playing by herself during one of the quieter moments.

Commander-in-chief of the Wooden Cavalry of Channapatna.

- Hotel Indradhanush, near Maddur, Bangalore-Mysore highway (on our way back to Bangalore).
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