Monday, October 31, 2011

aao bachcho aaj tumhen ek kahaani sunaata hoon main sher ki kahaani sunoge ? hmm ?

Seriously if one has to make an entry into a city it has to be like this tan-tana..otherwise just have a skype conference .

Sadly it was a regular airplane for us.  Guten Tag Berlin! Khemcho?Majama? (See what I just did, eh eh. You should have seen some of the posters for the Berlin state elections and it would have all been very very clear)

Berlin was work for Baba Bear.
And Gartens, Tier and Zoologischer for the Mutter und Kinder.
Also friends from school and from my foray into the twitter world. You know the other day, Arhaan told me how he now has a friend in school , adding Emil Is Good Boy I Like Emil  I asked him how? Also why? (as in what is the good boy code of conduct for the 33 month old nowadays?) And he replied Emil Wear Arhaan Tshirt. Yes, its a simple life. You turn up wearing the same Tshirt and you end up Best Friends Forever. Do it now and the fashion police will brand you for life. Tar and feathers optional.

I must say even though I play the Blow Hot Blow Cold game with Social Media, the blog world and twitter have introduced me to Friends Who Are Just Right (as Goldilocks would put it, considering I am way past the age of You Like Amitabh? I Like Amitabh? We Are Now Baaast Friends...albeit it is a combined love hate relationship with Amitabh that is responsible for many a new friend  recently)

anyways this was Berlin and I met up with @wastrelette. Excellent upma maker, eclectic reading list, and ever so patient with tantrummy toddlers. Whats Not to Like, I say?
She trotted along for a long, long walk through the Tiergarten (where the Toddler dozed off and opened his eyes only to spot a children's playing area, silently registered it and pestered me for the coming week to take him there). She treated me to an excellent home made breakfast one rainy day and stood patiently in the pouring rain whilst the Toddler painted his face so

And clapped enthusiastically for him as he mewed for the 300th time

And bought him donuts

So yes, the brief Tiergarten stroll led to Toddler Tantrums each morning..followed by my tearing out my hair every afternoon. The park is 210 hectares. Cue in:

Jaane jaan dhoondti phir rahi
Hoon tumhe raat din main yahan se vahan
Mujhko aawaaz do, chup gaye ho sanam
Tum kahan 

The Berlin Wall was put up, fell down. Playing Area not to be found. We passed by Goethe who looked like a pompous principal whilst mums and assorted children waited for school admissions.

 Beethoven and other qawwal.

 Statues for the Prussian Queen Luise and Fredrick William III. They like Woody Allen and Mia Farrow preferred waving to each other from across the park.

And Fredrick DID look a lot like Nehru. *whistles casually. Will refrain on commenting on the  relationships of the Powerful*

And so we wandered some more. And when I thought I couldnt walk any more, the park appeared right around the bend.
I have to commend the Germans for some sturdy play structures for children rather than investing in only the plastic.
So we had this:

And this:

as options.

Yup endurance and skills training was all on offer for us.

We repeated Hunt Down the Playing Area game every day for the following week. Yes, you heard me right. every day. And in such cheerful surroundings I must add. The area has been hunting grounds, site of political murders, housed war memorials, people being shot down escaping East Berlin, murders. Mysterious old people walking into the distance.

Fishing this out of The Toddler's pockets every afternoon, as he foraged for them like a little squirrel.

I had to temporarily suspend hostilities with zoos , just so we could go to the Berlin Zoo. Where the sun was out (unlike last time) and the dad was Arhaan's enthusiastic co-conspirator hence a lot of giggling over hippos blowing bubbles out of their butt in the water.

 The Toddler complains about the subliminal imagery "Beta,  no more pampers OK"

There was a panda who mumbled This Must Be The First Time You Took So Much Interest in Something Made In China. Be less Kindness Impaired Towards that Electronic Product Too OK.

