GingerChai Birthday Spoof
Two days back we had our second birthday anniversary. You all know our chaiwalas are a special breed with a funny bones and we love to pull our own legs. So Anney Thomas decides to take a spoof on our GingerChai B’day party and cleverly weaving in the past stories that have appeared in our site . Read on and spread the laughter…
Oh Lord….I forgot… It’s GC’s birthday today……
I make a mad dash to the website unaware of the bloggers whom I knocked aside to get there. ‘The party may be in full swing by now’ I thought as I came crashing on to the site writing “Happy Birthday to GCCCCCCC and to the rest of us on the author panel…..”
‘Wait a minute….where is everyone….what happened to the comments?‘ I cried in shock at the blank page. The nearby blogger looked at me like I had purple warts growing on my face.
“Boss…WHERE is the cake and the candle?!….“ I wrote furiously.
There was no reply. Looks like the boss has gone in for a GC happy Hour sip!!!!
Ufffffff….I will have to take charge…..Ok…
First I need to dial Sanjiv to drive everyone to the party in his flashy cars and bikes!
1. Candles….Let’s see maybe I can call Mani, she might be back for the Sweet meet at Ziddibloggers, I can ask her to summon some candles!
“Mani! Please bring the fire!”
2. Cake….Maybe, Gayatri could sketch a cake fake for the readers or make us an Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake…
“Gayatri ! Create cake, create it eggless!”
3. Movie… Let me call on Pumpkin the great to find out if his highness can get off the Loony Luna bars and Moka coffee for a short while to get us some good movies for the party…
“Sir Pumpkin LongShanks bring in the Movies”
4. Food…“Hey…. Chicken menu mei hai kya?!!!” Pranjal the (Mental) engineer by profession just commented.
“Nope, we will have some of that yum Potato Poriyal, Idli batter Pakoda, Stuffed tomatoes, sweet banana fry…..“ Devilangel comments.
“*Faints*” Pranjal’s non veggie heart and murmurs “as per my law of Party, the happiness is inversely proportionate … ” Ok here he goes with yet another of his legendary laws…
5. Music….perhaps, our genie Usha can check if the Dabba radio is talking of us or nip down to collect a favor from one of the bands to play some awesome music for the party…
“Usha you need to be Soul-ed up!!!! Urgently”
6. Check on Boss…..Will write to Dr. Vidya. Maybe, she can check to see if the Boss has a hangover from too much Ginger Chai in his system….I knew we should have kept a tight eye on the Boss’s chai intake!!! Darn it!!!! He was enjoying the sip for too long!
“Vidya , the boss is on GC binge! Need to go bananas! and cure his hangover”
7. Shall send a note to Mrs. Boss, this way she will get him running to the blog…….
“Divya Sharma! Boss chai pe gira hai shayad!“
8. Maybe, the Boss is at a movie
“All GC mates listen! The Shaitan Ready for Double Dhamaal is MISSING in REVIEW! Last seen watching a masala brain dead entertainer with a large flask of hot ginger tea!!!! ”
Suddenly… a comment appears on GC…
The boss responds….
“Angels, Devils and my dear bloggers and co-plotters of GingerChai, after self-torturing myself week after week with these manic movies, I need a rejuvenation of a sort… So I am taking back seat on this big day and see how my wonderful people over here share their happiness index of being chaiwala and pep me up for the bigger manic days ahead… Thanks for the big party and yes picture baki hai mere dost! “
The party begins now … but hey someone is missing. She has to certify the madness of the party … Shilpa, where are you?!!! And at the end of the party, a spiritual spa will be better too. Ambi be right here soon.
My Dearest Khalifa…
You lay by the frosted glass, knowing not who you are. I wonder if you hear my voice everyday. My heart feel a thousand needles when I see you fingers shake. If only you saw my love.
They say you may never wake up. They say that miracles are not in their hands. They guard you day and night and yet you are alone. If my life I could forgo, I would gladly do it for you. Fate has been so cruel to us; it robbed you of a mother and me of a son. If only you saw my love.
It is impossible to forget you. You maybe just a number, yet you are a significant one. Five times a day, I pray to Allah to have mercy on you. I ask him to show you my love.
Two months since the world greeted you, two months since you lay like a doll, two months since I held you, my baby … kicking in my womb.
