Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why cant I chew water and other questions

Just noticed that its been an year since I wrote anything here. Thought I should write to you about the questions I am being bombarded everyday these days. Some questions that leave me baffled. Some that I know answer to, and just dont know how to explain.

Scene one :

S : Why cant I chew water?
Me: Um...because they are too slippery to hold between teeth.
S: why are they slippery?
Me: they are slippery so that we can swallow them without chewing.
S: why do we need to 'not chew' something?
Me: sometimes people dont have those people can drink water.
S: why will some people not have teeth?
Me: babies wont have teeth. also some people might have lost teeth as they grow.
S: babies dont have teeth?
Me:  little babies dont.
S: then they cant eat chapathi?
Me: no
S: no vegetables and fruits?
Me: no
S: then how will they become big?
Me: they drink milk. milk will help them grow and also help them grow teeth.
S: babies can only drink milk?
Me: they can drink water too.
S: only milk and water?
Me: yes
S: why only milk and water?
Me: because they dont have teeth.
S: why they dont have teeth?
Me: babies will not have teeth for atleast 6 months old.
S: after  how many years will they be 6 months old?
Me: after "half" of an year.
S: how to make "half" of  an year?
Me: ummm when 6 months of an year are over, it is half of an year
S: how will 6 months be over?
Me: huh? i love you want to watch TV?
S: Yeaahh
Me: Yay!

Scene another :

S : Can you read this to me one more time?
Me: Noooo
S : Why not?
Me : Because we already read it 7 times now, and 10 times yesterday
S : This is not a good book?
Me : No putta, its great....but we should read other books too
S : Why?
Me : Read other books to see what other ones we can like
S :  Why?
Me : Because there are a lot of books out there
S : Why?
Me : Huh?
S : Why? (Calmly as ever)
Me : Beeeecause, there are lot of stories
S : But why are all the stories not in one book?
Me : Oh, that would make the book very  biiiig!
S : How big? Bigger than me?
Me : Yeah
S : Bigger than this house?
Me : Yeah
S : Bigger than earth?
Me : Yeah
S : Billion Trillion big?
Me : Yeah
S : How big?
Me : Lets read the book only one more time for today, okay?
S : Yeaaah :)

Scene Random Questions :

If I have to eat with spoon, why god gave us fingers instead of spoon?
If they dont flap their wings, then why do airplanes just have them?


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I have been you....

I am 98 today. I used to be a writer. I cannot write a lot these days. I cant hold a pen steady. My knuckles hurt to type. But I want to write, I want to write one last time, to assure you that I have been you.....and when its time, you will be me.....

I was 3, with color pencil in my hand, I drew on the walls. I drew circles mostly. Anyone who saw it either smiled or frowned. I got attention and in my world, I was convinced they liked me do it.

I was 6, I composed 4 liners and called them poems. Dad encouraged and made me send it to newspapers and magazines. They never got published. Mom consoled and said, "May be your mail was lost. Keep writing, the "newspaper people will get it some day". I believed them. I was convinced that the world worked based on the "moral of the story" that ended every story that I read or heard.

And then....I grew to be a teenager.I kept writing. But I stopped sharing them. I did not care what my parents or the editor of the magazine thought of my writing. I rebelled, against the editors who did not even know I existed. I revolted by not sending them any of my writings. I wrote about my best friend, I wrote about the my jealousy, I wrote about my crushes. I was convinced that the world had its sleeves up to go against anything and everything that I thought was right.

I was 25, I still wrote. I wrote about hope, I wrote about love, I wrote on what needs to be done to make world the perfect place. I started sharing my writing again, but now I was only sharing the ones that I thought would be liked or approved of. I was convinced the world could be changed and made a better place.

I was 50, and yes it was in my blood, I was still writing. I wrote about the past that I cherished so much. I wrote about how my heart bled to see the decisions that the youth made for their lives, I wrote of the fear of facing my future. I no longer cared what others thought about my writing. I shared them all. I was convinced that I should write to inspire the younger ones to lead a better life.

I was 75, I still wrote. I wrote for myself, I wrote as not many around had time to listen to me. I wrote about how the times had changed in the past 70+ years, I wrote about the lessons that youngsters should learn. I was convinced that the youth were wasting their time on things that will eventually not matter in their future.

I am 98, I don't write a lot anymore. Instead I am the one being written about. The kids write about how they think I love them, the youth writes about how I have all the wisdom to make the world a better place. The middle aged write about how I am repenting about the things that I could have possibly done a few decades ago to keep myself in a better place today.

