Anagi is my granddaughter who is all of three and a bit. Her recent arrival with her brother Ruby (adventures with Ruby is a story for another day) has improved my self-awareness beyond belief.
I know of men objectifying women. But, Anagi chooses to objectify her thatha (that’s me). She climbs onto my neck, using my shoulder as a ladder step to reach some portions of the whiteboard to gaw (draw).
“Gaw me a girl!” Anagi commands.
I recall my childhood drawing skills and draw one.
“Gaw me a baby!”
I start gawing — I mean drawing — a baby next to the girl.
Anagi snatches the whiteboard marker from me and gives me a look of exasperation which plainly seems to say —
“Don’t you know anything thatha?” Her voice matches her expression.
“Gaw a baby doll.” Now she speaks with her normal voice.
She looks at me once more to ensure that I understand.
I draw a baby doll in the girl’s hands.
Anagi takes the marker back, draws a cloud and some rain.
“Now, gaw a umbrella.”
I draw an umbrella over the girl’s head.
“You forgot the baby.” This is accompanied by a reproachful look.
I dutifully draw an umbrella over the doll.
Anagi steps back and looks at the drawing critically. She draws a strand of hair on the doll’s head saying — “It’s a girl baby, thatha.” Her voice is full of understanding and pity.

“She is playing,” Anagi says.

I draw a skipping rope in the girl’s hands.
Suddenly her hands are spread wide.
“I want toys, lots, lots, lots and lots of toys,” she says.
I draw a few toys including a bicycle.
She rubs off part of the bicycle and says —
“The bicycle is broken. Gaw many many many toys.”
I draw as many ‘toys’ as possible, looking around the room for inspiration.
“That’s not a toy. It’s a taar.” Anagi gives me a pitying look but makes no move to erase the star.
She looks at the drawing it for a while and says —
“Now gaw mommy clearing it all up!”
I am stumped.

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