Utter Momsense

Listen-to-your-Ranting-Mom Kanigas

‘Hi Mom. Can I leave the kids with you tonight?’

‘You’re going out?’

‘Yes.’

‘With whom?’

‘With a friend.’

‘I don’t know why you left your husband. He is such a good man.’

‘I didn’t leave him. He left me!’

‘You let him leave you, and now you go out with anybody and nobody.’

‘I do not go out with anybody. Can I bring over the kids?’

‘I never left you to go out with anybody except your father.’

‘There are lots of things that you did and I don’t.’

‘What are you hinting at?’

‘Nothing. I just want to know if I can bring the kids over tonight.’

‘You’re going to stay the night with him? What will your husband say if he finds out?’

‘My EX husband. I don’t think he would be bothered. From the day he left me, he probably never slept alone!’

‘So you’re going to sleep over at this loser’s place?’

‘He’s not a loser.’

‘A man who goes out with a divorced woman with children is a loser and a parasite.’

‘I don’t want to argue. Should I bring over the kids or not?’

‘Poor children with such a mother.’

‘Such as what?’

‘With no stability. No wonder your husband left you.’

‘ENOUGH !!’

‘Don’t scream at me. You probably scream at this loser too!’

‘Now you’re worried about the loser?’

‘Ah, so you see he’s a loser. I spotted him immediately.’

‘Goodbye, mother.’

‘Wait! Don’t hang up! When are you bringing them over?’

‘I’m not bringing them over! I’m not going out!’

‘If you never go out, how do you expect to meet anyone?’

End

 

 

Source: Image from Kanigas

Why Great Men Are No Longer Born In India?

You don’t have to look far for the reason. It stares in your eyes if you keep them open.

All because of successive Indian Governments aggressively pursuing Family Planning initiatives, particularly Narendra Modi’s.

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We didn’t have the tools before. Now thanks to Big Data, we know:

Mahathma Gandhi was the son of the fourth wife of his father.

Babasaheb  Ambedkar was the 14th issue of his father.

Ravindranath Tagore was also the 14th issue of his father.

Subash Chandra Bose was the 9th among the 14 siblings.

Swami Vivekananda was the 6th among the 10 siblings.

So, folks, if our children are where they’re in life, it’s not their (un)doing:-)

You know who to blame!

And all this science-speak of sperms and eggs degrading with age…

End

 

Source: Received thru whatsApp; veracity not checked.

Your Dog Or You?

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End

An Unequal Contest In A Forest (For Children)

animals

Shasha was a young rabbit, grey in color, adopted by other animals when she was a baby.

She was frisky, friendly and intelligent too, liked by everyone but two – the two that made fun of her. One was Mahisha, the bull, strong in body with long horns and a bit boorish. You too would be if all you ha was a tail to whack off the pesky flies buzzing around his unreachable back. And Durchara, the sad and sleepy looking crocodile that animals were wary of. Of course he was neither sad nor sleepy. While meanie Mahisha would say: ‘How I love to play ball with you – you’ll make a nice furry one to kick around,’  Durchara would come up with: ‘One of these days I would like to take you around to interesting places you must never miss – most of all, inside my tummy.’ One had to be careful with him especially when he was not in good humor or he was hungry.

Impetuous young Shasha was not one to take things lying down – whenever she saw, she would tease them, of course, from a safe distance. Finally she would always dart off into the bushes saying with mock solemnity: ‘Just wait for the day you’re going to see how strong Shasha is!’ She was quite blithe about it with no idea what she would do and how she would make it happen.

The old Ulooka, the wise owl, and Kaaga, the crow, took up on themselves to be Shasha’s guardians keeping a close watch over her day and night. They knew about the pests that Mahisha and Durchara were and were thinking about fixing these two for good. At last they knew how. They were sure Gaja, the elephant would oblige them with what they needed.

On their next meeting, Shasha invited Mahisha for a trial of strength: ‘If you wish to see Shasha in true colors, come here to this place near the mango tree this Sunday morning.’

So an intrigued Mahisha presented himself at the appointed place and time

He saw before him a thick rope, retrieved by Gaja from an abandoned lumber-shed, lying on the ground running from where he stood to somewhere out of sight beyond the thick growth of bushes.

‘Mahisha, you hold this end of the rope in your mouth and I’ll be tugging at the other end out there. Let’s see who is stronger. Are you game?’

‘You kidding? One jerk – I’ll have you where I want…at my feet. Try something different. I want it to be fair.’

He relented finally when Shasha assured him of her seriousness.

