My little nephew, A dotes on Pari. Pari worships the very ground that he treads upon. It is the perfect love affair. Last year, they were together for summers. Every morning, the two would wake up early to play, invariably get into fights and make up again before the end of the day to continue the play until one of them passed out of exhaustion and the other had no option but to call it a day. I remember Pari telling me very cheerfully - 'Mumma, these vacations were so much fun. A & I fought so much and we cried everyday!' Yes, I agree. Thats what makes a great vacation.
The fact that A is almost 5 years younger to Pari doesn't have a bearing on this relationship or the power-equation between the kids. A does call Pari 'Didi' but more out of habit than actual reverence. He is 7 while Pari is 12 but considers himself the oldest and the wisest, and with him, Pari behaves like a 6 yo. It all falls in place nicely and they make it work, using every moment of togetherness to play like possessed.
Talking of last summers and Pari, at times her juvenile behaviour and wild spirit really got to me. It is not easy to observe your carefully raised 11 yo transform into a 6 yo and keep your composure, only because she is playing with a much younger child. I have anyways never been too tolerant of kids. I snapped at the children a couple of times and A - the 'oldest and wisest' of the household retorted with verve and really got to my nerves. Subsequently, I learnt better and directed all my following screaming towards Pari. This worked well - Pari doesn't answer back to me and seeing Pari Didi scared, also mellowed down A significantly. During one of my tirades, I was deprecating Pari for strewing her clothes on the floor.
Me: '12 saal ki ho rahi ho aur kapde rakhne nahi aate??'(You are almost 12 and you leave your clothes on the floor?)
A: Whispers sheepishly, even before Pari can respond 'Abhi to bus 11 saal ki hui hai'(But Pari is only 11 currently)
Pari & I couldn't contain our smiles.
The following afternoon, Pari & A were having lunch.
A: 'Bua, Pari Didi has finished her lunch. Can she come to play now?'
Me: 'How about you? Have you finished yours?'
A: conveniently ignoring the difficult-to-answer part 'I reminded Pari Didi thrice to finish her dal, and she is finally done. Can we go to play?'
Me: 'Have you finished your dal?'
A: selective hearing at its best 'Alright! We go to play now.' bolts out of the room!
It is amusing to see how kids fight among themselves but become so protective of each other when faced with elders.
ps: Jung: war; Junaid: soldier