Monday, March 23, 2009

Little Tricks

Little children are to their respective parents what pets are to their masters.
As I sit on the stone seats in the DRDO canteen I see so many children, accompanied by their parents, playing and running around (both are the same to them I guess).
Every once in a while some uncle or aunty goes by who knows the parent. They say hello to each other and the uncle proceeds to meet the child. The mother says "hello bolo” ...the child says hello. After asking some dumb questions (like, what are you doing here? Where is appa or amma?) the uncle leaves and the mother says again "bye bolo" and the child lifts its arm and shakes its wrists .
Point is every parent teaches some tricks to his/her off springs. The dog doesn’t know what it is doing when it raises its leg and pushes it forward; we presume it is a hand-shake. Like wise the children have no clue what hello or bye or the waving action imply but they have been taught to do that by their parents. The more tricks the child is taught and is able to execute successfully (or as wished by parent) the more amusing or "cho chweet" the child is.
I saw one girl respond to the command "flying kiss do babu ko" also. Very nice. Ten points to amma for training the girl.
There is another side to this.

Two weeks back I was waiting for my friend near a KFC outlet near CMH road. The outlet happens to be right at the crossroads and so many people pass by it. There was female beggar sitting near the steps of this KFC outlet and along with her was a little girl. She would not be more than 5 year old. She wore a bright green dress and it had jari lining also I think (or it is good for the story) . The little girl stood beside the beggar and did nothing but watch the crowd and most probably was trying to come to some conclusion as to how people managed to drive so chaotically even at a signal post.
When ever she felt like, the beggar nudged the forward and I guess it was some sort of a signal because the girl went straight to the people closest to her and staring asking for alms. She simply put her palms together like a bowl and raised it sky wards. The palms would not even reach till the knees of the people (Pretty obvious but somehow I felt like mentioning that specifically). If some one was in a generous mood they gave her a coin which she deposited into hands of the beggar with out a second thought. After this she stood beside her until the next "signal" was given .It was amazing (in a sad way), she was like a trained pet!!
Some times she didn't get anything so she simply put her "bowl" down and went around roaming near the KFC steps. She kept hoping now and then and stopped to observe a small bug going on the pavement.
Point again is, she had no clue she was begging. She had no knowledge of things/feelings like self respect or self reliance which in a way is good ,for the awareness of such things will only make her detest her life (of being a beggar).
As this train of thoughts ran through my head a couple walked in with a Labrador retriever. Their first plan was to tie the dog to the pole which ran along the steps and go in to have a bite. The man ran into some technical issues as the chain had no hook or such so as to facilitate such things. So it was decided that he would sit there and that the lady would get the eatables parceled.
The lady went in leaving the man with the dog and he started stroking the dog's head and back.
All this the little girl stood and saw. I suppose what went on in her mind was:"There is no one to show me such love, at least half of that much love." But since she is a little girl I don't think she thought about such things and so she simply stood still and marveled at the big dog.
Ignorance is bliss they say. In the case of the little girl I am very happy this is true. I only hope that some day she will come out of that life without loosing her entire sense of self-respect.
I think I will name her Mala.
Group hug and pray for Mala okva?? One two three go.


P.S: Refer to this comic strip . Move the mouse over the strip and read the text that comes up.


praveen yadav said...

VEnkat mama Praveen here
accha hai :)

tsp said...

When I first started reading I felt that this was going to be a humourous sketch of a child's severe disadvantages in an adult dominated world. A little bit like Calvin's commentary. The xkcd reference is brilliant - kids are like little play things for adults, aren't they? It's all so mystical at first even to adults. ("Thanks to some conservative high school teachers shying away from teaching sexual reproduction").

Learning does begin with imitation. We are after all social animals. But, what other choice does the little one really have? The best protest the kid's got is crying. So he'll get cuddled, smothered, pinched, lifted up, thrown in the air, conked on the head -- all against his wishes.

However, I was really touched what the post developed into. Projecting the anecdote into a setting like that of the little traffic girl (Mala) really brings out the cruelty that circumstances have upon so many careworn childhoods. Having had a privileged childhood with people to wipe my butt behind me all day, I could never understand the predicament of this little girl. But I'm really happy the way you have sensitively treated the subject of these broken young lives.

Hope to see more from you.

Srikanth said...

Moving Post.. I really hope that one day all this will change..

Inspired Souls said...

beautifully written!!

R@hul said...

You're quite a cynic.

Be careful Raghavan. It's a big world out there. Sometimes we may have to choose to be blind in order to be unhurt by it.