When languages and prayers of all kinds float around you, do you realize that they speak of love and sadness? If you tiny brain woke up, would you smile when you see me? Would you smile at the ladies who took care of you all day? Can you wake up today and look at me with light in your tiny eyes? Khalifa, can you wake up to my love and prove everyone wrong?
It maybe madness, to not accept you as you are. Hope is all I have when I sit by you my baby.They ask me to say “Good Bye”….how can I when you touched me so deep? How can I say No to a life that lived as a part of me for nine months? How can I when my eyes behold you forever as my dearest Khalifa?
I would like to dedicate this to the little fellow who I see everyday at my hospital. His name is Khalifa and he stole my heart from day One. He suffered from complications at birth and is on the life support. He will never recover to be a normal boy nor will his tiny brain be alive. Yet, when I see his mother, the mother in me cries… every night. She was to have a normal baby by all counts, yet she is fated to be by the bedside of a baby she cannot hold nor ever see a smile from.
I love you my little Khalifa.
An elephant never forgets!
“It’s confirmed! You are like the elephant. But your memory is legendary!” my first brother stated as he sipped his tea.
“See, I told you….my memory is sharp! An elephant never forgets” I sat down with a smug smile on my face while sipping my coffee. I loved coffee.
“True…If you don’t count the toothbrush incident….”
“Hey, that was just one off… anyone can forget …we are human after all!”
“True….but you forgot your toothbrush for a WEEK!”
“Chechi ( big sister in Malayalam), how can you forget the toothbrush you use everyday?!”
“Well…I was stressed that week…so it’s possible I forgot just one day…”
“You used the tooth powder every day, for ONE WEEK, until one morning when Dad mentioned your brush is always dry! Come on! Admit it you forgot!”
“Nope! I was just using the tooth powder for a change. Cleaning your teeth with your finger is the best way to flatten and polish your teeth…” I stated calmly.
My brother snorted. “Chechi, you do know that the TUSK (reference to my canine tooth that decided to go against the forces of nature and pop out in an obtuse angle with respect to the other law order abiding teeth) is never going to falling place with the others, right?”
“ Balooney! One must never give up hope!” I said as I poured my second cup of coffee.
“Don’t change the topic. “The younger brother joined in. “Your memory is legendary.”
“ True, I never forget.” I reconfirmed.
A loud snort followed. “ Chechi! Your memory is legendary in the things that you forget!.”
“ No way, I ain’t that bad!”
“Remember, the time you forgot the bus you rode home in?”
“ You forgot to tell Dad that you had extra class and you were coming by Bus No. 4.”
“Hey! I was at school and came straight home!”
“ The only problem was that you told them 6 and got on Bus No.4 “
“ I was trying to be home early!”
“Dad went around trailing Bus No. 6 from stop one till the end while you came home in your own time… in Bus No.4. Boy! Was he MAD!”
“Well, how was I to know that the bus had five more stops in the afternoon?”
“ True… but telling DAD ‘I forgot’ truly gave us the insight to how you got whopped!”
“Hey! Am the big sister here! Trust me, I got everything stored in my head like an elephant!” I said knocking my head.
“ Chechi! You have a tendency to forget!” my sister quipped, joining the brigade.
“ You too!! Brutus!” I exclaimed.
“Sorry! Chechi, it’s true. Remember the time when you had the pre board exams?”
“What about it?” I poured my third cup of coffee.
“ You stayed up all night and studied for Geography. You were so hard working.”
“True. I loved the subject. “
“ The only problem was, you went to school for the exam just to find out that the Geography exam…. was two days later!!!”
“Yikes! Don’t remind me! I had to take the horrible History exam from memory.”
“ And, we all know that your memory… is legendry!”
“Hey! I scored 60% from that legendry memory!”
“ Admit it! Your memory is really bad! You just passed by fluke” the brothers quipped.
“No way! “
“ You were so forgetful, you once forgot to bring Big Bro home from Sunday School!” the younger brother stated as he pointed a crusted cookie at me.
“ I was 7 years old! Big Deal!”
“What about the time when you got off the wrong floor, banged on the wrong door and asked the woman at the door what she was doing at your place?” The sister asked.
“That was genuinely an error. I was preoccupied and disoriented. I truly forgot.”
“Did she just admit that she forgot?” asked the husband. It was open game now.
The brothers nodded.
“Thank God, you guys got her to admit it…she did the laundry with all colours together and my white shirt and pant turned pink!”
