Thanks!

The Blog feed is going to get very erratic for a while. The second and last kid is leaving for college. It’s a time of great pride and utter panic. I lie back most days and think of things which might never come to past, and that’s the time my friend’s voice echoes loudly in my head. She has taught me to look at things positively. I am normally not a morbid person, but sometimes my mind can evoke ghosts and all that is toxic.

I have many people to thank in my life, for no one achieves anything in isolation. So here is my outpouring of thanks to the many people who have taught me various lessons in life.

One traditionally begins with their parents, but I will not. I have to start with my two sets of grandparents.

I saw my paternal grand father for all of one and half years of my life. He passed away too early. But I remember him. Dad says the last few years he lived for me. And when one is told that someone lived only for you, one toes the line when going off track. Grand-mom, is the soul of generosity. Unconditionally, she has bought up various children of various distant cousins and all were treated like her only child – my Dad. No one has a count of how many people she has got home and taken care of through myriad diseases and illnesses.

The maternal grand father invoked a love for books, which I passed on to my daughter. Grand mom was something else. On her, I want to write a book. She has taken care of me through out my life. She is no more, but I owe my first thanks to her for all that is nice in my life.

Dad was a maverick parent. He taught me to iron, make the bed, plait my hair, and other stuff which Dad’s don’t teach. I’ve seen Dad be pleasant to the most disgusting of people. I’m volatile and could never understand it. But now that I have kids of my own, I get the point. Whatever discipline I have in life, is because of him.

Mom always said that “What ever you do, do it to the best of your ability”. I’ve passed that one on to the kids as well. Love for music, creative bent of mind, wild adventurous nature – all Mom’s gift to me.

My aunt. She was there for me when I was at my rebellious best. When no one made sense, she got into my head and sorted me out. My career in cooking and love for creative food comes from her. She was and will be the get- set- go of my life.

My elder sister – my back bone. Never known somebody with a more quick wit. Adore her, for all that she is. She is my “go to” for all sorts of troubled spots I get myself into.

The younger sister, with her unconditional love,is my “always there” pal. I love her immensely. There is no specific reason – I just do.

The husband – he needs a book of his own – written by me. I have lived with him more years than my parents. My support, in all things mad. He keeps me safe and I keep him wild! That’s our pact!

The kids- my life line and my heart and soul. I have to thank them for being born, for being my kids and making my life a huge wide bowl of spice and all that’s nice.

The friend – she knows who she is. She will hide the body of the person I murder, and only after that, slap me for getting into trouble. The universe bought her late into my life. But the universe never makes false entries and exits. I am saner because of her.

My Sister- in – law- That one person who has kept the family tingling with love and acceptance.

The other: sister – in – law. And her two adorable kiddos. How dull life would be without them. Another one, with mad sense of humor. She met with an accident some years back, and I never ever, saw her shed a tear. To be able to smile through such pain… if I know someone like that and not learn from her? Who would be a bigger fool than me?

And because this blog is getting big, I am stopping here. My life has been full of the most wonderful people. Some are still here and some have exited by choice. Many have not been mentioned. I have to thank them all and will do so by and by.

I do believe, very firmly, that one changes everyday. If nothing else you grow a day older.

My kids and other animals.

Many years ago we lived in a small cottage. My family on the ground floor, and a big fat snooty woman, her arrogant husband and their nice children, on the 1st floor. Opposite building had, assorted kids of assorted ages and dispositions. A mad gardener who had pyromania, a piano teacher, assorted movie personalities, and a few undescribable human beings.

I wanted my kids to learn some of the same elements of wildness, that I had, and, which had turned clumps of my mother’s hair startling white. So the kids raced around barefoot and ate with dirty hands, climbed trees, cycled at dangerous speeds, rummaged in the overgrown garden and of course lived with assorted animals.

We had one dog, and another walked in our garden leaving his siblings with their mother. He was all furry and cute and was promptly adopted. The lady upstairs had cats – lots of them. They slunk around all over the place, hissed at my dogs and drove them batty. So much so that when my daughter went up to play with her kids, one of my dogs kept guard, giving her warning barks- telling her not to get too friendly with the cats. We kept fish, but they ate each other up. Many other dogs ran amok in the compound and my dogs would take off randomly, to the beach. We had direct access to the beach, which was also an invitation for more wild dogs.

