Tag Archives: happy

Goodbye patty, child, woman…

Born in October 1913 was this lady with an incredibly sharp brain and an uncanny ability to get things done her way. She lived to be almost 100 and lived life to her fullest – entirely on her terms. Blessed with 5 loving sons and with equally caring daughters-in-law she was much loved and looked after right until the moment she chose to let go of life at close to 99.

Her greatest feature was her amazingly sharp memory. At 99 she could fluently recall names, where she had last met people, their entire family history and so on! Though she would mostly stay confined to her room, she was well aware of what was going on in the house. If someone was late for lunch she would fret over it. Or if someone in the family did not come back home until late night (well past her bedtime) she would somehow be aware of it and chide them the next morning. She had the guileless heart of a baby, the enthusiasm of a 10-year old and an incredible zest for everything in life! She insisted on being given chocolates on birthdays. She loved, demanded and enjoyed good food. Her priority in life was to have all meals on time. In retrospect, that perhaps was the secret of her good, healthy, long life. She did not suffer from any complicated emotions like anger or jealousy or envy. Amazingly content with life, all she expected was her meals on time, regular visits from all the people in her family…and that’s it. And I guess it is because she expected so incredibly little out of life, that she lived to the glorious age of 99.

True to her childlike self, she expected things to happen as fast as her sharp mind could think of them. If she was going somewhere in the evening, she’d be ready in the morning itself and wait impatiently for the evening to arrive! God forbid, if she was ready and for some reason we were unable to leave at the appointed time, she would pace up and down like an edgy child. She would never scold or make any rude remarks, but she would keep gazing at us like a tolerant puppy waiting to be let out, until we ran out of patience and shoved aside all other things and attended to her needs.

She always greeted any visitors with childlike enthusiasm and loved it if they got her gifts. What’s more, she was blessed with sons who pampered her with little gifts of sweets or fruits every other day.

This amazing child-woman, passed away peacefully on March 25th 2012. And just as she might have wanted, her death was cremation was quick and smooth. She was ready to leave her body and she had to do it NOW. As it was in life, in death too, she got her wish.

She is now our guiding star. We hope that she will give us the courage to live life her way – without any negative thoughts or emotions. We hope that she will inspire us to lead simple, guileless, contented lives with minimal, simple wants. We hope that she will continue to shower us with her blessings in her happy, hand-clapping, childlike way.

Dearest patty a thousand namaskarams to you. May your soul rest in peace.


Squeaky ball and giggles

Over the weekend we were cleaning my daughter M’s cupboard and I found an alien shoe box and shoved it into a corner. Grumbling about the junk M manages to accumulate. M sat on it. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak! It shrieked and startled us both! We both exchanged looks and her expression was so cute and funny I broke into giggles. She grinned and sat on it again and…squeeeeeeeeeeeak! And again. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeak! And again. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak! Then we took it out of its prison and it squeaked indignantly out. Ah her old favourite squeaky ball. I remember having picked it up from a pet store when she was less than two! It’s one of those doggy ‘fetch’ balls. I fell in love with it because it was this bright pink colour with cute little bones popping out from it. Simply adorable. And I remember her playing with it for hours together. Playing exactly the way a doggy might have played. Asking me to throw it and then fetching it herself. Over and over and over again we did it. Until its squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak filled my being and I could not hear anything else any more. Perhaps out of frustration – I might have put it in a box and shoved it into her cupboard.

Now that we had rediscovered it – we fell in love with it all over again. We played fetch for some time. And its familiar, happy squeak filled the room. It had this funny way of squeaking. You press it and it goes all squishy and shapeless then gradually it expels its squeezed breath going sqquuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaak un-squishing itself eventually. It should have been annoying of course, but I don’t know why it was so funny. M and I giggled and giggled and rolled on the floor unable to contain our laughter. Then her eyes lit up with mischief and we thought of a hundred whacky things we could do with the ball…

Her grandpa was having his mid morning siesta. We quietly sneaked into the room and tucked squeaky under his pillow. Then we stood there trying not to break into giggles while we waited from him to turn and for squeaky to do its thing. And turn he did in a few minutes.

‘Squuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaak’ it went loud and clear. Grandpa sat up confused and startled – not just by the squeak but also because of two totally whacko girls standing there and giggling like there’s no tomorrow!

Grandma was our next victim.

