Pic.: Ritesh D'Cunha
Today is ‘The Children’s Day’ in India. Well, I have a prayer to make: “Lord, please don’t let the child in us die.”
The child is the last hope. Trust me, it is. If the child in us goes, everything goes… We wouldn’t look up in the night and wonder…We wouldn’t stand before the ocean and feel small… We wouldn’t look at our wrinkles and worry or wouldn’t look at the squirrel and smile… We wouldn’t fight and kiss again… Our lips wouldn’t shiver when they first touch our beloved’s lips… Death would make our hearts stones… Rain would be plain water… Clouds would be nothing but some useless smoke up there… God wouldn’t exist… And, parents… They are done with. Used and thrown!
Hello, because the child is alive in us, we know what a sincere prayer is, how tears feel… Yes, what it means to dream, cry and say sorry… Flowers are flowers because child in me feels so… A song is a song, because the child in me sings so… The grandparents live again because the little-ones come in their life, once more… The heart remains tender only, only, only because of the little-one who lives within us…
Paris is mourning today. Guns and grenades have gone up… They have taken away hundreds of innocent lives. Who are these monsters with guns and grenades? Why have they done it? What have they achieved? And, what about the child in them… Is it alive or is it dead?
The world around us abounds with this kind of irony, this kind of contrast… On the one side of the world, some celebrate innocence… holding roses. On the other side, some celebrate bloodshed… holding guns.
Guns and roses… That’s how life seems to be! When the child dies, the roses die… You hear the sounds of the guns… Paris burns!
When I and my brothers were little children, back in our village, we had a lovely cat. My youngest brother, Vivek, was just a little baby and he baptized her with this funny name (whose meaning we would never know!) – ‘JAKEENA’. Vivek continued to be in love with all kinds of pets – Dogs, Cats, Parrots, Turtles, Squirrels, apart from cows and chicken. Here, in Mumbai, his house is known as ‘Chidya Ghar’. Mercifully, his wife and two children, too, are so fond of pets!
What else, other than the innocence in us, is capable of making us all so sensitive in life?
So, in the morning, I saw my brother sharing on FB and Whatsapp, a very old B/W picture… Our mom holding him when, probably, he was a year-old. Within no time, I saw his son, Ritesh, sharing another picture. This one was a colored one… and, it was the latest one. The mother and daughter… ‘JAKEENA AND JINI’… That’s how they have baptized their cats at home!
Is it ‘The Children’s Day’, or is it ‘The Monsters’ Day’?
I pray again: “Lord, please don’t let the child in us die.”