Dhruv and I are on an overnight train journey. We are happily equipped with food and some activity which will keep us occupied till bedtime.
Enter a group of college goers.
All the sudden gush of noise and rambling makes Dhruv realize that people-gazing could be more entertaining that all the silly toddler activities amma’s put together.
They settle down and in less than 5 minutes they take out a huge bag of junk – packs and packs of crisps, soda etc.
They open a pack of crisps. Dhruv is staring harder now.
Each of them pick a crisp and bite into it.
I can see my Dhruv’s eyes narrow and pupil widen like a camera lens. Everything else blurs and focus is only on the crisp.
The crisp breaks with a Krrrr sound and I look at them and my little one in alteration. The moment the crisps went into their mouths my baby was salivating!
Wow! What a commercial! I knew for sure that had the marketing team for the crisps seen this they would have immediately taped it for inspiration!
The youngsters seem less in a hurry after a few munches. Having satisfied their taste buds they look around at other things in the compartment. That’s when they caught my little boy staring hard on their pack of chips and salivating.
Embarrassment. I immediately try to divert his attention and ask him ‘Would you like to have dinner?’
I remove the pack of chapathis (Indian bread) and curry. Tear a bit of chapathi, dip it generously in the curry and attempt to feed him. He looks helplessly at me, his eyes yelling out ‘Ma..what are you doing?! Chips Vs Chapathi?? I have to be up for the game. Don’t let me down!’
I sense his misery and remove another box. Open it with fake excitement and say ‘See we have crisps too!’ It was box of homemade banana chips. Less appealing. I mean look at my modest box and look at the pack of crisps!
Dhruv looks at me and smiles as if to say ‘I love you!! But please pack it better next time. Substitute the tin with organic paper bag maybe? But for now, I’ll manage.’
He takes a banana chip out of the modest box, looks at the group of youngsters and says ‘Dhruv has chips too. Your chips are from bad oil. Dhruv’s is healthy AND yummy..’
He then bites into the humble banana chips staring in the eye of one of the guys from the group as if to say ‘Ha! You loser!’
Love happens and I can’t help but hug him. He happily had his chapathi-curry and chip in rotation and when he was done, he looked up at the group again just to reassure them that he was in the game too.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present you my toddler – who is already up for the fight against the world. Who dares to take on him?!