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Showing posts from January, 2009

Cult of Bad Momma

I am not a good mother. This is what I tell myself every day. Every time I put myself ahead of my children. This is the damning sentence I hand out to myself every morning I stay in bed putting off parental responsibilities that loom closer and closer like a hangman’s noose. Parental chores that include screaming fits with a six-year old who demands to know why he cannot wear yesterday’s underwear. And trying to reason with an unreasonable toddler who will insist on chomping on detergent. I cannot be a good mother, I reason. Good mothers do not wish they hadn’t become mothers at all. Sure, they may sometimes wish they could go back to being single and fancy-free and all that. But they would say things like ‘I love my children endlessly’ and ‘the joys they bring to my life are boundless’ and other time-worn phrases that ring true when they say it and sound hollow coming from my mouth. Unlike other good mothers out there, at this point of time I honestly wish I had not become a mother. …

A quick tale 224

Gap year in Congo

Oh, the ideas she had once upon a time! No TV till the child’s 10. Only organic food for life. Libraries not play stations. Reusable nappies. Baby Mozart on Wednesdays and Toddler yoga on Fridays. No Barbies and certainly no guns as toys. Fluent in three languages by the fifth birthday. No birthday parties with clowns. Private education with extra lessons for Maths and Science. Gap year in Congo. And so forth.

Today she stands in the toy store watching her daughter rolling on the floor. Kicking the display shelves, pulling her hair out and retching violently. All because her demand for a toy was turned down. Chee, chee, her mother disapproves rather loudly to no one in particular, what kind of a mother would let her daughter behave like this in public. She swings her handbag on her shoulder and struts out of the store purposefully. She turns a corner and waits for her child to emerge.

Lost in Post

Dear walker of Simba/Lucy/Holly

I confess, I have never had a pet and chances are, never will. So I do not know what it is like to have one. But I do have children and I have heard from pet-owning friends that the two are in many ways similar. Now, if I were to take my child out for a walk and if they ran riot, terrorizing innocent joggers by snarling at them, chasing them and almost knocking them to the ground, I wouldn't smile and say 'Oh, he's just being playful'. I wouldn't then tut-tut and make it seem like the person who stands terror-stricken in front of me was making a big deal out of a small innocent game my child was playing with them. I certainly wouldn't laugh at their reactions and belittle them.

Let's say, during our walk in the park, my son did his 'business' somewhere (for the record, my son wouldn't just do it anywhere. But this is hypothetical), I would take a plastic bag, gather his deposits and dispose it. I wouldn't leave …

A quick tale 223


She knew from the minute she opened her eyes that morning that today would be the day. Something about the way the sunlight distilled its way through the curtain and met her on her bed, told her that it had to be done then. Not later but now. She raised herself cautiously from bed as if the weight of the day's events were already pressing her down. As she readied herself, she rehearsed her lines. Would she reveal its entire history? However sparse her own knowledge of it was? Or would she simply let her daughter into the secret circle that she had been part of ever since she was a young woman? And let her daughter find out more about it if she wished to?

Her own experience had been all too brief. Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, her mother had called her to her room one day. The look on her mother's face told her that it was something important. Her mother simply handed it to her with no further explanation. She held it in her hands knowing better than to ask que…

A quick tale 222

Odd, very odd

This is a strange story. It leaves you wondering why. You will raise your brows, purse your lips and sometimes scratch your nose in puzzlement. As it happened to me. This could take some time. So why don’t you grab a seat and draw your chair close? I cannot raise my voice like I used to. And I don’t want you to interrupt me every now and then when you cannot hear a word or two. And I’d have to clear my throat and repeat what I just said. It will tire me, you understand.

This is about a certain young woman who went to the bank a while ago. She withdrew a large amount of money from her account. She did not meet the eyes of the cashier who seemed curious about her reasons for such a withdrawal. Hot outside, is it?, he asked in attempt to get a conversation going. His eyes were still looking down at the wad of cash he was counting. Mmmm, she answered. Summer is fast approaching, he tried one more time. Mmm, was all she would say.
Be careful, he said placing the thick bundles …

I will take your money and run

Look what I have been upto.

Nought to ten in 8 weeks
I do hope you will join in the efforts. Thank you!

A long forgotten incident

The day I became a railway announcer

A good many years ago, I made a work-related trip from Calcutta to Mumbai by train. It was a long, long, seemingly never-ending journey of some 36 hours which had been further complicated by a series of inexplicable delays. A friend/colleague was supposed to pick me up from VT station upon my arrival. So when the train finally pulled into VT, I could barely wait to get to the guest house, get cleaned up and call it a day. But when I got down from the compartment, I couldn’t see him. It was fairly late in the night and I knew he had been working long hours. So I just decided to wait a little longer to see if he’d turn up. Half-an-hour later, I was still waiting.

Now, I only had a landline contact number for my friend and when I rang the number, there was no answer. Wearily, I picked up my bags while trying to decide what to do next. Perhaps, I thought, my friend had fallen asleep while waiting for me. May be an announcement on the PA system would wake…

A quick tale 221

An odd little story that just popped into the writer's head one day

It is not what you would call an epidemic. Its spread was neither wide nor rapid. It began gradually, quietly creeping on you when you were looking the other way. One Wednesday here. The following Sunday there. It was so random that if you weren't paying attention, you too would've attributed its occurrence to chance. Like Myria did, back in November one day as she was getting ready for work. I could have sworn, she thought to herself as she looked around the dining table, I left it here just a minute ago. And noting that she was already a few minutes behind schedule, Myria sighed and quickly ran upstairs to grab a different pair.

Later that morning, as Jem was walking his dog, he noticed a single glove nestled inside the barren limbs of a hedge. It was black and would fit snugly around a child's hand. He looked around to see if the other one was anywhere nearby (he had a little boy at home and times wer…