One of our favourite English teachers in school, George Sir, had taught us the figure of speech for this statement, which is Paradox. He had a signature way of teaching things including lot of drama and funny antics which made us remember them effortlessly even over a long period of time. Like today, for instance.
To restrict A Jr’s tv viewing time, which has been getting a bit out of hand lately, and to engage him in something productive I decided to teach him about living and non-living things today. I parked him on the kitchen counter while I was doing the dishes and then began our give-and-take of knowledge.
Here goes the conversation:
Me: Accha batao, aapko kaunsi cheezen yaad hain jo bolti aur move karti hain?
A Jr: Crow. Wo roz hamari balcony ke saamne kaw kaw karta hai.
Me: Good. Aur?
A Jr: Dog. Wo bhi bhow bhow karta hai.
Me: Good. Accha Crow aur Dog kya hai?
A Jr: Crow bird hai. Dog animal hai.
Me: Very good. Aur batao.
A Jr *Slightly bored already*: Ab aap batao na..
Me *Trying to make it interesting*: Ok… accha batao aapko wo movie yaad hai jisme wo fish kho jaati hai aur uske Papa turtle ki help leke usko dhoondne jaate hain?
(I was trying to show him that fishes are living beings too…through Finding Nemo)
A Jr *Suddenly bright-eyed*: Haan! Aur IceAge 4 mein bhi Papa kho jaate hain! Aur Alex mein bhi (Alex meaning Madagascar)! Accha Mamma…ye baar baar sab kho kyun jaate hain?
Me*Trying to catch up with the digression*: Huh…haan wo thik hai.…wo chhodo…par aap mujhe living things bata rahe the na…
A Jr *Happy Happy*: Ab bas ho gaya…abhi main aapke phone pe game khelu?
And off he goes while I look on……!
Needless to say, our lesson never got completed and we never came to non-living things or even more living things for that matter. I’ll probably still need to figure out a way of getting him to sit and concentrate on a certain thing, but he’s already learnt how to give me a slip when he wants to.