Parsley and Thyme

Archive for June 2009

Folk Newsletter

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puri-jagannath

This beautiful painting of Lord Jagannath came to me from “Folk”, the fortnightly newsletter by ISKCON, Bangalore. I am a subscriber of “Folk” since a year now, and there hasn’t been a single instance when it has failed to show up in my inbox, goading me to think of Krishna, even if it only results in a paltry few minutes being “spared” from my schedule every two weeks.

Written by Kanchana

June 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Metaphysical

Tagged with , , ,

We don’t need no education

with 6 comments

It was perhaps the toughest one hour of my life since childbirth. The umbilical cord was severed again, though this time metaphorically. All because Chikoo started school last week at Podar Jumbo Kids as a playschooler. It was the first instance that I gave him away to people I did not know, and to say the least, heart-wrenching.

I thought I had Chikoo well-prepared to face the fact that I wouldn’t be around at school, but this one hour on “first day” proved that I needed the so-called preparation more than he did.

The run-up to school week was somewhat confusing, but uneventful. I was alternating between bouts of peak anxiety and constant self-doubt. The thoughts that clouded my brain were innumerable and sometimes downright neurotic. To capture the loudest – “I am doing right by sending Chikoo to school ?”, “Will he acquire his negative impressions of life when I am not around to protect him?”, “Will he ever forgive me for leaving him alone with strangers?”, “Should I try taking up a teacher’s post in the same school so that I can still hover around him?”, “Should I pin a tiny hidden camera to his shirt to help me monitor the day’s proceedings?”, and so many more…

All through, I pulled a brave face and would sneak in conversations with Chikoo about school as soon as I felt that I had his undivided attention. That, on an average, lasts for around 5 secs at a stretch when Chikoo is at his behavioural best. I would say “Chetu, Amma is not allowed inside school. She will stand right outside and wait for you until you finish playing. Then Amma will bring you back home. Will you be a nice boy and not call out to Amma till then? Will you make lots of  friends?”.

Being the acutely observant boy that he is, Chikoo had formed his impressions about “leaving home” even before he actually did. We had to take him to school just once and he instantly knew that this was a place where moms (or dads) were forbidden from entering. On admission day, though he screamed gleefully while exploring the play area outside, he was firm about the need to have his father stand next to him all the while. And the idea remained.

Let me say, therefore he would either choose not to answer my previous question, or give his straightforward opinion – “School beda, Amma. Naanu manele irthini” (“I don’t want school, mom. I want to stay at home”). “What a precocious statement coming from a kid who just crossed two months off his third year of life! I was so innocent (read dumb) when I was his age!” I would exclaim to Suyog. And we would both laugh off the reply. Atleast then, we could.

The first day of school presented itself in a flurry of little clothes being ironed, snacks being packed off into a little tiffin box, water carefully measured and poured into a new sipper to avoid unncessary weight on the tiny red school bag with the lovable grey-and-pink elephant on it. Chikoo woke up a full half-an-hour early and was perhaps somewhat surprised when his usually lazy morning in front of the TV was totally eclipsed with all his activities (loo, bath, breakfast) being fast-forwarded and compressed into a mere 30 minutes. He wasn’t complaining however, and seemed excited himself. “Amma, ta-ta hogona?” (“Mom, let’s go on an outing?”), he would repeat every few minutes and I felt suffocatingly guilty as I would smile weakly and evade the question. Maybe he noticed it too, and tightened up once he saw the ID card with his photo being pinned on to his shirt. And then his fears became verbal. It started with a feeble protest to remove the ID card from the shirt, and then turned a little higher once we left home with the school bag in tow. “Jumbo Kids beda, Amma”, he said as the auto turned the corner into the lane that led to school. “Amazing sense of direction, and he is still so young!”, we said and tried to distract ourselves.

Then the moment arrived. The more-than-affable lady-in-charge smiled at us and said, “Hello Chaitanya. Good morning! Come in baby”, while she took Chikoo away from his father’s grasp. Chikoo seemed a trifle confused that we allowed him to be taken. Even as he followed her inside, he turned back and searched my face for an explanation. And waited for a few seconds expecting me to follow him. “She is removing her shoes like I did mine”, perhaps he thought. At one point, he looked eagerly as I called out to the teacher and handed out his favorite stuffed Dalmatian “Snoopy” to her. But seeing that I stood where I was, waving to him, the first realization of abandonment dawned on little Chikoo. I still didn’t see him cry, only saw him walking dazedly into a room that he was being led into with Snoopy firmly clutched between his tiny hands.

I struggled to swallow the thousand lumps that lined my throat, all the way down to my heart which, now only had the last glimpse of Chikoo preciously tucked away for the next one hour. The separation was as deep as when a loved one goes away for a week, month, or even several years. My logical brain, and my husband (a single entity during such emotional periods) reminded me that it was just an hour before we would being Chikoo back home.

