It's a beautiful morning, actually. Yesterday's rainstorm has cooled the temperature drastically - and also caused a bunch of windows to break and a few trees in the colony to fall. It's the perfect weather for a walk, so I make Papad put on his shoes and head out in the twin stroller. It feels strange to have only one baby in it for a change, but Pickle is still asleep.
We walk on, and Papad is singing quietly to himself in his little bird-like voice 'Happy Birthday To Youuu...'. My mood is lifting now as we walk across. Suddenly I'm thinking back to mornings at IIM-Bangalore -where my good friend Ganju was always terribly, terribly grumpy in the mornings. He would leer at anyone who tried to talk to him. Knowing him well, I just quietly would accompany him through breakfast, avoiding any attempt at conversation before we reached our first class. But there was Chirpy Shilpi, who never seemed to learn. Day after day, she would spot the two of us early in the mornings in the Mess and swoop down on us like a large, happy bird and say 'Good Mooooorning!'. I would manage a smile and say 'Hey, Shilpi'.
She would then turn fondly towards Ganju and say 'Good moooorning Ganju'. Ganju would turn his sullen face towards her, and gaze at her penetratingly through sleep-deprived swollen eyes, fixing her with what anyone would construe to be a murderous stare. She would be momentarily taken back, and then mouth something like 'Wow, see you later' and retreat.
This ritual was repeated day after day after day. Those were fun times.
I snapped back to the present as my son was asking me something. 'Pickl-a?' He enquired.
'Pickle is sleeping' I informed him. He was satisfied for a few seconds with this answer, and then asked me
This went on for a bit until he forgot and started to ask me the names of the cars parked all throughout the colony. This endearing habit of my children when I'm taking them out for a walk in their stroller drives me up the wall - I have no clue what the car models are and so resort to answers like
'Munmun Bhaiiya's car'
The only problem is that I take several rounds while on the park and my automatic answers the second and third time round are probably all inconsistent the first time - but the babies don't seem to care. They just mutter in satisfaction to themselves, repeating whatever I've told them 'Green car'...'Bua's car'...
I walk around some more, lost in thought and finally realize it's been thirty minutes. Pickle should be up by now. I make a quick call and he is duly transported down to his rightful place on the stroller by his brother's side. Papad is delighted to see his slightly cranky twin and leans into his face and says 'Pickl-a! Doggy aala hai!'.
We proceed to take another couple of rounds of the colony and then head to the Park. After a while, I hear 'Maa-maa' and look up - freshly teeth-brushed Peanut has finally been brought to the park as well and she comes running up and hugs me. She and the babies start to run around in all different directions and I'm left again wondering how amazing it is that the Park can be crowded with children - all of whom belong to me!
I head home, leaving them to it at about 8.30 a.m.. It was a great, healthy start to the day. Vijay says something to me as my head hits the pillow, but I'm out like a light for the next three hours.
Not a bad morning, actually.