“You are forgiven for your happiness and success only if you generously consent to share them.”
– Albert Camus (French Philosopher and author, and winner of Nobel Prize in Literature)
I felt exhausted walking with a friend and his five year old son Sravan who swung and jumped restlessly like a monkey. Both of us together couldn’t control the boy’s tantrums and animated performance. Silently I pitied the parents- ‘I’ll be gone in few hours, but they have a hellish experience daily taming this beast!’
I was on a short post-dinner jaunt with Mayank, an old friend who invited me over to stay with him for a couple of days. As the father tethered the young lad with his taut palms, the kid somehow managed to free himself. One second he was with his father, the next moment he held my hand and left it, and the next, he ran ahead. It was mentally draining as I tried to keep a meaningful conversation with Mayank while both of us were also alert to protect the child from the speeding vehicles. Even as we spoke, little Sravan would either ask questions or explain something to us, which made no sense to me. I was absolutely disinterested in the boy’s frolics and looked at the huge buses and cars that whizzed past us on a busy Kolkata street. Ten minutes later when I couldn’t take it anymore, I wondered to myself why we didn’t keep the boy home. As I openly appreciated the father’s patience and love in raising the boy, my internal irritation came out in the open. I lost it when I yelled at the kid and told him to stay quiet.
The father looked at me and said, “The Park street corner has a famous Ice-cream center; shall we go there for a mango kulfi?” I guess he wanted to cool me down.
Before I could respond, the boy screamed aloud, “Papa, we should have brought Sruti along. I shall go get her.” He then ran wildly, while both us instantly took to our feet and grabbed him.
To be continued….