I looked at my watch to check the time. It was 9.50 am and i had left home at 8.35 am. I had survived more than one hour in the cruel traffic on Bangalore roads. Half the battle was over for the day except for one last hurdle. The traffic signal was still red. Once i cleared it i would be save again in my cubicle untill evening when other half of the battle would begin.
I knew this junction on koramangala 80frt road very well. I promptly switched off the bike engine. Dont think i was inspired by "Save Petrol" ads. The pinch of pocket to shell out more bucks for petrol as my bikes mileage is low is what forces me to save petrol. I was on the left most side of the road. Nothing to do except waiting for the green signal i looked around.
Nothing special. In the last three months i have always stopped at this signal in the morning and it has been quite same everyday. There is Hanuman Temple on the left side and just beside that is a open area where i guess there are two jhopadis belonging to the families who sell cement pots. One of the woman was washing the cloths near the walkway. She had a big bundle of cloths and the three buckets were spread on her right side. Two small girls were playing with the water in these buckets.
The smaller one suddenly took some mud in her hand started mixing it with the water. Elder girls saw this and raised alarm. At this the woman who was washing her clotehs gave hard glance at the small kid. That was enough for the kid. She stood there silently as if she did not know what was happening. Kids always have the advantage of ignorant looks. The woman went back to her job. Meanwhile the elder kid was giggling.
I looked at the signal again. It was still that dreaded red. I was staring at the signal and thinking about the tasks for the day when i heard a girl crying. It was that small girl. There was no bucket for her to play now. I guess the woman had used all the water for washing and taken the bucket for putting washed clothes in it. The woman seemed not to care about the cries of the kid. She went ahead with her task.
I was wondering how the kid was able to create a jingle in her cries. It seemed more of a song due to the periodic increase and decrease in the pitch, volume of her cry. The woman got irritated now and dragged the kid by her hand and raised her own hand as if to hit her. I thought for a moment she would beat up the young one. But no.
She just warned her. If she continued crying she would get beaten up so the only option for the little one was to stop her jingle.
Convinced the woman went ahead with her task. I dont think the little one had totally stopped crying. I could hear the honking. I instantly turned on the ignition key, started my bike and crossed the signal. I always feel a great level of satisfaction when i am crossing that signal.
As i parked my bike in the office premises i remembered the woman raising her hand.
My parents have done that with me in my childhood days. Some people say that you cant make a child stop crying by beating him/her. It will in contrast make them cry more.
I have a different view. I believe when a parent threatens his/her child to stop crying or face the wrath it represents the great philosophy of our ancestors. They indirectly say "Stop crying. If you cry nothing will happen. So better do something good and feel happy. The more you cry about, the more will life give you reasons to cry."
And now days even before the child gets prepared to get into the action, parent will shower them with all they can. We may think woman in villages are stone hearted to treat their children as harshly as the woman washing clothes was but then they teach their children something valuable. They teach them if they cry nobody cares. So better stop crying.
Life gives you more reasons to cry if you are crying, but gives you rewards if you stop crying and get along with life.