Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Happy Birthday, O Wise One
Today, C, J’s daughter, turns four.
Last night, I stayed over at J’s place and wished C at midnight. Since C never really bothers with looking at the time, she was thrilled when Mommy and her seemingly homeless friend suddenly woke up from their lazy slumber and started singing enthusiastically. Then we lifted her and gave her birthday bumps. That too C didn’t know anything about, but the idea of being swayed and gently lowered to the floor was a hit. She didn’t want us to stop. I patiently explained the concept that she was four and that’s why she would only get four birthday bumps. She wisely informed me that she was actually six. It may have been a very well kept secret but I didn’t buy any of that.
She then sat on my lap and we watched a few stupid moments of Baywatch. (I hasten to mention here that this infernal choice of program was J’s choice. I, like my more discerning counterparts around the world, watched Baywatch only for Pamela Anderson. I think David Hasselhoff is a radish. But J ‘follows the plot’ apparently. Sigh!)
I have known C since the last 10 months. And it is still a mystery how she has come to know the things she does.
She knows that when her Mommy buys a bar of chocolate, she will have half of it.
She knows that when I buy her a bottle of Pepsi, I will have half of it.
She knows that when her Mommy and I get her a packet of chips, both of us will have half of it.
She knows that when we tell her that McDonalds is closed or they are out of French fries, we are lying.
She knows that when I ask her to change the channel, I’m ready to have tea.
She knows that when I say I won’t have tea, I will change my mind two minutes later.
She knows the distances she must stoically walk, and the distances she can rick.
She knows that I am probably the only person in the world who will gladly give her my no-nonsense, archaic mobile. In fact, she has entertained more imaginary calls on my cell than I have in my cellular lifetime.
She knows that the word is ‘scarf’ even though she resolutely pronounces it as ‘carf’.
She knows that when her mother is watching some horribly mundane film on T.V., and I moodily stare out the balcony, something is a little amiss. She comes and together we probably look at the pool or the dust rousing in circles in the construction site or a train passing by. She tugs my hand and asks me, ‘Aapko Bombay jaana hai, Mukta?’
She knows. And for now, I’m happy not knowing how she figured out that one.