Once again, I am confronted with mysterious physical phenomena, baffling even the finest scientific minds around. I refer to the Strange Case of the Variable Length Tape.
It started, like most things in my life, with a shopping expedition. We were shopping for my brother-in-law who had lost weight recently. My sister, whose husband the said brother in law is (just clarifying) said his waist was 33 inches.
"About your waist size, I think, Naren" my sister said.
Hereupon the missus, displaying her complete lack of tact and finesse, laughed loudly and said "HAHAHAHAHA! Thirty three! He's at least thirty eight!"
Thirty eight people in Shopper's stop turned around to look at me.
"But I wear size 34 jeans", I protested, feebly.
She immediately organized a measuring tape from one of the shop attendants and in the presence of many interested onlookers, measured my waist. "See. Thirty seven and a half" she called out at about 120 decibels. There it is. Impossible to explain, unless you factor in the possibility of the tape having shrunk 10.29411%. This is probably its linear coefficient of contraction.
The other possibility is funny business. The missus is a Gold Card holder or something of the said Shoppers Stop. She keeps flaunting it and getting free parking and what not. Surely, the staff are in cahoots with her and organized a falsification of tape measures. The missus of course laughed out at my allegations. Kalmadi could take her correspondence course in brazenness. The inconvenient fact remains that I still wear size 34 jeans.
Among other things, I've been taking active interest in the education of the boys. This is turning out to be great fun.
The immediate inspiration is a friend's son getting into IIT with a very high rank. Said friend is going around telling everyone that it was HIS coaching that enabled this feat, a claim I find suspicious because this said friend, at one time, could not spell "Wadala" (a suburb of Bombay). I had to tell him how to spell it.
I mentioned this to the missus.
"That's because he's not from Bombay, doofus' said the missus.
Oh alright, but I still reserve my judgment. Anyway, the upshot of this is that I've been commanded to help the boys with their studies.
The younger one is in Class IX. He (quite rightly, in my opinion,) resents my presence when he is with his books and has launched a Non Co-operation Movement of sorts.
Not that he isn't stymied by things. The other day, he reported that he couldn't understand Economics, a newly introduced subject for him.
I volunteered to explain it to him. He promptly declined the offer, saying that he knew all the anwers, because he had memorized them. Missus randomly asked him a few and indeed, the answers came out pat. His only grouse was that he wasn't able to understand a word of it. Ironically, the chapter was called "Understanding Economics". And the missus was perfectly satisfied with this because, as she says "no one understands economics anyway. Least of all YOU, my sweet". Which is true, but still!
The older guy is in ClassXI. He is rather more respectful towards me. But even this is proving a little difficult because his syllabus has things like "Gay-Lussac's Law". He promptly wonders if there is a "Straight-Lussac's Law" as well and we spend a good ten minutes smirking away, by which time I've already got something else to do or he wants go down and play.
Ah well, life.