The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Angels and Demons - in pint sizes

It was the summer of 1993 and we had new neighbours. Cousin was shadow fighting, when he looked out of the key hole and saw them moving in. They’ve got a cute chubby little one, he told me later that evening. And true he was. I had confirmation myself, when I was doing errands (quarter kg tur dal and one packet pappadam types) for mom a couple of days later. A smart, smiling couple and the little one, cute and chubby like cousin had described; perched up on daddy’s shoulder with a little pony tail and all. She was mumbling something to her father when I opened the door and barged out. Freeze. Mumbling stops mid sentence and she looks at me; face devoid of any emotion whatsoever. ‘Hello’, the mummy of the little one smiled. I smiled back coyly and ran away. Doing errands in those days were kinda bureaucratic you see; for every errand I ran, I’d eke out enough money for a small five star or a packet of biscuit. Small joys. But just returns for the investment of labour all the same.

A few weeks later, mom brought little Jove home. She was a sweetheart. And cousin and me took turns in carrying her around from one room to the other, showing her things as uninteresting as ‘look ma, fan’ or ‘cow standing there - see’. She sat perched up as I had seen her the first day, devoid of any emotion whatsoever. And clinically, a quarter of an hour later, she would start like an alarm snooze ‘Daddu,daddu,daddu…..’ And our vain attempts at showing her the fan one more would as expected fall face down flat. The ‘daddu’ siren would if not heeded, culminate in a slight curl of the lips and gentle welling of tears in her bead like eyes. At this threshold point in time, we’d open the door and rush out to hand the baby over with a ‘Crying uncle’ explanation.

But kids are kids. And familiarity breeds friendship. So very soon, the stoic silence transformed into a constant flurry (and at times unintelligible) of childspeak. We learnt as much as she did. ‘What bua ma today’, I would ask her. ‘Egg bua’ she would reply, hardly looking up from the magazine on which she was venting her new found interest for Euclidian geometry. Cousin would come back later and be at his wits end on realizing that it was the latest edition of India Today and the drawings graced exactly those articles which he had not read and were not surprisingly, hyper important.

But as I said, kids will be kids. And familiarity will also breed contempt. So there were days when she would come home, as devil incarnate itself. The ‘I want water; I want sugar to mix in water; I want to pour it all over the bed’ kinda days. Or the days when you have Geography exam (complete syllabus) the following day and the little one is constantly banging on your closed ‘please let me study’ door wanting to play a round of that horrid teacher-teacher. Or the days when you actually play teacher-teacher but she would not allow the student (you) to attend class lying down. Those are the days when you want to whack her with plastic ruler, but you can’t because if she cries who the fuck would take her home and pretend as though nothing really happened. You can’t take her home and say ‘She’s hungry uncle. Good night’. Disappear.


P.S: Jove and folks moved out of the apartment a few years later. But when I met her a year back or so, she was this tall pretty girl whom I would never have guessed was the same one whom I played an improvised form of cricket with many years back. And when I asked ‘How are you ma’, in childspeak, both of us were embarrassed.

So are kids fun? Are kids a menace? I can’t seem to get opinionated about it to be honest.

Inspiration for this blog: Colleague’s daughter who claps her hands excitedly on seeing me every morning, almost as though saying ‘I’m gonna have so much more fun at school than you at office’.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea as u said kids r kids n time with them can make us forget everything else in life..


October 14, 2007 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good one mate.. can't agree with you more!


October 15, 2007 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one,pal!
This might sound outrageous but having a kid around is like having a pet dog.they are cute,cuddly,playful,innocent,one knows in a smug manner that they are dependent on you and they won't argue back or question you:)

October 15, 2007 1:29 PM  
Blogger Sharad said...

I remember you mentioning Jove to me long before. I recently found my little neighbour kid(now tall and all pretty)on orkut. As a child I had slapped her right across her face for disrupting the one game of carom where I had an outside chance of winning. She wept and that made the all infamous face of the community. Today, she and I just laugh about it!

October 16, 2007 8:18 PM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

Sorry but I have to be gross here. We had this little kid in our neighbourhood who.. well.. wasn't exactly potty trained. So we used to make her walk up and pee on the "other guys'" cricket pitch in the middle of their game.

Hahahahahaha what a fun it was to see their sorry asses hopping around saying "Aye, aye, stop! Stop!!!" Hahahahahaha.

OK Bye :P

October 18, 2007 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:-) loved this one about kids!! actually I used to run my neighbours house as a kid and pluck flowers from their garden!!! Guess they would feel like whacking me for it... hehhehe


October 31, 2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Queenie said...

This is great info to know.

November 11, 2008 11:28 AM  

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