Truth be told, I have always been what you were convinced I was. I have been the reflection of your past or the future you wanted to see in me. I was the same child when a baby thought I was annoying and an adult thought I was cute. I was the same representative of youth, when a child found me inspiration and the ones elder to me found me immature for being too optimistic of tomorrow. I was the same middle aged man when the young respected me and the old thought I was being too critical of the youth. And today I am in that group of 90+ where the young find me loving or even pity me and the ones older than me who are very few, don't really care.

Every stage of life, we are convinced of a few things. One thing is for sure, no one can be changed. Don't lose your happiness in trying to change others. They will change as they grow up, they will not change because you are sacrificing your sleep over it. As any man my age, I know that I only have a handful of years left. I am you, I had success, I had failure, I had parents, a spouse, friends, teachers, doctors and more than anything I had, I had a life, something I did not realize then, but now I know. I had a life that some looked up to and some looked down on. With all the struggles and fights all these years, I know that everything ends the same. I have a calm smile on me always....I have been I smile. You will be will understand.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Have a LOVEly day!

This happened more than a decade ago. Time and again, I have wondered about this, something that was said just as a joke. It was indeed a joke, and all we girlfriends watching that movie had a good laugh. The joke however came from a friend when there was a very emotional confession from the leading lady of a movie to her father. The actress said, "Dad we just talked, and never realized when I fell in love". Some of my friends, I am sure nodded for her. The pathetically non romantic like me frowned, and one blurted, "Really? was it a disease that you never realized how you caught it?" We all giggled. It seemed right for the more practical ones, and a relief for the others as we had one friend's mom watching with us too.

Its 2014 and I still wonder if that is true! Does anyone ever realize the moment which makes you fall in love. Which gets me to another, question - Why is it always 'fall'ing in love? Why not anything else in love? Rise in love? Jump in love? Well, I guess I will keep it for another time.

Now that valentine's day is defined in a more global way "a day for the exchange of tokens of affection", I somehow feel qualified to write on this day. To be more specific, my 4 year old's class is celebrating valentine's day by exchanging cards with classmates. And when I went to pick some cards for his friends, I noticed that there is one for everyone possible, or so I thought - mom, dad, teacher,grandparents, siblings and not to forget dogs, cats, fishes and parrots. What do I say? Love is everywhere! Love is everywhere in the stores. There is love in the card section, book section, apparel section, chocolates, cookies, makeup, bakery, flowers, fruits...really everywhere! There is no way I am going to forget valentine's day in this day and age. If the display in stores are not enough, I know there will be enough people posting on their FB walls. And ofcourse twitter, instagram and other stuff that the new age kids have got me into creating a login, but rarely check; or should I say I dont know how to effectively use them! But then again, that can be for another post about me growing old!

So going back to 'fall'ing in love, I dont think I have 'the' moment for anyone I love dearly. But for each and everyone, I have enough moments that justify my love. As I cherish every moment I spend with them, be it my husband, my parents, my kid, my sister, cousins, friends, and while I am at it, the internet, the facebook, my laptop, and a hundred other new age gadgets/inventions that make my life easier and more enjoyable. I love you all, and will love you forever. The old me always said, "Do you really need a day for this?" But now, the wiser me says - "Well, if its a way to bring one extra smile on anyone's face, its totally worth it."

Dont say - 'Love doesnt need a day thats not fair'
this is just a reminder of what we share
Its a celebration of us being 'we'
Let it be a day to set any bitterness free
I love you, and you better know it well
I rarely do this, but today may be I should tell.... 


Btw, can you guess the movie I am talking about in the first paragraph? It was one of the totally romantic hindi movies starring both the shehenshah and baadshah of bollywood!

I was curious what my son thought about all this. So I asked

Me: What is valentine's day?
Sacheth : getting lots of cards with hearts. Can I cut them and stick them to doors?
Me: No, you should give them to your friends

Enjoy maadi!

With lots of love,                                                                                                         
 Ritha Hegde

Monday, July 22, 2013

I need you the most, my girlfriend!

Dedicated to all my girlfriends :)

When I get a new shirt
When I feel a little hurt
When I have cooked a new dish
When I have done something foolish
I need you the most, my girlfriend

When I see a great movie
Or one that had my head heavy
When I find a new makeup
When I just want to catch up
I need you the most, my girlfriend

When I know I have been lazy
When I know I am going crazy
When I want to crib about stuff
When I know the weather is rough
I need you the most, my girlfriend

When I am feeling totally bored
When my spirits are completely shored
I need your scoldings to lift up my mood
To start my gears and get me doing good
I need you the most, my girlfriend

-- Ritha Hegde

Monday, June 24, 2013

How are you?

