Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In The Still Of The Night

Somebody kindly gave Peanut a doll some time back. Now, I'm all for dolls for little girls and with my usual creativity decided to place this one, called Candy, on a blue lamp above Peanut's bassinet so that she could see her whenever she woke up. This is the view of Candy that Peanut gets.

It works very well - except that since blue lamp is also directly above my own bed, and the doll indeed fascinates Peanut, she keeps performing gymnastic feats and craning her neck while I'm feeding her, in order to maintain eye contact with Candy, instead of with me.

At night, I take Peanut out of her bassinet to let her sleep next to me. I find that this really reduces the hassles of getting out of bed to feed her during the night. And just when it was really working for us, with her sleeping 4-5 hour stretches after her last night feed, she has started waking up every hour on the hour to feed - no doubt due to her proximity with me.

And last night, when I lay there bleary eyed, I realised that the damn 8 glasses of water during the day were taking a toll on my bladder. Fighting my instinct to stay in bed in my half-asleep state and gazing enviously at Peanut, who I imagined to be mockingly peeing in her diaper at that very moment, I finally decided that I would get up to go to the bathroom. And that's when the most frightening sight caught my eye, causing my heart to jump to my throat and nearly obviating my need to go to the bathroom. For that moment, I was convinced that this was finally the big IT - the very end.

Yes - I had forgotten about Candy dangling over the blue lamp. In the dimly lit room, her pale, long-legged body dangled seemingly suspended in mid-air, bent over in a ghastly manner, with her glinting golden hair cascading menacingly from under her blue hat - overall, a wholly macabre sight, not recommended for the faint-hearted.

And faint-hearted I am, but I managed somehow to stifle a scream - the thought of waking Peanut from a peaceful slumber proved about as scary as being confronted by this ghostly figure. Reasonably quick on the uptake at times, I realized that this was only the lovable and harmless (by day) Candy. I laughed, slightly nervously, at my jittery reaction.

But imagine being unprepared for this sight - imagine seeing this suddenly in the still of a shadowy night. Come on, it is scary and you know it.

In any case, it got me thinking - I've really seen too many scary movies. Till a while back, I had this thing for watching scary movies - and I would really, really get scared to the extent that I would have trouble sleeping.

Why do we like being creeped out? I avoid scary movies nowadays (case in point - Himmesh's Aap ka Suroor - the Moviee - but then, that's a different brand of scary) but I haven't avoided them enough in my past.

It started with that movie, the Poltergeist. Where the heck were my parents when I was watching that as a kid? It's such a gross movie and not at all suitable for a seven year old.

Then there was Omen. I think I saw only one of the parts and I thought it was really badly made but still scary. And I'm fairly sure I saw only parts of Psycho, but those parts were enough since they consisted of the Shower scene and the Ending. And that horrible, horrible Child's Play series.

I didn't even watch the Evil Dead, but my loving cousin Mini told me the whole story and that creeped me out enough.

There was this movie called The Witches, which was also really eerie in parts. Come on, I was under ten when I first saw it. It was coming again on TV the other day and I deftly changed the channel.

More recently, I have been scared by the Ring - what a dumbass story, but the effects, oh the effects! Brrrr...

And I thought the Sixth Sense was quite brilliant but there really were a few heart-thumping moments in there. Of course, Shyamalan's quality of film-making has drastically dropped with every subsequent film. Unbreakable was passable, Signs was barely watchable and The Village was unforgivable. And yet, each of these managed to give me at least a few shivers. I didn't watch his latest, was it 'Lady in the Water'? The name was enough to scare me. Did any of you see it? Well?

I also thought 'The Others' was really frightening, and about on par with the Sixth Sense. But before this turns into a scary movie review post, let me meander back to the point - which is, WHY have I done this to myself? Having an overactive imagination is fine when you are using it to dream up unspeakable wrongs done to you by your harassed, mildly protesting husband - but it is not so fine in the dark night when poor, innocent Candy becomes a horrific ghost-figure out to kill me dead.

