We are at my MIL’s house in Madras. My MIL is making Puliodarai. Kuttan is playing in the living room. Suddenly, he sniffs something and runs towards his paati.
‘Paati.. Are you making Vathal kuzhambu?’
‘No kanna.. I am making puliodarai!’
‘Wow.. Puliasaadam (that’s how he says it much to my mom’s annoyance and my hysterics!) Puliasaadam.. Puliasaadam..’
He chants and trots away.

A couple of days ago, I was chopping assorted vegetables. Carrots. Beans. Green pepper at all.
‘Amma.. Are you going to make fried rice?’
‘No kanna.. I am making a sidedish for chapathi.’
‘Oh.. You can tell me you are making kurma, Amma. I can understand!’
But of course. So duh of me.

People who have seen Kuttan will pounce on me if I call him Gadothkajan. The thing is he looks just one size bigger than a Natraj HB pencil. He is an XXS as opposed to his mom who is.. Well, we’ll talk only about Kuttan, okay! In fact, he doesn’t eat great quantities of food too. He eats just enough but his love for variety of food is too much to handle.

Amma.. I need kovakkai and rasam rice when I come back from school, okay?, he orders before he leaves to school. His go-to food in restaurants is paneer tikka. ‘Indha restaurant-la paneer tikka kedaikkuma?’ is the first question he asks while entering any restaurant. He loves barbecued food. Actually, he likes all kinds of food. Except, beetroot. If there is one vegetable that he will not eat, it is beetroot; while his sister LOVES beetroot. There was one day when I made three kinds of parathas. Onion for Kuttan. Beetroot for Ammu. And Gobi for the rest of us. Sigh. He is also not too fond of  sweets. He is very choosy about them. But chocolates doesn’t fall in the sweets category! Sigh.

Now that the Gatothkajan part is over, let’s talk about the Kumbakarni. **takes a deep breath** Where do I begin? Or how do I begin? This girl, my dear Ammu, will do anything you want her to until she is awake but waking her up every morning is like lighting a missile. You don’t know what it has in store. There are days when she’ll be up chirpily and start going about her chores. But.. But.. These days are few and far between.

I wake up a full twenty minutes earlier than I ought to just to wake up this daughter of mine. She’d smile. She’d cry. She’d howl. She’d curl into the blanket and refuse to come out. She’d make conditions to get out of the bed. She’d choose her clothes. She’d ask for her favourite songs. All without opening her eyes. Believe me when I say that once she is up, my day can only get better from there. But.. That waking up exercise can range anywhere between twenty to forty five minutes. There have been days when she’d be up by seven and then get ready, eat breakfast and head to the bus in the next twenty minutes. Who am I kidding? Actually, most of her days are like that.

Every time I get frustrated with each of them for their extreme eccentricities, I try to comfort myself with the fact that at least both of them don’t share the same habits. Imagine two thoongu moonjis and two saapatu raamans. Crie. I couldn’t have been more naive when I thought twins were meant to be similar. Sigh.