Chart Number 190

October 23, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

Last Friday Nine had her first field trip of the year. The day before the field trip, as we drove to school one morning, she told me she wanted to wear her uniform pants instead of her normal dress. The teacher had told her class that because the field trip included a visit to a lake. Wearing pants, Nine said, would help her avoid getting bitten by bugs.

“I’m going to wear a red shirt and khaki pants,” she said. “Like a State Farm agent.”

It took me a minute to catch it, but then she and Seven and I started to laugh.

“What are you wearing, Jake-from-State-Farm?” Nine quoted. “Uh…khakis,” she said, completing the punchline. “She sounds hideous. Well, she’s a guy, so…”

A State Farm agent. There you go. That’s a solid life goal right there.


Last week I wrote a post about my younger sister’s special birthday—her 30th. Because two of her best friends from college also turn 30 this year, the three of them decided to make it an event to remember and visit Disney World.

Anyone who knows my family knows the girls and I are huge Disney fans. I could go to Walt Disney World in Orlando every year. The irony of this comes in the fact that I actually went to WDW quite a bit as a kid, because every time family visited from India (or anywhere else) we would take them to Disney to offer them a concentrated slice of life in America. Or just a cool vacation. Or both. My parents, as much as they probably enjoyed those trips, are now sick of making the drive down and fighting the crowds.

When they tell me this, I just smile and imagine a pair of mouse ears over my head.

As Seven got ready for school early last week, I discussed her aunt’s impending trip to WDW and mentioned how jealous I was that my sister got to go and we didn’t.

“Mommy, we’ve gone to Disney so many times,” Seven lectured. “Machu works hard, and she doesn’t get a chance to go that often. She deserves to take a day off because she has a lot of work to do.”

Ever since Seven has gotten old enough to comprehend the fact that her maternal aunt is a little sister too, the two have shared their own special tie to one another. My younger child usually doesn’t give up an opportunity to defend her “Machu” when she gets the chance.

“I know she works hard,” I said, “but I wanted to celebrate my little sister’s birthday with her.”

This one got Seven thinking for a couple of moments. “We could Skype or something.”

“That’s true,” I conceded.

She stayed quiet for a few minutes and continued getting dressed. Just as we left her bedroom to go downstairs to pack lunches, she said, “You know, Skype does get kind of glitch-y sometimes.”

My point exactly. We can’t Skype. That’s why we should have gone to Disney too.


On Monday I got to hear some of the less palatable details about the field trip. Nine mentioned that she and her friends sat in the back of the bus, but she found out through the bus grapevine that someone had thrown up in the front.

“We had to go out of the back of the bus instead of the front,” she added.

“That’s a little gross,” I said.

“I don’t know why we had to go out the back,” she went on. “The throw up wasn’t chunky, it was just watery.”

“Ew!” I said, more than a little grossed out now. “That’s T-M-I.”

“What? Oh, sorry,” she said. She laughed a little.

My kids are at the ages when bodily functions fascinate them to no end. I guess this is proof that nothing, truly, is off the table. Until it turns into TMI, that is.


Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor has been around for more than a decade. He’s an amazing dancer and gorgeous to boot (for those of you who don’t know him or have never heard of him, Google him and then watch his hit film Jab We Met. I guarantee you’ll be in love with him by the end of the movie.) The kids have watched several of his latest films but haven’t seen many of his movies from the early 2000s. So when the movie Dil Maange More came on one of the Hindi language TV channels we subscribe to, we recorded it.

It’s a fairly safe film to watch, albeit kind of dumb. Dil Maange More was Shahid’s second film release at a time when he was staying in the safe zone of doing boy-next-door roles. In this movie he plays a guy who falls in love with/has a crush on three different girls; craziness ensues when the girls run into each other as the relationships overlap. The film bends toward the silly side; the script pushes Shahid into the role of the goof more than anything else. In reality I think the movie operated more as a vehicle for Shahid to showcase a variety of acting skills than anything else.

Because of the relationship mishaps that ensue due to Shahid’s character’s ineptitude in understanding women, the three heroines have ample opportunity to showcase melodrama as only a Bollywood heroine can. As the third girl to fall in love with Shahid’s character collapsed in a bout of tears, Seven huffed in impatience.

“Why do girls run to the wall and hold it and then sit down? That’s so weird.”

“Well, they think that’s what they’re supposed to do when they’re upset,” Nine said.

“I don’t do that,” Seven said. Her tone clearly conveyed just how ridiculous the entire scene was.

I hope I can remind her of this entire episode when she’s having a teenage meltdown at, say, 15.