“ It matched with the maroon shirt!” I defended.
“Yes, if there was a Halloween party to which I was required to wear it to….”
“ To be fair my clothes were ruined too!”
“ Yes, but you kept saying that the washing machine has some problem with detecting colours! I believed you!”
A loud chortle and laughter followed.
“ Kids! Back off! She has managed to learn six languages. That does count for a good memory” my mother countered, trying to defend me against the brigade.
“Yes…I remember her trying to speak to that Arabic guy in Hindi. For some reason she thought he could understand Hindi and English with a mix of a few INSHALLAH!” the younger brother quipped.
“Hey! I admit, I have forgotten a few things over the years. But, I do have a sharp memory. How many times have I got your backs on the books you forgot and I remembered seeing…Huh??” I was beginning to feel thirsty now. I looked irritated.
“Hey , Chill! We were joking sis. You have a great memory. You are right, an elephant never forgets!” my sister said as everyone crossed their fingers behind their backs.
“Well, now that is settled, pour me some coffee. I have not had a single cup of coffee today…”
Everyone looked at each other and then at me.
“Why are you guys looking at me so strangely?!”
I was asked often on how I maintain my weight. Sans the big rear, I did seem fit.
“What‘s the secret? Tell us!” a 20 year old colleague pestered.
“Well…”I replied trying to think of how to put the fact in a nut shell without bursting her innocent bubble on the good life. “ I work out ….a lot”
“WOW! So Gym Jam…eh?”
“Excuse me? Gym Jam?!” I was puzzled by the expression.
“Yah! You Gym a lot and then eat jam, I mean like no need for extreme food control …”
“What sort of a work out do you have? Am sure it is perfect! …Yoga? Jogging? Any specific exercise? Cardio?”
“ Eh…jogging…half and hour daily…” if you could consider playing peek a boo with two kids, tons of laundry to sort/wash/iron, the marathon after the school bus every morning and the usual run for everyone’s everything at the last minute as a jogging routine.
“Cool …what else?”
“Flexible exercises…” Considering bending, picking up, stretching and crawling for toys scattered all over the house; 15 times a day, as a flexibility exercise. The usual scenario would be cleaning up from one room to another only to find that the kids had decided to go to a clean room to start all over again. Yipee! More Flexing exercise!
“What about cardio? It’s good for the heart”
“My cardio involves walking, climbing and running” Twice a week, Anjali misses her bus! We have a mad dash, running down and up the stairs for things forgotten and then brisk walking to the nearest taxi stand. Yes, its cardio for sure.
“I hate exercises…”
“Do you do any muscle toning exercises?”
“Twice a week.” Try pushing a well equipped baby pram uphill and trying to not break into a run down hill after loading it with the grocery shopping! I usually look like a tomato at the end of this so called muscle exercise and often find myself standing under a blistering hot shower to stop those toned muscles from rebelling.
“Do you do any diet control? Banana diet, detox, watch your calorie?! ”
“Actually, I eat small portions of everything. This way I don’t feel hungry.” Left over Tiffin, dinner, anything that can’t be thrown at the end of the day coz I have a guilt attack and most of all any sort of snacks that I can get my hands on at 4’O clock with tea (Oily or non oily). Small portions all through the day!
“You are so good in doing diet control and exercises; I can’t ever get myself to a gym! You have two kids and manage to loose weight and look so fit! “
“Well…eh… motherhood means a lifetime of gym jam!” If only she knew that I didn’t choose the subscription, it chose me…for a lifetime!
“True, you have to get back to shape after pregnancy.”
“Yes.” She should never know that the Gym Jam I had was nowhere connected to the getting in shape aspect! It had more to do with Super Mum compulsion, something every mum suffers from. Perfect dress, ironed clothes, food on time, clean house, etc, etc, etc!
“I envy your life style, time to do everything!” she said with a sigh.
“ Yeh!…envy is surely the right word” I said as I went back to work thinking if only I had her time to not do any GYM JAM!!!
In time, you will sweep me off my feet,
In time, I’ll hear your whisper in the wind.
In time, you memory will become sweet,
In time, I’ll feel your touch in the wind.
In time I’ll reveal my love, my heart,
A prayer is mine, for your ardent love.
In time I’ll have to bear to part,
A hope is mine, for your ardent love.
