27/07/2016 11:21 AM IST | Updated 30/07/2016 1:08 AM IST

No One Is Listening Until You Fart

Alberto Ruggieri

Farts are funny. Talking to your toddler about farts is even funnier. They laugh when they fart as it is a funny feeling. And also a kind of relief. They giggle and they announce proudly that they have farted. They announce even louder when it's you who has farted.

I have begun to enjoy farts much more now that I am a mother. They are fodder for some hearty laughs for me and my toddler. It started with making those gross fart sounds on our arms and dissolving into fits of laughter. And then came the real, loud ones, and trying to compete. Unfortunately, I completely forgot the toddler's ability to reproduce any and everything that she experiences in the house to the outside world. And now with a toddler always stuck to me, the joy of letting one go in peace and with nobody to overhear, is lost.

With a toddler always stuck to me, the joy of letting one go in peace and with nobody to overhear, is lost.

Here is an incident where I wished I could have just disappeared into thin air. My toddler and I were grocery shopping at the nearby vegetable market. It was early in the evening and the market was not too crowded. I was waiting for the seller to measure out bhindi for me. There must have been around seven to eight people within earshot. And that is the time I decided to let one rip. Given that the environs were quite noisy, I was confident that no one would be any the wiser. Except that I forgot my toddler is at a very "interesting" height.

She immediately heard and in all her innocence loudly asked me, "Mommy did you fart?"

There was a sudden silence, and awkward looks were passed all around. I turned the brightest shade of pink as I replied, "No no. Are you mad?"

People in the vicinity were sniggering, though trying to cover it up with a cough or a hand on the mouth, avoiding looking at me. I was avoiding looking at them. My bhindi was lying on the measuring scale, forgotten.

And then the descendent of Raja Harishchandra, my beloved daughter, again replied at her loudest, "No mommy, you farted. Loudly."

There was silence all around, and slowly I could hear some more very obvious sniggers.

I summoned all my courage and silently held out my bag for the bhindi. The seller emptied the contents in my bag without a word. I suspect he put in a couple of pieces extra out of pity. I paid him and without bothering to wait for the change, I walked out of the market, pulling my toddler along, my head held high as if nothing happened, and my dignity down the drain.

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