The above title, translated from the Punjabi or French, I can never tell the difference, means Life at the Shenoy home. The letters can be re-arranged to form the words "Hey! Zen Chaos, Live!" which is an accurate description of how things usually are at our place.
The boys' vacations come to an end today. Back to the grind from tomorrow. The elder one is cool about it but the younger one has been complaining about the shortness of vacations. The root cause of his angst is that the X-box, which has been his constant companion through the holidays, is going back into lock and key under orders of the missus.
He filed what he thought was the equivalent of a writ in the high court.
"Annie, please tell mom that all kids in my school are allowed to play X-box on weekends"
"Tell her yourself!"
"She won't listen"
"What makes you think she listens to me?"
He mulled this over.
"Annie, are all women like this?"
"Every single one I know, son", I told him, with a voice tinged with sadness.
"Why, Annie?" he continued. "Why can't they be more..." he appeared to be searching for the mot juste "...why can't they be more .. understanding?
"Son" I told him, changing the subject slightly, and drawing from recent events "man to man, I can only say that women are nothing but trouble".
The missus took this exact moment to enter. A bit like those farcical plays one sees on TV.
"What was that?" she asked. I gulped and tried unsuccessfuly to say something. Younger son came to the rescue.
"Mom, Annie was saying that 'We men, we are nothing but trouble'. Weren't you, Annie?"
I gave him a silent look which said "Well played, my son!" The cricketing equivalent would have been the flawless flowing cover-drive for four.
The missus was pre-occupied, important questions of what to wear for a visit to an aunt's house weighing heavily on her mind. She shuffled off without giving me the customary earful she gives when she catches me telling the kids all that 'worldly advice' stuff.
I thanked the lad for his presence of mind.
"Oh, it was nothing, Annie. By the way, are you going to buy me the new FIFA football game on X-box or will you just slip me the cash?"
I stared at him.
"Hahaha. Relax, Annie. I was just pulling your leg." And ran away downstairs to play football.