She loves ants. Loves to kill them, I mean. Chappal in hand, she hunts the poor fellows down, and – ‘bam’ – it’s all over in a second.
‘Laila!’ I yell. ‘Haven’t I told you before not to kill ants?’
The ant slayer nods and puts the chappal back on the shoe stand, bloody deed over and done with.
‘Ma…ma, I have surprise for you,’ she’s hiding a barely concealed blue rubber snake behind her small back. She knows I hate snakes. She, of course, loves them.
‘Ha ha ha,’ she throws the damn thing at me and I pretend to scream, as she goes off in to peals of laughter.
She’s impartial to other insects as well. A terrifyingly-real plastic cockroach roams around in one of her many pink purses. It was so life-like, that the maid threw it out the other evening, wondering just where it had come from.
She walks into dark rooms without breaking her stride, stares her opponents down, and enjoys a good slam-dunk by her WWE-crazed brother every once in a while.
So, I was slightly taken aback when she clung to me one night, mouth turned down at the corners, and announced: ‘I scared Mooli…’
(Mooli and Skooch are the nicknames she has given herself, and me. They are interchangeable, so we can be either at any point of time, or simply, one single entity: Mooli-skooch. This, of course, assuming that it’s one of our good days – when we’re on talking terms.)
‘Scared of what Skooch?’ I ask, as she clings even tighter to my neck.
That single whiny word destroys me.
‘Tickle them,’ I suggest. ‘Ghosts hate to be tickled; they just run away.’
She’s alright after that.
The ‘ghoshth’ pays us a visit every once in a way, though I think the good days are finally over as I hear Ishaan and her discuss ways to get rid of them.
‘If you shine a light on them, they die,’ Ishaan announces. Laila advises him to give the goshth – ‘ghosts’ she corrects herself – a good tickle, bringing the curtains well and truly down on this episode.
But, the show must go on. And it will. Watch this space 🙂