My five-year-old’s inquisitiveness knows no bounds. There are times when I painstakingly explain the rainbow to the eager and wide-eyed child, there are times when I am at a loss to explain why Lord Brahma did not offer one of his four heads when Ganesha lost his (he just can’t get over the fact that the small elephant had to lose his beautiful head in order to save Lord Shiva’s son). And there are also times when our conversation wanders off into nonsense – and neither of us is bothered!
Apologies in advance for any set of emotions that the following conversation may evoke in your mind.
He asked for Coca-Cola and I set half a glass of the beverage before him.
“Is this black coffee?” he asked.
“No, it’s Coca-Cola.”
He took a sip. As he savoured it, I could tell that he was deep in thought, as if trying to place something. After a while he said, “What do we call the Tiger… not the King, but something else…”
“The King is the Lion of course, not the Tiger.”
“What do we call the Tiger?”
“The National Animal?”
“Ah! Yes! Is Coca-Cola the National Juice?”
I burst out laughing. “Oh, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think there is such a thing as a National Juice.”
“National Animal is Tiger, National Bird is Peacock, what other National is there?”
“Err… National Anthem?”
“Okay. So what is the National Juice?”
“I guess it must be Lemon Juice.”
“So which country’s National Juice is Coca-Cola?”
No more skirting of the question. “America, I suppose.”
“Coca-Cola is the National Juice of America?”
“Which country’s National Juice is water?”
“Ahhh.. Water? It is not a National Juice. It is an International Juice.”