Monday, May 31, 2010

Sid and the little man

"Oh hi! Please come in. Sorry, you've caught me in my jammies!", he smiles as he shows the two young girls in, followed by their amused mother.  The host in his jammies wasn't wrapped in a silk bath robe, with silver hair and a pipe - a strange image that always pops into my mind when I hear that line.  Rather, it's my four-year-old nephew ushering in his two friends.  Rishan, my sister Shaheen's son, is the most entertaining child I know.  I'm sure everyone says that about their own family, but I have no great love for children, except for this one.  Not that I don't feel any affection for my two nieces, but Rishan will always be my first love.  He always brings a big smile to my face!  He could talk before he could walk, prattling away night and day to an amazed audience.

"Sid-art" as he refers to Siddharth, is usually found looking baffled whenever he meets Rishan. "Goddammit, that kid knows bigger words than I do"!  I smile at him, "Well, everyone knows bigger words than you do, love"!  He chose to ignore that and continued, "He's four! Four, I tell you. It's unnatural.  When he was two he fell in the bathtub, and told me that he "toppled" over. I didn't know the word "toppled" till I was like, I don't know, probably till I heard him say it. Ok, exaggeration but you know what I mean".  I patted him on the head, "It's ok, it was probably a fluke!".  "Hmm, I don't know about that. The other day he was being a brat and told your mom to shut up.  I believe his exact words were "Keep quiet, you silly old bag! You're irritating me!".  I looked shocked, "What cheek, my mom would have whacked me if I called her an old bag! Did she whack him?".  He shook his head, "No, she burst out laughing.  I on the other hand was trying to figure out what an 'old bag' was. When I did figure it out all I could think of was how to take lessons from him on taking a dig at your mom"!  While I shook my head in disbelief, he continued, "Your dad was backing the car out of the driveway the other day.  Rishan was watching him and remembered that the last time around, your dad backed into the ditch. He started yelling "Run for your livvesssss! Nana is backing the car!"  I grinned, "What did my dad have to say?".  "Well", Sid said, "he didn't look amused, but he was way too busy backing to pay too much attention. But I think he did look like he might have a stroke, when Rishan almost ruined his car deal".  My dad had a Honda City that he was selling.  It was in mint condition except for a scratch that had somehow appeared a night or two before the buyer was coming over to see it.  Rishan, who's obsessed with cars, heard about the aforementioned scratch and insisted on seeing it and asked 'Sid-art' to take him outside where Nana was "selling" the car.  Sid shuddered at the memory, "Can you believe what he did over there? He kept saying, 'Look at this big scratch, my goodness what a big scratch. Your dad in the meanwhile, who had been trying to casually lean against the scratch, was looking at me murderously, but trying to keep his tone calm. Why don't you take him in Siddharth".  I laughed, "Well, why did you take him out?". He shrugged, "I'm putty in his hands, I learnt that word from him by the way. Well, come on we all know that I'm not the brightest star on the block, I didn't realize he'd jeopardize your dad's deal! For once, his usually infinite vocab was limited to just two words over and over again, like a primitive caveman. As we walked away it was just "big scratch", "oooo bigg", "big big", "reallly big scratch"!

Rishan's, or most kids', ability to have grown-up's wrapped around their finger is proven each time either Ritesh, his dad, Sid-art, or his friend, Saurabh, are around.  With my sister and mother he rarely gets away with much, though he takes absolute advantage of my poor grandmother, whacking her every now and then amid her shrieks, "Shannnuuuu, your son is beating me" and "I'll tell that wolf to eat you up", which usually results in him looking wild-eyed out of the window, "Wolf, wolf, where? Ok, I'll be good".  However, it's really the men who do anything he wants.  He adores Sid's friend Saurabh, his sole ambition in life being to grow up to be Saurabh.  "Eat your spinach, or you won't be like Saurabh. Do this, or you won't be like Saurabh, do that, or you won't be like Saurabh", is a common "threat" in the house.  Saurabh in turn dotes on Rishan, allowing himself to be dragged around, serve as a climbing pole, a shoulder to be carried on and much more.  Rishan, who has always been confused about who's who in the family (usually referring to me as his sister, my mother as his "Mumsie" and my grandmom as his "nani" and his parents sometimes cheekily as Shanu and Ritesh) is always delighted to see Saurabh, and his wife, Sonal (who he refers to as Susan for some reason) and on a trip to the bathroom asked the cleaning lady, "Have you met Saurabh? He's outside. I think he's my uncle!".

From mulling over Michael Jackson's skills (he's a better dancer than a singer) to solemnly telling me how scared he felt when he saw the Mangalore air crash on television, he never ceases to amaze me with the things he says.  Sid-art of course, looks utterly foxed at the best of times when he is with Rishan and sometimes a bit deflated.  "What's the matter bubz?", I asked him.  He answered sullenly, "How does he do it? He actually offered me his kiddy dictionary today, I can tell he's laughing at me"!  I smiled, "Well, if it makes you feel better. He actually said "Spitted" the other day, as in "Uh oh, i spitted"!.  Sid was struggling I could tell.  "Spitted"?, he asked.  I rolled my eyes and explained, "Oh god, he meant to say "Uh oh, I spat", you moron! He does make mistakes you know".  A look of glee spread over Sid's face, "Ha, "spitted"! What a dumbo.  Let me go make fun of him".  He ran off and a few seconds later I heard an alarmed sounding, "No, no I'm not telling you to spit. No, no stop it. No spitting, yuck yuck. No stop the spitting. Dammit"!

7 comments:

rachna dhir said...

Reem, your are awesome...I enjoyed it thoroughly...Without knowing Rishan much, I am totally am in love with him...and all thorugh I could just picture Sid-art's face!

Reem said...

Haha thanks Rachna...they're quite funny together, and Rishan on his own is pretty much a riot!

Saurabh said...

Awee...Rishan seems totally adorable... & i can totally relate with Sid here... Kids are way too smart these days. My 4 yr old nephew Shaurya never ceases to amaze me with his recitation of 'shiv purans' or with his skills in chess.. & just to rub it in.."Were you really born in the last century Mamu?"...He adds...

Anand said...

ha ha ha didnt he call him sid-fart once. if not i need to teach him that. but yes he is really cute - the sunshine boy for my sunshine girl after all he was the first one to sing to her

Reem said...

I knew you'd come in with one of your poop-y/gassy comments! Obsessed all you parents are! Hehehe RIshan singing you are my sunshine...he sang it in front of the whole coffee shop at the Leela recently! But yes your daughter got private performance (as did Zoya!)

Sonal said...

This is a wonderful write up Reem...brings back a lot of memories of Bangalore..Reminds me how Rishan yelled "Susan" in the Oberoi lobby and ran towards me only to be corrected by Shaheen later...And not to forget he was the first one to compliment my dress when i met him last "Oohh thats a wonderful dress you are wearing Susan"...so adorable...

Reem said...

Hahah yes I remember hearing about his comments on your "Beautifullll dress"! He's in Delhi for a week and we're meeting them as often as possible...as entertaining as ever he is!