Let me start this post by saying, I’m sure that my laundry breeds while I sleep. There is no other reason I can think of as to why the laundry basket refills at the rate it does. If my bank balance refilled as quickly, I'd be one happy camper. Of course, marriage made things a lot better - for the laundry, that is. Now, I’m
forced coaxed to do it. Which brings me back to the days of yore - or bachelorhood, as I like to call it. Back then, the only time I actually did the laundry was when the following predicament presented itself to me - "Laundry today, or naked tomorrow"
However, as I said, now things are different. So previously while I had enough time to go through a book while waiting for the laundry to be done, these days, I just put the laundry in the machine and then hobble around the house picking toys or getting other chores done. I'm sure that the reader at the back of the class (yes, you!) might be wondering why I’ve decided to bore you with instances of how my laundry habit has evolved over the years. Fear not ! I do not intend to.
The only reason that I’m talking about laundry today, is because it was as I was separating clothes - coloured from non-coloured, intimates from well…non-intimates - when a thought struck me. You see, along with the laundry bit, I also have trouble folding clothes. And as I was chatting up “Google-Devi” trying to convince her to accompany me in my online quest to find that magic folding board that Sheldon Cooper uses to fold his clothes, the lovely Sumeetha pinged me to ask for my "lessons learned" post. Something that I’d promised and (conveniently) forgotten because as it goes, life happens. But I digress. Anyway, as I was separating the laundry today, I realised that it is quite possible that there is more to laundry than dirty baniyans and shorts.
(Please leave your comments either here or on the lessons learned website)
[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. Today's prompt was: What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?]
Ancient GreecePrometheus (Pro) smirked as he read Zeus’s status update on Facebook, on his stone tablet. Epimetheus (Epi) looked up from his Macbook Air and asked “What’s happening Pro?” .“Here, check out what Zeus has just updated on Facebook” he said passing the tablet to his brother. Epi frowned as he read the update. “But, this is rubbish!” exclaimed Epi, as he handed the tablet back, “How do we cook or keep ourselves warm without fire? He knows how patchy electricity is on earth !”. Pro smiled at his innocent little brother. “Don’t fret Epi, I’m already on it. According to Google Search, Hephaestus - the God of Fire and Weapons, who lives in Isle of Lemnos will still have fire. He needs it to keep his forge hot. Give me sometime and I’ll find a way to bring it over to us” he said, as he hit the Like button under Zeus’s status.
****“Did you see this?” asked Epi, thrusting his Macbook Air into his brother's hands. Pro looked at Zeus’s FourSquare check at the Isle of Lemnos, and laughed out loud. “He’s probably just listening to Hephaestus rant about that photo of “fire” that I had put up on Twitter.”. Epi didn’t look too happy. “What if Zeus is plotting something?” he asked, warming his hands by the fireplace. “Whatever Zeus can do, I can do better!” replied Pro, taking a sip of his Hazelnut hot chocolate drink.
****Zeus glared at the picture Prometheus had shared via Twitter. Pro had put up a selfie image of him pouting and sticking his tongue out while a giant wild boar was being roasted over a crackling fire in the background. It was accompanied by the tweet : “The cheek of that punk kid!” growled Zeus as he clicked the “Mute @pro_meth_eus” option. But he knew he’d have the last laugh. He took out his iPhone and composed a quick message to his Family Group on iChat. Moments later, Zeus’s three kids made their way into the throne room on Mount Olympus. After paying their respects to Zeus, they looked curiously at the clay statue of a woman that stood beside his throne. “Who’s that? Can I take her picture?” asked Hermes, taking out his smartphone. “Stop!” thundered Zeus. “We’ll have plenty of time for that! First, I need you three to do something for me.”
“Athena,” he said referring to the Goddess of Wisdom, Skill and Warfare, “You will breathe life into this clay woman”. Athena bowed her head respectfully in acceptance of her task. “Aphrodite,” he said, referring to the Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality, “You are in charge of making her exceptionally gorgeous. Put that mirror down, and look at me when I talk.” Aphrodite frowned and put away the compact mirror back into her Gucci bag. “And Hermes,” he said, referring to his son, who was the God of transitions and boundaries and the Messenger of the Gods, “You have the most important job of all. You will teach her to be both charming and deceitful. And curious”.
