Nidra Devi and Kanasina Rani –
Im not great at making up stories like RM but inspired by her and the desperate need to invent some story for the ‘I dont like to sleep’ boy, I came up with this Nidra Devi(Sleep Goddess aka ND) and Kanasina Rani (Dream Princess aka KR) story that I tell him most nights. I try to bring in elements of all the things he did that day. I tell the story in kannada, so I’ve tried a crude translation here.
Every night, ND and KR go to all houses in search of little boys and girls and give them good sleep and happy,colorful dreams. So, one day, when they were going from house to house, in 1 house they see a little boy playing. so, ND says “Come KR, lets go and give good sleep to this kid” and KR says “Ayio, dont want this kid ND-he is still playing, let him play, he will anyway get cranky in sometime and sleep. Come let’s go to some other house”.
They go to house 2 and see a little girl throwing tantrums to have dinner, so they both decide that the little girl is being a bad girl and they will not go to her house.
They go to house 3 and see that a little boy is all ready to sleep but he is not wearing warm clothes at all. But ND says “Come, come lets give this boy good sleep – see he is ready to sleep” then KR says ” No no, ND, wait – look he is not wearing warm clothes,in the middle of the night when Im giving him happy dreams he will wake up from his dreams because he will feel cold. Lets go in search of some other kid”.
Then they come to K-house, go inside and search for a little boy. When they dont find any kid there KR asks ND “This house does not have any kids at all?”, then ND says “Arey wait, lets go upstairs in this house, there is a naughty little boy in this house, lets see what he is doing”. They then come upstairs, search for the little boy, they see that the little boy Chutku is laying down on the bed between his parents and listening to his amma telling story. Then ND is happy, she says “Come, lets go give this little boy a good night’s sleep and happy dreams”. Then KR checks if the little boy is really ready for bed – she checks if he has finished his bathroom, wearing his hoodie and socks, kept his toys away, not throwing any tantrums and then tells ND “Yes, yes, come, today Chutku has been a good boy, come ND you get into his eyes first and give him good sleep, I will come with you and give him colorful, happy dreams. Let us make this boy a happy boy.”
So saying they both get into the little eyes of Chutku and put him to sleep…
The Cat Story-
A few weeks back, I think a cat had littered somewhere very close to our home. Every night for nearly a week we could hear the plaintive cry of a small cat. It was so disturbing that we tried searching for the cat, couldnt find it and finally, since we were loosing sleep because of its crying, we closed the windows too one night.
The next morning when Chutku woke up, I told him that last night, while he was asleep, Appa and I couldnt sleep at all. I told him that there was this little cat that kept crying all night and Appa and I were feeling very bad for it. It was so cold and we thought that little cat was crying because it was feeling cold. Chutku asked “Where is its home? If it goes home it will be warm”. I told him that I think it was lost and doesnt know where its home is.
Chutku “Why is it lost?”
Me: “I think it didnt listen to its mother and wandered away, so its lost” (The previous weekend when we had gone to a mall, the little fellow just ran around like crazy and we were running behind him afraid that we will loose him in the huge new year crowd).
Chutku: “Why did its mother not search for it?”
Me: “Its mother searched, I think, but it did not find. Poor Amma cat will also be crying that it is not able to find its baby cat.”
Chutku: ” No amma, its not crying because its lost, it has its Thatha’s house here only no. Its come to its Thatha’s house”
Me: “Is it? It has come to its Thatha’s house? Then thatha must be at home with it. Why do think it was still crying?”
Chutku: “No amma, it has come to its thatha’s house, thatha and ammamma cat are looking after it, it is not feeling cold, but it still wants its amma no-its amma has still not come. Please go tell its amma that the little cat is in its thatha’s house and its crying, let the amma cat come to thatha’s house and take the little cat back home. Little cat is waiting for its amma, thats why its crying.”
Hearing this, I almost cried – is this how he feels everyday? Is he projecting his need for amma in the cat? Thankfully, that night onwards there was no cat crying – I just hope atleast that little cat got to spend enough time with its amma cat…