Well, I'm a mother now, after all. I can't let these silly things bother me anymore. After all, I need to convince myself there are no monsters under the bed before Peanut starts asking me about them.

But one thing is for sure. I'm going to keep a sharp eye on what my baby watches as she grows up. In fact, I really do look forward to watching those things with her. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Oliver...what wonderful, happy, musical movies. Exactly how life should be - and exactly how it's not, but never mind that. What are your favourite children's movies?

In the meantime, it is now getting dark again - so excuse me while I go and put Candy in a more...uh, comfortable place.


  1. Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, Halo, Masoom (thot i needed to prove myself a desi :)-though except for lakdi ki kaathi and jugal-blue-eyed hansraj, its hardly a "kids" movie!

  2. Personally, I think Bollywood these days is incapable fo producing any proper kids' movies. There always have to be some double meaning dialogs, or violence or the story line will be "preachy". From the old times I remember "Parichay" that was good. Khoobsoorat comes to mind too. Koi Mil Gaya was "theek theek" - my daughter didn't enjoy the fighting scenes then, and I didn't like some other parts but that is matter for a post.

    My favorite children's movies? There are a lot. Shrek (all numbers), Finding Nemo, Wizard of Oz..... ummmmm..... Can't think of any more names right away but I KNOW there are more. Dang! Gotta do something about this swiss-cheese memory!!

  3. Oh, see? I knew I forgot something else.

    I know what you mean by "what were my parents thinking letting me watch these movies and read these books". I grew up reading all sorts of books (horrors, chillers, thrillers, murder mysteries - you name it) AND I watched quite a few of the movies you mentioned. Read "The Omen". It didn't do me any harm, but I am more careful about my daughter's TV/movie watching and reading. More about TV/movies than about her reading, though.

  4. Frankly speaking, I really got scared seeing the first snap inspite of being bright over here..and the second one in which the doll was hanging, I could do nothing but pity was quite scary. I know kids don't get scared, but as you told, if I would have woke up at night, i would have screamed on top of my voice. Infact before I used to watch all scary movies without any fear..but don't know why after baby, I just can't watch any of those movies now.

  5. *delurking*

    Hey we had a Candy too for almost 5 years! She regularly went into the washing machine to get cleaned.

    Kiddie movies - current favourites are 'Madagascar', also 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Swallows and Amazons' - she saw these movies after she read the books and thoroughly enjoyed them.

    Find your blog very funny, always leave with a smile.

  6. Um.. where do I start. I started reading this blogpost at roughly 3 am in the morning, in a dark room with the only sound that of the baby gnawing away at me, and the only light coming from the crackberry. The first photo was scary enough to begin with, and by the time I got to the second, I was terrified. And THEN, young lady, you start talking about horror movies. I have steadfastly avoided watching all horror movies but got suckered into watching The Ring a few years ago. After which, all the husband has to do to reduce me to a whimpering mess is say 'Oh, you remember that girl from The Ring?'
    No fair. Bah.


  7. Hi Y

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I liked yours too...I think its going to make for some very interesting reading!

  8. Definitely not Haathi Mere, no...not the weight connotation. Its because I remember BAWLING MY EYES OUT at some scenes where the poor elly is either sick or dying. Not suitable at all. For me.

  9. umm.. hope u've shifted candy by now. THAT was scary. hv u seen d blair witch project? brr...
    kiddie movies? madagascar rocks! umm... desi kiddie movies? hanuman!! *d animated one's quite cute!* i cud say a koi mil gaya/krrish... but heyy, priyanka's look in d latter makes sure it becomes a scary movie!

  10. And do you know what the picture of Candy reminds me of? The cover on "Puppet on a chain" by Alistair Maclean - my favorite author. This is the only novel of his that sent shudders through me when I read certain passages.

  11. gazing enviously at Peanut, who I imagined to be mockingly peeing in her diaper at that very moment - I just burst out in laughter, you are a riot!


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