Children are magic. Their laughter surreptitiously dispels vacuity. Bland walls become vivid. And in their being themselves, they do so much more to the average adult than an average adult can ever realise. Except when there are poignant magical moments of reflection. One such is when this is getting penned.
There are many things that get the daughter excited these days. Topping the list, is helping her draw and imagine stuff on something that was called “Magic Slate” in my wonder years. Much coveted those days. Perhaps more coveted, now.
Two diametrically opposite sketches bring her untold joy. One is that of the ‘cat’, made by drawing a set of circles. And another, a pencil diagram that represents our family. The realisation that ‘diametrically opposite’ is a neat pun, came much after it jumped off the keyboard. So, unintended.
A set of fat circles is all it takes for a cat to jumps to life. One for the head. A much larger one for the body. A couple more for the eyes. A couple of triangles make the ear and then I pause for a poignant moment for her to shout out “SMILE”, to begin sketching the mouth, of course with the smile. Its a great fun till the time she asks for the repeat of the picture for the 267th time, which is when it gets a tad boring.
The pencil thin family picture is an all time favourite that I can go on far beyond the 267th time. So can she. The ‘pencil thin’ holds substantial allure for all of us. Me, the missus and the daughter.
For me and the missus, ‘pencil thin’ it is a perpetually moving target. Moving farther and further away, not only from spheres of possibility but almost also from allure! I have been telling people “Not being pencil thin is OK. “Pencil think” is worrisome”, I say often. With an emphasis on the first half of the sentence!
There is no part in that pencil image that resembles us. Those of you that pause and point to my fast balding head, well, you guys are smart, knowledgeable and very sharp. And bloody cruel!
But what gives me hope and lightens the soul in proportions that can mildly be described as ‘epic’ is this: the daughter doesn’t care. Every time the family makes an appearance on the magic slate, there is incessant clapping and the occasional roll-on-the-floor laughter. I roll on the floor laughing too. At times, I wonder why she laughs like that. But these days, I nip these thoughts in the mind even as they appear.
This is a golden age. She is two years and a few months. Every dear friend, acquaintance, passerby and the dhobi have told me in no uncertain terms, repeatedly, that this time defines ‘time of life’! Of course, I have taken this seriously. Or at least, tried to.
Occasionally, my thoughts dart to wonder where our leaner selves went. Consumed by an inexplicably unbeatable combination of inviting diets, salubrious slumber and accouterments that many of you know only too well. Life’s experiences get us to bloat! While the bloating in the body is obvious, what happens in the mind is a bit of magical treachery!
It hurts going down that road.
Am turning right back there in this post, to turn the spotlight on an already bright area: reckless vivid imagination in a kids mind. That rich uncorrupted pure terrain, which imagines well and implicitly, trusts everything that is offered, without judgement.
And these days when the daughter laughs at the picture, I laugh too. Sometimes at the end of it all, I feel lighter. At times I wonder how wonder it would be if all the laughter helps dissolve some fast growing fat. Only to realise quickly, that it does dissolve some silly accumulations in the mind.