Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Whimsical Short Stories - Conversations with a five year old



Most mornings I wake up to Su's mom's voice.

Su...uuu...uoo! Wake up now come on! You'll be late.

Su is still sleeping.

The mom calls once more followed by another shout.

Su moves from side to side in her bed.

Finally, one last rant of a shout that shakes her up.

Su is up.

What folows is Su's mom trying to get her to brush her teeth, eat her beakfast, bathe and get dressed for school - all this in record time. On the other hand, all Su wants to do is play with her toys, tease her baby brother, watch early morning TV and take hours picking what she should wear for school! Girls I tell you!

Obviously Su's mom gets the better of her in the end by rushing things and convincing Su to do as she says.

I often wonder at what stage will Su realise that it is she who has to go to school on time, not her mom, and when will that self-inflicted sense of urgency take birth in her mind making sure she does what she needs to do first to ensure she reaches school on time. I'd have thought she'd already think this way! But from her actions she clearly doesn't, and then I wonder why is that so.

This morning I got my answer.

So the normal drill was on. Mom shouting. Su day dreaming, doing things in her own sweet time. Hans being Hans meddling around with Su's accessories, trying her slippers on and hopping around from one spot to another, annoying his mom even more.

I was sat in the kitchen eating breakfast when she came.

Yashbhai, how do I look?

She ran out of the room to show me her swimming goggles! No sooner had she come out than her mom called for her!

Come back, you have to take a bath!

She giggled and ran back.

A few minutes passed, things got busier.

Her mom was running around frantically from room to room, packing her bag, avoiding crashing into Hans who scurried like a mouse all around the house.

She got ready and came out.

Yasbhai, did you get me this hair pin?

Looking confused, I said.

I might have, I don't remember.

Su's mom chuckled.

He's a boy, he doesn't remember these things Su.

Not sure if I was comfortable with that generalisation. But instead of saying something to retaliate I stuffed my mouth with a big spoonful of cereal.

Su said.

I think you brang it.

I love it when children learning a new language conjugate verbs in their whimsical ways.

Brought it. I corrected her.

Yes, I think you brought it but I have not worned it since so long.

Its worn I said to myself not correcting her this time. Kids should be kids.

The clock was ticking by. More baddgering from Su's mom followed. There were stronger thuds on the floor now as she raced around and her breathing got heavier.

Finally the golden words came out of Su's mouth.

Mom, why are you ALWAYS in a rush?

Silence. Everything stopped. I couldn't see why, but I could totally imagine Su's mom looking at her in complete shock at what her daughter had just said!

Was this the moment of realisation? Was Su able to tell that her mom was experiencing a sense of urgency?

I burst out laughing, not able to control myself from seeing the hilarity in the situation.

Her mom broke the silence too, she joined me adding on to the peals of laughter that now echoed through the house.

Su sounded confused.

What's so funny?

We continued laughing.

Then she said strenly, adding a word.

SERIOUSLY, what is so funny? Tell me Yashbhai.

I said.

Well, you are so funny! Everyday your mom tries to get you to go to school on time and you go about doing things in your playful ways not realising what time it is or how late you are  late. Which is why your mom is always rushing through things. And then you ask her, 'Mom, why are you always rushing?' Well is that not funny?

Her face went red. She did that really silly giggle, picked up her bag and dashed off to class.




As I clean my dinner plate she comes hopping around with my owl-gloves in her hands.

Yashbhai, can I tell you something?

I nod, as always.

You know if you say a prayer at night before you go to sleep, you won't get nightmares!

Expressing shock on my face at the thought of a young child talking about nightmares, I exclaim.

Is it true?

Yes, I say one every night and I don't get any nightmares. But you know last Sunday, I said a prayer but I still got one! I was so scared!

Smiling at myself at the amusing sense of contradiction in her magical world, I said.

May be you mustn't have said your prayer correctly.

She looked at me, startled.

What, I must not say my prayers correctly! But...

I interrupted.

No, no what I meant to say is that, may be you said only half your prayer or said it inccorectly. May be that's why the prayer did not work and you got a nightmare.

She thinks.

What should I say? What do you say?

I respond.

Say whatever you say, just make sure you say it with all your heart and don't say just half of it.

I always say, "Dear God, please don't let me see nightmares when I sleep." It's not like I say "Dear God, Please." and stop there, or leave it unfinished. I always say the same prayer and say the whole sentence.

Good night Su.

I leave the dishes to dry and go to sleep.




Su - Yashbhai, can I tell you something?

I nod, accepting her request.

Su - Do you know I know what my full name is.

Not sure, what is it?

Su Mawede. What's yours?

Yashraj Jain

Oh no it's not! It is Yashbhai Jain!

Laughter engulfs me.




Back from work, I climb up to my room above the flight of stairs.

I see two yellow flowers on my desk. I smile. I know they're from Su, a whimsical girl all of five years old.

She is in the bathroom, brushing her teeth before she goes to sleep.

I sneak into her room and leave one of the two yellow flowers on her bed by her Teddy Bear.

She comes out after brushing.

Yashbhai, did you see the flowers?

Oh! Su, yes I did! They're lovely.

I got them for you when walking back from my swimming class.

Thank you so much Su, they're lovely! But you know what? I had two flowers, so I gave one away to a fairy!

What! Fairy! Fairies are not real.

Of course they are! I thought what will I do with two flowers, so I gave one to the fairy. But thank you again, it was very sweet of you to have got me flowers!

She is still not convinced about my fairy story.

What is the name of the fairy?

Ah...(thinking to myself)...She is called the Spring Fairy!

Spring Fairy!!! Where is she now? I am going to check in your room...

I turn and head towards the bathroom as I shout.

You might want to check in your room instead! *chuckle*

Oooooh! So now I know, you're just making it up Yashbhai!

No, no, go check!

She goes inside. Moments pass. She squeals.

Oh Yashbhai! Look my Teddy took your yellow flower! It was not your Fairy!

Shocked at the logic she came up with, I refute.

No, it was the Fairy. I gave it to her.

She makes a comeback.

No but fairies are not real! My Teddy is real!

Oh, right. So fairies are not real, but your Teddy is!

Yes! It is.

How do you know that?

She whispers in a manner that makes her next few words seem like classified top secret information

Because he talks to me.

What! Talk to you! In which language does he talk? Hindi? Gujarati? Eng...?

Se cuts me off.

Ah, Yashbhai, he talks in English! He is 'a' adult Teddy! He is big!

But adults are not adults because they are big, it's because they are old.

He's old.

How old?

She thinks.

Hmmn.. Thirty years!

I chuckle to myself again. Her mom summons her in the room.

Here Yashbhai, you can keep my Teddy's flower. I remember why there were two flowers on your desk. One was from me, the other one from Hans.

No, no! Thanks for one flower Su. Your Teddy can have the second one.

Her eyes gleam with excitement.

Oh, thank you Yashbhai!

Her mom summons here again. This time louder. Hans, her three year old brother seems to be tearing at his mom's hair in the room.

Goodnight Yashbhai!

I proceed to set my dinner plate. A few minutes pass. I listen to faint noises from the room. Then silence.

Suddenly the door opens! She comes running out to the kitchen and shouts.

Yashbhai! My mom says I have to keep the flower in the kitchen!


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