My Warrior!

Dhruv and I are on an overnight train journey. We are happily equipped with food and some activity which will keep us occupied till bedtime.

Enter a group of college goers.


All the sudden gush of noise and rambling makes Dhruv realize that people-gazing could be more entertaining that all the silly toddler activities amma’s put together.

They settle down and in less than 5 minutes they take out a huge bag of junk – packs and packs of crisps, soda etc.

They open a pack of crisps. Dhruv is staring harder now.

Each of them pick a crisp and bite into it.

I can see my Dhruv’s eyes narrow and pupil widen like a camera lens. Everything else blurs and focus is only on the crisp.

The crisp breaks with a Krrrr sound and I look at them and my little one in alteration. The moment the crisps went into their mouths my baby was salivating!

Wow! What a commercial! I knew for sure that had the marketing team for the crisps seen this they would have immediately taped it for inspiration!

The youngsters seem less in a hurry after a few munches. Having satisfied their taste buds they look around at other things in the compartment. That’s when they caught my little boy staring hard on their pack of chips and salivating.

Embarrassment. I immediately try to divert his attention and ask him ‘Would you like to have dinner?’


I remove the pack of chapathis (Indian bread) and curry. Tear a bit of chapathi, dip it generously in the curry and attempt to feed him. He looks helplessly at me, his eyes yelling out ‘Ma..what are you doing?! Chips Vs Chapathi?? I have to be up for the game. Don’t let me down!’

I sense his misery and remove another box. Open it with fake excitement and say ‘See we have crisps too!’ It was box of homemade banana chips. Less appealing. I mean look at my modest box and look at the pack of crisps!

Dhruv looks at me and smiles as if to say ‘I love you!! But please pack it better next time. Substitute the tin with organic paper bag maybe? But for now, I’ll manage.’

He takes a banana chip out of the modest box, looks at the group of youngsters and says ‘Dhruv has chips too. Your chips are from bad oil. Dhruv’s is healthy AND yummy..’

He then bites into the humble banana chips staring in the eye of one of the guys from the group as if to say ‘Ha! You loser!’

Love happens and I can’t help but hug him.  He happily had his chapathi-curry and chip in rotation and when he was done, he looked up at the group again just to reassure them that he was in the game too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present you my toddler – who is already up for the fight against the world. Who dares to take on him?!

Hum along!!

It appears having a toddler at home can have more dire consequences than you’d think and the situation will leave you googling about ‘focus’ ‘attention’ et al.

Let me clarify – If you have a toddler at home, you get used to repetition – same game over and over again, same story a million times and the worst is the same set of nursery rhymes day in and day out.

So you wake up in the morning listening to ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ Do your house chores listening to the same, listen to the same one in your car and drift off to sleep at night with ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ playing in the background.

Click on to listen : 5 little monkeys Be warned though. it will haunt you for the next one week!


You listen to it so many times a day that even if it doesn’t play in the stereo; it is always playing in your head. You wake up and you want to say the morning prayer but you can only recollect ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’; that friend of yours ask you about that song from that movie and you blabber ‘5 little monkeys..’

Worse still; rhymes have rhythm…so you are working at your work station and the rhymes go off in your head. You nod your head sideways and up and down; you go to collect a print and the nod continues with maybe a side to side sway and you find yourself calling for all your colleagues’ attention for the wrong reasons.

But the worst is yet to come.

There I am in between my appraisal meeting, trying really hard to prove my point and that I really need that promotion but all I have in my head is ‘5 little monkeys…’ which sort of shows on my face and when am expected to advocate, am only smiling to myself and nodding my head!

So I know am not getting any worthy appraisal thanks to the monkeys. And I am frustrated but the monkey song would not let me be, it forces me to smile and nod!

It is like a bug. It isn’t even appealing like that hip number stuck in your head from a famous album. Because you need to be extremely careful not to let it slip out of your mouth because then you give off way too much about yourself than you intend to.

