The picture clicked recently shows my daughter and my brother
Death. It has a way of creeping up on life, when you least expect it and it also has a creepy way of showing up inside your mind. Even the minds of little children.
My children were in bed yesterday. I had just finished the marathon story-reading sessions that we have, turned out the lights and was about to leave for my bedroom.
My 5 and half year old daughter’s voice rang out
“Mama, can I ask you something?” Usually these ‘somethings’ that are asked, are very amusing. So with Pavlovian anticipation of a good laugh inside my head, I said
“What will happen to both of us, if both, you and papa die?”
My mind worked at lightning speed, to give her a convincing answer.
“Well, you can call up Prem mam and he will come and pick you up”
Prem is my only sibling. We share a very close relationship. The children call him Prem-mam. He is their super hero. He is younger to me. He is a ‘big-man’ now .And I don’t mean just physically—He is 6’3”, fitness maniac, voracious reader, articulate, a very caring soul, witty, creative, loads of fun to be with. He is also the Vice president of a leading international advertising agency. To me, he is still my baby-brother. He is extremely fond of my children.
She thought for a minute and said “But I don’t know his phone number”
My 9 year old son piped in, “Mama, I know. All I have to do is scroll down the contacts in your cell phone and I’ll find it. Don’t worry.” He assured his sister.
I said “I don’t plan to die so soon. I plan to live for a very long time”
My kids were quick to respond. “How do you know mama? Your dad didn’t plan to die either”(I knew that was coming)
So I said, “I am a better fighter than your Grandpa. If death comes I’ll just tell him ‘ Buzz off you intruder. I aint done yet. Cant you see, my two children need me?” (in a deep dead pan Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, pretending to wield a weapon) That made them laugh.
Then I made them both memorize my brother’s cell phone number.
Just in case.