Zeus’s eyes twinkled as he surveyed the attractive woman in front of him. “They have done well!” he thought, as his three kids entered the room. He was impressed with how quickly they had actioned his requests. “I’ll be sure to put up a status on Facebook, praising them.” he thought, as he slowly got up from his throne. He walked up to the woman who Hephaestus had helped him fashion out of clay. “You shall be called Pandora!” he exclaimed, as he beckoned the rest of his kids to join him on the steps. “This is an important day for all of us.” he said, his booming voice reverberating through the entire room. “So to mark this moment, we shall take a groupie.” he said, taking out his new ultra-wide smartphone, which had been specially gifted for this momentous occasion.
As his entire family huddled up for a groupie snap, Zeus smiled. Pandora was going to bring about the downfall of those vain humans.
“WTF?” exclaimed Pro as Epi broke the news to him. “Not cool, man. Just not cool!” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “But she’s so elegant and charming. She even added me first on Facebook. Surely, she can’t be that kinda girl.” Epi said, hoping that his brother wouldn’t disrupt the honeymoon plans that he had already made. “She’s Zeus’s daughter. Remember that always. She could single-handedly destroy all of us.” said Pro, carefully scrutinising Pandora’s Facebook profile.
He had to admit that the girl was stunning. He was still wary about what Zeus and his pretty looking daughter. "But looks like Epi's fallen head over heels for her!" he thought, as he looked up from the iPad. His brother was looking at him with the puppy dog eyes that Pro knew he couldn’t refuse. “Fine, whatever! Send me your latest pictures. I’ll design a cracking wedding invite on Photoshop”, he said, giving Epi a high-five.
Zeus smiled slyly as he saw Pandora’s latest Instagram update.
It had the picture of a dazzling and elegant box, with beautiful hand painted designs on it. Pressing “Heart-symbol” to show his like, he commented - “Aww! Thank you Pando! But remember what I said - You must never open it”. As he pressed the submit button on his iPhone keyboard, he thought to himself, “I hope Hermes has added enough curiousness in her blood!”.
Pandora was agitated. It’d been three months since the wedding, and she still hadn’t had a chance to open that beautiful box that Zeus had gifted them. And Epi seemed to be in no mood for a discussion about it. “If Zeus says we mustn’t open it, we must not. Period.” remained his standard reply every time she tried to bring up the topic. Frustrated, she’d started discussing about the box with her best friends via Google Hangout. “Why would your dad give you a box if you are not supposed to see what’s in it?” asked her best friend, Acantha. “You should just unlock it and check what’s inside!” exclaimed her other buddy, Ourania. Pandora sighed. Her best friends spoke the truth, but she was worried about Epi. He’d be furious if he found out.
Unable to bear the stress, she tried opening it ever so slightly one day. She stood transfixed by a strong glowing light coming from inside the box. Before she could lift the rest of the lid, it sealed itself shut again. But it wasn't before she captured an image of the box and posted it on Facebook with the caption - "Do I or Don't I?". And then she waited for her friends to suggest a solution.
Up in the throne room on Mount Olympus, Zeus laughed out loud and updated his status with a “Devil” emoticon. His trap was working.
Pro was outraged. He glared at his brother Epi, who cowered in the shadows. “I told you to be careful and alert!” he shouted, throwing a glass orb from his table onto the floor. Epi grimaced as the orb smashed into uncountable pieces on the stone floor. He knew his brother’s anger was justified. He’d trusted Pandora and she’d unleashed the unthinkable on the entire world. Epi stared at Pandora’s latest update on Instagram. She was going to get an earful when he got back home.
As Epi entered the house, Pandora rushed towards him and hugged him tightly. Instantly, Epi felt his anger melt away. He looked into Pandora’s eyes and said, “You shouldn’t have opened it!”. “I know!” she said, leading him to the PC where her Facebook page was open. Epi took one look at her latest Public share and gasped.
As Epi sat down at the PC to try to minimise the effect of the " unforgivable links" that Pandora had unleashed on the world, he heard a gentle chime. Pandora had just got a new friend request. Curious to find out who it was, he clicked on the friendship request icon that was glowing. He smiled as he saw who had sent the request.
