I am grateful for funny people. And I especially love Bill Cosby.
I am grateful for funny people. And I especially love Bill Cosby.
Did you ever play that game Chinese whispers? I don’t ever remember playing it. To compensate this childhood deprivation God has blessed me with a husband and kids who live Chinese Whispers. You don’t get it? Let me demonstrate. Introducing the cast:
Slovenly Teen: 15
Only Son: 13
Middle Child: 8 (I also refer to her as ‘sweet child o mine’- she is the only one I want to admit is my actual offspring)
Twin 1: 5
Twin 2: coincidentally also 5
Husband: Peter Pan
Me: 18 till I Die (Bryan Adams rocks..eh)
Random Situation 1:
Slovenly Teen, the reigning champion of sleeping in, is still in bed on Saturday evening..no night..of course I am not exaggerating! Whatever gave you the idea I exaggerate?
Me: “Wake up goddammit! It’s almost Sunday, look at the filthy mess in this room, I am not cleaning up after you, you over grown gargantuan sloth. You get up right now and wash those dishes, I wash them all week. The least you can do is help out on the weekend, you good for nothing massive waste of carbohydrates. What kind of example are you setting for your younger sisters? All right that is it, I am throwing our all your junk….here it goes…did you hear me?”
What Slovenly Teen actually hears:
“My poor exhausted precious pearl! You have worked hard looking swag all week. Baby you need a rest! Now don’t you dare try to get up and put things away, no no no! Mama will do that for you, my darling angel! Just right after I get your good for nothing sisters to wash the dishes and clean up your room I am going to cook your favorite …now what do you feel like? Lasagna or chicken cacciatore? You are so beautiful it is unbelievable and just for being that good-looking I think I’m gonna bake my baby a cake! Here honey let me put your beats on your ears for you…you just relax and continue snoozing the day away sugar-plum.”
Random Situation 2:
Xbox addicted Only Son had been playing since 4 pm and it is now 7 pm The twins are fainting from severe lack of Tree House. Yes I insist on keeping one and only one TV!
Me: “You need to turn that game off now! You have been playing for five hours now. Other people in this house need the TV you know! If you don’t turn that goddamn thing off right now, you won’t play for a week. I don’t care if you have ten friends online, if their mothers are ok with their sons turning into a bunch of zombie gamers, fine with me. Are you listening to me? ”
What Only Son hears: “Most precious only male child and carrier of the family name. Continue on your quest of becoming the greatest gamer in the history of mankind and bring me pride. You have only been playing for half an hour and I know it will take hours of hard work to perfect your great skill at killing underage players online violently and mercilessly. I take great delight in every kill you make. It makes my heart sing while you comment loudly, with strange verbal embellishments, into that expensive mouth piece earphone thing set that I most happily agreed upon buying. Play on noble son, play on.”
Random Situation 3:
Twin 2 greatly frustrated while I am busy in the kitchen, comes to me with the complaint that her Xbox addicted brother has still not turned off the game.
Me: “Okay, just let me finish up what I am doing and I’ll come and have a talk with your brother.”
Twin 2 to Only Son: “Mom said you better get off that goddammit game right now or she is going to break it into gazillions of pieces and throw them off the roof. And then you are going to get a spanking. DO IT NOW!”
Random Situation 4:
Peter Pan husband is on the internet. I have issues that I need to discuss.
Me: “The groceries are almost finished you need to go shopping, and I was wondering what to cook for dinner. Do you want to have traditional stuff tonight or something non-desi? Did you know Only Son’s dentist appointment is next week? There is a sale on at the mall, I think we should go. You have got to talk to that daughter of yours! Her room is a mess, you need to get more involved with the kids, I can’t do everything you know! There is something wrong with the vacuum cleaner and the cat, they are both throwing up hairballs. Do you think I have started looking..old? You need to get some exercise, you sit too long at that damn computer, the twins have vaccinations due. Middle child brought home an open house circular from school and…”
What husband actually hears: “Blah blah blah blabbidy bloo blah blah blabber blabber blabber blah blah blabbidy bleep blah blah blah…”
So what does your family hear when you are trying to communicate?
(All pics from Google Images)
I was reading through ‘when in doubt’ quotes because I am in doubt. When I am not procrastinating, I am busy being in doubt. I found some enlightening advice and I thought you could use it.
“When in doubt, don’t.” Benjamin Franklin
“When in doubt, do it.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“When in doubt or danger, run in circles, scream and shout.” Laurence J. Peter
“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”
I found all this extremely helpful. Especially running around in circles and screaming, it relieves the tension and gives the kids a good laugh. And if you think you are making a fool of yourself, act like an intellectual so you seem ‘brilliantly creative’ to everyone else.
Seriously though doubt is so hard to deal with, all the advice says ‘just write’ and keep writing. As Dory would say “just keep swimming”.
