By the river side.

I have always loved to go to the river and I was waiting eagerly for Aisha to grow up to take her to the river. We live near to River Thootha originating from the Thootha hills, which joins the second largest river in Kerala, the Bharathappuzha or Nila, and flows to the Arabian sea. My niece and nephew who arrived a week ago from US joined us on our venture. I was a little bit worried about our (my SIL and me) ability to take care of the three - my nephew who is 5 years old, niece who is 2 1/2 and Aisha.
Aisha has not been near such a huge amount of water before (she has gone to the beach once, but never got near the water), she was scared and surprised at the same time. She wanted to touch the water, but she was terrified if something would harm her. It was only after repeated re-assurance did she touch the waters. After all, it wasn't the water that attracted her, but the pebbles and the sand. She loved to bite the pebbles and I had trouble in throwing away each pebble she grabbed. But with thousands of pebbles for her to mouth, I had to run behind her to stop her from mouthing it.
The Timid Toddler.
When the race was over, and the anxiety gone, she stepped into the water - but made sure not to leave her grip on my fingers.
Aisha watched the fish and the tadpoles swimming, the cranes and kingfishers who fed on them and the construction of a new bridge across the river.
The return trip (You can see my nephew and niece in the background).

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