“Pavitra wants to have a pet…”
“Why? We have never had pets at home.”
“I tried to tell her, but she does not understand…”
“I will talk to her..”
Later Pavitra talks to me. “Appa I want to have a pet”
“Not done Pavitra. We have never had pets before.”
“But you do many things that we did not do before…”
“Like we never had a computer, but you got one for me..”
“The two are not the same.”
“Why Appa, both are for me, no?”
“What pet are you talking about?”
“No chance. It will make a mess. Too much of a problem.”
I finally persuaded her to accept a fish tank with a variety of fishes. It was kept in her room. Six months later, she came back “Appa, the fish is not playing with me.”
The discussion ended with me agreeing to get her a parrot. So she got one. A neighbour told her that parrots should always be in a pair. So we let go of the first one, and got a pair of parrots. They had the whole of Pavitra’s room, no cage.
Then some one told her that parrots are part of nature, they are not meant to be at home. So on an Independence Day we went to our building terrace and Pavitra let the two parrots fly away.
A month later Pavitra was back. “Appa, I want a dog.”
She kept talking to her mother too. I think I was the first to give in.
We started looking around, talking to friends and reading up. (No internet those days). One day I read a classified ad in the Sunday News Paper. Some one offered Dashund Puppies (delivered 2 days before).
Pavitra and I visited the advertiser. As we entered the garden area one small dashund puppy came rushing to us and started licking Pavitra’s foot. Our hearts melted when we saw him, and as Pavitra lifted him and held him in her hands.
He arrived after a week. We named him Eashi – meaning the one who sticks to you like glue! Eashi was with us from 1992 to 2005.
This is not the story of Eashi, but the story of how a persistent and persuasive kid got her way. I don’t know if there are any lessons for parents in this.