Monday, August 8, 2011

A whole new world...

The title may be a tad dramatic, but Tara's first movie hall experience really does open up a whole new world for us! It means that not only is there light at the end of the tunnel, but a few beams of it are even beginning to warm us. It really has happened. We have been able to go out for a movie as a family. And watch the whole thing. With popcorn. That's a really big deal.

The thing is that I have always believed, very vocally, that children should not be taken to movie halls since they always trouble others there and spoil what might be a very special movie day for another person. Besides, they don't enjoy the movie themselves anyway and it's probably bad for their ears and their brains to watch the crap that some of these movies are. I'm the terrible just married non-parent who has tut-tutted and even told off more than one frazzled parent for not being able to handle their little one and forcing me to listen to the baby instead of the movie when I had actually paid for the movie - not the baby.

The indignation and tut tutting was before I was a mom. Now, at least I know that parents are frazzled for a reason. However, the belief about not bringing children to movies is more or less in place. With some qualifications. If its a movie you think your child will enjoy, and one that is not going to scar his or her brain, and if you think your kid will behave itself and if you have a plan in place that can be executed immediately if he or she stops behaving well, and if that plan is drastic enough that it involves abandoning the movie altogether if the situation so demands, then it just might be okay to bring a kid to a movie. It has taken a lot of time and of course years of desperate longing for movies and the smell of popcorn to get me to this point. That's why Vir's first movie experience was only a couple of weeks ago with Cars 2. It went so well that I was tempted to try with Tara. I figured she likes popcorn enough to stick with it for a couple of hours. And if the situation started to get difficult, I could give her some chocolate. Or a lollipop. (Note: great parenting is not always about empty calories and sugar.) And of course, if things didn't work, we agreed we'd just give up and leave immediately before much damage was done. And definitely before any of those parents I had told off years ago recognized me and ganged up for revenge. With a detailed plan in place, Vijay, Vir, Tara, and I set off to watch the Lion King.

It was superb! We were a little late and walked in just when the lights had been turned down. I thought this was not good but it turned out to be to my advantage because it scared Tara enough to just sit where I sat her down and not try to explore too much in the dark. But not enough to not be interested in the movie. She was really quite intrigued by what was going on, especially since she recognized the different animals and was able to make some sense of what was going on. And of course, we were very prompt about getting her popcorn, so that helped. She watched the whole movie with one hand in her box of popcorn and the other firmly clutching my elbow for moral support. I didn't mind sacrificing my elbow for a while. At least it was resting on a movie hall seat armrest.

Of course, this still doesn't mean we're going to be watching Delhi Belly or Basic Instinct anytime soon. But it does mean that when a short, animated, kids movie comes out, we can actually go out as a family and sit in one place and enjoy the same thing in our own little ways. Vijay can sleep, I can think about my new found freedom and celebrate with popcorn and coffee, Vir can watch with rapt attention and develop new fantasies and crazy ideas, and Tara can play with popcorn and rub my elbow. Happiness all around!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stories of freedom fighters

Vir is learning the basics of our freedom movement at school these days since August is upon us. It's incredibly cute to hear of stuff like this from a four year old! Especially when the story gets modified a little by the time I get to hear it.

"Mamma, do you know Gandhiji was on a train once and the Britishers told him to get off the train because he was black. I think he wore a black T-shirt sometimes. When he said no, they threw him out of the train and also threw his luggage and he had to walk back to India."

You smiling at the thought of Gandhiji in a black T-shirt too?