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Those elusive girls of my life

The enormity of marriage functions and the gaggle of exotically dressed attendees can sometimes be stifling. I waved at my colleague and his spouse as I was looking for some familiar faces in the maddening marriage crowd. After exchanging pleasantries, the young lady bent toward my younger son who was draping my legs, and brushed his cheeks. “Hi, kiddo. When did you come? Have you bunked school today? Where is your anna [brother]?” She rattled off a stream of questions, interspersed with her own trademark exclamations, winks and guffaws.

Not unexpectedly, my otherwise charming son just gave a sheepish smile to most of her questions, with few acknowledging gestures and frequently looking at me coyly seeking release from the embarrassment. I egged him to answer her in loud and clear sentences but in vain. Finally, she joined a group of other women enjoying the pleasant scenes unveiling in front of them.

The moment she left, my reticent son asked me, “Did I speak nicely, appa?” I hugged him tightly as if I could show the extent of my love in the tightness.

At the same time, my colleague’s 10-year-old daughter happened to pass across us. With eyes staring wide, she turned to us and enquired, “Hi uncle, how are you?” followed by 10 other seemingly unrelated questions even before we could answer her first question.

The charming girl with a twinkle in her eyes continued to mesmerise me for the next few minutes with her garrulous nature. With exuberance in her hammy gestures and innocence in her speech, it seemed as if girl children are a different species altogether. No wonder every other day there are innumerable posts in social media raving about girl children as angels, leaving parents with shy sons and cranky brats with a heartburn.

The kindness and sensitivity in the actions of girl children are unmistakable and brings a world of calmness in an otherwise chaotic world. They add colour to our life. Look at the psychedelic selection of colours, perplexing patterns and dizzy designs available in the sartorial choices of those little angels. It reduces the standard grey-and-blue shades of boys’ attire as minnows in a world of giants.

There is no competition at all. More than the charm and allure they bring with them; the extreme prolixity of the girl children is what exalts them into stardom in our minds. Their brain can concoct dozens of information in a fraction of a second and come out with the most ingenious set of questions, descriptions and comments about anything they see.

Let me divulge that, the day I knew we are going to be parents, I wished our first child was an angel, as loquacious, as responsible, as whimsical and as energetic as my wife. But the wish remains a wish. It appeared that god had turned a deaf ear to our wishes, but I wonder were those wishes drowned in the miscarriages we had. Though we have got two adorable sons, they are as cagey, as carefree, as dreary and as mute as I am.

There is a saying that when god could not let angels on to Earth, he created girl children. The amount of love and peace infused by them into the society is phenomenal. As the human race keeps moving away from the other animal species, it seems only men carry those savagery and violent territorial animalistic tendencies, while most women and children bear the aftermath of such mindless acts.

It is sad that the dislike for girl children still prevails in many sections of even well-lettered societies, leading to a dwindling sex ratio. Brazen acts of identifying the child’s gender, infanticide and a patriarchal mindset of suppressing the exuberance of girl children keeping them in shackles are regrettable menaces. I am sure that if such a parochial person speaks to a girl child for a few minutes, he will get smitten by those expressive wide eyes, continuous chattering, the high-spirited attitude, ravishing innocence and the ever-caring nature of a girl child.

While my life has been coloured beautifully by many women including my mother, sister, wife, nieces and friends, the enticing little girl angel has remained elusive. I only wish that the dream becomes true through my princes, with a vibrant and zestful daughter-in-law or a granddaughter.

rishiortho@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 11:42:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/those-elusive-girls-of-my-life/article26757884.ece

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