She wakes up with groggy eyes, dishevelled hair; momentarily sits on the bed with her eyes closed, then falls back down to slumber. After much shaking, pushing, pleading, kissing, and hugging she decides to open her eyes. The opening of those miniature eyelids is not just an act of waking up though, it is a transformation from a hibernating animal to an animal that is hunting- running- chasing.
This animal does not seem to have any of the transitional stages; it is either sleeping or hunting. Hunting for this little, wide-eyed, tousled-haired, perpetually smiling animal is: running with joy for no reason, smelling out crumbs of chocolate, importuning anyone taller than her with questions, and inquisitively dissecting even the most mundane object lying around in the house. She could be jumping around like a new-born kangaroo which just realized it can jump; she could then be intently drawing on a blank piece of paper with the stillness of a flamingo. She could be engrossed doing something one minute, concentrating with the intensity of a mathematician solving an equation, and can then discard whatever she was doing, never to return, with ease.
The mystery of worry is limited to losing sight of mom and dad; the complexity of sadness is confined to the five seconds between breaking a toy and finding another. No baggage of the past, no strain of the mistakes made, no reminiscing on what could have and what should have.
She floats like a feather; letting the wind carry her, carry her to the future, to the land of possibilities, the place of mysteries.
The true meaning of “A new day, a new beginning” is not lost on her. While she does not say it, or intellectualize it; perhaps just because she does not say it or intellectualise it, is she able to live it, breathe it. Every day is a new beginning indeed.
She is loud: she screams easily, laughs even more easily. When she cries, she makes sure everyone can listen. But her eyes speak the loudest. Anger, fear, love, excitement, curiosity, they all come pouring out of her eyes like a waterfall. Nothing about her is lasting, her features are the slowest to change, and they too change rapidly.
She teaches as much as she learns. Looking at us “grownups”, what, I wonder, does she think? I can only hope she is not learning too much; she has more to teach us than we do.
Why does she forgive so easily, why does she forget as if it never happened? She is what we humans are capable of; she is, what we so desperately struggle to attain. Wise men have spent lifetimes understanding and mastering what she inherits by being human. Is she then, what we humans are meant to be? Because if she is, then we have lost our way, we have lost our way indeed.
What then should I do, as a parent, as an uncle, as a godfather? Should I be telling her tales of the wise men and women of the past, should I be narrating how they and I were once like her, happy, and then we lost it and have been searching for it ever since? Should I warn her of the possible dangers that her grownup uncles and aunts have created for her? Should I be making her aware of how we grownups have hurt each other for centuries, and destroyed our home, our planet, in the process? Or should I let her know of the evils we grownups are capable of? Perhaps the only tales worth telling are the tales of those who never grew up. Tales of those who never stopped being what she is: The Albert Einstein’s of our world. Perhaps all we need to do is to let her explore and learn. Perhaps we need to change our selves before we start teaching her anything of value. Perhaps what she needs is grownups she can look up to.
Perhaps she first needs to see in us, all that we want to see in her.
By- Aditya Gautam