Puppy Love

My son looked morose when I picked him up from school the other day.

“What happened da?” I asked him sympathetically. Words tumbled over each other and were punctuated with sobs all the way home.

I deciphered the story with great difficulty. His best friend G did not sit with him for lunch. Instead he sat with S, my son’s current crush.

“He not only sat with her, but  teased me all the time and they laughed at me!” he sobbed. ” He’s not my friend anymore!” he declared vehemently.

“Don’t say that!” I soothed him. “G is your best friend and will be very sad if he hears it”

“Its okay, Amma. he already knows.” he said.


“I told him.”

The whole evening was spent on dissecting the lunch hour and plotting a suitable revenge. I tried my best to divert him with stories, games and even TV, but he kept going back to that dreaded lunchtime.

Later that night, my husband (who had no clue of his son’s heartbreak) was helping him brush his teeth.

“Appa..” he called sadly. “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow!”


“I want S to sit with me tomorrow for lunch.”

“So?. Just ask her.” replied my husband with a forced nonchalance. (he was most uncomfortable discussing matters of the heart with his little son)

“I can’t do that! ” He cried plaintively. “The teacher assigns us the lunch table and S will sit next to G tomorrow also and he’ll tease me and both of them will laugh and laugh at me!” Saying this, he flung his toothbrush and sobbed uncontrollably.

Now, I didn’t know whom I should help.

My husband had the classic deer caught in the headlights expression and my son was still sobbing.

I just slipped out as noiselessly as I could and ran back to my comp to catch up on facebook.

The men can sort out their problems without me, for a change.

Half an hour later, I peeped in the bedroom to find my son fast asleep and the father stealthily walking towards the door.

“Phew!” he said, collapsing on the sofa.

“So? How did the counselling session go?” I asked him.

He glared at me. ‘Thanks for running away like that, leaving me to handle it!” he said.

“Excuse me! I have been ‘handling’ it since afternoon! Anyway, what did you say to him?” I couldn’t wait to hear the fatherly advice.

“I was totally flabberghasted.” He admitted. “Just didn’t know what to say. So I told him he should not be thinking of girls now. He should concentrate on learning lots of things. Like do well in sports. Learn to sing well. Sign up for a karate class.  He stopped sobbing and was even smiling. ”

“Wow! ” I said. “I’m impressed!”

“Then I reminded him his life mission” my husband continued. (For a while now my son tells anyone who cares to listen that he’ll grow up to be a super hero)  “Help his teachers and friends when they are in trouble. And soon he’ll be a  Super Boy.”

“And? What did he say?”

He buried his face in his hands. “He asked me if he did all that, will S like him better than G?”

The mirth which had been bubbling inside me came gurgling out and soon I was rolling on the floor laughing.

My husband threw up his hands and walked away to find solace in the National Geographic channel.


Something tells me his teenage years are not going to be as peaceful as we expect them to be.


I swear it…

Coming from a true-blue Tambrahm family, I grew up with cuss words as part of  the language at home.

My grandmother called most people (including her own sons & grandsons) endearingly, “Yei, kattela poravane!”

My dad almost always started a conversation with “erumma madu!”

My aunts addressed most of us as “saniyane!”

And almost everybody at home were given to a fiery temper. And when that happened, cuss words flew around us like pigeons in flight in a Manirathnam movie!

But these words  are not to be confused with the obscenities you hear on the streets. Oh we’re very decent people, you see. We never abuse the parentage or any other sensitive areas of a person.

It is just that we enjoy getting things off our chests with a good show down. And peace follows almost immediately.

On an everyday basis, we like calling each other more names than our given ones. And most of us have to talk in ear-shattering decibels.

My mother was a total exception to this as she had the softest of voices and a very diplomatic nature.

But the majority of others had another rule too. Always agree to disagree.

Right from deciding on the menu for the day to planning a trip with family, each situation met with oh so many opinions and criticisms. In my younger days my brother and me spent our holidays placing bets on the outcome of everyday battles.

I dreaded the days when my father dropped me off at school. Because he’d invariably stop the car, roll down his window and scream at a passing biker or another car or anybody on the road with the choicest of  cuss words, while I cowered in my seat praying none of my friends would see me.

But once I grew up, I noticed something.

My mother had to deal with hypertension in her forties and my  grandmother at ninety, still is free of  such maladies.

The rest of my clan is also relatively free of hyper tension. (My aunt at seventy did have it for a while, but on her doctor’s advice, she’d stopped watching the soaps in the regional channels and she was healed without medication)

Does it mean all of us have this angry energy swirling inside us and needs an outlet regularly?

Do softer people bottle up everything and it ruins their health in the later years?

I’ve read health capsules which advices you to write the nastiest of letters to some one who’s wronged you and then tear it up to bits. It gets the whole negative emotion out of the system, they say.

Or lock yourself in a sound-proof room and scream your head off till your anger melts and vanishes.

Me? I prefer screaming at my object of ire ‘yei! ariuvketta kazhudhai!’ any day!!

Saves a lot of effort! I’m working on my voice too.

PS: I only feel sad my son is having  too peaceful an upbringing. Once my father told him “Stop staring at the TV and eat the saniyan in your hand,” in true Tambrahm tenor and the child promptly burst into tears!