Nuni’s fascination with souls continues…

“When you die, your soul leaves your body and moves to another body. The soul can be placed in any body. Do you know whose soul am I?”

Me: No

“Your grandmother’s!” 🙂

This reminded me of another conversation about my grandma’s soul. After she asked me whether my grandma’s bones were fossilised and we spoke about the what happens to the body after death, we got around to talking about the after life.

Me: I believe that my grandmother is in heaven looking at us.

(After contemplating) Nuni: Does the soul have sight?

Out of the mouths of babes.

Worst hook up line ever! (Sleaze alert!)

A warning. You need to be 18+ to read this short story. I leave it to you to decide whether it is true or a scene from one of my books. Writing so many parallelly and yet to publish even one 😐

Just-been-introduced guy at a pub: Can I kiss you?

Me: No!

Guy (Kiss attempt 2): I want to kiss you…Can I?

Me: Noo..It’s just too soon (yeah worst No ever!)

Guy steals a couple of kisses.

Kiss attempt 5: I kiss back. Feel nothing. Guy declares it is awesome and also describes other stuff he would like to do.

Kiss attempt 6: I go with it wondering what was so awesome.

Still nothing! But then I am a forever kinda girl and he is a fling kinda guy! As if he is reading my mind, he declares, “I don’t hump and dump!”

I barely manage to control my laughter 🙂

Nuni on the human brain

So I was reading the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 to Nuni last night. We were reading about our awesome brain and Nuni goes, ” Our brain is like a princess and the white blood cells are like the guards!”

I suspect this bit of imagination also comes from The Magic School Bus. I love that series. Wish science was taught like that in every school.

When I grow up, I want to be like her!

Shooting this video for breast cancer awareness was easy because the reactions were predictable. Every guy we asked had no qualms about feeling up breasts and women were squeamish (some also acted well :-). It played out as I expected.

In college, I knew girls who used to say stuff like, “I don’t know my bra size because my mom buys my bras.” Then when they grew up they said, “I don’t know how much my wedding costs ‘coz my parents are spending for it”. All their life they continue to be unaware of their body or their financial situation or anything else of import. I have known women like that all my life. Hell, each one of us has been that woman and is one of those at times — we may be ok with examining our breast, but are scared of a what a full body test will reveal, we may know our bra size or contribute to our wedding, but are completely ignorant of our husband or dad’s income/basically just think of an example of anything that has blindsided you because it was not a girly thing to know about or not womanly thing to do.

Then there are women I look up to and admire who are seldom caught unawares because they are in the know and they can zero in on what it is important and unclutter their mind. Women like Ujwala Raje who not only fought cancer but also runs the Pink Initiative, an NGO that guides breast cancer victims and runs support groups for women them. I met Ujwala and her doctor recently for a couple of hours.

Meeting Ujwala has been an honour and a privilege. She is brimming with positivity and I am filled with a sense of wonder and hope every time I think of her. I have finally found my hero! When I grow up, I want to be like her 🙂

What Southwest Airlines did for a passenger reminded me of this…

So this story about how Southwest airlines turned a plane around for a mother to be able to meet her son in hospital has gone viral. It is a reminder of how even giant corporations can have a heart if the people who work there have the freedom to show they care. The reason we don’t hear such stories more often is because many ’employees’ feel like they are part of a machine and not allowed to have any personal opinion. Any deviation from the norm (even a slight one) becomes a case for ‘Let me ask the manager.’ It is difficult to express care and concern in such an environment, which is why the Southwest airlines story is remarkable. It reminded me of a flight I had taken years ago. I was distraught and worried about my mother.

This was in September 2001. The 9/11 attacks had happened the day before I went to Igatpuri to learn Vipasana meditation. I never heard any news after the attacks for the next 10 days because you have to take a vow of silence and stay away from books, TV, cellphones, just about everything during the course. Plus I did not have a cell phone at the time.

When I came back home on September 23rd, the first thing I heard was that my grandmother passed away and that my mom was in Coimbatore.

So on September 24th, 2001, I flew from Bombay to Coimbatore on an Air India flight. I was trying hard not to cry. A fellow passenger who had lost her father was sitting beside me and she was in bad shape as well. But, what was remarkable about the whole journey was this steward who kept trying to lift our spirits. He didn’t have a clue about what was going on. He just saw me in a state and asked what I needed from time to time. To my wan ‘nothings’ and ‘no, thank yous’, he always responded with a ‘How about some tea?’ or something which always got a dull ‘Ok.’He got me freshly brewed tea and a few things I am sure are not even allowed in economy. And at the end of the flight he gave me an entire bag of candy, which was a good thing because it made me smile and made my young cousins who came to receive me very happy.

I wish I had the presence of mind to note his name. I never forgot the incident and have often talked about it during customer service training sessions or even as an example of a random act of kindness. It was not as grand as Southwest’s gesture, but it was one man who changed one frown upside down one day.

Wherever you are, if you flew the afternoon flight that day in September, thank you.

All about puns

While reading The Magic School Bus story about light, I had to explain some punny references. Bright is for the bright light as well as a smart child and so on. Nuni was trying her level best to grapple with the idea of a pun. She is 7 years and a month old. So yesterday she came up with, “Is Mummy is pun? As in the Egyptian mummy and mother…” Knowing nuni, she will get it in a bit because she is trying so hard 🙂