I ask him to read out from his science book. He takes ten minutes to figure out the first sentence. When he cant read out the word, he spells it out.
F I Z E D. he says. I move away from the gas stove and look at his book, upside down.
'Its FIXED. This is X, Pavan, not Z. How can you forget your ABC?'
'I don't have practice, Ai.'
I leave the kitchen and sit with him in the balcony. I look at the sky and ask for inspiration. I want to say something that will make sense to him, and not vent my frustration.
'Look, kiddo. You don't need practice of ABC at your age. You just have to use your mind more sharply. You allow your mind to become very lazy, just when you are studying. Otherwise, your mind is so sharp. The same mind you have to use sharply when you study. Got it?'
'The same mind?' he wants to make sure.
'Yes, its the same mind.'
Next day, we are going to a friends house on the scooter. I don't want to take the main road, and he claims to know the inside route.
'Turn this way', he slaps my left shoulder.
'Now say the same thing without touching me.' I tell him, slowing down.
'Turn left.' he says.
'Correct. You got it.' I say.
'Ai, this is the same mind that I have to use when I study, no?'
'Yes, baba. Same to same.'
Later , we are trying to figure out how to use the Charkha, a gift from his grandfather, from Ahmedabad.
'How come there is no instruction manual with it?' my friend asks.
'The instruction manual is in our genes. Our father of the nation has done it long enough. We just have to get in the zone, I guess.' I say.
It takes us three days of trail and error, zonal and otherwise, to get the spindle to move with the wheel. We still don't know how to get the cotton to become thread, but both of us are thrilled with our progress.
'Ai, this is the same mind that I need to use in my studies, no?'
'Yes, Tukru, same to same.' I am not too sure I like this mind talk. I don't want to be accused of being an intellectual, ever. I wonder how to get him back in the heart, where he belongs.
Its bedtime. He is too exited to sleep.
'Ai, give me a healing, sing me a song, and tell me a story.' I do the first two, for the story I call Papa.
Papa tells him a quick, half minute story and runs back to his comp.
'I want a longer story.' he cribs.
'Look, I am too tired. Besides, I have to finsih the blog. Why dont you tell yourself a nice long story?'
'Good idea. With the same mind which I am to use in my studies?'
'Yes, darling. Just remember one thing. There is but one mind. In everyone. In everything. Its for all of us to use, whenever we need it.'
As I type in these words, his legs are playing with the pillow, balancing it md air. I wonder if he is daydreaming, and I try to remember what I daydreamed of at almost nine?
This is Pavan on the pradakshina road, in front of the Mountain, sitting down to pat a stray dog.
And this is a close up of them closer.