Monday, December 12, 2016

Adult Questions Series - Why Are You Crying?

I was waiting outside Decathlon at the Shamshabad airport with Anjali when a small family walked up. There's a boy, two years old, one father / uncle type, one older kid of some nine years and two ladies - mother and aunty. The adults are around the 27-30 year mark.

Man (red shirt, tight jeans, hair shaved close on the sides) held the two year old by his hands and swung him around in circles. The kid is frightened out of his wits at this painful merry go round and started crying. After a few swings of terror, the man stopped and smiled. The ladies smiled too. After all the kid will become a man.

The only one who showed some concern is the nine year old. His eyes are worried.

The uncle /father type then picked up the kid and said he will now show him how to fly. The adult is looking kind of dangerous. He flung the kid in the air, in an off balance way where the kid's head is lower than his body. The kid is caught on his downward flight, slightly awkwardly but he is caught alright. He is crying louder. The uncle laughs like a villain. Aunties are smiling indulgently at this early training at jumping off mountain cliffs without parachutes. Second throw into the air, the kid is even more terrified, and bawls louder. Uncle is even more excited. He has tasted blood. We know he will do something stupid in this adrenaline rush. I look away. He flings the kid again, higher, more off balance, and the kid comes hurtling down towards the concrete, head first. I don't know how that man caught the kid in that angle without breaking his neck but he managed to.

The boy is bawling his head off. I am sure anyone would have. Anjali looked at me with wide eyes.
'What are they doing? she asked.

Now the mother  and aunty step in. If we thought the the kid's tryst with terror was over - there was more.

'Why are you crying?' said the disappointed mother. 'If you cry anymore I will take you into that jungle. There's a tiger waiting to eat you.'

The kid bawled even louder at the prospect of being eaten by a tiger.

The uncle then picked up the kid and strode off towards the jungle. The boy shut up probably in shock at what lay in store if he did not shut up.

The famous last words I heard were from the mother, telling the aunt.

'All drama, see how he shut up now.'

How do we survive our childhoods I wonder, with such cruelty all around us. There should be a law against cruelty of parents and close relatives against young kids.

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