Saturday, July 05, 2008

‘One Whopper Menu please’

‘One Whopper Menu please’

‘To GO?’


‘With cheese or without cheese’

‘With cheese’

‘Ketchup or Maayo’




Well this conversation is quite familiar to most of you and shouldn’t have startled anyone...After all most kids these days say Daddy, Mummy and Mc Donald’s though not necessarily in that order…But this conversation is indeed SCANDALOUS considering the person who was answering to these questions was my DAD!! Now that’s like spotting Che Guevara in Las Vegas!! It is an incident that could potentially provoke midnight calls in family circles…”Kunjachen cheythathu arinjoo…”

Yes am seriously thinking of sending the video to Ripley’s Believe it or Not!!

Although I was guilty of underestimating there, I knew something’s that would never change…Amma wearing western formals cannot be even called hypothetical because it simply cannot happen. Cajoling from Indian westernized ammachis who graduated from chattayyum mundu-->saree-->western formals did not work! Anyways the Germans took it as an exotic oriental dress from the east.

The trip involved a lot of ‘First time doing’ and ‘First time seeing’ and other earth shattering events... Mom indulged in something offbeat and took part in extreme sports like "escalator boarding"!!...Needless to say by end of the trip she was a certified professional in Escalator Usage. Rookies back home at the malls would look in envy as she effortlessly wades out of an escalator , unlike the Anju Bobby George inspired leap that used to land her a few feet away… As mentioned earlier they did try some very exotic food called the BURGER and the PIZZA!! Thank god we have Indian restaurants everywhere in this world, you just have to follow the smell of the curry…That’s the best part with Indian restaurants…You don’t need directions to find it!!

Btw dad found the botanical garden (those unspeakable biological names) near my home as impressive as the Eiffel tower…Ugh!! Visits to the Vatican and Louvre museum though was interesting was at times boring. I mean you see something like a 3000 B.C Egyptian pottery. It doesn’t look much different from the overused meen chattis back home…neither can you impress someone with surrealist paintings of Van Gogh!!

Of coz there was the much anticipated faux pas too when Mom took the kitchen knife along in her bag to cut apples…We were waiting in the queue at the Eiffel when I came to know that her bag did contain a 'potential weapon' which I 'surrendered' to the security guard before the beeps went off. As he threw it away she was aghast...My pep talk on security, terrorist attacks did not cut any ice, talking of the lost knife…
Nevertheless we were lucky to after all get inside considering very few actual visits Eiffel tower with a knife!! Sigh…I have never understood the fascination woman have with knife!!

And If there was a Gullibility index or something I challenge anyone out here who can beat my Mom…I had perfectly made her believe that a city bus which we got into in Rome would now stop only in Venice and that we apparently got into the wrong bus….In Vatican any priest remotely walking by would be called the Pope…and I had fun making stories out of Berlin wall that extended till Great Wall of China long long ago…Well the Mumbo Jumbo that I blurt out had to be simply believed..;-P
Since I was alone this time around it did not reach the much hallowed heights she is capable of. Normally with bro and cousins we have a field day scoring points over the gullibility index of our aunts...

On seeing Mc Donald’s outlet at one of the malls, her highness Amma did say she did see one in cherthala, which I later figured out was an ad for Mc Dowell’s…Not to mention the height of insult when I wore a Arsenal jersey gifted by a friend...”Edaaa ithu ninakku Emirates fly cheythappol free kittiyathu aano”….My friend (a arsenal freak) says his club hasn’t been humiliated anyway like this before in his life.!!

The last few days of their vacation was indulged in shopping…As I told mom one of the best kept secrets of all foreign returnees…The gifts!!...a carton of facial tissues that cost only a few cents that would be split into packets of 100 each and given to all aunties along with a Dove Soap…a huge packet of snickers and Mars bought from Wal-Mart which would again be split (It is like what the Lord did with 5 appams and a fish, here the returnees do it with Snickers)... Though these tricks don’t work now as most people can make out Mars from a Lindt or Ferrero Rocher...A carton of shaving blades that would take care of the shaving needs of entire Kerala for a couple of years….I had to step in to stop the buying of goodies that looked like a relief package of sorts for a small country!!