"All is not lost!" he mused, as she clicked on the Confirm button.
[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. Today's topic was - Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out-of-place. So I've done a more modern "technological satire" on the age-old ancient Greek story (or myth) of Pandora's box. Of course, I've taken some creative liberties with this]
P.S. - In case you're wondering, I've spent many hours making up those Facebook and Instagram mockups from scratch. If you enjoyed reading this, do hit the share button. Images of Pandora, her box, Epi, Pro, Zeus - all are courtesy of Google image search.
I need to own up. Though I’m part of a species that has been around for generations, I am not from your planet. I come from the square-shaped planet - Aw’cheu (Pronounced as Ach-ooo; Yes, the same sound that you humans seem to make when you sneeze.) Thousands of years ago, the then king of Aw’cheu, my great-grandfather Ack’isu (Pronounced as Acc-iu) had a visitor from another planet. As is the norm in our land, whenever we have a foreign dignitary visit Aw’cheu, the king orders for the twenty-six characters that form the Aw’cheu Hieroglyphs to be sparkled, shined and displayed in the public courtyard. And it was no different this time around too. But fate intervened. One of the aides slipped on the rung of the ladder that was holding him up, and the entire set of characters fell down the chute that led to your planet. My great-grandfather immediately ordered the assembly of a recovery team who would go down the chute and bring back the characters that were the very symbol of Aw’cheu. However, no one had ever been to Earth before and was therefore cautious about the dangers that lurked in the shadows of the blue planet. The bravest of them all, my grandfather Prince Schucergha (pronounced Shoe-sera), promptly gathered a band of Aw'cheuites warriors and decided to undertake the mission to retrieve our most prized possession. On the day of his departure, he sought the King's blessings and slid down the chute into the unknown with his team.
Days soon turned into months, and we heard nothing from my grandfather. However one day, there was a knock on the door that had been built over the chute to prevent any further mishaps. Our weakened King ordered the chutes to be opened to welcome our unknown visitor. As the giant wooden doors opened up into the grey skies, a giant blue creature rose from the chute with a large piece of parchment tried to its feet. The parchment turned out to be a letter from Prince Schucergha with updates about his mission. My grandfather had discovered that when our Aw’cheu characters had fallen through the chute, they were collected by your forefathers who refused to hand them over. A battle ensued in which my grandfather and his band of warriors were defeated. In order to restore peace, my grandfather agreed to teach them how to use the characters to build a proper and effective communication system. And that’s how your English Alphabet was born.
It is quite natural to wonder why I may be writing this letter to you today. But I assure you that it is not without reason. As generations flew by, we continued to keep tabs on how you adopted and adapted to the language. Initially, we were ecstatic. You managed to develop it a lot further than what we could have ever imagined to. However, at some point circa 2000 years after that man JC passed away, two discoveries known as the Internet and Mobile Phones, started to create a bit of disorder. So we took matters back into our own hands. Together with many learned scholars from our peers, we formed an elite group called the IGPD, who were committed to right any wrongs that had been done to what was once a very special vernacular. Yes, we make mistakes too. Some of you are still alive because of that. If we had our way, you’d be languishing at the bottom of the deepest cavern on this planet while hot, molten lava poured from the top slowly consumed your physical being. Are you shuddering at the mere thought of that? Well, that’s how we feel when you vandalise the language.
Normally, we wouldn’t hesitate to kick your lovely, plump behinds. However we have been specifically told that there are rules that govern these sort of activities. So we’ve had to take deep breaths and walk around with a fake smiles on our faces, while silently correcting your grammar and spellings. But the world of blogs and social media opened up new worlds and avenues for us. They let us interact with some of your more learned and esteemed figures, who were proud to join forces, to battle this unprecedented evil. Together, we realised, that we could be the bigger (and better) beings and just try to teach you those skills again. Yes, the same ones that my grandfather and his warriors taught your great-forefathers. Given how wide-spread the epidemic is, we realise that it may take a lot longer than we originally anticipated. But we will not give up without a fight.
