Sunday, May 11, 2008

The little boy...

I take my kid sister to the local park occasionally. The park is situated quite close to my house. It’s the one next to the over bridge. The kids flock there everyday, though you might probably see more of them in the evenings. The elders do the usual “walk-in-the-park”. The park is half done actually. There is an open field in the center. The walking track runs along its perimeter. The swings, see-saws and the others are at one end. Lots of benches around.

On one such evening, I sat on the favorite bench of mine, located within the playing area. My sis went on to slide down the slide. I watched the other kids quarrelling over the swing. Time went by.
A smartly dressed little boy came and asked if the skipping rope on the bench was mine. I looked at it and said, “No. Not mine.” He said, “I’ll take it then”.

I replied, “You cant do that! It might be someone else’s. They might come for it later”.

A young girl came by and said that it was hers and took it away.

The little boy sat next to me.

“I have a comb”, he said. Taking it out, he brushed his wavy hair like he’d never done it before.

Now, this little guy spoke in half English and half Kannada.

“What you are doing?”, he asks. “Sending mail?”

Yours truly was messaging. I looked at him and said, “Yes”.

“To whom ya?”

“My friend”.

He puts his little hand over my shoulder. Me, being me, gives a start. I say to myself- God, Thej, he’s just a little boy.
I relax.

“I’ll also mail to my friend! You do ya, I’ll tell”.

“Er... ok”.

He dictates something childish and I pretend to “mail” it. He laughs in an animated way. I smile at him. He sits closer to me.
“Will you be my friend? I like making friends.”

“Hmmm .. ok”.
“Which standard are you in?”, I ask.


“Hmmm? Which school?”


“Oh.. ok.. Which subject do like?”

“Drawing! I draw nice.”

“Really? What do you like to draw?”

“I draw houses... nice houses!”
“I climb that and show you wait... “, so saying, he gets up and tries his hand at the alphabets or something.

I smile at him.

He comes back and sits on my other side. He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear.

“With whom have you come here?”, I ask him.

“My Grandma. My Mom is not free. She does cleaning work at houses. Cleaning! Ha ha ha!”.

I just smile again.

His Granny comes by and asks him if he’ll come along. He replies that he’s with a friend and that he’ll come later.

“ He likes talking to elders. Don’t mind. He doesn’t like playing with the other kids much”, she says.

“Its ok... No problem!”, I assure her. “I’ll be on the corner bench, ok son?”, so saying, she leaves.

Patting my knee, he says enthusiastically, “You come to my home. I will show you my drawings. I got prize also!”

“Ha? Ok..”

“That road, go straight, take right, left there is my home. When will you come? Tomorrow?”

“I don’t know.. I’ll see.”

By this time, I message a few of my friends saying, “I am in a park and a little boy comes and puts his hand over my shoulder.”
One of them suggested that I punch him in the nose, to which I had to reply that the boy was in kindergarten. The other, who was not in station, called me pronto. I explained to him that the little boy was, well, little. I even made him talk to the boy. The few words the little guy spoke was “Ok... ok...”. My dear friend, content that it WAS indeed just a little boy, bade good bye to me.

His hand back on my shoulder, he asks, “Will you come to the park everyday? What time?”

“Around 5:30... around this time in the evening”.

“Come early ya... ok? I will also come.. we’ll sit and talk. Ok ya?”.

“I’ll try.. “

“You come to my home ya..”

The sky gets darker. Getting up, I take his hand and say, “Come, we’ll search for my sister.”

I find her with a group of kids, more or less of her own age, playing in the middle of the field. I tell her, “Stay here. I’ll leave him with his Granny and be back. Don’t go anywhere, alright?”.

My astute sis, “Who is he?”

“My friend”.

“Tch! Tell me .. who is he?!”

One of her friends exclaims, “Oh this boy!? He is my father’s friend too!”.

I say, “There! See, I told you he’s my friend.”.

“Come on.. “ , I tell him.

My sis and her friends tag along.

We walk around the park... He spots his Granny.

“Hope he dint give you trouble.”, she says.

“None at all... He talks a lot though!”.

I turn to him and say, “Bye bye!”.

I call out to my sis who lingers near the unknown boy. She asks yet again, “Who is he?”.

“I told you, he is a friend of mine.”.

“Tch!”, comes her reply.

The following two days, even though I went to the park and sat on the same bench for hours, the little boy dint turn up. I sat there, thinking about him. I thought of how free and out spoken he was... how easily he made me feel comfortable.
If you know me in real life, you might understand what I mean.

While typing out this blog entry, I texted my friend requesting him to search for the message I’d sent him nearly a month ago and to give me the exact date. He digs through the archives of my thousand odd messages to him and replies, “27th”.

So, it was on 27th of March.

I’ve been thinking of, for loss of a better word, penning this down for days. I finally did it.

Ironically, I dont remember his name.


Anoop said...

Strange how little kids are. So pure yet so blunt, so raw... They ridicule their sorrows and we adults complain.


Keep looking, hopefully you will find him

Shailesh said...

It seems you live in some different world. I have never seen such kids.
Yeah..There was a 6th standard boy who asked his teacher to use her feet for eating non-veg...When she had said she would never touch the chicken with her hands...Brahmin. She was.

That boy wasn’t asking for friendship neither he was discussing any cartoon with you.
He was alone. It was quite evident that he was unable to mix up with other kids.
Sigh…it happens….
If you’ll ever meet him make sure that he belongs to the people of his age group.
Otherwise, be a real friend of his. He’ll know his stuff afterwards.
That’s bound to happen.

p.s.: the boy I mentioned earlier is posting a comment on your blog. :D

purplestorm said...

'Noopy : They ridicule their sorrows and we adults complain.

How true.

Shailesh : It seems you live in some different world. I have never seen such kids.

I'd never seen either.

And will do as you suggested... If I do spot him again.


Flower Power Boi said...

I had a friend once, whose mother was also a 'cleaning lady'...

I kind of knew that, my friend didn't know I knew, and later his mother was 'employed' at by my mother...

That friend stopped talking to me ever since then...

Indian society is fucked up...

veedhi said...

Ah... every post of your's is so touching...

A little kid can make your day, and even days to come, so beautiful... kids are so pure, so angelic, no matter how many tantrums they throw, every action of their's speaks vividly of their innocence...
That kid reminds me of my childhood... I would never play with children my age, and would gel well with adults, and I loved drawing.

It's fascinating how kids discern things, and how they're content with the little joys in their life...

I'm sure he'll be wanting to see you again too.

purplestorm said...

FPB/FSM : Fucked up it is.

Vee : Thank you!


Anonymous said...

A very realistic touch to the post! Kudos :) We do have a lot to learn from the kids, right?

Sumantics said...

What a wonderful b'day gift this is, my dear princess.

Here I am - I didn't even know you could write this well.

purplestorm said...

Sumz : You finally commented!



krishnakumar said...

an xtremely sweet post i must admit...incidents like tis do make ur day is'nt often tat a kid jus walkin outta d blue jus cums up n befriends u...a lesson i'd learn frm tis..the kid does'nt hav ne limitations.or he has'nt imposed ne on himself..which is y he had d guts to walk up to u n u learn frm d kid..the only limits in life are d ones u set for urself!!kudos to tis very..realistic n touchin post!!