As the reality that I am a father sinks in, I find myself frequently in conversation about children, childhood and their notions. The fact that there is an army of children under four in my extended family only makes this even more frequent.
My niece is a non-stop talker! As she gets home from playschool she keeps rattling things apparently related her own experience at school that day. What she speaks about is anyone's guess. But one thing can be said for sure. What she speaks about is always unrelated to what she does while talking. Almost as if she has two brains that work independently. One for speaking and another of everything else!
She sometimes says "You always speaking, no eating that why I keeping standing!" and sometimes she says "woh nai chahye" (Hindi for "I don't want that). When I ask her what she talking about, she says "That is my friend at schools. She speaks in Tamil"
Come to think of it, my own childhood memory tells me that I was no different. There was a time I believed that there are only three languages in the whole world. Tamil, Hindi and English. And there are only three religions in the world. Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Hindus speak Tamil, Muslims speak Hindi and Christians speak English. Real simple!
I have also believed that men are of two categories, the ones with mustache and the ones without. The ones with mustache smoke and the ones without it don't smoke. So, if anyone asked why my dad never had a mustache, I would have likely answered "Because he doesn't smoke! The day he started to have mustache, he would automatically start smoking!"