“Papa Estopp… ” said Amu as I was sipping my tea after being done with my breakfast. I paused at that very moment and played along. I looked at him rolling my eyeballs at the corner of my eyes with a smile on my face. “Go” he said, and I continued sipping my tea as if nothing had happened.
“Estop..” he said again, throwing the spell by pointing his wand like index finger at me. Aah, this little guy sure is having some fun, I said to myself pausing with my tea cup on my lips.
He takes longer than last time to say his release spell of “Go..” enjoying every moment of his newly learnt magic. Understandable.
As parents of little twin magicians you gotta play along.
My Amu is almost three, with his words (I’d rather call them spells as they are so enchanting) flowing out as fast as his imagination. He speaks his sentences to make himself understand (something like thinking aloud) and in the process ends up getting spellbound by his innocence.
As he prepares to throw another of his spells at me, he is kidnapped by his mother for his breakfast. Shruti picks him up in her arms and walks out. The little guy submits to the kidnapping happily. One magician being kidnapped by another magician in the happiest kidnapping ever! I could practically hear his giggles as Shruti took him for breakfast.
After they are finished with their breakfast, it’s time for our usual morning motorcycle round. It is mandatory for me to take them around in our colony on my bike before I go to work.
As we climb down to our garage, my daughter Ira holds the leg guard, climbs up on the front seat. Watching this Amu shouts “Ira estop, Amu aage baithega”. Needless to say, Ira ignores the spell and is seated firmly on the front seat. “Ira!” he shouts but then by now he understands that his “estop” spell won’t work on his twin (counter enchantment I guess), and neither his intimidation.
So first round on the bike, Ira in front and Amu with mom on the backseat, and second round Amu in front and Ira on the backseat. Peace.
As I finish their rounds and drop them off on the porch waving goodbye, I know I have to pull brakes every ten meters till I’m in the visual range. Amu keeps saying “estop” and though I can’t hear him, to play along I gotta keep slowing down on that 40 meters stretch.
Hectic day at work but their naughty faces cross my thoughts time to time. I realise how much I’m gonna miss them as I travel out of station today.
As I return home in the evening, I’m greeted by both the kids running to the door telling me about the activity that they were doing.
As I get changed for my trip and get seated on the dining table for my dinner, Amu comes and sits in my lap. “Aap kahan ja rahe ho papa?”. I tell him that I have to go to Indore for some work and that I’ll be back by evening tomorrow.
He doesn’t say anything but hugs me hard. I have my dinner with him seated in my lap. “The taxi is here” Shruti says “I’ll get the bags arranged”.
I pick Amu in my arms as I get up from the dining table to wash my hands. He won’t leave me. I want to wear my shoes but he holds on tighter, not letting go. I look helplessly at Shruti, Amu isn’t even looking up. As I try to hand him to her, he doesn’t let go. Taking measure of the situation, the elder mummy magician whispers some spells to the younger magician kidnapping him again into her arms.
I climb down the stairs and Amu looks up for the first time in all this while. “Papa estop..”.
I look at him and freeze.
Shruti looks at Amu “Amu, papa has to go beta..”
I wait momentarily for him to say Go, but he doesn’t. I start to climb down the stairs. “Estop, papa estop..” he shouts making me realise that I was cheating and in an effort to cast a longer spell. I stop again, to make his magic work. Shruti calls out to him to let me go. That “Go” from Amu doesn’t come.
I climb down the stairs and sit in taxi he begins to cry, repeatedly saying that he wants to come along. As the driver starts the car, Amu shouts “estop, estop”.
Tears well up in my eyes as I look back to him and ask the driver to drive. Looking back I see Shruti walking with Amu and Ira in the opposite direction for a stroll. I call her midway to make sure everything is okay.
Wrapping up my work in Indore the other day, I head back home with a lot of gifts from the toy shop.
As our taxi reaches back home, the kids are heading back from their evening stroll.
Amu sees me and comes running climbing into my arms. “Papa estop..” and I freeze with him in my arms. “ab Amu aapko aise hi estop rakhega papa” he says as he kisses me when spellbound by estop.
I look at Shruti and smile. The little magician has us all enchanted for life.