So my six year old cousin was here for a few days and she’s just as chirpy and talkative as I am; the only difference being that she chirps with an accent! So here are a few snippets from the awesomely entertaining conversations I had with her!
As soon as I picked up Mami and the kids at the airport, Shwetha ran up to me and gave me a big tiny hug (she barely reaches up till my stomach!) and smiled! Vishnu on the other hand is not the kind who shows affection so openly and greeted me and Tatha (my maternal grandfather who was also at the airport) with a smile and a ‘hi.’
And from that moment till we reached home she was talking (continuously like me) about something or the other.
The first awesome thing she said to me was…
The witty one...
Me: Who's my sweetheart? (just trying to play with her…)
Her: I AM!!!! (shouting confidently!)
Me: Why you? (not even remotely expecting her to say what she did…)
Her: ‘Coz I’m the only one!!!!
Now bring me another six year old who can say that!!!!!
I'm American... Completely!
One afternoon, Mami, Nattu and I were getting ready to take the kids to the mall and I was narrating to Mami something that happened a while ago when she wasn’t there.
That afternoon there was Rasam, Rice and some vegetable curry for lunch and it took us (Nattu and me) a lot of effort and cajoling to get Vishnu and Shwetha to eat. Vishnu simply refused to eat for some odd reason and Shwetha wanted to have Pasta for lunch (which later changed to Maggi noodles) and said she wouldn’t eat anything else.
Poor Natasha was trying to explain to these little kids how important it is to have a balanced diet with all the nutrients (explaining to them the importance of each one in detail) to remain in good health which finally after about fifteen minutes of her lecturing (even I was getting bored) managed to have the desired effect and those two walked to the dining table to eat.
So while I was telling this to Mami, I was telling her how bored and irritated Natasha and I had got trying to explain to them that Pasta (and /or noodles) cannot be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner to which Mami asked me if they were troublesome (as it was only the both of us to take care of them.)
I told her that it was taxing to run after them but they weren’t troubling us; my choice of words being, “You have to run behind her (Shwetha) to convince her to eat normal food, but she’s not a bad kid!”
The two kids were listening to the conversation and Vishnu (just eleven) in response to my statement said, “Yeah! She’s not a bad kid; she’s just a bad example of a good kid!”
Mami and I looked at each other and then at the two kids, and before either of us could say anything; Shwetha came back with “Whatever!!!” in her typical American accent with both her hands thrown in the air and walked out of the room leaving us dumbfounded!
“Yeah! She’s American… not Indian at all,” was what Mami said!
Good, Goodder and Goodest!
For my dear Shwetha its better to use “Goodder” and while narrating a story to us about the Paandavaas and the Kauravaas, she made a statement saying that the Paandavaas were more goodder than the Kauravaas. Listen to her story... and watch her narrate...
When we replayed the video on TV to show it to her mom, Shwetha realized that she had pronounced it Arjun instead of Arjunaa and said, “It’s not Arjun, it’s Arjunaa!!!! What’s wrong with my brains????”
The Burping Train...
This little girl can burp on cue. She makes this face, lifts her eyebrows, and swallows something and ‘burp’ comes the sound! You have to see it to believe it!
Looks can be deceptive...
One evening after dinner, Nattu, Shwetha and I were sitting in my room and just after we had finished dinner and we asked her to do her burping thing again and she was at it when suddenly I burped and she thought even I was following her lead.
Looking at me burp, she says, “You can burp but your elder sister can’t,” as Natasha was making the bed and was apparently unable to do what Shwetha and I had so easily accomplished.
Surprised a little I corrected her saying, “She’s not my elder sister. I am the elder one.”
Now it was her turn to be confused and she addressed her confusion by asking me, “Then why does she look bigger????”
My younger sister is about two inches taller than I am.
Another Drama Queen in the house!
The two weeks that Vishnu and Shwetha stayed at our place Shwetha had her fun but Vishnu got a little bored. All he did was play Zoo Tycoon on the computer, watch National Geographic (or Discovery or Animal Planet) or Cartoon Network (Pogo, Nickelodeon, etc) which Shwetha also watched but then she had us to talk to and Vishnu was not that much of a talker.