So you stop by at the petrol bunk to refuel; you are still nodding and swaying; then the rhyme slips out in a hum and there the world knows that you are no longer just a woman – who may or may not be married – who may or may not have kids. You are a mom and you listen to the rhymes more than you have listened to everything else cumulated over the years!

Those watchful eyes!

So generally you affectionately pick up your toddler son, swirl him and kiss him and he would in turn probably hug you tight, laugh and giggle and tell ‘Maa I lovee you..’

I wish!


I pick my toddler and do the same. He does laugh and giggle and then says ‘Maa you have this black hair sticking out of your chin.’


He then tries to pluck it with his tiny fingers and finds it thoroughly amusing. Repeats it over and over again pinching my chin in the process.


I look around to assure myself that we are alone and MIL, the maid or Sabarish are nowhere in the audible range..

I put him down and run to the closest mirror, switch on all the lights and inspect.

There. One black pointy hair on my wheatish chin.

Yes, I had noticed it last morning and I chose to ignore. It is technically just one hair and not a beard yet. I could have just plucked it.

But no. I chose procrastination!

See! This is why they have those umpteen articles to how procrastination should be overcome…

Too late, by now Dhruv was running around the house calling out for his dad, grandma and the maid ‘Achaaaaa Achammaaaaaaa Pap…come see..Amma has a black hair on her chin.’

Everyone comes out of their harbor in a split second.

Really?! Are you kidding me?

I bloody yell out to everyone in the house just 15 minutes ago saying: ‘Tea is ready..’ but not one person comes before a line brown layer of butter forms on top of the tea and then I get ‘Oh! It’s cold!’

And people jump out for a tiny hair on my chin??

There are 2 sets people who ensure I am self-conscious at all points in my life:

Set 1:

My mom: Groom, dress, stop looking so poor! Don’t embarrass me in front of my friends… (She is as good as 10 people hence she forms Set 1)

Over time I have learned to face this one liner. Nope I don’t defy. Not an option. I make sure I am groomed when she is in a 1 mile vicinity.

Set 2:

A few really good friends who are miraculously groomed at all times – Even if a catastrophe struck, they would still excuse themselves to get their pedicures and manicures because what if Yamraj (God of death) thought it is too cruel to kill these damsels and chose to go back empty handed.

They have given up on me and call me plain lazy.

But now I realize I have a new traitor in this battle of life, a 2 year old whose needs me to groom him, but is now smart enough to spot a black hair on my chin, realize it is inappropriate and yell out to the world to mock me!

Damn! What am I breeding at home?!

Dad’s an easy job!

So it’s a weekend afternoon. Dhruv and I are just up from a nap. Bored. Just dragging ourselves around. The Dad is out for some work.

Dhruv hears the doors of the car close and runs downstairs yelling Achaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (Daaaadddddd) !!

The Dad is obviously euphoric to see atleast one person get excited about him reaching back home, while the rest of us just say ‘Hmm. Hi..’


The Dad has a toy store bag with him, Dhruv identifies it immediately and showers him with kisses repeating the question ‘whats in it..whats in it…’

A lot of run and chase happens – The Dad running with the cover and dhruv doing his hop skip jump thing after him..

Oh God what is in it?! Just let him have it and give me back my lazy Sunday afternoon!

Finally the Dad opens the bag and reveals a Chotta Bheem soft toy (Indian equivalent of the superman – child version though).

Dhruv’s happiness knows no bounds. At last, at long last Bheem is here.

The next 10 minutes are magical – all work is done – milk is drunk, bath is over – because of course Bheem is watching him and he needs to be impressed to make friends.

Then we declare that Bheem likes Dhruv and they can play together.

The trauma begins – for the Dad.

Dhruv and Bheem want to play, but since Bheem is immobile (should have gotten a battery operated one!)he needs to be propped!

