Days turn into nights. And nights lead to day. The repetitive patterns that lead to the next day, the next week, the next month and the next year form a beautiful facade that keeps in obscurity the years that speed by.
Then the years reveal themselves. Sometimes the mirror tells the story. As a stray strand of grey morphs into a lock of plentiful grey. When a parent passes away, the realisation is stark. When a friend passes away, it is pronounced. The parting of the beautiful facade, often comes in a reality check, happening in sorrowful environs.
Sometimes they do in moments of pure joy. Especially, if you have a little daughter like mine.
So the little miss has been going to school. She enjoys it and has had a great deal of fun thus far. One day in the last week, after a long and tiring day, I creep into bed. Long after the little miss’s bed time. As the silence beckons me further into slumber, she wakes up. Realising that I have crept in and wakes me up too, demanding that the lights come on.
She is all excited and she wants to show me her ‘Pink Pony’. She opens her palm to reveal a small piece of plastic. I see the effect of her clutching it hard are showing on the palm too. The Pink Pony spread some pink to her palm as well. She obviously has been waiting to show me. ‘Aryan gave it to me papa’ she said. In sleep soaked excitement. I gave her a bear hug ad asked ‘was it his birthday today?”
“No Appa”. She says. A tad disappointed and perhaps surprised at an antiquated line of thought.
“He gave it only to me”. She says with emphasis on the ‘only’.
“Ah”. I say.
With curiosity dripping out of every word I ask , ‘That sounds like fun. Tell tell me, tell me more’
“Because I like pink colour Appa”. And that was that.
With those words she slips back into sleep. Clutching the pink pony and happy that her little secret was no longer just hers. I stare at her for a while and switched off the lights. Her innocence and joy override my tired mind.
The next morning comes with the precision that is customary. The missus catches me shooting darts into the clouds. “Thinking of the Pink Pony?”, she asks. “It is some toy that they give out in a Fast Food chain”, she says. I smile. I am thinking of something else.
She knows me well by now. She jumps tracks and joins my train of thought.
“She is no longer the tiny toddler that you carried on the sling” she says. I smile. “She is not the toddler who would purr like a cat to get some milk”.
I nod my head in silence. Even as I soak up the Pink Pony moment, I realise, it was riding away into the inner whorls of memory. The simplicity of childhood, the sincerity of affection and the joys of watching kids growing up, can be the best way to age gracefully. Even as day turns to night and night to day, children add a rich melodrama to a vague momentum. And that is precious.