Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jaane Wo Kaise Log The Jinko

well behaved bachey miley.

Well behaved and toddlers, yes you might say it is an oymoron, but I have heard such a strange creature does exist. The father and me are meanwhile involved in our personal Quest for the Holy Grail, sometimes I believe that is all that holds us from having a well behaved child. I really miss my baby, every day I google for changelings. Nothing else can explain what has transpired in our household. Our favourite part of the day is when he falls down asleep (most of the time in the midst of an act of vandalism), that is when we take out our photo albums and ooh and aah about the sweet little child we once knew. Thomas the Tank Engine and the Rodent who should not be named have been dispatched to the far end of the cupboard, but NOTHING helps. Somehow the child has morphed into an evil, cackling terror that raids my meagre rations of Kurkure (I was scandalized when I first caught him red-handed--and I think I can use the term red-handed literally, have you checked out the amount of masala? screaming this is too hot, too hot. Ha ha , you lily livered you he mocked me as he bit into another one), So he slips into my shoes, snatches the house keys running to the door with a triumphant Byee Mama over his shoulder. There is a banging of doors, a look of defiance as he plays with the knobs on the stove, he hides all the remotes shrugging his shoulders "battery shaish" (finished for non-Bangla speakers) our carefully organized wardrobes and drawers are destroyed as he hunts for his confiscated toys and DVD stash and there are several international calls (crank calls all, how lovely) from our mobile phones every evening.

So like parents elsewhere i had to eat my words this month. During my pregnancy and for a good part of the First Year, I swore to all whom I met how I will home school Arhaan. I held on to a fond dream of indoor projects, where we would grow plants and identify flowers, bake cakes, and paint, and read from books, but there was I one afternoon Arhaan swinging from my hair while I screamed I will Be So Happy when You Go to School.

I really dont want to run down my child. I am sure if I think hard enough I will remember all the things that make him adorable and how he has enriched my life. But I am just bewildered as I thought that ours was a different journey. I really really thought that with all that he has been exposed to he would make for a really different kid with none of the Toddler Tantrums, but as Salman Khan very wisely said (and I am always quoting to other frazzled moms) Zindagi may Jitna Bhi Karo, Saala Kum PArh Hi Jaata Hai. About time I listened to myself, eh. Bara Beywafa Nikla Yeh Bacha!!

He has taken very happily to the school, and the principal tells me He is an Old Soul, which could translate as He is Freaking the Hell Out of Us ( too late we have already paid the semester fee). Arhaan had taken to giving a cheeky grin singing No Size (mimicking some of the salespersons in Bangkok as we went around buying shoes for him). As kids do, he had forgotten all about it, until a Chinese girl joined his school and it all came rushing back. So at this stage Arhaan thinks saying hello to pretty little girl in Chinese translates as " scrunch your face" and smile No Chhize. Every afternoon I get ready to be beaten up by her irate parents in the parking lot.
He does keep on assuring us School Nice, but as he screams Meri School Aa-gayi every time we pass the amusement park, I wonder how, where he is spending his days. Yes, he has problems with gender placement of verbs. But with a Pathan mom and growing up Bangla, what were you expecting.

It has been a very very cold week for us, please dont laugh too hard, yes this is a veteran of cold, windy Melbourne winters and a colder Rawalpindi writing this. Sadly, our flat like most places in Dhaka does not come with heaters, and getting a heater this week is like well getting decent house help. We all know its out there, but in our house? right now? surely you jest. All our rooms have sliding glass doors that open up to the balcony; so as anyone who has studied conduction of heat can tell you People Living in Glass Houses should study up on Climate Change.

There is also no Saiguni the maid. Proving that good house help like certain friends one may have encounter remain fair-weather. She assures us that she will return when warmer climes resume. Trust me to have a hot-house exotic bloom of a maid.

And Dhaka like elsewhere in South Asia is low on energy supplies which translates into one too many cold showers. I thought I had done my years of heating water in a kettle and shivering through shampoos. Surely years of "bettering my self" should bring my happily-ever afters. So yesterday I did my best Marie Antoinette, if the Natives Have No Hot Water, Give them Salon Shampoos and marched to a spa/salon that has opened next door.

My review: Never visit an establishment in the first month of their opening. Let me explain. Yes you get their "Madam for today only" discount. But it also means for a group of eager second-in-commands and general staff crowding you. I go to a salon to have my bubble of thoughts, and somehow to have all these bobbing heads checking whether you are comfortable, the progress of your eyebrows, the hair oil is very irritating. And somehow in the first month the staff are like lovers very low on confidence levels. Madam, is pressure OK? Madam, are you comfortable? Too high? Too low? Something for your back? Coffee? Arey baba, get a hold of my hair and that hair oil and get on with it, I snapped.

As my hair was getting washed (temperature: luke warm sigh) I could hear over the drone of hair dryers conversations that were oh so familiar. I guess every salon worth its L'Oreal, sorry salt, must come with one high-pitched person who feigns shock on what happened last week. Society madams and reputations are ripped, there is a Oh but you knew So-and-So and Ohh My Goddd, with a lot of hands-in-air mock horror. And somewhere in the middle of my shampoo someone brought a toddler, I dont know whether it belonged to the staff who was holding it or the one who was washing my hair, but it made for me having my hair rinsed as a pair of very big eyes just stared at me, its drool mixing in the tepid water. I swear I could hear Arhaan cackling in the background, as he shoved a fistful of Kurkure in his mouth.


  1. I hate being surrounded too when in a salon, and having all kinds of suggestions made about your face, your nose, your hair, skin, eyebrows, mustache. :)

    I'm sure you are hoping Arhaan does become Old People soon.

  2. I came to your blog for the first time today via Jammie's blog. Loved reading your description of how toddlers morph from mood to mood...especially cuz I wrote on my blog about the EXACT same thing today! :)

    Parenting, while so unique in its particulars, can also be so universal in the experiences hmm?

    Come, check out my post about toddlerhood at

  3. Banno: Ah a kindred spirit, how nice

    HYF: I did. And I have rationed myself to three posts a day. Your blog is frickin' addictive!!

  4. Just keep repeating to yourself - 'This too shall pass'. I am still doing it. About my five and a half year old. It keeps me from flinging myself off the nearest tower :)

  5. Yes, I never let my 5 year old miss school ... ever. After all , I have paid the fees - it's the school's headache. And then I head to the parlour for some R&R (to hell with beauty !)and what do you know , 3-year old Bubbly dear wants to know why they're spreading jam on aunty's leg.Makes me want to offer her some !

  6. If your question, "Jaane kaise log they jinko well behaved bachche mile?" wasn't rhetorical, my answer would be -- fictional.


  7. I cracked up at every sentence. Very well-written. Can't wait to hear more about your brat and your spa sessions. They can both get addictive, I say.

  8. The child has developed an ego which, like all egos, hates to be thwarted. I think all toddlers become monsters for a while. Better than the teenage and young adult monsters whose tantrums you can't pick up and cuddle away:(

  9. I mean pick up the child and cuddle the tantrums away. Uff- merey language ka kya bura haal hai:(

  10. @Rohini: Funny they say that about gall stones too right?

    @ Anon: Well thats a theory.

    S: But then you hear about children who were born the SAME DAY as yours (and are so well behaved and at peace with themselves and the world ) and you stop believing in star signs, life patterns.

    Preeoccupied: Well the brat will not "turn" over a new leaf any time soon, so you will have your daily fix. Spas Im not sure!

    Dipali: And here was Munnah Bhai convincing us a jaadu ki jhappi will reform these monsters.


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