“Ta-da-da! Let’s go!” I said dramatically closing the laptop and toppling the relaxed summer vacationers from their comfortable positions on the couch.
“Ouch! Must you really be this dramatic?”, said the son, who is fast learning to use the tone of a teenager in these matters.
I said with my hands firmly upon my hips , “YES! I have a long week-end approaching and I intend to enjoy it. Come on now!”
A low moan like a donkey stuck with its foot in a can was heard, and I turned towards the distressing noise. It was the daughter. I was surprised at this. “I thought you have been pandering on about that Cerulean princess book all week! Don’t you want to go to the library?”
“I told you! It isn’t available in the library yet.”
I ran an amused look over her appearance. She looked like an indoor plant with no desire to be planted outdoors. The child’s loose clothing, lazy groans, and the fact that she had made lunch for the family seeing how busy I was that morning melted my heart, and I said, “Fine! Either you come to the library with us, or you read Persepolis. Your choice.”
She willingly picked the latter, and I wondered why I had not resorted to this technique before. I have been begging her to read the book for at least a year now, and have been met with vague shrugs and the you-don’t-know-teen-taste mantra. It was very perplexing. I knew she would enjoy the book. The comic strips had humor, striking visuals, and a highly engaging take on the history of Iran. I knew her women’s rights part of the brain would itch and she would want to find out more.
So, off the son & I went. We were celebrating freedom and these long summer evenings seemed just the way to go about it. We grazed along the aisles, less leisurely than we’d have liked, but very glad to be there all the same. I found that book on the Cerulean skies or whatever it is the daughter was looking for, and was wondering how to show her my smugness at finding it in the library when a text chime interrupted us.
“I finished it finally!”
“Sooo…..what did you think of it? Interesting that it took you less than an hour!”
“Something tells me you look smug right now. It was very good.”
I grinned in spite of myself. If I looked smug – what of it? Life doesn’t often give us the chance to feel that way.
That evening on a walk, we talked of this and that before we meandered back to Persepolis.
“Ever wondered why the book was called Persepolis?” said the husband. She shrugged, and we gave her the little secret: Iran was known as Persia. The Persian empire, a grand old civilization etc.
She stopped in her tracks, and said, “Oh! That makes so much sense now. I mean not just for this book, but a ton of other stuff just clicks now. I always wondered about references to Persian this and Persian that in songs and stuff.”
I pressed into action.
“What is it with teenagers not accepting our life’s wisdom huh? If you had read Persepolis before, you could’ve been armed with this superior knowledge – just saying. You know? We were perfectly angelic children, who listened to everything our parents said!” I said.
She chuckled and said, “You do realize paati and thaatha (grandma and grandpa) are just a WhatsApp message away and are always willing to dish the dirt on you right?”
I laughed and changed tracks. “By the way. Please be ready to eat your hat once again. I found the Cerulean Princess book in the library.”
She turned and giggled. I saw the book you picked out. It isn’t the one I was looking for. The one you got is the fourth and last installment in a series. I cannot read that just because you saw Cerulean in the title!”
Huh! How many new fiction books in the teen section would have the word Cerulean in them?
The sky above was looking beautiful. The sun would set soon ushering in a whole plethora of colors. “Never mind then. The sky looks beautiful, and we can resume our chatter under the cerulean skies!”, I said and laughed.