Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Family That Whistles Together....

....Stays together. This is the logic that Mahesh gave to both the kids while counselling them to learn how to whistle using their fingers and their mouth with their tongue twisted inside the mouth.
Last year, he had challenged me to teach the kids how to whistle. “Mampi, YOUR kids should know how to whistle.”
“MY kids? Wow... And by the way, how do you expect me to know how to whistle? You mean I have been whistling at people... Bole toe MEN? You are the man, you are the father, YOU teach them how to whistle.”
This touched a raw nerve somewhere, “I don’t know how to. Otherwise I wouldn’t bring you in picture.”
After an extensive session of YOU YOU ME ME, we finally decided to take some professional help in teaching the kids how to whistle. That was much easier than convincing kids why they should learn how to whistle. My funda is straight. If you can learn to whistle, you can bully people, you can tease people, you can hoot in the auditorium. My kids are rather worldly less wise, so I believed that the ability to whistle would make them more confident human beings.
Once Mahesh expressed his inability to whistle (and believe me, with that he absolved himself of ever having teased a female on the road, or ever having made a pass at one of his pretty classmates), I had to look for someone who could teach the kids the fine art of whistling. Once I found the boys who would help me in doing that (no girls knew how to whistle real loud). But as they say that you can bring the horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. So I, too, could not. My kids were shy, they were reluctant, and they enjoyed cycling more than whistling. So here comes Dad with his logic that I mentioned in the very beginning. He said, “Look, if you learn to whistle, you will have a survival tactic right within you. You can raise an alarm, you can catch someone‘s attention if you need to. If you are stranded at sea, you can even bring down a helicopter.” Okay, this last one was exaggeration and he didn’t say this. Jai was totally exasperated at his father's convincing tactics. "Papa, why dont you just buy us a whistle if it is so important to learn how to whistle?" Anyway, the persuasive devil that he is, Mahesh made both the kids go with me to the ‘whistling classes’. The whistle teachers are my college Bhangra Team. The boys are usually in the auditorium, preparing themselves for the coming Youth festival.
They all know me as a rather weird teacher, but this? They were all wide eyed.
“ Teaching your kids how to whistle? Ma’am, how can we whistle in your presence?”
“OK guys, I can pretend I cannot hear you.”
Most of them were on the verge of crying. “Ma’am if our parents had encouraged us to whistle, we would have reached places. We have been beaten mercilessly for having whistled.”
My heart went out to them. Poor Boys!! I said, “Consider me your mom and whistle away to glory. Practise, practise till you make my kids really good at whistling.”
Every day, in the evening, after swimming class, both my kids would stand with their fingers in the mouth in front of the auditorium and try to whistle. Initially, the whistle was only a forceful breath and the fingers got wet with the saliva they forced out of the mouth. With a day or two of practice, Rasan was able to bring out some semblance of a whistle out of that breath. Another day and she could produce a loud shrill whistle. Then there was no stopping this girl. She would whistle for visitors, she would whistle for parents, she would whistle in the car, in the pool, on the road, on the phone, at night, in the morning before brushing and after brushing, before meals, after meals, in the bathroom and even in the restaurant. “Papa, if I whistle here, nobody would suspect that a little girl with innocent looks has whistled.” And I thought of the group of boys who would get a sound beating for having whistled in the restaurant.
No, Jai cannot whistle yet. He should have learnt it before her; after all he is a Punjabi Boy. But given his dad’s track record, I am rather apprehensive that he would. Coming back to the Family Whistling mission, I am midway into the lessons but Mahesh has withdrawn from the whistling club.


gurpreet said...

life is to be whistle

Phoenixritu said...

LOL!! How very remiss of me. I neglected this aspect of my children's education! Think you have room for three more students?

Anonymous said...

I tried but failed in teaching my kids to whistle, because I can't whistle.
My husband can whistle but he has no appreciation for the art... But the best whistler I have ever known is my sister, and after reading this enlightening post I have decided to approach her to do the needful.

Thanks for this timely post Mampi.

The Rat... said...

ahan!!! know someone who takes whistling classes in chennai??

i know its late, but its better late than never when it comes to learning a new art, rite?? all i can do is "Poi-poooi", the cat call when a handsome hunk passes by :-P

lolzz.. shushhh, dont u say to mom...

Cynic in Wonderland said...

I think a quicker way to get em to learn is by disapproving of it hehehe. thats how i learnt it!

Imp's Mom said...

damn good idea. ur post brought back memories of my growing years..u knw... in my family, whistling used to be the way to connect.. I'm serious. My uncle still follows it religiously. And I follow it with imp :P

one of my granny's is the biggest prankster. She whistles really well and at one time almost got her nephew beat up

Veena said...

Parents who teach children to whistle !:)

Hillarious !! :)

Mampi said...

Gurpreet-Hope they whistle it away nicely.

Ritu-Arey? I thought you would share a story or two about that.

IHM-I am so glad we are not alone.

The Rat-Na Rey, Chennai is a far cry. But where there is a will, there has to be a way.

Cyn-Thats a good idea. Didnt strike me.

Imp's Mom-Thats such a wonderful thing to know there are parents like us.

Veena-Crazy ones !!!

Rajindarjit said...

Whistling is an art and one must learn it.
It keeps your spirits up.
Rasan got it first.My shabaash to her. Jai too will learn in due course of time.
Best wishes for them.
Thanks for sharing on an interesting idea like whistling.
Keep it up.

maheshinder_singh said...

good to see ur post and even better are the heartening comments. I never knew people around would appreciate whistling, but believe me friends I enjoy every minute that I spend with my daughter, while she whistles loud, with the joy and happiness.

