It happened again, perhaps for the third time in two days. I was standing in front of the wall beside the entrance door , giving vent to that sudden surge of creativity  that had erupted within me, when I saw the half empty can of acrylic emulsion left behind by the workers recently . I had  very delicately, dipped my hands in the royal blue liquid , and then trotted up to the wall . Minutes later , I stepped back to admire my handiwork and waltzed off for some more colour , feeling pretty exhilarated . Now that is something only an artist will understand . Others will not . I had just about managed to dab  some red onto the blue pattern when it happened again. Something landed on my rear .Ouch ! That hurt . Before I could say anything , I was lifted off the ground . In Superman style , I was taken into the bathroom ( though I swear I didn’t feel like Superman ) and dumped in the bath tub . I was soaped and scrubbed and when I allowed my vocal chords to exercise themselves a little, I got a thwack too. I was whisked off to the bedroom thereafter and dressed up in a frock that  I intensely disliked . I protested vehemently and the elderly lady , next door called out to ask if everything was alright .

That day , Dad was welcomed home from office , with a volley of complaints . For the life of me, I couldn’t understand the reason . I had eaten my food , though , I admit , I did spit out a few morsels . I had  my afternoon nap and woke up exactly  half an hour later . I had , in fact done a lot more good than was expected of someone my age . I had swabbed the bedroom floorwith a handkerchief and I had tried to wash a few of my frocks . I certainly had not played football inside the house , like that devil of a cousin , Rishi.I had even helped in  preparing  dinner.Unfortunately , all my overtures were snubbed . I sat quietly on Dad’s lap ,wide eyed with wonder, as Mom’s harangue continued . For some reason , she kept telling Dad that I was his daughter . That got me thinking . Maybe I wasn’t her daughter . Or was I ? I pondered over the question . I mean , let’s face it , she did hug me and kiss me and buy me stuff . But then there were times when she acted so weird . I looked up at Dad . He bent his head and kissed me .

He then got up , and carrying me in his arms , walked up to Mom . He hugged her and said , “ She is a good child . Once she joins preschool , you will have more time to attend to things at home .”

I liked the first part of what he said , but I wasn’t sure I liked the second part . Nevertheless , I was bundled off to play school , a month later to  “channelize my energy .”

Written by Jayashree Pillai

Jayashree spends half her day tearing her hair in frustration, wondering why kids these days just don't get their tenses and prepositions right. Once she calms down and the horns disappear, she is genial, warm, friendly and smiling. She hates to sit idle and enjoys a whole lot of things which include cooking and gardening but her knowledge is pretty limited in those areas. So she is actually an amateur in the purest sense.