When there is someone who asks my son ‘Hi! How are you?’, almost always would get a prompt reply – “I am good thank you, how are you.” Yes he says it as a sentence and not as a question, because I am dead sure he doesn’t care how the other person is. And more over he is has just been taught to be polite and respond, but doesn’t really care about the emotions going with it. Well, as rehearsed as he may sound, I really wonder who cares anyway! 

This reminds me of a time when my granny was staying at my Kaka’s place. Just for the sake of my writing, lets say An is my kaka (uncle) and my granny’s son, Jy is An’s wife and Sh is their son. Someone, lets say Xz called up my granny to just chit chat and this is how the conversation went :

Xz : Hello granny how are you?
Granny : Araam…all well

Xz : How is An and family?
Granny : all well

Xz : So how is your leg pain now?
Granny : Ya its there, it has increased a lot now…getting very difficult to stand up, sit down and all. And because of the cold these days, its even worse.

Xz : Oho…hope you will be fine soon….so what else?
Granny : Everything else is fine.. (My granny has the habit of saying this, and she never says ‘nothing else’, she will always say ‘everything is fine’ for the question ‘what else?’)

Xz : Ok…so you said it is getting very cold these days…take care
Granny : Ya…lil Sh(who is not little anymore) is down with flu….cant help winter season started na. He hasn’t gone to school for 2 days…looks like he will not go this whole week only.

Xz : Oh….really…that’s sad…hope he gets well soon. How is An’s work going on?
Granny : Ya year end time for him, so work is really hectic, but he also couldn’t go to office due to terrible headache and vomiting accompanied with that…He has some temperature also. Doctor thinks he has food poisoning; maybe he ate something in hotel for lunch that has got his stomach upset.

Xz : Ayyo…but why he ate in hotel? Is his wife not at home?
Granny : Oh no actually Jy was admitted in hospital and was put on drips as she had weakness. She was fainting and all.

Xz : Oh god…hope she gets well soon too.
Granny : Hmm

Xz : So…what else?
Granny : Everything is well…

And so a conversation that started as “everything is well”…ended as “everything is well” too.

We still have fits of laughter when we my uncle narrates this to us and says “We were the only people in the house, and all of us were not feeling well, but still it starts and ends this way!”
But if you just answer, “Not very well” to the person who asked you “How are you?” what would the reactions be?
I tried with a few :

Cashier at supermarket counter : “How are you?”
Me : “Not very well”
Cashier : “I know right,  its terribly hot outside today!” (I like it when someone thinks their problems are universal!)

My mom : “How are you?”
Me : “Not very well”
Mom : Do some exercise, do some dieting (moms always care)

My so called friend : “How are you?”
Me : “Not very well”
My so called friend : “Can you call me later? I am in office

My hubby back from work : “How are you?”
Me : “Not very well”
My hubby : “Oh internet not working today?

My son : “How are you?”
Me : “Not very well”
My son : “Can I eat chocolate now?

So.....How are you?  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A little horror story

Finally I had gone to sleep after  3 AM
A little rewind before the time I fell asleep.
I had finally succeeded in putting my reluctant toddler to bed by 11. By 12, when I was still tossing in the bed seeing my hubby and son probably way down the dreamland I decided to slip out of my bed. First thing that I could think of, was ofcourse the laptop. Thankfully (atleast what I thought at that time) I got a friend on chat.

After the usual hows and whats about our lives, our chat moved on to the locations we were in. When she asked  me what were the special attractions near the place I lived, I told her this state was more famous for its horror stories than anything else. (There are websites dedicated to the ghost stories of Ohio btw). And then I shared some horror stories that I had read. And then as it usually happens, there were some stories shared by her too. Time was around 1:45 a.m, and she had to leave. She is in India btw, so I wasnt actually keeping someone else awake like me! So then I thought even I should try to sleep.Went to bed, pulled my blanket and closed my eyes.

I was slowly drifting to sleep when I heard a loud 'COME LETS SING'.  I opened my eyes (if it was a movie, there would have been a background music 'DHAN' at this stage). Both my sweethearts were sleeping.I just looked around, nothing. I told myself  'Too many ghost stories I have discussed, I am imagining..should go to sleep'. In such occassions like all do, said a lil prayer and closed my eyes again. Then again, 'COME LETS SING'.  I sat up. I was sure I heard it this time. Now it continued with some weird music as well. It came from the living room.

