The what-did-he-say transition

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New month, new theme, first Sunday post!

So, there are those who had the company of their siblings growing up. I’m one among the other category. Though some say that being an only child is so much fun, in the sense that you are the center of pampering, and of course, parents of only one child do at times heave a sigh of relief when they see the current education costs, I would have liked a sibling, and an elder brother at that. I was an adamant child and was very demanding too. My parents gave me everything except an elder brother. Well the reason there is obvious, I was already the elder one and biologically it isn’t easy to promise a brother. Why did I want a sibling? I have seen others having fun with theirs and I would have liked that growing up too. Nevertheless, I wasn’t lonely, I had my parents!

A blend of both my parents, equally, be it in character or in interests, as a kid, I did get hooked on to movies easily. That was because of Dad. He is a movie buff and tried to make me one at the tender age of 7. I remember distinctly the first Bollywood movie I watched, in a theater. Theaters that time weren’t multiplexes and when I recently went to one, was engulfed by nostalgia. My parents and I had gone to watch “Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani” but the tickets were sold out, so we went, instead, for “Kaho na Pyaar Hai”. I actually do remember entering the theater at the scene of Ameesha Patel’s birthday celebration on the beach, wearing the white something.

Anyway, the first Hollywood movie I watched was obviously Titanic. Did not understand that until very late. Definitely did not understand what they did in the carriage…until later than that! And the second movie, when I was 9, was “Good Son”.

To introduce you to the transition mentioned in the title above, and to distract you from expressing awe at my memory, I’m going to tell you what happened during the times when Dad and I would sit together and watch movies. At such a young age, my English wasn’t bad. I could converse fairly well and could communicate easily. I was adept in Tamil (to a sufficient amount), English and Hindi. What I wasn’t good at was understanding an accent. Now those born and brought up around people with an accent have always been used to the same. I didn’t have that kind of an exposure, so it used to be beyond me. If spoken slowly and clearly, I would understand the dialogue, but most often, that wasn’t the case and when that happened, I would turn to my Dad and whisper, “What did he just say??”

Watching the film on television, as we were, there was no provision to pause the ongoing movie. So, my Dad, sacrificing the film and the succeeding dialogue, would repeat it for me and even explain the scenario many times to help me cope with the plot.

Fast forwarding to years later, it has been 12 years since I was 9 and I’m on the other side now. It is my turn to repeat the dialogues to my Dad. It is his turn to ask me my original question in a rephrased fashion. “Did you understand that? I think I missed it!” I find it really cute, trust me. He doesn’t want to admit that he is growing old. He still wants to be the one whom I ask a doubt to. Which will always be the case, so I’m unsure as to why he is worried that that time has passed, because it hasn’t!!! But maybe it’s time for him to let go repeating dialogues for me. He is so not ready for that, that he made me download the subtitles for everything. So that he gets to be the independent one still, not realizing that (as soon as I finish my Masters, that is) it’s time he becomes the dependent one, that he has done enough and really well.

But I guess, no Dad would like to reverse roles with his little girl. Nevertheless, the time has come when it’s the child’s duty to subtly give a few pointers here and there. It is a tedious job, parenting a parent, of course; as unwilling as they are, as were you.

P. S. First of the Sunday posts under “Parenting Parents”! Happy parenting! 🙂


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