"She doesn't eat anything."
My sister complained on phone. She was telling about her daughter, my niece. For a five year old my niece is quite intelligent, active, very playful and very very naughty. I used to tell my sister that it was good for kids to be naughty. I hate it when people try to suppress kids. Its like you are switching off a bright light in a beautifully set room and plunging the room into darkness.
At the same time I realise how hard it is on my sister, to balance the kid and her full time job. When she called me, my niece was sick. With proper treatment her fever came down, but health did not show much improvement. Doctor had advised sister to try stuffing her up and increasing her weight by next few days. If there is no progress she has to be hospitalized.
"The only way left to try is using a funnel to force feed her." My sister continued. "When I call her to the table she never turn up. She run away when I approach her with food. I know she needs her nutrients, but she doesn't like any thing that I prepare for her."
"You try to find out what she like."
"I tried it. She doesn't like anything!"
Then I remembered my childhood. I never used to like food then. Milk, rise, iddli, dosa, sambar, chutney... my hate list used to be endless. I remembered one day when my father tried to feed me rice with some daal curry.
"I cannot eat daal. I don't like it." I declared.
"You love Dhara Singh, don't you?"
Dhara Singh used to play Hanuman in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana, which was running in Doordarshan at that time. Father had told me before that Singh used to be a wrestler who has won many fights.
"Do you know how they get such power?" Father cooked up a story. "By eating daal. They eat lot of it."
I was hooked and daal became my favorite from then, with rice, chapatti, in sambar or rasam- for close to 15 years, everyday I demanded it in my diet.
Now the time has come for payback. I asked sister, "What do you have right now with you?"
"Ok, give phone to her." She handed over the phone to my niece.
"What did Doctor uncle do today?"
"He gave me an injection." Obviously she was not pleased by it.
"You know, there is one thing which if you eat, the next time when he does it, his needle will break."
"Pomegranate. If you drink its juice everyday with milk, he cannot take an injection next time."
I disconnected the call after I heard her shouting to her mother to make her pomegranate juice immediately.
Months later when I saw her, her mother was serving her pomegranate juice and she seriously informed me, "Did you know, pomegranate juice can make injection needle break...!!!"
This post is part of Happy hours by indiblogger.in sponsored by Dabur based on the theme A happy child make a happy home. Go here for more information.