She was in the kitchen grinding dosa^ batter. We squeezed in squeaky’s cheeks and threw it at grandma yelling “catch patty*” before she could react it she caught it and it went ‘squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak‘. Startled she screamed “eek” and threw it away and ‘plonk’ it landed on the freshly ground dosa batter. Grandma was of course livid that we messed up her dosa batter! She whacked our butts – while we shamelessly giggled and giggled.

The maid was next.

She was swabbing the floor with her back to us. We quietly placed squeaky behind her – knowing that she would step on it. And she did. And it went “sqquuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!”. The maid went “aiyooo yamma diiiiiiiiii” and so on. We of course giggled and giggled.

Her dad came in then from a meeting. We did not even need to discuss the plan. We just knew what gig to pull on him. She cajoled her dad into coming and opening a certain game site for her. And sweetly dragged him to the computer chair. By then I had placed squeaky there. He sat and it went ‘squuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak’ and we went giggle giggle giggle.

The entire household was giving us tolerant smiles. No one of course was really amused. It was like grin and bear it. M and I kept breaking into explosions of laughter all day as we recalled each of their expressions when squeaky did its thing.

Now squeaky has mysteriously disappeared from our sight. No marks for guessing who could have hidden it away! But what the hell…all that giggling helped. Whoever said that laughter is the best medicine is absolutely, completely, totally right. :)


*Grandmother in Tamil

^ Dosa – Fluffy rice pancakes

One Saturday morning

It dawned as Saturdays usually do. Lazy and purposeless. The alarm rang and I woke up with the regular thoughts about what-to-pack-for-lunch-and-snack.  Then I remembered “ah…no school, no office…no hurry” – time to cuddle the child sleeping blissfully next to me and drift back to sleep.  I  drifted in and out of sleep until, I finally woke up at 6:30 am. The silence around the house greeted me like an old friend. I held its hand and set about the happy task of making my morning cuppa. My tryst with solitude was rudely broken by the sound of the doorbell. I was startled! No one generally rings our bell this early in the morning. Even the milk lady has been instructed to just leave the milk packets and go. Who then could this be? I hesitantly walk to the door. The peep hole of our front door is made to the height of the rest of the family (who are a good one foot taller than me…humph!) – so of course I could not see who it was. I opened the door slightly to see my neighbour from downstairs standing. Tears were streaming down her face. She was wearing a torn sari, the tip of which she was using to wipe her tears. Her whole body was shaking. Totally perplexed at the sight I opened the door, let her in and settled her into a chair. She wept uncontrollably and did not answer any of my questions regarding her state. Hearing the mayhem, my MIL (mother-in-law) sauntered in looking as perplexed as me. We exchanged ‘eye language’ over the woman’s weeping head as I shrugged to tell her I did not know the cause for this outburst. We of course knew that the woman had an ailing, bed ridden mother – we thought that perhaps the mother had passed away.

But when MIL asked her that she shook her head. And then she said in true filmy style (much like the well endowned Tamil heroines of 60’s era) “Don’t ask me what happened. My life itself is a mess. I’m a wasted and unwanted creature.” She said and wept even more. (The original dialogue was of course much more dramatic since it was in Tamil!)

MIL and I exchanged more bewildered what-the-hell-do-we-do-now looks over her weeping head. Finally MIL took charge and told the woman in her sternest tone to stop weeping. I then scurried to the kitchen to make her a cup of tea. My husband chose the moment to drift out of bed. Totally unaware of the drama he lazily walked into the living room, gawked at the still weeping woman and dashed back to the security of the bedroom, back into the sheets and back to sleep. Perhaps he thought he was having a bad dream. Laughter bubbled up to my lips – but how can one guffaw with this woman weeping for God-knows what.

The tea calmed her down. We watched as she drank with shaking fingers. And eventually she spoke. Apparently she had had a big quarrel with her brother. Just for a little background – the woman is a divorcee and her two daughters are studying, staying in a hostel somewhere. She stays in Chennai with her unmarried younger brother and her sick mother. A depressing household that smells of the sick. I remember writing about it once before over here. The lady looks depressed all the time and her sad eyes follow everyone everywhere. Her sickly mother is an uncooperative patient and does not make life any happier for her! This being the background – the woman sniffed and told us that her brother had forbidden her from going out anywhere and in the quarrel that ensued he had actually hit her with a stick. We were full of sympathy for her and my MIL went on to cheer her up by telling her what a great service she is doing by taking care of her mother.

Eventually the rest of the household woke up. My husband too woke up to realize that this was not a nightmare. She was there for real!