Rule : Whoever has gotten him home (the Dad) will be the prop. Why? because:

  • MIL and I have very few things we agree upon, this was one of them since we don’t want to trade a lazy afternoon for anything in this world!. Hence the rule was made and enforced that minute. Veto isn’t an option if the Dad chooses to continue living with his wife and mom!
  • Also Bheem is the strongest ever, both grandma and I don’t gauge up in terms of muscle power and physique in contrast to the Dad who is pretty fit and muscular being the ideal prop for Bheem.

The Dad wants to escape but MIL and I get into our lazy Sunday mode and switch off. So left with little option, I see the Dad (or Bheem):

  • playing run and chase and hide and seek.
  • feeding Dhruv and Bheem dinner
  • putting Dhruv and Bheem to sleep at about 10.00 pm.

It was quite hilarious  to see the Dad hold Bheem and do all the above craving for a minute’s rest, for a sip of water and so exhausted that he chose sleep over dinner!

So the Dad is out in the hot sun for most bits of the day, returns home to surprise his toddler with a toy, props for the toy and ends up playing, feeding, bathing and putting the toddler to sleep; while mom makes a quick fix fun lunch with the toddler gobble it, cuddles and sleeps with him and wakes up to find the dad taking over.

Am sure the Dad will think a million times before he buys a toy next time, calculating the toddler’s energy level and excitement and carefully weighing it against his own.

But being the Dad he is, he will still choose to get it home just to see the toddler eyes popping out with happiness and excitement!

And being a dad is damn easy isn’t it!

Quality test anybody?

I have had one of those blissfully ignorant childhoods where I thought tomatoes and potatoes are just vegetables.


And then I got married. And suddenly tomatoes and potatoes were way more than ‘just vegetables’.

So when you are just married and in a joint family, you try to do all those tried and tested things to get into the good books of everyone in the family. Imagining me as one of those sari clad Hindi soap opera heroines will only be a slight exaggeration I would say, because I may have checked everything in the to-do list of a good daughter in law.

As part of the exercise, I decided to be proactive.

Wrong decision. It is only later than I realised that proactive was ‘the ultimate’ word only in a corporate. On the domestic front you NEVER (well, almost never) do anything until asked to.

A few days into wedding when my entry into most territories at home was restricted (because I was under probation so I was expected to just observe everything and then get into the role gradually) I decided to please my MIL by buying veggies home.

It was May in India. Damn hot. I will save her the trouble of going out in the heat and buying stuff, I thought.

I just bought a little bit of everything from an air conditioned super market.

Came home and kept them in the sink to be sorted, washed and stored. (C’mon in a few days I at least realised that buying veggies and dumping them straight into the fridge was a big NO NO)!

Enter MIL.

She sees the veggies and does not show even a slight change in expression.

Picks up every single tomato and inspects.  She then studies every stem and leaf of the bunch of spinach that I got.

Lets out a deep sigh and says: ‘These are no good. You have done this once but I expect you to do it NEVER again. We will finish them since YOU have gotten them.’

I hate disappointing people. I mean not that I am a people pleaser but when I do something to please them, I expect them to be pleased and not disappointed..

I summed up the courage to look at her – not quite into her eyes but all over her face, trying to fix my gaze at something – the mixer behind her, her earrings .. something!

‘Amma, what’s wrong with these??’

What ensued was a long lecture about :

  • The different varieties of veggies and how they need to be handpicked.
  • How vegetables are made to ‘look’ good in these supermarkets but rot as soon as they are brought home.
  • How the vendors and shop owners cheat us of our health for petty money.
  • Waxed apples, artificially ripened mangoes and grapes, endosuphane coated curry leaves etc.
  • How there is that one vendor which promises to sell only home grown veggies and how only she can find him!’

Attention all the supermarket owners, the AC and the convenience doesn’t seem to appeal my MIL, so time to rethink your USP guys or you’ll lose out on one valuable customer!

