Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Blahs Must Be Crazy

“Is there a history of mental illness in your family?”

Humph! That was ripe coming from Terror #1. You know, the little pipsqueak of a boy, who, along with his younger and brattier brother Terror #2, supplemented his childhood diet with little chunks bitten out of me. All because they believed they were vampires - a delusion that lasted a few years, closely followed by another few years of forcing me into playing mud-ball cricket with them.

Anyway, I digress. Mental illness in the family. Right, let’s see.

Paternal grandfolksies

Grandpa would physically place a bowl over his head before instructing a barber to cut hair only along its rim. The proverbial “katori cut” of the Indian army. He did not believe in stopping the practice even when he lost most of his hair in his dotage.

Grandma thought the ideal snack for a long-distance car journey in sweltering heat was a boiled egg. Actually, make that a bunch of boiled eggs (wrapped in an ever-dry nappy) that she would choose to open with all the windows tightly rolled up. The vicious onslaught upon the olfactory senses of the unfortunate occupants of the car made them think something had died - and the maggots within now celebrating puberty in gaseous delirium.

Maternal grandfolksies

Grandpa was one of the earliest proponents of gender equality. He vociferously stood up for women’s rights. However, when it came to sheep, his views were exactly the opposite. He was blatantly sexist and racist when choosing mutton at the local market. Only a male white sheep would do. No butcher could hoodwink him. He would insist on inspecting the tail of the sheep before buying his week’s supply of mutton.

Grandma was clear evidence of the serious lack of wealth-management knowledge in our family. She insisted on transporting tins of sand - collected by her slightly mental kids at the beach - around with her, for dozens of years, believing them to contain something of great value. She never opened them to check. Just hoarded them. OK, so if one were to argue that it was, perhaps, some sort of misplaced sentimentality, how would you explain her throwing away boxes of rough rubies? Yes. BOXES. She thought them to be worthless stones collected by her slightly mental sand-collecting kids, who had also supposed the reddish stones sieved from a river bed were just reddish stones to be hoarded for a rainy day when the world ran out of reddish stones or something.


Dad thinks the answer to all the problems in the world is WD40. That spray for squeaky, rusty hinges etc. Crackling telephone line? “It will clear up now. I gave it a squirt of WD40,” says Dad in all seriousness. Ulcers, rodent infestation, head lice, noisy neighbour, irritable bowel movements. My Daddy says there’s nothing WD40 cannot alleviate.

Mom has a distinctive sense of interior decorating style. For reasons best known to her, she left two rotund apricot seeds and a phallic-shaped smooth white pebble strategically arranged in a little glass bowl. It was hard not to look at it and see a bizarre representation of the male genitalia. It may have been her way of explaining the birds and the bees to yours truly of the young and highly impressionable mind.


Scion believed that throwing salt on a sparrow’s tail would render it flightless. OK, so even if I do admit that I might have planted the idea in his head in a moment of mischief, explain why Scion concluded that a bird dropped a giant pair of ugly chequered pyjamas on his balcony? He tends to overestimate the physical capability of birds and underestimate their aesthetic sensibilities.

By process of elimination, it would appear that I seem to be the only sane one in the family. Or am I?

Note to self: Quick, start coming up with rational reasons for having called out to random men on the street thinking them to be valet parking attendants, groping people inappropriately whilst fainting at the sight of blood or having an inexplicable need for Gummy Bears as soon as the power goes out (vis-à-vis a torch).


  1. lol!!

    loved this post!
    every family is like a movie! each member a character more unique than the other!

    i love all the characters of your very interesting family! your dad and paternal grand mum are my favorites!

  2. Throughly enjoyed the nutty behavioral patterns.
    Any rational explanations for jumping at unsuspecting folk in the middle of the night or snorting with uncontrollably laughter at old men coughing/groaning in movies?

  3. Your Dad has the exact same idiosyncrasy as the protagonist's dad in My big fat Greek wedding :)

    And please help me understand the logic of eating only white sheep?

    Also, did you grow up on the hills or something - we plains waale desis eat goats?

    Hopefully if any of your grandparents are alive - please to set up a date.

    Aur haan, neat post. Damn neat.

  4. @SEPO: Thanks :) The family gives me fodder to write when there isn't anything else!

    @Anu: Haha! OK, I'm guilty of doing those things as well. But erm...yeah, will get back to you with a rational explanation ;) Skype soon!

    @NG: Yep! WD40 is to my dad what Windex (I think?) was to the MBFGW dad!

    My grandad insisted that only male, white sheep tasted better. I still fail to see any logic behind it.

    And you're right, I am a hillbilly through n through. Astute observation ;)

    None alive - unfortunately for you and fortunately for male white sheep and boiled eggs.

    Danke :)

  5. Gasp!! My Dad swears by WD40 too!! :D

  6. Smriti, we be equally scarred, traumatized childrens :D (albeit rust-free)

  7. Aaahhhh...Stop complaining so much about the pains I put you through... You would have had a boring childhood if it hadn't been for the scars and bites, the canal jumping , mud - ball cricket, tadpole chasing, indoor camping and bed wrestling that took place...

    Unfortunately for you I do know the crazies you talk about... U forgot ur mutt the cupcake thief... oh and very conveniently forgot urself I might add...The biggest crazy I might add... Get mom to make cupcakes...claim their yours...get your dog to slobber on them and then feed them to your poor unsuspecting friends who don't realize your secret ingredient is doggie drool...

    The Virtual Rash has spoken...

  8. I love your adding him to my James Dean bucket if you know what I mean.

  9. me :)!!! LOL


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