Mantam are now aware of a few traffic rules such as wearing helmets, seat belts, abiding by the traffic signals, not speaking on the phone while driving etc.
One evening in Auto:
Mannu: Mamma, Baba kyun helmet nahi pehenta?
Me: Sirf Bike ya Scooter ride karne waalon ko pehenna hai beta.
Me: Because, in case of accident bikers will fall on the road and there are chances of hurting their head. But Baba rides Bulu. So even in case of an accident, Baba will fall inside Bulu. (This was the simplest spontaneous explanation I could come up with… )
Mannu: Agar Bulu ka door open rahega to? Tab to Baba baahar gir jaayega na???
Mannu: Helmet nahi pehna to security uncle kya karte hain?
Me: Security uncle nahi traffic police uncle!
Mannu: Okay! Helmet nahi pehna to traffic police uncle kya karte hain?
Me: First time catch kiya to scold karke money leke chode denge
Mannu: Second time kiya to?
Me: Tab bohoth saara money leke warn karke chod denge.
Mannu: Third time kiya to?
Me: Tab gaadi leke chale jayenge.
Tammu(who was silent thus far): To kya hua? New gaadi le lenge na?
Tammu is so very fond of her looks. I have mentioned umpteen number of times about her fetish for dressing up and taking a sneak peek at her own image in the mirror.
Sometime ago, when we sold our old desktop on buying Whitu, Abbas laid hands on a few old pics of Mantam’s toddler days. Tammu was so happy looking at her own pics and exclaimed “Wow, how cute Tammy is!”
In one of the previous Mantamism posts, I had written about Tammu’s desire of marrying me. A few days later, when Abbas went to drop them to school, one of the teachers asked him if there was some wedding going to take place in our family soon? Abbas immediately understood where this led to. He told them that it was Tammy’s wedding and that she was planning to marry her mom. And everybody broke into laughter.
On the morning of Eid, Abbas was getting ready to go to the mosque to offer prayers.
Mannu: Where is Baba going?
Me: To the mosque to pray Beta.
Mannu: We will also go Mamma?
Me: No re… Girls can’t go there L
Mannu: Why can’t girls go there?
Me: Errr…. (I seriously didn’t know what to say, so instead of making something up, I chose to be frank) I dunno Beta
Mannu: Only boys go there?
Mannu: Agar girls nahi jayega, to boys sad ho jayega na?
Me: Ya right!!
Mannu: Lekin Puja mein to boys aur girls dono ja sakta hai na?
Me: (Stunned) Hmmm Yes…..
(Reminds me of Mantam saying that their Didi is doing Allah’s pooja whenever they see her performing Namaz. It’s fun to see how the kids are learning different languages, festivals and rituals)
Mantam had dressed as Radha on Janmashtami and they knew it was for Krishna’s birthday. In the evening on the way back home, they were upset that it was over. They asked me whose birthday was it next? I had told them that it was Ganesha’s.
Ma’s birthday was on 15th of August. As with every other year, I prepare payasam and a non-chocolatey sans-cream cake for her as she likes it plain and simple. Since she was fasting, we cut the cake only after Iftar and Mannu demanded that birthday hats be worn by all of us just like we did for their birthdays. I told her that I have kept the hats somewhere up in the attic. But she was adamant saying “Why can’t people wear hats on birthdays of big people? Why only small children?” So we complied with her demands and the cake cutting was done!!!
Later at night, we did a video chat with Bhaiyya and family in Gurgaon. Now Bhaiyya and Bhabi are a bit religious and they observed all the fasts. In fact in the initial days, they were a bit upset with Abbas and me coz we weren’t. So, during the chat, Bhaiyya asked Mantam – “Whose birthday is today?”
Mantam say in chorus: “Dekho, pehle Krishna ka birthday tha, uske baad Didi ka, uske baad Ganesha ka, uske baad Hanuman ka!!”
Abbas clicked his tongue and vanished from the camera’s view 😀
Mannu: Koi jhoot bolta hai to kya hota hai?
