Move Meant

There is a long time yet to teach her the moves. The ‘moves’, you know. Given that clumsiness is my other name when it comes to making the ‘moves’ that matter, I can bet my left brain that she will quickly understand that I am the last person in the galaxy to pick up lessons. On making those kinds of ‘moves’! Move Meant

There are some slimy gents you know. Gents who deviously use harmless homonyms as a tool to get by. Count me amongst them. My quest over the past several days has been to teach her other ‘moves’.

Lest someone fault me for not teaching her any ‘moves’! Except that my kinds of moves are about running, climbing, jumping and the like. It is an awesome bonus to notice the daughter’s hyper exhilaration as she tries several new things. For instance, walking on a tree branch.

For the last week or so, our quest, that is me and the daughter’s, has been to get her to walk on a low branch of a strong tree in the neighbourhood. She wraps her slender palms as tightly as she can around my arms and takes fledgling unsteady steps on a branch that is, say four or five feet from the ground.

Each step accompanied by a shout of “Har Har Mahadev”. I mean, some loud cackle that could as well be meant to mean “oh my God” or whatever equivalent that appeals to you. Perhaps, “Billions of blue blistering barnacles”. “Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons”. . Whatever. Just make sure it is pronounced and with a piercing emphasis like Captain Haddock would.

Every step, she walks on the thick branch I walk on the ground. Holding both her hands. Or rather, she holds my hands. Tightly. We are having fun. I am extra watchful. My brain pounds away at the risk that a silly game like this brings along with it, while the heart leaps about in joy just hearing her shrill yet squeaky announcement of her thrill.

Passersby give me the loathsome look. One mother tells another in a rather soft tone that the Prime Minister in far away New Zealand could have heard, “such over-achieving parents wreck their childhoods”. I want to roll on the floor with laughter. We have been at it for 10 minutes now and there have been as many comments as there are awards in shady awards night for Bollywood celebrities.

You see, please allow me to digress and explain one aspect of my life. The measures and standards I have for myself in my life.

For example, there is a certain standard for figuring out the severity of the gross indiscretion that I indulge in. Kind of a measure. A gauge. It is simple. I measure my indiscretions by the speed at which the missus gets to know what I am up to. The greater the indiscretion, the quicker she gets to know!

Right now, it is the eleventh minute. The phone rings. It is the missus on the line. The news has reached. And the rest is history. We are soon home. What follows is a dark part of history that shall stay under wraps. For the purposes of continuity of this story, let’s say ‘the family had an early dinner and went to bed’. Ok?

The next evening I hurry home from work. A tad late for the tryst with the tree and the daughter. In the middle of the room stands a cycle. A tricycle, if you will. Yeah. Three wheels. A bright red pedal. Looking super cool with a canopy and all that.

“Whoah”. I say.

The missus has thought of saner ways of making moves. “Come on, I howl. Let’s go”. I pull both of them. Off we go to the play area.

As the lift makes its way down the many floors, I imagine setting up the cycle and getting the daughter to sit on the seat. It does resemble a chariot of sorts. Would she wave at curious onlookers, I wonder. Or maybe start pedaling right away, perhaps. I even think that this is a super topic for Parentous. I am rubbing my palms. All in excitement. Confident she would take to the cycle like a charm.

We get to the play area. I confidently get the daughter seated. Like a king anointing his son as the new finance minister. For six and half seconds there is complete silence. The seventh second sees some strange sound. At the 8th second, there is full-blown howling! Howling which loosely translates to “Get me out of this contraption and cast it to the moon”.

I look at the missus. The missus looks at me. ‘This is what happens when she learns things like climbing trees”. She says and looks away. The howling continues.

I cajole. I plead. I play elephant. I do my clumsy somersaults. I pull my cheeks. Puff them up. Usual stuff that gets her happy. Today she is having nothing of it. Nothing moves her. Not even the crowds of onlookers, who have flocked the car parking lot, like a swarm of bees to an open honey bottle! I am a tad embarrassed looking around. Maybe I should pass a bowl around, I think.

I give up. Lift her off the cycle. She continues howling. Nonstop. A few passersby give me the looks. New looks. One more second there, they would ask me if she was indeed my daughter or I was the new child snatcher in the neighbourhood.

Something strange suggests that I run to the tree. We run. All three of us. I drag the missus along. Who drags the cycle along. We must have been spectacularly hilarious to watch.

In a few minutes, the daughter plants her tiny shoe on the now familiar bark of the tree. The howling stops. She smiles. Walking on the branch gets the small feet come alive not to speak of the shrill thrill in the voice!

From the corner of my eye, I spot the missus having her hands over her eyes in fear. I have a sinking feeling that it’s going to be an early quiet dinner tonight as well.

Anyone watching us must have thought it to be a live rendition of a free comedy show. Only much better. Picture this: A happy daughter walking on a tree with thrill beholden shrieks, holding her brave dad’s hands, who is sweating by the bucket. Scared stiff that he not only has to contend with the lack of approval from the mother, but has to battle her (and the neighbours’) express disapproval! A mother who herself is holding a colourful tricycle and shaking with fright, like an aircraft in turbulence.

