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She and I played with the baby. We bounced him about. I tried to tell him stories but I couldn’t make him smile. Then the conversation of scars came about. He was nine months old. He had no clue, yet, what scars meant. And she and I gave him a 5 minute crash course on physical and emotional scars. His big eyes became bigger. His mother laughed.

‘Just crazy aunties,’ I told his mother. We might have been inappropriate.

Were we being morbid? I don’t think so. Are there things you don’t tell a kid? I hope he listens carefully and someone or the other tells him the truth always.

My niece came over the other day. I noticed how babies tend to follow their natural instinct. I tried to carry her and she screamed a no. I didn’t challenge her word and let her go. She has been this way for a while now. She turns two years in three days and she has refused advances or me picking her up. I try to take her word for it. But often adults around nudge her to give in. Till now, I have put my foot down and respected her wishes.

Why do we force them to give up on their instinct? I wish she holds onto hers.

My neighbour’s daughter is around 7 years old. She is a bright and adorable kid. She came with me and the dog for a walk the other day. The dog has been struggling a little. But she loves kids and I love seeing her with them. The three of us sat on the footpath below the building, like the dog loves to do. Every statement I made she responded with a ‘why’. Initially, I answered very patiently which gave her the encouragement to continue asking more questions. But eventually, I got tired. I almost asked her to shh. Then I realised often adults stop asking questions after a point. This habit actually frustrates me a decent bit. For I imagine that if we all asked questions, the world would be a different place.

How can I whine about adults not asking questions if I teach a child not to ask them? I hope she keeps asking questions. More and more.

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‘I don’t know much about you. Do you like snow or do you prefer the rain? I’ve always preferred the rain. Though the gutter water mixing with the rain water was always a tad gross.

I don’t know if you like it when your eyes meet a stranger’s across the room and you smile fleetingly? There is magic in that moment for the world dissolves enough for you to focus all the positivity from within to share a smile at a stranger.

I don’t know if you like coffee or tea? Do you smoke or drink scotch? I don’t know if you prefer books or movies based on books? If it is one way, it could be blasphemy and I am not sure that I would handle that well.

You don’t know much about me, either. Were you wondering all this too?’ I asked.

‘You said more about yourself in the questions you asked than you realise,’ he replied.

He listened closely and read enough between the lines.

I just smiled.

‘So tell me more about yourself,’ he said with a laugh.