I am woken up, not by the cooing sounds of the neighbourhood birds or the tooting of the chugging train from the nearby railway station. Instead, unlike a lot of you unluckily people, I am fortunate enough to be woken up by a melodious rendition of “The Circle of Life” from my dad's phone. “Oh, my eyes feel like they’ve been sealed shut” I think to myself as I try and peer through them. My ma’s beautiful face sports a smile as she sings along with the artiste and chorus. I give her a sleepy smile and extend my hands outwards asking her to pick me up, which she does promptly. In a matter of minutes, I find myself being stood at the edge of the oval-shaped washbasin and listening to what I am led to believe is a part of a famous nursery rhyme. When my ma coos “…this is the way we brush our teeth…brush our teeth…” I automatically display my teeth and say “eeeeeee…..” so that she can brush them. When I eventually do get tired, I spit out all the white foam, that I’ve been told helps keep all the germs at bay. After a quick rinse of my mouth, I find my pyjamas being yanked and my pee-laden diaper being stripped off. I am placed on my “potty-throne” and asked to do my business. But no, ma doesn’t leave me alone. She talks to me constantly, all through whilst I’m on the “hot seat”. And I listen, with a smile of course. As she continues to talk, without her noticing, I slowly extend my hand and grab hold of the spare tooth brush that my mom often uses to clean her earrings. Smiling innocently, I attempt to drop the brush through the gap between my “throne” and my thighs. "Nooooooo……!” screams Ma and springs forward. She manages to get hold of the tip of the brush before it disappears along with my “poo-poo”.
After being gifted a rather stern look, my soft behind is neatly washed and dried. As Ma fills up the bucket with warm water to give me a bath, I carefully sneak out to my nursery and get a handful of my toys to play with. I walk back to the bathroom with a plan to check if the rubber duck will float in the large oval shaped contraption, where I just went poo poo. Unsurprisingly, there is now a lid on it. Dejected, I throw my toys on the floor. Ma picks me up and places me on my “shower-seat” and starts the tedious process of cleaning me up.(Which by the way, I have never understood. Why take so much of pain to clean me up, when I am just going to get dirty again. Waste of time, if you ask me.) After my warm bath, I am given a nice pat down with a dry towel, and dressed up to go to school.
Pa enters through the main door, tired from his morning jog. I run towards him and ask him to pick me up. He refuses point blank and just collapses on the floor, a long red cable running all the way from the pocket of his shorts to both his ears. I am not sure what it is exactly, but I know it plays music. And I like music. I like to shake that “tooh”. I climb on top of him and sit on his stomach, which is hands-down the most comfortable seat in the house. During this period, Ma manages to get my breakfast ready and approaches me cautiously. Hearing her approach, I leap off Pa and run around to the sofa. Ma chases me around with a bowl full of this sweet, sticky, yet unappetising mixture of fruits and milk. This continues for about thirty minutes till the bowl is finally empty. But not all of it has been consumed by me. Half the mixture has been stuffed into my mouth, a quarter of the mixture is on the floor and the remaining is on the sofa and other furniture pieces around the house. Letting out a deep sigh, Ma wipes my face and removes the plastic bib from around my neck. I flash her my sweetest smile, as I stamp my feet on a puddle of this sticky mixture. “Sid, take him away, please !” says Ma through clenched teeth as she hastily cleans up the base of my shoe.
Pa carries me up to the lift and we slowly travel down to the ground floor. En route, we meet a lot of interesting people - the grandpa from the sixth floor who is always smiling at me, the aunty with her huge handbag which could very well be my next hiding spot and the uncle who hands me a chocolate bar, which my Pa quickly pockets. Downstairs, my school van is waiting, and we rush towards it. As we approach, the door opens and my regular “aaya” smiles at me. Pa hands me over and shuts the door. He waves me good bye. I flash him a really toothy smile and wave good bye with the chocolate bar that I successfully retrieved from his back pocket.
