Its been more than 6 months since the last interview so I coaxed Anjali to give me some time for an interview (for a fee this time). She has a busy schedule now and she thought about it and agreed to do it on the weekend. So yesterday I caught her when she walked into my room for some work and she patiently answered my questions (unlike earlier times when she ran off).
Q. How's life?
Q. What does "good" mean?
A. Nice. (I) Like life.
Q. What do you like about life?
A. My parents, my brothers, my sisters and relatives, teachers, friends, classmates and Principal Anita aunty.
Q. What else do you like?
A. Playing with my friends, jumping,...even if I get hurt I like playing...painting, dancing...I like ballet dancing.
Q. What are the things you don't like doing?
A. Eating vegetables, getting scolded, making Manasi upset...sometimes we make each other upset
Q. What are the things you like to eat?
A. Ice cream, vanilla cake, strawberry cake, chocolate cake, biryani, khichdi, lollipop, Dairy Milk, Ice pops
Q. What do you play with Manasi?
A. Treasure hunt, Ice water, Hide and seek,, School School, Mummy Daddy, Bowling, Cricket, Soccer..
(She explained Ice Water in great detail - it's a bit like Statue)
Q. What books do you like?
A. A mad, mad, week, Enid Blyton books, Blues Clues, Pepper, Panchatantra, Aesop's Fables...
Q. And cartoons?
A. Ninja Hattori, Doraemon...I am telling the shows not the characters...Chota Bheem and in Chota Bheem I like Chutki.
Q. And movies?
A. Student of the year, Chashme Buddoor, Lion King, Stuart Little...I like that the most
A. The characters...like them that's all.
Q. You like crying or laughing?
A. Laughing, because I am a laugher.
Q. What are the things you'd like to have?
A. Good pants...because all my pants and jeans are getting holes...then....then...what else...I would like an alarm clock.
Q. Why an alarm clock?
A. Because these days school starts early...so if I have an alarm clock I can get up early.
Q.What do you like about school?
A. I like studying, knowledge, maths, teachers, friends, classmates, I like Manasi.
Q. Why do you like knowledge?
A. Because if there was no knowledge on earth I would not know anything...(here she thought that she'd really have to explain the concept properly to me and went to great lengths to get her point across).. so I can grow, and learn, talk, how to end sentences...what I don't know.. I don't know somethings...I don't know science...I need to know science...I need knowledge to be a scientist, architect...(here she decided that I need it too) see you can't write books without knowledge...you can't do anything without knowledge. I love knowledge.
Q. What do you think of nanna (me)?
A. He's so tall, he's like a giant, he always likes to write, he always makes me write in my new books, always buys me whatever I want, always he does the same thing, again and again, everyday he spills my tonic, everyday he keeps looking at the computer, I don't understand why he goes to the computer.
Q. What about Mamma?
A. I don't have words...she's everything...she's a lion to me...everyday she goes rushing, rushing around the house and gets me ready for school.
Q. What do you think about yourself?
A. I like my body. My love. Myself. My brains. My thoughts. My feelings. And my toys and things..this is what I like about myself.
Q. Who do you like?
A. Parents, teachers....god
Q. Who is god?
A. You don't know god?
Q. I never saw him.
A. You can't see him. You can feel him.
Q. Can you feel him?
A. I can feel him. He's inside my brain. I can feel him.
Q. How does it feel?
A. (Here she got a bit hands on because she realised I needed some education.) First tell me who made us. god. Who gave me a nose, Manasi, heart, parents...see everything...god only. Who gave me water...see everything only god can do.
Q. God is good?
A. Yeah. Yeah. Now you understood why he's inside me. He came inside me just to help me.
Q. Will he be inside me?
A. Yes daddy. God is inside everybody.. My favorite god is Ganesha.
Q. If you want to ask god for one thing what would it be?
A. I'll ask god to help me in my studies, in my races. In my tough games. I used to ask god only for toys, but now I ask for courage
A. Only courage can help me win anything.
A. Courage is my partner. Whenever I have some difficulty only courage is my partner. Courage will help me in everything.
Q. What scares you?
A. Chimu anna comes and shouts or scares me suddenly.
Q. What do you think about money?
A. It helps us live. If we didn't have money we cannot eat. How can we buy in Ratnadeep (our supermarket)? We need lots of money.
Q. How can we get lots of money?
A. If we work.
Q. Are you earning money now?
A.Yes, I am earning money with hard work.
Q. What hard work?
A. Paintings and interviews (I promised her 50 bucks for the interview and 20 bucks for painting my t shirt)
Q. How much money do you have?
A. I have lots of money actually. I have too much. I have so much that I can buy anything.
Q. What will you do with it?
A.Buy things. Things I like....(became secretive)
Q. What;'s the happiest thing you remember?
Q. Who makes you laugh?
A. Baba, Choudary mama, Mythily atta, Ranjan maam, Mamma, myself....sometimes I only make jokes and laugh.
Q. What made you laugh the most?
A. Mamma's jokes. I remember Mythily atta's jokes. She told me old jokes. The joke is, once there was a man. He went to a shop. He bought a t shirt and got another free. The next day he went to his friend and told him to buy in that shop too. But when they met the next day, he asked his friend if he went to the shop and got two t shirts. But the friend said that he went to a shoe shop. The first one asked why did you go to the shoe shop? Because they give one shoe free with one shoe.
Q. What makes you sad?
A. Some people don't understand what makes me happy or sad. So sometimes they tell me things that make me sad. So that makes me sad.
Q. Did you like the interview?
A. Yup. I like interviews.
Q. You want to add anything?
A. My favorite story is 3 Billy Goats Gruff, Cinderella, Rapunzel.
Q. What do you think of the world?A. It is peaceful. And full of love. I feel that.
Q. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. I wanted to be a nurse. Actually I wanted to become a writer also. But now I want to be the Prime Minister and tell people to stop cutting trees.
Thanks Anjali for a lovely, heartfelt and honest interview. It gave me some refreshing and reassuring perspectives on life. Nice to know what you feel about the world. Until next time then.