Saturday, February 18, 2012

The boy

... hums 'Blackbird' to himself as he plays.

... knows his Tintins better than most people I know.

... is starting to read and spell words out.

... replies to basic arithmetic queries (in English) with the correct Bengali responses.

... is thrilled with his evolving aquarium.

... wants to know how babies are made.

... showed the world his middle finger the other day.

... was caught saying "sheet" to himself. Tried to explain that children are allowed to say that, that it's only "shit" that is the bad word.

... speaks to Vicky as I speak to Vicky.

... is convinced the world loves him.

... stuck his wee hand into my uncle's aquarium the other day to capture the blue fighter fish so that his aunt (my cousin) could fry it for him like she had offered.

... never walks if he can run, jump, skip or hop.

... carries Krittika the (soft toy) kitten around with him everywhere.

... is getting over his aversion towards "gerls".

... thinks his Didi (my mum) looks "shundor" when she wears a saree around the house. But I am expected to wear Westerns.

... plays Cut The Rope.

... depends on his "Magic Moshari" (mosquito net) to keep away ghosties, beasties and other little nasties at night.

... just came and kissed my hand as I typed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swimming Along

When my ship comes in I shall buy myself a large bed, so large that I need not bother making it. I shall wake up in the mornings, laugh at the rumpled sheets and move over to the other side that is in a separate time zone by itself and go right back to sleep. Because, you know, my ship will have come in.

The sails of that ship of mine are but a twinkle in the shipwright's eye yet, but in our house we have a tankful of fishes that keep sailing the waves in our new aquarium. We graduated from our bowl of goldfishes to a proper tank with pump and light and oxygenator (at least, that's what I think it is) last October. I broke the goldfish bowl in rather spectacular fashion while we were shifting homes -- I smashed it on Ally's steering wheel and ended up with a goldfish gasping on Vicky's mercifully vacant driver's seat and water and pebbles everywhere. I can assure you that it was an accident. And of course it will not surprise anybody to hear that it was definitely Vicky's fault from beginning to end.

We picked pebbles out of the upholstery for months.

The new aquarium gave Vicky grand ideas. The next thing I knew, he'd got tricolour pebbles (really) and three new fishes to keep Pranav/Uttam company (one died some months before we moved but we weren't sure which given their markings had changed in the years since we'd named them and where was I? Oh yes, the fishes.) Two ridiculously extravagant black goldfishes and one ostentatious orange one. That was in early November.

Now we have only one black goldfish left from that lot, which is a bizarre feeling given that our first two goldfish survived our tender ministrations for over three years. But the tank looks very pretty. All three of us go sit by it now and then, staring at the fishes. It is very soothing.

Update: This is my thousandth post. Took me time, huh? Come June I'll have been blogging for nine years. Sorry, miscalculation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vision of Zero

In India there cannot be very many people who have never heard of the Bhopal tragedy.

Please go view these posters about Dow Chemical. There are things we cannot let go and should never let go.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Having my say at Women's Web

Two announcements that are a tad late:

1. I was in the first ever podcast hosted by Women's Web. Click on to hear Amrita and I talking about celebrity mothers, doctors and pregnancies. (We laugh a lot, not surprisingly.)

By the way, 'Jammie was in the second. I think you should go hear her too, if only to start your Saturday right.

2. I also wrote about Kolkata as a tourist destination for parents travelling with children. If you are planning a trip to my city and wondering what you need to know, read this. I really like this series of articles, I think they are very useful for people like me who do travel a lot with the brat pack.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Detecting A Giveaway: The Answers

Taken the quiz? Well, now you can see how you scored:
  1. Stephanie Plum (This female bounty hunter of part Italian, part Hungarian descent has a propensity to have things blown up, set on fire or otherwise destroyed when she is near.)
  2. Tuppence (Prudence Cowley wouldn’t give you two pence for tracking her down. If you’re still wondering where to look, you’ll find her by the pricking of your thumbs.)
  3. Emil Tischbein (Way back in the 1930s this young German lad found himself turning detective in Berlin when a stranger on a train made off with all his money.)
  4. Philip Marlowe (Hardboiled and philosophical, our man is not fazed by the big sleep of pornographers. Need another clue? He shares a surname with a colourful personality from Elizabethan England.)
  5. Nancy Drew (Born of Edward Stratemeyer, the many cases of this young girl detective and her friends Bess and George were famously filed by ghostwriters.)
  6. Miss Marple (Single and shrewd with it, this little old lady from St Mary Mead has a particularly sharp eye for the idiosyncrasies that characterise people.)
  7. Ellery Queen (This famous fictional detective has authored, anthologised as well as edited novels, short stories, anthologies and magazines from the 1920s to the ‘70s. Care to fit the hat on this Roman mystery?)
  8. Five Find-Outers (Guided by their F.A.T. leader, this merry band of children love uncovering mysteries, sometimes in disguise and almost always pitted against a Goon.)
  9. V I Warshawski (This half Italian lawyer-turned-detective loves her morning runs in the Windy City chill. While she’s no comforting old aunty, there’s nobody you’d rather have on your side when things are at a deadlock.)
  10. Tintin (First featured in Le Petit Vingtième this young reporter shares a country and its language with the older and equally renowned M. Poirot.)
  11. Kinsey Millhone (Occasionally associated with the California Fidelity insurance company, this female detective is famous for shooting her assailant from inside a dustbin.)
  12. Martin Beck (The ten books featuring this policeman not only set the tone for contemporary police literature but also relentlessly noted the changes seen in the social and political spheres of Sweden from the 1960s to ‘70s.)
We did the draw tonight and Rahul drew:
A & A

The second prize, the one whose rule I deliberately did not announce, was reserved for the person with the first set of entirely correct answers. The person who sent in the first set of correct answers did so in two shots so I'm giving this to the next person in line:


Funny how the winners of the Kay Woman books go by alphabet names themselves.

The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral

Congratulations, A & A, and M and thank you everybody for your enthusiastic participation. I have some more detective themed questions and answers sent in response to this quiz and that will be a separate post.

You can see Rahul drawing the name on Youtube. I can't upload that video on my current internet connection, sorry folks. It was funny, that's why I'd thought you'd enjoy it.