A strange phenomenon is unfolding these days and we're caught in the midst of it all. Children aged 3 months to 14 years have descended into our lives and taken over my days. Here is how it started and more in later posts on how it is catching up.
While returning from a delicious but taxing walk I met a couple of children, playing house (or should I say playing kitchen?) . This seems to be a popular game with children all around. The game has rarely held any fascination for me apart from when i went visiting to Kerela and on another occasion in Dungarpur, Rajashthan. I’ve now added Saiha to my list.
Here, with half a piece of blade, the little ones were cutting cabbage and beetroot (I think!) remains. Mixed with water these were served/displayed in the lids of wee little tobacco containers. An empty fruity bottle stood by many other such beautifully colored proxy meals in surrogate crockery.
The kids aware of my curiosity moved aside for me to have a dekho. I asked them if I could click and to their nods of assent I took out my camera. The eldest ran away yelping spotting it and the younger ones carried on their game semi conscious of the gadget.
We tried to learn each other’s names and I failed miserably and their success was unknown to me till today morning when they yelled out for me from the road opposite my home!
A little later the foursome plus a new addition marched into office and began their explorations of the area. Pictures of tigers, tortoises, and snakes etc on the walls seemed to hold their fancy. Egged on by their hyper curiosity I offered them seats around the office table and put a bundle of magazines at their disposal. Hungrily, the turned from page to page scanning the colorful images of animals and birds. I was scared of questions as I wasn’t equipped with enough knowledge on the same. But they seemed to be happy looking at these images and V charmed the baby of the group with what I thought were stories of various birds that she was looking at, slowly slowly she moved closer to him completely mesmerized by the tale she was hearing.
Wanting to be hospitable I offered them some aval a Kerala snack made with beaten rice, jaggery and coconut. I asked them to try a spoon each and eat only if they thought it was ok. They kept it thoughtfully in their mouths and I gathered …mmm maybe not and left the room to give them privacy for exclamations. My return found one of them furiously spitting out the vile stuff in her mouth out of the window! I fell into a helpless pile of laughter and pleaded with the others to spit it out if they so detested it!! As though waiting for the go signal they all but leapt out of their seats and spitting it all out with a ferocity that made me feel terrible for having put to them this taste. So it was bananas next and this was received with great joy!!!
Bananas and their curiosity for the animals were almost done, when one of them spied the dustbin in office and nudged the others too into throwing their peals in it. V, the big brother gathered all the magazines from the table including the table’s original contents of diaries and notebooks and arranged them all on the rack. They were done for the day and ran out the door with loud byes-byes , leaving behind the echo’s of their chatter and a beaming me!