Bed time chat & Buddy Bench

Just before going to bed every night, Anirud and I have a chat. What we talk during that time entirely depends on his mood and how early/late he is to the bed. Sometimes, it would be as simple as telling a story followed by a Q&A session. Sometimes, it would be about a TV programme that we just saw. I know that he normally looks forward to this time – as many of the days, he would carry the encyclopedia (a book that is as heavy as him and the one that he handles with awe) to the bed room, turn to some page in random and ask me questions on what he sees in that page as if I wrote that book. Among other things, we also update each other about the happenings during the day, what each other liked / disliked, any concerns etc.

Whenever we have a chat of this nature, it would be funny to see how he perceives things and what the kids think of themselves and their surroundings. Yesterday, he told me about a ‘big problem’ at school. He was playing some game with his friend, at the end of which they had an argument. He became sad after the argument that he sat on what is called as ‘Buddy Bench’ at the play ground. If someone sits on that bench, others will know that he/she is upset about something and offer comfort. Keeping up with the above tradition, few other boys enquired with him, got to know what was going on, called the other friend with whom Anirud had an argument and ‘sorted out’ the issue after which they continued playing together.

Yes… ‘sorted out the issue’ is the word he used. Two first graders arguing about some thing silly and that is what is called a ‘big problem’. Couple of fifth graders brokering peace is termed as ‘sorting out the issue’, as if Israel – Palestine issue was resolved. If Anirud had any idea about the Nobel Peace Prize, I am sure he would have wanted it to be awarded to the boys who sorted out the big problem.


Ever heard the word ‘kaaram-ness’ (காரம்-ness ~ spiciness)? I loved that expression despite the fact that the situation in which Anirud used that word was hardly the one to enjoy such expressions.

Despite carefully combing for the presence of chillies, one of them found its way to the brat’s plate and from there to his mouth. Even after gulping down glasses of water, he was jumping up and down claiming ‘the kaaram-ness is still there in the tongue’. While we laugh at the discovery of such new words, it irritates him to no end as he thinks that we are laughing at his misery. 🙂