But how do you convince yourself? Sometimes I just want to lock my laptop up and throw away the key. Just forget about the whole thing. Sometimes I just sit there and cry while I eat plenty of chocolate. I am not good enough, there are too many people already writing, I don’t have a Master’s degree in English Literature, I don’t post enough on my blog, I don’t have any articles or short stories published in any of the ‘big’ magazines, I am not a member of any affiliation for writers, I don’t have time, I do have time but I can’t do it, I have too much housework, I will end up not giving the kids enough time and they will end up disturbed juvenile delinquents, the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. The thing that is behind everything is doubt that I just can’t write at all. And I thought it was just me, but apparently even published writers have their doubts: How to Conquer Self Doubt and Just Write
And if that inspires you enough then you might want to try writing a short story for this competition: Young Adult Fiction Competition
They extended the deadline, so if you stop doubting and get writing you can make the dead line. Good luck.
(All Images from Google Images)
Sometimes after I have finished yelling at my kids, I wonder what it would be like to be in their place. Then my imagination goes a little wild and takes on different personalities, like a desi teenage boy. Here is an article I wrote for Dawn when my imagination was him.
Yo! You have crazy parents dude? Man I’m telling you they don’t understand anything. It’s like after 30 their brains stop working. And if your parents are Desi, man you have the worst type of parents ever! Desi parents? They speak desi, they think desi, they act desi, they spend desi. You can’t help but think “Yo old man why are we here? You should have kept us all in Desi Land!” And they tell you they came to give you better opportunities than they had. But man they can only think with desi brains and all those opportunities go out the backdoor. All my white friends, they don’t have it half bad. They’re lucky man. At least their parents speak the same language. Don’t believe me?
I had a pain in my tooth, had it for days man. Kept telling my mom I’ve got to see a dentist, you know what she tells me?
“Aye Allah! Who knows what that man will do to you putr! Here put this in you mouth.” Then she shoved a broken clove into my mouth and shut it so hard I almost bit my tongue off.
“This tastes like ‘bleep’ Ma!” And I tried to spit it out but she grabbed my face in her hands. Dude you won’t believe the hand muscles desi women develop from kneading all that dough!
She made me stuff cloves in my tooth for one month. Then the dentist told me I’d have to get a root canal. My old man wasn’t too happy about that. Not the pain I’d go through. The cost man! Dude, desi parents have desi wallets. Literally. My old man bought 42 wallets from his last visit to Desi Land. He got them off a thela for Rs45 each. That’s less than 45 cents. You can’t imagine his joy when he tells everyone he meets how much he saved on those wallets. You can’t imagine mine either. Anyways he tells the dentist,
“Just pull the tooth out! He doesn’t need that one much, he has plenty of others.”
“Mr Chaudry we need to eliminate the infection otherwise…” says the dentist.
“Otherwise what? No one will be willing to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to him?” says the old man.
That night he tried to pull my tooth out himself with a pair of pliers. Lucky for me I’m the only son and my mom beat him off with her rolling pin. Those desi wallets are like black holes, nothing ever seems to come out of them dude. Asking desi parents for money is like asking the cute white girl in your class to a high school dance with you. The answer is always ‘NO!’ Desi parents wait till Boxing Day to buy you stuff. Yeah they don’t give you the money. They take you shopping dude.
“Oh putr, look at this! 70 per cent off! And in your size too!” says Ma.
“Ma it’s got a picture of Justin Bieber on the front, everyone will think I’m ‘bleepin’ gay.”
“Tauba tauba! All that ‘bleep’ was not enough for you? Now this ‘bleepin’ stuff!” She’s least concerned about the Chinese couple who have covered their kids’ ears. “What is wrong with being happy? And he is such a decent boy, look at that innocent smile.”
“Ma! It’s something a kid would wear.” I try to drag her away.
“Are you not my kid?” The old man asks loudly and everyone in the shop turns to look questioningly at Ma.
“Man! Stop being so loud Dad, come on…” I try to drag them both out.
“No, this matter must be settled!” He glares at me then at Ma. “Is he not my kid?” By now there is a crowd wondering at my legitimacy. I pick up the Justin Bieber T-shirt.
“Alright! I love Justin Bieber and I want to buy his ‘bleepin’ T-shirt because I’m happy ok?” I scream and everyone gasps.
The seven dollar shirt hangs in my closet. Justin Bieber smiles at me every time I open the door to get the Rs800 Leisure Club shirt my cousin managed to send me with the old man.
Before I had kids I was able to do everything on time and life was pretty organized. If only at that time I had known I should be writing. Now things don’t go quite so smoothly….