The woman had tea and then settled into our home. Refusing to go. If my MIL walked into another room the woman followed her. So my poor MIL relegated herself to the living room and kept making small talk – all the while throwing big hints that it was time for her to leave as we had our own chores to do. The woman refused to take any hints and our sympathy quickly turned to irritation as we felt caged in our own home.

We surreptitiously had breakfast and debated whether to feed the woman or not. Mercifully our watchman came in just then and announced that the woman’s mother was looking for her. She left then – reluctantly. And we all heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Our peaceful Saturday morning lay in tatters – filled with the tears of the woman. With the sadness of her life. The helplessness of her situation. We were guilty that we wanted her to leave. But relieved that she had left!

The watchman came back to tell us the other side of the story. The woman is prone to depression and her brother was having a tough time trying to balance a sick mother and a depressed sister. Sigh. Life is so unfair sometimes. I tired to see how they could make their life better. They could maybe – if they tried. After all happiness is in little things. A walk in the park. A happy book. A relaxing hobby. Anything to keep the sadness at bay. Finding that happiness within ourselves is easier said than done  suppose.

For now all we do is avoid the woman when we see her standing downstairs. We certainly do not want another day like that Saturday. No way.

Goofy and happy

I was in such a bad mood yesterday. Which simply got worse after a heated exchange with a client first thing in the morning. Then it became bad mood + headache. A lethal combination I assure you. Because in that frame of mind I’m like the fiersome devil Shoorpanaka ready to devour normal humans if they merely open their mouth to say good morning to me.

The Shoorpanaka frame continued through the day. Ah what an effort it was not to slap the daylights out of the grinning, chattering mass of humanity around me. Why can’t one get silence when one wants it desperately?!

Grumpy and angry I reached home in the afternoon to find 3 movie tickets waiting at home. Something my MIL wanted to go for with her sisters but instead they were going for some prestigious concert for which she had got passes. So the three tickets were going waste if we did not go for it. (That’s 450 bucks down the drain!)

So with a sigh I got myself and kiddo ready. She too was reluctant. “I dont wanna watch!” She protested as I bullied her into getting ready. But go we did – with (yup) reluctant hubby in tow. Three tickets accounted for!

We trooped in with popcorns and gloomy faces to watch the Hindi movie Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani. In fact just that morning a friend had recommended that I don’t see this movie. I munched popcorn and wondered for the millionth time what I was doing there?!

But the movie was a pleasant surprise. A perfect antidote for my mood. Also watching it with my daughter helped. She laughed, laughed and laughed at all the goofy nonsense – that typical adults would roll their eyes at.

Five minutes into the movie as the hero has a bike accident – we were grinning like idiots. The movie was filled with absolute balderdash. Filled with nonsensical slapstick comedy and endearing goofiness that had us guffawing with laughter. Ranvir Kapoor as the hero was absolutely charming – and yeah endearing (for want of a better word). You just love him for his simplicity and his good heart. You just love his happy attitude to life and you wonder why on earth you were so angry all day. He is the President of Happy Club and his job is simply that – to make people happy. And oh yes – he did do a wonderful job of it. My grumpiness vanished and I was grinning like a toothless 6-year old.

The lead lady Katrina Kaif looked pleasant and managed to look goofy in some scenes. You’ll forgive her lack of acting simply because she looks so fresh and nice on screen – the walking-talkin Barbie doll.

So where was I? Yes we laughed…

We laughed when Prem (the hero’s name in the movie) – attempted to kidnap his friend’s lady love,  we grinned as he made laddoos and jalebis, we cackled when he fell off the roof (oops sorry darling), we hooted as ‘Tony’ gets cake on his butt and then loses his trouses, we giggled at the goofy fight scene in the end – with the lollipop toting comic don and his band of cronies.We even tapped our feet at the songs – that the hero seemed to break into rather too frequently. We guffawed as he rescued the heroine from her forced wedding in Goa, we cheered in the end as the heroine runs away in the end from her own wedding…

It was a ridiculously silly movie. But we loved it! God bless director Raj Kumar Santoshi for giving us such a goofy and happy movie. Perhaps if I had gone in a different mood I might not have enjoyed it. But this silly, mushy, happy movie was just what I needed yesterday.  The music was time pass – as they say.The lead pair was great! The support cast was fantastic too – specially Prem’s parents.

So if you haven’t watched this one – work up some anger and then go! In any case, don’t go to watch it as an adult. If possible go with a kid – honestly they teach you to enjoy so much more in life.

Ah…life does not seem so bad today. What an ajab thing to have happened… :)