Of course that night, well shall we say, the family had a quick dinner and went to sleep. Move meant

The pedals have thus languished in the living room for three full weeks awaiting those tender legs to work on them. Legs that have found a tree to be far more worthwhile. Legs that get a sprightly dart the moment they see the cycle. Meanwhile, we have been working on the tree. Me and the daughter. With even more gusto. Am happy to report that she can walk with a slightly less tight a clasp of my hands.

The missus has given up on us. I would like to think the neighbours have as well. The dinners at home are better. We talk these days. Topics like cycles or for that matter, trees, don’t figure in our discussions. For some strange reason.

Kavi dabbles in writing, reading, traveling, photography, long distance running amongst other things. He and Shanti have their hands full with their adorable toddler, Kayal. In-between all of this, he gives an arm, leg and everything else to earn a living. Usually accomplished by punching keys, attending meetings and trying to sound profound. He blogs at & tweets @kavismusings. Just in case you are intrigued enough to know more about him please head to

  • Loved the post….also the way you click the pictures with just a little bit of glimpse of little miss running away from the dragon… ooops I mean Tri cycle…

    • Thank you ! The little miss is running around always. Its difficult to catch a nice frame of hers ! 🙂 But thats part of the fun !

  • Sujit Sanyal

    Always the Tarzan in you!

    • LOL ! Moves have no meaning if they dont leap from one branch to another! Do they !?! 😉

      • I wonder where she picked that up from Roshini ! But she has a swell time doing that. So, its fun all the same !!!

  • Roshni

    I agree with her…climbing trees is the most exciting thing in the world! 🙂

  • Two branches,
    of Two Trees.

    One ,
    exploring around,
    in the shade of the
    Mother tree,
    but daring to grow
    in newer directions,
    going flat out
    to explore the environs,
    before bursting
    into delighted green leaves,
    grinning in the shade,
    ignoring the sight
    of all those shiny
    things with wheels
    and uniformed folks;
    Delighted to bits,
    at the little feet
    stepping gingerly ,
    sometimes on her toes,
    sometimes flat out,
    hands held by the Big Man,
    whooping it
    up with her.

    And the other ,
    Little Branch
    a new ability to steer
    the wheels of her mind;
    sometimes cuddled up
    with the Mother Tree
    with stories,
    sometimes practicing
    expert corporate calligraphy,
    and sometimes,
    doing the
    Dance aux Deux,
    on the Big branch,
    with the Big Man
    as partner,
    twinkling in fun,
    shrieking with joy
    all the while
    those colorful wheels,
    sitting forlornly
    in the shade,
    when their time will come.

    Like the Einstein Tree once said,
    “the legs are the wheels of creativity”……

    • Adorable poetry ! I mean, what I struggle with over two pages is there in two paras. And so much adorable !

      Lovely ! Thank you, as always ! 🙂

  • Very Very creative. Love the way you write! My dad brought my son a tricycle when he was 1.5 yrs old. ’tis been a year now, but still the cycle is yet to get his patronage. At best, my son seats Charlie the Monkey on it and takes him through the house, reminding us of the now extinct Rickshaw-wallahs.

    • Thank you Yamini ! I swell at my chest whenever someone talks to me about my writing 🙂
      Very generous of you to say it!

      After hearing you I am kind of preparing myself for the long haul on the cycle story ! hmm !

  • Mercy Livi

    awww…. my favorite daddy – daughter post is up ! Loved reading it as much as the dad – daughter duo enjoyed the time together ! 🙂

    • I am so glad ! Also at the mention of this series getting to be amongst your ‘favourites’ ! We had a swell time. Well..shh..lets keep the dinner out of this. Ok ! 😉

  • Oh I think tricycles are outta fashion these days! My toddler uses it as a mobile toy holder at the most!

    • Mobile Toy Holder ! My God ! What ingenuity. I guess I will look out for what all is getting used as what else !

      I didnt realise it was out of fashion. That is something to ponder about ! 🙂

  • Ahem! My daughter’s uncle and grandparents gifted her a 2 wheel cycle when she was 2.5 years old. Yes – it still decorates the grandparent’s household 🙂

    • A bicycle at 2 ! Maybe that is what is needed. hmm..A bicycle that would climb trees also, would fit the bill now. Perhaps !

      But these would be such wonderful artifacts for memory sake. Wont they be!?!

  • Awwww…….such sweet moments beautifully captured through your words and complemented with lovely click.

    She walks on the lowbranch strong tree with the trust that her dad holds with his strong hands, perhaps that is why the exhilaration , shrills and shrieks.:). She would be missing that dad’s hold on the cycle.

    LOL at the somersaults.

    • thank you so much Asha ! Well, even now, she insists that she holds my hands. And not the other way around ! 🙂

      But what a refreshing comment. I didnt see it that way at all. Suddenly I realise. ofcourse a tricycle cant substitute! So what if it had three wheels!

      hmm !