Mother is keen
that her son do her bidding -
learn the three A’s faster than kids his age,
practice his music longer hours,
and lend a helping hand in domestic chores.
But the kid seems inattentive
for he has other ideas
and little time from his games;
her reasoned dialogue,
her pleading and persuasion
fail to make an impression.
Mother thinks of a clever device,
addressing him as if to a third person
and not her own son.
I feel bad to speak about my son
for he is good, and I love him much,
yet he chooses to be rather defiant,
for neither does he read nor write
nor practice much on the piano
nor lend a helping hand to his mother;
it makes me sad that he does not care.
‘Oh, is that so?’ he asks, all earnest.
‘Alas it is so;
all he does is squander his time
playing with his ‘legos’ and toys,
speeding his fleet of trains and cars,
skipping the morning ablutions,
and running around the house
while breakfast waits on the dinning table.
He may start the day with Harry Potter,
and end it again with Harry Potter,
often going to bed without supper.’
Aditya, the imaginary third person
now turns the tables
as he addresses his mother
as if she were him, Aditya.
‘What do I hear, little sir?
I thought you were a good boy
and you would listen to your mother
read and write when she bids,
do the sums with full attention,
and run you fingers on the piano,
write your journal everyday
even if it is no fun,
and help her in her chores
even it be such a bore’.
Mother now speaks as the boy,
‘No, I rather be a bad guy
than do what my mother says.
What do I need to read or write
or to practice my music
when I can remain a happy bum
take the gun in place of the pen
and turn a hooligan.
I better be a scribbler
than a calligrapher’.
That was too much to take;
the boy’s face fell,
and he went into a small trance
to recover from being a third person
and be his own self again.
He ran to fetch his pen and paper,
‘No more pretence, dear mother
let us back to our real selves,
let us read and write and learn sums
and then move to the piano
to strike a happy note
and help you in sorting the clothes
from the dryer.
A bum or a hooligan -
nor a vagabond nor wastrel
but a very model boy I will be;
yet, I am only 7 years old
and your own dear son,
don’t I deserve a little fun?’