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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Auguries of Innocence

I was walking down the street yesterday when a kid came running and hugged me before I could realize what was happening. Barely till my waist, that little charmer gave a shy smile when his mother managed to disentangle him from me. She apologized, probably thinking that I was offended. I wasn't. It was a pleasant surprise. (Other such incidents: here) And I was reminded of one of my favorite cousins.

When he was in Kindergarten, he liked one of my youngest paternal aunt's classmates (who had completed her Masters then), Kakali, so much so that he insisted he'd marry her.( Aami tomake biye korbo) What would Kakali say? She promised she'd when he grew up- he was a little young.( Tumi boro hoye nao- ekhono to tumi chhoto)

Another of my cousins had a record of chasing his best friend with vermilion (the mark of Hindu married women) in his hands. Precocious? Maybe. But endearing all the same. And innocent. To think so simply: you marry the one you like the most and then you live happily ever after. Sometimes, I wish I could still believe in endings like those.

Picture this: A couple is smooching in the subway when a toothless girl tells her mother,' Mom, look ! They are doing like birds do.'
Her mother tries to explain,'They love each other. They are kissing.'
'But you don't kiss me like that !'
Her mother tries to distract her by saying,'It's not polite to stare.'
'Why are they doing something in front of everyone which we are not supposed to look at?'

Now, answer that ! I wish I knew what her mother had to say, but my station had arrived.

28 comments:

Sam said...

The last conversation really ahd me in splits!! It's amazing how kids manage to turn up with such questions...
and as for your cousin.. I guess he was one amongst many to do stuff like that!!
My sis said teh same about my mesho, and frankly, I don't blame her ;)
and one of my aunts, all of 5 yrs old when my parents got married,s aid teh same abt my father.. poor girl was teased abt it till the day she got married :P

Munmun said...

hee ... yeah, this is what shows how difficult it is to bring up a child !

Aparna Kar said...

@munmun
Lol.. yeah. I can't half begin to say the kind of questions I tortured my parents with. I was quiet, but curious :D Way too curious.

Aparna Kar said...

@Sam
I can imagine your aunt's plight :) It is often in case of an admirable member of the family that kids take an instant liking towards. Teenagers also have these huge crushes for celebrities. I was a late-bloomer though. And most of my crushes were fictional characters: Bruce Wayne , Cedric Diggory- the suave, accomplished, yet sensitive type. Difficult to say what catches a kid's fancy- but they are very expressive of both their like and dislike , unlike adults. I hated one of my aunt's colleagues and wouldn't let him enter my house on the pretext that he smoked. Honestly? I hated him without a reason and I feared the day he'd quit smoking, 'cause I'd have to look up a new excuse to justify my meanness:D

passer by said...

well they are preaching restrain.. they are saying that there is so much in the world good and bad that you must turn a blind eye to..

Aparna Kar said...

@passer by
The birds? Yeah. I like people kissing and holding hands in public. But sometimes it gets too gross.Too much of a good thing can be bad. :D

Lahari said...

hey aparna, for a moment u made me smile for the innocence in that little cutie. But for the reason hidden, according to me it is one challenge and fun to grow kids. challenge to make sure they learn the values and morals with today's life style(else they will term us outdated) and fun to enjoy their innocence and love.

Lahari said...

and there is one ultimate challenge for parents which i forgot to mention. to answer all the questions asked by their kids. ufh... one shd be prepared anytime...

Sam said...

lol.... gosh!! u were a crazy kid!!
dat reminds me.. strangely enuf all my crushes have been the ones i interact with...and just about my age bracket!!!

Aparna Kar said...

@Sam
'Crazy kid' ? You are being kind. I'm still crazy. And honestly? I still have a crush on Bruce Wayne. :D

Aparna Kar said...

@lahari
Lol. You said it. Bringing up a child is a difficult job. You don't want to embarrass yourself but you don't want your kid to be misinformed either.

dolbyarun said...

Way to grow kids yesteryear (Vs) Way kids grow today.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ro-mXyA0MCI

No offense! :-P

Aparna Kar said...

@dolby
Lol. But I used to dig this ad

saikat said...

appu...thats the charm of child...the way they battle their eyelids ask that complicated question in that simple manner which stumps the older generation...they have the simplicity in their life...they dont have any opinions abd they live life the life ought to be lived...

thats a different story...that both of us have still not grown up :D

ciao...

Sam said...

:D

Dhwani said...

the things u wrote made me smile..... just remembred some silly things that i used to do n my mom still teases me about...

Aparna Kar said...

@Dhwani
Lol.. I'd like to know some..

Aparna Kar said...

@saikat
Hee Hee.. hok kotha :D

ray said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘The Variegated Sky’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,

Dewdrop said...

Your post reminded me of my cousins and brought a smile to my face. Very sweet post :)

candid diary said...

Do you know how some of your readers feel when they don't get a regular dose of your posts?

Aparna Kar said...

@candid diary
No clue. :P But even if another reader is like you, then I will feel that my blogging has not gone to waste :)

Aparna Kar said...

@Dewdrop
:)

Aparna Kar said...

@ray
Thanks a ton for stopping by. I registered at rambhai, but it seems like u have to feed every post seperately.. umm.. Can't I just paste my blog url and expect a RSS feed? I might be wrong.. let me explore and find out. And thanks again.. 'Wow' is a nice word to use :)

wtml said...

Children.. Brilliant they are, I tell you! You have no idea what they are going to ask when & where... But, the age of innocence fades, and that's my protest!

Why are we obsessed with marriage, i wonder!?

Harshit said...

The last incident sounds really amazing :).

Aparna Kar said...

@wtml
They are... and so uninhibited about their doubts that their queries can put even the wisest to test.

Marriage? I dunno- probably some of us think that it's the only happily ever after.

Aparna Kar said...

@Harshit
Yeah :)