The Mystery of the Mysterious Disappearances and Other Stories


Our household has been gripped by a strange disease that calls itself ‘toon fever’. The symptoms of this disease usually manifests in the form of victims being hooked to the same episodes of cartoons being played in a continuous loop, relating and reacting to any situation as one of the cartoon character would and in some rare cases address family members and acquaintances as one of the characters. Any disruption to this activity causes loud crying fits and tantrums that calls for timely distraction (e.g. painting that usually begins on a painting book that later extends to the already colored walls of the room after the book is left soaking wet). The victim’s world  becomes ‘toon world’ where the people around them take shape of one or more ‘toon character’ based on what the situation demands. Thankfully, ours is restricted to superheroes, who by the night, face fiendish villains (PJ Masks) and the adventures of the heroic reporter – Tin Tin .

Every mysterious disappearance (which began at about the same time that Little Princess began her exploration expedition) in our once-organized household result in Little Princess singing the PJ mask anthem – “PJ mask we are on our way, into the night to save the day”.

Recently, a tub of face cream mysteriously disappeared overnight. After the usual blame game, my first stop was the toy cabinet; a careful scrutiny got me two ladles and a butter knife that I had given up searching and assumed would have reached the landfill by now. Since it was obvious who the culprit was, I tried asking Little Princess (who I hoped against hope would reveal her most recent hiding place). I even repeated the PJ anthem after her only that together we upturned every piece of furniture – even the shoe cabinet, but to no avail. That afternoon, as watched a re-run of an episode of Tin Tin (of which I can swear that I know every word by heart), I (an unfortunate ‘toon’ victim too) willed my mind to think like the heroic reporter and replay the events of the night when I last laid eyes on the tub of face cream. I vaguely remember Little Princess walking around with a bag of Pampers in hand. I had missed checking the bag of Pampers (for obvious reasons) and there it was – not one but two tubs of face cream, Sid’s school stationary and a comb that I thought that I had misplaced.

Yesterday morning saw my Kindle do the disappearing act. I panicked – not my Kindle! As always I sweetly and patiently questioned the obvious culprit. Little Princess first told me that the Moths and Luna Girl (a PJ Night Villain) took it. A deep breathe and further patient questioning followed by singing the PJ anthem, agreeing to be called Owlette (PJ Superhero) and even trying to look like one after tying up a red scarf around my neck, Little Princess dragged me to the bookshelf where the Kindle was neatly stacked amongst the rest of my books.

Every time there is a mysterious disappearance, even as I panic and make a mental note to be more careful and keep things away from Little Princess’s prying eyes and inquisitive mind, I must confess that the mother in me is secretly thrilled at the thought of being my daughter’s superhero!

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