The mum who wished to be a pigeon #MondayMusings

Where do I hide?
Where do I hide?
Oh God! Why am I so big I cannot find a place to hide?

I peek from the corner of my right eye and the hand is still frantically and impatiently moving back and forth in an effort to be acknowledged.

Terror struck, I decide to be a pigeon and close my eyes.

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10 moments earlier…

Libby Jackson who works for the UK Space Agency and is the author of the book A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space stepped on the stage to give a talk on the incredible women working in the space programme around the world.

7 moments earlier…

The floor opened up for questions from the kids to the author.

6 moments earlier…

“Do you want to ask a question?”
“No”
“It is okay.”

Being the positive mom that I am, I behaved positively.
‘It is okay if he doesn’t have a question or doesn’t want to ask one. I will let him be.’

4 moments earlier…

I saw his hand raised in the air to my surprise.
“You have a question now?”
“Yes.”
“Good.”

3 moments earlier…

Recalling the strength of his questions which more often than not have the tendency to be out of the syllabus at hand, I deemed it appropriate to become privy to it on priority.

2 moments earlier…

His pride swelled up with voicing his question while mine rushed to dig up a grave below my chair to bury itself.

1 and a half moment earlier…

‘I have to do firefighting.’
‘I have to do firefighting.’

1 moment earlier…

“Can you think of some other question to ask? Something relevant to the session, something related to women, rockets, space, moon?”

Was I pleading or firefighting?

Half a moment earlier…

“Arre kuch nahin hota, Mummy, pooch leta hun.”
“Never mind, Mummy, I will ask.”

At the zeroth moment which is now…

My eyes are fluttering around the hall for the Mic Lady hoping for her to see through both of us. She is walking toward us. ‘Where do I hide? Where do I hide?’ His hand is impatiently waving back and forth asking for attention. It turns dark for me. I do not faint. I am trying to be a pigeon trying to save myself from the the…ummm…the cat. I hear the footsteps pass by me to the rear of the hall picking up someone for the next question.

Relief. I decide to turn into a human again. I open my eyes.

Much more relief. The time tells it is over.

Much much more relief. My gut tells the Mic Lady is going to declare, “Dhruv’s Mum, take it easy. No more questions.”

Shock.

She comes, kneels on the floor beside me and gestures to Dhruv to get ready. I see all the heads turn toward him and me as his question booms into the mic.
“Do you agree it takes 91 million years to reach the Blackhole?”

Blackhole okay but 91 million? Why? Why?

The hall bursts into laughter.


Libby Jackson gave her answer to which Dhruv did not pay attention because his intention was served. He knew his question was a ploy to make people laugh and he did it.

Do you think I was overreacting the whole time?

Later he told me the first question he wanted to ask the author was ‘Was Michael Jackson married to you?’. I have to thank him then he acted sensibly with his question.


This post is an account from one of the author talks we attended at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival in London on 11th and 12th May.

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Linking this post to MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues

#Monday Musings

19 comments

  1. This is the best thing I read today, Anu….seriously!
    And, yes, you were indeed overreacting! You ought to chill, because the people who ask kids to ask them questions are prepared for everything coz it’s kids they are dealing with, and with kids you never know what comes out of their mouth.
    Secondly, knowing how bright your little boy is, and how differently he thinks, you ought to breathe and relax, and be confident that he will ask something that will not only make sense, but also make others laugh! Trust me, there aren’t many kids who have that much courage to speak in public, make people laugh and also ask tricky but sensible questions without feeling a bit embarrassed.

    DO give Dhruv a high five from me, please, and pat his back….I love this kid! ❤

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  2. This kid is awesome. No doubt you were overreacting. It takes courage to get the mic and ask a question. Dhruv has that and more than that, a Sense if humor that he doesn’t shy away from.
    Loved reading this one! Hugs to D. And that ‘Sir par haath’ wala look for you. 😉

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  3. hehe I loved how Dhruv freaked you out. Kids they know just how to do that. But really, I feel it is fine for the kids to ask whacky questions. No one minds a child doing that. 🙂

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    1. He can always be trusted with asking the whackiest questions and that’s what gives me jitters. Thankfully he thought against establishing the ‘Jackson’ connection between Michael Jackson and Libby Jackson.

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  4. The post title got me hooked Anamika and that pigeon picture is gorgeous.

    Loved the humour in this post and am impressed with Dhruv’s verve to ask a question in such a huge audience.

    Loved his other question too and how I wish he had asked that. People expect such stuff from kids and it does give everyone bags of laughter though mommies cringe and die at the same time too 🙂

    I will go and read you other posts from this kids fest as I think I have seen something somewhere about it from you.

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    1. That is the prettiest picture of a pigeon I have ever seen. Thank you for appreciating the humour in this post 🙂 Are you really serious with wishing he had asked the other question? There used to be an idiom in the Hindi Grammer book in school – ‘Kaato to khoon nahin.’ That would have been exactly my situation if he had asked for the Jackson connection between Michael Jackson and Libby Jackson.
      The other post on Barnes Literature Festival is a Wordless Wednesday post with only 5 pictures. Nothing more.

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  5. Your little fellow seems to be quite the opposite of you – bold and seeking attention! Good for him. These days shyness and modesty doesn’t get you anywhere…

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