In time, I will shed a silent tear,
For all the love I have within.
In time, I will learn not to fear,
For all the secrets I have within.
In time, I’ll remember to stop dreaming
And walk to a tomorrow, fully mine.
In time, my dreams will I start believing,
And tomorrow, will truly be mine.
The Little Bird and I
“ Mummy, I have a new poem to learn…The Little Bird and I … ”
My heart sank. I was hoping to rest my poor head on the couch and watch the latest series of CSI crime to relax. “Ok, let’s hear it…”
“Once , I saw a little bird….” she began reciting from her memory. She was supposed to learn a poem every week.
As the poem was new, I found myself cornered. Teaching her could not be put off; the hubby was working late. I hated teaching…period. It took patience and a great disregard to the neighbours with their thin doors and sharp ears.
“Mummy, did you know … there are pigeons sitting on our AC? “
“Yes, now stop chattering and keep reading…” I said sternly. My tone was firm and gentle. I prayed that it stayed that way till the end.
“Once , I saw a little bird…. Mummy, you know … sparrow is the littlest bird ever”
“There is no such word as ‘Littlest’ and you can see Lovebirds who are just as small. Stop chattering and READ!” I repeated sternly.
“Ok…” she continued, “Once , I saw a little bird, going hop, hop, hop….. Mummy, I can hop too!! ” Before I could stop her, she began hopping all over the living room. My patience was slowly wearing thin.
“Oh Lord, why me? Why?” I muttered as I let her hop a bit before saying, ” Enough! Back to the poem!” my tone was sounding severe. I heard the next door neighbour shutting her window.
“Once , I saw a little bird, going hop, hop, hop….Mummy, does the pigeon hop?… Who taught it to hop?” she was still hopping around me.
“ANJALIIIIIIIIII …. We will talk of the pigeon’s schooling later, please read the poem….” My nerves were starting to act up and my voice was getting louder by the minute. I wondered if all the neighbours heard me.
“Once , I saw a little bird, going hop, hop, hop… so I said little bird will you stop, stop, stop …. Mummy, how can the bird understand English?”
My little girl was going to drive me crazy with the Little Bird! “It can’t understand English! Please continue with the reading….”
“Once , I saw a little bird, going hop, hop, hop… so I said little bird will you stop, stop, stop …. I went to the window to say …how did you do…”
“Hey!.. that’s not correct…it ‘s … ‘How do you do’”
“ No, mummy!… teacher taught me this way…”
“Anjali, that’s wrong English….teacher would have said ‘How do you do’, now say it correctly.”
One must always remember that correcting a five year old is not a small affair; neither is it a quiet one.
“Oh! Mummy, I was listening carefully…it is the same only... I went to the window saying …how did you do…” she continued.
“It is not”
“It’s ‘I went to the window to say …how do you do..’ ”
“No! … ’How did you do !’ ”
“The bird was not at an exam for us to ask …’how did you do’ …”
“Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” the wailing usually began when the fighter foresaw an eminent failure.
“STOP WAILING!!! The correct version is ….’ I went to the window to say …how do you do..’ .” By this time the neighbours were definitely covering their ears with stuffed pillows.
“ I want Dad to teach meeeeee” the wailing continued
“Oh! Stop this racket!” I bellowed. I could hear a few more doors opening in the corridor outside our door.
“What is a racket?” she asked between her wailing.
“Please sing the poem again and in the way I told you” I roared. I could hear several feet shuffling towards our door.
“ Please call my teacherrrrrrrrr…. that is how she taught…….” She insisted in a high pitch.
In half an hour, we called a truce with me fixing a glass of lemonade and both of us discarding the poem. The neighbours who were crowding outside my door decided not to knock. They had similar poems to teach and I had clearly started earlier than them, today. The chances of the same scenario being repeated at every house clearly played on their mind before they collectively decided to go home. I was sure that towards the later part of the evening; I would be at the corridor doing the same thing.
Silence prevailed and then…
“ So…I will try again…” Anjali said as she began to recite without giving me a chance to reply.
“ The Little Bird and I…
Once , I saw a little bird,
Going hop, hop, hop
So I said little bird
Will you stop, stop, stop…
I went to the window to say
How did …. no… how do you do…
But he shook his little feather
And away he flew.”
“Bravo! Well done!” I said with glee and relief. We could pack the poem diary away until next week. Thank heavens!
