The sweet little girl…


It is evening. I am waiting for a friend by the poolside. A little girl of about four walks by. She looks at me, and I wave. She smiles and waves back.

After a few minutes, she comes over and shows me her hands. She is wearing four colourful bangles on each wrist. She gently jiggles her arms and tells me, “My grandma bought these for me.”

I tell her that the bangles are lovely.

She talks about a few other things that her grandma has bought for her.

Then, I ask her, “Do you have brothers or sisters?”

She suddenly looks confused. She furrows her eyebrows, and tries mouthing the answer.

She starts replying and stops. She still hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to say.

After a few minutes she announces confidently, “I am the sister.”

I nod.

She continues, “…… because I have a baby brother, I am the sister, and my baby brother is small and I love him.”

Image courtesy – clipartXtras

I smile at her innocence and love. She was trying to tell me that she had no sisters, but was a sister herself!

Magic words


A few days ago, I was looking for a story for one of my son’s school projects, when I chanced upon a collection of stories from The Arabian Nights. As I flipped through its pages, I saw the story of Alibaba and the forty thieves.

It brought a smile to my face, as I recalled a funny incident from when my son had just moved to Grade 1 from kindergarten.  

During an activity class in Grade 1, the children were asked to answer a picture quiz. My son gave his answers. 

When he got back in the evening, he told me about the picture quiz and then asked me, “Mom, what were the magic words that Alibaba uttered to open the magic cave?”

Courtesy – http://www.cartoonstock.com

I replied, “Open sesame.”

He smiled and said, “Oh no! I got that wrong.”

I asked him, “What did you write?”

He said, “I wrote that the magic words were PLEASE and THANK YOU.”

I couldn’t help laughing. He looked quite hurt. 

He said, “In kindergarten we were taught that the two magic words are – say ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’. So I thought that Alibaba had used these same magic words to open the cave.”

I was in splits. I tried to imagine Alibaba standing in front of the cave and saying, “Hello cave, Open please. Thank you!”

My son sees the joke now…and laughs with me when we remember it.

Of Grammar and Haircuts


It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon.We are at my mom’s.  After a sumptuous Indian lunch, my sister and I are in food- induced bliss. Our eyes close involuntarily. From sitting positions, we are suddenly stretched out on the bed.

The kids are, as always, energetic and bubbling-over with enthusiasm. The decibel levels drop as the body’s ears work their magic and shut down external sounds in preparation for sleep.

I snuggle into the quilt, as it’s a grey, cold day. My sister must have also dozed off. We are suddenly woken up by my little nephew’s sweet voice. My sister and I wake up at the same time, to see him talking to my children. He is standing by the dresser, his back turned to us.

He says, “Mom, I cutted my hair.”

Pat comes the reply from his mom, “It’s not cutted my hair, it is cut. Can you repeat that again – ‘I cut my hair’.

My nephew replies, “Mom, I cut my hair.”

And that’s when he ambles over to the bed, with a pair of scissors in his hand, pointing innocently to the middle of his head, where he has cut off a little hair.

My sister jumps up in alarm and admonishes him. Then she asks, “Why did you do that?”

With his eyes open wide he replies, “I don’t like the girl-hair style.”

Hmmm…from grammar-teacher to strict mom to worried mom, it is fun to watch the switching mom roles my sister plays to handle her four year old!

Of toothpaste and butter


When we were growing up, we watched commercials on television with the same fervour as we did the shows, and then nagged our parents to buy us all those lovely things that were so beautifully presented, with their catchy tunes and visuals. The commercials were full of promise, and wonderful treats.

Advertising has come a long way since then, what with all the digital sprucing-up and visual effects.  Their appeal to children has only increased.

I remember two funny incidents about how television commercials influenced children.

A few years ago, a new gel tooth paste was introduced in the market. The TV commercial showed a young lad, who brushes his teeth with the gel tooth paste, and suddenly finds himself energized by fresh breath. He is then surrounded by a glowing blue spiral that spins & glows around him, to enhance the message.

One of my nephews was very taken with the commercial and had his parents buy the tooth paste for him. Very excitedly, he went in to brush his teeth. A few minutes later he came running out crying, asking all of us why there was no gel spiral around him.

The other incident happened with my son. A few years ago, he was watching a commercial for Amul Butter, whose tag line was ‘The Taste of  India’.

Many days later, when we were in the supermarket, my son came running down the aisle whooping for joy, saying loudly, “Mom, I found the taste of India. Can I taste India, now, please?”

Whether it’s a simple tooth paste or every day butter, a great commercial can truly impact little minds!