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Frida moment

“Let’s colour.”

This time I had a big idea moment. I decided to get my cousin’s kids, A and S, colouring books.  

I did this especially thinking about S. 

What if there was a special talent hidden untapped in her, I thought to myself. So I went gung-ho with poster colours, paint brushes, palettes and beginners’ paint books. The idea was to set up store before her and let the magic of painting take over in the hope she could explore the world of Frida n Hussain. 

With this plan in mind, I said, “Let’s colour”.

A became my secret helper in the idea. Instinctively, she helped me spread out newspaper sheets, fetch water bowls, set aside paint brushes and colours, and mix them in the palette. I turned my back and we waited for S. 

No reaction. 

I thought maybe she couldn’t see the book and moved sideways so it lay opened up to S. Not a sound. My curiosity deceived me and I turned towards her. She was busy rocking her body on the sofa, totally not bothered about my book. 

Altering my plan, I called out her name – her rocking increased. Great! Change of plan. Me and A got painting – this will definitely work, or so I thought. 


But I enjoyed painting, although Noddy would have complained of how I had smeared the red outside of his pants. I kept darting my eyes at S, who had now turned her back to us. “Call her here na,” I requested A. So much for letting the magic of painting taking hold. 

A got S to come along and sit down. A showed her the ropes. S followed her younger sister, but in her own style. She poked, dabbed and blotched – painting smears within and outside the figures. I got her a different colour. She did the same. I turned the page and in the process upturned the palette – there were colours all over the newspapers. Shucks!. Another figure – dab, poke, blotch – the same result. A had gone to fetch a cloth and I was trying to save the book from the rushing paint. 

Meanwhile S was bored. So she licked her finger, with the paint on it. Oh no! 

The book dropped from my hand and I withheld S’s hand from her mouth. A took her to the washing sink to wash her hand. Their mother came out and laughed at the chaos. I sighed and joined her.  

So much for Frida and Hussain.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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