Nov 6, 2017

Bonding over books

It was a lethargic Monday afternoon - the weather Gods haven’t decided whether it’s gonna be a rainy, gloomy day OR a bright, sunny day yet. My apartment was so cold that I couldn’t keep my feet on the floor. I nicely tucked myself inside a warm comforter, with my daughter D next to me taking a NAP…yes, you read that right. My 6-year old took an afternoon nap after so many months. The kitty cat was cuddled inside a blanket in the adjacent room.

Slowly, the clouds decided to give some space for the sun and the shiny rays started brightening my home. Our sunshine-loving cat became aware of this sudden change, that she wanted me to let her out to the balcony, so she could stretch her legs and continue her nap. D woke up from her nap and wanted idlis for lunch. We are a idli-crazy family and we don’t mind eating them ANYTIME during the day. Thankfully, I had some batter and quickly made a plate of mini idlis for her and a piping hot cup of chai for me. 

While she was eating her idlis, I was holding my hands along the sides of the hot cup to get some much needed warmth. Drinking tea is a sensorial experience, not just for its taste but for all the senses. Only a tea lover would get what I’m trying to say! :-) We both were quiet, no devices or TV to distract us - glancing through the balcony mesh door, admiring the sunshine and taking in the sounds of birds, car honking and the screeches from a drilling machine somewhere.

After finishing my chai, I opened the murder mystery thriller I’m currently reading - “Murder in Paharganj”. 

D slowly enquired, “What are you reading? Tell me the story”
“It’s a scary story, not for children”, I replied.
“No, I won’t feel scared. Tell me the story”, she insisted.

As I narrated a little bit of the story, she listened keenly. 
“Amma, read the story”, she ordered.
I continued reading in my mind. 
“No amma, you have to read like this”, she picked up the book and started reading a line from the page I was reading.

“His left hand lifted, trying to stop the bleeding; the pistol fell from the other hand as a result of shock and pain……”. 

I panicked and grabbed the book from her hand. 

“That’s enough, baby. This story is not for you”, I responded.  
“Ok, then I will pick up Turtles all the way down. You already finished it right?”

This little one reads comfortably these days and now wants to advance into my collection of books. :-)

This experience made me realize how much we bond over books. Our home is filled with books - her collection of Magic Pot Magazine subscriptions, Panchatantra, Aesop Fables etc scattered all over the rooms. We read every night before going to bed. She loves to lie down on my lap and listen to stories. Ever since she started reading on her own, she insists that I listen to her and not read my books during bedtime. She keenly observes the books I read - the title, the cover image, pictures (if any) and the phrases I underline. 

Little did I knew that I would find a good friend in my daughter, sharing common interests - be it our love for cooking, reading or even our craze for SRK movies! ;-)

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