A Question of Answers

19 Feb

Answering Nikhil’s questions as we go along our walks is becoming increasingly challenging. Gone are the innocent questions like “Pappa are Pizza Hut and Pizza Corner owned by the same guy?”. Instead they are being replaced by fairly complex questions about swear words and their origins, and of other general topics that are not usually discussed in the Indian family.

I am not complaining here, I am glad that I have an open enough relationship with my boy that he can ask me these questions. The problem is that I am groping for answers… 😦


19 Responses to “A Question of Answers”

  1. some body February 19, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    at the opposite ends of a hand, you have:

    a) the thumb, used to cadge a ride, and
    b) the little finger used for the restroom pass (at least in indian schools).

    but did you (or nikhil) know about the middle man? yessiribob, i refer to the middle finger, the original intended use of the middle finger and how it purportedly came to denote a famous swear phrase in the whole entire world (where “whole entire world” encompasses a big capitalist country), and elsewhere?

    maybe in india, we don’t use this forgotten middleman as often as he is used in the civilzed world :-), and so nikhil might not get around to asking about him in the near future, but what the heck … etymology is etymology, and maybe he reads this blog, eh?

    i am sure that, sooner or later, pn oak et al will draw a line in history from the battle of agincourt all the way back to ekalavya, and claim that – though ekalavya gave up his thumb – it was in mahabharata times that the middle finger’s use mutated.

    – s.b.

  2. Vijay February 19, 2007 at 6:15 pm #

    sb: Thanks for the info… in fact that was one of the questions.. 🙂

  3. decemberstud February 19, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Ummm…things have changed…..for good, I guess, huh ? My father did not discuss a lot of ‘tough’ things with me until he realized that I really was old enough and have learnt the stories of the birds and bees by myself….Well well…..

  4. some body February 19, 2007 at 7:53 pm #


    glad that it helped. today i was re-reading terri’s memoirs (well, actually, i noticed that there were some that i had never read) – check out the last post (in the reverse chronological order) in the archives for may, 2006!

    – s.b.

  5. Terri February 19, 2007 at 9:20 pm #

    s.b., you seem to be my biggest fan. On second thoughts, you might even be the only one. Muchas gracias!
    Since you’re usually so prolific with your comments, I’m wondering why you haven’t started your own blog yet.

  6. Vijay February 20, 2007 at 1:13 am #

    ds: Same here..self knowledge..

    sb:Will do.I enjoy reading her memoirs..

    Terri: You have at least 2 fans actually.. SB has a blog, see my Blogroll

  7. Murali Partha February 20, 2007 at 3:59 am #

    Good that you are going through all this. Time bandhaga, naan nimmathra ee vishayagala bagge tuitionnige barthini. Yes, right now it is simpler queries that I am able to deal with. Last week was a little tricky – my 7 year old asked me why the government does not ban smoking. I started off trying to explain the concept of freedom of choice, but quickly changed tack realizing the double edged sword I was treading on.
    But yes, most questions are like the ones my 3 year old daughter asks as to why she does not have a “handle” like her brother. Those we can handle (no pun intended :-)).

    I wish more parents would have the type of relationship you mention where the kids feel free to come discuss anything. I guess it is not as important to know all the right answers to their questions, as long as you can talk about things with them!

  8. Veena February 20, 2007 at 4:35 am #

    I am glad that atleast some people are happy with the changes.. Hmm.. many times I see a crib namma kaala was better etc.,!
    Murali, people may even ask Q like why Crow is black etc., Myself & Prashanth was discussion on how to tackle these kind of Q’s & he gave a very convincing answer(like a fantasy)… devaru ellargu baNNa kodtaa idda, last alli bari black paint ashTe uLidittu & the crow was only one remianing .. so he made the crow full black.. Not sure if our next-gen kids will cross questions…
    On a serious note, we have lot of encyclopedia CD’s & books which helps us & them with good answers & pictures.. I have bought few, let me learn that first 🙂

