New runners for new tracks

‘Lets tickle the sky’ papa she says. I look up from the book that nestles in my hand. I smile. I wonder where she picked that up from. I put the book away and ask, ‘How do you do that?’ Am genuinely curious.

She doesn’t wait for me. She throws her three year old hands into the air and jiggles her tiny fingers looking up into the sky. I break into a smile and do the same. She smiles. We both laugh. She laughs because she is happy. I laugh with a singular knowledge that everything that needs to be accomplished in the world is done. For if you could tickle the sky, of all things, well, nothing else remains.

‘She jumps on a whim these days’, I tell the missus over a sepulchral coffee. “Tomorrow is her sports day. I hope you remember”, she says. Silence ensues. Her silence is her way of letting me know that I am not as involved as I ought to be.

“Of course”, I say. “Its on my calendar”. After a reasonably pronounced sip of chaste filter coffee, she adds, ‘well she has grown taller’. I want to say ‘I noticed’, but then bite my lip. Some lessons stay. I bite my lip harder. A mute testimony to my growing up.

The little miss doesn’t care about the silly thoughts that run aground our minds, as she jumps of the sofa with an alacrity of a Kangaroo. “Kang-a-loo” she yells. She still cant get the ‘r’. Landing a stingy meter short of the spot where the the settee begins. The missus gasps every time the little ‘Kanga-al-looo’ takes off.

The sports day arrives with nonchalant ease. I finish up as much of the work that I can. As early as I can and land up at the venue. With a nervous twitch of the finger I switch off the phone and look around to see where the little miss is and what all she is upto. From afar, I spot her. Playing with her friends. I smile. I climb on to what seems to be a ledge of sorts and strain my neck to get a better view.


The teachers and staff at her school put up a stellar show. To handle one toddler is a sapping experience for me. To handle a hundred or so, must sure be an ask. But they do a super job. But as sapping it is, the fulfillment at the end of the day is an indescribably happy feeling. A sudden feeling of envy creeps out and weaves itself around the teachers. As they run, jump and lead the toddlers. Smiles hold steady sway over the December morning.

The little miss first is part of an aerobic dance. A dance that is imperfect in synchrony but is enough to set the hearts of all parents gathered there afire. The imperfection is a joy to behold. As wobbly hands and toddler legs balance slender torsos aiming to catch the beat of a catchy song. The little miss is right at the centre. We look at each other. Me and the missus. And smile. No words are spoken.

I rush to another part of the gallery. Whipping out the ipad to record her first performance before an audience. A joyous rush gets the heart to beat faster. I shoot a video. The aerobic dance is over as quickly as it began. So it seems. When you know that you wish for the event to linger for longer, you realise its tugged your heart. Today the gluttonous seeking of happiness remains unsatiated. For, soon its time to go home.

A few hours later. I call up my mom. I speak rather calmly. I try to. So I think. I tell her about the exploits of her grand daughter at her first sports day. A public performance. Plus, two races ‘won’. She speaks with joy. And has a volley of questions about the event. After hearing them all, she says, ‘its like yesterday that I came to YOUR first sports day. How time flies”. Silence engulfs the airwaves. She breaks the silence in a bit. “Do you have pictures?”

“I am uploading a video ma. You can stream it soon” I say. As a tiny trickle sits on the ledge of the eye, threatening to stream down my cheek. Its a wholesome melancholic mixture. Of missing. Of longing. Of celebration. Of hope. Of the future with the past in tow. Or maybe its about the past with the future etching its presence. She often tells us ‘Life is a relay’ with a straight face and sane voice. ‘Me and dad have run our part. The baton is in your hands now’.

I strike the upload button with vigour. Am sure as the video streams down from the cloud, it will make her day. Stuff from an unseen cloud will tickle the sky. Her sky.

There are new runners emerging in the family. New runners for new tracks.

11 thoughts on “New runners for new tracks

  1. suranga date says:

    Hoisted on the shoulders of an amazing family, immediate and extended, she has clearly mastered how to reach for the skies. Kavi, you are in the wrong career. You need to be in one that celebrates your ability to paint in words . (Not walls). Best wishes to the little champion !

  2. Kavi Arasu says:

    Thank you for all the support all through the years Suranga. She is reaching for the skies and is often keen on showing me the view. And it is a spectacular view. I hear your views about the career. It is getting louder and louder voice within me as well! 🙂 Thanks a ton for the best wishes. Will pass it on!

  3. Lovely post, Kavi! As Suranga says, you are a master painter with words!

    Best wishes to the little one, and may she continue running swift and true.

  4. Kavi Arasu says:

    Thank you Manju. Thanks indeed. Treasure your comments and wishes. As always. Will look forward to meet you soon.

  5. mahilchi says:

    Wishing the little one the very best.

  6. Kavi Arasu says:

    Thanks a ton Macha! Thanks indeed

  7. Meenakshi Iyer says:

    Even without seeing her dance or run…I have the tears running down my cheeks – unable to fathom if it’s because I missed the PT Usha in the making or because if she runs that fast her plump athai will not be able to catch her 🙂
    Infact the whole sports day is a fine reminiscence of our childhood activities. Seeing the kids run around, fall, shrug the dust off their dress and run again without any expectation of winning…they want to run only because everyone else in their class is doing so – all this is so endearing.
    Children charm their way in to our life! With them we get new relations, new responsibilities and we learn new ways of being / staying happy.
    I am not sure whether aunty (your mom), you, Shanti and I went through the same emotions when we saw / heard of the sports day events yet I am confident we all are beguiled by parenthood!!
    One more thing, please record the Kanga’loo’ for us, ‘coz when she grows up and pronounces it correctly, that, I am sure, would not be as delightful…
    Lots of love and tons of kisses for Kayal…

  8. Kavi Arasu says:

    Dont they charm in and teach us a heap? They do it so seamlessly and effortlessly. I am trying hard to record Kanga-looo. It is a tough. The little miss is camera shy and all that! 🙂 Treasure your wishes. As always.

  9. Niru says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with us. Loads of love and hugs for kayal.

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