Tuesday, June 17, 2008

so today- and i'm thinking i should write something appropriately snippy and delicious for TFT on this- i'm in the pool where i am a happydappy water baby full of good cheer and yoga litheness and a pubescent girl swims across my lap in that painstakingly slow whale-lumbering style bad swimmers have. i have to stop a very rapid, three-lap momentum breaststroke to avoid knocking into her, and when i surface i snap 'bacha, do you mind?' before swimming on. then said child, or her equally odious sibling, decides that tossing your foam board half a foot away from you and then walking the water (a.k.a pretend swimming where i kind of vaguely flail my arms) to it is a really fun and productive thing to do. she does so, and one of the times she tosses it in my direction, and splashes me. doesn't apologize or anything. i roll my eyes in my goggles and swim, swim swim. in between i help a little blue-goggled, red-capped, fish-floatied little duckling get her feet kicking right, and an auntie stridently asks me if i am a coach. this is the Odious Chillun's mother. i tell her no, but i work with kids her age these days and i swam competitively for many years (she asks me to help her kids with their crap swimming but that's another story).

-do you know where there are ballut lessons? she asks.

for a minute i quickly leaf through my head thinking ballot-vote-no-ballut-that's nothing-ballEt-ohhh tutus and pink satin slippers *ting*

-no, i don't

-i want my girls to be graceful, you know, move nicely

okay, quoth i, why don't you send them to a classical dance class?

-i really don't like classical dancing, it's so weird. and anyway they have it at school but i had them exempted

mina is puzzled. why? she asks, naive thing.

-because there was a male instructor, in a girls' school!

mina thinks back to the dance instructors she knows and thinks there is nothing for this woman to fear from the male ones. nohow, she ploughs on.

-but culturally, dance isn't a gender exclusive thing, i say.

-yes, she says disdainfully, but it isn't our culture.

i raise my eyebrows best i can with a swimming cap on and what i'm dying to say is how is ballet culturally relative to YOU, you ignorant, arrogant fat old cow marinating in chlorinated water and thinking it's swimming? and how do you think your horrible daughters would look in a tutu? reality check: ballet isn't meant for south asian punjabi boobs OR butts. good bye you odious woman with odious children yuckthooooooooo and when your daughters get married you'll have the devdas makeup and tab who'll be thinking it isn't your 'culture' HUH?

but instead i throw myself into a faster-than-average freestyle and float at the other end of the pool for a breather.

Mina at 5:35 PM


Saturday, June 14, 2008

the average parent is a pain in the ass. they want to know about airconditioners and fees and how many kids there are in the class. the part about changing the ratta system, helping kids to be creative and be individual and knowing their mind is brushed aside casually before asking whether we're going to do the kids' holiday homework with them. no, we aren't going to do another school's homework for your kid. we are not a tuition centre. tuition centres don't have baby yoga and mandarin classes and they don't have a black belt doing karate and they don't have an ajoka actress doing theatre and they don't have arooj aftab singing with them and they don't have me doing story-time either.

the average parent is the kind who will fire questions at you, listen to none of the answers and when you call them back, tell you they're only interested in having their kid WORK over the summer. or sleep in because eight is MUCH too early (if your five year old is going to bed at one a.m, then yeah, it is).

welcome to stellar, the bunch of aliens who think that kids should be allowed to be kids, who have a crate of hico apple and orange ice lollies and country pine cool boxes ready for your children, who believe that life should be about being happy and creative and original and climbing trees, and that in the process you will get good grades and you will go to college. and you could also be an asset to society too, someone who is thoughtful and intelligent and compassionate, who can speak punjabi and urdu and english and spanish and mandarin, who is proud of who they are and where they come from. how is that something a parent wouldn't want for their child?

so at the end of the day, the airconditioner is more important than the art and music and scouting and creative writing classes. bravo. the good news is that despite all this we've still got a good number of kids, but god you'd think there would be more progressive, intelligent, creative parents out in the world. the irony is that there are people like that, but very few parents. it's good to take your kid seriously i suppose, but i think we take it a bit too far and the priorities we assign to them are very skewed. blaaar. i will get back to you on all this judgement after i have a baby myself. but chahey jo bhi ho it sure as hell isn't going to school before five, will be playing in mud and drinking from the lilypond and reading books and eating aam and playing with the dog and wearing malmal kurta pyjamas like a proper little one should.

Mina at 12:57 PM


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

eating a perfect


yellow-orange sindhri

is a gift only summer can give. you
hold the curving firmness of it in
your palm and gently stroke

a knife beneath the thin,thin skin
and as it peels off in a curled sweet spiral,

you might take a moment to lick the
honeyed juice about to trickle
off your wrist

and slicing neatly, deftly, the mango
falls into scimitar-curved pieces into
a bowl, and then

you find a fork.

ode to a sindhri

Mina at 8:00 PM


literature gems

if macbeth hadn't been led astray by the witches, the play would have been so much nicer- there wouldn't have been so much bloodshed and duncan would be alive. he was such a nice king.

in the victorian age once the ring was slipped on your finger, the real trouble began. shakespeare's own marriage was quite rocky despite having four kids, so he created in lady macbeth and macbeth the perfect couple.

thank you. literature was my favourite class the whole of ninth grade.

i'll miss you next year :(

add me on facebook!

lady macbeth knocked out the guards. she must keep some strong sedatives in the house.

you can compare macbeth to SATAN!

Mina at 1:54 AM


Friday, June 06, 2008

gems from the finals

"a mother keeps a child in her vomb for nine months...she endures the pains, the vomits..."

"she wanted our play to be on Macbeth instead of Romio and Juliat"


"Ah you LOSER!!" (title of a story)

"she must be a psychio monster"

"he was very 'myscheviuos' "

Mina at 8:40 PM