Well the trip was memorable as much for me as for them...And as they left the shores (I mean the airport) back to old routines back home, I understood why everything in life is not constant….Happiness and joys are accentuated by periods of dullness and sadness…Love becomes what it is because of sacrifices...that’s what makes it worth it..

Like I mentioned in a old blog as we grow older we sometimes fail to recognize that everyone around us does too…As I saw their balding hair lines and saw how difficult it was for them to climb stairs after some decent walking around, there was nothing I could do about it…I took this chance to forget or rather accept these changes…Because what ultimately remains are just good old memories…

P.S. ..Listen to this classic Beatles..


Mishmash ! said...

I couldnt stop laughing out loud while reading this...:)))the knife incident was hilarious.....:))the escalator part...yes, my mother was also at the same phase...Looks like you re all charged up and refreshed after their this post is a classic one , from line 1 to the end ! :) Sorry, cant help saying this, we want to read more :D

Btw, thanks a lot for your support on that plagiarism issue.....there is not even a name or contact info in that page!

Dhanya said...

ROFL at the knife incident :) I know it's difficult for women to part with their most trusted friend :P
Nice to see u back in full form :)

Philip said...

When I write a post of my mom's faux pas, I can just copy-paste some of the funny incidents here...I guess moms do it knowingly and pretend it was a gaffe.

"Happiness and joys are accentuated by periods of dullness and sadness" - reading this made me quite sad... I slipped into that mode where I start questioning the purpose of what I do..*sigh

Beautiful post.

scorpiogenius said...

Beautifully written man...

Something to remember and speak about for a long time eh...? The knife incident was hilarious. No stories worth mentioning about daddy cool??:) Or may be men knows better how to act more aristocratic in the western world, when the innocent lady was always her own self!:)

Nice to hear that they enjoyed the Europe trip.

And you are back to the blogscape with a bang! :Applause: :Applause:

jj said...

I was waiting for this one :D.
Beautiful post.
I seriously wish I was in madam's class now. I can imagine listening to her account of the Euro trip.
Kitchen knife to cut apples??????? We never appreciate their thoughtfulness do we ;)?

mathew said...

thank you very much..and yes the escalator part was very adventerous in the initial days!!

And regarding the plagarised photos, i think some people have become so insensitive to it..really sad cases..

yeah..i have seen it in most people in my family cricles..the knife is like a big discussion topic among the aunts..;-D

yes...yes..when my mom and aunts get together..we cousins have enough entertainment that can put any jim carrey flick to shame!!;-P

Its not like that..He just doesnt commit the blunder of telling others any blunder he did!!
Infact there are several incidents involving him which are more or less situational comedies..

And amma is actually cool and was ocassionally heard blurting out some german which she supposedly learned in 1972!!

I think such a class would have been a riot for you..but that should be heard from a third prespective!!;-P

Ofcoz I appreciate the thoughtfulness but that could have landed us in French Guinea by chance!!;-D

SR said...

Oh man, I was about to write about my mom's escalator saga,this post says it all :). Her very first reaction about coming to canada was Aiyoo enikku varenda avide okke vazhiyilum escalator alle. Who gave her that idea is still a mystery. My only choice was to send her weekly photos of every nook and corner of downtown Calgary and she is still not convinced. Can I get her to take tips from your mom :)

Jyothsna said...

Extreme sports!!! I can't stop laughing, Mathew - this reminds me of my own parents visit to Dubai and mom's escalator escapades!! Well, they have to manage miles of saris on the escalator, you see :D And the knife!!! Want to read more! Good to see you back with fond memories.