“What happened here?” my husband asked as he surprised us.
“The … Little…Bird….and …. Me … ” I replied dryly, before collapsing on to the couch for some blessed time off.
The Baby Question
“Mummy, where do babies come from?” Anjali asked.
Oh my God! What shall I say? Its the BABY QUESTION that every parent dreads. I looked around. I had anticipated this question much later … like when she was 10….not 5!! ‘Breath…Breath’ I chanted to myself.
“What do you think?” I asked. This was a logical way to go.
“From the mummy’s stomach?”
“See, you know the answer! Good Girl! Now let me finish cooking the fish curry.”
“How does the baby get in the stomach?”
“Eh…well ,God puts it there…now go and study.”
“ Is God a doctor?”
“Yes. He is an excellent doctor.”
“ So, how does he do it?”
Shoot! I should have just told her that the stocks bring the babies! Imagination is good for children!
“ Mummyyyy? How does he do it?” she persisted.
” Well, it’s like this… first God checks out everyone’s report card for behaviour. If you have 3 out of 3 you pass . You can have a baby.”
“Then he says’ Let there be a BABY’ “ I said it which a dramatic flourish of my spoon and a bang on an old steel plate for the effect. ‘BONG!!!’ the plate echoed near my poor ears. I was pleased with my ingenious answer.
“That means he is not a doctor….”
“He is a magician!”
“How does the baby grow inside the stomach?”
“Like a seed.” I said dismissively
“Do I have seeds in my stomach?… Sidra (her best friend) says the babies are seeds in the stomach. After you marry and kiss, the seeds grow to babies…”
“Kissing ,eh?….okay. I guess that is true.” I went back to the onions and fish.
“ Yikes! Kissing a boy! Never” she said giggling and looking disgusted at the same time.
The kitchen felt hot. I took a cool glass of lemonade and split it for the both of us before taking a sip.
“ How do the babies come out of the stomach?”
I choked on my drink.
“ I told Sidra that everyone knows that you have to go to the hospital to get the baby.”
I nodded to approve her explanation.
“ For more babies, do we have to pray to God everyday or is it magic?”
“ Oh pray for sure!” I was hoping that this was the end of twenty questions.
Feeling satisfied with this reply, she walked out of the kitchen leaving me to grapple thoughts on how I should explain the birds and the bees in a few years.
“How does our Kitty have kittens? “she asked tugging at my apron.
“ Well, she prays to God in the Meow she says at night. Haven’t you heard her cry ‘Meow, Meow ‘in the night? ” Am so brilliant!
“Oh…ok.” she said as she left.
I sighed with relief and went back to chopping. She is sufficiently educated on the baby creation process for now. There is no need for any broad discussions.
“ Mummy?” she was back in the kitchen!
“What is this….” she asked reading out “Sss..Eeee..Xxxx?.”
I will Survive
“Am tired Mum…” I said as I drifted off. My hand fell off the bed.
“She’s collapsed! Call the nurse” My mother said as she felt for my pulse. It was weak.
“She’s bleeding… get the cart…page Dr. J….STAT….” the nurse ordered as she ran. My father stood helpless with my new born baby bundled safely in his arms. My mother watched as the panic mounted. “Call Dr. Gopakumar and Dr. Shaji….we need the anaesthetics here…hurry!”
I drifted in and out, listening to the bustle around me. I was so tired. I guess it is ok to just let go and relax.
“Anney…can you hear me” a voice asked beckoning me to answer.
I nodded. I was too tired to answer.
“Say something. “ The voice coached.
“Am ok…Just tired” I whispered.
“Can’t hear you...”
I muttered the same again.
“Patient is responsive…” the doctor stated.
“Can’t find a vein doctor…” a voice said as my hands and feet were being checked.
“Put it through the vein…” the doctor said as he stuck a canola in my neck.
I felt no pain. There was no need for anyone to worry; “Am fine” I tried assuring them again. The activity around me was in full swing. “Sister, has the lift arrived? Need to get her to the ICU…” his voice was calm despite the urgency that registered in my brain.
“Doctor, we got the bed, let’s move” The bed began to shake and move.
“Tuck the drip in, cover her…Anney…are you with me?”he asked.
“Yes” I tired to whisper…I was tired…I wanted to just sleep.
“Your mum is here, do you see her? There’s dad… you will be fine, ok?”
