There are days when certain things happening around you just get to you and something inside you snaps. You don’t realise what you are doing until the red haze of anger engulfing you lifts in the next second.
I was just driving back after going to a bank near school. I saw another mother on a scooty, a girl in the front and a boy whom I recognised as a student at the back. She had picked up her kids, had driven a little distance and stopped. She made the boy get down and while still sitting astride the scooty she whacked him twice! I stopped the car a little distance away, she had her back to me but I could hear the exchange. The boy of about 10 or 11 was holding his cheek and silent tears were flowing down. The woman knew what she was doing was wrong, if her choice of the deserted road to beat the kid was anything to go by. Obviously the child had not performed well in some test and his marks which he’d got in it were not great. The mother was angry. But did it warrant this? Not satisfied with what she had done, she got off the bike, put the stand on and proceeded to rain blows on the poor kid.
I couldn’t take it any longer. I got off my car and approached the three of them. The boy recognised me and in that state he wished me good morning. The woman suddenly feeling ashamed that she was caught red-handed tried to sound sheepish and acted like she was trying to dust something off her child’s shirt.
I said to her, ‘I saw what you were doing and I can make one call to Childline for this and you will never see your kids again. Is that what you want? I am a writer, I can click your picture right now and post it wherever I want and your life will become a living hell.’ Hearing this the woman got defensive. She said, ‘Who are you to interfere? He is my son; I can do whatever I want!’
Something in me snapped. While positioning myself between her and her kid, I caught hold of her dupatta and pulled her close. Gnashing my teeth I said, ‘Just try again and I swear I will break your hand!’
She pushed me off and said, ‘I will go complain to police you assaulted me! The police station is right near my place!’ I said, ‘Please go and do that, if they call me, I will give them in writing what you just did! And trust me, I write well!
Ordering her son to get on the bike she quickly disappeared!
This is a continuation of what I was pleading last week. Do not bring a life into your world if you are not prepared to do full justice in terms of commitment. Your kids are not your benchmarks of performance as a parent. You definitely cannot do what you want! You beat them because they do not live up to your expectations. But are you living up to theirs? What if they start comparing you to others, demand good treatment and threaten you with dire consequences if you don’t deliver? Yes, you want them to do well, but irrespective of how they do, the fact remains, they are still your kids! Let us think for a moment. Did we honestly do all our tests well back in school?
By all means, discipline, but never ever raise your hand. By beating them you only teach them how to deal with a similar situation in the future. The same boy will grow up and beat his wife or kid. It is what you will end up fostering.
From their birth to your death, it cannot be about what you want. You owe them, NOT OWN THEM to do as you fancy!