Childhood references go a long way….
January 29, 2007
Dear Little One,
There has been something on my mind and I thought of writing it down before it gets obliterated in the haze of mundane tasks that take most of my time these days. We have been driving through a very narrow road when on a curve while taking a pass from a standing bus, we found a small boy, around 5-6 years old, run across the road to pick up something. He was so focused on the object of his search that he didn’t notice our car approaching from the other side. I was shocked. Your papa applied the brake, my head bumped against the windscreen. The car stopped. The child ran back. I could hear a woman speaking loudly to the boy, may be his mother, I thought. We stopped for a while and looked around and from behind the standing bus came an old woman, old enough t be the boy’s grandmother, holding hand of the boy. I was angry, really angry at her for being so careless. And you know better about your papa that how does he fumes and frets when someone behaves illogically on road. When someone doesn’t lower the full-beam light when some vehicle comes from the opposite direction, he is so angry. The vehicle drives away but we listen to his fuming for the lack of road sense among people. The driving monsters, he calls them. I knew instinctively when he lowered his window glass that what was to follow. My anger for the old lady for being so neglectful changed to sympathy now. Your papa made a sign to the small boy to come near him. The child was hesitant and he tugged closer to his grandmother. “You must be careful while walking on the roads” he advised the old lady. His tone was mellowed down, perhaps he was too spent because of the experience, I thought. He again made a sign to the child to come near. Then, surprisingly, your papa brought out some money and gave that to the child. He held the child close to him and told him in an endearing voice to be very careful while crossing a road. There was now a very broad smile on the face of the child and he nodded his head and ran away towards his friends who stood watching all this happen. He was very happy and once again looked back at us and waved happily.I was really surprised as this was not like your Papa. He would not just forgive anyone for being neglectful on road. Reading a question mark in my eyes he said, “had I been harsh to the child, he would have taken this as just an incident as everyone would be harsh to him foe crossing the road in this manner”. “But what was there to applaud him for?” I asked still not able to make anything out of his strange behaviour. How angry he always would be with people lacking common road sense? “He would now onwards be very careful while crossing a road as he would carry a positive childhood reference throughout his life about it” he said with a conviction in his voice. I was dumbfounded. Why could I, with all the bookish knowledge to support me, not think this way? How practical! This is what wisdom is all about. And this is the reason why I love your Papa so much. I thought of so many people who act this way, not only on roads while driving vehicles, but while driving their own life forward and tried finding a reason for illogical and unreasonable behaviors of those. I found an answer to this display of behavior. The childhood references where they didn’t find anyone to teach them the right manner to deal with an incident and gradually that became a point of all future references for them. We must not blame such offenders but the elders who didn’t act in an elderly manner are responsible for providing them with a certain kind of attitude towards life. I hope my dear Little One that you would always, wherever possible, leave a mark of good childhood references to small kids that you meet the way we have, though in our crude manner, tried to instill in all three of you.