I still remember my first boogeyman. The only one.  I’m pretty sure he was born from the depths on my Mother’s imagination when I threw a tantrum or refused to finish my bowl of cauliflower soup. Nonetheless, he was an important part of my childhood. My scary ‘Moosakka’.

In retrospect I realise that it was not even a scary name. Moosa is a pretty common name in India. Its the Arabic version of Moses and ‘kka’ simply means brother. Logically, it should have been the worst boogeyman ever. I mean, who calls their monster, their brother? But my Mum being the ever so polite person that she is, decided to adoringly call it Moosakka. I guess kids are oblivious to logic cause this Moosakka was my stuff of nightmares.  Every time I was naughty or unmanagable, mum would call out his name in a low, hoarse voice reserved just for him. I don’t know if it my imagination or if she really did it but it always appeared to me that his name was called out in slow motion.

No attempts were ever made to tell me how he looked like. Well played Mum, cause in the absence of a description, my little brain began to perceive the most horrific figure. In my head, Moosakka was a huge man with a minaret for a head. SCARY! Well, not so much now, cause I am used to mohawks that resemble minarets but to a 4 or 5 year old it was.

Moosakka never did anything or I never gave him a chance to do anything. My Mum had me around her little finger thanks to him. I distinctly remember wondering where Mum got to know all these people and wondering if Mum kept the right company but I dared not question her lest she summon Moosakka. He was always just around the corner.


I did eventually get over him. Today Mousakka is one of my favourite dishes and the instead of sending chills down my spine, it gets me salivating and hungry. Have you tried it? Its most yum! As my friend, with whom I had the same conversation yesterday, pointed out, it is the saddest fate ever to befall a monster: his transformation from horror to deliciousness.

As a mother myself. i completely understand why Moosakka was born. We underestimate our toddlers. We underestimate their power for chaos. They thrive in chaos and confusion and gain strength as our resources go down. And then they send their bowl of soup flying around the house. If you have ever had to sit and pick spaghetti off your hair or wipe clean the walls off any remnants of beetroot puree,  you will know exactly why Moosakka was born.

I haven’t yet created a boogeyman for Z. The impending worry of a possible  ‘Time out’ seems to work just fine for him. I know a lot of mothers turn their noses up at the concept of scaring their kids into obedience. I say to each her own. I grew up scared of a monster but only scared enough to tow me back into line. Infact the monster has  left me with more memories I cherish, than nightmares.

Someday I know I will need my Moosakka again but until then I shall chase him away. He has done me no wrong but I need him to lurk in the background for now cause while he’s the monster my Z may deserve, he’s not the one he needs right now. So I’ll chase him away, because he can take it. He’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian of Mothers’ sanity. A watchful protector around the corner. The Moosakka

Pic credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com                                                                                                     simplyrecipes.com

7 thoughts on ““Mooooooossssssaaaaaakkkkkaaaaa”

  1. Yikes! What a story. This line was great, “I distinctly remember wondering where Mum got to know all these people…” So true! Glad you made it out okay. My children and I just watched “Rise of the Guardians,” but you may want to steer clear… it does have a boogyman in it!

    • Thank you! I dunno how much this is prevalent in the western world but growing up, all my friends, my sisters, pretty much everyone had their own brand of monsters cleverly crafted by their mum..it is actually kinds fun now to compare the old monster names and have a laugh bout it. And thanks for the warning, my son is only 3 and I dunno of he understands the concept of a boogeyman yet. I think it would go over him..fearless threes and all that..:)

    • Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Is your lil one scared of any one particular boogeyman? Ridicule is the key to kill the fear. Not ridiculing them but make the boogeyman into a joke. I learned that crucial lesson from J.K.Rowling..;)

      • He is mostly scared of being alone. His other fear is that he is going to wake up somewhere else and be taken to a new mommy and daddy. We finalized our sons adoption last September so it is going to take a long time for him to not be afraid and to trust that he is with us forever. He was bounced around a lot in the foster care system until he was 4 years old when he came to live with us.

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