Drop the struggle and dance with life!

Oct 18, 2010

The Curious Case of Squeaky Squirrel

When someone visits their mother’s home, they expect everything to remain the same. It’s a bittersweet pleasure to walk though the rooms where you grew up, to touch the scarred furniture and breathe in peace and familiarity. I almost forgot, one would also expect the parents to essentially remain the same, baring a few signs of aging. Preferably still lucid and intelligent, too.

After a nostalgic evening with all the trimmings of food and memories and a peaceful slumber, I woke up to bright sunshine, looking forward to yet another VDay. As I stood in the kitchen, contemplating the degree of my laziness in preparing the coffee, my mom bustled in and waved me off with “Go, sleep for some more time or watch T.V, I’ll get you the coffee”.

I stood there with tears of gratitude in my eyes at the thought of how wonderful she was… How caring she was… how insane she was! My mom, my sane, sensible mom, had the kitchen window open, and was leaning over the counter-top, peering out and talking to- Nobody!

Her actions would make sense if our kitchen window faced the home of a neighbor, in which case I would assume she was talking to someone. But unless the straight-laced employees in the two floor bank next to my home plundered the contents of the vaults, sold the building and someone else built a 4 floor home, there was no one to talk to!

But then she wasn’t talking, was she? She was cooing and hiccupping. It sounded like a cross between scared rats and crazy birds.


“Amma…” I asked, hesitantly, in case I set her off, flapping through the window.

“What? Coo..coo…krrr…kish”

“Amma, what are you doing?”


Now I was getting desperate. "MOM?!"

“Do you see that food?” she says, pointing to the ledge. “It’s still there!”

At which point I lean over the counter, just like her and peep out. And sure enough, (thank God!) there is some dried bread and weird looking brown strips there.

“What is that?”



“It’s the food I left out. That stupid squirrel is still not eating! I made the ‘puris’ especially for him! Poor thing! I don’t know where he is!”

Here I thought the puris were on my honor!

Oct 12, 2010

The price of beauty- Up in flames?!

I consider myself healthy even though I may not inspire any man to sing ballads to my non-mesmerizing eyes or odes to my non-delicate feet (even my own hero would scoff!). And I’m not fussy when it comes to food.

But yesterday, when a chilled glass of orange juice gave me a splitting headache minutes after drinking it, I wondered if I was growing old and this was the beginning of quirks and pet-peeves that would bug me for the rest of my life. Thankfully, it turns out, when the lazy manufacturers grind the oranges with the skin, the chemicals in the rind will trigger headaches in some.

After a big sigh of relief and a promise to stay away from Ojs henceforth, I explained to my Venezuelan and American colleagues about the OJ phenomenon. They showed appropriate interest in this and interrupted with the right amount of ‘oh!’, ‘Really?!’ and ‘I will stay away from rinds’.

One of them added that the rinds were flammable- if you squeeze a little bit and show a lighter, the rinds will go up in flames.

I was horrified! I explained about mothers painstakingly saving up the rinds to sun-dry and grind them into a fine powder, to be mixed with milk and applied on the faces of their daughters. To which they looked at me askance and said “Whyever would you want to do that?!”

“It will make the skin glow”

“Glow in Orange color?”

“No, no, it will make skin healthy and bring out the natural shine in it after you wash it off”

Pat came the absurd reply- “I though they applied the paste and took a lighter to it to make it glow!”