Archive | September, 2006

Sleepy Head Confessions

25 Sep

While we are on the story of sleepy heads one story comes to mind courtesy my long suffering brother.

We used to share a room during my college (and his school) days. I remember waking up quite early to study during my engineering exams. So here I was, being woken up at 4 AM to study on a cold Bangalore morning (cold for Bangaloreans), and I would look across the room and find Aditya curled up warm under a blanket (several blankets sometimes) snoring softly… Used to tick me off no end.

Being the “wicked” brother, I would slowly sneak up to him and re-adjust the blanket so that his feet were exposed…

Ya ya.. I know thats not nice… but thats another “wicked” thing that I am not proud of :-)… however I am sure that those of you who have gone through this will empathize with me.

Waking up “Sleepy Head” – Part 2

21 Sep

Continuing my post of the other day… my son just started mid-term vacations today. I expected him to sleep in late and didn’t wake him up. Guess what? He was up at 6:30 AM ON HIS OWN… a quick wash and milk later he was out of the house to play with his friends…

Maybe it has something to do with school?

Waking up “Sleepy Head”

18 Sep

One of my ongoing battles with my son is waking him up everyday. My wife has given up on that years ago. So the onus of waking the “sleeping beauty” is mine and mine only. Alarm clocks have run out of batteries trying to wake him up.

We go through the same thing EVERY DAY…

“Nikhil wake up”… that’s how it starts out… in reply a hand comes out from underneath the covers signaling that he wants to sleep for 5 more minutes. The next step is me reaching in and yanking the covers out.

Next Nikhil retreats to the far corner of his bed where he supposedly cannot be reached.

My next call is louder and I have to start using some kind of blackmail… “NIKS WAKE UP!! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO CALL OUT? HAVE SOME CONSIDERATION FOR PEOPLE”. The reply is “Pleeease pappa… another five minutes… pleeeease”.

At this point I grumble something and then go over to the kitchen to make myself some coffee… this intermediate time is used by the N man to catch a few extra winks.

My first gulp of coffee gives me the strength to yell out at him again. This time its usually something like “Are you going to wake up yourself or do I have to come and pull you out?” (I remember a few years ago I could carry him out of bed.. but hes grown taller and I have grown older.. that’s wishful thinking now)… the latest threat makes him half get up… but then he drops back on to the bed with a thud… I am making progress…

My next tactic is pure emotional blackmail… I start telling him how my day can get off to a great start if he wakes up promptly (I don’t bother telling him about the mail I got from an irate customer in Japan.. so my day is already shot)… this gets him up to a sitting position but his head is still on the pillow.

The next challenge is to make him get up and walk out of his room. I have tried several methods here… each works for some time and then he smartens up. For a while I’d cry out “Wow, they are showing Sachin’s century against Australia”… that would get him out of bed… of course there wouldn’t be anything on the telly… this worked for a while and then he stopped reacting… As I mentioned before, I had also tried el-bruto… brute force… just pulling him out of bed… not anymore… 

I am constantly thinking about new ways to wake him up without ruining his day or mine…these days its turning out to be pure attrition… who gives up faster?

Oh by the way, this morning I “discovered” another method… I just called our landline from my mobile phone and when it started ringing, I cried out.. “Nikhil can you answer that? Must be one of your friends”…that had him out of bed in a hurry…of course there was no one there. I don’t know if it will work again.

I’ll have to keep innovating…

The mind of a 12 year old

15 Sep

I have been reading on several blogs including RK’s and Gangadhar’s about kids growing up… well we can’t stop that… neither can we stop them from getting more intelligent and “devious”. Here’s proof. This happened last week.

So my 12 year old son has creative writing at school. Being his “creative self”, he comes to me with this question one day. He is not able to think of what to write for this particular question… or so he says.
The Question

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

Your friend is has gone overseas. Write a letter to him to cheer him up and use the saying above to make him feel better.

End Question

Now I am working on my laptop at home as this conversation is happening. The conversation between Nikhil (my son) and me goes something like this:
Me: So what’s the big deal about this question? Your friend has gone overseas and you’d write him a letter asking him to be brave and not miss home etc etc

Nikhil (N): Why would I write a letter to him? Couldn’t I just send him an email?

Me: Ok…ok… I suppose you could. But you need to use the quote above and be encouraging.

N: Why would I want to encourage him? He is the one that went overseas.

Me: Well, he’s probably lonely there and has no friends.

N: So why did he go in the first place?

Me: (Raising my voice). HOW WOULD I KNOW…? THAT IS THE QUESTION!!!

N: (calmly) Shouldn’t his parents be writing the letter to him?


N: Dad, you are not helping by yelling….

Me: (Calming down)… Ok… ok… The question says that your friend has gone overseas…YOU need to write a LETTER to HIM to make him feel better by quoting the quote above.

N: Ok… So I have to use this quote and calm him down?

Me: (Thankful that I am getting through) Yes, YES!!!

N: Ok.. Now, why has he gone overseas?

Me: I DONT KNOW… It doesn’t say.

N: That is silly… how can I write to him if I don’t know why he’s gone overseas


N: Ok, ok… Did he go on his own?

Me: I don’t know!!! But since he’s probably your age, assume his parents are with him. I TOLD YOU THAT BEFORE.

N: Then why would he be homesick. I wouldn’t be homesick if my parents were with me.

Me: Ok… then he went alone..

N: Ok… but if he went alone then it was his choice to go. So why should he be homesick? Oh… Isn’t he coming back? If he’s coming back home then why should he be homesick?

Me: NIKHIL!!! JUST GO and write the letter… A letter AND NOT AN EMAIL !!! Just ASSUME that he is homesick…. until he comes back ok?

N: But… but…

Me: No buts, be creative and write whatever you can think of.

