Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What I saw Wednesday!

Little kids! They can be engrossing, enthralling, and at times, awe inspiring. Has it ever happened to you, that you look at an event or an entity and just stop in your tracks - wondering HOW? Well that happened to me today. Here is what happened.

I was walking home from work, thoughts in my head, and a weight on my shoulders (literally as well). Although the music was one of my favorites, I just somehow was too preoccupied to pay any attention. I was too busy wondering why things were happening the way they were. Wondering about the terrible traffic, the constant pollution, my resultant breathlessness, the American elections, the economy, what a chap said at work, my deadlines for tomorrow...non-stop chatter. And all along, Yanni was playing the Marching Season, which happens to be one of my all time favorite songs. In spite of that fact, thoughts about the genius' masterpiece were relegated to some distant crevice somewhere.

And as I looked blankly at the road prior to attempting to cross it, I saw this BMC tempo, the one with a 6 inch broad ladder attached to its back. And there were a bunch of 3-4 year olds screaming and yelling with joy as they tried to climb this ladder! Big achievement - one could climb the second step and jump off to a perfect landing. The second was dared. He climbed one step higher and successfully jumped. The typical 'thenga' signal ensued and the third kid decided to beat both his friends at 'jump off the tempo ladder'! He climbed on to the fourth step, realized that the height of the jump was almost 2 times his own height. Surprisingly, and I say this because caution is generally left to the wind at such a young age, the kid quietly climbed down 2 rungs and jumped down. Then ensued the 'catch me if you can' or 'pakda pakdi' all around the tempo. A little distance ahead, there sat another kid, not more than two years old, with a top. The top had its paint peeling off, the tiny tail was all rusted. The kid had in his hand, a bright pink piece of thread that was all but pink in color - it sported a color somewhere between pink covered with varying shades of grey and black. Clearly this toy was picked up from a nearby garbage dump. Nevertheless the child was engrossed in trying to spin the top with his thread, while wiping off the sweat and grime from his face. A few more steps ahead, was a small plinth, on the crossroads, and there was this lady and her 3 tiny children on this plinth. The lady was asleep, as was her elder child. The younger one was an infant, who was sitting squatted on the bare floor, not even a tiny bit afraid of the loud and noisy vehicles or blinding lights. It had the company of a 6 ft long stick, that it was intent on lifting with one hand. It would try to lift the stick up, barely hoist it a few centimeters above the ground and drop it back with a resounding thud. Over and over again.

The attributes of these kids - rags for clothes, their skin sported all shades of grey and black, their hair looked muddy and brown, and none of them knew whether they'd get dinner that night. But one thing they did know - how to live in the moment..... And as I walked home, Yanni started playing - 'Until the last moment'..........................

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