So, we’re in Gandhinagar, Gujarat for almost 9 months now – thanks to COVID situation and the new normal of Work From Home. Initially, our plan was to return to Bangalore in couple of months. But then, the COVID cases were on the rise, Work From Home facilities were extended and little miss Vritima had already announced that she is happier than ever in Gandhinagar with both grandparents and her little cousin Rishi (my brother’s 1.4 year old son).
Initially, Megha and I had started considering to come back to Bangalore in February as we had left our home closed long enough. But one thing led to another and our stay here kept on extending.
Lately, from last 1 month or so, Vritima has suddenly started missing Bangalore home now, she started bringing topics of her toys, the love birds & fishes, her school, neighbors and almost everything from Bangalore in everyday conversations. She says Bangalore is her home and we are here in Gandhinagar on vacation. On one hand, she is extremely emotional and protective about things she loves, and on other hand, she tries to put her brave and mature face forward. She will not say – ‘I miss Bangalore’ OR ‘I miss my pets, my toys or my friends etc.’, instead she will say – ‘My fishes are missing me’ and ‘my school and friends are missing me’.
Just before the nation-wide lockdown in March 2020, we had got some fishes and it was Vritima’s daily routine to feed them and spend some time before bedtime. It was the fishes and a pair of love birds along with some fun activities (documented in one of our previous blog post) which kept her busy and occupied throughout the lockdown period. And when we planned to travel to Gandhinagar, she did not want to leave her pets even with our ever so helpful neighbors.
So the other day, she was missing her pets big time and was worried about how her fishes are doing and said she wanted to go back. We tried convincing her saying we will book flight tickets and then go back to Bangalore after few weeks etc., she did not buy any of our reasons/excuses. Finally, we told her that we will go out and get new fishes for her, but she had her own thoughts and reasoning. Here is how our next conversation unfolded:
Vritima: But dad, I want my own daddy fish and mummy fish from Bangalore (we have 2 fighter fishes there).
Me: We can’t bring the Bangalore fishes here baby. We will go back to Bangalore once daddy gets plane tickets.
Vritima: But my fishes are sad, they want to play with me. How can I play with them if I am here?
Me: Let’s do one thing – we will go out in the evening and get your favorite Goldy fish. The new fishes can be your daddy and mummy fish’s friends. You can play with them here then. We will get your daddy and mummy fishes later.
Vritima: No, my Bangalore fishes already have a Goldy friend fish there. They don’t want new friends. Why can’t you get plane tickets for my daddy fish, mummy fish and Goldy fish from Bangalore?
Me: Well your fishes in Bangalore are happy there, they will wait for you and be very happy to see you when we all go back to Bangalore. Till that time let’s make new fish friend here.
She was still not fully satisfied and convinced with the solution but somehow agreed. So before she comes back with further counter arguments, off we went to a nearby aquarium shop. Even in the car, her mind was still in thinking mode. She was little excited, little confused, then gets more excited and asks – ‘Daddy, are we going to the airport?’
Me: No darling, we are not going to airport. Why do you ask?
Vritima: I thought daddy fish and mummy fish are going to give a surprise and you are taking me to airport to pick them up.
Me: Awe.. No baby, we are going to the fish shop and you can choose whichever fish you want and be friends with them.
Vritima: Can I select more than 1 fish? Because 1 fish will be all alone and become sad. So if I take 2-3 fishes, they will be friends and be happy in the fish bowl / tank.
Me: Very clever. Okay, and you need to take care of their food, play with them every day, okay?
Vritima: Okay dad.
As the conversation ended, we reached the aquarium shop and Vritima was all excited to bring home some new fish friends. As usual, she was very specific about selecting which color / type of fish she wants as her new friends. We came home with couple of Gorami fishes and she was happy with her choice.
Me: Great! Do you want to name them? What will you call them?
Vritima: Ummm I will call them Sparkley and Goldy.
Me: Wow, that suits them both.
Vritima: Thank you dad. I love you so much. And I love my new fishes.
And that is how we managed to convince her to stay back in hometown for a little longer, before her tiny brain comes up with a new idea or another funny conversation, and hoping the fishes will keep her busy.
Until then – Stay Home & Stay Safe.