“Am ok, you all, don’t worry…” I tried to smile. My face felt weird. The bed was moving and lights were speeding by. I closed my eyes to rest. I hear the conversation around me. I was bleeding and they were worried. The drugs were not helping. I was sinking into a deep space. Everyone was trying their best to stop my sinking.
An hour later, there was no progress. Blood was pouring out like an open faucet. People were running out for more blood.
“Sorry, she is being assessed and in no state to be seen” the doctor said as he tried to keep my mother out of the ICU.
“I have to see her, I don’t care. I want to know her status for myself. Am trained for it” she said, determined to see me come Heaven or Hell. “Give it to me straight. I can handle it” she continued as she looked squarely into the doctor’s eyes. She knew the signs, there were not positive. She has seen patients die on the table.
“We will have to operate…am sorry. We need a consent. The bleeding can’t be contained …” he said as my mother stood like a rock. Her world shook. My father sat immobile.
“Let me see her.” she insisted. The doctor sighed and let her in.
“Do you know what is going on?” she asked me, as if we were sitting with a quite cup of tea and discussing life.
I smiled weakly. “Mum, I heard, if it is the last resort. It’s fine. Just tell me what happens after that…”
“You will be fine…” she said as she squeezed my hand.
“Will I die?” I asked my self before drifting off. My question went unheard.
When I think back, there are a few people in life who face adversity with a smile and even fewer with a stead fast determination. My parents brought me up under a conservative environment. I was a rebel. I hated the rule and didn’t like being told of what I can not do.
In spite of being an extrovert, my self esteem was really low. I felt lost between school and my family expectations for achievement. Then one day, a light bulb went off in my head…why can’t I get over my fear of failure? Since everyone insisted that I failed due to lack of drive, I wasn’t losing anything by just trying. There began my journey for overcoming this unknown fright. Facing the audience was not easy, facing criticism was not easy, facing life was not easy. I was determined and I succeeded. In two years at school I went from a virtual nobody to an upcoming and successful contender who had the gift of GAB at every turn.
Why stop there I thought…off I went to write and draw. It had been a passion that was soon recognised by all my teachers. I may not have good looks, but that was not going to stop me from feeling good. A dash of sports and a bit of home science (captain in charge of cooking yummy treats) and bingo…that non existent self esteem began to look up. The result, I was the only child who suddenly started walking away with a lot of prizes in extra curricular activities. The teachers were amazed at the change and my mother was proud that the years of encouraging finally paid off. I learned to be a fighter with a smile. I aspired to survive with a smile. There was no going back.
“Anney, we are taking you for surgery. You will be fine, don’t worry” the doctor with a mask said.
I felt like I had to let go, but I couldn’t. I was a fighter, I will not quit. Will I die? I asked myself. Maybe I will …Lord, don’t take me without giving me a change to share a laughter with my girls…I have so much to share…I can’t leave now…don’t ask me to leave… the mask covered my face and I drifted off.
‘…don’t ask me to leave…’ it echoed in my head until the voice woke me up.
“Wake up…look who is here to see you...” Mum and Dad stood by my bed. My husband looked like he had got a new lease to life. He kept holding my hand.
“So has the trouble maker been bottled?” I asked feebly.
The doctor laughed. “Great sense of humour” he said, as he wheeled me out of the theatre.
My doctors were pleasantly surprised in the coming days. I began to sit up two days after the surgery and attempted to walk as soon as I sat up. Despite feeling tired, I refused to give up. “ I will SURVIVE” I kept telling myself.
My recovery was long and hard. I went overnight from being a busy and active mum to being a bed ridden patient. I needed help at sitting up, carrying the baby or just plain walking. I hated my dependence.
I cried when I looked around and saw that I could barely lift a book without wincing and excruciating pain. When I closed my eyes, I felt like I was falling into a bottomless pit. I kept flaying my arms and legs saying, I won’t die! I won’t!!! I was terrified for the first time. I kept telling myself” I will SURVIVE. There is no mountain to high or an ocean too deep that my Lord can’t help me cross”
“What if I die?” I asked my best friend. I couldn’t tell anyone of my terrors.
“Shut up! You have to survive for me. I will be lost without a nut like you! Don’t you dare die on me! “
My terrors began to subside and my will began to reassert itself. The days rolled to weeks and then months… in 3 months, I could spend 3 hours just standing up and doing light things around the house. I was not yet out of the danger zone. My husband was warned of a relapse in case of any ignorance. He watched me like a hawk. I learned a great deal of the people around me after that day.