We went to sit under the shade of a Peepal tree, a few blocks away, to spend that one agonizing hour which would be the first of many more in our lives as parents.

Written by Kanchana

June 15, 2009 at 11:59 am

Posted in Chikoo

Tagged with , ,

Still getting richer

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In continuance of my earlier post on spam, here is another that came in just now, with an even greater sense of urgency. And supposedly, this person called “Edward Cole” thinks that I can somehow help him dispose of his millions – legitimately. I am left wondering what would happen if I choose to communicate with this person(s). It is pretty unsettling for me to imagine that there would be people of such vulnerability in this world that these crooks can take advantage of. Incidentally, this man makes a huge mistake with his ‘ten million’, even literally – count the 9 zeros and you will know what I really mean 🙂

Read on :

———- Forwarded message ———-
From:
Mr. Edward Cole <edwardcole59@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 2:03 PM
Subject: PLEASE GET BACK TO ME
To:

Dear Friend,

My name is Mr.Edward Cole, I am from England Please take this serious, I
am taking this liberty anchored on strong desire to ask for your
assistance.I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer,and right now I
have only few months to live, according to medical experts.

I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be
one of the last good deeds I do on earth.With deposit of Ten Million
United States Dollars ($10,000,000,00) that I have with a Finance Vaulting
Unit in Europe.

I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity
organizations.Kindly note that 30% of this funds must go to the tsunami
victims 45% to other Charity Organization and 25% for your effort and
time.I cannot talk with you on the phone due to my health situation, as I
am using my Laptop Computer to communicate with you.

You should respond only if you are interested in carrying out this
assignment on my behalf.

Regards,
Edward Cole

Written by Kanchana

June 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

Posted in Email

Tagged with , ,

I see the goal

with 3 comments

Quotable quote

Since I know the latter is pretty rough territory, I am trying to take a few baby steps in the direction of the former 🙂

Written by Kanchana

June 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

Posted in Just Like That

Tagged with ,

I’m rich!

with one comment

Folks, don’t be shocked, but it seems that the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon takes personal interest in my well-being. Here is an extract from the message that appeared in my email just yesterday. And yes, it claims to be from Mr. Secy General himself :

From: BAN KI MOON <unitednationsdaa@virgilio.it>
Date: Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 6:02 PM
Subject: Valued contract ammount ($US32.7M)
To: 

With the recent instruction from International Community and the World Bank on
your contract payment Do forward to us your informations for the urgent
transfer,Valued contract ammount ($US32.7M)

CONGRATULATIONS!

MR. BAN KI-
MOON,

SECRETARY GENERAL.

Two things. First, I was left wondering if the repeated spelling error on the word “amount” was intentional given the honourable man’s nationality. Second, spam is getting pretty entertaining these days – just take a closer look before you delete yours and you might end up agreeing with me.

Written by Kanchana

June 8, 2009 at 11:40 am

Posted in Email

Tagged with , , ,

Go green, now!

with one comment

“Go Green!” screams the envelope containing my credit card statement from a prominent Indian bank, all in honest leafy green to highlight the urgency of the situation. Or so it seems. Until I take a closer look. Okay, lemme explain.

Feeling somewhat elated at my choice of an environment friendly bank (for I am a lover of all causes that support Nature), I tear open the envelope to extract the statement that lies inside. Out comes a sheaf of papers – first a neatly folded two page printed booklet, which, being the only legitimate member of its family, conveys to me the amount I owe to the bank in less than a tenth of  A4 space allotted. The rest of the area in the booklet is usurped by the bank’s “offers” in a blatantly exaggerated typeface, and promise to somehow make my life better in ways that I could never imagine, given my insufficient business acumen. Life insurance, accident insurance, phone banking, internet banking, home loan, you name it.

Then there are more sheets of glossy, printed paper containing color photographs of electronics, home products and jewellery; their prices in boldly quoted monthly EMIs. It makes me momentarily euphoric, for it seems like the bank may have finally placed my account balance on the better side of a national lottery, if they think that I might be able to afford the highly over-priced items on sale. But then, this is only the credit card division. And it is perhaps their job to see that you have no bank(able) balance in the long run. So I toss out all the excesses into the bin, while retaining only the paper that details my card expenses.

Then again, as I see the words “Go Green” staring dolefully at me from the bin, I sheepishly fish out the papers and place them on the bundle that has to be handed over to the local “recycling man” or “raddiwalla”, feeling a tad less guilty once I am done. Oh well, I am no saint. I am only doing just what the bank ordered.

Written by Kanchana

June 6, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Life in General

Tagged with , ,

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