Jamadu is Antus favorite stuffed toy. He is a monkey. (Orangutan, I think.) In spite of me forcing Ashu to have a favorite toy when she was a baby, it did nt happen. Shes just not materialistic enough. But thankfully Antu is just like me and loves stuffed animals. But not everything, mind you. She has specific taste. When she was about a year old, we went to a department store and "Jamadu" is the stores mascot for the children's section. There were stuffed Jamadu toys and Antu picked one. I let her keep it for while and when we went near the check out, she would nt give it back. Hd and I thought it was so cute and bought her the monkey. She started hugging him to sleep and he became her best friend. I think "Jamaadhoo" was one of her first words!
When Antu went to India with her dad in October, I packed Jamadu along with her things. When they got back after a week, I noticed Jamadu did nt come back! I was horrified! Hd, needless to say, was clueless. "Are you sure you packed Jamadu", he asked! I was furious. I was thinking it will be with my mom but forgot to ask her. A week later, while I was talking to my mom I mentioned Jamadu. And she was like "OH NO"! "What mom? what did you do to the damn monkey?", I panicked. "I thought the airlines gave it to Antu. He looked so ugly and did nt think you would want it. Just yesterday I gave it to my cousins grandchild." And she went on to blame me. "What were you doing all these days? Why did nt you tell me earlier?" Yes, Its all my fault. By the way, ugly? Did she say UGLY? My mom was devastated that she has done this to her grand daughters favorite toy and told me that she ll go and ask my aunt to give the toy back. I absolutely forbade her from doing that. "Its OK, Mom. I ll buy another one if Antu misses him. Don't take it back from the poor child", I told her. But then who listens to me these days? When my mom came here in November, what do you think was the first thing she took out of her suitcase? Jamadu was back! (And my nephew in India is going to be scarred for life. Poor boy!)
Antu and Jamadu were reunited and all was well with the world. He traveled with her everywhere. This Tuesday, Antu and I went grocery shopping and I made the mistake of showing her a smaller version of the Jamadu in the store. She shrieked and held him close and would nt let him go. This one was small and had magnets in his palms and looked so cute too! I did nt want to to buy him though. So tried to distract her with other things but she would nt budge. I wanted to test a theory and showed her every toy in the store and asked her if she wanted it. She would say yes and take it in her hands but when I asked to give Jamadu back, she would nt but give the other toy back. She did this for a stuffed elephant, giraffe, teddy bear, hello kitty,... "Kutti Jamadu", she even named him. Oh ho! This is trouble, I told myself. Hd called up that same moment and I consulted with him. He being the doting father asked me to buy it for her. I gave in and bought him. We came home and she ran to get her Jamadu and introduced Kutti Jamadu to him. It was like the last scene of "Yaadon ki Baaraat"!!
Fate had different plans though. On Wednesday, Antu insisted on taking Jamadu with her when we went to the gym. I reluctantly agreed. Left her at the kids care and went to the gym. An hour later, I go to pick her up and the bright orange guy is missing! I searched everywhere but could nt find him. The caretakers there did nt know either. And they did nt understand when I said "monkey" and brought me a barbie and after all this time here, I did nt know what the German word for monkey was! (Its Affe, btw.) Antu just kept repeating Jamadu, jamadu but had no idea where she left him. I was so sad. Came home and Antu ran to get Kutti Jamadu and showed me and told "Here he is!" The spoilt brat! Called Hd, my sister, my mom and shared this major Earth shattering event. Ashu came from school and she was hugely disappointed with Antu at her irresponsible behaviour. Even went on to tell me, "You should nt have let her take him to the gym, Amma.This is why I don't take any toys to my school"! Who needs a Mil when you have a daughter like this? I was hoping that some child took it home by mistake and give it back the next day. Antu went to sleep with Kutti Jamadu that night.
The monkey motivated me to go the gym the next day. As soon as we entered the kids care, the lady there came running to us, took Jamadu from the shelf and gave it to Antu! I think I was more happy than Antu! :) The lady said that he was in the ball pit. Deep down. Phew. I wisely kept him in my bag, said bye to Antu and left to the gym. Yaadon Ki Baaraat- Part 2 (or "Naalai Namadhe" if you prefer! but seriously?) happened when we came home. Phone calls were made to share the happy news. Ashu was back to being proud of us. Hd came home in the evening and we all burst out the happy news to him. "He was in the ball pit? Did you wash him?", was his immediate response. (Avan avanakukku, avan avan prachnai*! Pasupathis dialogues are immortal, I tell ya!) So thats the tail end of the story!
*That, that person. Their, their worry.
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