I have a lot of names. People call me different names as per their relation to me. Little Aanya finds it confusing yet interesting too.


She calls me ‘mama’. But when she hears my maids calling me ‘bhabhi’, she looks at me and then at her trying to place what’s happening. And at times, when she is inspired and in the mood, she ventures ‘bhabhi’ hesitatingly and waits for my reaction.

I look at her and say, “Aanya, it’s mama.”

“Mama,” she repeats after me.

Then again, “Didi.”

“I said ‘mama’.” I again remind her.

“Mama.” This continues till she is tired of the game.

The story doesn’t end here. I call my two maids by their names, Vijaya and Kamakshi. I realize belatedly that Aanya calls them too with their names, Vijaya and Tamshi (the little one finds it hard to say Kamakshi). So starts the damage control.

“Aanya, it’s not Vijaya, call her didi. And it’s aunty, not Tamshi.” I explain to her numerous times daily for more than a month. But my stubborn darling refuses to listen.

One evening, I am working on my article while Aanya is playing with her toys, I hear her talking. Surprised as there is no one around except the two of us, I look in her direction. Aanya’s talking to her doll.

“Vijaya! Vijaya no, didi. Tamshi! Tamshi no, aunty.” She is teaching to her doll. I choose to stay quiet.

The next morning Vijaya comes. I point towards Vijaya and ask Aanya, “Who is she?”

“Vijaya,” comes the prompt reply.

“Vijaya! Vijaya no. Didi.” I remind her.

“Vijaya!” She shouts at me. I bow out!!