Cool at the top

Curious, inquisitive, probing, enquiring and talkative – these are hallmarks of the present day children. And my 7-year-old grandson is an example; like him there could be many such kids. ‘Tata, why is Jupiter bigger than earth?’ he asked me the other day. I did not even know that Jupiter was bigger than earth so how can I tell him as to why it is bigger.

I was simply floored. As if that was not enough he wanted to know why the black holes were far away. He seemed to be light years ahead of me in astronomy. One day when it was raining he came to me in all earnestness and wanted to know who was putting rain from the top. Before I could even think of a plausible explanation he wanted to know how water was made. I wish I knew the answers. I dodged both the questions.

God seems to have fascinated him at this age itself. Walking past a nearby temple he asked ‘Tata, why is god silent? Is it because he is made of stone?’ And at another point of time he wanted to know if he could see god. Now this was a simple question for me to answer. So I said ‘no.’ ‘Can he see me?’ he asked me next. ‘Of course’I said. ‘Then is he very powerful?’ he asked.

Fortunately for me his enquiring mind turned elsewhere, thank god for that. Used to four languages at home Marathi, Kannada, English and Hindi he wanted to know the other day in what language did gods talked.

On the Ganesha Chaturthi day he asked me the age of Ganesha. When I told him there was no age for Ganesha he asked: ‘Then why celebrate his birthday?’ The answer is GOK – god only knows. Used to move around in a car he once had a scooter ride. The 360 degree view from the scooter had thrilled him. Back home after the ride he told his mother in an excited voice: ‘Wow! There were windows all around.’ And he could express it so figuratively. Always lost in thoughts of his own once he responded to his mother at her third attempt. When his angry mother asked ‘How many times I have to call you?’ he said nonchalantly ‘Three times’. The other day while shopping his mother gave the shopkeeper a hundred rupee note and got back four ten rupee notes as change. Watching this he exclaimed:  ‘Wow! Amma, we gave one money and got four moneys back!’ A visit was planned for the next day and was all excited. ‘You are going tomorrow’, he was told the previous night. The next morning, as soon as he got up, he asked: “Is today tomorrow, Amma?”

He had fever one day and his mother felt his forehead and said it was warm. He was given a dose of medicine. Next morning he felt his forehead and told his mother: Amma, it is all cool at the top. It takes me back to our days of childhood. Those were the times when parents believed that children knew nothing. And they need to be snubbed. Did we not know at all? We did not know because as children we were never encouraged to ask questions. Today’s children belong to a different genre. So lucky.

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