While I was just beginning to start reading in the evening today, a child’s voice from the other room attracted me strongly and I couldn’t help moving to the drawing room to hear what Arnav, my 4 years old nephew, had to say. He seemed to be describing some place to mom, dad and my bhabhi (Arnav’s mom) in great details and everyone was seriously listening to him.
I said enthusiastically that I also want to hear what he had to say. He was interrupted, so he clearly told me he is not going to repeat all that he has already said. Which was ok with me, and he went on.
Arnav: Aur fir hum woh mud jayegi aur uper jayegi aur fir hum gol ghumhenge aur fir vahan se neeche jayenge aur vahan gadi chod ker khud kud ke jana hoga.
Bhabhi: Lekin gadi ko kahan chodenge?
Me: Vahan ek parking lot hoga na Arnav, vahin chodenge na?
Arnav: Haan, vahan ek bahut bada parking lot hoga, jo neeche hoga… nahi woh uper hoga bahut bada..
Vahan pe har size ke machines hongi, meri size ki bhi aur main un machines pe exercise karunga. Aur vahan bahut badi slides hongi aur swimming pool hoga bahut bada aur bade bhi jayenge us school mein aur woh ander hi rahenge bahar nahi jayenge.
Me: Lekin main to badi hun, meri size ki machines bhi hongi kya vahan?
Arnav: Haan, har size ki machines hongi aur bachhe aur bade sab vahan exercise karenge. Chaloge tum sab vahan?
Everyone: Haan, promise.
Arnav: To tum apna samaan pack ker lo aur jaane ki taiyaari ker lo.
Me: Vahan kya kya lekar jana hoga? Aur vahan kaise pahunchenge? Woh kitni dur hai?
Arnav: Swimming costume, etc etc …
Woh jagah bahut dur hai.. Jahan Laddu rehta hai, uske paas hai.
Vahan cycle se, richskaw se, bus se, gadi se, train se, aeroplane se aur rocket se jayenge. Bahut jyada time lagega pahunchne mein. Saara khane ka samaan le jayenge aur rocket ke ander jo fridge hoga usmein rakh denge.
Bhabhi: Aur ek jagah ka naam kya hai?
Arnav: Exercise School.
Later at night when I was reading Peter Pan to him, I couldn’t help thinking how every child builds its own Never Land. It is definitely some place.