Ask Amma

Archive for the ‘Wit’ Category

COATS … ‘nuf said

In Wit on 16 February 2022 at 8:00 pm

The tweet quoted below is a year old but thus is the pace of my blogging as we slide into year 3 of the pandemic where we are now accepting that we shall co-exist with the virus. Protect ourselves with vaccines and other public health measures that allow us to keep going. I remember a few years ago when I first realized that winter did not mean I could not go out for discretionary walks. All I needed was a good coat. Tada! I could co-exist with cold.

Won’t some people be walking sideways?

In Wit on 15 December 2015 at 2:35 am

From Bangalore Chetana Amma shares this delightful question from 5 year old Disha:

Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things …

Disha and I saw a video about the planets, sun and earth. She had many many questions about what she saw. We even took her to the planetarium for a show. We made the solar system model using balls at home. We showed her the globe in my dad’s place, which was there since my child hood. We talked about how different places on earth have sunlight while other places have moonlight. After a few days of contemplation, she asked me, ” Amma, if the earth is round, then won’t some people be walking sideways, right side up, up side down?”

Such a wondrous thing to imagine!

Incidentally the question came up on Quora.  I liked the response of Kevin Guerrawho said:

They are, usually anyway, it’s just that when you go and visit, they all sit properly, they don’t like to be caught sitting upside down, you see?

Won't some people be sideways and upside down?  Image:  Quora

Won’t some people be sideways and upside down? Image: Quora


Amma please brush my teeth properly!

In Wit on 19 March 2014 at 5:53 am

Kids just say the darnedest things!

What happens when mythology meets reality?  Chetana, Amma of 4 year old Disha in Bangalore, shares this moment inspired by the story of baby Krishna eating mud.  

D has probably heard the story of Krishna eating mud from her grandmother.  So we were role playing.  On her request I was Krishna’s mother and she was Krishna. I had just made a fresh batch of banana ice cream which became her butter.
picture15 Read the rest of this entry »

Make Myself Proud

In Wit on 3 February 2014 at 8:00 pm
Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things!
Dushyant Baba from Great Falls marveled at his 4-year-old’s sense of independence after a conversation they had while reading a story: 

While reading a story about chicken little I asked R “so will you make your baba feel proud of you?”

Instant reply “NO, my baba should make himself feel proud of what he will do for himself and I will make myself proud of what I will I do for me.”

Dushyant & Rewa

AskAmma thanks Dushyant for sharing this precious conversation.

What is here is not there

In Wit on 7 August 2013 at 8:00 pm

Verse by Krishna, in disguise as an old man, when visited by Ghatotkacha in Telugu film Maya Bazaar (1957)

chiranjeeva chiranjeeva sukhi bhava sukhi bava
eruga kunda vachavu eruka leka potavu
idi vedam ide vedam, idi vedam ide vedam
atu unnadi, itu ledu
itu unnadi atu ledu
idi vedam, ide vedam
chiranjeeva chiranjeeva sukhi bhava sukhi bhava

china chepanu peda chepa
china maayanu penu maya
adi swaaha idi swaha
atu nene……, itu nene……..
atu nene, itu nene
chiranjiva chiranjeeva sukhi bhava sukhi bhava

Krishna, disguised an old man, addresses Ghatotkacha

Krishna, disguised an old man, addresses Ghatotkacha

May you live long and be happy, my child
You came  without knowing
You will go without knowing
This is the truth, this is the truth
What is here is not there
What is there is not here
Over the small illusion, the big illusion
Over the small fish, the big fish
This is swaha that is swaha
This swaha, that swaha
May you live long and be happy, my child

Note: “swaha” is a term meaning handling/disposing/tackling.  Above it conveys: small fish tackled by big fish, small illusion tackled by big illusion.  I think of it as also being engulfed by … small illusion engulfed by big illusion.

Nineteen Poopdy Nine

In Wit on 3 April 2013 at 8:15 am

Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things:

Khiyali writes about her 8 year-old cousin, who was filling out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book.

A form in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book reads:

In the year _____, aliens will come to our planet and make the following announcement:

It seems aliens are visiting us in Nineteenpoopdynine!!

Another line reads:

_____ will no longer exist.

This time, the ____ was filled in by just one word:  Poo.

Baby Monitor

In Wit on 18 December 2012 at 3:45 am

Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things

Baba Damodar from Pune shares this story of his 2 year old daughter:

Once, while watching something on my laptop, she suddenly asked a question (in Marathi), “लॅपटॉपच्या मॉनिटरची आई कोण आहे?” (“Who is the mother of the laptop’s monitor?”)

I was thrown entirely off-guard and was unable to give an answer that would satisfy her. I was discussing this question with my wife, and as we both were trying to make sense of it, she came telling us, “this monitor is the mother of the laptop’s monitor”. The monitor she was pointing to was our PC monitor (22″).

Later, after some time, she announced that the mobile handset screen is a “baby monitor”.

Bones of the Zebra

In Wit on 17 October 2012 at 8:04 pm
Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things
Baba Dushyant from Virginia shares this tale of discovering the bones of the zebra with his 2 year old daughter Rewa.
Baba: X for X:ray, while pointing at picture of an X-Ray
Rewa: What is this? Pointing at the Skeleton image (a.k.a. X ray)
Baba: This is an X-Ray
Rewa: What is this? Baba
Baba:  [Explain in detail what are bones and then explain X Ray is like a special picture of our bones.   After y.. we get to Z quickly]
Baba: Z for Zebra, pointing at a Zebra picture
Rewa: Pointing at the black and white stripes: “Zebra has so many bones.. Is this an x ray?”

Sky in my mouth

In Wit on 5 September 2012 at 10:00 pm
From Sonika, Amma to 2 year old Rewa comes this dialogue just waiting to be illustrated:
 “Rewa, don’t put that sticker in your mouth. It’s not supposed to be eaten”

  Rewa    “NO! I want the sky in my mouth!”

If to your adult mind this is puzzling, you are not alone.  Amma could not help but be reminded of Yashodamma who similarly caught her baby in the act of putting mud into his mouth.  When she pried it open, what to her wondering eyes should appear but the sky, moon, stars, etc.

Three Teeth

In Wit on 23 August 2012 at 3:29 am
Kids just say the darnedest things!
While playing shop, Khiyali wanted to take a 50% profit margin on her goods.  To get this, she said, “you need to take 3/2 of the initial cost”  She said 3/2 as “three two ths”
I said “yes,” and then asked, “can I write this down?”
“Yes,” she said, “but make sure you use correct grammar.”
“Yes,” and started to say, “three halves.”  But before I could complete, she continued, “three teeth!”
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