Kaaga as the referee started the count-down at the top of his voice as Shasha wished Mahisha luck and dashed off to her position beyond the bushes.

On zero, the rope went taut grabbed at both ends.

Mahisha, going about it like a walk down the garden, even before he could register it in his head, saw his body dragged several feet forward.  What was happening? This wasn’t going the way it should. Was Shasha being aided by some spirit getting into her body? In any case he quickly recovered from the initial surprise and stood his ground. With a grunt that made all the animals in the forest stop in their tracks for a moment, Mahisha, now all ready for this strange trial of strength – he would figure it out later, slowly regained his position and was even gaining on Shasha.

Well, it wasn’t for too long before the tide turned again and Mahisha began yielding ground. He was all sweat and snort.

This push-pull went on for a while until the rope, frayed by constant rubbing against thorny bushes, snapped. An exhausted Mahisha, frothing at the mouth, was shot backwards like a shooting star in the skies to be finally stopped by a tree trunk. He lay helplessly spreadeagled, holding fast in his mouth one end of a long piece of rope.

Shasha was declared as the winner.

Strangely Durchara also conceded defeat at the same time in an identical contest with Shasha unknown to Mahisha. He was found in a helplessly grotesque pose on a sand bank by the riverside, holding fast in his mouth one end of a long piece of rope.

From that day Mahisha and Durchara looked at Shasha with new found respect.

Till this date they could not could put the two pieces of rope together to guess what had happened on either side of the bush on that day.  Could you?

End

Source: Adapted from tamilsirukathaigal.com

Life: A River Of Many Currents

Ever since we landed in the same suburb, I have met B off and on in the vegetable market place outside the railway station.

A week ago, out of the blue, a cryptic mail from his daughter M carried the news of her mother’s unfortunate demise.   When I had met B last, he did tell me his wife was unwell and M left her job months ago to take care of her mother. And I had then questioned the need and wisdom of M leaving her job that she had finally snagged after a lot of bench time, not thinking much of the poor lady’s sickness. The family, living on B’s pension, sorely needed the money the young lady was bringing in, I thought.

M did not reply to email-request for house address to call on them.

A bit of a background about B at this point:

B was a topper in the class, well mannered, darling of teachers, easily a good looker, a singer with a mellifluent voice, liked by all…

But life is a bitch. I’ve no idea till date when, where and how things went awry for him. We had gone on separate ways after the college.

I do know he retired as a staff in a nationalized bank not very far from where he started out eons ago. An anticlimax I had never imagined for an eagle of the blue skies that he was. He dabbled in dramatics, didn’t go far.  When I met him years later – I moved into the same suburb where he lived – he was a very different man. Unkempt beard over sunken cheeks, hard of hearing, he sported strings of beads (rudraaksha) around his neck and many rakshai’s (lucky charms) tied on his wrist. He spoke of visions and favorable portents in his life with a religious fervor. On another track, he sounded excited about his ‘research’ on neem juice, experiments, results – he thought it to be a panacea for many ills. He expected Tata’s and the Ambani’s to line up anytime soon outside his residence for rights to his work.  On the whole, he didn’t seem to be the garden variety we had matured into.

He was shunned by many as an incurable and a delusional bore. I did not, I’m glad, by thought or action. When we met I usually heard him out,  managing now and then to get a word in on his parental duty to set and support his girl firmly on a course of education-employment-marriage just the way it is for other kids of her age; and gently easing myself off only if I had to.

Today I decided to visit the nearby bank – B had once told me he went there regularly to collect his monthly pension – hoping to get his address from them citing the unusual circumstances.  I knew this was not impossible as our systems and staff continue, despite the scorn heaped on them, to be sensitive to genuine problems. When I went in, unstopped by absent security, I saw a man appearing to be a senior staff, generally moving about and a few ladies lazing before their terminals – the bank had closed its operations for the day.   I went up to tell him the purpose of my visit: To know whereabouts of B. Showing no surprise at a stranger popping up suddenly before him after working hours , without further ado, he asked me to follow him to the end of a short hallway. And there I find who else!

After the initial surprise and happiness at this coincidence, I expressed my condolences over his loss and my anguish at not being around to stand by him.

