Thursday, June 16, 2011



Last week, Ananya, my 10 year-old informed me that I just have to take her to watch the just released potboiler, ‘Ready’.

While I do admit Salman’s patented brand of puerility is sometimes good for a laugh or two, I was quite up to my gills in it after Dabangg. Let me put it this way, I was not ‘Ready’-ready just yet.

So I hemmed and hawed and said,“Umm… don’t know how the film is going to be. Let us take a look at the papers and see what Shubhra periamma has to say about it.”  (The periamma in question here being my sis-in-law Shubhra Gupta, a highly regarded film critic with the Express group.)

“Ya, let’s”, she said. So I did that, and duly reported back: “Periamma says the film is a dud... pretty silly and mindless, and not funny at all.”

“Shubhra periamma said it’s silly?” said Ananya, with a furrowed brow.
“Yes”, I said.
“And not funny?” The furrow deepened.
“Yup... not a bit”, said I, barely able to hide a triumphant smile - I might not have to endure ‘Ready’ after all!

The furrow cleared and she broke into a wide smile…“Oh great! Phir toh mujhe pakka achchi lagegi film! Book the tickets, na!”

The rationale, as you must have guessed, being: ‘If a knowledgeable adult pans the film, it must be a great film for juveniles of all shapes and sizes.’ Beat that for logic!

Amazing, how kids instinctively suspect/dislike/reject anything and everything that adults close to them choose to advocate! And the other way round, too.

And I remembered incidences from my childhood… I remember rejecting ice cream - yes you heard that right! (I know those of you who have seen me in recent times tucking into a 1-litre tub of Natural's jamun ice cream or Baskin Robbin's dark chocolate will find this rather hard to believe... :-/)

But seriously, I grew up totally hating ice cream – because the gaggle of 9 adults at home tried to make sure I only had 'healthy' ice creams (Kwality ke vanilla cups to be precise, which they called the ‘doodh-wala ice cream’). My heart, on the other hand, longed for those 20-paise wala orange and cola flavoured iced lollies, which the adults back at home claimed were made with ‘gutter ka pani’. But my tongue would literally hang out at the very sight of those lollies in all those interesting colours and flavours, while I felt like puking if I so much as even smelt a ‘doodh-wala’ ice cream.

Which brings us to…
KidCommandment#1: Anything that adults recommend strongly is uncool and eminently useless.

And the natural corollary to this: Anything that adults discourage strongly is worthy of exploration.

There are other pearls of wisdom that my brats have taught me over the years, which I will put forth in the coming days... those of you who have kids of your own, do share your gems too - along with your learnings, naturally - share your  own KidCommandments!


  1. Doodh wala icecream! Like that. Will try it on my little girl who gotta have an icecream every day. Maybe she will go off it.

  2. Yaar, maja aa gaya, I can feel there were so many similar incidents and yet when I get down can hardly recall any! As far as I can recall Mowgli himself is worth a full book -our experiments with truth i swhat it shall be called.
    I recall your struggle to give him quinine when he was three and down with Malaria. Doc had told you that it is a terrible tasting medicine and kids will puke, and so you need to cover it up well grinding it and mixing it, and then topping with water and some other tasty stuff to follow else you are doomed.
    This was followed by your daily battle with Mowgli - powdering the medicine, catching him by scruff, pouring it down his throat forcibly while he put his best defenses and then your crying at the end of it out of harassment.
    And I recall one day Mowgli asking you what is it you want - and your saying that he must take that medicine.
    Response of Mowgli -Oh! That is all! Give it to me now!
    And then he chews the stuff and walks away coolly!
    Kya Samje!
    Kidcomandment2# - Kids (by some esp) will always tend to prove you wrong, make an assumption of their taste preferences; or from proven track record and they will prove you wrong by a choice opposite

    My Own recall - Reverse psychology - Remember when Mowgli used to start crying aloud after any major accidents (only about 10 a day in first 10 years) - I would cry louder and he would instantaneously stop looking at me as if I was crazy and find it funny.

    Corollary - Give them back what they do to us and more of it! - we should beeven more kiddie

    I hope others contribute and you actually are able to make the 100 commandments that must be there

  3. by the way am not sure if others are experiencing this - but the task of posting comments for soem reason - at least I am experiencing - is veery tough and irksome - ot just keeps going back and forth

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks Suchi, this medicine of humour did bring down the pressure considerably..:~)

    I've had several similar experiencess with Shontal... When Deepak (Majari's husband) diagnosed her to be suffering from Hip-Displasia and advised us to give a large bottle full of (lacto-calamine-like) calcium medicine to be given to her every evening, the whole story started! The first evening when we attempted to give her (without realising that she had had her dinner for the day), and her refusal to have it and from that day on, the "Bhageeratha" efforts that were by us to force feed her every evening and her antics of jumping all around the place was history!

    Then one day when the very same medicine bottle had broken and she was found licking the very same spilt medicine on her own -- made us learn a lot! It is not the medicine but the way we administer that mattered the most!

  6. Hey Ramjee, what a delightful story! And it gives me fodder for another write up.. ;)

  7. i can truely understand where ur 10 year old is reasoning ...its error proof

    and I used to have those 'gutter ke pani' wali icecream ...they were so yummy ..doodh wala i-ce-cream were no match for it ..

    though now i have stopped those ice-creams but still can't get over street golgappes

  8. Hi suchi,
    Reading yr blog I am reminded of a conversation I had with my Daughter. I asked her to help me in some kichen work ( she is 23 ,so no child labour Thats the word she uses some time )that how I had developed a habbit to only asking her to do things around kitchen and not her brother who is 24 now ..when he was young kid when ever I told him to do some work he used to mess up things I thought may be he is more clumsy and would not ask him to do it again ..Now after so many years Roli (my daughter) tells me he used to deliberately mess things up so that He can play and I would not disturb him .I asked her how do U know that .....she told me bhaiya used to teach me " you do like this break few things then mom will never ask you to do anything and we will play" ..... Kids ....