Radhika's Diaries

I see humor in the mundane.

Both my boys are football geeks. Period.

That, I presume, says it all!

They talk football at home. Ahem….not just talk – they breathe, eat, sleep, dream football.  And is that all…?? No there’s more.

For starters – They are incapable of just walking – as in, simply putting one step in front of another to get from point A to point B in the house, like the rest of us – oh no!! The grimy well-kicked football is never far from their feet and they pass the ball, they dribble, they dodge, they tackle, they do a kobri, they take a heading, they strike a goal – all this while getting from that point A to point B. Most of our walls (and ceilings) are decorated with smudges and marks; and items in the house resemble artefacts from the Harappa and Mohenjo daro times (they all lack either an arm, leg or head.)

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This has been the case right from the time the wee boys learnt to kick a ball. Since then there’s nothing left to break in our house, except perhaps my husband’s head and mine – which it might if it gets in the way of the ball!!

Whenever the boys come back home for vacations, the 1st thing they do on entering the house is to hunt for their Nike ball and there we go again……!

And I, being the good mother that I am, follow the policy of “If you can’t beat em, join em!” So, I am all ears when they want to talk strategies of their favourite team; and I am all eyes when they want to show me a particularly clever tactic from their favourite player. I have perfected the art of looking pretty knowledgeable when they throw names like Drogba, Hazard, Fergusson, Wenger and more at me and I hardly bat an eyelid at conversations revolving around  penalty-kicks, free-kicks, corners, off-side, the yellow card and the red card!

My kitchen platform, most often, doubles up as the football field whenever either twin wants to discuss finer points of the game – the salt & pepper shakers become the Goal Posts, the lemon is the ball, and it turns out the pickle-jar is not actually a pickle-jar – it’s the Centre-Forward about to score a goal!! You can imagine what happens when that goal is scored – there’s pickle all over the wall of course!!  :/

So, with this being the scenario in my house you can guess my reaction when the boys throw a challenge at me. I take it up! Simple as that – Mine not to ask why, Mine just to Do or Die!! The most recent one being the Dizzy Penalty Challenge or simply The Dizzy Shootout!!

And what does that involve?  Well, it involves going around a football in dizzying circles for as many times as you can and then shooting a goal! Sounds simple??? It isn’t – believe me. I wobbled around the house in a dazed maner for quite some time after that!!

And since my WordPress account doesn’t support videos, I’m wondering if I should upload my DizzyChallenge video on YouTube. When Ronaldinho, Gareth Bale and Usain Bolt can put up theirs, why can’t I???

🙂

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Last week my house got burgled!

Not really sure how the chap/s got in – he may have picked the lock (it is easy to pick) or I may have left the front door unlocked (I do that sometimes). Actually, I have a strong suspicion it’s that chap who came round for some survey or other!!  Be that as it may – that unscrupulous, conscienceless scoundrel  (may he go all the way to Hell) got in and helped himself to all of my private and personal stuff!!!! And the next thing I know, he goes and puts them up at the Local Garage Sale – and I had to buy my own things back. Grrrrr!

Is that a collective guffaw I hear?? Yes – you laugh at my predicament, and so you should – it’s too silly for words, I find it funny myself and it didn’t really happen at all!!!!  :/ 😉

So then why isn’t anybody laughing at the somewhat similar predicament out there in the big bad online world – something about someone getting into Facebook and helping themselves to personal data (via some personality prediction tests) of over 50 million FB users, and then putting all the stolen information to use elsewhere??

Look at the brouhaha it has caused!! Not to mention a situation wherein people all around the world have been jolted out of their usual complacent somnolence with the million dollar trending question of Shakespearen magnitude : “To Delete (the FB account) or not to delete, that is the question!!!” 

Okay – There are no 2 ways about the issue: it’s unscrupulous, unprincipled, unethical and downright scary too – but not at all shocking is it? Wasn’t it to be expected – sooner or later??

I mean, I’m kind of confused……..

It’s a PUBLIC PLATFORM darn it!! And it’s for FREE!

Did we sign on for these social sites at gun point? Nope. Did we think twice before clicking on “I agree…” or “I submit…” or whatever? Nope. On our own free will, we upload every last bit of our personal and private details on this free PP and …….cry foul when it doesn’t stay private any more!! UhOh.

Why do we do it?? Is it naïveté or is it just our ego?

For instance, why do I put up my pictures, my blogpost and whatever else on FB, or Instagram or Twitter or any other social site? Because I love Marc Zuckerberg and I want to do him a good turn? 😉

DUH!! I love myself – that’s why. Let’s face it : We all want to reach out to the world for that instant public gratification that social sites give us. We crave for Likes, Shares and Comments for all that we upload – pictures of a delicious looking dish, latest haircut, the last trip we went on, details of the next trip, and more, for all our followers, their friends and friends of friends!!