On that note, as part of this welcome letter, here are a few tips (and cheats as you call it) from our newly published e-book : English 101 for the Modern Online Human.
The Similar Sound conundrum
There are many words in the English language that sound very similar. But let me assure you that they are not interchangeable. So get a dictionary if you want to. These are some of those words that you may come across:
A missed comma or a period (don’t laugh!) can create a lot of havoc. So please pay attention when you write sentences. Even if it is on your blog. It may save a few lives. For example: “Don’t wear black people.” and “Don’t wear black, people.” could be the difference between you being construed as a racist or a normal human being.
The Short character syndrome
The Short Message Service (or SMS as you humans call it) undid all the hard work that my grandfather put in. And then came that cheeky, little blue bird that masquerades as “Twitter” restricting everyone to 140 characters or less. Hence I understand the need to use slangs and sometimes acronyms in order to ensure you don’t overshoot the imposed character limits. But aren’t you taking it a stretch too far when you decide to use these “short characters” on a daily basis? Sometimes even in professional emails, letters and articles.
For example: The word “before” is spelt “BEFORE”, not B4. It’s English, not a game of Bingo.
The curious case of the English Language
English is a funny language. Not everything is pronounced the way you read, nor is everything written the way it is pronounced. Deal with it! You will get used to it. Haven't you heard - Practice makes perfect. For example: Did you want to “ask” me or “axe" me? I’m pretty sure one is murder.
So you see, we aren't entirely cruel. We appreciate that the English language is not easy to master. And we don’t judge humans based on creed, race, colour of skin, religion, gender, like you do. None of those classifications matter to us. That’s not to say we don’t judge. We totally do. But we base it on spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.
So the next time you vandalise the English language (which is rightfully ours), do not be surprised if we slowly creep up behind you and whack on the head until you get it right.
Thank you for your attention.
Ser’qua'eeq Burdraurnelmy Communication Lieutenant IGPD - Intergalactic Grammar Police Department To Correct | To Serve
P.S. I’ll let you off for good behaviour if you can pronounce my name correctly.
[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was "Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with an unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome! " I agree that this is not really a joke-kind of post. But Ser'qua'eeq has connections who are holding my family hostage until I publish this post. Since there had to be a joke, here's one that keeps with the theme:All images are courtesy of Google Image Search. And my sincere apologies to the IGPD for any grammatical inconsistencies.
"Ouch! That hurt!" *rubs the back of his head*
Let’s start with a bit of a Q&A session, shall we? Who doesn’t like eating out? You there…in the blue shirt? No? You…in that peach salwar? You neither? Well, looks like we all love eating out. And why wouldn’t we? Apart from the fact that we get to eat mouth-watering yummy food, it’s also an experience. The ambience of the restaurant, the cost factor, how the staff behave and plenty of other factors affect this adventure. But there's one primary point which can almost singlehandedly decided if your “restaurant experience” is going to be an enjoyable, stressful or amusing affair. And that is where you’re going to be seated.
I speak from experience. For once upon a time, I did man the tills for a very popular Brighton restaurant. Part-time of course. This goes back to the days when I was trying to juggle my Masters degree and two other part-time jobs (which was illegal by the way). Now, as you may have figured out already, I'm rather observant (Some people call me nosey. I prefer the word observant or information gatherer). So from my high seat behind the till, I’ve observed various kinds of restaurant patrons go about exhibiting their unique mannerisms. Some were pretty. Some were pretty appalling. Some others were pretty disgusting.
Here are a few that I've encountered over the course of my "restaurant visits":
The “Sound Machine”
Belches, slurps, chomps, smacks, scrunches - all in complete Dolby Digital surround sound is what you’re likely to be treated to if you are (un)fortunate enough to be seated next to this patron. Add to this mix the patron who decides that it’s perfectly acceptable to snort and blow-their-nose loudly, and you are going to be treated to a cacophony of food-y sounds. Make sure you carry those ear plugs. Or at least pieces of cotton the next time you eat out. Oh, and did I mention the covert fart-er. Just keep an eye out for that incessant shifting in the seat, which is a sure sign give-away.