Mamma: To God punishment dete hain beta.
Mannu: Jhoot bolne ka punishment kya hai?
Me: Errr… God himself decides that…
Tammu: Then Baba is God!
Me: Why do you say that?
Tammu: Because ek din wo white bird, yellow bird ka babies to maara na? Wrong kiya. Tab Baba ne uske upar Paani daalke usko punishment diya. Isiliye Baba bhi God hain…
Me: Oh my GOD!!!
In a supermarket , Mantam and I are at the billing counter. We see a small child, perhaps she had just learnt walking, picking something from the floor and putting it in her mouth!
Tammu: Ye baby dekho, neeche se uthake muh mein deta hai…
Me: She is a small baby na? She doesn’t know that she should’nt do that.
Tammu: Okay! Lekin uske Mamma Baba ko to bolna chahiye na?
Thankfully, the billing counter was crowded and I didn’t know who were the child’s parents. I made a hurried move out of the shop!
Remember this glance-and-pick ear ring holder thermocol of mine?
It had a great fall yesterday after almost two years of staying put. Lately the number of ear rings had increased and I guess it couldn’t bear the burden any more.
Mantam got a nice play thing and enjoyed arrangeing the ear rings in pair. And then they started playing shopkeeper and customer! (Man the SK and Tam the C)
This is how the conversation goes:
C: Oh wow! Kitna achcha ear rings hai tumke paas!
SK: Haan, tumko kya chahiye?
C(carrying a doll): Mera baby ke liye kuch ear rings dikhao
SK: Kya Colour?
C: Yellow dress pehna hai na? Matching yellow ear rings
SK: (Picks one pair of yellow ear rings and hands over to C) Ten rupees
C: (Holds one ear ring against the doll’s ear and smiles at it) Baby, kitna achha lag raha hai tumko? (turns to SK) Ye de do.
SK: Tumka baby kitna achha hai na? Tumka baat sunta hai 🙄
We have befriended a Bengali couple living in our apartment lately. We went out together a couple of times and have been enjoying each other’s company. Mantam have also grown fond of their A uncle and M aunty.
Sunday was A’s birthday. So M had asked us to go to their place Saturday midnight to throw a surprise to A. I had offered to make a cake and get it at night.
I had prepared the cake and the icing in the afternoon. I planned to assemble the final cake in the evening once the sponge is cooled and the icing is chilled well. In the evening, I kneaded dough for pizza and let it raise. While I was trying to put together the layers, the cake collapsed like the London bridge and my heart sank with a loud thud too!! While I was wondering what I could to fix it, A called Abbas and asked if we could go out somewhere. A plan was fixed to go to Frazer Town which was abuzz with eat street. This eat street offers wide variety of non-veg stuff which are simply out of this world and it is open only during the month of Ramzan in the evenings. We got ready and set off on a food adventure. We came back only at around 11PM. Most of the food was packed due to huge crowd and lack of space to sit and eat. We asked A and M to come over to our place so that we could have the food together.
Once we settled down after changing and freshening up, Ma asks: “What time are you guys cutting the cake? I’m very sleepy!”
Abbas: “Ma, what are you talking about? We are gonna cut Pizza soon“ and winks at Ma.
Although she understands the meaning of his wink, she says in front of A: “Oh sorry sorry, I didn’t know” 😀
Mannu comes to the kitchen to check the progress on my Pizza and spots a disaster struck me with a toppled cake. She exclaims “Mamma, Cake?” and I shush her and say “It’s for A uncle. Don’t tell anything now. It’s a surprise okay?” She nods with an impish smile and says “Okay, I understood Mamma”
She obediently goes out to A and says “A uncle, Mamma cake nahi banaaya hai, sirf Pizza banaaya hai”
Too many obstacles for the surprise and the cake turned out to be one of the worst I have ever baked. To top it all, my Pizza also got burnt L I am still unable to overcome the regret L