I feel pleased and pampered when FB does a personal birthday video for me, but I’m outraged when it broadcasts my age to the world. I am happy to take ludicrous online surveys that tell me which celebrity I resemble the most (:/) or how I might look 20 years hence (:/), but I’m angry and upset when the details I fill in (on a public platform mind you!!) are ‘leaked’ out! And the list goes on…..

Every time I log in to Facebook, it asks me “What’s on your mind….?” and I am very forthcoming in my reply –  I broadcast my preferences, my favorites, my likes, my dislikes and my reasons for doing so and FB records all of it for posterity! Well, there you are…!

It’s quite like sunbathing, out in the open front yard of the house; and at the end of a relaxed enjoyable hour’s session in the sun, we’re shocked, outraged and upset that the entire neighborhood has stopped by to check out our tan (and our vital statistics 😉 We then proceed to raise a ruckus and sue the Landlord for not doing enough to safeguard our privacy. And to show that we mean business, we decide to shut down house and move elsewhere!

Just as the call is now up to “Delete…. the FB Account!!

However, I doubt if that’s really going to solve the issue, as we’ll have just shifted it to another platform!! And don’t even get me started on what we’ve done to that thing called WhatsApp. Woah!

One really does not have to go all out and become a Buddhist, to follow a philosophy of moderation and of ‘not going overboard’ in our relationship with social media.

Even the most placid and well-behaved cow would no doubt kick you in the face if you milked it too hard and too much!!!

cow

So, tell me what’s on your mind….??? 🙂

 

 

Image courtesy : Google Images

The blogging world is a wonderful one. Fellow bloggers “Like, Comment, Follow…” and in the process become good friends. One such is Anindya  (you can check out his blog here) a blogger who has a wonderful blog on varied topics. When he requested me to do a Guest Post for his Blog, how could I not do so? Normally I tend to go for lighthearted topics and give them the humor treatment…… But this time I decided to take another path. Originally intended for International Women’s day, but delayed due to various reasons ( I personally believe everyday is Women’s Day) here is the Guest Post I did for Anindya’s  My Daily Journal.  (you can check out the original post through the above link)

To all the wonderful women out there……

WHOSE HOME IS IT ANYWAY?

When I was 6 years old, my father said, “Tell me which doll you want…”
I said, “Could I have the blue-eyed one?”
And he said, “Of course baby,  it’s your choice.”

When I was 16, my father said, “What do you want for your birthday.”
I said, “Nothing Daddy, you have already given me so many gifts….”
And he said, “You are my darling daughter. Tell me, you can have anything you want.”

When I was 18, my father said, “I have seen a boy for you. The marriage is in 6 months.”
I said, “Daddy, I don’t want to get married now. I want to study.”
And he turned red and said angrily, “You will do as I say. THIS IS MY HOUSE!!

And I got married.

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A few months after, my husband said, “Don’t ask me dear, cook anything you like.”
I said, “It’s easier if you help me to decide….”
And he said, “Anything is fine. It’s your wish.”

Another day he said, “Thank you for looking after the home and my parents so well.”
I said, “It’s not a big deal. I’m doing it out of love for my own people.”
And he said, “Nevertheless, I would like to give you a gift. Ask for anything you like.”

Then one day he said, “I have quit my job and we have to move from this house.”
I said, “Oh, You never mentioned anything before! What happened?”
He turned purple and said, “What will you do by knowing!! I decide these things anyway. THIS IS MY HOUSE!!”
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Years later, my son said, “Amma why stay alone in this big house? Let us sell it.”
I said, “But then, where will I go son?”
And he said, “You are welcome to live with me.”

Some months later, my son said, “Her parents are coming for a few months. We will need the guest room.”
I said, “Of course son. Shall I move my things?”
And he said, “You can sleep in the little one’s room. He would love it!”

Then one day, my son said, “I’m sorry Amma. We cannot change our lifestyle for you.”
I said, “I am trying my best to keep up son. But I am old and set in my ways too….”
And I turned pale as he said, “If you cannot adjust then…… THIS IS MY HOUSE!

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Whoever said letter-writing is a dying art??

It’s not, I assure you. It’s alive. And kicking. But not in the privacy of an envelope. It’s out in the open. And it’s called an Open Letter.

Stamps, envelopes, post-cards, post-boxes, post-men….. are so passé, dears. Open letters posted on the Net are all the rage.

As per social etiquette, it’s considered rude to read letters addressed to someone else (even if you’re dying to ;)) In some places it’s actually illegal to do so! Are you aware that in the UAE checking other people’s messages and e-mails – even your partner’s – without their consent, could land you in jail for upto 3 months, with a fine of Dhs 3000/- to Dhs 5000/- to boot?  We know Curiosity kills ! Now it’s expensive too! :/

Open Letters, however, know no such limitations!! The whole idea is to address the letter to a particular individual through the general public after all!!

