What is this ?


The nephew was here. And the past week was perhaps the fastest to slip away in a very long while !

Between playing, running around, providing for, and keeping a watch, there was very little time to do much else. He flew back yesterday. The marks that he left behind stay. Like the fingerprints on the TV, as he tried to knock it down !

With children, there is constant wonder. About the simple things in life. Things that adults have either taken for granted, or have an ‘established view’ in their minds. Established and firmly set.

One of the constant questions that seeped through this babble, was ‘What is this ?’ ! Pointing at several things. Including : Moon. Sun. Horses. Sea. Car. Bike. TV. Mountain. The missus.

In any case those are the elements that resonate very well with him. The last one included.

( A little short of two years, he hasn’t yet gone to Facebook to engage in very intelligent games like..”take this quiz to find out what kind of animal are you”. Or something like that. Thankfully.)

For now, it was easy to answer those questions. Giving him the labels. As he points to the moon, and asks ‘What is this ?’, you say : ‘Moon’ ! And he goes ‘moooooon’.

He is satisfied. But it sets me thinking. As to what really the moon is all about ! Or the disappearing hills around Mumbai, which he exclaims with a ‘WoW…Mooounnntaaain’ !

He still hasn’t got the complete hang of pronouncing all words and sounds. While in most parts the mispronouncing is hilarious, in other parts it is very, well, philosophical. What would you say, if he pronounced ‘purse’ as ‘curse’ !

And so it has been easy. To answer the ‘What is this?’ with just labels. And have him being reasonably satisfied with that. In some time, he isn’t going to be satisfied with just those labels.

He will dig for more. I hope to ready with answers, by then.

For instance, I am reasonably sure that someday he is going to ask me with a slant of disdain ‘what is this’ at how the world has been treating the environment.

Oh yes, as he pointed to me, and asked : ‘what is this’, i gulped.

“Kaaaviiii” is what he went with. The next time, he points to me and asks that question, i hope to have figured out a few things.

Seems like quite an ask though.

23 thoughts on “What is this ?

  1. Questioning is always good because it shows the emptiness And eagerness for growth.

  2. Titaxy says:

    kids are just too cute and curious aren’t they?… 🙂

  3. aativas says:

    Enjoyed ‘what is this’.. Unfortunately when we grow old, we forget to ask this question.. we start acting as if we know everything! And the Facebook reference was good to bring another smile…

  4. P says:

    oh yes! Kids are curious and that does kind of make your day an adventure.. did for me! My little cousin would ask me some very pointed questions ….some benign while others potent!!
    For the potent ones… I had to improvise real fast to shield her from the harsh truth! Sometimes ignorance is a small price to pay for innocence! Besides I was not prepared enough to discuss the birds and bees story!!! 😛

  5. Thanks for the wonderful time there. Now, Krrish is able to relate Mumbai (“Bombay”) to Periyappa (“Pipiya”) and Periyamma (“P’Ma”). 🙂

  6. Neha says:

    this post reminds me of an incident…thr is a kid in my neighbourhood…she has just learnt to form sentences couple of months bck…n she keeps asking the name of the person…one fine morning she comes home and asks my father in law, dadu, dadi ka naam kya hai? n he said hidimba…from that day she started callin my mother in law hidimba…it took my mother in law 10 whole days to make her understand that her name is not hidimba 🙂

    thank u for ths post 🙂

  7. Nice post kavi….but every word they speak is music!!

  8. bodaat says:

    i love how inquisitive children are! although i do sometimes get tired of all of the questions. 🙂

  9. Swatantra says:

    What is this? That’s the way kids make their vocabulary.. some they ask, some they observe and speak and then we wonder oh we use these words.. Lovely post reminded me of the days when Siddharth was two year old..

    Picture is nice.. would have loved to see the picture of Krrish also..

  10. Dipping
    a curious
    chubby finger
    in that knowledge jam,
    he smiles
    and licks it..
    As he explores
    places to run
    places to hide
    places to play,
    a knee to rock,
    a lap to sleep,
    a shoulder to
    rest a tired cheek.

    The cars,
    the mountains,
    the television,
    the sun and moon,
    the sea and the trees,
    not to forget
    the uncle and aunt,
    breathe deeply
    relaxing momentarily,

    They all realize that
    WHAT ?
    will shortly
    turn into
    WHY ?

