Time often hides its wrinkled face
Behind the thread of nights and days:
We fail to behold the quiet passage,
till one day we are stopped short
by a sight that plunges us to the past…
The sight that does plunge me every now and then to the past is that of the clothes-line that holds my son’s t-shirts, shorts and pants and I remember the seventeen pint-sized cloth diapers that used to adorn it, daily…
I remember the time when he did not know one letter of the alphabet from another, one language from the other, and today he clubs syllables together, reads sentences, speaks Malayalam, English, and a spatter of Hindi and Kannada as required…
Every day I learn things I never knew about him…
… A couple of weeks ago, when I went to fetch him from his four-year-old friend’s house right next door to us (“Play-time is overrrrrrr“), I saw that he was rubbing his forehead, with a weird expression on his face. I looked at the 4yo’s Dad who had opened the door for me.
The gentleman said in a bewildered tone, “He hit his head on the edge of the table, and began rubbing it with water. I have no idea why he did that.”
My smile was wide. “Oh, otherwise it will bulge,” I said and took my son home.
Maybe what we’re doing is right, after all. The little fella seems to have learnt how to take care of himself, even if his Mamma is not around.
… On Children’s Day, the women in our apartment arranged a few games and activities for the children. All of us – women and children – got together and had a lot of fun. When it was over, one of the ladies called all the kids together to take a snap. It would be so nice to look at it a few years later! Suddenly I realised that my little monkey was not in the group. I requested the photographer Mom to hold it for a second and started calling his name. Getting no response, I gestured to her to go on and take the pic, while I wandered off in search of him.
As expected, I found him at the apartment gate. “Whatcha-doing-here-we-were-taking-pictures-I-was-calling-you…”
“I went to touch the cow,” he said, pointing to the road.
“Cow? What cow?” True enough, there were a couple grazing across the road. I looked daggers at the security guard. “Did he cross the road to get near to the cow?”
“I went with him,” replied the man. And he continued, “Yeh sabse alag hai. He doesn’t always want to play with the others. He hangs around here and wants to see cow, doggies and so on. He is different.”
… The day we travelled back from Trivandrum, the lady who stood right behind us in the queue, who was smiling at his non-stop chatter and infinite questions (to some of which I had to answer, “Hush, I will tell you later“), suddenly asked, “Is he in school at Trivandrum?”
“No,” I said, “In Bangalore.”
She said, “He speaks Malayalam so fluently and easily that I thought he must be doing his schooling in Kerala…”
My son turns five today.
I look at my smart little man, who never ceases to amaze me, even when he is at his mischief-est, un-listening-est, doing-everything-i-disapprove-est and absolutely uncontrollable-est.