Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

The Child is the Father of Man

The Child is the Father of Man

5 mins 10.9K 5 mins 10.9K

I had about as much of a chance of avoiding the collision as a newly laid road has of avoiding a bulldozer. She turned blind and rammed right into me .

 

40ish and totally oblivious of it, she was not bad to look at. In fact I might even go so far as to say that she was pretty good looking, albeit slightly overweight. Her complexion spoke of the plentiful good beef and scotch that had to have gone into it. In fact the scotch might not have been too distant a past, for I thought I got a fairly thick whiff of it in the fraction of a second that it had taken her to floor me with that tackle . 

 

Say what you might about my flat-footed ways, and my ungainly deportment, but you can’t fault a Bendre about his manners when in mixed company. In case I forgot to mention it before, the knock had sent me sprawling on the floor , and as I was getting myself back on my feet with an apology on my lips, I heard her say “ Can’t you see where you are going, you clumsy fool ?” 

 

I really must have looked like a chump, slapping the dust off my bums and smiling goofily at being a spectacle for the onlookers, for she gave me a look that her ilk reserve for a courier boy, or a driver. Having been chastised and offended thus, I assumed my most stern, stiff look and was about to put her in her place in a manner befitting a gentleman, she broke into a tirade, the like of which I had never heard before.  

 

“I very well know your types” . . . . . . . and so on and so forth. While I was trying my damn best to get a word in edgewise, she merrily went on and on, expressing her doubts about my stock, my parentage, etc. The whiskey notion was spot on , I decided . I gave her a derisive look ,and turned my back on her. She didn’t like it one bit, because the fight that she was itching for, was getting called off without her consent . And As I walked a few paces , I heard from her again. She had probably taken me for the village idiot who didn’t understand much of English, so in the most considerate manner , she gave me this …

 

“Jaane kahan kahan se aa jate hain, khoobsurat aurat dekhi aur utar aaye apni aukat pe! Roadside Romeos !!!”  

 

That stopped me in my tracks. And how I wish there were some lensemen around to capture the pause, and the deliberately languid turn that I executed so flawlessly to face her squarely. 

 

“ I gather you have about finished saying your piece with that last remark, Ma’am !” I said “And yes, without any attempt at chivalry, might I say that I do find you rather easy on the eye. But, if you expect to have touched an amorous nerve or two in me with that rugby tackle of yours, you couldn’t possibly be farther from the truth !” She was visibly and suitably zapped with my comeback, and not one to throw in the towel easily, tried to say something, but I beat her to it . 

 

“ No , I am not finished yet !” I Said . “You have had your hapless audience, but now the stage is mine ! You turned blind from the ticket counter and collided into me, and instead of apologizing to me , you not only blame me for the accident, but also have the nerve to accuse me of getting fresh with you . What , may I ask, makes you decide you are so irresistible to me, and I am so hard up for cheap kicks ? Moreover, if I am to trust my olfactory glands. . . .

 

I caught myself in mid-sentence, as I felt someone tug at my sleeve. I looked down at the most exquisitely beautiful face of a girl of about 10/11. Although the resemblance was uncanny, I couldn’t help but think “Angel daughter, Dragon mother” 

In a pleading voice the child said “ Uncle, please don’t fight !”

Beneath the hurt, the humiliation that the little girl must surely have been feeling, I sensed a calm, a maturity beyond her age that comes out of having to grow up faster than normal. I then caught the man behind the ticket counter trying to catch my attention. He pointed to his head and mimed an action of turning a screw. Amidst all this , the leading lady of the scene was crouching down to look daggers into her daughters eyes , and was muttering something that surely was not a nursery rhyme. 

Then the child did something that simply took my breath away. She gave her mother an endearing smile, hugged her, and planted the juiciest of kisses on her. The mother went into a metamorphosis right there and then, and calmed down instantaneously, as if someone had emptied a bucket of water on a heap of embers. Then she looked at me as if nothing had happened, and with a look that was a little curious as to what was I doing there looking at the two of them. 

The little girl thanked me with her eyes, and off they went, hand in hand. 

The sight that I will never forget, was of the mother holding the daughters finger, and not the other way round.  


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