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I get mine at the Army CSD and sometimes at Spencer’s or even at the Margin free store or the local kirana. Where do you get yours? I am of course, talking of that indispensable item of daily use, a toothbrush. You would be getting yours from somewhere similar too, I am sure, since they, the toothbrushes, don’t grow on trees. What I mean to say, is there anyone, just ANYONE at all, who doesn’t know WHERE to get a toothbrush, of all things??!!!!!

These are after all lessons you learn at your mother’s knee or even on your father’s shoulder, when he takes you out on that joy ride to see the world from a level higher than the two-and-a-half-or-so feet that you are accustomed to and totally bored with. I can just picture that lovely, emotional moment when life’s many lessons are imparted by the pater to the offspring sitting on lofty heights.

Father: Child, it is time you learnt the truth about toothbrushes.

Child: (all wide eyed and attentive)

Father: They don’t grow on trees like everything does in your fairy tale books.

Child: You don’t say Dad! I thought EVERYTHING grew on trees, except babies of course which err… the stork brings.

Father: (unobtrusively heaves a sigh of relief for not having to answer that one) Of course errr… storks brings babies. Be that as it may, toothbrushes don’t grow on trees. Remember that. And most importantly they are NOT found on blog pages either.

Child: (nods head assimilating this piece of information that’s new while laughing to him(her)self on having fooled the father about the stork and babies. Of course (S)HE knew where babies came from, the hospital gave them off to those in need. Wasn’t his/her little brother brought back from there??) You don’t say Dad??! Not on blog pages either??

Father: No Siree, definitely not on blog pages.

Child: Coool. Who would have thought that?? (Mulls over it a bit) If not on trees, the next place I was gonna suggest was a blog page Dad. Good that you have told me facts as they are. Now I would NEVER go look for toothbrushes in a blog page. Oh no Siree not me.

Father: (Looks with pride at the quick learner of an offspring) Attaboy(girl)! How brainy you are to have grasped things so quickly! (Inwardly thanks the Lord for his offspring not having taken after him)

A somewhat similar story unfolds when it comes to learning at the mother’s knee except that she gives the child a stare of suspicion and disbelief when it comes to the matter about storks. Unlike the father she is not that easily fooled into thinking that the child really believes that babies are brought by storks.

Mother: Child, it is good to learn early on in life about the truth of things. Toothbrushes are not brought by Santa Claus nor are they found on blog pages.

Child: (realizing instinctively that important lessons of life are being imparted listens in rapt attention) Go on Mom.

Mother: When you grow up, don’t make an ass (the animal of course) of yourself and go looking for toothbrushes on blog pages especially that of someone called Shail.

Child: (shivers a little hearing chill in the mother’s voice when she uttered the name Shail) Why Mom?? Why Shail especially??

Mother: …Because if you do, she is going to write about it in one of her blogs and make you the laughing stock before half of the world or (grinds teeth) as much of the silly world as reads her silly blogs. That’s why. (Abruptly stops grinding teeth remembering the dentist told her not to) Now go and play.

You see, that’s how it goes. Conscientious parents do their duty and teach valuable lessons to their children. And conscientious children listen and remember what their parents have taught them. I have done my duty and taught the monkeys, errrr…. the sons I mean, that toothbrushes don’t grow on trees nor are found on blog pages. They on their part have listened and remembered. I am sure that is the case with most parents and children. But there are those unfortunate parents whose children question their wisdom and go on a quest of finding toothbrushes where they were especially told toothbrushes don’t exist. Then there are also those unfortunate children whose parents neglected their sacred duty and did not teach them the truth about where not to look for toothbrushes.

One such, either a neglected child or a rebellious one, visited my blog page in search of a toothbrush. My heart went out to the person who left this message for me.

The person did not leave me a forwarding address or I would have helped the poor soul and given directions on where exactly to look for a toothbrush or if it was urgent, I could easily have lent one of my own, an unused one of course. Imagine going through life without brushing your teeth because you look for them in the most unlikely of places!! Sigh. I bet the poor soul has no friends by now.

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