Monday, March 31, 2008

...TOOTH FAIRY

Rasan lost a milk-tooth today. Not that it is the first one, but it is surely the first when the tooth fairy won’t be visiting her. Ever since age 6 when she lost her first milk tooth, I have been faithfully acting the elusive fairy and placing a Canadian loony or a two-dollar coin from my forex residues. The excitement that accompanies the ritual cleaning of the tooth- before she places it under her pillow for the tooth fairy to find it spic and span and place an equally shiny coin in exchange for it - is simply endearing. She sleeps that night without fuss for I have told her that the tooth fairy visits you only when you are asleep. She even forces me to sleep early lest the fairy should turn back and not give her the promised coin. The shine in her eyes in the morning upon waking, in the anticipation of that coin is worth all the treasures in the world. The yell with which that coin comes back to me, and finally goes to her piggy bank is so innocent.

Tonight she asked me point blank, “Mama, hasn’t it been you all through, who used to put that coin?” This is not the first time that she has doubted it. Last month, when Jai lost his first tooth, she told him to clean it nicely and put it beneath his pillow so that the tooth fairy finds it worth exchanging for a dollar or two. And surely he found a two dollar coin beneath his pillow. Next morning, she expressed her doubt about me being the tooth fairy but I shoo-shooed it by turning my face away and saying no. But both my children are very particular about not taking a “hmm” for an answer and making me say out aloud what I want to say. Their pet line is “injh nahi, uchi bol ke dasso!” That is their way of ensuring that I don’t lie or try to put them off the track. Anyway, I tried to manage with a "hmm" thinking it was perhaps too early for her to lose that faith in fairies.

Coming back to her question tonight, I ignored it gently and concentrated on Mahesh’s incoming call. Finally the call had to end; she was awake still and repeated the question. I couldn’t lie tonight and said, “Okay, you want the truth? Yes, it has been me.” Thank god for the half-dark room. She bawled, “aaannnn, too bad.” So I went to the bed, lay next to her and explained why I went on doing it. Then I asked her, “Wouldn’t it have been rather good if you didn’t know the truth?” The rational being inside her spoke, “No, its okay, I suspected it. But now I am not feeling good that there is no tooth fairy.” “Well, with your new found knowledge, don’t you dare tell Jai the truth,” I warned. “Okay, I won’t baba,” said she, “but I feel like crying,”

Oww my baby, she is already feeling the heart-breaks as the childhood beliefs start to vanish. But she decisively said, “Okay Mama, don’t put any coin beneath my pillow today, lets see if the tooth fairy comes,” Is there still a trace of that fantasy in her mind? I wouldn’t want to kill it. “Right, I won’t. Lets see.”

And I won’t. For sure.

Perhaps I should…???

14 comments:

Bikramjit said...

Manpreet,
Read your all blogs... a very nice , touching emotions from the core of your heart. I hope you are enjoying your BACHPAN with kids. Perhaps this is the energy to keep us moving...
sekhon
ASR

Sidhusaaheb said...

No tooth fairy ever visited me...Not even when I lost one of my non-milk teeth and later got a fake one installed in its place... :D

Anonymous said...

Tooth Fairy is no more, for RASAN.
It was to happen one day.
So the sooner, the better.

Rasan will get her new teeth with healthy diet. Right RASAN?
And so will Jaiteg.

Teeth are the precious treasure God has given us .
And He has warned us too; to maintain them, and not to lose them with carelessness...
otherwise Dentists di chaandi.

Blog is an appreciable piece.
You have touched a very delicate thread to patch up the situation, and to impart the Truth.
God Bless your Pen with more power to pen down the realities of life like this.

Dhindsa

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Manpreet, it is strange to see our own childhoods reflected through the eyes of these little ones. Nice post.

And I also linked to an earlier post of yours from Blogbharti :)

Manpreet said...

Sekhon, Thanks for visiting.
Sidhusaaheb, no fairy visited me too. That was precisely the reason why I wanted her to visit my children.
Sudipta, yes they are the mirror of my own life, I often wonder if I reacted the same way to things as they do.
Mama, I know how proud you are of your teeth. Mere wari kithey gaye si treasure lain nu? :(

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to adjust with the harsh realities of life even for the grown ups and i really pity for the same being faced by a kid of ten years. While reading the story even i wished that Rasan should not have known the facts of the fairy and i wish her fairies world lasts for ever. I really wish if we all could live in the fantasy world. Realties are so harsh that the imaginations and fairies fly away like a smoke bomb, this smoke does not only vanishes but also leaves tears behind. I liked this innocent story so much ,that i wish that it is taught to students of class 7th or 8th. M.I.Singh

Roop Rai said...

aww how old is she? nice name rasan :)

Manpreet said...

Well, Mahesh, U and I will try our best that her wonderful world always remains enchanting for her. With you as Dad, any child would have a great world. :)
Roop, her full name is RasanMeet. She has just turned 10. I m lucky to have a child like her.

sukumbho said...

Fairies are there to take us to the height of imagination, in a creative pursuit to make this world better for tomorrow, as we wish it to be. That's the difference with the real world. So, ur telling of tales of fairies to the six-year old is as true and necessary as the real truth, one that comes up before the grown-up child.

Raza Rumi said...

again a very touching piece - genuine emotion.
I sent an email to Dr Saheb - hope it was received?

Roop Rai said...

rasan. rasan. rasan. i am annoying husband by saying it over and over again. hehe really like it!! :D am back ... not that there is anything exciting about it, but I am back. :D shall write about the travels once i'm a bit rested. hope all's well. :)

PARRY said...

Hi, saw your blog today but after reading this post cudnt help but post my comment on it.the way u ended the post by saying shud i? was great. I tel u the way u write is just amazing. of the 8 items on ur list i think u shud add one of writing a book too. the way writers r paid these days i bet all other items wil come ur way too soon.

gurkiran/chinki said...

When I was seven, I found out that my mum and dad was the tooth fairy ....well pretending to be the tooth fairy. I was really sad and cross at the same time. I soon calmed down and started to think what my mum and dad was trying to do for me. I noticed that my mum and dad was trying to put me across imagination. Now I know that the tooth fairy is not real but, I still put my tooth under my pillow to fill up my money box.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I am so behind on reading your blogs, but this one was quite lovely. I was thinking of Rasan's expressions as she pouted. I can relate to this story b/c here, in America, Santa Claus, like the tooth fairy is every child's fantasy. I still remember how my mom and nankay family used to help us assimilate to the American culture by following the American traditions for Xmas, including Santa Claus. Ahhh..I really miss those days. Those trips to the mall to sit on Santa's lap and convey to him what we wanted from him. I can't wait to impart this fantasy world to my own kids.

Much love,
Sukh Bajwa