keep the conversation going….

two gems from the chota mutt today….
“Tu jab mujhe lene aayega to shave bana ke aana nahin to aisa karata chop maaroongi ke tu marr hi jaayega”… slightly amused I’m like “haan but I was thinking of growing a bigger beard”…. pat comes the reply “kyun tujhe Narendar Modi banna hai??”…. I’m thinking to myself “bring me a bottle of Veet please”…..

A little later I was in the shower and she was outside drying off after her shower…. says “I want to take a popping candy chocho for Rhyka, tere ko piggy bank mein se paise de doongi, kitne hote hain”… I’m like it’s ok I’ll get it for you on the way to school…. a little later “maine teen 50 rakh diye hain tere wallet mein”…. I’m like “whaaa you have 3 fifties in your piggy bank?”…. anyway later while getting out I check my wallet and fair enough there were three shiny new 50 paisa coins in the coin pocket….. the kid got her chocholates 😀

the ladies are always right….

A few hours back we were at a grocery store…. I said “no” to Iras’ question “can we get a cold drink?”…. then she asked “why not?”.. so I said “you have a bad throat”…. a little later she came back holding a bottle of pepsi says “look what I found, this is a warm cold drink”… what can I say…. I mean could’ve told her that the sugar also aggravates her throat irritation but then look at that earnest face… I mean do you really think I could’ve explained sugar to this determined young imp???!!!

At the checkout counter the shopkeeper says “card machine has gone bad, there is no network, so please pay cash”…. I checked my wallet and began rearranging the purchases to fall within the amount I was carrying… so Ria asks “why can’t we pick cash from the ATM”, I say “coz we’ll get notes of 2K and he wont have change then” so she says “lets go and try in the ATM I’m sure you’ll get 500 rupee notes”… we go to the ATM, well more like I get dragged trashing and bawling, and get mint fresh 500 rupee notes so Ria says “see, I am always right” so I’m like “yes yes all of you girls are always right”…..

later in the car Iras’ observation “I am always right about things like cold drinks and dida is always right about money”

winning isn’t everything….

to the little girl who tried so hard and made us so proud even before the race started…. the most enjoyable part of my day is when we run (you and I also dida and I on the way to school)

Winning is everything!
In a way this is what we teach our children all the time in some manner or the other. We just forget to teach them who they are racing against and what really is the objective? In doing so we do them a great disservice, we take away their self respect.

Winning is just one of the many things that adds up to a well rounded, successful person, and personally I feel it’s the smallest of all the things that add up. It’s a by product of being good at your craft.

Selecting your field of dominance is an important aspect. Find out what you are good at, what interests you and where do you want to be. Focus on learning about your field of choice. Does it make you happy? Who are you doing it for? Never do anything for the outside world, do it by all means for you and yourself alone because end of the day you are with your own self and outside inputs though fun and fancy will not help you feel accomplished and successful.

Building potential I feel is one of the things that is very important. A consistent effort to get better at things you do. Being truthful. Being truthful is a huge factor. If you cheat even in the preparation phase you’re just cheating yourself and not really focusing on the purpose. The purpose is to attain proper mastery of your craft not “just for the purpose of winning” but more for the purpose of becoming an authority on that topic.

Do not be discouraged by defeats at the races. Races are for horses. You have a different competition, that competition is you yourself. You need to be better than what you were yesterday not better than the others in the race. To be better than yourself you need to do things daily, change, fix, tweak, learn, observe, tweak, repeat. It’s a recursive cycle. Keep getting better and better, never stop. Certificates from the world mean nothing if you know you did not do your best. Do it right, do it better, again… tomorrow.

If you focus on building potential and not just on winning, if you focus on learning from what you practise, if you’re always running the race against yourself and never against others, if you appreciate the opportunity to enjoy your craft and find more and more ways daily to have fun while dong it all…… victory will always be yours because “you know”. Always like in practise be calm in victory as well. Because end of the day winning isn’t everything and those certifying your victory are not credible enough to know your potential. You alone can certify your victory, you alone can tell yourself, I did good, because you alone know what you are capable of because you alone have reached those limits and pushed them a little more every day of your life!

