Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Rule of Ten

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.

Given below...

(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?

General Disclaimers:
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
goto slution

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

Arvinds reply:

Oi Pappe,
This email is wrth eik-ka-dus so you dsrve, $99.99 for this advice and effort. Changa pher.
- Chhabra


  1. Hi Arun,

    I landed on your blog by accident. But fell in love with your writing and homseschooling, something which I was in favour of for my daughter, but gave in to pressure. Still want to withdraw her. Lets how long this battle lasts. BTW while the parents spent some anxious moments as H1N1 arrived on the scene I knew one parent who did not had to undergo this. More later.

  2. Thank you friend for your kind words about the blog. I spend a lot of time writing and rewriting my posts. The subject matter being somewhat heavy, I work hard to keep the tone of the posts as light as possible.

    Hope you succeed in your attempt at homeschooling. After 4 years we are convinced that currently there is no other way of right education available to a child.

    Thanks again,

  3. Hi Arun. Havent posted anything for so long. I am sure you must be working on something all this while and will be up soon.
    Keep them coming and fast!

    Best wishes.


  4. Oi you to jee , make ik te dus sound most plaiaarable , slution is within us but hard wrk too.