One of my favorite and at the same time scary bed time activity is reading along with my daughter.

Favorite, because I like going to bed with a book and am also happy because she also seems to enjoy that.

Scary because of what follows !

Yesterday she was reading a book and she referred me to the following passage and asked me something which made me cringe

“How old are the light rays from the stars ?

The light from the sun that reaches our eye at any instant will have left the sun 8.3 minutes earlier. If you see the sunlight at 7 a.m, you are actually seeing the sunlight of 6.52 am.

This was present in “Learning Science – Part I (Universe, Solar System, Earth) by Prof.Indumathi Rao and C.N.R Rao.”

She asked me “Why is that we are seeing the sunlight of 6.52 am ?”

I have been beaten by her “Why” consistently in the past and quite frankly I have never realized this  stuff about the sun rays. I cleverly dodged by saying , your mother is an astrophysicist and she would explain this better to you.

Here are a few other samples

  • Why do wear a black thread in your wrist ?
  • Why girls are not allowed to go to Sabarimala after they attain the age of ten ?
  • Why are phones and remotes so complicated ? I use only two buttons .
  • Why doesn’t Google voice understand regional language and why I have to talk in English?
  • Is anyone else living in any other galaxy ?
  • How can I go to another galaxy ?
  • Why do we celebrate some festivals and why we do not celebrate some other festivals ?
  • Why do I have to chose Hindi as my second language ? Why my mother tongue is not available ?

She will generally start by “Appa, I have a question” and I begin to tremble.

I also cannot get away with the classic management answer of “It Depends” that is drilled into me.

I do not think this is any particular trait of my daughter, but generally children these days are possibly more curious than ever and you cannot get away with an answer that is superfluous.

It just stuck me. Why none of these ever occurred to me ?

Going back in memory, I remember asking my father only words for meaning which I did not understand. He will just ask me to read me the complete sentence and infer the meaning of the word and explain it to me. If he did not get that, he would ask me to bring a dictionary , find the word and explain that to me.

I think I was just plainly indifferent or blissfully ignorant about other subjects.

It also makes me wonder on one other characteristic of mine.

I always attempt an answer for all these questions only to realize that my answer is not the right answer by any margin.

I am just refusing to give an answer that shall leave me in peace.

“I do not know, I will figure out”  is possibly the best response and why don’t I  do that more frequently ?

I shall reserve that analysis for a later day.

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun).