“Get up beta..It’s time for school” was what Ravi’s mom kept shouting early morning. I could hear the pitch fluctuate as the minutes passed by. I couldn’t see him getting ready for his day to school (not that I wanted to), but could paint a picture around what his mom was telling him to. From making the 10-year old take bath and cajole into using soap, which he doesn’t seem to like or changing the dirty smelling socks from his shoes, which he didn’t took out yesterday after coming back and numerous other things which would make the kid be clean and tidy, and all set for school. Mother’s take such great pains to make their child remain clean. It just throws me back, into my school days.
I was sipping my morning coffee and enjoying the morning chirpings and musings on whatever my eyes could make me watch, or my ears listen. Just before the day for working population starts, the mothers at home get on with their business of getting their kids ready, just before their school bus/auto-rickshaw comes by blazing the horns, with a full pack of kids thrown in like courier to be delivered to the same address.
The horn blazed across the street and kids from our apartment, along with their mothers ran to hop onto the seats. Ravi also dashed down with his mom, looking all excited to see his friend reserve a place for him. It’s all there from the beginning, reserving a place for your friends, no matter where or how you are travelling. Brushing amidst every other kid, Ravi hopped in to go to his “reserved” seat, and from afar as I could noticed just when the bus was about to start, his both the kids were peeping into each others’ lunch box. Perhaps, comparing what all they would exchange during the lunch break. Obviously, in case if it remains intact till that time. Kids, you know.
“Hello”, said Ravi’s mom, on my adjacent balcony. This was almost like a routine every morning when both of us greeted each other and exchanged our pleasantries. Neighbors you know. Actually, I was new in the apartment, and most of the people in the building were being nice to me. “Hello Bhabi, chala gaya Ravi school?” was what I replied back. Not that I didn’t knew nor had doubt, but just for the sake of conversation, this was what I said. “Yes, he went. Getting him ready for school is a job in itself. He just doesn’t listen to anything I say. To just keep him clean and be healthy, is one of the toughest things I have to do at home, you know.” And she went on. There’s this thing with women, you just have to start off and then they would carry on describing their daily grind.
“And to top it all, there I have to make sure he doesn’t get sick.” She added. “well, the weather is such kids are getting sick Bhabiji “, I sympathized with her. At least tried to.
“Oh yes, indeed. But thankfully, I do take care of him. Actually it’s Chyawanprash that helps him, to fight all that. And the immune system of children isn’t that developed, so we have to take extra care for them. So many bacteria, viruses, etc are there these days, you know”. I knew about the immune system, but the “so many bacteria, viruses” sounded like there’s some shop selling these.
“But which Chyawanprash to choose, there are so many of them in the market. Which is the best one?” was what I was compelled to ask.
“That’s easy, Chyawanprash means Dabur Chywanprash, nothing else. And this one comes especially for kids as well, Ravi ko wahi khilati hoon”
I just wondered as to what all other women must be doing with their kids.
“Achaa chalo, ab Ravi ki papa ke lie breakfast banana hai” and with this our morning conversation ended like any other day. I closed down my gate for a walk and took my wallet, to buy myself Chyawanprash. Not that I was a kid, but then who wants to get sick? So, many Bacteria and viruses roaming around you know.