Today, at lunch time I announced the best eating habits award for Lilliputians. After announcing it I also voiced my opinion that probably Roshan would get it, since he is the only one who eats all his fruits and vegetables. This voicing of opinion sounded like some pre-determined selection to the Lilliputians present at the dinning table. I really had no idea about the commotion that ensued.
Saif, who was eating rice because he didn’t want to eats vegetables, suddenly became indignation personified.
He pushed away the plate of rice and announced, “Now, I am not going to eat anything, not even the things that I normally do. Why Roshan?”
“Saif, because he doesn’t have a long list of not-eatable-food-items like you people,” I tried to dispel the charge of nepotism of some kind.
“I am sure, you will give the award to Roshan in any case. I am older than Roshan and I should get it. Besides, it’s not that Roshan never creates any fuss about his food.” Saif had completely entered the victim mode.
“Instead of blaming Roshan and me, why can’t you decide to improve your eating habits and try to win the award instead?” I tried to shift him to performance mode.
At this stage, a squeak of a chair was heard, and another plate was vehemently pushed aside. This was Zainab with her classic, “I am going to run away from this house; nobody loves me here except baba.”
“Where are you going to run away to?” I aksed.
She thought for a moment and, I guess, figured out that running away wasn’t such a good idea and said, “I will build another home in the lawn and will live all alone.”
“Zainab, building a home is not easy. It’s a tough job, it needs a lot of energy which you don’t have because you don’t eat properly. You won’t be able to lift a single brick.” I tried to reason it out with her. Here another classic accusation was shot at us all:
“Everybody makes fun of me, except baba.”
I was about to say something when Omar, who till then had been nonchalantly eating rice, raised his head and asked:
“What is award?”
“A kind of gift,” I said.
“Gift?” And here a fiery Omar was facing me.
“I am older than Roshan. I am four and I will be seven in March and Roshan will still be four. You can’t give the gift to him.”
“Omar you are four and you will be five in March. And it is not the question of who is older,” I made an effort to correct his mathematics.
“But I eat apricots,” he said.
“How many?” I asked.
“Two three. I don’t eat one, it is one that is less and two three is more.” He made a point about his proficiency in mathematics, and then said angrily, “I will eat only what I like.” And, as if to make his point, he opened the cupboard, took out wheetabix and started eating it.
I was about to comment on this act of defiance when a chair was violently pushed aside, somebody ran away to her room, and a loud bang was heard.
It was Zainab shutting us all out from her life.
I was busy in situational analysis when Omar proclaimed, “I will help Zainab build the house.”
Here goes my award…....