He is peeping slowly and then hiding again. Then peeping and hiding, peeping and hiding. Again and again. I guess that’s his favourite game, hide and seek.
Most people love winters for the vast variety of vegetables available. From cauliflower to the green leaves ranging from methi, sarson, bathua, full of iron and other important minerals. And then there are those red carrots and white radish, playing perfect Santa combo. The market is overflowing with colours. For once it is something other than glittery clothes and flashy accessories.
My love for winter is only because of the perfect combination of coffee and sun. I love lying down in the sun with a light cotton chunari on my face. I can sleep for hours and hours without bothering to do anything at all. That’s when the little one shouts, “Mumma, bhookh lagi. Mumma, khaana do”, making me travel right back into the present reality.
I am highly indebted to the lead-waala noodle making company. At least once in while I can have the liberty of not spending more than five minutes inside the kitchen. After slurping the yummy masaledaar noodle strings, I am back enjoying the winter sun standing near the balcony railing.
Pandeyji’s dharidaar kachha is staring at me and making me conscious. For a moment I am forced to imagine him inside it. Ewww!!!
I immediately turn my attention to the other side of the balcony. Mrs. Bhalla is sitting on her charpai shelling peas. The quantity seems like she’s gonna have a matar special party everyday for the next one or two years. Her daughter-in-law is sitting next to her. She’s busy knitting pairs of woolen socks and sweaters for her soon-to-be-born ‘beta‘. Oh yes! They already know it. Shhhh….yeh andar ki baat hai. Some Babaji has given her some powder that is powerful enough to change the sex of the foetus in the seventh, eighth or ninth month also. Jai Babaji ki!
Let me move back before Bhalla aunty spots me and tell me, “Bachhe, tu bhi kar le ek beta. Teri ladkiyon ko ek bhai bhi mil jaana hai.”
The last time someone said so was in a birthday party and I just vanished from that spot jaise bhains ke sar se seengh. Or was that a gadha? Whatever! Later, the husband had complained that I left him alone with Chaturvedi aunty and her nuskas to conceive a beta. I heaved a sigh of relief and told him, “Had I stood there for another two minutes, she would have made me deliver the ‘beta’ right then and there.”
Few years ago, the first-born had asked me how will I karo the beta. And I had helplessly told her that I’ll use the technique of Goddess Parvati. I’ll use the turmeric paste I apply on my body to create the beta. To which she had responded saying she doesn’t want a yellow-yellow dirty fellow types bhai. Thank God! I was saved. She then believed that her little sister was created by Mommy using Himalaya Kesar Face Pack.
This morning they were watching a cartoon movie in which two fishes were smooching. Little Love went, “Chi chi, germs, germs, germs!” To which the big sister responds in an experienced lady-like tone, “Naa bachhe, no germs. They are inside water all the time, so germs get washed right away.” A little later, the female fish laid hundreds and hundreds of eggs which in no time hatched into tadpole like babies. The curious granny that Little Love is, she went like this. “How did the eggs get into her? When did the babies get into the eggs?”
Anu Di with a very serious face told her, “They mate and breed. All animals do. It is natural. Shweta ma’am told us. Just like humans. You won’t understand now. You have to reach fifth standard to understand this bachhe. Abhi aap bas movie dekho.”
I had to suppress my repeated urge to ask her a few questions about her knowledge levels.
Not sure whether I should be glad that she knows ‘somethings’ or I should be worried.
For now, I am just sipping my cuppa watching the soon-to-set sun.