Cute conversations about an acute dilemma
I was at my relatives’ place a couple of days back. Their six years old daughter returned early from school because of the students’ agitation and protests. The cute little thing was so excited that it was difficult to make out what she was saying.
“School… stone-pelting…a girl got hurt…one ma’am fainted…we were so frightened… I ran and ran…lay flat on my abdomen…my lunch fell down…firing…killed…,” a torrent of words continued to issue from her lips to the accompaniment of gestures and expressions that made her look like an animated doll.
“OK! OK! Calm down! Tell me what happened?” her mother caught hold of her and smiling at me muttered, “She is a real dramabaaz.”
“Mamma! Why didn’t you come to pick me up at the school today! You know what happened… There was stone-pelting outside our school…and there was firing too… I could have got killed!”
“Now don’t say that jaan. I knew you would be fine. I would have come myself but I called the driver of your school van and he said that he will be collecting you…,” Mamma said.
“Oh you should have seen…so many girls were crying…but I didn’t cry…Even the big didis were crying…and running here and there…one big girl pushed Faiza and she fell down… poor Faiza her knee was bleeding… I gave her my water bottle…then another girl took it and then I couldn’t find it!”
“You lost your water bottle again!” Mamma scolded. “This is your third in a month!”
The cute little girl started crying, “I didn’t lose it deliberately… I almost got killed and here you are scolding me for no fault of mine!”
At this moment her father entered the room and said, “Why is my little doll crying?”
“Mamma scolded me… for no fault of mine too… My friend was hurt and I gave her my water bottle…aren’t we supposed to help our friends…and then another girl took it…and then I couldn’t find it…and mamma is scolding me now…” the cute little girl sobbed.
Papa tousled the cute little girl’s hair and tried to distract her, “How did your friend get hurt?”
“Oh Papa! Why didn’t you come to pick me up at the school today! You know what happened…I almost got killed! There was stone-pelting outside our school…and there was firing too… even the big didis were crying…but I didn’t cry…,” the cute little girl forgot her tears.
Papa kissed her and said, “You are my brave little girl!”
“And Papa… a bullet came from somewhere and hit Faiza’s knee…and it was bleeding and she fell down…I gave her my water bottle…”
“But you said somebody pushed her!” Mamma said shaking her head and suppressing a smile.
The cute little girl smiled and bit her lip and said, “Maybe a stone came from outside and hit her on the knee…and she fell down…”
“Ok! Enough of your tales. Come let me help you change out of your uniform…”
I could hear the cute little girl’s chatter as her mother led her away.
“Mamma what is a pellet gun…”
“Ma’am said don’t go out you will get hit by pellets….”
“You know Mamma if you get pellets in the eye you become blind…you cannot see anything…only black…”
“Mamma ma’am said tomorrow will be a holiday…maybe tomorrow after tomorrow too…”
“Mamma will the schools be closed again…for many many days…Waay Mamma I will miss my friends again…”
A while later she returned wearing a lovely pink dress and looking even cuter. Her little brother too returned from the school.
“Does he also come in a van?” I asked their Papa.
“No,” the little chap said with a swagger, “I come in a biiiig bus.”
The cute little girl sniffed, “There are big buses in our school too! And you know what,” she bragged to her little brother, “Today there was stone-pelting and firing outside our school.”
Her yet-to-be-four brother was not impressed, “O!” he said pointing at his sister, “Firing happens outside our school too. One girl from our school was even hit by a bullet.”
I couldn’t help laughing at this competition between the two kids. “He seems to be no less a dramabaaz!” I said.
Their mother smiled grimly and said, “Actually sometime back a girl from his school did get caught up in cross-fire right outside the school.”
I pulled the little chap close and the cute little girl also drew close to me. “What’s your name?” I asked them the way one usually asks little children. The little girl shyly gave her name and the little chap lisped his too.
On being asked “Where do you live?” the little chap earnestly supplied, “Sorry-nagar!” and the cute little girl brightly said, “Crush-mir!”
I doubled with laughter at their cute pronunciation. Later when I was driving home I couldn’t help smiling as I recalled the kids’ conversation. I almost laughed out loud at their “Sorry-nagar!” and “Crush-mir!” My evening had gone so well because of the kids otherwise life has become quite a sombre affair. Open a newspaper, check your facebook account or the whatsapp and you see a picture of somebody dead or injured or protesting about someone dead or injured.
Alas my good humour and high spirits did not last long. My car hit a deep rut in the road and the silencer nearly fell off. It had already suffered damage a couple of weeks back when I was fleeing my home because of the flood threat. At that time one could hardly make out the road which was under water so the multitude of pot-holes had had all the opportunity to ambush my car. I could sense (or rather hear!) that the already ‘injured’ silencer of my car had now been fatally wounded. Then I had to take a detour because there was some disturbance and stone-pelting on the main road. The narrow back roads I took were jammed with traffic and at one place I scrapped a security forces’ bunker and the irate security personnel smashed my windscreen and poured filthy abuse on me.
As I finally reached my home I recalled the kids’ prattle, and I realised now that it was actually pathetic even if it was cute. As for “Sorry-nagar” and “Crush-mir” that no longer made me laugh. Why it sounded exactly like my address!
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at firstname.lastname@example.org)