She clambers over things

When we’re just having a conversation about things, she clambers over the bed post while talking and punctuates her sentences with the last thump of a somersault. She paces when she is on the phone; in perpetual motion. I marvel at the energy.

I have been rather static and conservative with my ranges of motion. For the longest time (even now) my parents and other ridicule me for doing things with one hand. I never quite understood that bit of criticism, I wondered why they wanted to see me using two hands when one hand sufficed for the action…it wasn’t as if I was dropping objects that I chose to only hold with one hand. But that’s it, they still say things like, “फिर एक हाथ से…” (again using only one hand). Maybe the criticism is about something deeper than just my manner of doing the task at hand. Perhaps they are envious of my potential energy reserves 😉

One clear memory of animation is from my first trip to the US embassy in Delhi. I had gone to get my American passport. Had been sitting in the line, drinking Cherry Coke, something I hadn’t had outside of the embassy and marveling at the cool American things that would soon be within reach. When the time came to go inside and pick up my US passport after pledging allegiance, I noticed a person at the counter, chatting with her friend. Perhaps she was describing an event from the night before or just something she had been doing, but she was talking with her body, her arms, her legs, she was in a very animated state. I watched her and wondered if all Americans were so energetic, so animated. I read something later on in a book going to America for the first time, it mentioned the bit about 3 feet of space between people and that this unstated space convention often caused discomfort in interpersonal interactions. I remember thinking to myself, no wonder they need all that space, they need room for the hand gestures and the swirls and twirls.

So from my sedate state I now witness my clambering, somersaulting daughter in perpetual motion and wonder if it is a cultural thing or is it a deeper reflection on our personalities.


  1. I believe our cultures affect our personalities in one way or the other; the two certainly seem to be closely related.(Excessive energy levels in children is a universal thing, by the way. :P)

  2. personality in iteself is a result of both cultural and genetic influences… though I think culture has a far greater influence in shaping the personality. by culture, i mean whatever we see, listen, and feel everyday…

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