Sunday, January 23, 2011

Different Strokes

There is something charming about young children. Or to phrase it better, there is something charming about the practical logic that young children dole out.

My two precocious cousins, a boy and girl both aged that wobbly age of twelve where they are teetering between childhood and adolescence never cease to annoy and surprise me. They are a few months away from the jinxed 13 and I can already see them morphing into monsters. It’s scary when they suddenly snap at me; at an attempt to defy authority or their idea of their freedom being suppressed, when all I might have asked her to do is stop bossing her baby sister and go get her hair brushed. I don’t know whether I should soothe her temper or whack her on the head. Or when I just remind them about how ‘precious’ the books in my library are and that dog ears aren’t tolerated when he’d give me a rejoinder that’d have me reeling head over heels back into the kitchen and hiding under my mother’s apron; if she ever wore one. When I land in UAE I get excited, high pitched calls with a 12 year old girl trying to drown out the giggly questions of a 6 year old girl by increasing the volume of her own; and then there is also the nonchalant call where a 12 year old boy languidly questions me about the details of my short visit in that bored, drawling tone that has me wondering if he’s manoeuvring a car on the PSP with his free hand. And they never decline a chance to torment me mercilessly about my undying love for the Jonas Brothers, {even the 6 year old brat} who according to them I should have given up on before my 18th birthday. But their revulsion for the JB never stopped them from waiting with bated breath to get the details about my trip to their concert in Abu Dhabi  and the inside info on both the performers and the performance. They yo-yo between being cute and horrible in nanoseconds.

When I started blogging, slowly and steadily I let some of my family know about it, including the kids. On my last visit home during a family reunion one weekend my aunts got to questioning me about the blog and talking about it in general. That was when my sister butt in; in that honestly frank manner she used to tell her mom as a kid that the dish she painstakingly made was yucky, she told me “ Chechi (elder sister), Your blog is really dumb. I can’t understand what you write and it’s too confusing. I was too dumbfounded to reply, so I decided that the magazine I was hiding behind was my best bet to hide my disappointment. The little girl to whom I was a goddess, I who could never go wrong, had just deemed something really important to me as rubbish.
I might have spent almost 15 minutes staring at the same page when I decided to get myself a box of readymade chocolate pudding that I gorge on when I’m home to pep me up. As I was about to get a spoon, my cousin apparated before me with one. He had been walking up and down the house incessantly, his heels making thudding sounds and driving the household insane. It’s his way of staying occupied and working out his excess energy. He put on his I’m –such a –wise-old-guy face and asked me very seriously, just like as a kid he’d ask me if finishing school meant now that I’d get married and have babies . “If she finds what you write difficult, isn’t it good for you?” “Why?” I mumbled with my mouth full of chocolate, my spoon strategically left hanging midair about to drip chocolate.  He questioned “ Do you think Shakespeare is confusing? His writing, the language you know?”  “ Ummm, Yes.”  I replied a little reluctantly, but honestly wondering what he’d have to say about that since he knew I’m a literature student. “Well most people do” he says brisk walking around the dining table “but it’s supposed to be great, what he writes. And I think you’re good, although I have to read what you write twice whenever I do to understand it.” He resumed scurrying about aimlessly.
While I was simultaneously digesting this gyaan (knowledge) and the chocolate pudding my cousin yelled from the bedroom! “I love the bracelet you got me! The colour combo is so cooolll! I love you.”
It  looks like I am still sister numero uno in the dressing up department at least.

May the logic of children help you adopt a refreshing outlook on old things this New Year although I know I’m  23 days late J