21 September, 2007

Young World

Last evening my daughter, who is 5 years old, went for a walk along with my neighbour’s daughters aged 16 and 15, along with their pup. The walk was supposed to be only for few minutes. We had a guest and we were deeply involved in a conversation. After a while, we realised it was getting darker and my daughter had not returned. We hid our anxiety and waited for our guest to leave. After he left, we hurried to our neighbour to know where the girls had gone. Our neighbour said that she would go in search of them and bring them back. Within few minutes they were back. Though there was no reason to be worried (I would not have if it had been 20 years before) but still there are many things that have been happening around to worry about this.

Everyone knew the famous case of Jessica Chapman and Holy wells. The two young girls went for a walk in a place called Soham in England on August 4, 2002 and they disappeared. The entire country was alerted. After few days their dresses were traced and Ian Huntley, a caretaker in their school was arrested. He had lured them with toys or his pet into his house. What happened later was history.

For the past few months a doctor couple who went on holiday to Portugal along with their children complained about Madeline their daughter that she was missing from her bedroom in the hotel where they stayed. The case is still going on and there had been a recent twist in the case. Though Portugal police could not find the child yet, it has been recently believed that the parents would have been part to the whole episode. It is widely believed that the parents would not have done any harm to their kid. The DNA of the child matches with those found in the taxi hired by the couple after they claimed about the girl. The couple have hired the car and were using it after that. It is believed that the couple could have done something to the child (unbelievable) and would have carried the child in the car after announcing that their child was missing. There is lot of speculation on both ends. Whatever let be the end, it is pitiable to hear about the happenings to innocent kids nowadays.

Many years before, while I was travelling in a local electric train between Tambaram and Madras Beach in first class, there were few children who got into the train. I tried to pick up conversation with them, and two boys who looked like brothers were reluctant to even look at me. Just out of inquisitiveness, when I enquired about their school the elder one glanced at his younger and was answering smartly. It took few minutes for me to realise that the elder one was growing suspicious about my questions. Though the younger one was responding to my gestures, I decided to stop my actions and got into reading the newspaper.

Once my relative who came from US brought lots of little toys and was busy in distributing it to unknown children in Madras. One day when he visited us, he asked me to bring in lots of kids home and we requested our Milkman, Dhobi, Gardener and Housemaid to bring their children. He was happily distributing those toys and pencils and tiny little things to those kids and the kids were very happy. He relished the pleasure of seeing those happy faces and said that he had not seen children becoming happy in western countries on being given even a teddy bear of 3 feet high. I agreed with him.

Considering the atmosphere that is prevailing today around the world (including countries like India) is it not safe for kids to be on their own without parental guidance? Is the world becoming a place to be worried for letting children play by themselves? Should they be deprived of certain things which we had in our early life? I have been looked suspicious many times when I wanted to smile at those innocent faces. This is not the same with most of the parents. Few parents do acknowledge when we smile at their cute kids.

Few weeks before, I came across few children sitting opposite to me in a local bus while their Mom was busy finishing off a sandwich. One of the kids was so naughty and was staring at me and just to ease the situation I showed few comic gesture. Suddenly he started showing back few too. It was enjoyable and the Mom suddenly said “Tom... Could you please stop showing faces?”
The child replied “He started it first.” and pointed his finger towards me.

Another day when I got into a bus, a cute little child started looking at my eyes. I was attracted so much of the child’s sharp eyes, I smiled at him. The child smiled back at me and shouted...”Hey... Daddy... Mom... look... Daddy” and showed his finger at me.

The whole bus roared into laughter and the mom replied “He is not your Dad. He is just a man...Keep quiet. Dad has gone to work”.

I removed my eyes from the kid.

I wanted to talk about this incident to my family at dinner. Just before while I was about to start the topic, there was talk about an Old man whom our family had met few days before. My son said “I hate him. Something in me tells that he could be a paedophile...”

I am still laughing over it.

16 comments:

Jeevan said...

It would be a funnier reaction on ur face when he pointed you. That was a nice joke his shouting “Hai daddy” :)) There was hesitate is true to smile or talk with kids, if someone look take it in difference. But for parents making children to practice with a stranger is not possibly sure and also safe sometimes in today’s world.

backpakker said...

