As much as I have a permanent inertia against leaving home (unless its for r a movie or hanging out with friends), I do have a couple of relatives who I visit sometimes just not to alienate myself( and of course, for the food ;) ). Ah,such adorable kids they have.Who wouldn’t wanna spend time with their nieces or kid-cousins, who entertain you with their sweet-talk, hug you and generally make you feel happy? Hehe, you guys already know I’m kidding(or “kid”ding,if you please),right? They are nothing less than devil- incarnate,believe me!. The “Enfant terrible”s have put me in such screwy situations they made me wish that I could disapparate (to disappear magically,HP) to the top of a lava-spurting Eyjafjallajökull. I think most people will relate to the below scenarios :
I enter the house. The kids look at me and go “Yaayyyyy! Pavananna has come! Yaayy”! I reply cheerfully “Hiii Ankita!How did your exams go?” My mistake. Her mom,who was happily welcoming me till now,turns grim within a split-second and goes spiraling in a non-stop tirade on how the girl has left one “fill-in-the-blanks” blank (The heading says Fill-in-the-blank.How can she leave it blank? :D) and done a multiple choice question wrong and so she’ll end up getting only 96.5% , and not 99.4% (as the next door aunty’s son haughtily claimed of getting). All this while Ms.Ankita looks daggers at me,muttering under her breath, “You $@#@#,I’ll have my revenge”. But soon everything is forgotten and we start playing and talking.
Everyone is watching TV. Suddenly the little devil yells “PAVANANNA, I WANNA PLAY WITH YOUR MOBILE.GIMME YOUR MOBILE!”. I oblige immediately, foolishly assuming that its better than the cacophony blasting my eardrums now. She occupies herself with the mobile for sometime while peace prevails (Noises from the TV are not even comparable). And suddenly, “PAVANANNA,YOU GOT A MSG FROM SO-N-SO GAL.IT SAYS ‘WASSUP?WHAT U DOIN”” I instinctively take furtive glances at the elders in the room,who, I am pretty certain, even with their heads firmly turned towards the TV, have all their ears on my side of the room now. They need not have struggled so much.My ever-inquisitive niece is not one to be silenced so soon. As I give a nervous fake smile and reach for my mobile,she starts off, “WHO IS THIS SO-N-SO GAL???IS SHE YOUR GIRLFRIENDDDD? HEE HEE, ARE YOU GONNA MARRRRY HER?HEE HEE” (Wait! WHAA….?) Now everyone else has no excuse to even look at the TV and have completely focussed their attention on me. I meekly & defensively say “Noooo” with a stupid guffaw (I dunno why I felt compulsive to answer a 9-year old) Then I begin my Rescue-thy-pride mission : keep staring down at the mobile with such ferocious single-mindedness & concentration that any outsider would believe I’m writing down the proof for a complex quantum theory equation which will disprove The Theory of Relativity and turn science,as we know it,upside down (Einstein would gape in horror and awe from his grave). And I stick to that stance until a messiah on the reality show TV yells something and everyone turns back to him
Me & my niece are sitting watching “Spongebob Squarepants” on Nick. After 20 minutes of marvellingon how these over-smart kids still enjoy something so dumb(and thanking god for that), I ask “Naina,can I have the remote? I’m bored”. “Nooooo,only 10 minutes more and the episode will get over. Then I’ve give you the remote.OK?” she says blinking her eyes ever innocently. I smile and say “OK”. Just then,the TV blares “….and stay tuned for the 2-hour weekend special of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!!!”
She goes “Yaaay!”
“Hey come on, you said you’ll give me the remote”
“Ok ok. You keep the remote.I’ll just go home…and never vist you again” (hee hee hee)
She contemplates once this for a while. “Okay fine. I will give you the remote.You can watch whattttever you want……till I come back from the bathroom!” and runs off leaving me open-mouthed.
I relax for a while and keep surfing channels wondering if anything good ever comes on this idiot box. A particularly riveting sequence in one of the English movie channels holds my attention for more than usual and I linger on for a little while more. (I’ll remind you here,Murphy’s law are not some random bullshit.Never ignore them) Right at that moment,the little devil comes running back to claim her remote. She turns to the TV and is horrified by what she is seeing. “CHEEEE! MUMMIE!!! PAVANANNA IS WATCHING GIRL AND BOY KISSING!!!” I can’t help shouting out inadvertently “Heyyy! Shhhh. They are just kissing”. As they say,the damage is done. What I would not give to just evaporate from the face of the earth in a puff of smoke that very instant. I fumble with the remote while that abominable thing is playing on TV,*click* (Priyanka Chopra in a luscious bikini in Dostana) *click* random woman dancing in rain in a South Indian movie *more frantic click* “This is Atul Mehta,Mumbai correspondent,Aaj Tak” Sigh.Safe.All this happens in a time frame of 15 seconds.My cousin laughs a bit and just stays in the kitchen,thankfully. I do not touch the remote the whole of my stay there and settle down to watch back-back episodes of Spongebob squarepants.
Little devil’s teen-aged elder sis comes in.They start arguing over something and start fighting and the elder one goes “Get the f*uck off me,moron”. The smaller one claps her hand to her mouth,
“Akka! You just said the F-U-C-K word! Wait I’ll tell mommy”
“Shudd-up!I didn’t, Reee-tard” (My uncle is US returned. So my cousins still retain a distinct accent.Cool stuff)
“Yes you did!Pavananna she said the F-U-C-K word, didn’t she?”
I was already grinning.”Yeah,she did”.
“Reee-tard,get lost” and she storms out of the room.
The younger one starts giving me gyan “Dad told me F-U-C-K & S-U-C-K are bad words. But I think “shit” & “crap” are OK.They didn’t scold me when I used them.And speaking of scolding, B-I-T-C-H is a bad word too.”(ponders a bit)”But I wanna know what F-U-C-K means? Do you know what that means?”
“Ah,I don’t know” trying to sound as ignorant as possible, to which I get a “Man,You are a dumbo.All elders know that.How old are you anyway?”
We are sitting around for dinner. Ms.Smartypants is at it again. Giggling she says, “Amma,Pavananna is hesitating to serve the rice for himself. I think he is feeling shy. Pavananna,go ahead. There is lot of rice for all of us” As much as this is most embarassing,more annoying and scary is the fact that those were the exact thoughts going on in my head.Phew,kids these days! Anyways, I get over the hiccup and continue eating with a lot of rice in my plate now. Her mom comes,serves her a gulab jamun and goes inside to get more. Little devil turns sweet “Amma,bari nange hakidiyalla.Paapa ivninge haakalva Jamun-u? (You served the jamun only to me.Why didnt you serve the jamun to him, Poor guy)”.Her mom says mockingly “No I wont give him. He’s nobody to me”. “Ayyo Paapa,aa thara ella madbaardu.Kodamma (Ayyo Poor thing,we should not act like this.Lets give him too)”. We couldn’t stop laughing. Its amazing how kids balance their minds with the inherent innocence which is part of growing-up and the pseudo-maturity they acquire from their surroundings.
P.S : I love my nieces,nephews and kid-cousins. They are better than the elders,anyday ;)
P.P.S : This is my tribute to Calvin & Hobbes,the greatest comic ever