    🙂

  11. sujata says:

    Their questions make us proud, irritate us, embarras us, at times changes our outlook and at times is our conscience, The day they stop asking, maybe is the day, they give up on us..

  12. Aparna says:

    What is this soon changes to why is it like this. Then the answers are no longer straight forward. Try answering if God loves all of us equally, then why are so many children begging on the streets while I am travelling by car.( My daughter, when she was 5.)

  13. It’s beautiful to look again at things you don’t think about anymore and wonder for yourself, “what is this?”… sometimes the answers surprise us.

  14. manju says:

    An enjoyable week, obviously! Are you still trying to find answers for the questions your nephew posed?:)

  15. ♥ Braja says:

    They always ask the wrong questions, don’t they ….
    :)))
    Great shot Kavi 🙂

  16. Sujatha says:

    What am I to Who am I. Not far to go. Just as difficult to answer. Have you been to the Ramana Maharshi Ashram?

  17. yes, the next stage will be ‘why???’….. for everything!! Best of luck….be ready for that!

  18. Sriram says:

    lovely post. kids and their questions! this post reminds me of my younger bro and his questions when he was little. 🙂

  19. Aleta says:

    What a precious post! The simplicity of innocence is a beautiful thing and as simple as it seems, it can bring to mind complex ideas. Your words do much justice!

  20. nsiyer says:

    nice post Kavi. Truly, child is the father of man.
    Enjoyed the thought and how you progressed with that.

  21. Shaili says:

    somethings neva change…. i still look at a lotta things and wonder ‘what is this?’
    no actually, whys have replaced my whats…
    neway, nice post, Kavi

  22. Kavi says:

    Hobo : Ofcourse ! Ofcourse !

    Titaxy : Ofcourse, they are just too cute and curious !

    Aativas : Thank you. And ofcourse, we forget that question. And therein starts all our problems. And i am puzzled no end with those games on FB ! 🙂

    P : Ah, the Birds and Bees story can be quite a bee in the bonnet ! It takes quite something to grapple with and come up with quick answers. Well, all the best !! 🙂

    Kamal : 😀

    Neha : Thanks ! for the Hidimba story. Its almost the same in my case too !! 🙂

    NR : Yes. Any sound that comes from them is music indeed !

    Bodaat : Well, the questions can be tiring, for we have gone past them and forgot the inquisitivenss that can get us great answers. At least, thats how i have explained my own tiredness !!

    Swatantra : I am sure it would have reminded you of his 2 year old days !!!! I am sure !!

    Ugich Konitari : Fantastic ! As usual ! And yes, that the ‘why’ explains the trepidation that i have !! 🙂

    Sujata : Well said ! And yes, thats when most people are supposed to have ‘grown up’ ! After reading your comment, i wonder…if their ‘growing up’ is really a sort of a ‘giving up’ on us all!

    Aparna : yes..It will soon become Why ! And thats something that scares me. OOOh.. those were some questions indeed.

    Christine : Hmm. Well, the answers never fail to surprise me ! At all ! And sometimes the process of looking it up in a new way is all more of a pleasure !

    manju : Well, they were a pleasure when he asked. And some questions still ring the air !!

    Braja : Thank you indeed !!

    Sujatha : yes. yes. I have read quite a bit about Ramana Maharishis works. I havent been there myself.

    Roshini : 🙂 I have been forewarned. All the preparation in the world isnt going to get me ready for that i guess !!

    Sriram : Thank you indeed. Glad that it brought so many memories for you !

    Aleta : Thank you ! Your generous appreciation is much appreciated ! 🙂

    NS.Iyer : Thanks sir !

    Shaili : Yes. And thats where he will get to too ! And yes, i am trying to get ready for that ! 🙂

  23. Kavi,

    Wonderful post~! It made me nostalgic. I enjoyed each and every activities of my neices and nephews when I was young. Now hate to say that I am not having enough time to relish those. When my older one was young in his days, I admired. If I admire the words of my younger one, the older one is getting jealous. What to say? Parenting is getting difficult. Thanks for making me to pause for a moment and think about kids. I repeat you have developed a great style. I could understand the sattire in you when you had mentioned about the future of question of your nephew regarding the environment. Great thinking and writing. Keep it up Kavi. I have not been reading all your post in the recent days. I shall go one by one and pass my comments. Give me some time. Your post should not be read in a great hurry. So waiting for some good time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.