It was vacation time in school and a young mother was visiting her parents’ house with her three-year-old son. As per Indian traditions, she was pampered by her parents and her son too was treated as a prince and indulged to the hilt. Her brother-bhabhi too had a four-year-old son. The two young cousins had fun playing together.
One morning the old grandfather thought of taking his two grandsons to a park nearby. He held his Pota (son’s son) by the hand while he perched his Dohta (daughter’s son) on his shoulders. So, the trio set off for a walk towards the park. All the way, the VIP grandson played with the scanty hair on grandfather’s bald head. From the vantage point at which he was seated, the Dohta had an aerial view of everything around. The road on which they walked was broken and full of pebbles. There was a ditch on one side. The Pota noticed it and was about to caution his Dadu to tread carefully, when from the corner of his eye he noticed his cousin who was sitting comfortably on their grandfather’s shoulders, frantically signalling to him to stay quiet.
The young boy wondered why his cousin was stopping him from cautioning Grandpa, but nevertheless he said, “Be careful Dadu, the road is broken. There is a ditch on the left side. Take each step firmly and carefully, lest you fall!” While saying so he held Dadu’s hand tightly as if to ensure that Grandpa wouldn’t fall.
The other grandson who was watching the drama from a height of six feet, said sourly, “Why did you have to tell the old man about the ditch?” The Pota said, “Because, I did not want him to fall!” The boy on shoulder said, “How boring you are! If Nana had fallen into the ditch his face would have been soiled with the muck! And we would have had a good laugh!”
Well! This is an incident that my father once narrated. On the eve of Father’s Day, I remember him even more and am still in awe of the learnings delivered through these tiny anecdotes.
I doubt if all Dohtas are as callous towards their Nanas or if all Potas are as kind towards their Dadus as in the story, but the message is real. Let’s not confine the connotation of the narrative to just Dohtas, Potas, Nanas and Dadas.
Sometimes we are so blinded by attachment to those who come into our lives for a reason or a season that we neglect those who stand by us through thick ’n’ thin and constantly look out for us. Sometimes we pamper the wrong people, but they only make trouble and party on the rubble!
Some people are just there till we can ride them piggy-back. If ever we need them, they disappear. They smile when we cry. We need to value those who stand up for us when we are not around and always have our back!
This piece is published as the Middle in The Tribune on 17.06.2023. One this date, eight years back, my Father left us to move to the higher realms. The article can be viewed here https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/musings/value-people-who-stand-up-for-you-517758
If you would like the read the piece I wrote just after Daddy passed ... It can be viewed here https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/comment/my-father-his-voice-resounds-in-annals-of-judiciary-108774
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