Today, I went to meet my mother's brother and his family. His daughter recently gave birth and basically I didn't even know the kid's name. This was just meant to be one of those family obligations that are dispensed with.
This kid, Poorvi, is my first niece. I imagined she would be like most one-year-olds - sleepy, scared, cranky....But...I was WRONG !!! A pint sized bundle of energy comes somersaulting into a sleepy and desolate Banashankari bungalow. With a beatific smile on her face, Poorvi happily grabbed the gifts I'd brought for her, thrust it into her father's lap, and happily continued playing with her 'panda' and ball and bat.
Some perfunctory attempts were made to get her to call me 'aunty', which did not work, and she soon settled down to 'akka', which means elder sister in Kannada. In a while, she was all over me. I'm not exactly an angel myself, and I was the only one who seemed to support her out of the house mischief, so we joined hands to have some fun. Very soon, we were play-driving a Kinetic, scrambling onto the roof of the car and swinging the plants hanging from the ceiling, and doing countless other things, while her mom looked on with an air of resignation.
Then....it was time to part. Poorvi and her mother accompanied me home. In the car, she was busy turning the roof into one big percussion instrument, and trying to pull out everything that hung from the roof.
When we reached my place, she promptly started crying and screaming and making a better fuss than I ever could. Her cries shook the whole of Jayanagar, because quite a few people asked me if something was wrong....
Anyway, meeting Poorvi was an amazing experience, and I'm surely going to go back and see her. After loads of kids who only cry and squirm when taken away from their mommas, she was...DIFFERENT !! Her pulling out things and wanting to take them apart totally reminds me of the way I was in my childhood !