Chart Number 194 (Spurts)

November 20, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

One of the advantages of living in a college town with a plethora of diversity in the local university comes in the fact that we get to watch Hindi movies on the big screen right here. When I was growing up the only time we got to watch Hindi movies was when we got bootlegged VHS tapes from shop owners. Because I love movies so much and Bollywood in particular, getting to watch movies in the theater when they release (and doing it legally, no less) is a real treat for me.

This past weekend we watched the latest Salman Khan-starrer called Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The film also stars Sonam Kapoor, who plays the love interest to Khan’s crown prince, Prem. During the actually crowning, Kapoor watches the love of her life accept the responsibility of his kingdom. Then she runs off, all shy and demure, clearly ecstatic about being the love of Prem’s life. At some point she stops by a wall, smiles, and coyly dips her head.

In case you’re wondering, this is pretty typical Bollywood stuff. Sitting on my left my husband, who grew up in India, knows this, but because the movie was so ridiculous he spent the entire time in the theater looking for ways to rip on the film. When Sonam Kapoor ran away from the throne room, he asked, “What happened to her all of a sudden?”

Seven, who sat to my right, leaned across me, and threw a hand in the air.

“Have you been watching the movie this whole time??” she asked “Where have you been, dreamland?”

With a movie as stereotypical as this, dreamland would certainly have been a better choice.

***

Last week as we drove home from art class, the girls and I listened to the radio. The radio jockey announced that because it was 5 p.m., she would do her daily “Five at Five” segment in which she’d picked five songs all related to one another. If someone wanted the chance to win a $10 Sonic gift card, the radio jockey said, listeners could email her with the name of the song out of the five that was their favorite.

The theme was songs that shared a title with a movie, and the first song the jockey played was Some Like It Hot from the 1980s. Because I grew up in the 1980s, the song has a lot of resonance for me. Not so much the kids.

“This is definitely not my favorite,” Seven said.

“Next!” Nine declared. “I don’t like this song.”

“If you could throw songs in the garbage, that’s what I would do with this song,” Seven added.

Sometimes there’s no accounting for taste.

***

Last week at dinner one night, Seven said, “Mommy’s awesome. Daddy’s just passable.”

My husband and Seven get into spats sometimes engineered by him, because she’s so flamboyant in her reactions and he enjoys the flamboyance. He told her, in mock defense, that it was fine if she preferred me to him, he’d expected as much. She didn’t offer an explanation; her declaration, I guess she figured, was enough.

Yesterday morning when he teased her, Seven said again, “Mommy’s awesome.”

Her daddy said, “Yeah, that’s because your mother pays you. That’s what all the Peanuts and other movies do, right?”

Seven, nonplussed, replied, “Even with 10,000 mommies, you wouldn’t be as awesome as Mommy.”

Good to know where we all stand then.

***

On Wednesday morning I went for a haircut. Even though I specifically told the stylist just to cut my hair to my shoulders, she trimmed it much shorter than that. Because she started cutting at the back where I couldn’t see, by the time she came around to the front I couldn’t do anything about it. I noticed at some point that she had a cold, which was making her frown in concentration.

It’s barely long enough now to pull into a ponytail. I grumbled on the way out, but the damage was done. At least she just shortened the length, which I know will grow back eventually.

After school later that afternoon, Nine jumped into the car with excitement.

“Mommy, you chopped all your hair off!”

I told her about the “moonhead” stylist, but Nine reassured me she liked it. We picked Seven up, and Seven didn’t notice my hair right away because she had her own after-school stories to share. When we got home, I asked her if she liked my haircut.

With a gut reaction coming first, she said yes; then she took a closer look at it.

“Actually, it looks kind of weird,” she said without compunction.

“Yeah, that lady cut it too short,” I said, not bothered in the least by her observation. “I think her cold was blocking her ears so she couldn’t hear me properly.”

She giggled at that. Yesterday morning when I came out of the bathroom after brushing my teeth, Seven lay on her stomach on our bed waiting for her turn to brush. With her chin propped in one hand, she looked at me with a touch of resignation.

“I can’t wait until your hair grows out again.”

Me too.