She then drops the veggies in the sink looks at me in the eye feeling deceived and says: ‘What good is all the money you earn if you cant have a meal worth your tummy? You earn primarily so that you can fill your stomach with quality food, good food good health…’

So I got a agriculture-horticulture-dietician crash course in about 20 minutes.

Too much to handle. I phase out.

I had to listen to the disappointed groans every single time the food was served. I was like the outlet for any food made bad – ‘the sambar tastes awful – blame it on the tomatoes.’

Quality surpasses anything and of course MIL does better quality check than the food co-operation!

Now that I have a son and am training to be ‘The MIL’ someday,  I am gradually acquiring the talent.

Handpicking the best quality veggies (and looking down upon your naïve daughter in law) seems to be the ultimate quality of ‘The MIL’

Am getting there, slowly but steadily!

Meanwhile I’ll just go to an ‘organic store’ and get everything from there.

There you go; take home lesson :

  • Always let your MIL do grocery shopping.
  • Healthy family happy family.
  • Money that can’t buy quality food is no more than paper.


Damn the DNAs!!

When you are pregnant, you generally have a wish list for your baby.

Your mind flies past allll those faces in the family and sort of comes up with an algorithm for how your baby should be. Your nose, husband’s height, dad’s complexion, mom’s smile, in-law’s nothing (you know the dynamics there don’t you!)

When I was pregnant with Dhruv, my inner voice (God) sort of told me: ‘You love little girls don’t you – Ha! I will give you a little boy who will grow up and bring home a girl (hopefully) who you will hate!’

That is how he decided to get back at me! So I knew I was having Dhruv long before he popped, through my instincts (a clarification – Gender determination is banned in India – just so that I don’t get jailed here!)


So I filled my room up with pictures of oh! so cute baby boys and wow! so handsome grown up boys!!! My room looked a confused mixture of a mom to be and a teenage girl! Why? Because I thought if I stared at those pictures long enough Ill convince that thing growing inside me to look like them!!

Every mom dreams of her son being a responsible, well behaved, obedient, humorous, talented man of honour (the list is Never exhaustive!) I dreamt the same plus I hoped Dhruv will look like a movie star riding a Harley Davidson with shades on and all the girls drooling over him.

So I meticulously penned down precisely what features I would want him to get from each family member (and the poster people)

  1. Sabarish’s height and built
  2. A combination of both his and my complexion -too fair is not what I like..
  3. His teeth and smile
  4. His hair
  5. My Dad’s and Sabarish’s attitude in life generally (Live and Let live bla bla…Beyond me!!)
  6. My sense of sarcasm/humor (Well?!) and so on..

God thought this was his chance no 2 to get back at me. Dhruv popped out and gradually filled out…to look just like my dad and me!!! Being a mom, it is a matter of pride. BUT what it translates to is:

  1. Desperate need for braces (me)
  2. A laser surgery for vision correction (me)
  3. A hair transplant surgery (Dad)
  4. I hope science develops a cost effective body elongation process in another 20 years or he’ll end up being a guy of umm..average height (Dad and me)
  5. A therapist to put his arrogance and ego in place (All of us put together!)

As I now figure out, all my hoping and gazing may have been a total waste.

These damn DNAs apparently just follow their guts and pair up in whatever way they fancy to churn out products which could otherwise have been master pieces…all they had to do was just follow the mom’s instructions!! But No, it decides to do what it pleases like a defiant teen.

And now see what you have done you DNA!!! I still console myself saying that all that gazing into posters will heed some result sometime later, so he can grow up to look nothing like what he does now. At least that gives me more time to hope and dream of pointing at that dashing young man on the soccer field and proudly saying – ‘He’s good isn’t he? That’s my son’..

But if he doesn’t become that ‘dashing young man’ will I love him any less? Nah!! Because the oxytocin (or one of those ..) in my body forces my mind to believe that the mine can never be not cute and he is sooo mine!!!!

So he shall remain as cute as cute can be in my mind’s eye! (sob sob..)!!

These moms I tell you!!