Its sad that we live in a dangerous and an insecure world ...even children today are just not safe..they are the most vulnerable..its unfortunate that we are growing in fear

Dan said...

visiting after a long time. yes what you have talked about here is a very sensitive subject.

வேதா said...

ரொம்ப நாட்கள் கழிச்சு உங்க பதிவுகளை படிக்கறேன் நீங்க தொடர்ந்து என் பதிவுகளை படித்து என்னை ஊக்கமளிக்கும் நேரத்தில் நான் இங்க வந்து படிக்காதது எனக்கு குற்ற உணர்ச்சியை தருகிறது மன்னிச்சுக்கோங்க :)

வேதா said...

/but still there are many things that have been happening around to worry about this./
உண்மை தான் இப்ப இருக்கற காலக்கட்டதுல நீங்க கவலைப்பட்டதுல தவறே இல்ல..

/Few parents do acknowledge when we smile at their cute kids./
இங்க நிலைமை அப்டி ஒன்னும் மோசமாகல குழந்தைகளை பார்க்கும் போது நம்மள அறியாமலே நாம அப்படி தான் நடந்துக்கறோம், அதே சமயத்துல பெற்றோர்கள் சாக்கிரதை உணர்வுடன் நடந்துக்கறதையும் நாம தப்பு சொல்ல முடியாது இல்லையா? ஒரு தந்தையா உங்களுக்கு நான் சொல்ல வர்ரது புரியும்னு நினைக்கறேன்..

Rama Iyer said...

It is sad that we live in such an environment today. Not only that the parents hesitate to give a free hand to the children fearing security, I also realize that the children themselves do not want to take any risk as they keep reading a lot of such incidents.

ambi said...

Nice post once again. 9summa oru mokkai podunga pls!)

//Hey... Daddy... Mom... look... Daddy” and showed his finger at me//

ROTFL :) engayoo idikuthe..? did your Thangamani used to read your psots..? illainaa sollunga, emailaa anuppi vaikaren. :p

//இங்க வந்து படிக்காதது எனக்கு குற்ற உணர்ச்சியை தருகிறது மன்னிச்சுக்கோங்க //
@veda, ஓவர் சீன் உடம்புக்கு ஆகாது மா! :p

வேதா said...

அம்பி என்னதிது சீரியஸ் சீன் ஓடிக்கிட்டு இருக்கும் போது காமெடி பண்ணறீங்க :)பீல் பண்ண விட மாட்டீங்களே ;)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jeevan,

Imagine my position at that time. The whole bus went on a big laughter.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Backpakker,

You said it rightly.
"its unfortunate that we are growing in fear".

Balaji S Rajan said...

Dan,

Welcome back.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Veda,

That is alright. I knew probably you were busy and could not read my posts. No hard feelings.

Balaji S Rajan said...

இங்க நிலைமை அப்டி ஒன்னும் மோசமாகல குழந்தைகளை பார்க்கும் போது நம்மள அறியாமலே நாம அப்படி தான் நடந்துக்கறோம், அதே சமயத்துல பெற்றோர்கள் சாக்கிரதை உணர்வுடன் நடந்துக்கறதையும் நாம தப்பு சொல்ல முடியாது இல்லையா? ஒரு தந்தையா உங்களுக்கு நான் சொல்ல வர்ரது புரியும்னு நினைக்கறேன்..

- What it hurts is only when the children smile at us and the parents change their attention by talking about something. They indirectly teach the child to ignore us. Parents should not be worried when they are present and the child smiles naturally at people around them.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Rama,

I understand. Yes, the children are told many things. So, they are unable to take right decision at many times. They should be left to behave according to their intuition and beware of surrounding and happenings.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Ambi,

Vaanga Vaanga. Welcome. I am happy you made a note of the child's comment and must have laughed. Orey Kurumbu thaan. Yeah.. I told my wife about it. (You must be knowing about the result..he..he..)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Veda,

Paavam.. Ambi. Let him comment freely. He comes rarely this side and please do not scold him. Paavam... he is married too.