Category Archives: Family circus


The 11th grader in the carpool: Our English teacher gives us the most cheesy topics to write essays about.

Inhouse-kid:  Tell me about it.  We were asked to write about “The heart perceives what the eyes can’t see”. Eww.

Mom: You should write about the ant that bit your butt.  Your heart perceived it, your eyes didn’t see it !

Kid:  This is why I see a dark future ahead of me.


Carb coma and one other matter

Did you know India is the diabetic capital of the world? Fifty million people suffer from type 2 diabetes.  It is impossible to find a single Indian who either does not have diabetes herself or does not have a family member on medication for the malady.  My paternal grandfather, for instance, was diabetic, not requiring insulin and medication, but intense food control.  He was an extremely disciplined man, ate like a chicken, and lived to 95, with forty years of diabetes under his belt.  My in-law uncle is diabetic and makes my daughter inject him with insulin when we meet. My best friend’s husband is diabetic.  My younger cousin is borderline diabetic, and manages her condition with an active lifestyle.  Two of my aunts are diabetic and on medication.  And mine is a representative south Indian extended family.

Do you wonder why we (especially in the Tamil Nadu area) are so diabetic prone?  Here is the answer:


Once a year, we celebrate the flow of the life force rivers,  especially Kaveri, into our agricultural belt (she is bone dry this year thanks to our monsoon failure and the political failure of our state to fight for water from the neighbouring state in which the river originates..but that is matter for a stroke, so I will tread lightly), by ingesting industrial levels of carbohydrates in the form of variously flavored rice.  Once lunch is done, the entire state would fall into carb-coma from which if we are lucky, and have a lot of good karma in our kitty, we may emerge this year with a non-dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.  So, if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, I am still sleeping off the calories consumed today.

On another note, brag time.  My kid started writing poetry when she was four.  She doesn’t write poetry as often as I like her to.  But when she does, the poetry is fairly smart, for her age.  Her recent is this, she apparently wrote it in class when she was bored.  May she be bored more often !

Alas Alak

A ship sailed across the brook
With sailors, passengers and cook
As well as a lantern and a book
And a gleaming silver hook

The ship’s captain then cried
“Alas, alack, our cook has died!”
The passengers were shocked and tried
To help, but  a pirate ship was spied

The pirates jumped on board and wept
“Our ever so noble captain has slept
and won’t wake up, look, there he’s kept!
At waking sea captains, are you adept?”

Their fortune sunk lower for ’twas then that they found
The brook was too large and their ship too round
They had been dreaming; they were on ground
Rudely awakened by a loud sound

Motherhood is overrated

Kid: Mom, you don’t like S’s mom, no?
Me: No, no, Its not that I don’t like her, its just that she is a tiger mom and I feel very inadequate as a mom when I talk to her.
Kid: Don’t be ridiculous. You are adequate.
Me: I am not sure. Other moms take an interest in their kid’s life.
Kid: Oh, you had better not start taking interest in mine. I would disown you.

I have a nagging feeling that this conversation wasn’t exactly complimentary , but I am taking the last request by the kid and running.

Potatoes must be banned from my family

I have a nubile sister-in-law-once-removed (“co-sister” in Indian parlance) who looks up starry eyed to me as a role model daughter-in-law (eye roll), and tries to impress me (double eye roll) every time I visit her.  She believes that making international food (pizza, pasta, bean burrito et al) at home amounts to being a paragon, and tries to emulate me (my eye is going to get stuck that way), little realising that her role model is a faltering, self-bashing, inefficient, imperfect, unbaked-clay footed human being, despite the gazillion times I have tried to impress it upon her.  Unfortunately, her attempts to impress me are usually catastrophic, and she ends up feeling worse about herself than before, despite me repeatedly telling her that all I want to be is her friend.  Having a fifteen year age difference between us does not help any.

Last Sunday, I visited her and she decided to impress me yet again by making French fries.  What was brought to me on a plate was a bunch of limp French cut potatoes soaked in oil. SOAKED. Not wanting to get her into her self-bashing, I-am-not-as-good-as-Gobblefunkist- mode (God, my eye sockets hurt), I entrusted my liver to the supernatural and swallowed a few of the blasted stuff.

Within five minutes, I could feel my innards shutting down.  I attributed it to psychosomatic effects of the sight of potatoes floating in oil, ignored the queasiness that continued well into the day and went about doing my stuff. Monday was uneasy, but nothing I couldn’t handle. On Tuesday, an invisible hand was squeezing the abdominal area now and then.  Again, nothing I couldn’t handle with a few doses of ginger beer and salted buttermilk. Wednesday was, umm…ok, but there was something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

All hell broke loose (as did my stomach) on Thursday, and I spent most of the day alternating between the potty and doubled up in bed groaning.  My no-antibiotics rule flushed down the toilet along with other things, and I got on the bandwagon.  The potatoes-in-oil were too strong for antibiotics, it seems, and while the runs have somewhat subsided and the stomach does not scream bloody-murder as loudly, there is a constant threat of the contents of my innards defying gravity and the moment my head leaves the pillow, the earth spins way faster than 1036 miles per hour.

I really like my sister-in-law and she IS a wonderful person as she is.  I wonder how I can convince her of that.


Lunar family

Conversation as the kid was leaving for school.

Dad: I think my shorts tore at the back. Please check.

Mom: Oh yeah, that’s a tear alright.

Dad: Good that I am wearing underwear, no?

Mom: Yeah, or else we’d have a double moon vision.

The kid sits on the floor with her head between her knees muttering “I didn’t ask to be born, you know”

Another day in the Gobblefunk household

Kid: What would happen if a werewolf went to the moon?

Dad:  He would no longer be a where wolf. He would be a there wolf.

Kid:  Aargh, appa, be serious. We are discussing something important here.

Mom:  Depends on which face of the moon he would be – man on the dark side, werewolf on the bright side.

Kid: So, the werewolf is not really affected by the moon but by the light of the sun..  wow, wonder why no one came up with that.

They don’t belong to the Gobblefunk family, that’s why.