Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Genes versus Gender

So we were driving down to an exhibition gallery in the outskirts of the city, run by parents of Nino's friend at school. The path was dust-battered and bumpy, with lots of village nativity scenes thrown it for good measure. The perfect way to spend a Sunday evening.

Somewhere between a bump and the changing of the radio station, Nino goes, and I quote verbatim, 'Aww, mama, look, a baby buffalo. So sweet!'.

I'm about to agree when there's a screech of tyres and the normally reticent husband turns in his seat to give me a venomous stare.

'What?' I say.

'Look what you've made my son into,' he says. 'So sweet?'

'He could have said anything in the world. How tiny it is. How brown. How delicious it would be if we had it for food. But awww, how sweet?' Nino's Dad rants.

I'm tempted to reply, but am too shocked and humoured by the insinuation that I've turned my son into a 'not boy' kind of a boy. Good thing I din't tell him about what Nino said on Saturday, I thought.


On Saturday, a whole jhing bang of us travelled to my city, Gandhinagar, where a spring festival held amidst the valley banks of the barren Sabarmati showcased some of Gujarat's and India's tribal life and art.

There were a lot of tribal weapons on display, including the famed bow and arrow, slingbacks and some really fancy swords. Nino and Karanbhai were totally awed by all the fine display of swordsmanship and they both took turns at using a proper bow with iron-tipped arrows. Surprisingly, Nino hit bulls eye, and the old uncle who was manning the shop was mighty happy.

He'd persuaded Karanbhai to buy a nasty looking dagger (quite like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger carries in the eminently re-watchable Commando), a fake, not-sharp one with a maliciously curved blade, and Nino was adamant that he wanted one too.

I'm not one for buying them 'weapons' and I admonished both Karanbhai and the shopkeeper, but Nino was growing more vocal and I wanted to see the remaining half of the exhibition without a cranky child tugging at my already loose pants. So I gave in and bought it for Nino.

'Is it really sharp?' Nino asked me, the gleam of having being handed something forbidden shining through his beady eyes.

'Yes,' I said. 'It's sharp, and mighty and very dangerous.'

Karanbhai was already showing his 'moves' with the dagger and talking in his 'dhish, dhish, dhishum' language about the thieves he's going to beat up and the bad people, and all that ilk. The shopkeeper asked Nino what he would do with his dagger.

Nino swayed his dagger with a flourish of his hand, the kind that would have made his dad proud, and said, 'I'm going to chop some gajar.'


nitya said...

lol. Nino is awesome!

Sujatha said...

LOL! How cute is that!

I've been mulling over a post, slightly tangential to yours, along these lines of nature vs. nurture because I see it being played out everyday at home. And from what I see nature > nurture. I think kids just come hard-wired with some stuff.

choxbox said...


Anonymous said...

hahahhahaaaaaaaaaa...Please please tell Nino's dad! I pray Nino remains his un-self-conscious self for many many years to come.

Anonymous said...

hahahhahaaaaaaaaaa...Please please tell Nino's dad! I pray Nino remains his un-self-conscious self for many many years to come.

maidinmalaysia said...


Swati said...

Hummph. Being a boy doesn't mean that he shouldn't be able to see the nicer side of life. In a few years he shall cease to repeat things the way you say them, but hopefully the consideration and admiration will remain a part of him. (And one day his wife may thank you!)

Nino's Mum said...

Nitya - try telling that to Nino's Dad!

Suj - that's what I've come to believe as well. Eventually, nature takes over.

choxbox, MinM - :)

GirlOnTheBridge - Maybe I will ask him to read this post :) He knows better than to disagree with me on a public forum!

Swati - True, very true. And I hope she agrees to live with me too!

OrangeJammies said...

This child I A.D.O.R.E. Tell him Masi OJ was dreaming of a good halwa just this afternoon.

Nino's Mum said...

OJ - I cannot tell you how glad it makes me to see you on the comments page. As glad as hot, steaming gajar-ka-halwa!

Tharini said...

If you read Meher Baba's Discourses, there will be a whole amazing metaphysical understanding to this!

But from purely a light moment pov, this was hilarious! Gajar indeed! You should tell the Papa that, you should!!!

the mad momma said...

ROFL. he is too cute. and has good company in the brat who is equally likely to call something so sweet.. and chop gajar with a sword!

Nino's Mum said...

T - Okay, I'm going to read up more on Meher Baba and his discourses. Just found a site. Will let you know when I find a connect.

MM - :) how many of us have visited your site and hoped for a son like brat?!