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

I think nothing beats the Arsenal jersey joke, being i die hard Arsenal fan myself; i've heard this often when they had the 02 symbol on the jersey's. Many ppl asked me around my village if i'm in some oxygen company or something like that! Had a tough time explaining. Can't imagine how u handled ur parents while they used to handle many a student in school :).

Liked the Knife thingy too! Good writeup buddy! Have a gr8 time with dad n mom!

Pooja said...

Have u thought of taking up a job of writing stories for movies. I has been a while since i have seen some classic comic movies like boeing boeing , nadodi kathu ...........league. You will be great. You are artist who paints pictures with words. I hate or am lazy leaving comments and today both ur post made me do so.

VIDYA said...

this was a classis post! :)

and the knife part reminded me of the part when a guard at citi centre refused to let me in coz i had a pen knife on me!!it was jus a mall, its wasnt like i was stabbing away.. i can totally understand this fetish for knifes.

and abt te T-shirt, HEY!!! r u talking abt a RED tee-shirt with FLY EMIRATES written on it?????
ive seen loadsa ppl wearing it and its a joke among my frnds tht good looking guys only wear free emirates stuff, so tht is not a free shirt u get when u fly emirates???!!!

VIDYA said...

just saw te link of te shirt, i was talking abt te same one..

and abt te mars-snicker thing, its what te lord did then with appam ... LOL! i loved tht part, and i remember waiting for all the mars-snicker bars when the returnees came. :D

freespirit said...

Nice read :) Leaves me envious and home sick :(

Zee said...

oh how wonderful!!! they must've loved it!!
and you're lucky ur parents tried all the pizzas and burgers in the world. my mum hates it all. whenever we go out, we go right back to sagar (the south indian joint nearby) cause there's nothing better than a dosa dinner for her....and we're not even south indian!!!

Neena Padayatty said...

Loved the shopping for gifts part the best:D

The last part reminded me of an ad which ends with the line "Watching ur parents grow young again...priceless!"...
Beautiful post!

mathew said...

thank you...
She ofcoz had a bit of prior training from India..but here is where she turned into a professional..I had no trouble convincing them to come here as i guess they were very much interested to see Europe..I think you should kidnap her incase she doesnt agree!!;-P

thanks a lot.
yeah..i know..They felt like Europe is made of escalators..its every where around you..;-P

LOL!!..yes Arsenal jerseys are always a big trouble back home..

thats a very generous compliment..thank you very much..and ofcoz for the ego boost comments..;-D

Thank you..;-0
Yes.but sometimes it is difficult to drive sense..a 7 foot german security officer at the airport doesnt easily believe when someone says.."Oh yeah that was for cutting the apples..";-p

this was a classis post! :)

Please enlighten your friends with the marvellous club that Arsenal is!! sigh..!!;-P

Infact I have reverse homesick feeling wcoz parents are now back in India..;-D

Actually they did even have some sausages and apparently have become big fans of burgers..Strange situation when I was craving for home made indian food and parents were gaga over the burgers.;-D

Thanks a lot!!:-)
Havent seen that ad...will check out in youtube if they got it..

Yes I had several incidents when they really did try things which I never thought they would do at their age...

Anonymous said...

Getting any Amma into western formals is a task of mammoth proportions (pun intended?)...

My parents' trip here was such an anti-thesis. I expected them to be blown away and they went "Aiyoo everything is so cheap here" and started swiping their credit card at everything!

My parents had been told horror stories of the airport security demons, so my mom had to very reluctantly leave her swiss knife behind!

Priya said...

Mat, u write so well and they are enjoying things which they have never done u know.

Sree said...

haha you write so well.

Now dont u ever under estimate our senior folks! :)

silverine said...

Gullibility index, my mom would give stiff competition to yours in that contest! :p The knife thingy happened wth my mom too, on a recent trip to S'pore and Malaysia and she got past the security of three countries and as many airlines without a hitch. We found out when mom and dad landed back in India and mom was cleaning out her hand bag! he he

Nice post!!

Preeti Sharma said...

