I find her entranced in a thick book- she is awed! I snooze near her, enjoying the warmth of the heater in the unhappy cold of a dire winter. An hour later, I open my eyes and she is still in the same position, the book on her lap.
“Interesting , eh?”
I take a peek.
‘Adventure of the devil’s foot’
“Are you understanding it?”
She looks at me with that ‘I do not expect that from you’ sort of a look.
I grin. And snooze again.
This time, it is late and the book and the child are still in their places.
“Time to sleep,” I say.
“Five more minutes”, she says. It is neither a request nor a plea. It is a statement-typical of her.
Five minutes later, I cough meaningfully.
She closes the book.
“What was the adventure?”
“The empty house,” she says with a prim expression.
As I tuck her into her winter blankets, and turn the heater around, I realise that certain classics will always get the chill away from our souls.
On the bed, was Penguin’s ‘Classic Sherlock Holmes’. And already smiling in her sleep, was the youngest fan in the family- enchanted by the inimitable detective of 221B Baker Street.
The suffocating winter cold fails to depress my spirits.
When a child reads happily, that joy is warm enough to withstand the severest of life’s winter winds.
I search for and finally find an old copy of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories. Dusting it, I slyly put it next to Holmes.
Certain manoeuvres have to be silently executed for success. Especially with little girls full of ‘ I do stuff my way’ attitude.
Let us see now, if that old lady captivates her too!