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“What do you want to be when you grow up ?” is a question that parents often ask their children. I don’t particularly remember being asked that question but then again, had my parents asked me that question, I wouldn’t quite have known what to say then.

Child Keeps Losing Things - Googlini - Parenting

But I do, now !!

I could be an excellent search engine. A search engine so good that I could easily put Google to shame. I could beat Google hands down – anytime, any day. For that matter, so could any mom.

The kids sure have given me their vote. I mean, they’ve outvoted Google and “invoted” (if there is such a term) me as their top of the line search engine. “Mummeeee, I can’t find my shirt” wailed Macadamia, the other day, one finger firmly held down on the “almost in panic mode” button. Mummy seriously considered doing absolutely nothing about that so called “plea” for help (yeah, I’m quite mean that way) but then Mummy’s sights wandered over to Macadamia’s other finger which was dangerously poised, hovering and ready over the PANIC button. Now that’s a surefire recipe for trouble. Once Macadamia hits the PANIC button, the whole world comes to a grinding halt while she whips around the house like a bee on a sugar high.

She’d be seen rushing from one end of the house to the other (and this is one of those few times when I thank my stars that the houses in HK are small), looking busy, seeming busy, with a look of utter worry and concern written large on her face. The diameter of her eyes would keep widening by the minute (I’ve no idea how she does that but God ! it sure is effective as hell) until her eyes resemble the earlobes of one of those African tribes who walk around with saucers in their earlobes.

Macadamia searching for something when she’s in PANIC mode, is a sight to behold (if you’re watching from far away, that is). She’s quite a cacophony of sounds when she searches for something – what with all those hisses and glares – not to mention the rather liberal scattering of the pssshhhaaahhs (which are meant to convey her disapproval of the fact that the home based search engine isn’t performing its duties efficiently).

The final straw – Macadamia with all ten fingers pressing down on that PANIC button (how that increases in size enough to accommodate all ten of her fingers, I don’t know. I haven’t been able to figure that one out yet !!) hands on hips, eyes glaring, planting herself in front of the home based, home made search engine with a rather plaintive “I stilllllllllll can’ttttttttttttt findddddddddddd ittttttttttttttt”. Each of those syllables uttered through teeth which are grinding and gnashing against each other (pretty much like the grinding stones in the dosa batter grinder), grinding those syllables to mush and spitting them out with the force of an Angry Birds slingshot. Not to mention the Angry Bird which has planted itself in front of the home based search engine. And that is when the home based search engine, also known as Mummy (who will soon be christened with a more apt nickname) is forced to spring into action for the sole purpose of preserving and conserving whatever little sanity she’s managed to preserve through the parenting journey !!!

Pecan, on the other hand, having misplaced something, believes in turning on the doleful look, which, at first glance, would automatically and effortlessly lead people into believing that his pet of some sort had just passed on. Good thing that there are no actual pets involved every time he flashes that look else we would be busy burying multiples of all sorts of animals on any given day !!! “Mummy, I can’t find my homework and I’d put it right there – on top of the bookshelf” Pecan would pipe up, sounding pretty confident. In fact, he sounds so confident and sure that the first few times this happened, the home based search engine rolled up its sleeves immediately and got to work, turning the whole house upside down, in an effort to locate at home, something that had invariably been left behind at school. Now the search engine has wisened up to those mournful looks and downcast eyes. Simply put, the search engine does not spring into action that quickly.

The search engine had found a reply that she considered the mother of all replies, given the circumstances. “Well, if you’d put it there, it can’t sprout legs and walk away by itself, can it ?”, would be the search engine’s first salvo. It worked quite well for a while actually – what with Pecan giving Mummy those “Can you stop rubbing it in ?” looks and with Macadamia rather dutifully siding with her younger sibling and shooting dark looks Mummy’s way in saying “Can you stop looking all smug and try and help him here ? You’re just making things worse for him, y’know”. Pretty soon, in situations like these, we have two bees aimlessly rushing up and down the house in an effort to locate the misplaced object. If only just running up and down could locate misplaced objects !! If that were the case, Mummy would gladly run a marathon !!


While all this panic stuff goes on, when I crawl up the wall painfully slowly and sit in a little corner on the ceiling and watch them from there, a little part of my mind does register the fact that it seems rather lovely – the way they team up against the “dark forces” in the house (a.k.a Mummy).

End of detour

Of late, Pecan has taken to stealing Mummy’s thunder. He would go “Mummy, I have a problem. (What an understatement !!). You see, I don’t mean to sound negative or anything like that (That’s some disclaimer !!) but I had – I really had put my book right there (pointing to what seems like a non existent area) but now it’s gone. See, I can’t see it there anymore. (Well, I can’t see it either because it IS NOT THERE, Einstein !!). And then he goes “I know they can’t sprout legs and walk away, so then where is it ?”. (Hey !! That’s supposed to be my line. Gee !! He just stole my thunder from right under my feet – if that’s where it exists, in the first place).

Despite all the smart assed comments, retorts, smug/amused/nonchalant looks – end of the day, the search engine always ends up doing what it has always been meant to do. It ends up fulfilling its prime responsibility (so it seems, of late) which is to “find” stuff that the offspring and progenies have rather conveniently “misplaced”.  So much so that I’ve christened myself Googlini !!!

Gauri Venkitaraman dons many hats – a wife, a mom, a teacher and many more. Working as a full-time English teacher in HongKong, Gauri also raises and nurtures two terrors, affectionately known as The Nutty Siblings a.k.a Macadamia, a teen and Pecan, the ten-year old who behaves like he is fifteen. Gauri’s family means the world to her. Life is a lively roller coaster ride and we, as a family, aim to enjoy the ride together. is where Gauri pens down her thoughts and musings, in an attempt to preserve memories for posterity