Close Encounters of the Cute Kind

As a young toddler growing up in the green plains and sarson de khet in Punjab, and later in Nizam’s land, Hyderabad, I had the habit of cooing “Cho chweeeeet” at anything that caught my fancy. This has led to most of my Dad’s Army pals calling me the “Cho Chweet girl” on seeing me even now.
Yes, I was a very cute kid! And, sorry, no wise cracks, please!
This was the actual reason for the aforementioned phenomenon. Hearing people chant the “so sweet” dialogue to me everytime Mom took me to an Army party, I learnt to parrot it back to the listeners. (“Oh, she is sooo cute and so clever too.”gushed the ladies, whereupon I ran around the Mess, looking too cute for the people to have a mind to stop me. Well, maybe being cute had its perks?)
The only person my cuteness didn’t work its magic on was a guy called Gorbachev. Well, not exactly Mikhail G. The boy was around an year or so old when I was 3 and was the son of my Dad’s second lieutanant. Why Gorbachev, you ask? Well, he had an unusually thick thatch of hair as a baby. Yes, really, I am kidding! To date, I don’t know the boy’s name. We still refer to him delicately as Gorbachev. Of course, the sentence usually reads, “That Gorbachev really had it against Shruti, nah?”
Yes, he did. Even at this advanced age of 21, I can remember fleeing for my blessed life from a 18 month year old toddler determinedly waving a plastic cricket bat and toddling as fast as he could to, in my mind, hit me on my head with. I ran up the stairs and made faces at him from the comfort of the topmost step.
Back at Trivandrum and in school, I was, as jotted down earlier, a cute little brat. (I soon grew out of two of those three states ;)). Seniors used to pinch my cheeks in the bus, old ladies used to comment about my pudgy hands when I used to travel behind my mom on her Kinetic, hell my classmates used to ruffle my hair. The cutesy bit was definitely getting annoying!
Hands off, people! Shrutz is growing up. The pinches on my “oh so chubby cheeks” didn’t stop. But, by the time I was in 12th, they’d subsided to the point where people used to wonder where the cute Shrutz had disappeared. Somewhere along the line, I became the ferocious Shrutz that people know and are scared of. (Muahahaha!)
Well, actually I lie, the one memory etched in my memory is that of my 11th standrad juniors falling me as one, on Teacher’s Day (and while I was wearing a sari too!) gushing, “Oh, your cheeks are sooo cute!”
I mean, WHAT is everyone’s obsession with my cheeks?!
What prompted this post was a group of 14 – 18 year old girls in our new apartment complex. Individually, we share a smile when I pass them by on the elevator or playing out on our courtyard. But, yesterday, after our New Year’s program, I said my kudos and bye. Out of nowhere, (after a hiatus of 3 years!) out came the dreaded “Oh you are so cute” *cheek pinch*
That did it, the four girls overwhelmed me with demonstrations of how much my cheeks could stretch. Unfortunately, all of them were taller than me and standing two steps higher, or I would have… err, I would have meekly submitted to cheek pulling..
I vaguely muttered something about juniors torturing elders nowadays.
One of them actually said “Cootchie Wootchie!”..
That was absolutely the last straw!!!!
NOT cootchie-wootchie, please!!!
I think this is vengeance from all the kittens and puppies that had to endure my over-exuberant demonstrations of affection.
Snowy, Blacky, Dopey, Cat-without-a-name-at-godma’s-house, I apologise for all the misplaced signs of love I bestowed on you.
BUT… at least I didn’t say “Cootchie wootchie!”

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10 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Cute Kind

  1. jaguu

    🙂

    Choo Chweet!!If you put that picture on your resume.. am sure you gonna get selected even without a GD or a Interview. This post took me back to the BADA KHANA…Chotte Sahab Days of my Childhood. Ohh those were the days..:)

  2. Densel Mayor

    C’mon now shrutz, we all know it’s an inherent mallu tendency to crave biggggg chubby cheeks.. that’s what I can see from all the movies hahahahahahaha

  3. silverine

    If it is any comfort I still get my cheeks pulled in office 😦
    I guess we mallus are blessed with chubby cheeks and not-so-chubby behinds.

  4. Anonymous

    I so totally agree with Silverline’s comments : “I guess we mallus are blessed with chubby cheeks and not-so-chubby behinds”

    ShrutZ, your blogspace is awesome! Chweet or no, you are so funny! Love the sarcasm! Keep ’em coming

    Rashmi

  5. Shrutz

    @Jaggu, do you think they’d compare me@3 and me now and let me get away with it?? 😀
    @Densel yeah, but no cheek pulling PLEASE?
    @Silverine hehe…. I am not going to comment on Mallu women (I am surrounded by them) but YES the cheek pulling is RUDE!
    @Poison I wouldn’t know 😉
    @Rashmi Theng you *blush*

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