Monday, November 22, 2010

La vie chez Shenoy

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.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The missus reports

It is not often that I take to putting my thoughts to paper, or blogs, to be precise, what with the speed with which life whooshes by for a suburban housewife but today I find myself strangely with a lot of time on my hands. And the golden opportunity of an open lap-top with the blog signed into. After I publish this, he dare not delete it.

The reason for having a lot of time on my hands is that the younger son is off to Udaipur with his grandparents. Suddenly, the house seems very silent. He is a noisy lad, my Gautham is, and a source of constant anxiety but he's also demonstrative of his affection and consideration, which makes one rather miss him. Vyaas, the elder one, is a quiet and mature boy, giving me little cause for worry. He studies on his own, watches TV only moderately (unlike Gautham who can watch TV for hours without a break) and generally obeys me unless there is strong cause to do otherwise. Needless to say, there never is.

The problem child here, of course, is the husband, who survives mostly because of a lacuna in the Indian legal system. It is a crime, apparently, for a wife to strike her husband upon the bean with a brick, regardless of provocation. Otherwise I would have done this ages ago and despite the said husband's skull being apparently fashioned out of solid wood, I would have, with this crude but effective technique, brought about some improvement. As things stand, I am reduced to using cold stares, knitted brows and pursed lips as an expression of ire, which is the matrimonial equivalent of using Madan Lal as your strike bowler with the new ball (I'm afraid I follow - or used to follow - cricket. I'm not very current these days but what cricket lacks in gripping entertainment it more than makes up by affording the struggling writer scope for simile).

 He isn't very difficult to get along with, except when he decides to give reign to his alleged sense of humour which I find quite weird at times. For instance, this diwali I had expected a trinket of some sort - gold, preferably- as an expression of his love and affection. He got  me a deodorant. I am not joking. A pink can with the legend "Pour Femme" emblazoned on it. I'm not a materialistic girl but MRP Rs.99/- is not really my thing. It showed in my expression, I'm sure of that, but that did not deter my champ. He was waiting for me to ask him what the hell this was.

I obliged. "What is this, would you mind telling me?" I asked him in the most sour voice I could manage.

He had prepared for this precise moment apparently.

"Dear, a deo, a female deo!" he sang, to the tune of "Doe, a deer, a female deer".

I counted to ten. The blood was still boiling. I counted another fifty. No change. I thought of jabbing him in the thigh with the potato peeler and had Big Boss 4 not started at that exact moment, with vociferations by the sweet Dolly Bindra at some hapless co-inhabitant of the dosshouse, violence would have erupted. As it was, he escaped with nary a scratch. He has promised to buy me bangle but we shall believe when we see.

Till then, adieu from