Such a Shaddup call to the poor animals I say! "Dont like your dinner tonight eh?  Well the LA Zoo is  Thataway. Wahi ja kar chicken tangri kha"

The Toddler assured each fish about his undying devotion. I Love You and You and You , mwwaaahhh. Fish Are Friends Not Food.
The Penguins Were Very Camera Friendly and Willingly Lined Up For  Group Shots
A Fish That Walks. Oh Yes!
A Shark That Reminded Me "Madam,! Haathi Ke Daanth, Dikhaney Ke Aur Khaaney Ke Aur but for us What You See Is What You Get in your thigh, chomp! chomp!"

In a parallel universe Garnier would have kept me as their spokesperson.  Maa kehti hain Oil Your Hair. But Time Kahan?
Aaj phir mooli gajar pakke hain, psst do you have a Big Mac on you?

The Paparazzi Are Out Again Honey, No More PDA

...however, thinking up of cute captions for the photographs aside, I am forced to suppress the depression that walking through the zoos and looking at the photographs brings up every time. Yes, it is educational for children and will make them think twice before ordering sharkfin soup and how asking for palm oil means Bye Bye to another orangutan. However, at this stage zoos classify as one more feature of the Gabbar-Basanti school of feeding the toddler. The moment you stop eating this paratha, that there otter stops popping his head out. So I dont know if my son is learning anything about the animal world, other than that it is around for the express purpose of helping him with his lunch.

Baji ji, our bus is here. Tell your munna to finish that paratha quick.
 I try to file my thoughts under the Aneela, you think too much subheading, and store them far far away in the recesses of my mind (we are so emotionally healthy you know). 

But I look at them and try not to think of that one year during my Phd years when I volunteered at the Villawood detention centre. And those eyes. Every weekend. Weary, Turning Away; many. Eager, running to me; some. The old and the resigned. The curious, and the young. And ever summoning up some dignity as they raised their head.

I started out quoting Mr Natwarlal, and Mr Bachchan humming that catchy ditty. So it is best that I end with him as well. 

So an eager young child asks the Angry Young Man.

phir kyaa huaa?

Khudaa ki qasam maza aa gaya
mujhe maar kar besaram kha gayaa
khaa gayaa ?
lekin aap to zindaa hain

arre ye jeenaa bhi koi jeena hai, Lalloo ?
haan ?

What Happened Next?

Oh I can swear 
By all things Holy 
It Had Been A Fun Fun Journey.
He Gobbled Me Up Though. 
That Shameless, Shameless Creature You Know

Gobbled You Up?
But You Are Alive?
How Ever Did You Get Up?

Im Alive You Say? 
Hmm OK
But A Life Worth Living

Arre ye jeenaa bhi koi jeena hai, Lalloo ?


  1. loved loved loved loved reading this...

    this post has to be made required reading for neobloggers...

    love to A.

  2. Lovely post! I just love reading your blog and especially the travelogues. Best wishes,Yogita.

  3. Delightful post.
    (Even though I cannot bear the thought of zoos any longer, I guess toddlers need some kind of zoo to visit).
    And the song- such fun!

  4. @MiM: You bhi naa.Now I am getting the shy feeling

    Dear Yogita, What a polite polite note. It reminds me of the kind of letters my school teachers wanted me to write. It is readers like you who log in and send feedback that keep me writing and posting, otherwise jungle me mor nacha blog kiya kis ne dekha. Aap ko bhi best wishes and this bouquet of flowers, aneela

    @Dipali: Yes the song has all the humour and pathos that a trip to the zoo merits. Not all zoos might turn out as sad spaces, but this particular one always leaves me disturbed

  5. What were those brown things that had to be fished out of the brat's pockets- seeds?

  6. sooo sweet and lovely post .Can not stop smiling while reading it .

    Love your blog.

    Follow each other.

  7. Opened Google reader after ages. Thanks for the mention A! I had loads of fun meeting you & your phizzzy-water-obsessed toddler (I don't remember making upma for you, though :P) Let's hope the sushi dinner isn't jinxed next time :)

    ~ S aka wastrelette


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