The memories of how Dhruv popped out of me is becoming vague now. But there are some things I remember – mostly blunders – quite precisely… After the popping out process, I got transferred to a private room in a humble nursing home, which is about 5 minutes from my mom’s home in Cochin. My mom, aunt, the new born and I were in a room. I was in a haze and it was raining like crazy outside. I drifted into sleep every now and then, occasionally look onto my right to see the new born.. Till that night I had never ever had such a close encounter with a new born. CuddlyCoo He wakes up with a start sometimes and falls back to sleeping mode. He needs to be fed every 2 hours they say. So we have to pinch him, rub his ears like he were a puppy, blow near but not onto his face and so on – being very careful, all with just the right intensity to awaken him. And then we have to desperately try to get him to latch and feed himself! That has been the most painstaking encounter I have ever had in my life. By now 2 my fancies of a new born were completely broken. Cute Chubby Baby, pliable, easily fed and the rest would take a week or 2 to be broken… During one such session that night, after he was fed, he took a deep breath in and let it out. Yeah Yeah he sighed! What is the big deal anyways? We sigh all the time. We sigh when we are tired, irritated, sad, maybe when we just need some extra air, even relaxed or after a satisfying meal… Hmmm..but why would a new born sigh?? Satisfying meal?? Nahhh!!! My brains switched to active mode. I looked at my mom and we knew we were thinking the same thing… She quickly kept her finger in front of his nose to check if he continued his breathing streak…what if he thought one big breath and he could take a break for a while?!?!? What if he thought coming out wasn’t a good idea and chose to go back to slumber?! I had a million ‘what ifs’ running in my mind that one split second. I pushed her finger off and kept mine – like the transformation from a pregnant woman to a mom a few hours ago would magically make me sensitive to the minutest air tremors from his nose. Nope.  Couldn’t feel a thing. Realized God hasn’t given me that ‘moms always know’ powers yet.. We were paranoid. My mom unwrapped him and we stared at his small tummy intensely trying hard to figure out if it is inflating and deflating. Stared harder. Nope. Not a sign. Oh Boy!! We were all looking at each other and then at him frantically for some sign. I was welling up, my mom was about to push the panic button when he finally thought it was enough of torture for us on the first day and he stretched – taking in all the air he forgot to take in the last few seconds. He stretched and crawled like a bear after hibernation and then went back to his sleeping mode, very pleased at his accomplishment of freaking the hell out of us. I stared at him and thought ‘You have it all figured out don’t you – Ill figure it in a bit – and then we shall see..’ SO now he falls off over and over again from midway of our stairs or off the window grill, I look up, raise a brow and get back to doing what I was doing. Ha! The fake cry will not budge me. No No Not a puppy face. Don’t you try that on me! Damn! You win again! I find myself running and picking him up. These moms I tell you!

Make me proud my baby!

The 1970s 80s and perhaps 90s in India.


A nervous husband walks up and down the corridor in front of the labor room. The nurse comes out smiling and says ‘Congratulations! Here is your little one!’ – Hands over the new born to the brand new father.

The man holds the baby carefully and asks the nurse ‘Sister, How’s is my wife?’

‘All well.’

Father holds the baby close to him and says: ‘I will give you everything my baby. I will make you the biggest engineer/doctor/civil servant.’ – The aspiring dream of every middle class Indian back then. ‘You will make me proud won’t you?’

The baby opens his eyes in horror and starts crying – obviously not for the need of oxygen into his tiny lungs but at the misery his dad has thrust upon him – and then they wondered why he cried all the time!

Present day India.

Most of the then babies have grown through their misery to fulfil their parents’ dream of being a doctor/engineer etc. Well done people!

And for all defiant few who thought of something different like say being a stand up comedian, I salute you guys for daring to dream beyond what was fed.

Back to the hospital scene in India today:

The husband accompanies the wife to the labour room, stays through the delivery, voluntarily becoming a part of his wife’s trauma.