Great post. Funny. Poignant.

mathew said...


and things are cheaper outside India!!;-O
Tell me which country .i am migrating..;-p

And btw I guess it is more tough with the security folks in US airports..

They took it sport..infact enjoyed the new places..and at the same time was feeling sad how far our country is behind..

NEVER..i learned that lesson now!!;-D

LOL!!..I can imagine your surprise..So it means everything is not fool proof if you are flying to Spore..;-P
Talking of Gullibiity..NO WAY..our family has like the Gold class members..and proud owners of "Frequent Mandatharams card"!
Btw hope you had a great birthday.

thank you.. ;-)
and thanks for dropping by..

Srijith Unni said...

That was fun to read, mathai. about that knifey thing, I myself got reminded of how my mother got all sad, when I threw away a brand new 'Colgate' Tube into the dustbin. She never forgave me for that. It was another matter though that it wasn`t necessary. Both of us were traveling by air for the first time. :) BTW parting after having so much of a good time together is again so painful..

I'm sure everyone at home in kerala is going to get a greatly exaggerated account of Europe though. ;-)

Have Fun, Take Care and God Bless!
With Best Regards,

usha said...

-'extreme sports like "escalator boarding"!!'
i can so well imagine that..
reminded me of my Mom's acrobatics show a few years back!

the last para. you said it, mathew!
we all wonder about it at times, i guess.. everytime Papa comes over to pick us up when we go home, he looks a tad too old. and that really really gets us worried.

usha said...

btw, there's something which I do when parents leave after a long visit. I play around with the placement of furnitures n stuff in the rooms. That kinda helps. Ever tried that?

Deepti said...

Priceless post !!when take my mom to the malls here, the scenes are almost ditto :D especially the "Escalator proficiancy test"

and the best "Edaaa ithu ninakku Emirates fly cheythappol free kittiyathu aano" .. absolutely ROFL

ursjina said...

totally loved it..especially egyptian poetry lookin like meenchatty did u come up with that one..:P

Anonymous said...


The country is USA...yeah everything is "so cheap" because of the dismal dollar/rupee conversion rate. All those stories of rich NRI are a myth now I tell one even comes to the airport anymore to receive us..let alone bring a band baaja...sigh!

Ps said...

Oh my god--couldnt stop laughing at your mom's query of the free arsenal jersey!
And Van gogh--I adore him--so i refuse to listen to anything anyone says about him :)
Loved what your mom said about seeing a mc donalds in cherthala too :)

Amooma said...

had a lot of fun, didnt u?

hammy said...

Ah, knives are the pillars that held yesterday's generation in place, not to mention people in dark alleys.

Anyhoo, the escalator scenario seems to be way too common. I think someone should start a short coaching class. "How to use an escalator in 5 easy days" - It would be difficult to market it as ... "in 5 easy steps", cos there is actually only one step here, right?


Scribblers Inc said...

great stuff!!!:)
some kool dad you got I say!!

Scribblers Inc.

mathew said...

Colgate alle poyollu..the number of perfumes that get thrown in airports here is enough to make another Dubai Duty Free!!;-D

and yeah they have enough to talk about atleast for month..

yes yes...;-P
She had chances of giving a shot in the olympics considering the inital gymnastics..

And the furniture ofcoz gets disarranged in I dont have to do it myself..;-P

Thank you..
and yes I am glad she was not telling that too a hooligan..

Thank you!!:-)

LOL..I have heard many Europeans saying ..The states is now damn cheap..People buy electronics from US coz its 30% more expensive in Europe...

Thanks ..
and yeah I understand that it is that it aint funny telling that to a artist..;-D


LOL!!..It should say in "One eay leap"
yes let me call up Mom and ask her if she is interested in starting an academy!!

saphire said...

ur tagged :) and yeah i guess my mom too needs some coaxin and prep to climb on to an elevator.. :)

Jans said...

Really Njoyd reading this one...."Moms" nvr change i guess. I'v bn tryin hard to convince my folks to make a trip here....n i can already picture the same scenario :))