The curious questioner

Yesterday I read an article in our company hospital bulletin, which really touched me. About an 80-year-old man asking his 45-yr-old son a question four times. "What is that?" he asked looking at a crow. The son replies, "A crow". When the father repeats the same question over and over, the son is irritated and impatient. The father then brings a diary in which he has recorded something his son had asked him when he was just 3 years old. Looking at a crow, the son had asked him 23 times what it was and each time the father had gladly and patiently told him that it was a crow.

The message is that one should show patience and kindness to elders, however unreasonable the may sound. We dont show the same patience we show to children to our elders, entering their second childhood.

The story reminded me of my kids' repeated queries about things around them. Though I dont think I will have the patience to answer the same thing 23 times. Maybe 4-5 times. I dont have much patience with children, you know.

"Amma, ithenna vangichiya?" my son asks me when I give him a candy. My daughter asks the same too. I dont exactly understand the question in his baby language - it could mean when I bought it or where I bought it or who bought it. So I vary my answers too - I bought it yesterday or I bought it from the shop or Appa bought it. Whatever, my child is happy and keeps repeating the question until he starts savouring the candy. For him the question is just a preface to eating the candy.

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