Literally speaking..

“Meena!”, the Pattani calls out, tugging at the MIL’s saree pallu.
“Shhh – Pattani! You can’t call her by name. Paati nu koopdu”, I tell him firmly.
“Meena!” Yet again.
I just glare.
“Meena Paati?”, he tries, tentatively.
Not wanting to offer any leeway, I tell him firmly – “Onnum theva illa. Verum Paati nu koopdu, porum.”
He pretends like he hasn’t heard me and scampers off.
He returns to the kitchen exactly a minute later, runs up to her and confidently addresses her – “Verum Paati! Akkam venu.” <I want water.>


When we watch nursery rhyme videos, we usually keep the Pattani involved in some chatter about what the mouse/cat/duck/anna in the rhyme is doing, so we can spin stories from those later on.  Sometimes we do it just to hear him talk and gush over it. Yes, we are yet to reach the “Oh shut up already!” phase. 😀

Anyhow, there is this rhyme that goes

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner, eating his Christmas pie
He stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum, and said what a good boy I am!<Fat moral, but that’s not the point>

Pattani, anna enna ma saapadran ? (What is he eating?)
Hmm.. ok. Anna cake lendhu enna eduthaan ? <What did he take out from the cake? >
Whaaa !
Now read the rhyme again. Dang! A plum indeed!


The Pattani’s assisted story telling of the lion and the mouse story :
Oru oorla ..
oyyu liyon (a lion)
lion was?
hungee (hungry)
so lion enna pannithu ?
Tacchu mammu chaaaptu, akkam kuchu, thooyi la taachu! <It ate curd rice, drank water and slept in its thooli>
Some quintessential tam-brahm lion this, huh?


A shout-out to Umaachi!

This post is an entry by my eleven month old bub, Pattani for the Women’s Web contest – Your reason to pray hosted by Cycle Pure Agarbathies.

*Umaachi : God, in baby talk.

So last night Amma was telling Appa about some contest where you had to write about your reasons for praying to God. Now I thought this must be an easy one for Amma because she is generally a lot into prayers and even makes me say “Umaachi kaapathu”(Protect me, God!) and Govinda Govinda every time we are in the pooja room. She also regularly puts vibhuti on my forehead, so even when I go to malls and try to play it cool, I end up looking like THIS.


I am personally more interested to pry open that almirah near the pooja shelf, though. Of course it is banned for me, like a hundred other things in the house. Every time I try, somebody or the other comes screaming – He is opening the “frij“(that is what it sounds like), catch him! One day I will beat them to it, I will. I digress. They were talking some boring things about what they wished for, from umaachi. I was about to give up pretending, and actually go off to sleep, when suddenly Amma declared – “Apart from the routine things like good health and well being, my only wish that I desperately want fulfilled is to make that U-RO(Euro) trip and strike that item off my bucket list”. Yes, she did say bucket, though I don’t understand what her wish could possibly have to do with buckets. My only idea of a bucket is THIS.


 Oh I love this! I badger Amma/Appa at bath time every single day, till they put me in there. How fun!

Anyway since Amma’s list for praying is so meager, I decided that I might as well use up her slots to slip in my own prayer applications to Umaachi. So here goes:

1. Umaachi, I want to grow tall, like immediately. I am sure you recognise and understand the glee one gets by simply pulling down everything that is within reach. The more breakable the object, more the glee. More the damage caused, more the glee. Remote controls, the Ipad, books, utensils, set-top boxes, bottles – I was totally having a go at them till these boring people played spoilsport and started putting EVERYTHING out of my reach. Apparently their reason for this is that I happened to break 2 remote controls.<What I was actually doing was ripping it into parts and exploring the capacitors inside. These people I tell you, they cannot spot a bright mind when they see one>. Thatha suggested that at this rate, we might as well add a remote control to the monthly grocery list. I thought this was sensible, but no one else agreed. So they just put everything at very high places. I can’t reach them now, even on my tiptoes. So please make me tall ok ?

2. If there is one thing I LOVE chewing on, it is paper. But like all good things I love, these people put paper as well out of my reach. Recently Amma got me some very colorful boardbooks. I heard her tell Appa that I would not be able to chew/eat them and it would put some love for books in me. Oh I love them alright, but Amma was way off about the chewing part. Now those books curiously resemble a cheese piece gnawed at by Jerry. I think Amma is slightly discouraged, but please Umaachi, make her get me lots of those books, ok? I love them, and I promise you I’ll read them too, once in a while(with a solemn face).


3. Make me turn a year old Umaachi, please? I think Amma and appa are very confused about this. At times they say they are startled that I am already eleven months old and that I am growing up tooo fast, and at times they can’t wait for me to grow up. I am, however very clear that I want to turn a year old. Not too sure about the growing up part. This is the thing – these people in the house heap their plates with really delicious looking stuff – adais, crispy papads, sweets and what not! And all I get is a never-ending stream of bland-tasting veggie and fruit purees. I do get some occasional stealth bites of all banned items(mostly from paati and appa; they are all oh-so-yummy) but people are always going on and on about how I can eat all that stuff only after I turn one. One month more. As if it makes so much of a difference. Gah!

4. Lest you think I am all selfish and silly going on and on about my wants, I am going to make one last noble wish- for Amma this time. Looks like she is extremely worried about her hair loss. She keeps complaining to everybody who cares to hear that it has worsened ever since I came. So please stop her hairfall ok? I totally love grabbing her hair and pulling at it, especially when she is blissfully lying down, and every time I do that, she starts off her hair-fall rant. Maybe if you stop her hairfall, she wont mind me so much !