Suddenly I realize what we have been talking about and look up. There he is looking at me with a wicked smile on his face. He was messing with me the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME, he was leading me on with his seemingly insane questions. When he caught on that I knew, he fell on the floor rolling with laughter.

They grow up fast and they grow up intelligent. I am going to get my revenge one of these days… I have a picture of him in his Birthday suit.

Dwaraka Discovered

10 Sep

Just to prove I was there

Ok… let’s get away from the reminiscences and head back to reality.

RK had promised to go with me to check out the new Dwaraka Bhavan. I got tired of waiting for RK, so decided to issue a threat on his blog. The threat worked and we decided to go on Saturday for breakfast.

After some looking around (we misinterpreted directions) we found Dwaraka at the heart of NR Colony right near the NR Colony bus stop (7th Main). RK is better at directions and I presume his blog will have better directions when he does a write up on this.

For those of you who are not aware of Dwaraka Bhavan, it used to be on Bull Temple Road and offered the best Khali Dose in Bangalore (unlimited chutney of course). Suddenly the place disappeared from view (see previous post). After some great detective work (see comments on previous posts) mainly by RK’s family and friends, we found out that it was finally open in N.R. Colony.

So we finally reach Dwaraka. It has now become a “self service” type of place. I was releived to see the old owners manning the cash registers but disappointed that it has now become a self service place. There are places to sit down but no service.
RK with Owner

 I guess our main goal was to see if the khali dose remained the same and the chutney retained its old taste. We were not disappointed. The stuff tasted the same as it did in their old place. I remember in the old place chutney used to be limited to 2 servings (although the 2nd serving used to cover 3rd, 4th, and 5th helpings). In the new place, they have “self service” chutney. There are chutney containers on the table and you can help yourself. This feature I observed was well appreciated by RK. As you can see from the picture he wasted no time in letting the owner know his appreciation.

Anyway, good to know the place is back and from the crowd that was there it seemed to be rocking again.


9 Sep

This happened when I was in 1st PU (11th Grade).

One afternoon Chinku comes huffing and puffing to our house. He has to get to his school in 30 minutes because he is taking part in a play. He has no way of getting to his school… Can I please please drop him off in my Luna?

Chinku was a big built and lovable Punjabi kid who lived two streets away from us. His dad was my dad’s colleague (to this day a very close friend as well). I wasn’t pleased as this would mean missing my siesta, but seeing his desperation, I presumed that he had a pretty important role to play and reluctantly agreed to go drop him off. His school was about 5-6 kms away. In those days a HUGE distance for a Bangalorean (still is).

In 1979-80, Cops in Bangalore had fewer vehicles to control so someone riding doubles on a Luna was target to get caught (these days entire neighborhoods can travel on a mobike and get away with it).

So the ride becomes more of an adventure. Every place that there is the possibility of a cop’s presence, Chinku gets down and runs to beyond where the cop is. By that time, I would have reached there, he would get onto the scooter and we would go again. I remember vividly this happened 4-5 times. Added to that, my 50 cc moped was working really hard to pull us both (poor thing).

So finally we get to school, just as the deadline approached. I was glad and he was glad… then casually I just popped the question to him.. “So Chinku what part are you playing?”.. without batting an eyelid he says “Oh the drama is Julius Caesar. I am playing the part of the Statue on one side of his throne”…. If he wasn’t so big.. I would have decked him… but he took one look at my face and ran into the school before anything untoward was attempted by yours truly.

So whats Chinku upto these days? He’s the head of Audit at a large accounting company. So I am glad I didn’t deck him.

The Play

7 Sep

Has there ever been a time when you have thought about an incident in your childhood that makes you squirm with embarrassment? An incident that makes you wish the person involved in that incident “appears” in front of you so you can apologize or make amends.

There have been some in my lifetime but one that stands out. This happened when I was in 6th standard.

Ok… So I am selected to “star” in a play. The play is a kannada one called “Yaksha Prashne” (Yaksha’s questions) from the Mahabharatha. The play has two characters and I am playing Yaksha. The other part in the play is Dharmaraya (Yudhishtira).

So we start practicing. This other guy and I and things are going well.

Suddenly out of the blue, the guy falls sick (sore throat and all) and opts out of the play. Suddenly the search is on for a replacement. This needs to be done in a hurry as D-Day is getting closer. Next day the teachers tell me that they have found a replacement…. and that replacement is…. A GIRL!!!!

Now before you guys jump on me and accuse me of bias. Let me remind all of you that it was South Bangalore (Jayanagar), in the 70’s and an awkward age for someone like me to be talking to a girl let alone acting with her in a play.

My imagination ran wild. Pictures of my friends making fun of me flashed before me (in black and white…. since color was still new in the 70’s). The girl was one of those confident ones as well (she accepted to do a “male” role didn’t she?). So I was terrified.

Next day, I skipped school.

Teachers send my classmates to my house. I refuse to go back citing all kinds of reasons (heart attack, cough, and cold). Finally the class teacher (who was a relative of mine as well) lands up at my house (I don’t know why they did not replace me. I would have replaced me) and assures me that all is ok and they have chosen another person (a guy this time) and orders me back to school. I go back.

The rest is uneventful, the play goes on, it is successful…. accolades all over. I even got a prize for “good acting”.

But something wasn’t right. In any case, we went our separate ways after 7th Grade and that was that.

To set the record straight, no one ever teased me. These were “demons” that had been created by figments of my imagination. As I grew older I realized how unfairly the poor girl had been treated. I remember recounting this story to my wife and her comment was she would have decked me.

The whole makes me squirm even today (blush, blush). If I could ever meet this person again I would apologize for being such an idiot. If I could find that medal they gave me, I’d give it to her. She deserves it more than I.