Rishu’s mom looked up from her laptop at her three and a half year old daughter Rishu sitting cross-legged on the floor with a spelling book on her lap.
“Why doesn’t cookie start with a K? Why isn’t it K-O-O-K-I-E?” asked Rishu.
Rishu’s mom was lost for an answer. She said, “I don’t know, sweetheart. Ask Grandma, she might know.”
“OK” said Rishu brightly and ran to her grandmother in the kitchen.
“Gamma, gamma, why doesn’t cookie start with a ‘K’?”
Her face was so serious that grandma didn’t have the heart to laugh. How could she explain to a little girl that English language is weird?
“Because…” Grandma paused and thought. “Because, when K was called while cookie was being made, it got late and C was nearby, so they took it first and put K later.”
“Oh…” Rishu thought for a while and seemed satisfied with the explanation.
“Stupid K” She said. Grandma could see her daughter rolling with silent laughter on the sofa.
Rishu lived with her parents in America. Originally from India, Rishu’s parents had settled in the USA long time ago and were joined by Rishu’s grandmother who was all alone after her husband’s death. When Rishu was a baby she couldn’t pronounce “Grandma” and said “Gamma” instead. The name stuck even after she could properly tell it.
Still very young to go to school, Rishu stayed at home with her grandma while her parents went to work. Grandma taught her alphabets and numbers and also made her read little words. Rishu could even write her name now. She had her spelling book bought from India by her grandma which she loved. It was from there she got the doubt about cookie.
Rishu said, “I’m going to open a cookie shop when I’m older, but I’ll sell cookies with Ks.” She wanted to be a teacher two days ago.
“Your shop will be very famous.” said grandma. “We could name it Rishu’s cookies.”
“With a K.”
“Yes, with a K.” Said grandma and Rishu’s face lit up.
Next evening, Rishu set all her kitchen toys and called grandma.
“Gamma, let’s play. I have a cookie shop and you come to buy cookies.”
Grandma knew that the ‘Cookie with a K’ thing hadn’t left her mind.
“Okay.” Said grandma and sat down in front of the toys.
“Rishu, I want three cookies, please.”
“Gamma, you should say hi. You don’t know my name, remember?” whispered Rishu.
“Yeah, yeah, sorry.” Grandma whispered back. “Hi, I want three cookies, please.”
“We only sell cookies with Ks.” said Rishu. “Would that be alright?”
“Okay. Do you want them here or to-go?”
“Gamma, say here.” Rishu whispered again.
“Okay, just a minute.”
Rishu put three Oreo cookies on the little toy plate and gave it to grandma.
“You want one?” Grandma asked.
Rishu thought for a while whether to stop the game or not, then couldn’t resist Oreo.
“Okay.” She said and started eating.
After the cookie game, Rishu started drawing with all the crayons sprawled around her. The doorbell rang and grandma answered. After five minutes, grandma called Rishu.
“Rishu… Come here! You have a surprise.”
Rishu ran to the door and saw her parents, and then a basket on the floor.
“Look inside.” Her mom said.
Rishu looked and saw a cute little white puppy with brown spots all over.
Rishu ran in circles around the basket screaming “Puppy! Puppy, puppy, puppy, puppy!”
“What should I call him? Gamma, tell a name.”
“Um…” Grandma thought. “Why don’t you call him Kookie? With a K.”
“Yayy! My Kookie!” Rishu grabbed the pup in the middle and started playing with it.
The grown-ups watched happily as Rishu played with her Kookie, with a K.