The Uncivil Barbarian
I bet most of us have seen this type of patron. They are obnoxious, rude, boorish, loud, impatient and for the lack of another word, fairly uncouth. And of course they’ve made a lot of us cringe when they sometimes address the waiters with clap of the hand, snap of the fingers or occasionally even the dreaded whistle. Words such as “Excuse Me” and “Please” are considered a taboo and they’d rather be caught with their pants down before they even consider basic courtesy. Undoubtedly when you add a drink or two to the mix, they are some of the most unpleasant people to both deal with and be seated next to.
Ah, the humble replacer - where do I start?. They are polite and often very soft-spoken. But they take the “customer is always right” adage a bit too far. The Replacers believe that it’s their right to request the waiter to ask the chef to substitute enough ingredients till the dish no longer resembles the original. Slight changes are always acceptable to most restaurants, but the replacer (also sometimes known as the substituter) believes in getting their dish custom-made. It’s like how Harry tells Sally, in the famous romantic movie “When Harry Met Sally”:
Harry (imitating Sally): "Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. On the side" is a very big thing for you.”
Of course, I agree that sometimes substitutions are required for dietary, religious or allergic reasons. But the replacer takes it a number of steps too far.
Have you ever been to a restaurant with someone who says “Oh! I’m not hungry. I’ll just order a salad or a glass of water”? I bet you have. Of course you being the genuinely nice person that you are offer them a taste of what you’re having. But the moment you look away or pop to the washroom, some of your potato wedges go magically missing. Or that lovely, succulent, spicy chicken wing that you’d saved for later seems to have a few unexplained battle scars. Of course when it’s time to pay, they just flash you the nicest smile and offer to share. But to be honest, most of us rarely ask them to pay an equal share. After all, officially they’ve only had a salad.
On the other end of the spectrum, far far away from the Freeloader is the Anti-Sharer. They know exactly what they want and expect you to as well. And yes, they do not share food. Obviously family-style dining is not really their cup of tea. They are overly protective of their food and will watch like a hawk to ensure that nothing goes missing from their plate. Here’s a piece of advice if you ever encounter The Anti-Sharer. Do Not, I repeat, Do not ever ask them for a taste of their food. Your friendship (or date) could end right there.
Personally, I also refer to them as “the Take-away-er”. They always order a lot more food that they can consume and pay no heed to the waiter’s helpful comment of “The portions are quite large”. Unsurprisingly there’s always copious amounts of food left over after the meal, and you can be assured that they ask for a doggy-bag to take home that half eaten piece of steak or the quarter bowl of curry. Of course the dog never sees any part of this doggy bag. Well, at least they don't waste the food. So can't really complain.
You can identify the VIP the moment he or she walks in through the front door. They have an aura of arrogance about them and will expect to be recognised by everyone. They like to be fussed about and expect complimentary treatment, maybe a bottle of Champagne or aperitifs on the house. I’ve even seen some of them expect the chef to pay them a visit and make a fuss when the chef hasn’t been able to.
Also sometimes known as “The Splitter”, they are given paramount importance towards the fag-end of a group meal. Adept at splitting a cheque in ways that would put Aryabhatta to shame, they also sometimes assume the role of “The Tipster” deciding what percentage to add to the final bill. They can also occasionally be Mr. Scrooge McDuck and decide to cut the tip to help round off the bill.
The Solo Diner
I’m going to briefly interject before you “Aww” this patron and feel sorry for their lack of company. Some of them are actually solo diners by choice. I know people who don’t mind eating alone and instead take this in their stride and consider it as some well-earned “me-time”. The Solo diners find solace mostly in reading, using their phone to catch up on the latest happenings or sometimes even watching a movie on their tablet or laptop. If you have a choice, always choose to sit at the table next to a solo diner. They are the perfect table neighbour, who minds their own business.
Usually a talkative bunch, the Lingerers are also sometimes very hard to understand. They seem to thrive on the motto “I’ve finished eating. So What?” and “So what if people are queueing outside the door? I think I’m just going to sit here and finish talking”.
