The Age of Perception
Nino, to Nino's Mum, who is trying to get her son to sleep before she falls asleep in exhaustion: Where's Dad?
Nino's Mum, trying her best to keep the irritation out of her voice at the daily ritual question: At work (silent #$%&*!), baby.
Nino, very matter-of-factly: Is he poor?
Nino's Mum, caught between guffawing and concern at her son's perceptive economics: Why do you think he's poor?
Nino: Well he works hard all the time. He's working all the time. Yesterday (Nino's concept of 'when I was younger' is usually yesterday) he din't work so much.
I liked the fact that Nino thought only his dad was poor, and 'we' were not (must have been all the books I bought!), but I thought it was time to explain to him time difference and the consequences for working for an American company.
Nino, spying Nino's Mum watching bits of some random movie on HBO in silent mode, smiling away: Are this kaka (gujarati for uncle) and kaki (gujarati for aunty) married?
Nino's Mum, wondering if her son's moral standards are her punishment for her belief in live-in relationships: No, baby, they're just friends .
Nino, after having watched the uncle and aunty in question, kiss and embrace: They're definitely husband and wife, mama.
The Age of Wisdom
Nino's Mum, walking in on Nino and his cousin, viciously caning a plastic dog-toy: NINO! Why are you hitting the dog?
Nino: He was naughty.
Nino's Mum launches into this great-big explanation how animals can't really express their pain and they're ours to look-after, much like babies.
Nino's Mum: We can't hurt babies, can we?
Nino: Why do you hit me?
Nino and I are parked on the side of an extremely congested road, waiting for Nino's Dad to come. Honks abound, and so does guilt, I'm obviously contributing to the congestion.
Nino: When is papa going to come?
Nino's Mum: Bhagwan jaane. (A often-used Gujarati curse, that means God only knows).
Nino: What's he doing with Bhagwan?
Nino's Dad finally arrives and I rant and yell and nearly explode. Nino's Dad catches Nino's eye and grins.
Nino: Mamma must be hungry.
The Age of Gluttony
We're at this nice restaurant for a Sunday brunch along with my sister and nieces and we're oohing and aah-ing over the perfect consistency of the risotto and the melt-in-the-mouth ravioli.
Nino, making clean work of his spaghetti aglio olio: This is impeccable work.
Nino's mum, wondering where Nino picked up the adjective from: What do you mean impeccable work?
Nino: When we do good work at MM (name of school), S (teacher) says impeccable work because impeccable work makes her happy.
Nino, pointing to the sponge-like substance inside the picture of a bone in his anatomy book: What's this?
Nino's Mum: That's bone marrow.
Nino: Like in mutton?
Nino's Mum: Yes, like in mutton.
Later that night, Nino's Mum is trying not to smack her son who is blowing, sucking and drooling on her elbow. Attached to the elbow should be the new phrase, she mutters to herself.
Nino's Mum: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Nino: Your bone marrow's very yummy, mamma.
3 hours ago