Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hairy conversations

At 6
Mum: Its ok dear, the hair will grow back in a month.
She: (Bawling) But I dont want to cut my hair. Pooja's hair is so long. I want it like that.
Mum: (At what she does best, negotiations. Wonder why she isn't with international relations!) Its getting unmanagable, sweetheart. Lets cut it this one time and then we'll let it grow next time, ok? Now be a good girl when you go to the hairdresser's with Aunt G.
She: (Bawling even louder)

At 14
She: Oww!! Ma! That hurts!
Mum: (trying to cope with the disentangled blob of hair while getting her ready to school) Get a hair cut, dear. Just a trim of an inch.
She: No Ma! Everyone in school sports long hair. Besides, its in vogue. And ma, why dont you just let my hair loose today with small clips holding them back from the sides (gestures) like this. Sonia says it looks good and the other day.....
Mum: (In resigned silence, thinking of a marathon session of hair pulling the next day morning) *sigh*.

At 20:
She: (Her weekly calls from the hostel) Guess what! I got a haircut.
Mum: Oh my god! What did you get done?
She: Oh! I was quite bored of my appearance and so wanted a new look. Its called a razor cut. All the hostel girls totally love it and are getting it done too. You know, the hairdresser ran razor on the front side of my hair so that the hair looks uneven and.......
Mum: (Not quite liking the sound of Razor cut, but not wanting to sound too ignorant at the same time) I hope its not too short. What will people say?
She: Its not, Ma!!

At 25:
Mum: (Hugging her at the airport) Good lord! Why did you do this to yourself? Your hair is a mess. Doesn't all that hair falling on your face irritate you? Thatha-Paati* are not going to be pleased with that.
She: Ma! Its the most haute cut right now. And all my friends think it looks cool and hip.
Mum: (Scorning with arched wrinkles forming on her forehead) You must stop experimenting with your hair for a while now. We have to get you married soon. What would the prospective in-laws think when they come to see you?
She: Ma! *$&#$!# *

At 27:
Mum: (In her firmest voice possible - she was probably rehearsing it in front of the mirror before the confrontation) Now that your wedding is around the corner, you must stop your visits to the hairdressers until your wedding is over.
She: But why ma?? Wedding is good 8 months away. My hair would be crawling on the floor by then, and I would have tripped on them 7 times already. Moreover, its not like the in-laws don't know. I see them more often than I see you.
Mum: (Bordering on hysteria) Not a chance. The answer is no cut. How'll your head sustain all those flowers during your wedding? What will the in-law's family think if they saw the bride with a pony tail at the wedding? Get married and then do whatever you like. You can go bald for all I care.

At 30 and with a baby making an entry soon:
Mum: What is it this time?
She: (Admiring her hair in front of the mirror) Umm.. Its kinda short.
Mum: Ohmygawd! (nearly fainting - imagining her like a friend of hers with a boyish crop) Dont tell me its like Tina's.
She: No ma. Its until my shoulders. And moreover you had given me the rights to go bald, remember?
Mum: (conveniently ignoring the last bit) Are you able to, at least, tie a pony tail?
She: Umm.. well, I can, but it holds only 10% of my hair. And looks more like a rabbit tail or errr pig tail.. Umm cant decide which!
Mum: *sigh* At least, if you are able to tie it up during festivals or when in-laws come visiting, its alright. You know you shouldn't do namaskaram** to them with untied hair. They are so religious and....
She: Ya! I know, Mom! Chill.

Oh and in case you were wondering what this was about, its just some mundane musings in an evolving tam-bram household, again of random existence. Just merging with the season where everyone is on a clarifying spree, much like my friend, Ms.Soup :-)

* Grandparents
** Form of salutation one does to God or the elderly in the family when you bend down to touch their feet.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trips and their side effects

Had given myself a break from the blog world as well as the real one. Dandeli trip was great. Did a whole bunch of things like white water rafting, kayaking, trekking, mountain biking yada yada. But like Aesop's fables, it had a moral in the end. FITNESS pays. I was promptly down with a bad back on the last day of the trip while biking. Something snapped. And it felt like a thousand ants taken control of my nerves and muscles, holding them back tightly, teasing and threatening severe shock whenever i tried to bend or sit or change my posture. Physiotherapy was promptly prescribed and is likely to continue for a long time to come. But the place was a haven of 'winged' birds. The best thing was that one could sit in the verandah at daybreak and identify nearly 50 different species of birds right from Hornbills to thrushes and sunbirds. Also learnt a thing or two about photography from the husband and figured I may have a finer way with it. More on that later. :)

Books gave me whole lot of company over my unwell days. (Oh well! I was completely thrown off gear for more than a week after the trip) And two books which stood out were Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Mistress of Spices by Chitra Bannerji Divakaruni. With no intention of reviewing them, I love the simplicity with which both these authors write. I bought Queen of Dreams by Divakaruni last year but never got around to reading it until recently and I instantly fell in love with her flowery, mystic way of writing. Wonder why I was putting away the book for so long. Was not disappointed by Mistress of Spices either. And I am looking forward for the next trip to Landmark to buy the others too. I believe a motion picture is being made of the book and Aishwarya Rai (!!!) is playing the role of Tilo. I would have imagined a Konkona Sensharma or a Nandita Das befitting the role, but Aishwarya Rai???

Among other things, has it ever happened that you go to withdraw money from an ATM center and your mind drew a blank? It happened to me yesterday, I fed in my ATM card and hands were circling around the display on the ATM machine and I just could not remember my PIN. Fed in 3 wrong passwords and got my ATM card promptly locked. Damn. Now I need to call the bank and get it reset again. And whats more, I remembered the PIN in my sleep at night. Looks like Alzheimers is setting in rather early in life.

Meanwhile some excerpts from my trip. And some not-so-anonymous glimpses too.

This is a spectacular sunset viewed from a sunset trek of about an hour into the jungle. Thats Kali river in the background.

This was our attempt at Kayaking. Was quite tough keeping afloat against the tide of the river. But we managed it for 2 hours without doing a 180 degree flip. :-)

This is a migratory bird from Africa called Black Stork which was identified in southern India for the first time.

A fig tree. Typical habitat for the Hornbills. Unfortunately none on this tree.

And these are just a bunch of flowers from the window of our apartment. Makes for a nice picture post card.