He is overwhelmed when he takes the baby in his arms for the first time and exclaims: ‘I will not put you through the kind of torture my parents put me through. I will not. I will assure that I give you the freedom to explore the world. Do what you want in life. Pause. I would love it if you become one of those bottomless pits of talent they showcase on TV – pleeease , pretty pleease! You see that’s the in-thing now.’

Bottomless pit of talent?!?! Really? Wonders the baby. Doesn’t sound too good eh??

Imagine coming back from a luxury cruise to be greeted with heavy deadlines and no real route map.

Then the baby starts crying desperately wanting to get right back into mummy’s womb. ‘Just put be back in there and let me go into my slumber!’

I am certain the baby almost accusing: ‘Atleast you just had to become what they asked you to become. I have to make you proud the talented way?? Mozart, Michael Jackson, Picasso…Damn! Should have trained under you guys before I came down here!’

And the cries get louder and louder!

If you are born with it, good for you, if you aren’t, then we’ll make sure you get there. We’ll make sure we manipulate the ‘I will give you freedom to explore the world’ bit to make you feel like you have it all but slowly stirring you to the goal we want you to reach.

Enter all the food supplements with Vitamins A –Z which ensures that the little one is enthusiastic to dance to your expectations. Enter endless coaching camps and talent hunts to gauge the child’s potential.

So if the schools back then said ‘Send your kids to us and we will churn out intellectual machine you’ll be proud to possess’; now they say: ‘We ensure the overall development for your kid; his ‘talents’ will be brewed to perfection so that you can showcase them with pride!’

Just let them be. No we won’t. Not 30 years ago, Not now, Not in another 30 years! Make me proud my baby – c’mon I know you can do it!

Tick Tock Tick…The Time Bomb!

So you are at work. It is mid-week – where you are off the Monday blues but since weekend is still pretty far, that isn’t pepping you up either. You look up the clock, it says 9.53 a.m.


You continue working and then look up hoping it is 12.03 p.m. but the damn clock says 9.59 a.m.

Then you quickly send a message on your office communicator to a chosen few because of who you sum up the willpower to come to work day in and day out – I mean yes, the work is good – challenging and extremely fulfilling – but we do get tired of routine don’t we?!

All of your close-knit colleagues feel the same – the day is as boring as boring can be. Then the ongoing conversation shapes into a plan for lunching out.

Great! Something to look forward to till noon!

However the hands of the clock refuses to budge from its stand – It ironically reflects my attitude – no amount of persuasion can motivate me to get active and shred off the sluggishness.

And so the clock says 10.00 10.05 10.07 and I just stare in mere disappointment.

Its 12.30 and I almost feel like a school girl eagerly waiting for her lunch break so she can go out and run and jump (Now the lethargy sort of indicates that running and jumping is beyond me – It’d be good if I can walk down the road to the eatery – get some sun and polluted air, then stuff myself with junk and head back).

Now that I think of it – I was hardly the running jumping type back in school too – I was just the junk loving nerd – hmm – a realization a tad bit late.

Never mind. Focus back on present.

So we walk down the road to a sandwich place and order our sandwiches.

We grab a table and were about to bite in – Enter a huge group of college goers. We sensed the impeding nuisance that awaited us. Damn these youngsters!

A sudden outburst of loud squeaks, swearing, laughing and yelling. Mm.  ‘India is a democratic republic – freedom of speech etc’ which translates to ‘I don’t care about the public space – I shall continue to squeak and howl. If you want a quite lunch with just enough gossip, then build your own restaurant!’

We roll our eyes and look at each other. We attempt to talk which went like:

Me: ‘Isn’t the sandwich made well today?’

Friends: ‘Huh?’

I point to the sandwich and animatedly show a thumbs up.

They second my opinion, nod their heads vigorously in confirmation, raise their brows and I read their mouth which said ‘Yummmm’

Wow! Now we are playing dumb charades!! Nice!!!

