Saturday, 30 November 2013

The child is the father of the man.


                Write Over the Weekend theme for this week

This time your entry must contain the three words idiotperfume and CD.

"Mama, I love to visit shops."

"We are going to the  mall , you idiot , not a shop". retorted Ananya.

"Silly , malls have shops, isn't it?

Ananya scowls at her little sibling.

"What's on your shopping agenda?" questioned I.

"Mama , Akanksha's birthday is on 25th. I want to buy for her , her favourite perfume".

"Mama , I want a FIFA 14  CD."

"Both of you be quiet and allow me to concentrate on the road."

Ananya and  Akash  made faces at each other.


When the vehicles halted at the sight of the red light at the traffic signal , a small grimy hand appeared on the window-pane and a tapping sound was heard , imploring us to roll down the windows. The little boy  on the other side of the glass barrier had long nails with dirt accumulated underneath them. His hair was unkempt and his body and clothes had not been scrubbed by water and soap for a few days. Malnourishment  seems to have taken a toll on him and the over-sized clothes seem to droop down on his frail shoulders. 

I ignored the pest and wished the red indicator would immediately change to green. The wait at the signal felt longer than the usual time and I dreaded it.

The  red light flickered to die out the and the green colour sprang to life and my foot immediately pressed the accelerator to zoom ahead. I heaved a sigh of relief.

The crowd was more than usual being a Sunday , people had flocked to the mall. But I noticed that the kids were not in their usual buoyant mood.

We entered a Book store. I asked them to pick up some books.

"Mama. we could have bought some books from the boy at the traffic signal?"

I looked at my seven year old. He was right. 

The little boy at the signal seeing my little children in the car hurriedly came in our direction expecting of a good sale. I shut him off as he was crude and shabby. But I was ready to splurge at the malls where it is cool and fashionable to be seen among the rich crowd , the salespersons are well-dressed and speak the Queen's language. The colourful picture books which the boy at the signal was selling could have been useful in their project work or I could have passed it on to my maid's children . Those picture books would have cost me one fourth the price of the books in the malls. Moreover my purchase would have helped the little boy a chance to have a decent meal. The affluent can afford to sent their kids to reputed schools and pamper at the weekends in the fancy malls or to a movie. But what about thousands of children who hawk wares at the traffic signals to earn a living and be an additional source of income to their parents? Poverty was the root cause of this inequality and divided the humans into have's and have-not's. 

I was guilty of myself , of shutting my conscience in the cool and comfortable confines of an air-conditioned car while my little children saw the harsh reality  with their little innocent eyes. My kids taught me the simple human values which the expensive books on parenting would not have provided me with. I had made donations to various social organisations and temples and earned the title of being charitable among my corporate friends . I was ashamed of myself but at the same time full of pride as a mother of my kids. Today they have taught me a valuable lesson. As grown-ups , with our experience of worldly matters , we assume that we are an encyclopaedia of know-it-all but let us take a peep into the mind and world of our young ones to learn and unlearn many facts and truths of life.



   Indeed ,William Wordsworth has rightly said ."the child is the father of the man".

Readers , do you agree with me?

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.