    Good Post Vijay… Old Memories refreshed, generally girls share a very good relationship with father .. atleast I used to ask such questions to my dad.. once I had asked my dad what the word ‘Certain’ mean.. we use that in different context.. like ‘Certain cases’ , ‘Certain things’ & also… ‘Results are not certain’… It was difficult to provide a brief answers to such questions certainly 🙂

  9. praneshachar February 20, 2007 at 5:36 am #

    VERY GOOD one
    I enjoyed the comments and really appreciate the intentions. yes as murali said it is better keep the discussion on so that conclusions will emerge on their own.
    vijay it is nice of you to help the next generation with all they need. yes always they are ahead of us and their IQ is much much more. people like you can tackle them but for normal people it is very tough going and they may like to run away so avoid them
    thumba tayari madtak iro hagide nivu!!!!!!!!!!!
    all the best

  10. Srik February 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Thats indeed a good sign. He’s growing upto be like his father 🙂

  11. gmohanprakash February 21, 2007 at 5:57 am #

    OUr marketing stuff just doesnt work with them. It plan simply backfires.

    I am reliaing upon the simple TRUTH, nothing but the TRUTH and only the TRUTH.

    Not that am such a lier but we do that without even our knowledge to avoid the embrassament at times.

    You can read one such GUMMA thing built up by my time elders caused havoc for my small mind in the same spot.

    Good post, good sharing of info too.

  12. Vijay February 21, 2007 at 6:10 am #

    Mohan: Agree with you.. sometimes I feel I am being asked these questions just to see if I know.. 🙂

  13. some body February 22, 2007 at 12:29 am #


    it is easier to respond to thought-provoking blogs than writing them. it is always fun to read humorous blogs, especially those that i can relate to (though i might not agree with mom’s perspective :-).

    could we have the lowdown as to how you lost the terrisampat blog (so we others can be better prepared)? fortunately, i was out of the blogreading for some time, and got to know about the change only when you left your comment on some other blog.

    – s.b.

  14. Terri February 22, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    s.b., I changed the URL to throw certain riffraff off the track. Not the wisest move, because they Googled me and came right back. Long story short, the porn site that hijacked the vacant URL might be a special feature of Blogger only. Don’t know about other blog hosts.

    I learned about the squatters the hard way – friends logged in from work as usual and were greeted by full-blown pornography. I got a good scolding from dad, phone calls from frazzled folks reeling from the sights on their work screen, and found it to be quite a learning experience … yes, that includes the porn too.

    Vijay, we’re making ourselves quite at home here. Apologies.

  15. Vijay February 22, 2007 at 4:42 pm #

    Terri: interesting experience must have been gory. . Dont worry about ‘making yourself at home’. .
    By the way sb has been involved in many a subject altering comment in several of my posts. . What say sb?

  16. some body February 22, 2007 at 8:38 pm #


    ha ha ha. if nikhil visits terri’s old blog site, he will have no more questions 🙂 [depending on what he does, you might find yourself one workable computer short].


    what vijay wrote is what i was about to say too. i have been accused of hijacking vijay’s blog (not by vijay, mind you).

    your experience is enlightening, as i have several (many?) stagnant blogs (that vijay is probably unaware of and even i have lost track of :-). but in your case, as i understand it, you gave up rights to the original name, and did not inform all readers (how could you?) about it, right?

    – s.b.

  17. terri February 23, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    s.b., the URL change was a decision made on the spur of the moment, like most of my other decisions in life. I only informed my regular readers, the ones I could reach. Lurkers had to find out the hard way. That’s why regulars are urged to make their presence felt once in awhile.

  18. Veena June 9, 2007 at 6:01 pm #

    Vijay, if you could get a copy of this week’s Sudha magazine..Please do look at it. It gives some useful tips about ‘how to increase the capacity of chidren to learn’..Very good article.
    In case you find difficult to read kannada, you can suggest kannada to read. I would say, its a good read for parents with school going kids.

  19. Veena June 9, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    oops, it shud be suggest madam* to read

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