Googly must now be a kid with a pair of glasses on her little nose staring intently at a book or doing her homework for school, but once this little girl was my playmate or rather a live toy living downstairs to our apartment. There was no logical reason to name her Googly, it was simply my obsession with cute little things that drove me and still drives me to call out puchu/puchi/ googly-poogly on seeing something absolutely adorable! And thus I have a couple of cuties under my aegis named Puchi and Googly.
It is funny how children respond to jokes made by adults. It was as if Googly had suddenly discovered that she could rotate her head and she was frantically spinning her head with an audience consisting of a hysterical me and my grandma. Granny stared at her for a second or two and with a concerned layered in her voice she said, “Eki eki, matha ta khule pore jabe to erom korle!!” (uh oh, your head will fall off if you spin it so much)(The translation might not seem very funny, but trust me googly’s reaction was priceless.)
To this, a slightly tipsy Googly stopped suddenly, and lightly tossing from side to side she checked the position of her head with both hands to see if it had fallen off in real!
Being a restless child myself I have heard of my monkeying around from everybody in the family, and to get me seated quietly was quite a challenge until one could come up with good stories or I could sit with some colour pencils and scribble sceneries- my favourite topic for painting. One fine day I remember drawing a large multi petalled flower with a fresh set of wax crayons that I had received from a relative that day itself. Maa came in to check what I was up to, and I showed her my piece of art. Seeing the flower, she commented that petals of a flower are usually one-coloured and unlike the one I had made in order to utilize all the shades of colour in the set. My rainbow flower also had black, since I had run out of other colours to fill in the last petal. In my defence I explained Maa that the flower is how I have created it, so it can be multicoloured, after a pause, she enquired about the black petal. I answered smartly, “Oi papri ta poche geche!” (That petal is rotten!).
I can’t recall what Maa’s expression was to my explanation, but now when I think of my straight cut replies and suggestions given to people around me during my early years of life, I simply can’t figure out how people put up with me or children with similar attributes.
With the fascination for colours that children have, they often tend to create a brightly coloured world around them. It was during one of our science classes at school at the age of 5-6, when we were asked to draw and colour a cat each. “One cat only, mind it! I don’t want to see five cats in one copy,” ordered Shivani ma’am, the strict teacher everyone was scared of. The reason for this command was that we were so fond of Science and Environment classes (particularly because of the amount of drawings we were allowed to do) that we would produce endless masterpieces for the teachers to inspect and give beautiful remarks. But little did the scary woman know that the kids would produce their artworks in a different form. I saw round moon-faced cats being sketched everywhere around me. And then the cats were painted red, yellow, green and blue by their owners! I had been sitting sadly looking at my monochrome cat- other than a pinch of black in her tail and ears my cat was simply white- colourless.
Then started the inspection when the teacher would come around to check everybody’s copy and give marks or remarks for their drawings. Shivani ma’am was furious and maybe she was laughing in her head witnessing the colourful blunders. She pulled the ear of the boy sitting next to me with a red cat, “Where have you seen a red cat? Tell me do you have red and green cats around?” she questioned him and the other rule breakers innocently gazing at her wide eyed.