The Party Animals
These patrons are often hard to miss in any restaurant. They are the bunch of overdressed people with flashy accessories, laughing away loudly and happily. They could also be sporting party hats complete with whistles and bells and honestly, you would be excused in requesting that you be placed as far away as possible from them. But they’re not without their positives. For example, they are likely to order giant-sized portions of food. So just take a look at what looks appetising and make your decision. It’s like modelling for food.
No, not the fake ones. I mean the ones who are so obsessed with their phones that they’d rather WhatsApp a joke to the person sitting right across the table rather than talk to them. Of course they are also obsessed with updating their Facebook status, checking in on FourSquare, or tweeting away asking for suggestions on what to order. They also remember to check the Sports score whilst they’re waiting for the food to be delivered. I’m also going to add to this list, the patrons who believe in answering calls whilst at a restaurant and show no hesitation in having full-length conversations (often loud enough to be heard by all fellow patrons) whilst the sizzling food is on the table waiting to be devoured
The Food Connoisseur
If you can get over the fact that they may appear at times a bit obnoxious and can be every waiter’s and some chef’s worst nightmare, the foodies are pretty good patrons to be around. They are well-researched, know their wines, appetisers, mains, desserts and accompaniments. They know how to pronounce Blaufränkisch (in case you’re wondering, it is pronounced Blahw-FRAHN-keesh) and will know exactly what the best dishes are. If in doubt, just take a peek at what they’re ordering. You could hardly go wrong.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen a lot of these in India. But they are a very frequent breed of patrons across the globe. They’re often couples with the clear give-aways being severe Public display of affections like hugging, curling, coochy-cooing and can often be seen sitting extremely close to each other. Sometimes close enough to make the other patrons in the restaurant a bit uncomfortable. Of course on closer observation, you may also notice the feet of one of PDA’er running up the legs of another PDA’er too. Another tell-a-tale sign is the way they try to feed each other food. Squirms
No, not the Italian ones. I am talking about the good old family diners. Before the parents who are reading this vehemently oppose me and call for my beheading, let me tell you this. I've been on both sides of the fence. On the Single/couple side, tut-tuting “family patrons" wondering why they couldn't leave their little ones at home. And now on the “family-side” wondering why the heck fellow patrons give us the evil eye. I’ll be honest. If you have a toddler, dining out at a restaurant is hard work. Simply because no amount of coaxing, bribing or food will serve as enough ammunition to keep them in their seat. They’ll want to explore the restaurant, see what other people are eating and as sometimes luck would have it, scream for no apparent reason. Or make heck of a noise using the table cutlery as percussion instruments.
And so as a parent, I’m going to give you this piece of valuable advice. If you are a parent to a baby or a toddler, do make sure to check in advance if the restaurant is baby-friendly. If it is, you'll have a fairly relaxed meal along with the rest of the patrons.
Singletons and Couples - If you are "fortunate" enough to be sat next to a "family", do spare us a thought. It's not that easy. And yes, we deserve a break too.
The Food Picture-ers
These are the patrons who believe in the motto “What good is food if no one knows what you’re eating?" They often demand the fellow patrons not touch the food until they photograph it and tweet about it. Food going cold is of no concern to them. I’m also going to add to this list, the patrons who love to take the ever-popular selfies and groupies. Yes, right in front of the food. Not to mention that rather disturbing duck face that you sometimes have to look at while trying to dig into that plate of roasted duck in front of you.
So, how many have you encountered?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sci-fi aficionado. Particularly with a lot of affinity towards Superheroes (and superheroines of course). As a child, I’ve dressed up in my favourite (not to mention, self-made) super hero costume, jumped up and down on my parent’s king size bed, kicking the living daylights out of imaginary villains. And I’ve sprained many a joint as well, throwing uncomfortable round-house kicks and falling from the high wall of my compound. Despite my numerous injuries, none of which were imaginary by the way, I retained my dedication to all these costumed superstars. I even remember the phase, where I secretly hoped that my parents were some sort of retired superheroes who were maintaining normalcy (and secrecy), to shield me from a mega-villain. And yes, I was tempted to try and dig up any records which could potentially incriminate them as superheroes in hiding. But against my extreme desire to give into this temptation to follow in the footsteps of the great Sherlock Holmes, I finally resigned to the fact that my parents were just normal human beings. (I know, how boring right?) And that I had no super powers. Except the ability to fart and burp at the same time. Which to be honest, reveals more about my digestive capabilities than anything else. Oh, and the super power to put on weight by just looking at food. Anyway, I digress.