What followed from B:

‘Her time had come, what could we do? It all started with a minor accident four months ago. She even recovered very well. But then…’

‘Don’t worry about me, take care of yourself. Don’t you forget your health issues…’

‘I’m quite ok financially. I get my pension which would get revised up very soon…M’s earnings till date are safely set aside for her marriage. In two to three years I’ll get her married off…My brother would help if needed. He is doing well…’

‘I came here to check on my loan application for a small amount. They told me it’s approved…’

‘M and I took her to the hospital at night by a three-wheeler. An ambulance, I was told, would cost Rs 9000…’

‘Don’t feel bad. I wasn’t alone. Lots of relatives and neighbors turned up for the funeral. On purpose I told my daughter to inform you only after it was all over. Given your health…’

‘Don’t trouble yourself coming home. These days both of us (B and M) are out almost all day. M’s running around to complete insurance formalities…’

‘Her people came in very late…’

 

What left me in dismay:

‘No priest would come to conduct the rites at the funeral. They wanted a full contract all the way for the following ten days of rituals at nothing less than Rs 80,000. Finally I cremated her without a priest, without the rites…’

‘My brother paid for the ambulance…’

‘It’s ok, I can feel her atma (soul) is with me all the time…In fact she told me at the end not to spend unduly over the ceremonies…My daughter and I gave away food to some poor…’

 

If you perceive contradictions in his observations above, it’s the truth trying to peek through despite his naïve attempt to paper over or reconcile certain unpleasant realities in his own mind.

In the fifteen minutes or so we were together, he was moved to tears for a moment just once as we hugged, as much bemoaning his loss, as over an old mates’s solicitiousness

When I left him, he. was not a broken man. He lives in peace and reconciliation in his own world very real in parts. I thought it is too cruel to ‘help’ him out of it. Nor I consider myself equal to the task.

Try as I might I’m unable to put down a vague sense of unfairness of it all continuing to nag me out of my peace.

But I know I’ll move on.

End

Go Slow…If You Wish To Arrive Early

Drawing-of-Working-Donkey-Carrying-Heavy-Load animalsclipart com.jpg

One morning a trader obtained asubstantial order for coconuts from a temple in a nearby village. They had to be delivered well in time for the pooja on the following morning.  It was a snappy call to action. There was no time to look for help. He climbed up the trees at the back and knocked off the coconuts onto the ground below. These were collected and loaded onto his donkey with some effort and more ropes. Once done, he was happy with himself for managing it all with just one beast – two of them would have made it easier to pack but trickier to manage on the road single-handedly.

Not losing time he made inquiries about the route and headed for the village with his donkey to deliver the coconuts personally – the business was too important to leave it with hired hands.

Though the sun was not high up yet, a couple of hours on the road had tired him out and his animal. He took a break under the shade of a banyan tree.

Just then a shepherd passed by driving his flock ahead of him.

The trader hailed him: ‘Hey, here, how long does it to take to reach the temple?’

When he looked at him from close he regretted ever asking the shepherd who was plain-as-nose dim-witted.

The shepherd gazed at the trader and his donkey now ready to resume the journey, his gaze going back and forth a couple of times over the duo.

His eyes crinkled at the effort of producing a response: ‘Babuji, at a swift pace you’ll reach the temple from here by sun-set.’

‘Oh, my…!’

The shepherd moved on to keep up with his flock, not before offering his counsel: ‘On the other hand, go slow and you’ll be there in a couple of hours, I guess – well before noon.’

The fellow quite patently didn’t have his marbles in place – the trader cursed himself for his own stupidity.

Refreshed from the break, he set out at a brisk pace.

To cut the long story short, they finished their journey together – the trader and the donkey on the road and the sun above.

A much relieved priest collected his consignment of coconuts from the trader still stricken with severe back-pain – an unfortunate outcome, not entirely unexpected, from bending down so often to pick up the scattered coconuts that fell off the donkey’s back every time it was goaded to speed – a mishap never later than ten minutes in recurrence.

End

Source: Inspired by a tale from Philippines found at pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts2.html and image from animalsclipart.com

The Tank That Wasn’t

Part 1

The sweltering summer was mercifully coming to an end and the onset of monsoon only a month away. A welcome augury for the parched fields and the suffering village folks and their livestock’s.

The villagers were alert this year wanting to collect and save rainwater to last through next summer. Their head along with a bunch drawn from families of substance met the officer in-charge of village administration and development at the district head-quarters and voiced their concerns and the solution they had thought of: a tank should be built near their fields to provide water for their fields and homes all year around.

The officer heard them out patiently, checked his records and regretted his inability to undertake the construction as the meager government fund already suffering serious cuts was barely enough to cover sustenance through the year. He would certainly provide for this project in his budget for the next year. With luck it might even be sanctioned.

The villagers went into a huddle. They were loath to wait out another summer like the one they were going through without any mitigation . Something had to be done. What if they raised the fund by themselves?