Last but not the least, do it for yourself. More often than not if you do it for the others you will end up injuring yourself, damaging your self, feeling unaccomplished and unworthy because your sense of accomplishment will always be tied to the approval of the person who you did it for. Yes your mom and dad and sister will be proud of you when you breast that tape but trust me we will be always proud of you even before the race starts because we know you did your best and you did it for yourself so don’t worry about people around you, they know, and if they don’t then they do not matter.

there’s always a middle path….

the bully issue keeps coming up ever so often when there’s kids around you…. this time it was Ira. Past few days she’s been complaining about a boy at school who pushes everyone around, spits at her friends, pulls her hair opening her plaits …well essentially he is a total boor. I recommended talking about it to her class teachers. During a PTM I also brought it up casually saying “I guess the boy wants to be friends with her and is not sure how to go about it so just see if you guys can get it resolved amicably”….

for a few days the complaints were still there but not so angry and frequent…. yesterday at dispersal time she came with her plaits undone. Recently she’s started getting plaits made as her hair is a bit longer now and she’s totally in love with them. So yes this was a big deal. She was quiet but I understood. So I asked “what happened?” says “Ansh pulled my hair and opened my plaits”. So I asked her “did you tell maam?” she is like “no use telling maam, if maam shouts at Ansh to stop doing something he just goes and shouts right back at them calling them idiot…. he was pulling Rhyka by her arm and spitting on her yesterday so I went and told maam so he was sent to another class but today he pulled my hair”….. So yeah I was a little disturbed and a little amused as well (after all what goes around comes around and heaven knows I was no paragon of virtue in my day)…. anyway I said “lets go talk to Shalini and Falak maam about it”. So off we went to meet the class teachers. The teachers were very receptive and apologetic about it, they explained that they had spoken to his parents about it as well and he had improved a bit but after the Ganpati break he was back to being a brat. They agreed between themselves that they need to talk to his parents again. So we came back reassured.

On the drive back home I thought I should maybe give her the “go codes” for handling bullies…. the way I had given the gyaan to Ria some time back. So I started talking about the escalation matrix…. first talk to him clearly tell him an emphatic “NO”. If he still persists warn him once more. If that too does not help go to the class teachers and complain to them. Finally if that too does not make any dent in his persistence beat him up!… I explained to her how it is perfectly ok to hit back in such a situation. I also advised her to form a gang of kids bullied by Ansh essentially include the others who have been similarly affected. She loved the idea and was all gung ho about going to school and beating up Ansh after forming her gang today.

Afternoon dispersal time, expecting to be summoned to the principals office (for having incited kids to violence) and prepared with my defence I landed up at school. Madam comes out all chirpy as usual. Says “I didn’t hit Ansh” so I’m like “right!! dodged a bullet there”…. further explains “see if I hit him then he will hit me again, and then I will hit him again and it will go on”….. so much for Khan ka gyaan!! I asked her “did mamma explain that to you?” to which she says “no I thought about it in the morning and figured it out, I’ll just ignore him.”

This is a 4 year old who can’t get into her dungarees without asking me to help her…. daymn I should’ve met her at least 36 years back when I was 4…. would’ve exchanged valuable life lessons…. maybe made some friends….


getting out to pick up Ria it was raining heavily. I had forgotten my umbrella at the Ford service centre last Saturday. So hesitantly I asked Ira, do you want to come or will you stay at home with auntia (Kulsum, she takes care of the girls and the house during the day time) while I go and pick her up…. almost instantly the reply came “no, I’m coming”…. downstairs I asked her to wait in the portico while I went and fetched the car. It was raining pretty heavy and I was decently drenched in the walk to the car. As we pulled out of the gates I started imagining that we were going to park right in front of school as that parking was going to be empty….. my visualisation trick to line up parking slots….

As we reached the spot it was taken and so were all the spots near it…. so we just went and parked a little further down the road and waited… at 2:45 we got out of the car and walked to the gate to pick up Ria. It was still raining but not as heavily. As we reached the gate we saw the slot right in front of the gate, the one I had been visualising all along, was empty and so was the one two cars behind. I checked and realised Ria’s class was not yet being let off. So Ira and I looked at each other and ran to our car some 400 metres away. Drove up and parked right in front of the gate….. no this has never happened earlier and no it is not something that can happen so easily in such heavy traffic…. thoughts do become things…. just believe in them long enough!

One step at a time

Today was a milestone day in Iras life, she walked over 4K with no tantrums.

