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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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When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Eyes of cruelty,

Or does innocence speak?


How do you satisfy those niggling doubts?

Hiding behind your valour

and everyday, mundane clout.


How do you calm the monsters in your head?

Reminding you of your insufficiency

and that go to bed with you each day.

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My watch’s strap broke; it fell to the ground. Before I could pick it up, her 4 inch heels cracked its glass. She just stared at me, unapologetic. I stared from the shattered watch to her white face. Yes, white. Probably from a thick layer of foundation. I never really understood make up. As a child, I watched, bewildered, when my mother put foundation on her face before weddings or other fancy outings. The foundation never really made it to the neck. Just the face. Leaving the neck and face in two very different colour schemes. I was scared of my mother back then and even now. So I never asked her, ‘Why not the neck?’

I obviously couldn’t pop this question to this tall stranger. She didn’t seem scary but even my socially awkward self was sure it was inappropriate. Plus, there was the added disadvantage of staring at a strange woman for obscene amounts of time. Even if the one staring was a woman. It never really was polite. I got these stares often. Sometimes questionable ones trying to ascertain if I am a girl or not. Others wondering where one tattoo ends on the arm and where the other begins. So I learnt from experience that staring always made me uncomfortable.

I took my eyes off her soon enough. But my question remained unanswered.