Kya hai yeh?

November 23, 2006

“Kya hai yeh?” – was Aru’s first sentence. 

I don’t know where she picked this one from, but when she was around one and half year old, she somehow figured out that pointing to anything and uttering these words resulted in a definite response.  After that there was no stopping her.  She would go on pointing to anything and everything, accompanied by her “Kya hai yeh?”  She just loved it and would go on and on and on. 

On our walks…

Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a plant)
Me : Paudha (plant)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (still pointing at the plan)
Me : Patti (Leaf) (pondering whether she wanted a specific answer)
(That probably answers her question.)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a garden chair)
Me : Kursi (chair)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the road)
Me : Road.
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a bike)
Me : Motorcycle.
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a flower)
Me : Phool (flower)
Aru: Phoo? (Aru calls flower- phoo)
Me : Haan (Yes)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a heap of pebbles)
Me : Patthar. (stones)
Aru: Kheloon? (Can I play?)
Me : Ok.
(Aru climbs the heap and settles down to play!)

In the bathroom (while she sits on the commode)…

Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a bucket)
Me : Bucket
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the tap)
Me : Nal (Tap)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the wall)
Me : Deewar (Wall)
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (still pointing at the wall)
Me : Tiles
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the geyser)
Me : Geyser
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the mirror)
Me : Mirror
Aru: Kya hai yeh? (pointing at the mug)
Me : Mug
Aru: Hmm…Kya hai yeh? (pointing at a bucket)
Me : Bucket
(…and it starts all over again.)

If you notice, “Kya hai yeh?” is a literal translation of “What is this?”.  I always find it quite amusing; more so because Indians are notorious for using phrases in English, that are literal translations from their own languages.  In correct hindi this should probably read “Yeh kya hai?”