Saturday, September 5, 2009

False Perception

I wrote this story in high school.......It was an April dawn. The sky was under transition from stringent blue to light dusty orange. Mild comforting breeze had started flowing. Sparrows were chirping out before they go to sleep in the lush dust green trees by the side of the road. Migratory birds could be seen streaking across the sky in the triangular formation. I have always wondered since childhood how they manage to do it .Now that I know the scientific reason behind such a formation, I wonder if ignorance is bliss. Though I still enjoy the view, it is for the others that I think so.
It is the best time for the children to play - the April dawn. Campus life makes the best combination. There are so many children on the streets .Cycling, running down the slope of the underground cycle stand, showing their faces from tree tops to impress upon the elders. The smaller ones have their own separate set of activities. Sand, dolls, pups.....they all play under their parent's guidance who watch them from the balconies. Then there are those who still haven't had the transition from the dependent phase looking with desperate eyes to join the mainstream.
I was with a small boy some four years old. He was on a tricycle. We were rambling on the beautiful campus streets cladded with lush green trees on both the sides. It was a routine walk in the evening. Here in his grandmother's house he was away from his friends. So all his activities centered around me. We used to go out in my cycle to a nearby village. He sat on a pillow I placed on the front rod. I had to adjust the pillow on the rod again and again so that he didn't fall down. We chased dogs, went near the pond, teased other children and did stick fights. He narrated every instance to his mother when we came back. He never forgot to complain about me if I did something mischievous. So I had to be precautious. That day the tyre had punctured so we had to cancel the daily trip. He was quite annoyed then but seemed to have forgotten as he moved on his tricycle.
He was constantly asking me to take him to "satellite" as he called the "satellite earth station" in our campus. I knew what was in his mind. It was the huge colony of ants under the peaple tree that he wanted to see. He had planned to catch them in vial the other day. So I took the way to the "satellite". It was a long straight road. He was repeatedly asking me questions. The juvenile ones that always delight you. He reminded me of the place he had fallen down from the bicycle when I was pushing from behind and then how I washed his bleeding nose in the nearby garden, an event that I somehow managed to keep secret. He asked whether the animal (dinosaur) I mentioned in the story last night was taller than the trees and even cautioned me against it.
He was excited as we were going to his favourate place. We both were enjoying the self under different apprehensions. It is always nice to be with children. A fine retrospect sometimes follows. It may however be unpleasant for the children if it follows a compelled repetition for they need to be free as we were when we did those things.
I was asking him not to go too far but he was not listening. A mischief in me cropped up .I slipped behind a tree and observed. He was still paddling happily in zig-zag motion. Under an impression that I was still behind he went quite far away .Then suddenly noticing what was wrong he stopped. Eyes wide open he came down the tricycle. The worry in the innocent eyes was awesome. He called me again and again. I did not reply. After some time when I thought that it was too much for the little soul I came out. He was delighted to see me .Ran to me and when I smiled understood what had happened. He started cycling again. This time a bit closer. The event did not die in my mind. A chain of speculations struck. How beautiful was life for him before he realized that I was not behind. He was so much worried on noticing that he is all alone. Though if he had thought the same way and continued, wouldn't I have been forced to protect him for he was leaving everything on me. Why then such a simple fact becomes subjective for humans. Why can’t they imagine how beautiful life would become without the false perception how beautiful!

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