They walk around with their souls unblemished and minds uncluttered. The angelic whiteness of their being hasn't yet been soiled by the society which in thousands of years of human existence is still trying to fix its finger on an ageless and universal moral mooring.
They walk awkwardly, laugh recklessly, dance with abandon and cry with an innocent silliness. They are the people of all weathers, enjoy all seasons and care for none. Safe and secure in the knowledge that they are watched over, they step out in the coldest of the winters, dressed in their uniforms like little robots, and settle their little faces in the back of their father, riding the motorbikes to the schools, holding him tight and often their tiny, pink palms pushed into the dad's jacket.
They hold all the hopes that we all are born with, in the beginning. We lost those hopes as they crashed against the unfeeling and unyielding breast of the world around us, busy being what it is- a grave, unwelcoming place, for us to inhabit and conquer. These little fellows represent the unfailing faith life again places in our hands, generation after generation. The depute us once again as guardians to life, to dreams, to souls- we parent. It is up to us now to ensure that they walk into life with fewer bruises and lesser scratches on the soul.
They are not a pledge life has made to us which it needs to settle through their loaned existence. Their being is not under bondage of us, the earlier generations. Their souls are not slaves to our aspirations. That we are a cause of their existence is only accidental. It is merely the necessity of nature which allows us to play God. They, those little fellows, don’t owe us anything. Their innocent minds shine through our despondent nights like a sword of silver. Their souls have their own wings of flight and we can at best merely be the winds beneath them and the Sun which smiles benignly over their soaring spirits. We are not their wings and they aren’t the vessels of our ambitions.
Small as they may be, amused as they may look, they are their own people and no one owns their bodies, their soul. No one has a right to infringe on their souls and bodies blessed by the Gods above. No one has the right to lease them out to another person to infringe. They can’t held captive to our ideas of morality and they can’t be stripped off their sense of morality and dignity, as a tool to achieve our ambitions. Yes, those little fellows, they have their own code of ethics. We have no business imposing our air-kissing sensibilities on their space, souls and bodies.
Those little people, those sweet, little people don’t need to learn from us. They don’t need our high sounding social excuses to obfuscate their sense of right and wrong. We have no business stepping into that forbidden garden where girls still laugh like boys and boys still blush like girls. It is not the ground for adults to tread. Ours is only to watch from distance, to shout out words of caution, comfort and encouragement and stand with watchful eyes of a parent to protect, and never to pounce, never to intrude.
No, Pappon this is not done. We can’t put scarred souls in the citizens of tomorrow because we forget the basic rules of decency in our fake idea of emancipation which is nothing but selfishness in fancy clothes. Our wishes, our desires and designs- no, decency is different. It is better to be old-fashioned in some matters, fragile and precious like childhood. It is easier to raise stronger kids than it is to repair injured individuals. These are not small matters. The fault not only lies with Pappon in the episode. It equally lies on the parent who in their drive of ambition begin considering kids as the executioner of their own unfulfilled wishes and dreams. Children are the most cherished possession of any generation, even when they do not have votes. We need to only watch a child to understand. We adults, are stupid and never understand. To quote from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupe`ry -
"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."
Let us lift our understanding up so that we may understand the kids. Spare Children of the adult ambitions, archaic religious excuses and screwed-up modern, new-age morality. Profuse apology is too little a price we place on a child's modesty. And it does not matter if the perpetrator speaks Latin or English or Sanskrit. These matters need serious condemnation, and not only in the case when it is a case of inadvertently touchline leg of a co-passenger. Every kid can not be a celebrity child but no child can be left to suffer in silence.These kids are the people of tomorrow and even today, they are a people, even if they do not have a vote.