My mother was a rock who surprised everyone but me in her presence of mind, my father was soft hearted and so unlike the dictator I knew, my husband realised how lost he would be without my presence and my best friend made me realise that a whack on my head was what I needed to snap out of any grandeur depression I was cooking for my self.
I, in turn, realised that the greatest fear in life was realising one day that you had more to do and there was no second chance if you miss.
One year since, I thank the Lord everyday for that second chance. GC is my way of living my life. My children are my inspiration to being a better person. My mother is truly the rock that God placed in my life to anchor me.
Whenever, I have an obstacle in front of me, I remember the hospital lights and my vow ”I will SURVIVE”. If not for myself, then for the people, who depend on me to make them smile, cry or just to stand by them with a shoulder ready to bear any burden.
Ostrich in the Zoo
What about it? You ask. Well, ask my four years old who spoke of it.
The new uniform I got recently was one of the latest corporate Do-It-Or-Else policy for safe guarding their image. Apparently, they were not happy with the non uniformed attire that the staff wore and decided to change the uniform as a whole, for all concern units, at one go. The women on the administration side got to wear lovely grey pants with a matching striped shirt and a high waist short vest coat. The uniform was as cute as a button. It safe guarded the company’s front line image but not our back end image. I am sure you are getting the drift. I felt like a waiter at the Hilton. All that was missing was a tray and a cap!
Later on during the day, I sat with my gloomy face wondering how to avoid the costume. It made me feel like the waiter (sans the tray) and a club dancer (sans the music); at the same instant. Being blessed with a figure that has no rival, it was my destiny to be eternally frustrated at getting the things that I liked to fit me. My daughter and I were constantly fighting over what was proper to wear and the CORPORATE uniform was not helping. I had insisted on no short shirts or skirts; only to find to my dismay that my uniform was short of cloth by my standard and hers!
To dispel my gloom, I sat with her to watch animal planet. The documentary was on ostriches. It was truly engaging to watch with the ostrich sticking its head in the hole and the footage on a man being chased for getting close to an ostrich egg. We laughed all through. During the evening, I decided to try the outfit again to get used to wearing it to the office. I complained loudly on how the office has turned out to be a zoo full of animals with the new uniform. My daughter came in and listened to the conversation, while dangling her legs carelessly. Her father was keeping his silence at my appearance. He was well known for his tactless comments as I was for my temper. By mutual consent, neither of us asked an opinion nor offered one.
“Mummy, what is this new thing that you are wearing?’ she asked, skipping on the bed.
“A uniform. Do you like it?” I asked as I twirled around.
She looked up and she looked down. “I can see your bum. How come you get to wear a short shirt and I am told to change? This is not fair, Mummy. You should try wearing my clothes!” she huffed.
“Honey, this is my uniform. I can’t change it”
“Why not? Does your boss like to see your bum?” she asked in surprise.
Good question. Children say the weirdest of things!! I looked at my husband for help. He smirked. He had tried for the last hour to remain with a dead pan expression. He was clearly not succeeding.
“Do I look smart?” I asked with a sinking heart.
She thought for a while. One could see the tiny wheels turn around in her head while her legs returned to dangled in precision to reach a decision.
“Remember the ostrich, mummy?” she asked. I nodded hesitantly.
“You look just like it. All you need is feathers to make you beautiful. ”
And with this statement she disappeared into the kitchen and brought me a duster which was promptly tucked into the belt loop to resemble a feather tail.
My husband lost the battle to humour. He roared in laughter while I stood baffled trying to decide whether to feel insulted or humoured. I decided to get a blazer to cover the rear that needed the wonderful duster/ feathers. The next day at work, I was waiting for the comment I dreaded hearing so much… “A cup of coffee, pls…”
I kept muttering under my breath. The bosses looked all dandy and we subordinates looked like the waiters.
“Don’t you look cute like a button…” cooed one of my female bosses.
“Cute, my Ass...” oops, that was what started this at the first place…my a**.
“You look so dignified, like …like….” she groped the air for words.
“A waiter?!” I offered helpfully.
“That too…but the word I was looking for was…like a beautiful bird!”
