This is my eldest child ‘Prakash’, introduced my friend who had invited me to meet her entire family of seven. I named him Prakash as he has very bright and shining eyes, she explained.
Prakash, shake hands with aunty, entreated my friend but he was in no mood to obey her.
Not one to make her disappointment visible, she continued, ‘this is my second son, ‘Bobby’ she said and commanded him to acknowledge my greeting but met with similar reluctance on the child’s part.
O.k. both of you go out and play, she said and they happily went out of our sight.
The third is ‘Mary’ and she is my favourite child, my friend announced with twinkling eyes even as she drew her snow as white child close to her.
Mary promptly snuggled even closer and sat on my friend’s lap as though she understood her ‘priced position’ in the family of seven.
Then it was the turn of the fourth child which was a mixture of brown and white with large round eyes which I felt were keenly watching me.
This is Brownie and is very temperamental, said my friend. I have to be very observant of her moods in order not to annoy or irritate her, she added.
Yes, I understand. She looks quite unpredictable, I said and even before I finished I found the creature pouncing on me and licking my whole face. I forcefully pushed her away with all my might. There stood my friend laughing and enjoying the sight. She immediately picked up her child and began apologizing and cajoling her.
Then she called out to the other three children one by one and they presented themselves before us.
Brainy, meet my friend and say hello to her, she said.
I found him immediately responding by coming very close to me, and lifting his fore leg in order to shake hands with me. I obliged him by returning his gesture of friendship.
If I were you, I would have considered Brainy my favourite child, I said. What made you name him Brainy, I asked with curiosity.
You know, it’s because I found him very intelligent compared to the rest and also very obedient, she said proudly.
Lazy is my sixth child introduced my friend.
I think you chose a very apt name, I observed looking at the obese creature which dawdled towards me and sat as though he needed rest after a walk of few steps.
Now my seventh and the youngest child, Badshah. I named him so because he expects to be treated with respect and be the first to be served, that too in a silver plate, she said looking at the tiny canine with utmost reverence.
When I made a face at Badshah, he barked and barked displaying his instant dislike for me!
Are you planning to increase the strength of your family? I asked quite amazed at my friend’s unusual fondness for pets.
Yes, probably in a few months. I am planning to import one from the U.S. she replied.
Then your eighth child might become your favourite, I said hesitatingly knowing her obsession with anything that had a U.S.TAG.
Quite likely, she confessed.
n.meera raghavendra rao