We liked to hug and kiss the children whereas Vishnu being a boy was turning out to be a little shy and used to run away the minute he realized what Nattu and I were about to do. So our interaction with him was restricted to conversations. Whereas with Shwetha, it was like we had a live doll of our own!
So the bottom line was that Shwetha was having a lot of fun or rather she was not as bored as Vishnu probably was! One day when her dad (my mama) called and she was on the phone we heard her say, “I love you Appa. I’m missing you very much!” which was fine because though she had been in our house for a few days only, she had been in
She next went on to say that, “Appa, I’m not having fun here even a single day without you!!!”
Now that was a big fat LIE! She had been having fun the past few days and she’s buttering her father up by telling him she’s not able to have fun without him?? Wah! That was wonderful! That’s was we need now… one more Drama Queen in the family! (Kritika, don’t worry… no one can beat you!!!)
Thankfully, my mama knows his daughter only too well. And her intentions were not bad; just her exaggerated way of telling her father that she was missing him. And a very unique one indeed!!! ;-)
Kids get along very well with my father. Shwetha loves him a lot; so much that she won’t leave his side and will let him carry her in his arms at all times and never bother to get down (which made me a little jealous… :-p)
So since she was meeting him after almost two years, she was totally with him and wanted to spend all her time with him. To ensure that, she asked him, “Can I sleep with you Anil Atthimber?” (uncle – Atthai’s husband)
“You’ll have to ask your Atthai (aunt – father’s sister) beta,” my father told her, “If she has no problem then you can.”
Shwetha was in my parents’ bedroom and there, hung on the wall was a collage of pictures taken during my parents’ honeymoon. She looked at the collage and realized that the faces were familiar and understood who there were but thought that they looked different. So she asked my mother, “Atthai, is that you and Anil Atthimber long long ago???”
The day my dad arrived, we all went out for dinner and my dad sat at the head of the long table with Shwetha on his left and my mother on the right.
My mother and her father are siblings; Shwetha knows this and she also knows that her Atthai is my mother and her Anil Atthimber is my father.
After eating for a while she asks my father, “Anil Atthimber, why are you sitting next to my Atthai???”
My father replied saying that he was sitting next to my mother because she’s his wife. She pondered over it for a minute and established their connection in her head before she asked, “Then why are you sitting next to me???”
All of us went, “!?!?!?!?!?!”
The Curiosity continues...
After discussing and obtaining reasons for why my father was sitting next to my mother she asks another question to which we had no choice but to answer!!!
“Why is my Appa not my Amma’s boyfriend???”
We had to tell her that they were boyfriend and girlfriend for a few years before they became husband and wife!!! God! The things kids ask!!!
The Word War!!
You have to see this video to truly enjoy the funny and entertaining silly little word war both my sisters had!!!! And it was spontaneous… that’s what made it all the more fun to shoot and then watch all over again!
Lovely sister or Sisterly Love???
My darling little sister is the most affectionate kid her age I have ever met. She is a hugger like me, loves to cuddle and lets you know that she loves you and you are important to her.
Since I loved the way she talked, I used to let her talk to a few of my friends on the phone. Jyothi was on the phone one evening and they both spoke for sometime and then Shwetha handed the phone back to me and then it was Shwetha and I talking while Jyothi listened to our conversation through the phone.
Shwetha described her school (Parkmont) and was telling me about the kids she used to play with and she pronounced the English names with her American accent, and it was a delight to hear and she suddenly said, “I’m gonna miss you when I go back to Fremont,” and Jyothi went her usual “Achhooooo” (emphasizing on the ‘oooooooooooooo’ – that was Tamil/Malayalam for ‘Awww… that was sooo cute’ in English!)
During another incident, she was back in Chennai and we were speaking over the phone a day before supposed to leave to go back to the
“Tell me,” I told her.
“I love you akka,” she said!!!!!