the not-so-unruly kid

Sanjay went to this store for some shopping for some groceries. As his wife went around putting things in the cart… he trailed behind and found a little girl looking bored while tailing her mother buying some vegetables. He started juggling a couple of lemons and found her suddenly watching with avid interest – who would want to miss a chance to entertain some kids! 😉 After a while she wandered off, and Sanjay was about to head over to the chocolates department to do some r&d on any new varieties.

There were another two kids – a little boy and a relatively older little girl – along with presumably their mother. Every now and then, the little boy kept taking some vegetable or the other out of a tray and the girl would immediately complain to her mom about him, and every now and then, the mother would berate the little fellow. And sometimes when he overdid it, the mother would threaten him that someone would scold him, and she even asked a store boy who was passing by to scold him a little so he would behave.

Sanjay could see several issues here, that the boy was a real sweet kid and just being a bit rebellious, but getting an overdose of fear to keep him in line. And his sister (probably) was acting like a real sissy shouting and berating him and complaining to their mother delegating her self-taken responsibility of taking care of her brother. And the mother of course seemed to be tired already and was running out of patience in dealing with her son.

Sanjay was that kind of idiot who loved to make attempts to bring peace and order to the world and was a poor learner from the futility of such attempts in general. Here he was tempted to do something as well, but he didn’t know what he could do without making a further mess out of the situation. He’d probably intimidate the kids as he was a complete stranger, and make the mom feel even more self-conscious and unhappy with her son’s behaviour that someone else was interfering. So he tried to just ignore it and mind his own business.

Whenever the little boy got chided by his sister, he would behave himself for 30 whole seconds, before taking something else and throwing it around. Eventually he threw some plastic label onto the floor and it smashed into pieces. His sister shreiked now, his mother was losing patience and was quite embarassed and increased her threats.

Sanjay still did not want to interfere, but he could no longer ignore, and he didn’t know what to do. For a while just forgot his logical thinking of what-ifs and buts, good and bad social behaviour – and just listened – within himself to see if any answer would come. He forgot himself – his identity – for a few precious moments of stillness.

The little boy was holding a white plastic ball. Sanjay impulsively knelt down gently in front of him, and held out his hand with a smile. The little boy threw the ball to him. Sanjay threw it back. The boy was delighted to have found a playmate. Sanjay encouraged him to play for a while. Then the boy was about to take out a vegetable again. The little girl started berating him again. Sanjay said (in Hindi, which was what the family was talking in) to the boy who had now become a very cheerful friend “You better play with this buddy, not with the vegetables” and the boy readily put it down and picked up the ball again. After a while the girl became his friend too. He said to the little girl about the boy – “kitna accha baccha hain, pyaar se bolega to samaj jaayega” (such a nice fellow, say it with love and he’ll understand). He complimented the mother about what a bright fellow this guy was, and walked on towards the chocolate rack.

Later on while leaving the store, he and his wife bumped into the family again. It was nice to see the little girl was really treating the boy with a lot more respect 😉 and overall they seemed to be a happier family :mrgreen: And for a change, just for once, Sanjay had managed to not end up making a mess 🙄

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