“Kelifonia”

November 13, 1999

I am in a 2 week training in San Jose, CA. Rohan and  Teju joined me yesterday. When Teju took him to the Delta airline office in  Dallas, there was a model plane (about 10 ft long)  in  their office. He thought that that plane could fly  and  would take him to ‘Kelifonia’. 

Whole morning on the day of the flight Rohan would  open the garage door every 5 minutes and ask Teju to  come along – ‘Kelifonia javu che – Daddy pas’e’.  Teju  would tell him – ‘be (2) vage javanu che – baranu > bandh kar’. After about an hour of Rohan rushing out  of the garage door and packing things up, Teju’s  voice  was getting more and more shrill. Finally, Teju had  to  time out him for a while to calm him down. 

When the SuperShuttle came to pick them up from our  Dallas home and drop them to the airport he told the  driver – ‘Kelifonia javu che – Daddy pas’e, jaldi  jaldi’. When he got down from the shuttle – he  thought  he was in ‘Kelifonia’. 

For a while he thought that the airport was California.  Rohan fell asleep before the plane took off – so  when  he woke up and looked outside the window, he could  not  see any cars, people, outside. He the asked Teju  ‘momma, badhi cars kon layi gayu’? 

He is still confused about what California is. First  he thought that the airport was California. Then now  he thinks that the apartment complex that we are  staying in here is called ‘Kelifonia’.  When we ask him – ‘California Kem javay’, he answers  –  ‘airplance ma and navi car ma’ – he calls the rental  car – navi carr. 

We will take him to see some interesting attractions  in San Fransisco and around so that he will  associate  them with ‘Kelifonia’.  So – that’s how a 2 1/2 year old’s mind workss… No  wonder we long to go home to these creatures.

© Himanshu Bhatt … 1998

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