The officer perked up immediately on hearing the suggestion and became helpful in pursuing the same. Within a few days, he confirmed it was possible for his office to allocate some unused government land for the project and undertake the construction if they could raise 3 lacs of rupees.  This mode of executing a project was without a precedent for his office. The hardship faced by men and animals moved his office to consider this project favorably. And with urgency as the tank would serve the purpose of providing relief only if it was ready before the monsoon arrived.

3 lacs of rupees was not an insignificant amount. A dissenting group felt they were not exactly dropping dead presently without the tank. So why not carry on as is? All considered it was finally decided to go ahead with the tank.

From there events rolled by at a fast clip. The money was collected and handed over to the officer. He was good as his word: within days workmen were sighted near a lowland outside the village.

Part 2

Six months later:

The new incumbent who took over months ago happened to meet the officer- now moved to a new district – in a staff training program. In the evening when everyone was unwinding over drinks: .

‘Many thanks to you I got this break. Let me know how I can return the favor. Anytime…’

‘Not sure I understand you.’

‘Remember the tank project?’

‘Oh, yes. What of it?’

‘You didn’t brief me on it during hand-over.’

‘Oh, I didn’t?’

‘You didn’t.’

‘If you say so…well, I did right with all other files, you must admit. This one thing – don’t know how it slipped my mind.’

‘So did the 3 lacs too.’

‘And what does 3 lacs fetch today, eh? May be a shrub-fence around the site? The true cost of the project would be not a rupee less than 25 lacs even considering only the bare essentials. Didn’t want to scare those jokers away at the first draw, you see. The records were maintained scrupulously for the money paid out.’

‘And there were no shrubs and no fence around the site – I personally visited’. In fact nothing to show for the project save a hole on the ground to stand a pole.

‘What do you think? Everything costs money. I had workmen do a recce of the site, collected soil samples and sent them for analysis.’

‘I know… must have cost you all of the 3 lacs in the kitty. To think you took up the project when you had the transfer order in your hand – ah, you’re one heck of a chap.’

‘’Service is our motto’ – isn’t that written up as our pledge? Am sure you would have picked it up from where I left. Goes to show how our machinery just rolls on regardless of the personalities…amazing isn’t it?’ Time and tide wait…no, time and project wait for none…cute, no? Thought of it just now as we are talking…must get included in our pledge. Frankly we should be thanking the Brits for installing these systems. Come rain or shine we…’

‘Must have been some very pressing situation.’

‘Mmmmm…yes, mate, strictly between us it was bad. If I had not coughed it up…anyway thanks, my friend, for covering my back. In fact I was quite worried for quite some time…really feared they would reach me somehow.’

‘Anything for a colleague.  After all hamam me sab nange hai (all are naked in a public bath). Funny I say this…there was no bath, no tank here- that’s the crux of the matter. But I must give it to you – you weren’t greedy.’

‘Now that we’re buddies, tell me how did it go for you and, yes, for the village? And you talked about some break thanking me for it…what is it?’

‘Wasn’t easy at all to face them, the villagers, and their queries. They demanded to be taken to the site and shown work done till date. Even threatened to take the matter to the Collector.’

’My god, that’s serious.’

‘Didn’t know what to do. At one stage, I seriously considered fingering you and letting myself out.’

‘Thank god you didn’t.’

‘I tell you it was quickly spinning out of control. And that’s when the report landed on my table.’

‘What report?’

‘From some little known cheapie lab you had sent the soil samples for analysis.’

‘And what did it say?’

‘Usual stuff – no surprises there. But a line in there set me thinking – said ‘arsenic content negligible.’

The officer was clueless where this was heading.

His new buddy continued: ‘I told those blokes I had to refill the areas dug up by you, almost overnight at great cost and effort as traces of toxic minerals were reported in the soil analysis – even showed them the ‘report.’ And as a responsible public servant, how could I take even the least risk in matters of their health…In the end they thanked me for what I ‘did’.’

‘Man, you’re a guru. Wish I had known you earlier…You know you should have taken a session for us today on ‘How to handle difficult situations?’ instead of those morons boring us stiff. But I still don’t understand this: while you certainly saved my hide, how was it a break for you?’

‘After my telling them at length, the villagers were more than willing to vouch before any authority why refilling was necessary and urgent. Our office very well understood refilling a large area wasn’t a cheap exercise. If digging up cost 3 lacs, filling up would…well, I don’t have to tell you…Of course the records had to be straightened out with the supporting documents and receipts.  I would be ungrateful if I didn’t thank you for the opportunity you sent my way.’

…The new buddy was not one to forget favors. He picked up the tab for the evening.

End

Source: Adapted from facebook.com/gauthamkrish