“I bet the ostrich was beautiful to the ….” I thought a bit Who thought the ostrich was beautiful? Not me in a million years!!! I guess I was truly in despair. I hated my uniform. If only I were 4 yrs old…I could howl!!
I came home dejected. The first person I saw was my first born with a picture of a bird that resembled an ostrich. Cotton ball feathers were stuck all over it and she gave it to me with a big smile saying… “I think the ostrich is a nice bird mummy. It is big and fights with anyone who takes its baby away. You are just like the ostrich in the zoo… it is so big and beautiful.”
There was a loud snort and wail that resembled a laughter being controlled unsuccessfully, but that didn’t bother me. After all, my daughter thought the ostrich was great…sans the cotton balls…and the tall neck….maybe the big fluff rear….or the….. huge eyes.
Oh! Never mind….Ostrich in the zoo….
Fantastic Four and the Health Management Programme!
The four of us were always up to no good despite our differences. We were two girls and two boys with 10 years difference from the first to the last. Nothing alike in appearance and this in itself was the factor that enthralled everyone about us. Of all the things that we grew together with, this experience still has us cracking up.
At the age of six, my younger brother could cook a breakfast of eggs and toast for 6 people. Three eggs for him and one for each of us. If asked, “How come you got 3?!” his quick reply was “The cook needs to eat more!! Don’t touch my eggs!!”
As a food lover, he was always chomping on something or the other. He was heavy built and would not move his rear for anything other than eating and sleeping. My father was at his wit’s end on how to motivate him to exercise his body more than his mouth. The first brother on the other hand was no where close to what the younger brother was. He was tall ( 6 feet) , lean and always up to no good. One would always catching him teasing us girls or simply irritating the younger brother to tears. My sister was of an athletic build and I was plump.
My father was always experimenting on how to reduce one brother’s weight and to increase the other’s. He was health conscious and so he tried the food routine by giving my brothers the vegetable called Vallarika (white cucumber like thing) for breakfast. The vegetable was supposed to make the fat brother thin and the thin one fat. We, the sisters, sat wondering how the vegetable could decide on who is thin and who is fat! Every morning, my father would religiously cut it and present it like it was a watermelon to the boys. The boys would spend an hour trying to chew the veggie down while eyeing the tasty breakfast mum cooked for the rest of us. It added to our amusement and was always the reason for a fight.
After two days of trying the breakfast of just the veggie, my father decided that we were all to go through a round of Waterbury’s Compound (a tonic that claimed to increase the haemoglobin level and tasted like washing liquid or in chemical terms phenol!). Despite our loud protests, we girls were included in this round. The boys were happy. They now had something to tease us with. The compound was supposed to make us active. Apparently, holidays were not meant to sleep late and eat whatever while being lazy. By the end of the first week, we were united in our response to this health fad. Breakfast was a sorrow and gagging after this traumatic breakfast every morning was accepted as a norm. Nothing could be worse.
A week later while we were still reeling from the after effects of the healthy eating & tonic routine, Dad found a bottle of Dabur Chamanprash paste and decided to add it to the menu. The expressions on our faces were priceless. We looked utterly defeated and decided to sabotage this health routine “ All for One” we cried as the lean brother decided enough is enough. Off when the Waterbury tonic, down the drain, one evening and in its place a bottle of Thumbs Up stood firm. The next morning, my mother had pity of the boys and served them a good breakfast. With a stomach full of breakfast, my brothers were ready for the Thumbs Up… only to find that Dad broke the old Bottle by mistake and brought a brand new one just for three weeks! Yuckieeeeeeeeeee!!!
Not ready to give up, we dumped the content for the second time and this time kept challenging Dad to taste it for himself before forcing it on us. As the protests grew louder and the refusal to eat stronger, my Dad decided to set an example and one evening showed us how tasty the Waterbury compound was by drinking two spoons full of the liquid and downing a huge piece of the Vallarika. The Thumbs-Up inside was two weeks old and tasted weird at this point. After consumption, the expression of Dad’s face kept changing like a book of colours. It looked red first and then a bit yellow and finally green. In a few seconds, he rushed to the bathroom and a loud retching was heard.
We had succeeded in eliminating the drinking and the eating! HOME RUNNN!! We rejoiced for a few days at our brilliance… until Dad came back on the third day with a bottle of Cod Liver Oil and a spoon!!!
All we could say was YUCK! YUCK! YUCK! Time for a new plan….