Recently, when I read an article "how to feel young" - why i read it, I don't know; I am still young - one point intrigued me, very much. It read, to feel young spend more time with children and if you don't have your own kids, spend time with any children be it in a park, school or neighborhood. I felt lucky. Being in a profession, which I always detested this was a bliss in disguise. Indeed, spending time with children, singing their favourite rhymes, playing peak-a-boo, falling down for ringa ringa roses and laughing along, made my difficult days tranquil. So not working, is making me feel ten years older as I am abstaining from the medicine to stay young. My locality is crammed with retired bank managers (and their spouses) with children and grandchildren staying abroad making the lush plush area less colourful and sound proof. Jaded being at home, I cribbed for some fantastic company which would bring out the kid in me. Nonetheless, I was alone in an elderly kingdom feeling sad, less lively, and of course much older.
Like manna from heaven, came a little girl with a short pony tail, hopping in front of my house, trying to steal the water apple dangling way above her reach. I stepped in like a hero, but she squirmed. May be she was five or six, but looked way smarter for her age. She said, I can help her out only if I agree to take half of what I pluck. I was awestruck by her reply, calculating what all parents instill in kids now-a-days. Nevertheless, I offered my help. She promptly gave my share and ran away. The whole evening I kept gazing at the water apple tree and numerous other kids trying to steal it, thinking who was that little girl who acted with such decorum.
After three days, when I was invited to my neighbour's house who lived three houses away, only to find this little girl hiding behind the door signaling her grandma she knew me. Her grandparents have been my neighbours ever since we shifted in to this house; very humble and down to earth couple with always a syrupy smile on their faces. When her grandma reminded me of playing with her when she was seven months old, i was reminded, yet again, how fast time flies. I excavated my brain little harder to get the memory of holding her. And when it did, I just had a smile on my face. When she got acquainted with me, slowly easing herself, yet giving uncanny looks, taking three steps towards me and four backwards. Finally, after all the turmoils abated in her brain, she gathered some courage to finally sit on my lap. Once we shook hands and formally announced as friends, she spoke endlessly. About her class, her home, her friends, her dog and even about her desire to drink the orange juice which was offered to me. Kids are naive; they speak exposing every inch of their heart. I felt nice, relieved to be in a company of a small child; I felt young again!
After a while, she told me about the games she played especially football.
"and I play football with my Anna (elder brother)" she replied when i asked how she spends time in an I-am-not-kids-friendly kind of locality.
A five year old girl playing football, I was at the pinnacle of curiosity
"can you teach me how to play football? I have never played so far" I was honest and was having some presumptive thoughts about her reply, when she said,
"It is very simple. First I kick my brother and then he kicks me back. When I don't get to kick him I kick a ball so that I can hit him with it. You also come in the evening to kick my brother. It will be fun".
I guffawed; Only if Beckham had heard it, he would have quit playing forever. I somehow managing my poise, asked her,
" How far can you go to kick the ball or your brother?" wanting to know if she had any concept of making a goal be it kicking her brother in to a goal post.
" I can kick till wherever I want" she replied with pride glinting in her eyes
That was absolutely the most hilarious thing I have ever heard!!! When I got back home that evening, I couldn't stop myself from laughing. What kids think or say or do is so unpredictable, that almost every time it ends up giving us a mild shock. I was in shock and still I am, hoping my future kids will never abide to this rule of football (what if they choose me instead of a ball?) or else, I ll introduce them to cricket (what about hitting with a bat?) or else, I ll introduce them to badminton (Yet, again dangerous) or else, I WILL JUST LET THEM BE, LEARNING NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS ADAPTING MYSELF SO THAT I GET TO SOAK IN TO A WORLD OF PURITY AND HAPPINESS.