A walk to remember

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Yesterday, I took my son to play football for the first time. Kids between ages 4 and 6 were learning it very close home. Since its only once a week and he needed the distraction from tv, I enrolled him.

When I dropped him there , I realised how close it was to my house and the streets leading to it were all tree-lined, peaceful and was very tempting for a walk. 

‘I’ll come walking to pick him up,’ I decided. 

Better than the treadmill. I can breathe fresh oxygen from the trees instead of the stale air-conditioners in the gym.

All chraged up, I locked my house an hour and a half later and started walking out briskly.

It was almost dusk and the fading light threw giant shadows in my path.

The road narrowed a bit and I realised I had to be careful if I didn’t want to step on the dog-poo at random intervals all along the road.

It’ll be better once I turn the bend, I decided. On either sides of that road were huge, well-kept bungalows and the road was always sprakling clean.

But as I turned the corner, my confidence wavered a bit. There was a drunk swaggering towards my direction.

I stopped. But he saw me and stopped too. With a leer, he waited for me to walk towards him.

I quickly looked around. Not a soul in sight. The residents of the stately homes were all tucked inside their stately havens. 

‘What can he do?’ I thought. A drunk is always easier to handle. Just one kick on his shins if he tries something.

So I started walking again, with as much confidence I could muster.

Seeing me walking towards him, he cackled loudly, saying something I couldn’t hear.

Terrified, I crossed the road to the opposite side of where he was standing.  

I weighed my options.  

I could run back home and get the car or just walk on bravely.

 I could scream for help or take my phone out and call the police.

As I neared him his slurry voice was more audible.

“Yei! Figaruuu… Vaah, Vaah..”  he beckoned. My heart in my throat,  I quickened my pace, ready to run if he made a move towards me. But he just stood and watched me as I walked past him on the other side of the road.

“Yei! Yei!” he called after me.

Once I was a safe distance away from him, I turned back. He was still standing there, telling me something.

I breathed a sigh of relief once I reached my destination.

The walk back was much better since the road was miraculously filled with people and  the drunk had vanished into thin air.

My son happily skipped ahead of me, taking in the sights. He normally whizzes past them in the car and never has the time to linger.

He stopped suddenly and bent over laughing.

“Amma! look!” He called out.

Curious, I walked faster, only to see two dogs mating in the middle of the road.

Horrified, I tried to steer him away.

“Look where you’re walking,” I yelled, desperate to distract him. “There’s dog-poo on the road!”

Momentarily distracted, he turned to the dogs after 5 seconds. He laughed loudly again.

“Amma! Look! They’re stuck together!!!” He exclaimed loudly.

Wishing the earth would open up and swallow me, I grabbed his hand and walked faster, till we reached my gate.

Phew!!

A walk in the treadmill is soooo less complicated!!!

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Such is the life…

Few weeks ago, while we were on a holiday, my four year old asked me a rather proufound question.

As we were lying down, getting ready for a nap, he asked me, “Amma, are you Appa’s life?”

What???!!!

“I don’t think so…” I replied, having just seen his father so blissful with a mug of beer in his hand, as he settled down with his cousin for some male-bonding.

“He said you are…” insisted my son.

Really? Oh wow! Maybe my husband has a die-hard romantic heart beating deep inside that gruffy front!

“Really?”

“Yeah.. he told me.”

“When?”

“He told me back in Chennai”

I was on cloud nine… Poor guy, I thought. Here I am giving him a hard time about so many things and he’s been putting me on a pedastal all the while.

A little later as we were drifting off to sleep, I heard my husband coming in to rummage for something.

“Am I your life?” I asked him.

“What??!!!’ He almost dropped his beer mug.

“Go back to sleep. You’re dreaming.” He went back shutting the door behind him, looking panic-stricken.

‘Well, if you want to play  macho, so can I…’ I thought.

……………………..

That was then. Yesterday, my son was watching something on TV and was telling me about the characters.

“X is Y’s father,” he informed me. ” And S is X’s child.”

“Ok,” I said not taking my eyes off the comp.

“And Sally is his life”..

“His wife, silly.. not life,” I laughed.

Then it hit me.

“Hey, come back!” I called out as he was walking back to the TV.

“The other day, did you mean I am Appa’s wife?”

“Yeah, you’re his life. Just like Sally”

“Its ‘wife’. Not life! Ok?” I was almost hysterical.

“Ok!” He yelled before chraging back to his room.

…………

My husband’s still laughing.