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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Old Boy, a.k.a. The MIM @ 40

So around two weeks or so ago, the YO suddenly asked me : Mamma, at 83 means what?
Me (perplexed) : 'At 83 means what?!?' I'm sorry shona, I don't understand what you mean...
YO (shaking his head, shrugging his shoulders and looking so lost and confused) : I also don't know...
Me : It's ok shona, try again.
YO : Means, at 83 are we a children or a teenager?
Me (laughing) : Oh!!! Hahahahaha...neither babu. At 83 we are old.
YO : Oh! Means we are an old man? Like baba??

LOL!!! Today's the MIM's b'day and he enters his 4th decade. He may feel how his son thinks, but I think he's a bottle of finely matured wine! And yes, I did sing, "Main kaa karoo raa, mujhey buddha mil gaya..." to him today ;-p

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tests and the YO

The boys are having exams. The 4th grader had his Bengali Lit paper yesterday and as per the schedule the 1st grader didn't have anything. So I kind of went all fainty and hyper when he walked in after school and said, "Today I had my G.K. test." In absolute crazed Bong-mom mode, I asked him how he did, if he managed to write everything, did he get his spellings right, what were the questions, etc. etec...all in one breath. The little one, eyes all big and round, shaking his head furiously and trying to get a word in edgewise put his hands up in a relax gesture and said, "Noooooo! It was not a writing one! It was a...a..." (struggling for the word 'orals') " was a talking contest!"

Ummm...phew!...I think...

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Newly Minted Nine Year Old

Dear EO,

You turned nine today. Nine. N.I.N.E.

Excuse me while I go sit in a corner, wonder at the 'how-in-the...' of it all, and weep at the 'where'd-the-time-flow?' of it all.


Nine years of absolute joy. A roller coaster ride. A stand-up comedy show. A life-time.

You've grown-up immensely in this past one year. You are still a book-loving, mythology munching, fantasy world inhabiting, little dude. You enjoy using big words...mispronouncing them often, but getting them right even more often. You enjoy prancing on stage (in fact, you revel in it). You enjoy your food and even have a little tummy-tum-tum to show for it. You appreciate sarcasm and even try to use your own brand. Your incredible brand of sensitivity. You day-dream about the movies you watch, the books you read and the stories you hear and you actually live with these characters in your head. 

Sigh. You really, really, really are soooooo my son! The similarities we share make me want to go "Yahoo!" and do the junglee-dance from the roof-tops!

And then there are those similarities that scare me. That passion for what's right in this world and what's wrong. At the injustice of things. At the simple and absolute trust you place in people you love. Your contentment in having just a few good friends. Your need to be feted and appreciated.

These similarities that we share? Yes, these worry me. They worry me greatly.

Three stand-out memories from the year.
1) We were at Bagdogra Airport earlier this year, waiting to catch the flight back to Kolkata. As is my habit, I bought you, your brother and myself some books and magazines. I bought you four ACKs. One was about Tipu Sultan. When you read about the cruelty meted out to Tipu Sultan's children, you started sobbing in the airport; your body shook with rage and incredulity and you ket saying over and over again, "But they were children, mamma...CHILDREN!! How could anyone do that to CHILDREN?" Your father and I tried to comfort you as best as we could and finally I bought you another book, a Geronimo Stilton, to distract you. It worked like a charm, but you never forgot the question. 

2) When you read the ACK about the Jalianwallah Bagh massacre. Once again the tears. The rage. The incomprehensible disbelief of it all. You read that ACK many, many times over trying to get the answers to your Why's, How's and How-could-they's yourself, because mine were all so damn unsatisfactory. You were convinced of the collective evil of the race that once ruled us and you couldn't stand to hear a word in their favour. A few weeks later, I chanced upon the ACK on Jim Corbett and bought you that, to show you that there were nice guys too. You didn't wholly buy it. In fact, you've even declared to MaaJanoni that if ever your baba and I are thinking of going to 'see the queen', then we'd have to go without you. Just a couple of weeks ago I tried to see if you'd changed your mind about that... Nope. You're stubborn. You're my son.

3) And finally, the one where you got stuck 15 feet above ground level, in an amusement park in a dark evening of Siliguri. We had gone to this park to while away a couple of hours. We did all the rides. And then we saw this harness attached to two 30-feet long poles strapped to a trampoline. The sign over there simply said "Bungee Jumping." You love your adventure 'sports'. Roller coasters. Hang-gliding. Rolling down a hill in a huge, transparent ball. You love them all. So obviously you had to go on this. The mechanism of this was simple enough. They strap you into the harness, you start jumping up and down on the trampoline and then, with the use of a remote control, they lift you higher and higher into the air, until you're about 12-15 feet above ground level, where they suspend you for about a minute or so, and then they bring you back down. You LOVED it! Your brother, not at all. You wanted a second go. We agreed. Just as you finished all your jumps and stretches and the guy holding the remote started lifting you higher into the air, we suddenly saw sparks flying from the remote. Then the whole thing burst into flames, the man dropped it, stamped upon it and then ran to the little shed to switch the entire contraption down. The only problem? You were suspended 15 feet in mid-air. Our hearts were in our mouths, but you! OMG!! You were beyond were in your elements. For twenty whole minutes, as those morons tried to figure out what to do, you kept not only us entertained, but all the visitors to the park as well. You were up there doing yoga poses, karate kicks and chanting Buddhist mantras. You helped your father and me keep calm and not lose our heads. A crowd gathered around and marveled at you. The YO was freaking out, shouting at the men to get his brother down NOW, but you were brilliant. The incident is not one that I would ever, EVER like a repeat performance of, but your sense of humour and your grip on calm was what took my breath away.

