Category: Sawal jawab

Question and its answer

Buzz has this fascination with family relationships. There are always questions around Bua, Mama, Tau Ji, Nana, Dada – the list goes on. But more importantly there are always questions around how do people come together to get married. Or I should say there were.

The other set of questions she has are – Do I have to *insert question* when I grow up?

Do I have to become famous when I grow up?
Do I have to cook when I grow up?
Do I have to give up milk when I grow up?

Most times my answer is, “you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” (based on the questions of course. “Do I have to eat my fruits when I grow up?” has only one answer, a resounding yes.) This answer, I almost always follow up with a “Why?” Mostly because I want to understand her thought process and where the question in coming from.

That the two set of questions collided came as no surprise to me. One evening on our drive back from school, she asked “Do I have to marry when I grow up?”

“No you don’t. That is your choice,” I told her, “but why do you ask?”

“Because then you have to kiss and that is just ewww!” she replied.


Her class was learning about the life of Martin Luther King recently. The kids were really impressed and spoke about it constantly. Ask me, I had impromptu quiz every day and disgusted looks were given because I did not know the year Martin Luther King was born.

Buzz’s teacher wrote the anecdote in one of her class emails – When I spoke about his marriage, a collective ewww went out in the class. They all looked disgusted that such a great man could make a blunder like this.

Buzz came home with another set of questions”

“Do you know who Martin Luther King’s idol was?”
Ahh finally a question I knew. “Mahatma Gandhi” I replied.
“Was Mahatma Gandhi married?”
“Yes he was.”

Before I could show off my knowledge and rattle details about Gandhi, she had walked away shaking her head. Two great men had made the same mistake!


“I don’t like S. I am not going to talk to her again!” she told me in her angry voice.
“What happened? What did S say?” I asked.
“She said A and I will get married when we grow up.”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“OK then.”


Bugz was cribbing about being the younger sibling (story for another day), so we got talking about how Papa was the youngest sibling and how Mumma was also the youngest sibling and how much fun it was to be the youngest in the family.

“Mumma do I have to get married when I grow up?” Buzz asked again.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” came to standard response.
“Because kissing is ewww, right Didi?” asked the youngest one, remembering the conversation in the car.
“Well Bugz, at some point in your life you will have to kiss someone!” She shrugged.

And she has grown and how, that to in less than a month, mom laughs holding her stomach.

The Question

Bugz currently is that stage of life where play rules and food loses every time in front of it. Even with her favorite meal she gets distracted in a little bit and starts out on some game or another, so imagine the plight of the food she is not fond of? In an effort to avoid battle lines being drawn over dinner table where the two of us stand on opposite sides, I poured my creative juices in to the mix. There was coaxing her to finish her meal, there was putting the food away to eat later when she was hungry, there was ‘no playing at the dinning table’ rule, there was award for finishing her plate. Needless to say nothing worked, but the sight of food being wasted every day was something that was getting to me.

On my very edge, I spoke to her about wasting food and how there were kids going hungry. Buzz got interested as well and the two of them started asking questions. Excited to see that they were thinking about the concept, I searched online and started showing them pictures of malnourished kids. The pictures were very graphic, and I could see that the two of them were a little shaken. The questions started again as they saw one picture after the other.

– Why are they not eating
– Why do they not have food?
– Why don’t their parents get food from the store?

And then Buzz comes up with the question of the day:
If people are so poor that they don’t have food to eat, why do they have babies?

at which point all things came to a halt as I grappled to find the right answer. The question has been asked a couple of times since and I still have not answer that I think will work. Please help if you can!

Family dynamics

When I grow up who will be my family?

she asked. Even though I understood the question, not sure how to answer it, I asked her what she meant.

When I grow up who will my Mumma? Who will be my Papa?
We will, Mumma and Papa will always be your Mumma and Papa.

Back and forth a few times and she dropped the topic.


When I grow up I will stay in that house.

she said, pointing to the house across the street from us.

Why that house?
Because it has a yard in it.
Where will I stay?
In this house with Papa.


When I am very very very old, how will I have a family.

Sigh! I get your questions sweetheart, I really do. I just don’t know how to explain the making of a new family to you. The fact that you see yourself as a child in your future and are looking for a Mom and a Dad makes it even more complicated to explain.

Parenting truly teaches one the art of creative thinking and makes one the master of diverting topics. Whatay fun!

Chicken and Egg Problem

Hum dahi ke saath dudu nahein peete. (We don’t drink milk with yogurt.)
Nahein. (No.)
Kyoin? (Why?)
Dahi dudu se banti hei na, isliye. (Because yogurt is made of milk.)
Dudu kahaan se aata hai? (Where does milk come from?)
Cow deti hei humein. (Cow gives it to us.)
Aur egg kahaan se aate hain? (And were does egg comes from?)
Chicken se. (From chicken.)
Aur chicken egg khati hain. (And chicken eats eggs.)
Eggs ko phod ke kaate hain na? (They crack the eggs and eat them, right?)

Twist on the classic problem, Buzz style.

Convoluted thoughts

The drive back home, after I pick Buzz from school every evening, is always a question and answer session, where in I am always left amazed at the swiftness with which topics are picked and discarded.

The sun is still not out completely. Is it still playing with the clouds?
Is he having his food? (She was eating her evening snack and hence the food question, I think)
No, the Sun does not eat.
But the car eats, right?
Car eats gas.
*Big ahha moment for me. Remembering the conversation with D on how we needed to refuel the car and him saying something along the lines of ‘Man this car *drinks* (uses up) gas too quickly’*
Yes, car eats.
And drinks gas as well.
Yes and drinks as well.
Why is that gate closed?
*Looking at the locked gate of the local electricity distribution unit*
Because there is a lot of electricity there and if anyone gets too close they might get hurt.
Our house also has electricity, right?
Yes, it does.
Mixer truck helped build our house.
Yes, it did.
How does it work?
In the big cylinder of the mixer truck they pour cement, sand and water. Then they rotated the cylinder so as to mix everything together. The mix is used in buildings.
They used the mixer truck to build your office?
And my school?
And the gas station?
Yes, and the gas station.
Do we need gas today?
No, we don’t.
The car is not hungry today?
Car has enough food for today.
Oh because the sun did not eat any?

Which is when I have my realization that all thoughts are connected in her head even when to me they seem like random jumps from one topic to another.

bole to..

We had to go to someone’s place for dinner but had some important errands to run before that. We were making our way out of the mall when Buzz started asking for something. We told her there was no time and that we would get it for her the next time. Full blown tantrum commenced. D tried talking to her and tried some more and then some more. Some 5 minutes later while strapping her in her car seat, a fed up D said,

Mumma se puch lo, wo haan bolen to le lena.*

Nahein Mumma se mat puchho, wo manna kar dengi.**

came the reply in a little voice.


Yeah that was my reaction. So much for taking all the pains of trying to teach them right from wrong!

*Ask Mumma, if she says yes then you can get it.
** No don’t ask Mumma, she will say no.

Question of the day

Buzz on seeing a pregnant lady turns to me and looks at Bugz that I am holding in my arms.

Buzz: Is mein eak chotta gate hota hei? (Does this have a small gate?)
Me: Kis mein? (What does?)
Buzz: Is mein (In this) *pointing to the stomach*
Me: Gate?
Buzz: Haan, nahein to baby bahar kaise aata hei? (Yeah, else how does the baby come out?)

HELP! All you wise people out there.