January 16, 2018
I write this while you are fast asleep and I have got some time to gather my thoughts around your questions and observations. This December, you completed 2 years and 8 months and you are a bundle of curiosity.
Sometimes, my patience fails to keep up with it. Sometimes I fail to answer your questions, Sometimes, I neglect them because I am doing something absolutely worthless in comparison, like ordering groceries or ironing clothes. I know it’s wrong. Each night after you go to sleep and I am too tired to even get up and fetch a glass of water though I am parched I feel guilty as hell.
I don’t want these letters to be sermons teaching you right and wrong. You are a smart kid and you will know right from wrong pretty soon. I dare say you already have a fair idea.
I don’t want these letters to lecture you about figuring out your future. I haven’t wrapped my head around it myself. I will try and address some questions you bounce off me every now and then. I’ll also try to capture your observations, which I would like to call philosophies.
I don’t know if you would think it totally uncool to be reading letters when you grow up, nevertheless, i would have the satisfaction of having answered your questions.
Know this, that at every waking and sleeping moment, I am thinking of you. And I want you to know that your questions are very important to me. Even if I do not have an answer immediately. it’s not as if i am neglecting or ignoring you.
You throw them questions at me baby and i will search high and low on Google and in my soul for their answers.
Forever and for always, Ma.
31st January 2018
Sometimes you are so smart, I am really at a loss of words. Like this morning when you were throwing a tantrum, trying to wriggle out of a chokehold while the entire household was trying to feed you medicine. I called you a drama queen and you, intelligent beyond your years, retorted, “No, I am a drama king.”
My God, are you really growing up that fast? You already know the king from the queen. You say you feel sad if Jeena isi ka naam hai is playing on TV. Is it the success of the song or are you attuned to emotions in a curious way, I don’t know. See, I don’t know so many things, yet you surprisingly do.
Which brings me to this other day, and I must tell you about it. I had a bad day at work. It seemed like I was swimming in an ocean of work, eternal and never-ending. I wanted to yell at someone but did not because that is what grown-ups do.
I finished my work and got out of office, being stopped by a couple of smart (not!) people at work commenting on how lucky I am that I can get out of work early every day. What to do Koko, some people are obtuse like that. I picked you up, did not get an Uber, got hold of this insufferable auto and finally made it back home. Needless to say I was quite unhappy at this point.
Then I saw you hopping up the steps and smiling back at me, and all was well. Well, almost.
You asked, “Ma, are you happy?”
I wasn’t, so I said “I’m angry.”
You said, “Let’s play together. Why are you angry?”
I smiled and said, “When I try to feed you a banana, you are not happy, right? I am not happy like that.”
And you said, “I am happy angry. I am happy, I love you too much Ma.”
How do you make things so simple?
I wish I could get your wisdom.
Love you too much my little big boy,
8th April, 2018
Can you stop asking me questions which I have no legitimate comeback to? No, really you got to stop!
“Shit is a bad word Ma”- when I curse an auto driver while driving;
“That’s a bad word Joy” – when your father forgets you are in the room;
You little teacher, you!
Yes, that time has come when the concept of “bad words” has been introduced to you. But, you always have an ace up your sleeve, don’t you?
I am trying to work on my control of using such words, and I thought a convenient way would be to replace them with milder substitutes. My word of choice was “weird”.
Little did I know that it was necessarily the word, but the tone in which you say it that was being picked up by my little one’s radar. So the moment I called out to that rogue auto driver on the road, you pick up on cue and say “That’s a bad word, Ma”.
Now I’ll tell you a secret about the way grown-ups think – they think they can outsmart you because they are older than you. Hence me, the smart me, came up with a new label: “Weird is not a bad word, Koko, it’s a new word for you.”
Of course you take in this knowledge with an “Oh, weird is a new word, it’s not a bad word.” And I go on with life, silently laughing at this trivial victory.
A week later, you and I are disagreeing about something and you call me “weird”. I am stumped! I know you meant to say a bad word, but I (alas!) have told you this is not a bad word. I still try to go on the offensive: “Koko, that was not nice. Say sorry.”
“But Ma, weird is only a new word, it’s not a bad word.”
You are a cunning one. You won this round, but I got my eyes on you mister.
Your Weird Ma
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.