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Pet passion

As children grow, the art, craft or science of perusal grows with them and by the time they reach teenage, the skill has been perfected, writes Shalini Narang.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2005 17:55 IST

Persuasion takes a special meaning as one treads the path of parenthood.

As children grow, the art, craft or science of perusal grows with them and by the time they reach teenage, the skill has been perfected and polished to its hilt.

Children's suasion tactics are a potent tool and pleas laced with passion have the innate ability to melt hearts.

The requests might scale from rudimentary ones like candy cravings to bigger ones like owning a horse, yet, the path of persistent, single minded perusal and its trajectory can put many a corporate stalwart to shame.

I have a recent experience to share. My daughter came back from school and said; " I think we should get a pet."

I said, "OK. Let me think." (Implying you will forget about it in an hour or two and then our lives can go on as before.) But my daughter is no longer a small girl with momentary memory and fleeting fancies. She is all of seven and a half years and knows what she wants (which is a lot) and how to get it- plead, persevere and pursue.

From requests and pleas to negotiations and deals, she has learnt much in her young live. I do not know if it's a permeation of the milieu of striking deals and negotiating terms in Silicon Valley or just a milestone in childhood, yet the game and the game plan fascinates me.

She arms herself with ammunition of examples sans a power point presentation. "Alyssa has a cat and Elana has two and Lauren has a dog and…. a pet is like a friend whose home with you all day." She reasoned.

I told her that we are out working the whole week and a pet is a huge responsibility that needs to be fed, bathed and walked and she is too young to do all that and I do not have the time to take care of a pet.

I thought it was the end of our conversation about pets.

No it was not. An hour later, in the library, she asks the friendly librarian to help her find books on pets, picks up a couple, browses and reads and then treads back to me and says: "I don't have to get a dog or a cat right now, a small pet like a bird or a fish will do." Seeing the glint in her eyes, the gleam on her face and her unswerving persistence I do not have a heart to refute. I agree for a visit to a nearby pet store.

The next day, on our way back from school, she reminds me of my promise. The car is steered towards Petco-a pet chain store. The place is a haven for animal amours and stocks everything that you, your child or your pet might have imagined.

Besides aisles stocking various flavors and favors of pet foods, vitamins, play paraphernalia, cushioned seats and beds, a section is also devoted to the grooming needs of household pets, a la salon.

I peep through the window and a four-legged creature in all of its regal comfort is enjoying a combing session by an expert.

We crossed rows of cages with chirping avians of varied hues and sizes, cat enclosures, dog dens and more than 40 kinds of household pets including tadpoles and lizards to the fish family in their aqua habitats. Myriad hued fish in small and large aquariums catch my little girl's fancy.

A store specialist explained the short and long of fish care. Shorter by $30 we came back home with our first pet and a very happy companion. Persistence truly pays is what I get to learn from my dear daughter.

Bay Area Bengalis Celebrate Durga Puja

The Gunn High School in Palo Alto was a tryst for about 800 Bengalis of the Bay Area on Saturday and Sunday, October 15th and 16th. The community came together dressed in their traditional finery to celebrate Durga Puja in all of its traditional and modern fervor. Durga pandal, gastronomic delights, a children's competition and an Alka Yagnik show constituted the program repertoire. The communal celebration was organised by Sanskriti, is San Francisco Bay Area based Bengali Association.

First Published: Oct 21, 2005 00:00 IST