You got something to tell someone? Maybe something nasty even? 😉  To…… your spouse? Your ex? Your neighborhood Grocer? A Bollywood Film Director? The President of the US? Don’t know how and where to contact them?  Can’t say it to their face? You want the whole world to hear it too? Great. Just type out all that you want to say, hit ‘Send’ and whooosh ……… in seconds it’s out there in the big wide web world – and you can rest assured the Media and the various Social Sites will fall over themselves to bring it to the victim – oops I mean – the receiver’s notice! In a matter of seconds!! Whether he likes it or not!!!

Isn’t the concept simply amazing! It opens up so many other practical possibilities too.

1. It does away with the hassle of buying envelopes and stamps and then having to rush to catch the Postal Clearance deadline.
2. There’ll be no postman coming round to demand his annual Diwali Baksheesh (Tip) And …and…
3. The best part – People just cannot say “Letter? What letter? I didn’t get any letter” and blame it on the abysmal Postal Service.

The missile or rather the missive, will be delivered to the victim (oops again) the receiver’s breakfast table via his favorite newspaper! And there is always Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and whatever else, as Plan B !!  😉

And so with all this going for me, I’m all excited. In fact I am at a loss to understand why I haven’t already dashed off a couple of  Open Letters of my own till now; I have a few things to say to some folks you see; been dreaming of saying it for quite some time now.

Here’s one of them……

An Open letter to Tom Cruise.

Dear Thomas Cruise Mapother IV,
Surprise Surprise…….!!

I forgot what I wanted to say. 😦

 

Tom Cruise

Hi Radz, Forget the letter, let’s meet…

Oooooo …….. See what I mean – the power of an Open Letter! I haven’t even completed mine yet…….. Swoon!!

🙂

“A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”

Oh Yeah? When the English teacher said this to us in the class on ‘Idioms and Proverbs’ in school, we accepted it without argument. In fact, the entire class meekly wrote an Essay (not exceeding 700 words) on the topic.  In my defense, I was young and innocent back then, with two pigtails tied up with blue ribbons. The blue ribbons, of course, have nothing to do with the case in hand, or rather, the bird in hand; nor do the pigtails for that matter. But they do add good effect, don’t they, to the image of innocence and all! 😉

However, now that I’m older – and wiser – (I am, you sniggering idiots – I’ve got all 4 wisdom teeth on, so there!) – now, if anyone accosted me in the street and told me that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, I would beg to differ.

Any other idiom on birds (and there are plenty) is fine, but this one?? Only a bird-catcher, I presume, would nod his head if you told it to him; but herein lies the catch – You won’t catch a bird-catcher in one place long enough to tell idioms to. He’d be flitting from bush to bush after them birds won’t he?

So that leaves you and I. Well, I don’t know about you my friend, but I have no intention of sticking my neck out for the sake of an idiotic idiom and getting pecked by bird-lovers for my troubles! Do you have any idea what we’d be getting ourselves into, if we were seen to be associated with a loaded statement like this one?? As it is people are waiting for controversies around every bush and we’d be handing them one on a platter.

For starters:

Ms Maneka Gandhi (Cabinet Minister and Animal rights Activist) would surely get to hear about it, and she’ll have a thing or two to say on the topic. She’ll probably add a fresh chapter in her book “Heads and Tails”, under the title ‘Cruelty to birds in the name of idioms’!

Members of PETA and SPCA would stage a sit-in in front of our house and wave banners and shout nasty slogans at us – scaring away any birds in nearby bushes in the process!

Twitter would surely go up in smoke with the topic trending under the hashtag #Unhandthebird or #Youtoo?  And just think of the tweets and the trolls!! OMG!!

We would be the center of a noisy debate on News channels with fiery bespectacled news anchors yelling “Answer my question” and  ‘The Nation wants to know’ ….. while we sit there trying in vain to get a word in sideways.

Bird lovers would flock down and gaze at our house through binoculars with 10x magnification, hoping to spot a rare bird or two in our hands. Ornithologists I think they’re called – the bird-lovers I mean, not the rare birds!

Bird Vigilantes would ……..

Whew!!! The possibilities are endless and we’d be a sitting duck for all this and more if we’re not careful. Therefore, after due consideration and not beating around any bush (with birds or without), and despite the fact that I’d got 18/20 for that essay in my school days, I hereby introduce an idiom all of my own:

“Birds in the tree – that’s where God meant them to be!”

There now – that’s more like it, what say!! 🙂

Bird watchers

No they are not gazing at my house…..

 

*Image courtesy Google pics

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