As a young boy, my son once asked me who is God’s mother? This question, I was totally unprepared for. I tried explaining to him, there was no one-word answer. Nothing came to mind. Wars have been fought over this question. Countries were formed and broken up over it.
I tried throwing him off the scent by pointing at nothing in particular. However, as luck would have it, my mother crossed into the frame at that exact moment. Now try explaining to a five-year-old that his very own grandmother was God’s mother. Which means the guy who says he doesn’t have enough money to buy his own son a toy train… er… that guy is God?
As for Google supplying the answer, you try it. My son then realised that not only was his grandmother’s son not God, but also that his grandmother’s son may actually be less than human. Intellectually inadequate, wisdom less, and in terms of philosophy as a currency? Flat broke.
But being a compassionate, well-meaning boy, he threw a dog a bone, he offered a less intimidating question. “Dad what is the secret to happiness”?
Two in a row! Folks what are the chances of that. Your child asking two provocative questions the ancients in all their wisdom, have not yet successfully manoeuvred. At this point, I did the only thing I could do to survive this assault. I turned away, and started digging my ear. Furiously. You know with the body language of a cardiac surgeon in the operation theatre. Such high intensity that serves as a do-not-disturb sign.
Again, my son dug into his inner Florence Nightingale and threw me a rope, “Dad what is the secret of marriage”, he inquired, in an angelic voice. See, I’ll be super honest here, I’m not sure what exactly followed after that. All I know is I lost consciousness.
Anyone, who has fainted recently, (some readers should know the feeling, having fainted after trying to digest this column), will know that you lose all sense of time after waking up. Suffice it to say, I have been living in fear of my son’s questions ever since that day.
But dear reader and the guy behind you, all that is in the past. Last month, my son returned from his University in Canada, all of 20, and bear in mind for the last 15 years he had left me off the hook. In fact, I was subject to much more compassionate, benign questions. Such as, “Dad can you move”? Or “Dad, Liverpool’s playing tonight, please don’t enter my room”? Or “Dad, for God’s sake, (this time God was in the question, but thankfully not the question), don’t dare use my phone charger?”.
Truth, here, scout’s honour, I revelled in these questions. Who would not. I could answer all of them with a finality. Truthfully. The answers being “Ok”. “Ok”. And “All right”. Yesterday, however, the pendulum swung again. My son, my pride and joy, my precious Mikhaail asked me another proverbial, “doosra”. “Dad, what the hell are we supposed to do with the 2,000 rupees notes”? Dear reader, I’m begging you, I’m pleading here. If anyone can answer this, can you for… er… God’s sake write in”?
The writer has dedicated his life to communism. Though only on weekends.