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Desi Satire

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March 2008
Desi Satire

QUOTA OF QUOTES

“Every time I play in India, there is a problem.” – Tennis star Sania Mirza, who’s skipping this month’s Bangalore Open following a string of controversies, including an accusation that she desecrated the national flag. (New York Times)

"I'm going to give you a name that would make me jump for joy, Bobby Jindal. I did an interview with Bobby Jindal. He is the next Ronald Reagan if he does not change." – Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, discussing potential running mates for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

“If someone passed him a joint, he would take a drag. We’d smoke or have one extra beer, but he would not even do as much as other people on campus. He was not even close to being a party animal.” -- Vinai Thummalapally, a former California State University student who became friendly with Barack Obama in college. (New York Times)

"North Indians have no traffic sense. People in the south are disciplined on the roads and have good traffic sense. In North-West India, people take pride in breaking traffic laws.” -- Delhi's Lt Governor Tejender Khanna, launching Delhi Police's Traffic Patrol Scheme. (CNN-IBN)

“You can Google me for days and days.” -- Indo-Canadian engineer Dr. Madhav Sinha, who will be honored in May with the American Society of Quality’s Jack Lancaster Medal for outstanding contributions to his field. (Winnipeg Free Press)

“People have been making fun of my accent for years. And I love it.” -- Vinod Gupta, the chairman and chief executive of InfoUSA in Omaha, the parent of Salesgenie.com, saying he will continue using a commercial that features an animated salesman named Ramesh who speaks with a supposed Indian accent. (New York Times)

DESI SATIRE: RAISING CHILDREN

Until I became a parent, I didn't know how challenging it could be. I

thought it would be easy, like driving in New York City or getting all my

teeth pulled. I thought I would just make the rules -- "Don't forget to tidy

your room before going to bed" -- and my children would follow them -- "Yes,

Dad, we'll do it right away. Would you like us to tidy your room too?"

I didn't realize how much hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing there would be. I

didn't realize how often I'd hear the question "Do we have to keep doing

this?" and how often I'd have to reply "Yes, dear, I know it's hard, but we

can't give up until the kids are 18."

Don't get me wrong. Parenting has brought a lot of joy to my life. One of my

greatest joys, for example, is looking at my three children, admiring their

sweet, innocent faces, when they're fast asleep. What immense joy. So much

peace and calm in the house. The perfect time to do something romantic with

my wife, if only we could find the energy.

When I see teen-agers having babies, I wonder if they know what they're

getting into. Have they really thought it through or are they just hoping

that their children, by some miracle, will be mini versions of Mother

Teresa? I wish my children would be more like Mother Teresa. I'd like to

send them off to Calcutta.

Parenting requires tons of effort, attention and patience, and you can never

get too comfortable, too confident, because children keep changing, keep

finding new ways to drive you up the wall. If you're a prospective parent,

here's what you can expect during the first five stages of childhood (which

our oldest child, Lekha, has already put us

through):

Innocent Infancy: This is the baby stage, also known as the "Will I ever get

any sleep again?" stage. Not only do you have to keep waking up at night to

take care of your baby's needs, you have to spend your days either feeding

her or changing her diaper. (You'll have to buy diapers and wipes, as well

as formula, cereal and bottled food.) There'll be a lot of crying in this

stage, which is fairly normal, particularly when you're looking at your bank

statement. But try to put things in perspective. In just a few years, you'll

look back and say, "Those were the really cheap days."

Onerous Ones: She learns how to walk in this stage and is quite good at it,

but still expects you to carry her around, because that makes it easy for

her to wipe her mouth and nose on your shirt. (That's one of the downsides

of "raising a child.") She also begins to talk, saying "Mom" or "Dad,"

before discovering a far more useful word: "No!" This is her favorite word,

at least until she has a sibling and grows to like another word: "Mine!"

Terrible Twos: This is the stage that all parents dread. The baby is now a

toddler and has learned to make demands, learned to say "I want." Whatever

another child has, she wants, even if it's chicken pox. If she doesn't get

what she wants, she throws a tantrum -- and sometimes she throws other

things too. You'll be afraid to take her out in public, except perhaps to

the zoo, where she might pick up some tips on good behavior from the

monkeys.

Therapy-inducing Threes: If you're relieved when your child turns three,

you're in for a big shock, especially when you see the crayon drawing on

your wall and the ink marks on your couch. At this stage, she doesn't throw

tantrums anymore -- she just gets you to throw them. Your goals in life have

changed by now. Forget about "writing a book" or "starting a business." All

you want to do these days is "remain sane." That's a major challenge, as you

realize whenever you're at the dinner table, trying to get your 3-year-old

to put something in her mouth, other than the salt shaker.

Frightful Fours: By now, she's got a lot of toys, perhaps a roomful of them,

but that doesn't stop her from saying "I'm bored" a dozen times a day. You

try to tell her about your childhood, how you used to be occupied for hours

playing hopscotch with a stone, but she really doesn't want to hear about

the Stone Age. She wants to watch TV all day, but you know what parenting

experts say -- that it's not good for children to watch too much TV. So you

put a DVD in your computer and let her watch that instead. You're starting

to get good at parenting. At least that's what you think, until she screams,

"I've already watched this!"


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