The day Mobby grows up dawns like any ordinary day. There are no drum rolls either to herald the great event. Here is the first hand account:
We are at the breakfast table, Mobby and I.
I am sipping tea and Mobby sits across the table from me on his high chair.
In a while Mobby’s amma comes and lines up his breakfast in front of him. Before leaving she sternly looks at Mobby and reiterates a few commandments, “Hold your mug with both hands, don’t spill anything and finish your breakfast, down to the last morsel.”
Mobby seems attentive enough as if he is contemplating to one day write a treatise on breakfast commandments. These commandments are amma’s chief contribution to usher in the great event. And she leaves.
I look at Mobby. Mobby looks at me.
I discern the lure of the forbidden glimmering in his eyes, and decide to ignore it. After all, at breakfast it is impossible to think of anything else accept tea. It is almost a sacrilege to do so.
And it is through the mist of rising steam from my tea mug clouding my glasses that I hear Mobby.
“Look!” He shouts.
I look up.
Mobby is doing exactly what amma has just told him not to do. He is holding his mug, filled with milk, with one hand.
As we both look at the mug, a miracle happens. The mug remains steady. No milk spills.
Now Mobby is surprised. And as he looks at the mug in his hands, something dawns on him. He utters a rapturous, “See! I have grown up. I am big. Even bigger than Bha.”
Bha, by the way, is Mobby’s big brother, Roshan.
At this point in time, I too realize the miracle unfolding before my eyes and join in the celebration.
The refrain “I have grown up” continues into evening. While we (all adults) are gushing over Mobby’s suddenly discovered adulthood, Roshan comes. He listens to all this gushing for a minute and laughs a five-year-old big brothers’ mocking laugh. Which says in effect,“These kids!” But he decides not say anything. Out of politeness, perhaps.
Omar, another five year old, however, is not so diplomatic and blurts, “Mobby, you are so silly. Even Raina can hold a cup and she is only one year old.”
Mobby folds his arms across his chest and scowls. “Raina can hold an empty mug. I can hold a mug full of milk.” Nobody likes their adulthood challenged.
I decide to intervene on Mobby’s behalf. After all I have been the chief witness of the event.
“Mobby is a big boy. Now he will go to school.” I say.
“No, I am only two. I won’t go to school.” Mobby forgets his anger and runs off with Omar and Roshan to play.
Mobby has definitely grown up!