As I grew up, I had more sense knocked into me, and I started dismissing all those childhood episodes of “super-hero-ism’s” and ascertained that it was more to do with me being a single child. After all, I did have plenty of imaginary friends. So then, why not, super heroes and mega-villains. Fast forward to the present. I am now a proud Papa to an amazingly active and naughty toddler, who is often the main source of inspiration for most of my parenting posts. Including this one. And over the course of the past year, I’ve discovered that I’ve had some superhero-esque traits, all along. I just had to be a parent to release them. Now before you go about picturing me with my underwear over my jeans or trousers, let me make one thing clear. The only similarity between Superman’s costume and mine, is that there are times when the waistband of my boxers tend to play peek-a-boo over my jeans (as well described in my previous post, Fashionista). But that’s where the costume similarity ends. As for the powers, yes, there, “we” definitely have a few similarities.
Superhuman strength & stamina
Now, as some of my previous posts have boldly stated, I’m not what you’d call healthy. So having to often run after this little toddler of mine, is something that makes me huff and puff like the big bad wolf in those fairy tales. But surprise, surprise - I've discovered that I not only have the ability to carry my toddler son in one hand, but also a set of heavy grocery bags in the other and run after public transport too. As a parent, we can often go for a whole day or even more, without taking rest, just powered by pure adrenaline. After all, being the parent of an active toddler, means having to spend a lot of time on our feet. Because you can be assured that the moment we decide to put up our feet to rest, is the moment that something will go drastically wrong.
Superquick reflexes, alertness and the “need for speed”
As a parent, we are always alert. After all, there is a crawling/walking/running/tip-toeing mini-bomb waiting to go off, the moment we look away. But not on our watch. And this alertness manifests itself as an ability to react to changing problems or objects. Like, how quickly we'd jump into the water to save our child or how when s/he is on the swing, we know the exact moment when they’re about to jump off. Not to mention, the incredible power of hearing that we have, when our toddler is not within our eyesight.Oh yes, we parents can give “Mr.Spidey” a run for his buck, with our ability to suddenly dive to catch a toddler falling from the bed or from above the table, and the capacity to duck high-impact flying objects, such a sippy cup or sometimes even the mushy-mashy food that we just stuffed into their mouth. Of course, not to mention the speed with which we have to chase them around the house to make them eat or get them to do stuff. Even, “The Flash” would be so proud :)
Nothing every misses our eye:
Unlike the Man of Steel, whilst we may lack the synonymic X-Ray vision, when it comes to our child, we notice everything. And when I say everything, I mean quite literally, everything. Nothing ever escapes our vision and we are constantly on the look out for trouble, no matter what hideous form they might take.
The power of Super-Jumps (and occasional flights):
Having a toddler in the house is like being in a metropolitan city, without the beauty of the architecture. Regardless of our toddler’s tastes, or our intentions to keep the house spotless, we will invariably find buildings and objects of varying shapes and heights littered across every room. Though it mostly doesn’t cause us much harm, every now and then we may feel a stiff pain when our feet connects with these lovely objects. And soon, we too learn to jump over buildings and obstacles.
We have our own version of short, cunning scientists
Battling cunning, smart scientists is in a day’s work for a Superhero. Here again, we are very similar in that aspect. We too deal with 3 foot tall scientists, who are constant up to mischief and forever looking for ways to destroy the peace of the planet, that is our home. The only difference is that ours are way too cute for us to be angry with them indefinitely.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. And as each child is unique and different, each of us will also have a special hidden super power which helps us "tackle" our cunningly sweet scientist. So in a lot of ways, each of us as parents are not really far away from playing superheroes, all day, every day…well, maybe bar the costume.
On second thoughts, I might look into investing in a costume. A six-pack sounds fancy :)
Image courtesy : A very vigorous and tiring Google search The brilliant image on the front is from ANDRY "SHANGO" RAJOELINA - http://andry-shango.deviantart.com/ I stumbled on his site via Google image search, and he is a true master designer