One day the kids ran in, highly excited. There was a gaggle of them kids. (I felt so proud looking at my dirty haired, filthy nailed, muddy faced kids..!!) In her tiny hands, my daughter had a small baby parrot, looking all disoriented and bewildered. We immediately fashioned a large basket, tied up at four ends, looped up the rope and hung it high on our, open-to-sky balcony. We were reluctant to close the bird in a cage. It was a fledgling, could barely fly, and we all feel in love.

Nippy (for he loved to nip at my gold earrings) soon grew, as did the blood lust of my younger dog, Teddy.  When we realised he could fly, but could not stay up for too long, we had to put him in a cage.

For flying practice, Nippy was taken to our closed living room and left to experiment. He would flutter, rise to the ceiling, try to sit on the fan (switched off obviously) and then land on my shoulder, climb up my neck and nip my earrings. We were both in love with each other.

Soon Nippy was desperate to fly all the time. We all wanted Nippy to be one with the wild, and so we started leaving the cage door open. Until one day I saw something, which had my heart beating in my mouth, and my knees as weak as a limp cucumber. Nippy would step out of his cage and stand on the door, giving the skies a good, once over. Teddy would place himself strategically right under the door of his cage. He would smack his lips and then hang his jaw open.  Just hoping that the bird would fall into it. At this point Teddy made direct eye contact with the bird. Open mouthed and slack jawed I moved closer and saw the little bird’s heart beating wildly in panic. His little beasts were moving as rapidly as a flag in high winds. I promptly shooed the dog away to the other side of the house and had him kept with the watchman. I had nightmares of waking up one day, and seeing small birdy feathers and a few bones on my balcony, and Teddy sitting in a corner and looking like – well like – a dog, who has swallowed a bird.

Teddy - at age 13. Connoisseur of birds and rats.
Teddy – at age 13. Connoisseur of birds and rats.

One day Nippy was gone. I admit I looked hard at Teddy, opened his jaw and checked, and all that, but apparently, Nippy had flown his (makeshift) nest! Teddy was bereft for days.

We have since shifted, kids have grown, so have the dogs, but I still look for Nippy across the skies when I hear parrots every morning. Teddy of course had plenty of wild dreams, when he would smack his lips and paw the air, thinking he had killed that damn unreachable bird.

The gaggle of them kids, have grown. Some become film heroines, some doctors, and my kids still have fond memories of those wild days.

 

Exhausting Teenagers.

I had written this piece exactly two years ago.

All of this is based on facts!!

My teenager is a “last minute -er”. Technically she is no longer a teenager. And she has gone for her first unsupervised coed holiday. Exams got over a week back, since then it has been difficult to get her out of bed, unless, she hears of a party or night out! Then she is ready within minutes.  Time obviously waits for no one. It did not for her too.

I kept saying pack bags, “Yes ma! I’ll do it” I was hearing that in my dream for days! I am sure she was too!

This was how her day went – for a 4 pm flight for which she HAD to reach the airport by 2.45pm.

11am

She wakes up.

Starts throwing clothes from the cupboard into the floor, and from the floor into a bag, (which was changed twice) Then she dashes off for a shower, which amazingly takes only a few minutes. But that’s because it’s to her benefit.

12 noon.

Madam dashes off to a suburb 10 km away to get a form signed by her dance teacher for her CAS hours, without which she will not qualify for her IB diploma. BTW this form was printed and ready to be signed five days ago. Meanwhile her brother re packs her bag. The poor chap will wince if he sees the state she brings it back. I can visualize him, shaking his head in disgust.

1.25pm

She arrives and sits for lunch. When I chide her for doing things and the nth second, she – without any regret, bats her eyes at me and says “Mamma you know I do things last-minute. You should be prepared!”

1.55 pm 

We scan her form, to upload to CAS. The scan of course takes longer than it should. And but obviously even the WI FI is slow today.

Finally it’s uploaded and strung up in her school system, then my child starts hunting for the teachers phone no, who has to approve the forms. She decides to call him on way to airport.

2.20 pm

We all walk down to bid her a goodbye. And we realize she has not printed her ticket. Again the printer throws a tantrum and does not print. She now has to use her PNR and considerable charm to get into the check in counters.

2.55 pm

She leaves and I crumble into a ball of exhausted heap. I suddenly hear a whizzing sound come from my work table. Her ticket is now printing itself!! I am sweating and very willing to swap my three-year old niece and nephew who make me run behind them for hours, in lieu of this exhausting teenager.

You can see me in an hour at the foot massage parlor.