“Didi, cat?” My favourite neighbours in the pali naka palace
The kids in my building are bold and entrepreneurial.
They used to hover at my doorstep and inquire “Didi cat, didi cat?” They were shy when I first arrived, though you wouldn’t believe that now!
Now, they sat “Didi cat, cat!” when they’re already through the doorway, climbing on the bed and table, carrying wet marie biscuits and touching everything with grimy little fingers.
The cat thing is a ruse: though my cat is Indian, he has become an expat baby of sorts, and the noise and madness are way too much for him to handle. He’s terrified of these children and their excitement and their jumping up and down on the armchair. He hides under the bed straightaway, and does’t come out until after they leave.
The kids know now that they will only see the cat for a split second, but this isn’t their true motivation anyways! They still say “Didi cat?” and then charge into the house to play with all the fun things: computer, blackberry, whatever fruit I’m eating that they would like to share, and a collection of tiny worry dolls from mexico that live in the little box.
My favourite kids are the two girls in the photos: one is four and the other is five, and as they are unnaturally small, look two and a half and three. Though I live in glamorous Bandra west, my building is a slum redevelopment project as I’d described in this earlier post. So no matter how Bandramatic life outside the building can get, at home it is all simple and lovely Marathi people with their adorable children who look out for me as I wrote about here. I love these kids and their honesty, and the way that they keep things real.