November 22, 2011

That infectious gesture

Roaming aimlessly at the promenade near symphony of stars in HongKong, we noticed a little frenzy. An organization had setup kiosks where kids were painting and playing games. Interested, we enquired whether Pranav could participate.

'Of Course!', one of the volunteer beamed enthusiastically.

She started to explain Pranav, 'When children have a disease or fracture etc. they feel discomfort. We will try to paint with that discomfort to better understand what they go through.' She showed him eye glasses which were opaque and had only a tiny hole to see through and asked whether he was ready to wear those for few minutes and paint ?

Pranav listened every word attentively and nodded his head gently. I could see it was like a challenging game for him and he was obviuosly interested. I waited for the lady to give him the tools to start. Instead, she smiled, looked up at me and said, 'I think he does not want to do this. He is saying NO'.

Umm...what was the confusion ?
And then it dawned on me suddenly ... Pranav was nodding his head from left to right all through the conversation. I muffled the itch to laugh out loudly...and said...well what he means to say is ..'Yes'..he understands and he is ready to take it up. She looked confused but gave him the paints and got busy with another child.

A lot has been said about this typical Indian way of nodding the head sideways to mean 'Yes' or 'I understand' or 'I agree'. But this was my first time to actually witness a confusion because of this. What I wondered most is how kids adopt these ways ! This isn't something that we have taught him and I never realized when he picked this up. It's an infectious gesture which we all indians just pick up, unconsiously.

Rest assured...the faster the head moves...the more the understanding !! This head Wobble crosses the language and cultural barriers and unites India....second only to cricket !


  1. This head Wobble crosses the language and cultural barriers and unites India....second only to cricket! How true!

  2. @Sosha yup..but somehow realized this only lately after the experience ! Some things are taken for granted I guess !

  3. Loved it ! Pranav seems to be on the right way.. he know when to marry and how to get his bank filling.. :)

  4. this is for the money cycle one :)


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