If your parents are freaks, you figure early on that to survive them you have to beat them at their game.
...and so she has figured that she might as well become adept at reading subtitles on foreign language films.
(Small relief that she did not get head bangers as parents. She would want to up the ante in head banging.)
Flipping channels while seeing the news I figured they were showing White Balloon on TV. If you do see this beautiful film then do read about the imprisonment and ban on this filmmaker.
Seeing a little girl as the protagonist had her hooked, rather than her usual stance of ignoring the news.
"Quickly read the lines and explain to me what the girl is saying, why is she sad, why is she crying now, why is that man pulling the snake out, why wont he give her the money, its her money "...... The questions came at me at breakneck speed. Ofcourse I could not keep pace.
"Mummy...",she despaired and began reading out the subtitles. I guess so she could help me keep pace.
And we have put her in a school where they dont teach reading and writing till the child is seven years old. They are going to haul us up for sure, convinced that we are putting her through some extra classes for reading.
(All through my school years I always dreaded the frequent remarks in the calendar.
Now that she is in school I dread the remarks that might fill the pages and once again they will be aimed at me!)
And no, I am not putting on the child friendly cartoon channels for her to be occupied.
One, because the ads on those channels are far more noxious than even the programming on other channels.
Two, because its not an activity we can enjoy together.
She can paint, build blocks, and drape sarees and dupattas on her dolls to keep herself occupied. Not TV. Thats for us to watch together, breathlessly.
About the film: Its about a young girl who gets some money from her mother to buy a gold fish. In that walk to the shop she encounters all kinds of people, situations, ups and downs. Breathtakingly beautiful, and a reminder that a simple walk can let the child experience life in its full glory. And we shepherd our children through air conditioned cars to child safe play and study areas. A walk down a sanitised hospital lobby might give more texture.