Child One. Adult Zero.

My almost 4 year old niece stood staring at her reflection in the mirror, examining herself from every possible angle, concentration etched all over her little face.

I waited for a while watching her intently and then couldn’t contain myself any longer and asked – What are you looking at ?

She says – I looking at how I look.

So I asked again – How do you look ?

I expected one or the other version of the following – pretty, cute, beautiful, ugly, fair, dark, fat, thin, nice, etc etc etc

She answered and I quote –  “I look Happy”.

Enough Said.


The Best kinda Friendships

Remember when we were running around in pigtails chasing butterflies (sometimes imaginary ones)?
Friendships were made and broken over toys.
Over ice creams.
Over a game of cricket or badminton.
Over a camping trip.
It didn’t take two minutes to forge a good friendship. It didn’t take one to end a bad one. 
Uncomplicated. The only word that perfectly summarizes a friendship at that age. 
Friendships shouldn’t be more difficult than this and yet they are. Annoyingly so. Once you are past a certain age new friendships are as difficult to spot as shooting stars. As convoluted as spiders webs. As labyrinthine as a ‘Harry Potter’ maze. 
We now have to think gender and think age and think social status. We think time and convenience. We think spouse compatibility and children friendly. We think hidden agendas and less than honorable intentions. We think tacky wardrobe and language. Worst of all – we think what ‘other’ people will think. 
When you were a kid and you met a wacky guy with a runny nose,a few years older or younger with a mouth that shoots off the stupidest things – you would still not hesitate to be friends as long as he played with you in the sand pit. You would probably pick up a bit of that wackiness and be proud to flaunt it. 
If you sat beside a girl in class with greasy hair and scruffy clothes and a dad that hated your dad’s guts – you would still be friends with her as long as she played paper ‘chor police’ with you while the teacher isn’t looking. You probably will start wearing your hair in the same lopsided way she does and think it rather cool.
It doesn’t matter if these friendships last a lifetime or just through the summer…. They are a remember-fondly-and-feel-good-forever kind of thing. 
As kids we communicated right through all those barriers of language and money and superficialities.
Better still – we knew how to cut through all the garbage and talk straight. 
Best of all – we knew which friendships were worth getting a whipping over and which not to drag on like a dead horse. 
Cheers to kiddie friendships. Always the best kind. 

Questioners and Questionees

The world is divided into the Questioners and the Questionees.( I know..I know…I made those words up)
 There is always that one person in every group….in every long flight….in every late night party…in every kirana ka dukaan….who is alway subjecting everyone else to questions. 
When are you going to find a job?
When are you going to get married?
When are you going to lose weight?
When are you going to do something about that grey hair?
Why don’t you have any brothers?
When you going to have children?
And those of us who unfortunately fall into that other category spend most of our lives answering, ignoring, lying, or warding off these little queries. Of course the questioners are persistent, curious, insistent and all best of all – all questions are always followed by a little priceless nugget of wisdom. 
The funny part is a lot of immigration goes on too. People from group two suddenly migrate into group 1. The change occurs with such subtlety that many a times no one notices – not even the person who has changed. 
All of a sudden that woman who hated everybody who kept asking her when is she going to get married, starts poking her spinster cousin with the same question. That man who loses 10 kgs after hating the guts of every person who brought the issue up, suddenly wants to know why the whole world is NOT getting thinner. And that couple who had an unplanned baby want to know why isn’t everybody impregnating each other with equal alacrity. 
Questionee that I am – I always find it funny that most of my kind are always on the back foot. Always playing defensive. In fact this answering questions thing – can be a very amusing pass time. 
For example answer people who ask you – why are you so thin ? with – ” Oh thank you for reminding me. I forgot today is friday. It is the only day of the week I eat”
And when are you going to have children with “when they learn to wash their own bums.”
It is easy when you begin to take the world less seriously.

Let the questions roll.