Now about a day ago I read a post:
Dear society: kids cry, deal with it. Dear parents: kids cry, stop bringing them to grown-up movies.
The best thing was post was easy to relate to. I have had my share of experiences when some random baby in a train started crying or people trying to calm down a crying boy in a wedding.
Here are some, though unrelated, experiences.
I had really great experiences. In a hospital once a newborn slept sucking my thumb. And I didn’t want him to stop. I was ready to wait there with him till he let my hand go.
Bad experience. Once in a wedding an over excited boy kept hitting my thighs and knees. And his parents stood there chatting. I had to smile and pretend I wasn’t a bit irate at the Boy’s behavior.
This is now the main thing I want to talk about.
Now I would like to add something else too. This one is recent and this isn’t about a small toddler but a girl of at least 7-8 years old. While coming home from college the other day, I saw the same girl crying on the train station.
She being tiny was almost lost in the crowd. Only her cries of “Mummy Mummy” were audible because at that time the song I was listening to had ended. Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed her either.
She was properly dressed, so I understood she wasn’t some street beggar who had just received some beatings from her mother. She actually looked lost and scared.
I stopped my music player and approached her. I put my hand on her shoulder and asked what happened. She cringed away from me.
Suddenly I became aware that here I am standing with a small crying girl in a crowd of at least a hundred. If any of them thought that I was trying to kidnap the girl and raised his voice I was going to be beaten to a pulp then and there. And more importantly the girl would still be crying because she was still separated from her mother. Delicate situation.
I asked her again where is her mother. She finally said something articulate like ‘Mummy nai h'(Mummy isn’t here). Obviously. And I became sure that I had a lost girl in my hands. Now I know what am I supposed to do about this situation. Take the girl to the police. Let them handle the girl, and the girl would be safer with them than with me.
What I didn’t know that I would become scared. Scared for the safety of the girl. Scared by the looks the fellow commuters were giving me. Scared by what the police will ask me. Scared.
I tried to focus on the task on hand and tried to calm the girl down. I asked her again where is her mummy. Same answer.
Change of question then. I asked her where did she come from? That she understood instantly and pointed ahead. Oh.
The indicated direction was full with people. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more than a single lost child here.
I looked around for police but they weren’t anywhere to be found. I know there are policemen just a few minutes distance in the opposite direction. I looked around once more, and before I could I turn the girl around and take her towards the police authorities she cried aloud and ran.
And ran directly into the arms of her mother.
Phew. The girl quickly grabbed her mother’s sari and cried even more loudly. Her hug to her mother, I could tell was the one she would hesitate to let go.
And then I looked at the mother. She had tears in her eyes. Well,things got weird after this.
She was looking at me with resentment. I could tell that much. She must have assumed that I was trying to grab the girl. I opened my mouth to remind her that it was her who had lost her daughter. I almost did. But I stopped myself.
The girl was back with her mother, her mother was not alleging me of anything. So no harm done.
I left the scene without a word, and a thought crosses my mind. How come I was the only one who stopped to ask the lost girl where is her mother?
There were Hundreds of commuters, at least some must have seen the girl. Yes I’m ashamed because I felt scared when it came down to helping the girl.
I’m downright disappointed that I was the only one who stopped to at least ask the girl.
Why share this?
Because I think kids are a pain when they start irritating you. They are the most fun when they drag you along to play with them. But they only do that when they are feeling safe.
The girl on the station will probably be scared to let go of her mother till she grows up.
I am not saying it was the mother’s fault. I am not saying she was wrong in assuming I was trying to kidnap her daughter. I am just sharing.
I can’t presume I know of the solution. I don’t know. But given the choice I wouldn’t want another lost girl in another crowd. Tiny tots belong to the safety of their mother’s arms.
I hope they stay there.
Now about a day ago I read a post: