Saturday, 22 August 2009


Now that Lily is tearing all over the place, Maya considers her far more fun and worthy of her attention than she did so previously, even claiming occasionally 'We're best friends!'. But her non-family best friend is most definitely Aanya Gupta. They are in the same class at school and Aanya is a gregarious, mischievous little imp who was passed on to Maya the fantastic Indian head wobble (Maya has now honed this to perfection) which can mean anything from absolutely yes to definitely not to well, I'll think about it. She also acts as a kind of guardian to Maya at school. Even though I don't witness this in the mornings, both Andy and Aanya's mother, Anjali, tell me that every morning in the playground before the bell rings, Aanya covets one slide and if anybody with the exception of Maya tries to go on this slide - woe betide them, they are in for a nasty shock as Aanya pushes them off whilst Maya looks on with feigned coyness before climbing up their personal slide. Honestly.

Occasionally, we all go out for lunch after we've collected the girls from school and whilst both Maya and Aanya love this opportunity to spend more time together, it almost always ends in tears as the two little pixies invariably run riot in the restaurant or cafe or wherever we go, pulling fist-fulls of leaves off pot plants (poor plants), sliding up and down slippery floors till they bang into the wall and playing in front of and behind doors until one or the other gets their fingers trapped. Occasionally, Aanya forgets that Maya can't speak anything other than English and launches into a dramatic account of something in Hindi. Maya gives me a look which reads Eh? What's she on about? and I give her a look back which says No idea whatsoever but let's just nod. Or even better, let's wobble our heads. So the two of us stand there wobbling our heads (Maya does it much better than me) until Anjali comes to the rescue and translates for us.

The two cheeky little girls have only a couple of weeks left to spend in one another's company which is a shame. I know they'll miss one another. But perhaps we'll have the opportunity to come back to Bangalore one day and they'll be reunited. And then, if Maya loses the head wobble (which I'm sure she will), Aanya can re-teach it to her.

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