Have you watched the TV Serial called ‘Small Wonder’? A small girl played the role of a robot named Vici. I used to love this serial as a kid. Mannu, at times seems to me like the re-incarnation of Vici. Hey hold on, don’t worry! Mannu cannot read a book just by flipping though its pages or lift a Sofa or anything of the sort. Some traits of Mannu’s remind me of Vici.
For instance, I call out to her from the kitchen. Like an obedient robot she comes, “Yes Mama”.
Me: “Mannu, Can you get some carrots out of the fridge for me?”
Mannu: “Carrots from fridge” (with a nod and takes a right about turn, reaches the fridge)
Mannu:”Mamma, where in the fridge?”
Me: “In the bottom most compartment”
Mannu:” Ok, in the bottom most compartment” (Again with a nod)
She always likes to take instructions or learn rules and abide by them. Tammu creates her own rules and follows her heart. Mannu uses her mind more. (I feel)
Mannu wakes up every morning, opens her crib herself. Pulls her pant down, removes her diaper, pulls the pant back up, throws her diaper in dustbin, and straight away goes to pick her toothbrush. (Have I programmed her too much?) But I have not taught her anything extra than I did to Tammu. Tammu on the other hand, does not get up until called out a million times. I ask her to open her crib herself and she reminds me – “Main pawn hoon na?” (Pawn meaning small). Mannu gives Tammu her toothbrush. She will lay down lethargically here and there until either Abbas or I raise our voice for her to hurry up. On a weekend, Mannu even gave Abbas his toothbrush on the bed and he thought I had taught Mannu to do so! (Abbas firmly believes that Military is the best place for Mannu to be)
Now coming to her theorems…
It all started when we were travelling in Bulu and Mannu asked “Why is Bulu moving so fast?” (Which is an unlikely event in Bangalore traffic) I said “Because there is no traffic”
That lead to her deducing her first ever theorem – “Traffic nahi hai – zor se zor se jaata hai, traffic hai – slowly slowly jaata hai, Na Mamma?” Now she repeats it all the time when in Auto or Bulu.
One day at a traffic signal – “Mamma, traffic to nahi hai. To auto kyu nahi ja raha hai?” (Why is auto not moving even when there is no traffic?”
I then taught her the concept of traffic signal. Nowadays, after dictating her theorem, she announces “Ebaar thingle (signal) bolbo. Red means Stop, Green means Go, Amber means Get Ready”
Then I turn towards Tammu and ask her “Tammu, signal bolo na?” She replies “Mereko pata nahi hai Mamma”. I say “Tujhe pata hai. Bol na plz.” She’ll say “Kya roz roz bolne ka? Main kabhi kabhi bolungi.” I silently thank God for creating them so different. We actually enjoy their differences as their varied persona influence each other.
Concluding this post with two other theorems:
After picking them up from daycare, I buy two hot Kachoris from a Rajasthani shop nearby and get in to an auto. While we munch on the yummilicious Kachoris, like a Dutiful Daddy’s Daughter Mannu asks “Baba ke liye liya?” I tell her “Nahi. Baba late aayenge. Isiliye nahi liya”
Bang comes her new theorem: “Late se aane se nahi lenge. Jaldi aane se lenge. Na Mamma?”
I was singing lullaby after lullaby to put them to sleep. They were whispering and sleep eluded them. I had plans of baking after they slept coz there was a snack party next day at their school where they were supposed to share their fav snack with friends. I murmured to myself “Ayyo, if these girls slept soon, I could go and bake”. I heard Mannu’s next theorem: “Jaldi sleeping kiya to mamma cake banaayega, der se sleeping kiya to mamma cake nahi banaayega”