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Do you love me?

It's March. Exam times in India. Usually mothers' can sense a lot of pressure in the air during this time; if not they create one. Sadly that's the mood that is build by our ecosystem when it comes to "EXAMS" ( notice; its bold, in quotes and in capitals :( ). 

I run late night to accompany my elder studying for her 7th class exams. She is nocturnal. She mostly does her studies on her own and does not require my presence, but then there is an unsaid sense of support she feels when she finds me working or reading something along with her. So I mostly stay awake. What drives me crazy is making my younger study. Not just during the exams, anytime for that matter. She knows her ways to get HER TIME and also MY TIME out of her study time. But I must also say that I have had some of my best moments during those crazy times. I am capturing one such moment here.

Me: So, you have had your break, can we know some interesting things about some of our national leaders now? (I question her as we sit for Social Studies after lunch-musti-chat break)

She: Yes amma. But I have a question for you before that?

Me: Ok. Go ahead.

She: Do you love me or the plants more?

Me: (Little surprised by her question) Of course both of you. 

(Feeling the need to explain I continue) You see few years down the lane, may be for your higher studies, or may be for your work, you might have to travel. Then my company would be these plants. Right?

She: Amma what are you saying! I will work from home. (came the instant reply)

And we burst into laughter. I had to be smarter and started mentally working on my further counter, while I hugged her for her innocent love for me.

Me: Work from home? That's a good option and workable. But then you see, you can talk and express yourself. These plants cant talk and have no one to care for them. They need me right? So I have to care for them as well right? Why don't you treat them as your sisters?

She: My sisters! hummmph ..... I need some chocolate-milk to drink. (Looking at the plants next to us) Do you need some milk as well?

She having outsmarted me, I had nothing more to say but flash an ear to ear smile and naughtily address her as "Ohhhhh Gundu mari" (meaning golu beta in hindi and chubby lad in english).

She: (Phataaak came the reply) Gundu amma. (meaning golu maa in hindi and chubby mother in english).

My smile now burst into laughter. She was yet not ready to give up.

She: (getting up from her place, moving towards the plants) Let me count how many sisters I have. One, Two, Three ......... (after some time) hmmph I have thousand sisters.

Me: Thousand ??? Enough ??? or you want more ??? (Mentally imagining my state having had to literally create 1000 sisters for her hahahahaaa)

She: Thousand is good amma. But you know what? They are luckier than me?

Me: How so?

She: You see, they don't have to study and listen to you to learn about interesting things on our national leaders.

(Literally unable to hold my laughter)

Me: You are right chinnu! You see I am also lucky. Making you study is like big monkey training small monkey. Can you imagine my state, training 1000 more monkeys?

Both of us realizing what it takes to achieve that, burst into laughter. She takes home on my lap and says "I love you." Grabbing her closer with my arms I tell her the magical words she loves to listen to every now and then  ..... "I love you too baby."


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