‘Lalu chi gi nga, tayi tayi ra, Sha Rukh Khan zoom bey thong mey lo’ is the latest song that never leaves my daughter’s lips. And when I have the opportunity and when we are alone, I pose myself in the act of horse riding and jump two steps continuing her song, ‘lalu chi gi nga, tayi tayi ra, Salman Khan zoom bey thong mey lo’ virtually holding a towel in between my thighs. To become Salman Khan or not mostly depends on the unexpected audience I have around but mostly on the barometer of my mood. And whether she knows about Sha Rukh Khan or not came at a time when Don was featuring on Sony Entertainment channel.
“Zamin, that is Sha Rukh Khan,” I said pointing to Mr. Khan on the TV screen. The slow motion of Mr. Khan trying to look at his best and his face doing every trick to woo the lady captured my daughter’s attention. She stopped humming the song and looked shocked. I did not have the clue what went in her mind. I said once again, “He is Sha Rukh Khan,” this time touching the screen over the King Khan’s massive nose. The smile on her face confirmed Mr. Khan had won the heart of my daughter adding her to the league of other million fans. And next I had to watch the film one more time. That day I missed several of my favourite programmes. Her mother had already gone to bed.
The music is a lullaby and the particular song puts my baby to a fast snore. The music system in the bedroom corner has to be operated manually after its remote-control accidently went with the dustbin and perhaps now taking its toll to decay for the next million of years at Memelakha dumping pit. I still think it is the work of my daughter who slipped it into the bin but she is never going to confess it. Whatever and whoever did that has become a curse for me when I have to get up in the middle of the night to put off the music.
By the time Don came to an end, it was past midnight. I ushered her to bedroom and put her on the bed. “Daddy, put on the music,” she commanded when I prepared myself to slip beside her. The low snore from big momma was envious. My eyes were heavy and soon wanted to add few decibels to that snore. I complied with her command and played her favourite song and ran back exclaiming the icy cold night.
The warm bed had put me to sleep but the distant call made from my nearest bed-mate woke me up. I saw her sitting on the pillow and twitching my ears. Even with that twitch, my ears heard her Sha Rukh Kha song had had ended two tracks ago. She wanted me to play it once again. The fear of getting cold instantly brought two thoughts to my mind: the remote-control device at Memelakha and Mr. Sha Rukh Khan in Don. While I could repress the thought of lost remote-control, I hated myself to have introduced her to Sha Rukh Khan. But I had to try and make her sleep.
“Zamin, please go to sleep,” I said sheepishly.
“NO,” she slammed.
“Please Zamin, please.”
“NOOO......!” she shouted, her tone signalling she was not to give up anytime. The fear of cold grew stronger in me. Almost in self-defence, I dug inside the blanket and pretended heavy snore. She broke into a wail defeating my snore by her cry. The fearing cold turned to a heated anger.
“Why do you want to hear that song in the middle of the night? See how peacefully your mother have slept. Let’s sleep too, and I have to go to office in the morning by the way,” I said as if she is too grown up to understand everything. Whether she understood or not, that brought me some satisfaction. But she showed me she is still a kid by crying more. The other bed-mate started to move and by the time she ended her peaceful night, she saw her bed-mates were sitting next to her – one crying and one holding his head in his hands desperately wanting to sleep. She said nothing and as if she saw nothing, she peacefully went back to sleep. And that annoyed me. I felt jealous. I felt all the evil thoughts. I wished I was the mother, wished we did not lose the remote-control, wished that song was never composed and wished I did not tell her who Sha Rukh Khan was. Eventually, the evil thoughts inside were slowly turning to form into tongue-lashing words. I had seconds to be mindful what I had to speak. My audience was only three years old. If her age was the product of 3 by 10, the cousins sleeping next room would have rushed to the scene in boxer shorts and yet would not have felt the cold in their skin. So infuriated had I become that I spoke, yet in the best possible manner to be mindful. To get off from the bed was the most difficult thing for me to do.
“Zamin,” I shouted. And then I realised her age, the innocence and the fact she is my baby. I lowered my voice, “Zamin, Don ko pakar na mushkil hi nahin, na mum kin hai,” I said and pulled her back onto the pillow together. She went silent for a moment which confused me as much as her with what she had just heard. By the time I thought she would nag me again, the 30 years old bed-mate, stood up and went to the music system.
‘Lalu chi gi nga, tayi tayi ra, Sha Rukh Khan zoom bey thong mey lo,’ filled the room and by the time next track came, my daughter was into deep slumber.