Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hey! It's not a fight!!

Why does every suggestion of following rules in our culture become a fight?
I wonder?

I stand many an evening in the back porch of my home facing a large lawn requesting different groups of children and many parents too, to please heed the rules and play badminton, frisbee, soft ball etc. discussing with them how it is dangerous to the young babies out with their grandparents or ayahs if a big ball were to come flying and hit them.

Most of the days there is argument "Aunty it will not happen we will be careful etc" Äunty why should we stop playing, we have no park here".  I Agree. But, it doesn't change the fact that a ball is a ball and a strong kick many a times hits the lamps in the lawn shattering it's connecting wires.

Many a time the balls have come flying into my balcony.Good no one got far.

My husband warns me at times..."Let it be, let them play, some one might get nasty and bitter with you.Why do you have to guard all the lamps in the lawn and all the bachhas in the prams or the elderly aunty taking a walk, no one else complains, why do you?" So, some days I let it be and try to enjoy the weather.

This evening too I stood in my porch (pic above) watching some sweet children playing in the park with a football (It had rained there are wires around that lamp I thought) in my usual way called out to the kids and said " beta, this is not the right place to play with a football, do you have badminton rackets,I too want to play with you?' It was a pleasant evening just after the much awaited showers.

Three maids, who were with this group of 7-12year olds sat chatting amongst themselves on the bench. I told them, help the children understand : aap samjhao bacchon ko lamps ke paas ball na kheilein, aaj barsaat hui hai, current bhi lag sakta hai" (it has rained heavily today, they are playing right next to the lamp, can even get electrocuted' ...maids responses: total ignore, looked away into horizon...I loudly said " if you will not explain to the kids I will have to call a guard and tell the kids the rules". 

Suddenly a mother appears with her son whose football it was (I am guessing) and stomps towards where the kids had been playing telling her play.Her entire body language suggested animosity...."how dare you tell my son not to play.She flayed her hands at me in a "bahut ho gaya chup raho" silence...I am in charge here!" when I had not even said anything to her..she was acting on behest of her 7/8/9 year old kid "aunty ne khelne ke liye manaa liya hai" aunty has forbidden me to play. I spoke up "It is not a fight, I am not fighting with you..I just want that the children should play a safer game and not a ball game" 

The lady's husband suddenly appears in his first floor balcony and says loudly across the lawn to me "This is my property" he hollered at me across the lawn. "Yes, and the lamp is also your lamp,can break... the kid is your kid....can get.... He replied magnanimously " I don't know if you are on rent or owner here, but this property is mine and if the lamp breaks I will (thumping chest) pay for it" this was on repeat so I quickly gave in, what does one say or do? " You go right ahead sir and get your kids to play football here, do join for a cup of tea sometime" I said. Maybe over a friendly cup of tea he will not feel that I am his enemy and that we have to fight and make a huge issue about teaching our young ones some basics also keeping them safe in the process.I was contemplating going over and amicably discussing but better sense prevailed.

It does not matter who they are, who yelled at me,spoiling a perfectly blessed cool evening.I feel sad that as humans we are not trusting of each other at all.Why would the parents feel I was trying to be bigger then them.They knew they were teaching their kids to break rules and disobey. The is the reason for their anger.The ego.Why would they not feel the need to be friends with me, after all all these children play in front of my eyes every day.If ever anything were to happen to any of them while playing I will be the nearest and the first one to run and protect and take care of any of them if anyone were to get hurt or well....... in my mind the open wires in the lawns are a big electricity hazard especially for kids lost in their games to know where they are stepping.......but that is another story.

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