"AAAwwww Sacheth's toy!!!!" I jumped out of the bed to switch off the stupid toy before it woke up the other two in my house. Reached for the toy in the dark only, shut it up and threw it in his toy box. Probably its battery was dying and so it cried...whatever! Slid silently under the blanket again. Within minutes there was a 'thud thud thud thud' sound, then there was a 'Hiiii I am baby ted' and then a little 'tup' sound and then a song 'Come on and play now, and say some colours too'. I uttered some curses after my usual 'Ayyo' and ran to the living room again. Switched on the lights this time and saw what was really happening. The first toy that I had put in dark had probably landed on some other toy making it lose its balance. it landed on a talking toy which made him talk, it landed on the baseball bat which hit another teddy which called me out loud to say some colors. Woow what a day rather night!!
When I reached the bedroom again, I was terribly jealous seeing the two souls sleeping peacefully even when the toys just finished a crazy party. Well I just hoped that the toy party was over, but did not want to take a chance. So I slept with my ipod blaring songs on high volume in my ear to be sure that I did not hear anything else and blame the ghost stories.

So my new routine now before going to bed, other than ofcourse the usual checking for doors locked and lights turned off - Make sure all his toys are switched off and none of them are in contact with each other. I dont want them to get in a mood and start a bash again!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wow...or mmm what else can I say?

`How else do I describe the feeling of eating something on a roadside gaadi? As I write I can feel my mouth watering.
I dont know who all feel that urge or love to have that street food. If you do love it, then read on....else you can just skip it. And if you havent eaten them, then let me repeat Rachna's words - "Just too bad buddy. You'll never know what you missed. A better life next time"

The first thing that I picked from road to eat probably was in front of my school in Mysore. (My memory is not going beyond that). The old lady who sat with the bamboo basket full of guava, cucumber, raw mango, some peanuts, some masala mandakki (masala bhel), some boti, some tomatoes....I mean no less than a supermarket of little eatables. Unlike the school bus or the autos that the kids today in India go to school in, I was going in a tanga (horse cart). On the last day of school, our tangawala uncle would give us a small treat of these things.Putting that salted guava in my mouth, feeling that salt melt which cannot make you hold the temptation to chew the piece in your or mmm what else can I say?

Those hot summer days with the sun shining to it fullest glory, when that old lady gave that thin sheet of cucumber smeared with proper combination of salt and chilli powder and said "10 paisa"....good looking cucumber is treat to the eyes, low price is music to the ears and that taste is heavenly for the tongue...well I dont know what it was to the stomach...but I have and many have survived many such trips of eating roadside food.

I was in Shimoga, another town of Karnataka, from my high school days to end of college. This was where my love to another famous street food developed....the 'puri' series. Burst of that tangy pani in the mouth when you bite that or mmm what else can I say? Not to forget that last bowl of just pani.... The mysterious masala, which even my mom could never recreate at home was ofcourse the highlight of any of them...pani puri, masala puri, bhel puri, sev puri, aloo right?

During my graduation days one of my friends introduced me to another set of eatables.....tomato masala, boti masala, nippattu masala (I cant translate it to any other language sorry) and the the very famous masala pepsi or masala soda. I was a total fan of tomato masala...those round slices of tomatoes sprinkled with salt, chilli powder and some other secret ingredient, then it had a layer of churmuri (plain bhel or mandakki) then a sprinkle of grated carrot, onion and coriander leaves...then another dash of that secret ingredient. It was then all set to be eaten.....what a food it was.

And now I have a husband who is not in much favour of such food (he is one of those people who will never understand what this blog is about). He feels its not hygienic, doesnt matter I still have had pani puris from those places when he is around and muttering, "I dont eat".

My world hasnt taken me outside Karnataka for street food tasting, but I am sure the feeling will be the same anywhere in India.....may be outside too. But what makes them tick? While having golgappas why is it that you have to tell that bhaiyya to tell you when one plate is over? Why is it that you have to see reviews of restaurants and dont really bother to try anything roadside in any city? Is it that warm smile of the person who serves you? Is it with the price that you pay? Is it that nostalgic chit chatter with friends while having them? Is it with the microbial germs breeding there? Or the permutation and combination of all of these?
Whatever it is, the wow quotient has never gone down for such eatables...

Are you at a hands reach to pani puri, take my name and have one :)
Do you have any memories with them? Share it...

P.S : Couldnt stop myself from writing this, after reading the post :