Pinku said...

make space I am coming over to be a part of the whistling club...have always wanted to be able to do it real well...but can barely manage.

This was a fun post Mampi....just yesterday was beginning to wonder whats up with you and now i know, you have been whistling away :)

dipali said...

I can whistle a tune, more or less, but haven't been able to master this 'pukka' whistle. I need a good teacher- any volunteers?

Sidhusaaheb said...

I can't whistle either. Never learnt how to.


Veena said...

Just remembered.. I had written a post on my dad's whistle.. :) Check karo

Anamika said...

I have always wanted to learn. Can you maybe give some tips in a blog post. Basic steps. Please. :)

Liju Philip said...

i suspect Karan Johar has heard your title and has got an idea for a new movie.

The family that whistles together, stays together.


laddu said...

believe me..its very imp. 2 know how 2 whistle....gud u r teaching ur kids dat....;);)

Balvinder Singh said...

Mampi, thanks for the timely reminder. I must check with both my boys that whether they can whistle (the sign of manhood, i suppose) or not. They have never done it in front of me. May be feeling shy of me.

On my part I can do that in all the styles, ie. by inserting in my mouth the pairs of first two fingers joined together, or just a ring made with the help of my index finger and the thumb. However, i tried but could not produce a whistle like Akshay Kumar does with the help of just one finger. And i can also whistle with just the rounded lips both by pulling the breath in and also blowing it out and can also produce melodiuos tunes of almost all the bollywood songs. My favourite one is from the film 'Hero' (Jacky Shroff's).

No i am not marketing my self for giving tutions but nevertheless, the interested parties are most welcome.

Surfing the net from a net cafe at Delhi (holidaying) as son's laptop is having connectivity problem.

vidya said...

Nice one!

Fine art of whistling very true ;) I took seven days of pain to learn - how to whistle using my fingers and my mouth with tongue twisted inside the mouth. All my friends gave eerie looks during my learning phase. Nonetheless I have trained this great art to one of my friend ;) I also have whistled at one guy : Khan (PG-Executive) standing in my balcony, of-course group of gals. PG-mates accompanied me ;) in successfully embarrassing a guy :) Just for fun, there wasn’t any genuine intention.

Cheers to all whisting ladies out there ;)

Quirky Indian said...

Ha ha a good whistler myself, I am delighted to know that your daughter is learning this noble art. :-)


Quirky Indian

Sudhir Khandelwal said...

In the highly acclaimed movie “Koshish” featuring Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri essaying sensitive portrayal of a deaf and dumb couple, Jaya Bhaduri tries to imitate whistling action of a street urchin. She is forbidden by the concerned shopkeeper that good girls don’t whistle. Way back as a child when I learnt to whistle by pursing my lips or putting my fingers in mouth, I was soundly reprimanded by my mother. My creativity was cut short, but I have always admired my friend who could whistle the entire melodious number from Guide, ‘aaj to jeene ki tamanna hai’ just by pursing his lips. Times have changed, and I am glad that mother and daughter are now taking the whistling lessons together.

Kiran said... are the first 'mom' i know who is teaching her kids to whistle =) how cool!!

Oreen said...


you can create a story out of nothing, huh??? what are you doing in Punjab, i wonder? you should be in Delhi, signing books for Penguin and Harper Collins...

Grewal Kiran said...

cool and very intresting concept.I would love to be part of your whistling club,will you permit me???hahahah

Mampi said...

Mama-I guess I would write again when Jai whistles.

Mahesh-All credit to you.

Pinku-Come over, lets have fun together.

Dipali-Pucca whistle I need to learn too. Come over and we will find a teacher.

SS-Learn it. Hajey wi time hai.

Veena-Will check it.

Anamika-I really wish I could. But I will ask Rasan to write about it on her blog.

Liju-Haha, HSBH (hum seeti bajate hain)....

Laddu-I bet you know it.

Balvinder-Teach your boys NOW. You excel in the art. Salutes to you.

Vidya-You are great.

QI-Wow, NOBLE... Thanks for encouragement.

Sudhir-Wonderful recollection, thanks.

Kiran-Basically, its her dad's idea.

Oreen-Jaane Bhi Do Ji, theek theek laga lo...

KG-You are already a part of the club now. You will do wonders.

~nm said...

Hahaha..I so loved this!!

Even I want to learn to whistle and would want Anirudh to learn it too.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Ossum! Damn I need to learn to do that properly!

Mama - Mia said...

hahaha! :D

even i dont know how to whistle! :( i tried and i tried! that and blowing bubblegum! two things i just couldnt master!

my dad can blow a mean whistle tho! how come the genes didnt get passed on to me?!

You go Rasan! :)



EXSENO said...

Some people are never able to whistle no matter how had they try. I sometime think it has something to do with the shape of the inside of a persons mouth. For this reason, I wanted to be able to whistle ever since I was small. My father could whistle, my husband too. They tryed to teach me when the found out that I wanted to do it. No matter how much they tryed to help me I never learn. Years latter I had to have all of my teeth pulled out and had to get dentures. Guess what -- now I can whistle. Strange but true.

vandana said...

Oh ..this post is just so hilarious ..
I also cannot whistle...though I did try on my own a lots to whistle...good that you have takes this matter seriously and taken ur kids to whistling classes

Amritbir Kaur said...

A Mom insisting that her kids learn to whistle, wow! Your post made an interesting reading.

Haddock said...

ha...... enjoyed that.

Anonymous said...

havnt read u tlking about tj's wishing is righr here itching... ur indigo kid.. and my dr evil..

Anonymous said...

Nothing new yet??? :)


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( I just love my signature)

UL said...

oh my, you are good!! you crack me up so i need to learn too!! whistling i mean.