The air conditioner was humming its own tune. The room was all chilled and seemed like a lovely, safe haven from the high levels of humidity that Mother Nature has blessed us with these days. Pecan was looking all snug and cosy under his light blanket.
‘Twas the end of the day.
Just as we were lulled into a false sense of security that the day had indeed ended for these two, bang came the question “Why do countries need national anthems ?”.
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It took a while for that question to actually register. By that time of the day, it takes anything and everything a very very long time to register in my head. Statements and questions need to travel miles and miles through my thick head, which, by the end of the day, gets blanketed by a whole cloud of fog and mist. And for a thought process to get through all that fog inside my head, does take time. A lot of time !!! That is, if at all it manages to get through to that pea sized portion of my head known as the active brain.
“What ?” I floundered, feeling pretty much like a fish does when it is pulled out of water.
“Why do countries need national anthems ?” repeated Pecan, a tad too patiently. His tone seemed to be dripping with exasperation, or maybe it was my imagination – for, it was the end of the day.
“It is not bath time now, is it ?” I wondered. For, it is during his shower time that he showers the hapless Mommy with questions like these.
“Every country has a national anthem” I said, knowing exactly how pitiful that sounded to my own ears. At about the same time, it did register that I’d never ever thought of why countries needed a national anthem.
“I know every country has its national anthem, Mummy !!!” hissed Pecan. “I’m asking you why they have a national anthem ?”
I looked at Macadamia for help of some sort, only to find her nodding her head sagely and saying “Hmmm .... yeah Mum, why DO countries have national anthems ?”. To rub it right in, she then goes “good question, Pecan”, with amusement written large, all over her face.
Very cleverly deducing that no help was going to be forthcoming from that sector, I plunged into cold waters without a life jacket and said “A national anthem is something people of every country identify with. More often than not, the anthems convey a message.”
“But some national anthems do not even have words. I read that somewhere. Then how can they convey a message ?” asked Pecan, without as much as batting an eyelid.
“And how and when did national anthems start ?” “And who started them ?” continued Pecan, relentlessly.
“Mum, is there any particular name given to the study of national anthems ?” queried Macadamia, who, by now, was rather safely ensconced on the upper bunk.
“But every country has its own flag, does it not ?” So when they look at the flag they know it is their country's flag." countered Pecan. “Then why do countries need a anthem also ?”
Did I not say earlier that I was so not up to this. Definitely not at 10 pm when my ever decreasing mental faculties are at their lowest ebb !!
“I’ll do some research on this and then answer your question” I said, not realizing that I was digging a deeper hole for myself, to bury myself in.
“What’s the difference between researching and studying ?” asked Pecan, finding yet another doubt that he thought his mater could clarify for him. Little did he know that the said mater was all about to collapse.
"Researching is like ........................ well, researching" said Macadamia, very helpfully. "And studying is like when you s.e.r.i.o.u.s.l.y s.t.u.d.e.e.e.e.e." she carried on with her eyes large as saucers for added effect, evidently and conveniently ignoring the fact that Pecan was beginning to look like one of those enraged bees that we see in Tom and Jerry cartoons.
“What’s the difference between learning and studying ?” asked Pecan.
"I just told you, didn't I ?" asked Macadamia, a tad too sweetly, goading Pecan and inciting him further.
"Will you just keep quiet ? You don't know anything so stop confusing me as well." said Pecan, who was, by now, looking as mad as a whole swarm of angry bees.
All I knew right then were all sorts of random words floating around inside my head – anthem, learning, study, research ...... and the fact that I was all about to crash !!
As a collective nothing was making sense. Absolutely nothing.
I do vaguely remember thanking Ikea, though.
Thanking Ikea because they make their furniture strong enough to withstand the forces of a Macadamia who was struggling rather helplessly to control that mirth. Needless to say, the rather profound hilarity of the situation found her holding onto her tummy and laughing her heart out.
I guess I do look rather funny when I’m confused. Or better still, tired AND confused.
Somebody please help !!!