We love going on long walks or long drives with the girls. It helps us spend time with them and also helps us make them gather learning experience from the various transactions, incidents, people we meet and places we visit.
This weekend was one such. We went to the dry-cleaners to collect some of the garments that we had given the week before. The otherwise quiet firstborn immediately asked me, what dry cleaning was. I told her that the clothes are cleaned using spirit or petrol. The shopkeeper who is a retired lecturer from the Delhi University overheard our conversation. He then explained to her the entire process of dry cleaning in detail. He told her that it is not petrol but PERC (perchloroethylene) that is used to clean the clothes instead of water. He also told her about the huge hydrocarbon dry-cleaning machine. This was also the first time I had heard about dry cleaning in so much detail.
And then in the evening, we planned to have dinner at my in-laws place. It’s almost 40-45 minutes drive from our place on a heavy traffic day. We were having random discussions when suddenly the husband asked, “Did you throw away that triangle-shaped cheese pack from the refrigerator?” I immediately couldn’t recollect what he was talking about. But the firstborn picked it up. She said that the stinky cheese is still in the refrigerator. That’s when I understood that the subject under discussion was the Canzona Danablu (Danish Blue Cheese) packet. I immediately exclaimed, “Who needs your smelly cheese? We are better off without it.”
The husband: “It’s not stinky or smelly. You have got to acquire the taste for it to relish it.”
The man is extremely fond of experimenting when it comes to food. And I for that matter am absolutely happy to just order a dal makhni or dal tadka with breads. Not because I don’t like other dishes, but I am very careful experimenting with food.
At this point the mischief bug bit me. I said,
“Girls, see! Your Dad eats stinky/smelly cheese and loves his smokey single malt, but doesn’t like the smoke-cooked baigan ka bharta (brinjal) and says he can’t eat at the my relative’s place because the food smells of coconut oil. Kitni naa-insaafi hai!! (How unfair is it!!)”
And then I just sat back and enjoyed the one-sided sermon.
I have this habit of telling the girls (and their father) that I’ll not talk to them when they don’t listen to me or act difficult. But the chatterbox that I am I also have this habit of forgetting whatever I said about not talking. As I told the firstborn for some reason that I’ll not talk to her, Little Love jumps up and says, “Mamma, leave it. Aapse naa ho paayega (That’s not something you can do)! So why do you keep using this same line even when all of us know that it’ll not work?” I simply put a finger on my lip to remind myself not to talk. And trust me I started chatting again within five minutes. Even my threats aren’t working anymore. They never did.
This time when we went walking, we took my parents along. It’s fun to watch the grandparents hangout with their grandchildren. And I absolutely adore the way they teach children some wise lessons through simple stories or anecdotes. I also got an hour and half for myself and my parents all alone after a really long long time. I could sense their joy when they opened the door for me and were surprised to see me. I wish to give them such surprises regularly from now on. I need them more than they need me.
I also took out some time to read Rasana Atreya‘s The Temple is not my father. It has kept me glued so much that this morning I woke up around four and started reading again, to find out what happened to Pullamma finally.
So that’s how I spent my weekend apart from visiting the nearby Krishna temple with family, smacking on chicken biryani from Kerala Cafe, feeding bread crumbs to my birdie friends who are much friendlier now and at least thirty occasions of repeating ‘I’ll not talk to you now.‘
And by the way, I completely forgot that there was a role play act done by the girls. Both advocating for Mamma. Yay! Here’s Little Love’s fact file against her father.