We woke up around 7AM since it was an off day for the kids owing to Janmashtami. The kids got ready with us and we decided to drop Sonali at her office as it would be chaotic in the evening owing to the dahi-handi related crowds on the road. Once we had dropped her off we decided to go to the Bata store at Belapur, buy a pair of bathroom slippers for Ira and come back. She had been asking for one since we got a pair for Ria last week so this was kind of on the agenda. On the way I asked the kids “do you want to walk from the “dudu wala cold drink shop to the shoe store? I’ll get you lollipops for having on the way”. It was greeted with an excited and unanimous “yes yes”. It was pleasant weather, not raining and clear skies. So we went and parked in the parking lot near Seawoods Estate. Took Rias’ raincoat and an umberella just in case it started raining. Got the lollipop stock from one of the stores next to the gate and set off. Ira and I have been doing this circuit fairly frequently of late. If she wakes up at 5:30 with Ria she insists on going out with us to drop Ria off at school. So instead of running after I drop off Ria I go walking with Ira on this route. With an air of a pro she starts pointing out the familiar landmarks to dida… “dekh yeh horses ka ghar hai, potty ka smell aa raha hai naa?” “yahaan is lake mein samingos hote hain” (her word for Flamingos)… as she’s walking she tries to pass on acquired gyaan as well “dida agar hum log walk karte hain to hamari tabilat theek rehti hai, meri bhi, dida ki bhi, mamma ki bhi aur papa ki bhi… haan walk karna chahiye”…. then we reached the entrance to the forest she points it out and says “yahaan monkeys hote hain, yahaan dida ko gira diya tha monkey ne, iske andar nahin jaayenge”…. so on and so forth…. in the process three lollipops stumbled out of her mouth.. one every time she opens her mouth to give gyaan without first securing the lollipop…. Ria tells her the story of the greedy dog with the bone….

We reached a patch of the service road where it narrows down to a single lane and there’s a bit of slush in the usable section of the road…. carefully we navigated through but shoes were all mud caked. Ira promptly attempts to clean her shoes on my feet (I was wearing my floaters). Anyway we get to the end of the service road and then timing the signal properly cross the main road. As we are reaching the Bata showroom finally Ira starts showing signs of getting tired so we gave her a little bit of a pep talk about slippers and she’s fired up again. We reached the block which houses the Croma and Bata stores and realized we reached a tad early as the Bata store is not yet open. So Ria gives a bright idea “lets go into the Croma store and look at stuff there while we wait for Bata to open”…. I asked the Croma guy who was opening the store “when does Bata open?” says “11AM”…. we are about 28 minutes early. So I look at the two eager pair of eyes wondering “what now?” and think “ok that’s going to be a bummer Ira is going to get a little cranky if we do not get the slippers”…. then I ask them “do you girls want to walk back to the car, pick up the car and then drive back here, the Bata store would be open by then”…. a very emphatic “No we’ll wait here” comes from Ria. Then I spring the camouflaged option “how about we walk a little more to the MacD, get something to eat… this store will be open by the time we’re done at MacD”…. “YES! YES!! MacD MAcD”…. so that’s what we do…. had I asked them to walk more they would’ve cribbed…. you need to be very tactical about such things…. both of them walked without an issue….

At the MacD we got us a Pancakes meal with a chocolate milkshake, hashbrown with an egg-cheese burger for the kids and a filter coffee for me. They insisted on sitting on the bar stools rather than the low seating sofa…. a relaxed leisurely 45 minute affair… 11:19AM we start heading back after visiting the wash room and ensuring bladders were ready for the walk back… The Bata store was open this time, they were busy removing the sale stickers and decorations apparently sale ended last evening. We go up to the kids section Ria spots the slippers that we eventually buy…..

the slippers we went to get
the slippers we went to get
super excited kids now as they can’t wait to break into the slippers at home…. they practically ran all the way back racing with each other…. this service road is a blessing in that manner… not used by any vehicles so kids can be free… of course within limits…. I still had 2 lollipops left over which they worked through on the way to the place where we had parked our car…. Ria was very thirsty by the time we reached the car and wanted to keep walking to the shop so we could buy a bottle of water…. but I somehow bundled them in and drove off…. stopped at the shop on the way out of the parking lot… got a couple of lollipops and a bottle of water as they vociferously shot down the suggestion that we could have cold drink if they wanted it (yeah strange kids they do not want cold drink)….

Back home by 12:20 I suggested they get a massage from Kullu aunty before having a bath… Ria agreed to that Ira was too excited to bother with a massage…. she has never liked the idea of a massage all along. Lunch went down pretty easy and then Gauri, their friend from A802, came over…. I was in my room upstairs but from the sounds it was a happy bunch of kids playing, telling stories etc. etc.

[runkeeper url=”″]

In the evening around 6:15P we left to pick up Sonali from her office (it being dahi handi day the roads would be overflowing with rowdy idiots and SG didn’t want to take a chance driving in that sort of drunkard infested traffic)… Ira slept off around 6:30 just as we were reaching office…. long day longest walk so far…. it was a total of 4.46Km. Broken up with the almost one hour break (MacD and Bata) but even so I think commendable job for a 2 year 4 month old. I don’t want to turn them into any sort of athletic freaks, I just want them to make healthy choices in life. That they choose to run marathons or whatever is up to them all I can or want to do is to introduce a respect for the active life…. So yeah big day for a small kid….