Suchi is a three year old baby ball who loves to play with her mother. She looks like a cherub and is known for smiling for no reason at all. Her idea of hiding in hide-and-seek means closing her eyes and telling her mother, “Mamma I have hidden myself. Come find me.” It is because of these quirks that her parents have concluded that their child may not be all that intelligent…pretty sure…happy and cheerful most definitely…but intelligent…maybe not.
There are people who cannot understand why Suchi is so happy all the time. Why is she smiling? How can she be smiling when it is 40 degrees and no air conditioning? Well I’ll tell you her secret; she takes a shower in the garden with the garden hose as she is watering the plants.
But we are jumping ahead of ourselves. This story isn’t about Suchi and her quirks. This story is about hide-and-seek and her mother’s desperate attempt to find Suchi.
Apart from closing her eyes to hide herself, Suchi had some good hiding places. One was under the table which was a favourite for every time she spilled milk. No, it wasn’t her way of avoiding drinking the milk for Suchi loved to eat and drink (part of the reason she was such a happy and cheerful child). No, Suchi was simply a clumsy baby and sometimes, the glass was just too damn heavy. The other was hiding in plain sight. Ah but you see, Suchi was rather an intelligent child.
One morning, after Suchi had satiated herself with a breakfast of uptan (besan-gram flour, curd and honey – usually put on the face to ensure fair and blemish-free skin but Suchi believed in inner beauty hence her decision to eat it rather than apply it), she lay on her bed, and curled herself into a ball. Maybe she was trying to do yoga in order to digest her breakfast…alas we’d never know. But there she was, a small little ball, lost in her world of dreams as her mother frantically searched for her baby ball everywhere.
Mother checked under the table, in the kitchen, in the bathroom (Suchi did love water and splashing in it and Mother was afraid she’d drown herself in a bucket of water), in the bedroom…wait why is there a sack of clothes kept on the bed… in the garden, in the other bedroom, in the bedroom…in the…bedroom…in the drawing room…but where could Suchi have vanished?
At this point, Mother remembered all the times Suchi had run out of the house, with her faithful red joker in her hands so she checked even the streets but could find Suchi nowhere. Mother was almost in tears and imminent collapse when she went into the bedroom again and saw the sack of clothes moving.
Regrettably Suchi’s brilliant new plan of hiding in plain sight failed as Mother found her. After giving her a good talking to, Mother took Suchi by the hand and made her practice her ABCs. To which, Suchi responded in her glorious style, “I have such tiny hands. I don’t want to hold a pencil and practice my ABCs. Unless you give me some of that yummy uptan to eat.”