Wednesday, January 7, 2015

For My Friend Fly

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My son these days has been reading level 1 books and one of his favorites is the Fly Guy series. The first time he brought one of the Fly guy book, I wasn't amused. It just didn't hit the right chord in me. A few days later, another Fly Guy....this time Fly Guy vs. The Fly swatter. I felt an impulse to pick it up and read it. And how I thank my stars that I did that! While reading the book, I started enjoying and I suddenly remembered our India trip when my son was about three years of age. Having been born and brought up in India, things that were there were just there for me....normal, everyday, routine things. But for my son, it was the first time when he was discovering his surroundings. So, picture this....My son is sitting in his room and a fly comes in. Imagine the terrified look such a common and puny creature brought on his face. Yes, yes, I am talking about the makhkhi....the everyday visitor in almost all the houses in India. Visualize my son screaming at the highest pitch possible.....a scream that made me jump wherever I was and as I came rushing to him, terrified that he might have spotted a lizard ...(yikes! I am soooo..... scared of them...), my son said, "Mama...there is a bug in the room and it will bite me..." I looked up and I looked low. I picked up the pillows. I dusted my bed.....But there was no bug. Then again....the scream....."Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......It's there...". There it sure was....right on the bed's edge, cozy, lazy housefly. I have to admit that I couldn't help and I started laughing. All this while my son stood petrified, hugging me tightly and really really infuriated at my laugh. My mom-in-law rushed from the other room and when I told her what had happened, she started laughing too....but very mindful laughing it was, mind you. She had seen her troubled grandson and she took him in her embrace and said, "yeh to makhkhi hai....ek makhkhi se darta hai beta.....kaise rahega yahan...."(This is just a are scared of a are you going to live here... ). 

The little fly had disappeared in the meantime and my son started playing again. I explained to him that flies come and go. 'They will not bite you.....but make sure they don't touch what you eat as then your food will get dirty.' He understood and went on with the day. The next day was fly day again....actually from that day, all days became fly days. When he saw the fly next time, my son exclaimed, " Look mama, my friend makhkhi!". This time I was amused more than I had been when he had screamed. The regular visitor was never seen as one having the potential to be a friend. It never entered the house that way but it came to stay there as a friend. My son would quietly observe the fly from a distance. He would sometimes shoo it away and sometimes keep some pretend food for it to eat. And nobody dared mess with his little friend. I am glad that it is difficult to distinguish one fly from the other as my son always thought that the fly that was there in his house was also travelling with him...actually following his friend wherever he went. I did my part be cleaning the corners of the windows and every other possible place where my son could have spotted a dead fly. It may sound hilarious but for a little heart, death in this tiny stature would have assumed a state of enormity. I smile today as I write this.

My son has read The Fly guy vs. The Fly Swatter at least ten times in these two days. When I ask him to do his homework, he first picks up the book and reads it and then he does his homework. I browsed amazon to find more books in this series and came across a harsh review that just couldn't digest the fly....oops....I mean that just couldn't digest the fact that fly can be a pet too. I myself had been biased initially but after reading the book (and having had a similar experience in life), I felt how mighty is the human brain that can conjure up things inconceivable and unacceptable to a common mind. And how open a child's mind is. I also googled up to find some literary stuff on a fly, and SURPRISE!!!!!.....WILLIAM BLAKE.....THE FLY......!!!

Little Fly/ Thy summer's play,
My thoughtless hand/ Has brush'd away.
Am not I/ A fly like thee?
Or art not thou/ A man like me?

What better way could a fragile fly be immortalized than this.....
Needless to say, our friend fly has gone places. From noses and soups to garbage bins and Fly Guy's pocket and from the corner of the windowsill to the literary gaze of a great poet, the fly flies and amuses.

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  1. I enjoyed reading about your trip to India with your son. Children having amazing imaginations. Pet fly? Why not. Fly Guy vs. the Flyswatter sounds like a fun read! The title makes me giggle...I can picture the illustrations :). I think my son will enjoy this series. Thank you for sharing your review.

    1. thanks for stopping teach us to see everything in a whole new suddenly becomes more interesting, more adventurous.....