Also, since I am growing up and all that, it is maybe time for me to start doing proper poojas like Thatha does. Will the Lakshmi Pooja Pack help me learn that ? I am sure Amma will put the whole pack to good use, but I am looking forward to Arthi time, when I can happily rattle away the mani(bell). Also, I hear the pack comes with a CD for the full length of the pooja, so I am sure it is going to be interesting !

Of REST(lessness) and SOAP(y) stories

Walk into office half-sleepy. Find office almost empty. Curse Monday mornings. Settle down and check Gmail. Get updated on a friend’s wedding reception and smile – super happy for her to have pulled off the wedding in such style, and sorry for having missed attending the reception.

Check Facebook. Oscar news splashed all over. Get all updates(when five minutes earlier, you had no clue that the Oscar awards ceremony was happening last night). Check out all the cheesy romance/nostalgia/reunion/food/troll pics, and randomly like them, just to feel alive on FB. Offer your own cheesy romance/nostalgia/reunion/food/troll pics/updates if available and patiently wait for someone to acknowledge them. Else start a mental rant about how there is absolutely nothing happening in your life worth showing off. Else do a cynical – “Ugh! Whoever puts up minute to minute live updates on FB? Do they presume we really want to know what they had for dinner last night or with whom they have been coochie-cooing in the Bahamas?” rant <smirk for added effect>, then go ahead and meticulously check out the Bahamas pictures and trace the lives of the people tagged, their friends, THEIR friends and so on. You see, Hypocrisy is non-existent in the FB world.

Move over to your most favorite activity. Open all the blogs you have bookmarked, and check if any of your favorite bloggers have updated. Mostly negative. Sigh. Dull day ahead. Dig out their archives to see if there is an odd-post that you might have missed out. Mostly negative again. Muse on the strange connect you feel with a bunch of people entirely through their blogs, to the extent that you know the personal traits of their family members, still you would not even be able to put a real name or face to any of their blogs. Make a mental note to de-lurk on their blogs sometime and make a “real” connection.

Half-heartedly open your workbench and realise you have a lot of catch-up to be done. Google up the two technologies that you ought to have learnt a week ago and open a couple of their tutorials. <Ignorable geek alert> REST – Representational state transfer and SOAP – Simple Object Access Protocol</Ignorable geek alert>. Stare at the two words and wonder why something as blissful as REST should turn into something monstrous. Think sleep. Think couch. Start feeling sleepy. Zone out of the tutorial. Think of the nice weekend you just had with the grandparents, subsequently of summer vacation every year at the native. Think of last night’s bus journey back to Chennai, and loss of sleep, which brings you back to – REST. Try to get back your focus to stay on the tutorial. Get a feeling that you have been at it for ages, look at the desktop clock and realise it has only been 45 mins. No, its not even time for lunch yet.

Open the SOAP tutorial – Soap. Think Johnson’s Baby soap. Think mega serial. Think Chittiiii. Think 24. Think nice, hot, long shower. Marvel at your own perspectives of the simple word – soap. Its a pain that it also has something to do with simple object access protocol. Wonder if you would think of such idiot protocols every time you looked at Johnson’s Baby soap. Push all this aside, and slog through the tutorial.

Desperately hope it is time for lunch. It is, almost. Hurriedly write a crap post out of all above inspirations and consider a job well done for the day.


is offended by the impunity of javascript. Despite her best efforts at reconciliation, it has been swearing at her for two continuous weeks.  She is almost sure that javascript is just Peeves masquerading in the Muggle world.


is getting increasingly annoyed at her startling frequency of  use of certain phrases (some extremely local and cliched  ones at that!). She thinks that if somebody made a dictionary of her day to day vocabulary, they would land at no more than 100-150 words, with the count of the “strictly English” words amongst them being less than half that number. Sigh!


has been reading three men in a boat on her way to work and thinks it is an absolutely delightful book – oh the humor ! 🙂 🙂 She only feels ashamed that she is able to do no more than 2 pages a day of a book that should have rightfully taken just about a couple of hours if read at one go. But she knows ill days have fallen upon this world, so she is not going to try and convince unbelieving people that her work has been SO hectic that save her cab ride to office, she has just not been able to spare time for reading.

Oh! that reminds her –  she meant to ask Vikas Swarup something after she finished reading his second book. She has a strong suspicion that VS has turned script writer after the runaway success of SDM. Also, she is almost convinced that Six Suspects has been written for David Dhawan’s next flick – starring namma Vijayakanth and Bollywood head-turner Tushhar Kapoor.(Pssstt .. overheard : Ekta Kapoor has been roped in to oversee proceedings so that the mega serial quotient of the book remains intact!)Well well, this one sure is touted to be next in line for the Aascaars! Mr. VS, are you available for comments?


perfectly knows that she has piles of issues and bugs with fiery red eyes and sharp tentacles awaiting her, to make their breakfast, lunch and dinner out of her – yet she finds the complete inactivity on her blog extremely heart wrenching to say the least and has decided to right royally stage civil disobedience against her work.


PS : If you are wondering why she had to irrelevantly drag Mr. VS into this, let her assure you – it was certainly not to settle any personal score – she carries no vengeance against him. It’s just that her work is apathy personified – all her cynicism and sarcasm are completely lost on it – she needed something more tangible to take it out on. Period.