Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

How to… be a baby coochie-cooer













1.    ‘Awwww’ is your new best friend. No other expression in the language better expresses just how cute you find the baby / baby pic / baby video before you or the baby anecdote you just heard from a colleague. Make sure to use the inherent versatility of the phrase… a simple tweak of the pitch or tone and you have the perfect response to every coochie-coo-worthy situation. And of course, when faced with the truly, unutterably cute, be sure to elongate: ‘awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!’

2.    A true baby-coochie cooer doesn’t wait to just happen upon a cute kid or baby pictures from a friend. Being proactive is a must. If a friend or relative has a cute kid, add them on Facebook immediately, so you have free access to their kiddie pics and can post ‘awwww’ comments at will. If a neighbour (or a friend’s neighbour) has a cute kid, drop in often and ‘awwww’ in person. Just try not to make too much of a pest of yourself (i.e. turning up without any notice at dinner time and refusing to leave till you get a peek at the kid).

3.    We now enter slightly murky ethical territory, so pay close attention. You don’t always need to know the person whose baby you’re coochie-cooing over on social networking sites. That is, babies of friends of friends (or friends of friends of friends) on Facebook are fair game for you to ‘awwwww’ over (not in the comments, of course; that would be creepy considering they don’t know you). Please note: overstepping your bounds on this one may earn you less than flattering titles such as ‘baby stalker’.

4.    When you really, really need your cute-fix, the Internet can provide in other ways. Go on Youtube and you’ll discover legions of fellow baby coochie-cooers posting adorable videos of their tiny tots (ignore the inevitable trolling and flame wars, and focus on the cooing and awww-ing). Then you have websites of baby photographers such as Anne Geddes, and forums created by your baby-crazy brethren. (Just make sure you take a break often enough to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and/or Cuteness Overload.)

5.    Finally, every baby coochie-cooer needs a real-life support group. By this I mean people around you who keep you regularly supplied with baby anecdotes and pictures (of their kids or their friend’s kids and so on, saving you some of that sneaking around on Facebook). Plus they join you in all the ‘awww-ing’, which is always most fun when enjoyed with fellow baby-coochie-cooers.



Filed under Humour

Book Launch: Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Only Time Will Tell’

And he’s back. Jeffrey Archer’s visits to the city have practically become an annual tradition now. For the third time in three and a half years, the British best-selling author returned in Chennai to meet his adoring fans, and, of course, to promote his latest offering.

“I’ll be travelling to five cities in six days, and I did 11 interviews just today,” said Archer, as he took the stage at Odyssey at Express Avenue Mall. “It’s non-stop work from plane to plane, but it’s worth it – I’ve just been told the book’s gone to number one on the bestseller list. This is why I love coming to India again and again.”

You really can’t blame the guy. Not only is this the country where he has the single largest readership, it’s also probably the only place on earth where the author with a somewhat murky past gets a standing ovation when he strides onstage like an aging, bespectacled rockstar. The crowd at Odyssey was somewhat smaller than that of the previous years’ events held at Landmark – there were actually empty seats at the start – but it did grow by the end, so Archer could say with some satisfaction before the book signing, “Look how many people there are!”

The book in question this year is ‘Only Time Will Tell’, the first of the five-part series, ‘The Clifton Chronicles’ that spans a hundred years from 1920 to 2020, and traces the life of Harry Clifton and the mystery surrounding his father’s death.

“This first book follows Harry’s life from his birth in the docklands of Bristol in 1920 up until 1940, when he has to decide whether he’d go to Oxford or to the war,” said Archer. “It’s only been out three days, but I’m sure some of you would have already read it; people in India are so fast, it’s frightening.”

The evening was full of such asides – how quick people are in India, how many aspiring writers there are (“only in India will all the hands go up when you ask that question”), and how many young writers have already written a novel (a 14 year old girl in this case, which Archer called ‘typical’). Once he was up on stage, he was fond, benign old Uncle Archer, completely in charge and holding forth on writing tips, mock-scolding the audience, and generally having them eating out of his hand.

However, what did come across as truly genuine was his gratitude for the reception he gets here, and he patiently responded to all the questions he was asked, whether it was about his writing routine (he’s up by 5.30 a.m. and writes for eight hours a day with breaks every two hours) or his exercise routine (he has a personal trainer from New Zealand – “I can drop and do 25 press ups right now.”) He revealed that Columbia Pictures has sent him the script for the movie adaptation of his previous novel, ‘Paths of Glory’, but that he was afraid to read it (“I’m dreading not liking the script and feeling it could have been so much better”), and that he wouldn’t be writing a book on vampires any time soon, “though I’m told they’re in”.

The event ended the way his launches always do – with a throng of autograph seekers surrounding him. “I was mobbed back in Mumbai,” he said, trying to organise the crowd better here; but you got the feeling he probably wouldn’t mind being mobbed – at least a little – again.

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