“Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.” ~William Stafford
Ona lazy Sunday mid-morning, with nothing worthwhile to do, I recline peacefully with a piping hot cup of tea, observing the tiny chums outside, snuggled in their psychedelic, vividly colored raincoats, with patterns of pansies, ducks or hippos, proudly splashing mud puddles with their feebly developed shoe-clad feet, totally uninhibited by the numerous invasive, impending difficulties life beholds for them. They barge out of their homes, unaffected by the disapproving yet conniving looks of their parents, running barefoot and noisily along the narrow by lanes of the cluster of houses, joining fellow playmates in games decipherable only to them. A well-fed wild pig stutters across the road with its trail of tiny, feeble piglets trotting behind. Cute!!! A clumsily-clad baby girl, the sweet-natured child of a laborer chuckles gleefully as I wink at her and offer her a pack of biscuits. As I watch her walking towards me in her child-like stagger, trusting me with all the confidence under the sun, I smile involuntarily. Somewhere down the by lanes of memory, we all tend to lose such traces of naivety and incredulity. Whatever seems intangible or preposterous to us is nothing put a part of their daily indulgence. They don’t cease to live like we do…however naïve they might be; they can differentiate between living and surviving.
Trust me, I could never enjoy eating mango as nonchalantly that two-year old cuddly in my lane does, squinting hard as she bites into the succulent fruit, with its aromatic, abundant juices dripping down her chin and further, soiling her clothes, unaware of the annoyance getting hammered into her mother’s head. Nor I could ever challenge the energy levels of a kid I came across in the kid during a train levels, who was chatting incoherently with me in the dead of night, with her mummy finally succumbing to her daughter’s unparalleled enthusiasm and snoring away…
“When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them; they show us the state of our decay.”
-Brian W. Aldiss