Flying colours


We were leaving a family function, when the hostess handed me the thamboolam bag. My son  raced to me. He loved receiving gifts. I handed him the bag and said, “This is a gift for you.”

Excited, he asked me, “What is it? Can I open it?”

Before I could tell him not to, he’d eagerly opened it and taken out a brown paper bag, neatly kept with the regular manjal kungumam and vethalai pakku.

He then proceeded to rip open the paper and took out a red colour blouse piece.

“Amma, look!” he called animatedly. “A red cloth for me!”

I couldn’t understand why he was so excited about a red blouse piece.

“Its for me to fly, silly!” he informed me, when asked.

Once we reached home he was flying about(more like jumping about from sofa to chair to coffee table) in his mini briefs with the red cape tied securely around his neck.

Wish I’d taken a picture to post as well….

Sir Crow


I was in the kitchen, when I heard my son’s  scream and his hurried footsteps. Last I saw him, he’d been playing in the drawing room with his trains.

I ran out to see him standing on the bed in another room and sobbing.

“What happened?” I asked. 

He pointed to the drawing room and said tearfully, “Lizard!”

I ran to check. Indeed there was a big lizard on the floor, motionless on its back. Yikes!

To my immense relief, I saw my father-in-law approach it with an old newspaper. He neatly scooped up the lizard, walked over to the balcony and threw it away.

I went back to my son to updatel him, but he was already being consoled by my mother-in-law.

She had her arms around him and was rocking him back and forth, talking gently to soothe his fears.

“Don’t cry ma,” I heard her say. “Thatha has scooped up he lizar in an old newspaper  and has thrown it out. A crow will come and gobble it up.  So don’t be afraid now…”

After a moment of silence my son had this to say…

“The crow is very brave…”

The Milk mix-up


This happened many, many years ago. 

We’d just moved into a brand new apartment. Of the total eight apartments, only four were occupied so far.

On the first evening there,  my husband came back after a hard day’s work. He’d taken the stairs to our second floor apartment. He told us he’d seen the milk packet from morning still lying outside the door of an apartment in the first floor.

“Who satys there?” he asked my father-in-law.

“Some bachelors, I think,” he replied.” But its locked most of the time.”

After we had dinner, we were clearing up the dishes, when the doorbell rang.

I looked throught the peep hole to find a tall, hefty & definitely scary looking man with a smaller man.

“Who is it?” I asked nervously.

He mumbled something in a deep, rumbly voice.

Terrified, I ran to get my husband.

He opened the door a crack.

“Fisrt floor, paal…” the stranger said. (Paal is milk in tamil)

“You can take it if you want. Its not ours. Why are you troubling us this late for that?” My husband thundered at him before shutting the door.

The doorbell rang again.

Again, my husband opened the door a bit.

“First floor, Paal…” The stranger repeated.

“Don’t bother us again. If you do, I’ll call the cops. Whatever you want, you can ask the building supervisor on the top floor.” My husband roared. Since some of the flats were still in the finishing stages, we were yet to get a security guard.

“He not there..” The stranger informed us gruffly.

This time, me, my mom-in-law and dad-in-law stood behind my husband nervously.

“Shut the door!” we all hissed to my husband. “What if he has a knife or something?”

My husband shut the door after warning him with dire consequences if he rang our doorbell again.

I ran to the balcony to see if the thugs had left.

They were talking to each other, just outside the gate, near a parked bike. 

“Should we call the police?” I asked my husband.

“Wait..” he said, studying them intently.

“Trying to remember their faces.” he instructed me. “Just in case we’ll have to identify them later.”

I shuddered.

I held a bottle of oil in my hand, ready to throw on them if they dared to enter our gates again. (Why a bottle of oil? I have no clue! Maybe that was the closest then!)

A little later they started the bike and rode away.

We had a liitle conference in the living room.

We took stock of the other three occupants of the building. Only the third floor seemed vulnerable. There were two teen age boys home alone while their parents were travelling.

We decided to warn all the others anyway.

The ground floor guys never bothered to answer the door.

First floor was locked with the milk packets still on the doormat.

The boys on the third floor opened their doors immediately without even checking.

“Don’t ever do that.” Warned my husband. And he went on to explain about the prowlers we’d encountered. And asked them to call him on his mobile if they ever come back again.

Back home we secured the doors and discussed the importance of being safe in your own house.  Having done our bit, we went to sleep after cursing the missing building supervisor and the state of our country.


Next morning, on our way out we spotted the supervisor talking to the mason. 

“Where were you last night?” My husband asked him.

“Night show, sir…” he answered sheepishly.

We quickly recounted the previous night’s events. 

The supervisor asked us, ” Was he very tall & hefty?”


“Did he speak in a funny accent?”

“Yes, I think so…”

He then grinned from ear to ear and told him, “Sir, that was Paul sir’s friend”.

“Which Paul?”

“He stays in the first floor, sir. He has a Jamaican friend who visits him often. Paul sir has not been in town for a few days and his friend is looking for him. He came the previous night too…” He grinned at us, desperately trying not to laught at us to our stupified faces…

Once we were in the car, I broke the thick silence.

“So by first’ floor paal’, he meant ‘where’s Paul living in the first floor?’ and not ‘why is milk on the first floor doormat?’ isn’t it?”

“Shudduppp!” yelled my husband before roaring with laughter, “Oil bottle!!!” he pointed at me, gasping for breath.

Married But Available – Book Review

 I didn’t think much of this book when I picked it up. Not exactly the corporate type, I just classified this as one of the many chetan-bhagat-like books.

But the humanness of this book hit me like a ton of bricks.

This is a story of Abbey, who’s born and brought up in a middle class Bengali family who comes of age in the corporate world.

Materialism & hypocrisy constantly fight in his mind with loyalty, freedom and justice.   

Delhi and Bhawanpur form the contrasting backgrounds .  The language is simple and no-nonsense, very much from am average Indian male point of view. But told with sensitivity and pathos.

I loved Abbey’s euphoria on buying a second hand Maruti car. And impressed with the way the Abhijit Bhaduri has used it as a trigger to Abbey’s heart break.

The whole book is fast-paced, without a slack anywhere.

But after I read it, I discovered that this is only the sequel! 

So I shall get the first book for a flashback on Abbey’s college life now!