Although a baby, he did have a keen observation of the world around him. Once, during the rainy season, I had kept my wet sandals to dry in the balcony. Then, for some reason, I don’t remember well, I had to dash off downstairs for a couple minutes. So, as I began descending the stairs, without any footwear, Chikoo gave a loud bark, went rushing to the balcony, picked up a sandal and came running to me. “Aren’t you supposed to wear this thingy on your feet when you step out of the house?”, the question writ large in those cute, brown eyes! I was spellbound! It must have happened around 9 years ago, but I still remember it very clearly. The look in his eyes was priceless!
A couple of years ago, he gave me a pleasant surprise. Actually, I must say, I quite underestimated him, till that moment. I was in my room, busy writing something, when the bell rang. I left the book, with the pen on it, to go answer the door. While leaving, I heard the pen roll off the book and fall down somewhere. But, as I had to answer the door, I did not bother about it. When we — Chikoo and I — returned to our room, I realised my pen had disappeared somewhere. I just exclaimed, in dismay, “Where did the pen go?” Quick as lightning, Chikoo ran to the side of the bed and began scratching the floor there. I rushed to the place and groped under the bed. Lo and behold! There was the pen, sitting smugly in the slit between the bed and the floor! Now, I had never shown Chikoo what a pen was. How did he know? I am still amazed. But, proud, nonetheless.
My clever little chappie also happens to be a curious fellow. They all are! Whenever there is some problem with the television or something else, and the electrician comes over to have a look at it, Chikoo joins him in finding the fault! He sticks his nose where the electrician does — looking for what, I know not! But, the scene sure looks adorable! The techie has a hearty laugh before shooing Chikoo off and getting on with his work. Somewhat similar was the scene once, when another furry creature decided to pay us a visit — the rat! Chikoo accompanied his dad in finding where the little guy had hidden, much to his mum’s amusement, who was watching all the action unfold from the table top! Father and son looked adorable, looking for Stuart Little, who was scurrying from place to place!
Chikoo is very fluent in his mother tongue — Marathi. So much so, that whenever I and his dad have to talk something about going out, we have to speak in English. Mr. Sharp Ears gets all alert at the mere mention of the ‘outdoors’! He also happens to know the horn of our car and can distinguish it from among the fifty or so cars in our housing society. Isn’t he smart?Yes, he is!
Oh, well, there are numerous things to write about my little Einstein, but he is barking his head off! It is his walk- time, and there is no way I can waste another second in front of the laptop. This is one of his best days, when he is eager to go out. So, I really ought to make the most of it, isn’t it?