Yes. You're growing up. And how. It's not so easy having an argument with you anymore. You demand answers. Logical, easy-to-understand-and-accept answers, and unfortunately, I don't always have them. Luckily, I can still play The Mother Card and trump you any time, but I've got my fingers crossed as to how much longer I can keep using that. That, and using that incredible phrase that mothers have been using since time immemorial -- "Because I said so."

You started of this year wanting to be exactly the same things as you did last year -- viz. an actor, a guitarist and as the owner of an orphanage. For the first time in years, you've talked about a different career. You now want to be a secret agent, a spy. And you even have a top secret mission that you've entrusted to yourself, one which you hope will restore glory to your country. Adorable and oh-so serious at the same time. Such a big boy desire with grown-up rationale behind it. 

And yet, that childish innocence of yours, that incredible sensitivity that thankfully reminds me of the fact that you still are my little boy. Those bone-crushing hugs and that gorgeous laugh that is more divine than the angel chorus. Those eyes that continuously harbour a dreamy, far-away look in them, an absolute give-away to the fact that you choose to inhabit an infinitely more interesting world than the mundane one in which you are trapped. No matter how old you get my son, I hope you always have this world to retreat to. A world populated by heroes and musicians and writers and story-tellers. And the wonderful bit here is that when you think of superheroes, it's not just Batman and Spiderman, but real life heroes like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandrashekhar Azad, Surya Sen. When you think of musicians, it's not just the Akon, but also Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury and Mozart and Beethovan.

Oh golly gee, my goodness gracious. You are adorable. And precious.

And you're mine.

And you're nine.


Love you, my darling big boy. In ways, words and manners that will never quite truly capture just how very much.

Always yours,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Snippets about my Snippet, aka the YO

It's been a looong while since I've updated my blog and the terrible fact of the matter is that both my boys have been doing/saying blog-worthy, errr...noteworthy things.

Since my YO was down and out and fighting the viral, I thought I'd dedicate today's post to him...

The fever came on a Sunday, so obviously I didn't send him to school that Monday and needless to say, he loved it. So much so that he decided that he wasn't going to go back to school again. Ever. Ever again. The mere thought of having a five-year-old while away his hours, day in-day out, 24/7/365 for the rest of his life; and the incredible thoughts of keeping this particular five-year-old properly occupied day in-day out, 24/7/365 for the rest of his life, had me hyperventilating. Mad screams of, "What do you mean you never want to go to school again? How can you not go to school again? How can you even think it? What will you do for a living?" floated all around my head, but I refrained from bellowing these out, because after all, he's five and he was feverish and of course he was going to go back to school, because I said so! But I did think it would be interesting to hear about his future plans and so I asked him, "Babu, if you're not going to go to school and study, then what will you be when you grow up?" And pat came the reply -- "An actor!" Aaah well, my apologies to all those amazing actors who studied in NSD, Julliard and Carnegie Melon, but it seems like my little one thinks you've all wasted your time ;-p


The YO, for all is rambunctious nature, is quite a softie. And surprisingly, very clingy. If I'm five minutes late in picking him up and if he doesn't have a friend or a familiar face to wait with, he dissolves into sobs. And Calcutta traffic being what it is, I sometimes am late.
Well, it was one of those days when I was late and the YO was sobbing. His classmate's mom, whom I'm friends with, called me and apologised saying that she couldn't stay and comfort him as she had to go and pick up her daughter from another school, but she wanted my son to hear my voice so that he would be reassured that I was nearby. I told the YO that I was a hop-skip-and-jump away, so would he please be a big boy, stop crying and wait for me. He sniffled a yes.
Of course when I got there, he was still crying, so I picked him up, took him to the canteen, sat down, wiped away his tears and calmed him down. We followed our normal routine while waiting out the next half-hour for his brother, which normally involves me feeding him the rest of his tiffin, looking through his classwork note-books and chatting about his day (gah! I just realised how typically Bong mom I sounded while typing that sentence!!) When the bell rang, I started to get up so that I could wait near the foot of the stairs, but the YO stopped me, told me to sit and he would go and wait instead -- "This is how a small boy potecks his mudder, right mamma?"
Man! It was my turn to cry -- and I didn't even ask him what he was 'potecking' me from. He was just being a gallant gentleman, but didn't know how to say it...