Today’s kids are smarter than the smartphones. They answer everything at the drop of a hat. And, even when they are not, they easily bypass those unpleasant situations in a way that could make you feel stupid. My 7-year-old niece is here in Kolkata to spend her summer holidays. Summer this year is making Kolkatans feel like living right in a scalding cauldron. With not a speck of nimbus cloud in the dazzling blue sky, the humidity is utterly uncomfortable.
But the little soul is caring a fig for the heat and romping all around like a butterfly. Her energy source is insatiable, she keeps on blabbering continuously and makes you listen to her. Not only that, she asks critical questions after finishing her lecture on why one should stay at home instead of going to the office. She even expressed her desire to meet my boss so that she could make him understand the significance of her presence in the city and, let him grant a summer vacation for me! And, then came the final blow; “who is your boss? Akshay Kumar?” (picking from the film ‘Boss’) Oh! How I wish he were my boss! She did hit righton the wound!
However, yesterday evening I wanted to make her sit at a place and, therefore, tried to engage her with some trivial, funny, questions or you can say, kid’s riddles. After some time, my parental identity took a step forward pushing me to teach her something useful, simple mental sums.
The conversation that followed:
Me: Hey, do you like mangoes?
She: (looking at me quizzically) Yes….
Me: (with sheer pleasure) Really? Me too! Same pinch.
Me: Achcha, tell me, you have five mangoes, you give two of them to your best friend. How many mangoes do you have now?
She: (a quick glance expressing that she sensed my intention) Ummmm…are those ripe mangoes?
Me: Yes, ripe and sweet.
She: Like those you brought the other day?
Me: Yes, you liked them, na?
She: Hmm…. but I like litchis more.
Me: (a bit impatiently) Okay, I will bring litchis for you tomorrow. Now tell me…
She: (with an angelic smile) What?
Me: How many mangoes…?
She: Oh! I want to eat them all. Papa says fruits are good for us.
(after a pause in a serious tone) ma’am said you should concentrate on what you are doing and, I’m playing now.