No I am not a mother. Neither am I Sridevi from English Vinglish walking down the streets of New York, talking in crude Hindi to a total French hotness about how children are anything but innocent. Actually the only experience I hold regarding children is the fact that I was once a child and also the added liability of living with an 8 year cousin who sees me as a fluffy punching bag. So I think I can talk about innocence.
Innocence is said to be a lack of guile or corruption and Lata Mangeshkar while singing ‘Bacche man ke sacche’ promoted this very thought of purity in a child. What a big dry joke. I don’t remember being innocent as a child. Maybe I was innocent as an infant or a toddler but that is basically because of the lack of any other option. You cannot cook up an evil master plan when you mother is feeding you Cerelac or when your skull is yet to develop fully. But once I was done with kindergarten, I knew exactly what is to be done to make things work my way. I was a child with evil intentions and this is precisely why my heart doesn’t melt easily when it comes to children.
In my continuing space sharing with my 8 yr old cousin, I have noticed how much she knows about her parent’s emotional quotient with regard to her. To escape tuition which was scheduled at 5 pm, she called up her mother at noon from school and told her how painfully she was battling a stomach ache. Her mother who was in another district, thus unable to drive to her rescue, asked her to rest in the sick room and take the mini-van back home after school. On reaching home at 2 pm, she took over the television and complained of chest pain to my grandmother who made her ailing granddaughter some soupy noodles. By 4 pm she had headache and once it was well past 5, she was attempting hula-hoop while watching Chotta Bheem. They say love makes you fall for every silly trick and this is exactly what was happening. How a kid was able to execute a plan so full of flaws and yet get away with it. Remember, she did not even use the lethal weapon, commonly known as the ‘Fake Crying’. She can articulate emotions even better than Nicholas Spark to escape a scolding. The art of deception is mastered by a child.
I remember the last time I went to a supermarket. I was buying some cereal and in came this cute looking child with his mother. While his mother was filling up her shopping cart, the kid ran to me and started punching my leg. I looked down at the 3 feat tall Mike Tyson who gifted me yet another punch. I yelped and caught hold of his closed fist in an attempt to stop him from landing another blow. He looked at me, grinned and then screamed at a note that would put any Opera singer to shame. I don’t remember what happened next, but let’s just say that the entire supermarket now thinks that I am a child abuser.
Where was I? Yes, the innocence of a child. It is funny how we see ignorance as innocence. Children are ignorant. Ignorant of politics, religion, sex, social taboos and such man made factors. Ignorant of stress, competition and practicality. It is precisely this ignorance that is mistaken as innocence. Why else do you have to teach a child not to hit another person, steal, lie or create a ruckus? Innocence is taught, not gifted.
Now don’t tell me that the examples I mentioned were of exceptionally talented evil kids, because they are not. Ok, may be the supermarket boxer was, but that is not the point. The point is to point out one child who doesn't manipulate his/her family.
Actually, if you think about it, parents are innocent.
P.S- I love kids. I really do. Sacchi!