Today’s 10 year old

Hi’, popped a chat window on my laptop while reading some news stories on the good ol’ web. It was my 10 year old niece from Dubai. We had added each other to our chat profiles a month ago. Now the communication channels to Dubai are open daily, for at least 4 hours. It’s always good to hear her voice when she decides to start an ‘audio chat’. Today she chose to continue typing. It’s only much later that I figured out, with much clueing in from her, that she chose typing today because she was playing a game simultaneously.

I had not had much written communication with her until now. Much of our communication happened in person on her annual visits or on phone and recently, almost exclusively, by ‘audio chat’. I hadn’t chatted – aka IM’ed – with anybody that young. Even the teens old nephews and nieces gives me the jeebies with their exhibition of apocalyptic disregard for the language as well as common-sense etiquette in their stacatto messages. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What followed was truly revealing.

This was the most composed chat session I’ve have had with a fellow human in a long time. And yes, I do realise the risk involved in this fact revealing much more about me…but let’s get past that quickly. This 10 year old was able to logically negotiate a conversation, leading perfectly on trailing topics, showing perfect etiquette in correcting mistakes and in the process offering a truly invaluable insight into one of my childhood characters. This chat conversation, with due apologies to Shri. Manmohan Singh and his speech in my last week’s post, is my blog post for today.

21st August, 2010, Mumbai.

(02:43:32 IST) Niece: hi
(02:43:40 IST) Me: hi!
(02:43:44 IST) Me: how are you?
(02:43:58 IST) Niece: i am fine
(02:44:04 IST) Niece: how are you
(02:44:09 IST) Me: i am fine too.
(02:44:11 IST) Me: Had your lunch?
(02:44:16 IST) Niece: no
(02:44:21 IST) Me: breakfast?
(02:44:26 IST) Niece: yes
(02:44:31 IST) Me: good. drank milk?
(02:44:38 IST) Niece: yes
(02:44:41 IST) Me: very good!
(02:44:52 IST) Niece: did u drink molk
(02:45:00 IST) Me: i don’t like milk anymore 🙁
(02:45:05 IST) Me: gives me tummy problems.
(02:45:08 IST) Niece: why
(02:45:19 IST) Niece: hmm
(02:45:23 IST) Me: i don’t feel good after drinking milk.
(02:45:31 IST) Me: some people have allergies like that.
(02:45:37 IST) Me: it’s called ‘lactose intolerence’
(02:45:42 IST) Niece: then what do u drink
(02:45:46 IST) Me: water
(02:46:19 IST) Niece: do u drink tea or coffe
(02:46:42 IST) Me: coffee…sometimes in the evenings…without milk.
(02:47:06 IST) Niece: black coffee
(02:47:47 IST) Me: yes
(02:48:18 IST) Niece: are u busy
(02:48:30 IST) Me: little. working on the side as well. why?
(02:48:55 IST) Niece: no reason
(02:49:12 IST) Me: do you like reading books?
(02:49:22 IST) Niece: ya
(02:49:23 IST) Me: reading cartoons, anything related to reading?
(02:49:30 IST) Niece: yes
(02:49:34 IST) Me: what are your favourites?
(02:49:47 IST) Niece: dancin and painting
(02:50:06 IST) Me: no. i mean what are your favourite reading books or cartoons?
(02:50:14 IST) Niece: i read book for time pass
(02:50:26 IST) Me: good. that’s what they are there for.
(02:50:28 IST) Me: which ones?
(02:50:43 IST) Niece: every book
(02:51:16 IST) Me: please! that’s the answer somebody who doesn’t like reading likes to give.
(02:51:30 IST) Me: do you really enjoy reading or not?
(02:51:43 IST) Niece: yes i enjoy rading
(02:51:50 IST) Niece: reading
(02:51:54 IST) Me: but you don’t remember the names?
(02:52:20 IST) Niece: i love reading tinkle and enid blyton stories
(02:52:32 IST) Me: how cool! you get tinkle there?
(02:52:39 IST) Niece: yaa
(02:52:53 IST) Me: who’s your favourite Tinkle character?
(02:53:10 IST) Niece: skikari shabmu
(02:53:25 IST) Me: 😀
(02:53:43 IST) Me: is he still trying to kill that tiger? and how is his wife doing?
(02:53:45 IST) Niece: ?
(02:54:14 IST) Niece: wife is always jelous of him
(02:54:46 IST) Me: jealous? why do you say that?
(02:55:12 IST) Niece: i read the story
(02:55:45 IST) Me: I never thought that she was jealous. What did you read that made you think she is?
(02:56:18 IST) Niece: do u also read tinkle
(02:56:51 IST) Me: not recently. I used to read regularly hmm….about 22 years ago.
(02:57:15 IST) Niece: that's grat
(02:57:19 IST) Niece: great
(02:57:44 IST) Me: what’s great? that Shikari Shambhu’s wife, after 22 years, is now jealous?
(02:59:47 IST) Me: Hello???? Mom called you to finish your milk or what?
(03:00:09 IST) Niece: no i was playing game
(03:00:39 IST) Me: arrey! Here I was waiting for you to tell about Shikari Shambu’s wife.
(03:00:54 IST) Niece: sorry about that
(03:01:20 IST) Me: no problem.
(03:01:29 IST) Niece: what is there to talk about skikari shambu wife
(03:01:46 IST) Me: you said she’s jealous. why?
(03:02:37 IST) Niece: because skikari shambu never stays in the house
(03:02:49 IST) Niece: always goes for hunting
(03:03:09 IST) Me: she’s jealous of the tiger for taking shikari shambu away from her?
(03:03:26 IST) Niece: the tiger
(03:03:40 IST) Me: wow! I never thought of it like that.
(03:03:49 IST) Me: Does Tinkle still have Supandi?
(03:04:00 IST) Niece: ya
(03:04:10 IST) Me: cool. What else? tell me.
(03:04:23 IST) Niece: nothing to tell
(03:04:42 IST) Me: ok. I can see you want to get back to your game.
(03:04:51 IST) Me: go ahead. will chat later at night.
(03:04:52 IST) Niece: yaaa
(03:04:52 IST) Me: bye.
(03:04:58 IST) Niece: i mean yes
(03:05:57 IST) Niece: bye

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