We tried hard to take this further, couldn’t but help listen to all the adventures the group seemed to have in Goa, how drunk they got, how ‘adventurous’ they got and how much more drunk they got.

We silently finish our lunch.

While we walk back to office we break the silence – ‘These college kids! How insensitive can they get to the place and people around – who cares about their trip to Goa – all we wanted was a happy chat over lunch where we get to gossip a bit and laugh a bit! Uff! Isn’t that asking for too much?’

And then quiet follows. We are all thinking, and reflecting.

Maybe the office clock was trying to say something.

Rewind a few years in our heads and we saw us college goers – loud and fast was what we aspired to be. Louder and faster. The world seemed to be so full of us.

Back to present. Ladies who have slowed down, who enjoy small things, don’t make such a big deal out of yourself, respect personal space in public premises.

Hmm. A few years, a wedding and a baby surely makes you feel wiser (which would translate as ‘older’ to the youngies?!)

As we walk down we notice a 40 something group staring at us – eyebrows raised, carefully examining us – listening to our small talk. Well!

I reach back, take my seat and stare at the clock… Yeah!! I get your message you three-handed monster and I choose to ignore it!

Just tick on…Stop for no one…!!

1.30 p.m. 1.37 p.m. ….

The drill.

You remember the last time you visited your friend Z who had gotten a new puppy..?

What is the first thing you get to see?

Z to the puppy: ‘Jimmy…show them how high you can jump and take this treat off my hand. c’mon c’mon’

Jimmy obediently does as he is asked to, looks up expectantly for appreciation.

Z: Well done Jimmy! That’s my boy! Am so proud of you…So so sooo proud of you…Muahhhhhhhh!

Now do you remember the last time you visited your friend B who got a toddler ..?

B to toddler: ‘Sweetie, show uncle and aunty how you can sing ‘rain rain go away’’

Toddler does an animated sing dance sequence for the rhyme, finishes it and looks up to his mom for appreciation.

B: Well done sweetie!! Mummy is soo sooo roud of you…Muahhhhhhhhh!!

God save these parents!!

How? How can they showcase their baby this way?



This week we went over to a friend’s place. They have a one year old. She is giggling, smiling and doing all the cute things she is meant to.

I look at Dhruv. He is there. Just fiddling with some piece of broken toy he found. Absolutely disinterested.

I think to myself one second, and then unable to resist myself, I shoot.

‘Dhruv, what does your grandmom call your dad?’

Dhruv looks up as if to say ‘Haven’t we been through this a 100 times mom?’

But he decides to reply ‘Sabarimone..’

I dont stop there, I go on with:

  • what everyone in the house calls everyone else
  • how the rhymes are sung
  • what the neighbour’s kids do
  • how is he supposed to pray

And on and on and on…

He politely obliges all through the session.

We were almost done, I had that knowing proud smile on my face. The one of accomplishment. The one of an olympic trainer whose disciples just bagged a gold medal. I was doing the ‘Well done my baby…muah muahhh…’ in my head.

This is when my friend turns around – half amused and half scornful and says: ‘So, this is his drill huh??’

My face turns pink in embarrassment and outrage.

I say ‘Huh?’

She says: ‘So is this the drill he is trained to perform every time?’

I want to bury my face into a mud pit twice my height.But I can’t.

So I smile sheepishly, brushing my hair so that the focus is my hair rather than my face.

I wanted to tell her – No, no…am not one of those moms. I am the mom who lets her son be.

Never mind, the damn mother in me peeks out every time I want to confine it.

And so it appears that my love for showcasing my Dhruv will not die that easy. I may be one of those loud squeaking moms who hug and cry evertime her teenaged son goes for a 2 days trip to a town 2 hours from home or worse still, Dhruv maybe one of those unfortunate ones who score a goal on the football field and is embraced not by his girlfriend but by a highly excited middle aged mom who cant fit into her jeans but still adorns a cheerleader’s role for him!!!

God save you my son!