Monday, November 26, 2012

Panchatantra side effects


I have always been a fan of children stories which are windows to our big world. I started off pretty early narrating stories to Bunni. Animals which can talk and which can emote kept her butterfly-like attention honey glued. Myriad stories made my life simpler in conveying subtle facts, rules and maxims to guide our daily lives. I was so proud of myself. But, later I started to realize, these stories have side effects too!



All wells have a lion in them. We were in our village, walking through the roads, we spotted a well. I thought, I will show her what a well is. But, she held my hand to stop me.
Bunni: Don't peep into the well. A lion is living in there. It will eat you the moment you bend in to see your reflection!
Remember the lion which fell into the well seeing its own reflection? (see here) And you thought that is the end?

 Ask for forgiveness. Get a life.
We were watching a National Geographic documentary. And a lioness was on the run to hunt a wild buffalo. Bunni started shouting.
Bunni: Buffalo must have done something wrong, that is why lion is trying to kill. <going near the TV> dear buffalo, dear buffalo, tell the lion that you won’t do that mistake again, it will forgive you. It won’t eat you!

Anyone who falls dies!
She does not know the concept of death. She just knows, the word and the situations in which I had used while narrating the story. We were walking on the road and Bunni spotted a traffic cop running. She was overly excited to see a cop running. (you know who runs in stories ;) ) she started shouting in the top of her voice.
Bunni: Amma, look! A police man is running!!
To my embarrassment, that police man stopped running the moment her words hit his ears and turned around to see us.
Me: Yes. Say Bye to police uncle.
Bunni:
Hi, police uncle. You should not run.

Police: Why shouldn't I run?

Bunni: See. Road has a lot of stones, you will fall down and die!!
Police man looked straight into my face! I did not know what to say. I mean, how I can explain to him so much? I just apologized and ran to save further embarrassments. I could sense a smile on his face.

  
Steal and eat. Your tummy will be fat!
We had gone to temple. The priest was busy with chants and aarti. Bunni was doing monkey-jobs of climbing the railings there. I told her to stand silently, or the priest would get angry. As the priest came near us to give MangaLaarathi and Theertha,
Bunni: Amma.. This priest has stolen and eaten a lot of Laddoos. See his tummy is so fat!
This was from the story of Bal Ganesh! Ouch! That priest's face was red! The pressure in my mouth for a roar of laughter was building by few kilo-pascals! I controlled myself and said. You shouldn't say so.


 Every Gopal's wife is Suman
We had been to a marriage reception. When we were on the stage,
BH: Bunni, Wish Gopal Uncle a happy married life
Bunni:
Where is your wife Suman?

Gopal looked perplexed,

Gopal: Who is Suman?
Gopal's wife Priya had baffled look on her face.I intervened and stopped the conversations because I knew where it was going. The story of the goose which laid golden eggs had owners named Gopal and Suman, who were husband and wife. So, for her, every Gopal's wife is Suman.

Children observe and construe a lot more than we expect. What a fun life they lead. Absolutely no inhibitions, no rules and bounds for the way-of-life. So much to learn from them. The way these stories are embarrassing me, it is should be Punch-atantra.
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Acronyms and Definitions

BH: Better Half. Butter Half. Bitter Half.

BUNNI: Manufactured Daughter.

APPA: Role-Model Father.

AMMA: Near and Dear Mother.

CHD: Partner in Crime. Brother.

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