Yet another Sunday. With the excess energy of an excited child I pushed my newly acquired lawn mower through the buffalo grass that had grown wild in the never ending monsoon rains of this season. Anne was at it again, standing between the handles of the mower and my tightly held arms. She wanted to push me away and take control as I was trying to discipline the unruly mower that wobbled in my grips. She wouldn’t go, so I tightly pressed her ear between my nails. She slipped away with a loud cry and ran to the kitchen where Emili was cooking lunch.
She managed to convince her mother that we needed to go to the hospital to see my brother’s wife. So lunch had to be taken immediately. We did plan that earlier, but Anne and I had agreed to try the mower which would delay the plan, against the wishes of my wife. Humiliated by her father, Anne joined hands with her mother and pulled my hands off the mower.
Ann always liked to sit in the front seat of the car along with my wife. Either she would sit on my wife’s lap or on the edge of the seat and on top of the gear knob. Her growing weight necessitated my wife to push her aside and that meant she completely occupied the gear which prevented me using it with some comfort. I would raise my voice and this has often ended up as a calamity in the car. Today, I pulled out a ‘kit kat’ from my pocket and tempted her to the rear seat and happily drove to the hospital. But as the last munch of chocolate went down her throat she was back where she was; on my wife’s lap, and with a push from her, on the knob.
Fortunately, by this time we were approaching the guarded railway gate, which was closed. I have always prayed that the gate is always be open, so I could just drive without interruption. My daughter always prayed otherwise. She was ready to wait any longer, to enjoy the thrill of a train whizzing past. When she was in the car, God always heard her prayer. So I got out of the car and relaxed.
Then my memory traveled back to a time when I got the chance to get into a coal powered train from Ettumanoor, for the first time in my life. Surely, I had experienced grater excitement than my daughter, in those young school days. It is always true that you forget the pranks and excitement of your young days, when you deal with your children.
Parents never change.