Play-school is a fun affair. Four hours of fun and games with lots of singing and dancing. And then of course sleeping. This is yet another thing that I don’t get. I guess Pa and Ma sends me off to school so that they can get some peace and quiet. They probably hope that by the time I get back from school, I am really tired and I would just want to sleep. But that’s where they are wrong. I am growing up now, so I sleep less. And after all the excitement of school, I hardly want to sleep. But I do take a nap in the van on my journey back home. As we enter the apartment enclave, I see Pa waiting for me in front of the building. He is busy tapping away on his phone. You know, one of these days, I am going to try and throw that from the balcony. He is always busy on the phone. As Pa picks up my bag, I run into the building and say “tata” to the lovely security lady who sits at our reception. I run up to the lift and press the button. Pa hates it that I am now tall enough to reach the lift buttons. As we reach our flat, Ma joins us from her office for lunch. I’ve already eaten at school, so I just run around looking for ideas as to how I can mess up the house that the maid has just cleaned.
Whilst Pa and Ma have their lunch, I sit quietly watching TV along with them. After all, I think they deserve to get some energy in them, considering that I am soon about to make their life a bit more entertaining. Ma changes my diaper and leaves soon after. To an innocent bystander, it might appear that I’m waving her “tata”. But the truth is that I am secretly plotting my next adventure. As Pa works from home, after a few minutes of playing with me, he soon returns to his online world. I don’t know what he does, but he is always furiously typing away. I decide to give him some “him-time” before I intervene. So I entertain myself for the next half hour or so, picking up all my toys, throwing them around and figuring out how to open them up.Thats when I spot my new best friend, lying all alone, in a corner under the cupboard. I slowly crawl under the cupboard and retrieve a closed ball-point pen. Popping the cap open, I look around to find a blank canvas to display my artwork. I decide that the best place would be the recently painted walls and commence work on my piece of art. After a while, probably having realised that I had been unusually quiet, Pa comes searching for me. His jaw drops on sight of my “amazing” squiggly lined art work. Screaming my name out loud, he lunges at me trying to grab hold of the pen. Giggling, I jump on the bed and disappear into my tent filled with plastic balls.
With a sigh, Pa gets a cloth and a mug filled with water to try and wipe my artwork off the wall. Muttering a series of words under this breath, he sits on the small stool and starts cleaning the walls. I cautiously make my way across to where he sits and dip my tiny hands into the mug. In my desperation to free my hands before Pa notices, I trip the mug and out goes the water gushing all over the floor. Cursing, this time not under his breath, Pa hurries in to the kitchen balcony to get the mop. (I can’t understand this fixation that grown-ups have with a bit of water needing to be cleaned up promptly. I see them flocking to swimming pools and beaches, yet a tiny bit of water on the floor, and all hell breaks loose) As he goes about cleaning this small pool of water, I walk out from my nursery and into the bedroom. His empty seat beckons me. Recently, Pa raised the height of the table, and I’m no longer able to reach the keyboard even on my tiptoes. But now that I can climb chairs, only very few things are out of my reach.
When Pa comes back to the room in few minutes, he discovers me busy at work on his keyboard, typing away furiously. Hollering my name, Pa rushes to the table. As I braze myself for a tight whack on my behind, all I hear is a loud whimper. I open my eyes to find Pa sprawled on the bed, clutching his ankle. I suddenly feel sad for him and flash him one of my cheekiest smiles. However instead of smiling at me, he glares at me. For a minute, I almost feel that he thinks I caused his accident. But then, my attention is quickly captured by a series of loud pings from his laptop. And then, the faces of two lovely ladies and a handsome cartoon man pops up. Before I can admire them any longer, Pa picks me off the chair and places me roughly on the floor. But not before I manage to nick his mouse. As he sits there frantically looking for it, I casually stroll out to the living room dragging the mouse behind me.