Thursday, July 16, 2009


Children, as Baba loves saying, are as good as the Cartoon Network. They do the most unexpected things, behave in the most unpredictable ways and often, say the most unlikely (and often rather embarrassing) things. However, one thing is for sure : you can always count on them for entertainment. They'll never disappoint you !

Here are the two most recent instances where I've derived much personal enjoyment from observing the children in my neighbourhood, who are currently going through that much loved and idealised time of American life : summer holidays. Which reminds me, I still cannot get over the irony of the fact that children here get summer vacations so that they can enjoy the season while we used to get summer vacations so that we could sit at home and basically escape the suffering that the season was. Of course, things weren't really as bad then as they seem to be now. We had quite a lot of homework, which we managed to wrap up within the first couple of days, so that we could have the rest of the month free. But these guys actually get almost 3 months (June to August). Now that seems rather unfair. Not grudging them their vacation of course. Just grieving about the fact that our childhood doesn't seem as important to the powers-that-be back home. I mean, childhood isn't something you can just wish back, right ? If it's gone, it's gone. And it sure sped past in my case, I think !

Anyway, back to the relevant incidents. The first is best illustrated by these photos :

Basically, the girl had captured some tiny frogs from the depths of the abundant foliage hereabouts and was busy giving the other little chap a hurriedly improvised lesson in zoology. The little one was evidently a visitor, and the girl had probably been instructed to keep him occupied while his parents took a welcome break, at least for a couple of hours, from constantly monitoring his every move. However, the funny part of the incident was that the little one, who wasn't more than 3 years old at the most, seemed to be wearing a huge cap that somehow frustrated, every time, his efforts to inspect closely the frogs that the girl carefully placed on the ground which made enough movement to arouse his interest. Consequently, after several efforts to concentrate on the potentially interesting creatures at hand, his attention wavered and he walked off. It somehow never seemed to occur to him that he could simply take off the silly cap !

The second one was a bit more complicated and took place yesterday afternoon.
I was just preparing the dough for some chappatis yesterday afternoon, when I heard the most awful shrieks somewhere near our living room window, followed by ear-shattering fits of crying. I rushed to the window, flour all over me, to find out what was happening. I found the following scene :
This boy, abut 6 years old, is named (very mistakenly) Angel. He's anything but that. Always mooning around without any occupation whatsoever and bursting his lungs out, either crying or screaming with rage, the moment he doesn't seem to be getting his own way in whatever it is that he wants. His father is the most sober, sombre gentleman I've ever seen. He never raises his voice, even though this little devil is enough to provoke anyone to a temper. Just a few days ago, K and I were out for a walk, when we chanced across the gentleman in question calmly walking down to the basement laundry room and carrying out, with equal composure, his shrieking and sobbing son. All we gathered was that he had been making himself a nuisance to the girls playing there and one of them had possibly complained to his parent. That's just to illustrate his usual habits.
Well, anyway, here he was, screaming his guts out. I was about to walk away, grumbling, when he started complaining in the highest pitch possible that he had been hit on the head and that consequently, he had fallen off his cycle and that the latter was new and that it had been damaged. His vociferous laments soon roused the attention of children of his age or slightly elder all around the locality and they crowded around him to find out what was wrong with him. The eldest girl soon left, disillusioned, but those of Angel's age satisfied his ego by gathering around and paying the utmost attention to his narration of the pereceding events.
Apparently, one of his female playmates named Rachel (see photo below), tired of his annoying attitude or something similar, had thumped him on the head, to ward him off her side. He had consequently lost his balance and almost fallen. His bicycle, a brand new one, had suffered serious damage as the seat had become irretrievably displaced. (It's surely a coincidence that we later found the contraption unharmed, the seat quite happily in its former position and the boy himself riding it quite unperturbed by the so-called damages). One of his friends (the yellow-red attired one) was convinced enough by his crying and story-telling to march upto the girl and demand an immediate apology within a count of 3. Otherwise he would hurl her cycle aside forcefully. The girl (who didn't look very innocent either, to be fair) protested that she had already apologised and that it had been nothing intentional, just in jest, and that there was nothing the matter with his bicycle at all. The staunch friend however proceeded to unflinchingly topple over her cycle, since she stuck to her resolve as to not apologise again. Luckily, the girl stepped aside just in time.

After displaying what he evidently considered as proof of his loyalty to his friend, the former lost all interest in the proceedings. Along with the others, he immediately walked off and they all returned to their former occaupations. Angel, contented that he had been placated enough, stood absent-mindedly in the midst of a path, picking his nose.

An hour later, K and I set off for a walk. And there they were, the whole lot, all four of them (not the big girl) calmly sitting in the middle of one of the foot-paths, drawing pictures on the gravel with some chalk. Totally oblivious to all the chaos that had taken place not so long ago.
Sometimes, there are lessons to be learned from children too.


Kaustav said...

You have good story telling skills. Its high time that you start writing some prose.

Suchismita said...

Yeah, the biggest lesson I learned is a renewed resolve not to have any of these brats of my own. If I did have one, either it will kill me, or I'll kill it. Lord !!

A Bookworm said...

as usual ... a delightful read!

Lazybirdie said...

Hahahahahahaha! Interesting read - like a well-illustrated comic strip.

And I agree with Kaustav wholeheartedly :)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin