Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lucky Ducks!

Kids are darn lucky! Their biggest concern in this world is whether or not they would get another slice of that amazing chocolate cake. Any post that they ever receive is always good news - a letter from a friend, a greeting card, an invitation to a birthday party! They can run across the garden in their underwear, caring two hoots about what the neighbours might think of their chubby thighs. When kids are unwell, everything comes to a virtual halt except for mum and daytime television. They can find a coin on the pavement and feel rich; they can find a bone on the road and feel like Indiana Jones. The reason why kids are always so happy is because they put their heart and soul into everything they do. They live in the moment without any repentance of the past or worry for the future. In a sense, they are right- if we play, eat, cry and love the way kids do, time and money no longer hold any meaning.

Experienced, overheard, observed. Highly amused, slightly alarmed.

Our neighbour’s five-year old loves playing doctor. Maybe she is just intrigued by them, maybe all kids are, thinking they have supernatural powers – the way they just know when kids are faking a bad tummy-ache to get out of school. Or maybe they are just bad actors! But either way, I got to witness how kids try imitating older people around them and just how observant they are, when I was sitting over at their place a few days back. She sat behind a desk, looking sternly across the room, as if daring people to confront her with their health problems. The setup was complete – little chits of white paper uneven at the edges, thick glasses on her nose that kept slipping off at the drop of a hat, or a turn of the head, rather. A white dupatta on her shoulders probably compensated for not owning a white lab coat. Her first patient was her dad, who probably thought he’d humour her for a while.
 ‘I have a problem, Doc,’ he started.
 ‘Of course, why else would you be here,’ said the polite little brat.
 ‘Yes, please, I have other customers waiting.’
 ‘My right arm has been hurting since yesterday.’
 ‘Oh, that’s all?’ She grabbed a pen. ‘Take amoxee … amockcy… err, four apples a day for two days. That will be Rs 50. And next time onwards, please come to me with a real problem, like cancer or heart attack or something, so that I make more money.’
 ‘Sure, my little well-wisher…’ I thought I heard him mutter.