I think that Kanti and I discovered the 'Rule of Ten' when Aditi was two or three years old. The way we defined it, it states that-
Where one unit of effort is required (by your estimation) to get a desired outcome with your child, you have to unquestioningly, unconditionally put in ten!
I thought this important enough to communicate to my friend when he became a first time father and so I took the time to write it out in a long funny/serious email to him. (Arvind Chhabra my friend grew up in Punjab, studied with me in Bengal, worked in Bangalore, married an American and now lives in New York. He speaks fluent Bengali and his English still has a south Indian twang to it. In short- he is as mixed up as me) And reading the email again just now I thought it worth putting up on this blog. It is a long email with a single sentence message but you may enjoy reading all of it. I know that I very much enjoyed writing it!
(If you do not speak Hindi and know some Punjabi you may not 'get' the mail below and I advice you to stop reading here and find some other way of wasting your time)
And if you are a Punjabi likely to take offense at the tone of the email I have only one thing to say to you...
'Oi, tu jaanta nahi mein kaun hoon?'
...As I grew up in Delhi I used to hear this as a preface to most fights. And dear, possibly angry, Punjabi reader, the very next sentence you will hear from me will be...
'Oi tu mujhe maarne ayega tho mein yahan se full speed bhaag jaunga.'
Peace, brothers and sisters! Anyway, without further ado here is...
Arun's email to Arvind:
Oi pappe (literally!!!),
Great news! Amy and Arvind we take great pleasure on this occasion to welcome you to the world of parents and congratulate you on taking the first step towards being the parents of a hundred children!!! As you know, we are only two steps ahead of you and we know that moving forward together, we will soon reach that wonderful goal.
(Just for you at a heavily discounted, once-only, special price of just $9.999, to be paid later in person when we meet)
...is the distilled wisdom of more than 10 years of full time research by Kanti and me.
If you agree to pay $9.999 as mentioned above please read further otherwise destroy this email. Or my laayer will do some 'gaal-kittha-si' with your laayer. OK?
1. The author sometime lapses into pnjbi when affected by strng emotions. These lpses are usually mnifested by dropped vowels and additional 'h'es. Such lpses should under kind cnsidration be maafkaroed.
2. The author takes no responsibility of translating all these wonderful jokes into english for Amy. The author's personal viewpoint is that if the world doesn't speak pnjbi we have many muscular pnjbi men and even more muscular pnjbi women who know how to communicate real pnjbi in all languages.
Create/devlop good bachhhhe (children).
Good children-> Pleayure to be with + fill you with enrgy -> Basically in pnjbi=Patiala pegs
Bad children -> No pleayure to be with + drain your enrgy -> Basically in pnjbi=golgappe ka paani
One ordinary or garden vriety of child. (More than one is exponentially better, but usually diffcult to get at short notice)
The thumb rule (for angootha chhhaps) to follow in this all important procedure is-
Which means that-
Where one unit of effort is required (by your estimation) to get a desired outcome with your child, you have to unquestioningly, unconditionally put in ten. No bargaining and no laziness here please!
your child is irritating you OR boring you OR is a pain to be around with
look within- The slution is with you
you feel guilty of neglecting your child
you have been giving < eik-ka-eik and you deserve all the pain your child is giving you
you feel that you are putting fight but no results are showing
You have been giving only = eik-ka-eik and this is where most people get stuck
give >= eik-ka-dus and notice immediate changes...
Good bachhhhe te good baaps. oi waat?
Oi mei kyia balle balle,
With lots of love to Amy and you and with blessings and 'oi mei sadh ke jaawa's to baby Taj,
From Dinkar, Srikant, Aditi, Kanti and Arun
This email is wrth eik-ka-dus so you dsrve, $99.99 for this advice and effort. Changa pher.