Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tiny Conversations & Rainy Days

The Two Minute Wait

The twins are a little over eighteen months, and one-word or two-word conversations jerk along in English, Spanish and Hindi. One day, Mia, the younger of the twins, wanted something real bad and was getting impatient and I saw a tantrum coming up. In an effort to stall it, I lifted my hand and patted the air gently and said, "Wait, wait," and then holding up two fingers I continued, "Two minutes."

"Two minutes?" she asked, holding up two fingers. 

"Yes, baby, please wait for two minutes."

"Wait," she echoed, patting the air gently the same way she had seen me do. I smiled in answer.

Whatever it was that had to be done, I forget what now, took longer than two minutes, but it didn't bother me because Mia certainly didn't know how long two minutes was.

The next morning, she woke up early and I went to her cot. She looked like a sleepy, dishevelled cherub.

"Good morning, my little birdie. Morning, morning!" I said cheerily and bent to hug her.

"Wait,wait," she said patting the air with her little hand, "two minutes?"

Then laboriously hauled her herself up and lifting her arms high demanded, "Dodi." She wanted me to carry her and was using the Hindi word 'godi' pronouncing it her way. I lifted her out of the cot and put her down.

She walked around the house and then came and stood in front of me.

"Morning, morning," she smiled.

I had waited for more than two minutes! Was she telling me something?!

The Two Minute Argument

Amu, the older twin, can be quite assertive most times, especially when she thinks she's right. Not one to give up without an argument or demonstration of some kind when her vocabulary fails, she engaged me in an argument one day. They were watching one of their TV shows and 'The wheels of the bus,' rhyme came up. She looked at it and knit her brows. The nanny had put on a different channel and the presentation wasn't the same. The bus looked more like a van.

"Car," she announced, pointing to the TV.

"Oh no, that's a bus," I said, deliberately baiting her.

"Car," she insisted.

"Bus," I said keeping a straight face, which was hard as laughter was bubbling inside. She had taken the bait.

We bandied our opinions for a while until she lost her cool.

She drew her face closer to mine and in a loud voice and no-nonsense tone declared with finality,"Car."

Unflinching, I drew my face close to her chubby one and said as firmly, but in a lower voice, "Bus."

A staring match ensued. She was the first to turn away. Her little face showed confusion. She didn't know how to react. She opted for diversion.

"Papa?" she asked 

"Office," I said.


"At office too."

She repeated these questions a couple of times more. Then paused for a second or two. She had come to some conclusion. She leaned towards me again.

"Bus," she said and smiled.

I burst out laughing and cuddled my little teddy bear.

Slip of the tongue & Gentle Correction

We - the twins and I, were watching Gazoon, a cartoon featuring animals. It doesn't have any dialogues or songs, so I have to do a running commentary and add tones, inflections and drama to the whole show verbally. One such evening, while the twins were having their dinner, Gazoon was on and I was going full swing with my narrative.

"Hisssss.....there comes the snake...he's scary...oooh oh!"

"," and Mia brings up her clenched hands under her chin and fakes a shiver!

" comes the Elephant and there's a cock-a-doodle-doo sitting on his funny!"

"Cocadoo...doo, so funny!" they chorus and laugh.

"And what's this? Someone's colouring the clouds! Look, it's a zebra...he's painting the clouds."

"Sky," Mia quietly corrects me. She doesn't know what clouds are, she only knows "sky" and thought it was mistake.

"Okay sky," I say, there was time to show her clouds later. And continued where I left off.

"Yes, and the giraffe is colouring the sky...." I got no further.

"Zebra," Amu quips confidently and she knows she's right...her expression says it all!

"What!...oh, yes, it is a zebra!" I laugh and they join me.

I knew why I was laughing...I suspect they knew too!

A Modern Sir Walter Raleigh

The much needed and awaited rain was welcome in all ways but one: it played villain to my daily walks. With water-logged streets, yes, we do have water logged streets even with a medium shower, it was not appealing to take a walk. So I'd spend some pleasant hours sitting by my bedroom window, intermittently burying my head in a book or gazing at the streets below.

There's always something or the other that catches my attention and that day too I witnessed what to me was a combination of everything that spelled romantic! It was cute, sweet, chivalrous, unimaginable, sort of adventurous, daring in a way...well, given the drizzle, cold winds, dark sky all these combined to make for a great Bollywood song setting...there I said it at the risk of sounding dotty!

I am almost directly over a crossroad. And the corners, at all four crossovers, aka zebra crossings get flooded during a heavy shower. As I sat gazing emptily into space, a movement in the periphery of my eye, caught my attention. 

A young girl, maybe seventeen or eighteen, slender build, was contemplating crossing the 'Red Sea' in a rather comical manner. Clutching her open umbrella, she would stretch out a leg and attempt to leap across...except she never thrust herself forward but kept hopping in place. Every time she'd make up her mind to jump she'd lose confidence and abort, ending up doing a little jig. Then I realized there was another spectator to this unintended pantomime.

A young man, possibly in his twenties, was across the street on the Norte side and was so amused by what was going on he had forgotten to cross to the side the girl was on, which is where he was headed. I guess he was as intrigued as I was and also keen to know how she would finally cross. Both of us watched her; I from my perch on the second level and he right across from her...but she was oblivious to everything.

Finally, she decided that her open umbrella was hampering her long jump over the muddy water and she closed it. If it meant getting wet so be it, is what I presumed she thought. Contrary to her belief, however, it lowered her confidence even more. Now, she hesitated to even stretch out her leg and hop. That's when I saw the young man make a snap decision. He splashed his way across the street and was by her side in the blink of an eye. She reared back surprised.

There was a brief conversation. She seemed to not like something and gave a negative nod. He was convincing apparently because a minute later, she took hold of her umbrella from the middle and the next thing I knew she was riding piggy-back with her arms wrapped around the youngster's shoulders. He sploshed his way through the muddy water with his precious load, and deposited her safely, relatively dry shoes and all, on the other side. Then happily made his way back and carried on his way.

I saw a Bollywood in that...can you blame me for being silly! I belong to another generation and it was so cute and sweet and mushy sort of romantic and warmed this woman, in her seat by the window, on a cold rainy day.



  1. You must be having a good time with the twins, I am sure they must be making you run behind them :)

    1. Yes, Rachna, I do have a great time with tires me out sometimes, but it's fun. They've given me a new lease on life!

  2. Reading your stories about the twins makes me feel as if I am right next to you when you are with them :)

    And the story of the girl with the umbrella... <3
    It could be right out of a Bollywood movie!

    1. Thank you Kay! Your feedback means a lot to me. And thanks for backing this old enough, incorrigible romantic on the 'Bollywood' element 😀

  3. The little ones sound absolutely adorable! It sounds too, like they keep you on your toes, but in a good way, of course. I am sure you are treasuring these wonderful memories! :)

    Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great week!