And this is often how I feel. I look even worse. But that is life. I have a habit of writing things down to the point of being slightly paranoid, so I don’t forget. Things like make breakfast, feed the kids, wake them up first, send them off to school, start breathing normally again. Eat breakfast, feed the cat, feed husband, wash dishes, go to the washroom and other stuff that I tend to forget. When I am not procrastinating I write things I have to do on the Google calendar and believe it or not it keeps me quite organized. I try to prioritize and then stick to it. A lot of things get done, of course somethings get neglected. Like wasting time on facebook, falling asleep on the sofa while watching Tree House and reading through weird news on Yahoo or irrelevant tweets on twitter that I never seem to get the hang of. I know it is a big sacrifice.
This was an important bit of news.
So this post was one of my planned things on today’s schedule according to my calendar. I also read some blogs and found this at Words From the Woods. Cat is really great and has good tips for writers. She is also on Agent Query Connect where she helps out writers in the dummy stage. I am one of those dummies.
This is an older post but it had a bit about balancing schedules and every one can use good tips. I find writing things down in order of importance is best for me. The Google calendar helps keep it organized and makes it look less confusing and overwhelming. I also try to keep it at an achievable level. I was reminded of this when I read “The End of Optimism” on heylookawriterfellow. He also has advice and interesting posts on burros. A ‘burro’ is what Latin Americans called small donkeys. Now I will be forever doubtful when I eat a burrito.
Anyways you shouldn’t get over-excited and plan on things you won’t be able to complete. You will just get depressed when you can’t manage to get them done. So plan things in a way that gives you enough time to actually get them done.
This is not what your writing schedule should look like or you will look like this:
So remember you are human and not the Flash.
What do you do to keep your self organized and make sure you get things done?
(All images form Google Images. Google I love you, truly I do)
People who prefer living in a house rather than in a flat have absolutely no sense of adventure. Where else can you find so many different types of people living in the same place, constantly getting on each other`s nerves? Where else can you find such an interesting environment?
For starters, look at the amazing artwork that goes into the dÃ©cor of even the most average, normal, everyday flat. Notice the dramatic red streaks in corners and on the lower parts of walls? You may call it disgusting, I call it artistic. Only a paan addict can truly appreciate its beauty.
The leaky plumbing is another amazing aspect; the designs caused by the water slowly seeping out of the pipes and into the walls give the place a lot of character. And there`s so much to talk about once your tiles start falling out due to the water damage; at your next family get-together you can hold the audience spell bound as you narrate how a chunk of plaster fell on your head while you were in the loo.
There is constant activity in the complex parking areas, and if you live on the ground floor you`ll never be far from the action; be it the Peeping Toms, who always appear at your window the second you open your curtains, or the cricket crazy delinquents who keep the window makers in business. But all this pales into insignificance once Eidul Azha draws near. The sights (animals of all shapes, sizes, personalities and all of their recycled food lying around in cute lumps), sounds (baaing, mooing, moaning, groaning, screaming, pleading, all seasoned with a few spicy swear words) and SMELLS (let`s just say `organic` shall we?) Who needs a vacation to exotic locales when so much is happening at their doorstep?
Living in a flat also engenders a feeling of togetherness with your neighbours. They know everything about you, you know everything about them. For example, I know the timetable of the lady who lives upstairs. She starts cooking when it`s my bedtime. The second I fall asleep I am awoken by the gentle scraping sound of her `sil butta` and I can picture her grinding away at all those aromatic spices. She`s so considerate, she always brings me a plate of her Bihari kebabs, making sure I get them no matter what — even if she has to pound on my door for twenty minutes, while I try to drag myself out of bed, at a quarter past midnight. Her persistence amazes me; so does her timetable.
There`s a very caring family in the flat opposite ours. They care about what I`m doing, why I am doing it, who has come to visit me and why; what I have cooked and, since it smells so good, can I send some over? Of course, they keep me informed of all their goings-on as well. I feel like I`m part of their family. When a baby was born at one of their relatives, I felt like a proud aunt. A family feud left me indignant. I now have more things to worry about than I need and I doubt I will ever run out. Isn`t that great? They also keep me from getting lonely as someone is always dropping in. If “Bhabi” can`t come by, she`ll be sure to send over her four different sized children to keep me company, no matter how much I insist that I don`t need it.
No flat would be complete without the `been there, done that` family. I know they are very popular, and they are a real favourite of mine. No matter what you have seen, heard, done; no matter where all you have been, you`ll find they have seen that, heard that, done that, been there, and of course, all on a much grander scale. It really boosts your spirits to be associated with such sophisticated people.
Life in flats is never boring; there`s always something going on to keep you distracted. Either it`s an aameen or a birthday, sometimes even a mehndi in the reception area. If you don`t feel like cooking you can always attend one of these functions without the hassle of fighting traffic or driving a distance; just skip downstairs.
So, if you are bored of your large living quarters, your privacy, your beautiful lawn, your own, undisputed parking area, your peace and quiet, don`t despair; excitement is just round the corner! Pack up and move your family to the nearest flat complex.
Click to read: http://dawn.com/2012/05/06/humour-house-sold/
This is an article I wrote for Pak Tea House today. Read and follow advice…chill karo
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