Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Imagination

I've heard lots about a child's power of imagination, but it is wonderful to witness it first hand in Puttachi. It amuses me. It turns me momentarily into a child myself as I suspend all reality, and journey with her and her fancy. It stuns me with its potential. It worries me that adulthood will suck it out of her.

I've learned that a child's imagination has just one characteristic - it has no limits. And I'm talking about any child - its just that I get to observe it closely with my child.

Puttachi is deeply into drawing and colouring. It borders on an obsession. I bought her colouring books, but she doesn't like them. She wants me to draw what she sees is in her head, so that she can colour it. The latest was a Rakshasa with a skin-sleeve on his arm which held his horned baby's waterbottle.

When she colours, nothing holds her back. She colours the sky green, the river yellow, and the tree black. I don't try to correct her. Besides, she also explains her choices to me. "Amma," she says. "Apples are red, yes, but this apple is blue, because it is a magic apple. Amma, I know that rivers are blue, but this river is yellow because a big box of turmeric fell into it."

Whenever she eats something crunchy, she tells me that the treat is singing a song.. "Do you know, Amma, that these groundnuts are singing "Wheels on the bus?""
or
"Amma, I can make this puffed rice sing any song. I bite on it and think of a song, and the puffed rice sings it with me. Do you know how? It looks into my mind, and learns it immediately."

Today she listened to the strains of a Shehnai and said, "Amma, this song is crying." Where does she get such ideas?

We'd been to somebody's house to see the Dasara Dolls, and there was one baby doll with two big parent dolls. When the hostess insisted that Puttachi could take the baby doll home, she went up to the parent dolls and told them, "Don't worry, don't be sad, I'll bring your baby up very well."

Personification is a strong passion in her. She sees two cushions leaning against each other and decides that they are friends and are hugging, or telling each other a secret. She sees me cutting a vegetable and sometimes nearly tears up, asking me if the carrot is getting hurt.

She never tires of stories and makes me narrate some all day long. Sometimes, she takes over the storyteller mantle, and if I take the trouble to concentrate, I encounter fanciful, highly imaginative stories that have no beginning, no end, but are connected with a fine thread that somehow makes sense. If I react suitably with a "a tailed ant who is a firefighter? well, I never!" she promptly says, "Oh it's just a story Amma, listen further."

Anyway, half the stories I tell her are products of my imagination, but they are all rooted in logic and sense. This weekend, I decided to try and tell her a story in her style. I freed my mind, abandoned all logic, and started. It was alright in the beginning, but soon, logic crept in. I desperately tried to drive it away, but it settled down and made itself nice and comfortable. I finished the story, neatly, all tied-up. Boring.

If I could store all her imagination in a pot and give it back to her if adulthood drains it out......

15 comments:

PeeVee said...

This song is crying HAHAHAHAHHAAH :D :D

And also, "I'll bring up your baby very well" Heheheh... Cutie pie!

pm317 said...

I stumbled on your blog from a blogroll on a friend's blog. I love this post (and the one on Ganesha). You have a very perceptive (and imaginative) child on your hands.

hAAthi said...

i so relate to "this song is crying" !!

and awwwww @ ground nuts are singing wheels on the bus!
and
carrot is getting hurt!

an imagination repository is much needed!

sandhya said...

Puttachi is going to love reading these posts, Shruthi, when she is older. It will become her repository of imagination, and hopefully transport her back to her childhood. A wonderful gift from you as a mother. May her imagination grow into something which can give her pleasure even when 'all growed up.' Maybe she has the seed in her to become a writer or creator of something worthwhile!
Give her a hug from me!

rajk said...

I can only say "Wow!"

starry eyed said...

Wow!!! This is such a beautiful post! Give your lil' imaginer a hug for me!

Anonymous said...

You have the germ (or should I say gem) of an idea for a beautiful fable right there in your last para! Take it away, Shruthi! :)

ano

Manish'sMom said...

Hello pretty lady! So you are up and about eh? How's the arm? I simply loved the "Song is crying" bit! Laughed and Laughed!

Anonymous said...

LOVELY POST! I cant wait for my daughter to start talking.. hope I can do a good job in bringing her up the way you are doing it.

- SJ

Madhu said...

Loved reading this Shruthi. Now that I have met her, I can imagine her telling all this, with half the talk done by her eyes :)

Manasa said...

Even I would've asked such things to my mom.

Innocent childhood. :)

niks said...

Could relate so very well with my 6 year old daughter's words.

Thanks for sharing. It instantly made me smile :)

praneshachar said...

nice narration and puttachi u r budding writer what a way to imagine shehenoi crying, amma its a story, river is yello because turmeric powder has fallen
thanks shruthin for putting it in such a nice manner for us

Anonymous said...

Reading Shruti's post on her cute daughter's imaginative world, one could only wonder how much of parental/ancestral behavioural traits are transmitted through genes! Shruti's imaginative style of writing only mirrors Puttachi's imaginative universe. Both Mom and daughter complement each other in their mental realm which reflects their fertile imaginative world...another Shruti in the making....saga continues.

Poorna Katha said...

I've been lurking on your blog for a while. But read all the Puttachi posts (I recently became a parent) and suddenly Dil dhoonta hai fursat ke raat din began playing as I read this post.
Oddly appropriate :)

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