A Cuppa and Some Random Moments from Life

He is peeping slowly and then hiding again. Then peeping and hiding, peeping and hiding. Again and again. I guess that’s his favourite game, hide and seek.

Most people love winters for the vast variety of vegetables available. From cauliflower to the green leaves ranging from methi, sarson, bathua, full of iron and other important minerals. And then there are those red carrots and white radish, playing perfect Santa combo. The market is overflowing with colours. For once it is something other than glittery clothes and flashy accessories.



My love for winter is only because of the perfect combination of coffee and sun. I love lying down in the sun with a light cotton chunari on my face. I can sleep for hours and hours without bothering to do anything at all. That’s when the little one shouts, “Mumma, bhookh lagi. Mumma, khaana do”, making me travel right back into the present reality.

I am highly indebted to the lead-waala noodle making company. At least once in while I can have the liberty of not spending more than five minutes inside the kitchen. After slurping the yummy masaledaar noodle strings, I am back enjoying the winter sun standing near the balcony railing.

Pandeyji’s dharidaar kachha is staring at me and making me conscious. For a moment I am forced to imagine him inside it. Ewww!!!

I immediately turn my attention to the other side of the balcony. Mrs. Bhalla is sitting on her charpai shelling peas. The quantity seems like she’s gonna have a matar special party everyday for the next one or two years. Her daughter-in-law is sitting next to her. She’s busy knitting pairs of woolen socks and sweaters for her soon-to-be-born ‘beta‘. Oh yes! They already know it. Shhhh….yeh andar ki baat hai. Some Babaji has given her some powder that is powerful enough to change the sex of the foetus in the seventh, eighth or ninth month also. Jai Babaji ki!

Let me move back before Bhalla aunty spots me and tell me, “Bachhe, tu bhi kar le ek beta. Teri ladkiyon ko ek bhai bhi mil jaana hai.” 

The last time someone said so was in a birthday party and I just vanished from that spot jaise bhains ke sar se seengh. Or was that a gadha? Whatever! Later, the husband had complained that I left him alone with Chaturvedi aunty and her nuskas to conceive a beta. I heaved a sigh of relief and told him, “Had I stood there for another two minutes, she would have made me deliver the ‘beta’ right then and there.”

Few years ago, the first-born had asked me how will I karo the beta. And I had helplessly told her that I’ll use the technique of Goddess Parvati. I’ll use the turmeric paste I apply on my body to create the beta. To which she had responded saying she doesn’t want a yellow-yellow dirty fellow types bhai. Thank God! I was saved. She then believed that her little sister was created by Mommy using Himalaya Kesar Face Pack.

This morning they were watching a cartoon movie in which two fishes were smooching. Little Love went, “Chi chi, germs, germs, germs!” To which the big sister responds in an experienced lady-like tone, “Naa bachhe, no germs. They are inside water all the time, so germs get washed right away.” A little later, the female fish laid hundreds and hundreds of eggs which in no time hatched into tadpole like babies. The curious granny that Little Love is, she went like this. “How did the eggs get into her? When did the babies get into the eggs?” 

Anu Di with a very serious face told her, “They mate and breed. All animals do. It is natural. Shweta ma’am told us. Just like humans. You won’t understand now. You have to reach fifth standard to understand this bachhe. Abhi aap bas movie dekho.

I had to suppress my repeated urge to ask her a few questions about her knowledge levels.

Not sure whether I should be glad that she knows ‘somethings’ or I should be worried.

For now, I am just sipping my cuppa watching the soon-to-set sun.


18 Replies to “A Cuppa and Some Random Moments from Life”

  1. Lovely narration… I loved every word!! Hope that Aunts doesn’t find you at the next get together!! Hehe..and I loved that Babaji’s special thing that would turn the foetus into a Beta..haha..
    Coming to the kids..These days they know a lot many more stuffs than we knew in their age thanks to the tv and other media..and the same thing could mislead them too.. but since your daughter was saying about her teacher mentioning it..It must have been the right source from where she gained those ideas..

    1. Thanks Bilna! Since the aunt has already had a boy for each of her sons, we might only meet at their wedding now. 😉
      Little knowledge is dangerous. So we try and explain things fairly to her as far as possible. Giving them false examples sets a wrong impression and leads to disrespect and distrust later on. Exposure and availability is the main reason for these questions. Making them aware of what and how much is right is the only way we can help them.

  2. Funny! How to ‘Beta karo’. Once a neighbour had told me when I had only one son and we were finding it difficult to manage him. She said, ‘aap ek aur bacha kar lo, saara problem solve ho jayega’. Of course, she had the best intentions but we were both red.

    1. ‘aap ek aur bacha kar lo, saara problem solve ho jayega’

      My sister stays abroad and manages her five year-old, her job and her home all by herself. And every time she calls my mother tells her exactly this in our native language Malayalam. At times I sit quietly listening to it and at times, I blast. I don’t understand why having babies and what babies is anyone and everyone’s business except the couple in question.

  3. I don’t quite understand the “beta” is a must attitude. 🙂 Especially when you have two majorly cute daughters. 😀 but I guess some part of society doesn’t change with time.

    Liked the cup of the cuppa and the wordings, though I’d like a book better than gossip anyday. 😛

    1. To understand it better you’ll have to get into this side of the fence. To put it straight, get married. You have to have a beta for everything else to happen in this world. For more doubts, talk to all mother-in-laws, auntyjis and grandmajis in your locality. 😀

      That’s one of my favourite cuppa and I also have the same wordings on a green cup. I’m mad about coffee mugs.

  4. ‘You have to reach fifth standard to understand this’ is my favourite line 😀 I am waiting for the day the penny drops with Gy. I am already flummoxed by her questions. God alone knows what I will answer when that time comes.

    I found other references to Kesar face pack and haldi boy very funny too, Rekha!

    1. Shailaja, I’m struck with each leg in two boats. The little one is way too small to understand her Di’s questions. While the firstborn having been told about the soon-to-arrive big day, thinks that she’s already a scholar in the subject called biology. But I definitely am enjoying this phase as I surely know that this will pass by soon. Firstborn will be ten next month and she already behaves as if she’s entering teens. To add to it, she happens to be the eldest one among all the kids in the family and in our locality. So you can definitely expect more such posts from me in the near future. 😀

  5. Lovely post Rekha! Your time in the sun and winter musings made me miss Delhi winters Soooo much. No sun here in London and no getting methi and sarson. Ah!

    And just loved the conversation between your girls! Too cute! 😀

  6. You described Indian winters so well! We used to love winters so much!
    Arey, if she’s learning all this at school, then that’s great, no?! Maybe you should also add the emotional aspect to it since she’s only learning the whitewashed sciencey part!

  7. Beautiful narration of a mundane winter day that I could relate to in so many ways 🙂
    My favorite part is the curiosity of your younger child, because my daughter is almost in the same phase and I try hard to give her close-to-reality answers so that the dots will eventually join to create a ‘real’ picture for her as she grows up.

    I am in love with your Parvati ji’s example of using the ubtan to create a son, I am so going to use it next time I am stuck 😀

  8. That part about sleeping under the sun with dupatta covering the face reminded me of one of my fav Gulzar song – Dil dhoondta hai….that feeling of lying under winter sun is amazing. Captivating read, this!

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