Of two-year olds who know their own minds!

Nenappadinunchi pilusthunnaanu, neeku vinipinchaleda? (I’ve been calling you for ever so long, can’t you hear me or what?!!).” Arms akimbo and indignation writ large on her face, asks the lady… all of two years old – of her great uncle!

Arch, my older one, is not used to being ignored, as she thinks she is being – now! My uncle and aunt are visiting us. They are very good with little kids (and older kids too, for that matter!) and she approves of them thoroughly. They listen to her stories interestedly, do not insist on petting her or picking her up – she hates that!

She loves company – at a distance of at least six feet! Will sit and chat with visitors, tell them stories, make conversation… all provided no one attempts to pick her up and cuddle her! That privilege is reserved for parents and grandparents only!

On another occasion, a friend of mine accompanies me to school to pick her up and tries her best to wheedle a kiss out of Arch. Arch is having none of it! My friend, who’s very fond of babies, tries again – “Please, Archu, I’m your mother’s best friend.” “Then you go give her a kiss,” is the completely logical response!

Every time I read some “child expert” commenting on how children’s personalities are “yet to be formed”, “are semi-formed” and so on, I am amazed – I have yet to see a kid who does not have a very definite “personality”!

There are those kids who love cuddles – from anyone – and then there is my two-year old!

My younger one, K, was born with a personality – bigger than her nine-pound self!

The same uncle and aunt are staying with us some years later and my uncle, planning a trip soon, tells Kanch (about two at the time), “I’m going to take your mother with me to Bombay.” She eyes him suspiciously – is he capable of carrying out his threat? Naah, doesn’t look like it. But let’s make absolutely sure.

Takes her two fingers out of her mouth (where they have a permanent abode!), and tells him in no uncertain terms, “You take your Mummy!”

Most two-year olds I’ve met have a lot more personality than a lot of adults I know! Speaking of which, you might like to know that there is a whole science out there relating how our personalities shape how we eat – it’s called food-ology – I’m serious! Here’s the link.

Which food personality are you?

If you’re like me and like a hearty breakfast (and maybe a hearty lunch and a hearty dinner too!), here’s the perfect dish…


  • Broken wheat – 1 cup
  • Whole green gram soaked for two hours or moong sprouts- 1/2 cup
  • Peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Chopped onions – 1/2 cup
  • Chopped tomatoes – 1/2 cup
  • Mixed vegetables – peas, chopped carrots, capsicum (bell peppers), beans – 1 cup
  • Green chilies – sliced – 2 or 3
  • Ginger – grated – 1″ piece
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera/cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida – 1 generous pinch
  • Garam masala – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped mint and coriander to garnish – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Heat oil and roast peanuts in it till crisp. Add mustard seeds, jeera and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add the curry leaves and green chilies. Fry for a few seconds and add onions and ginger. Fry till golden.

Add tomatoes and saute.

Add the rest of the vegetables, green gram and whole wheat.

Add salt, garam masala, 3 cups water and pressure cook for two whistles. Reduce heat and cook for 5-6 minutes more.

Switch off, let the pressure reduce and open. Garnish with mint and coriander.

Squeeze over lime and serve immediately.

Full o’ personality!