Yesterday seemed to be a decently pleasant day. I wouldn’t define it as joyous, I would go with the word sweet. My day began to wrap up when I was waiting for my bus at the bus stop to head back to my PG Room before our deadline. I had been waiting for about ten minutes and my bus showed no signs of showing up. I noticed a little boy, say 3 years old, walking towards where I was standing holding hands with his father. I noticed that the kid was cribbing about something and the father tried to console him in a voice as soft as possible. As he came closer, I could hear what he was saying. Not that I intended to listen to their conversation, I just could hear from where I was standing.
They were conversing in their (and my own) mother tongue Tulu.
“Appa. Bajel aapundu”, (Father, I am thirsty.), said the kid.
“Itthe bus barpundu. Jatthi boka parka.” (Our bus will be arrive in some time, once we get down, lets drink something), the dad consoled.
“Appa mast bajel apundu. Onji juice.” (Father, I am very thirst. One juice.). For a minute I thought the kid was making it up, kids do have a tendency to exaggerate to get their way through. But this guy sounded very genuine.
The father noticed that people around were now noticing the duo and stepped a little away from the crowd.
The guy began stomping his feet and continued, “Appa, mast bajel apundu. Onji juice detth korle.” (Father, I am very thirst. Please buy me one juice). By now, I had began to feel for the guy. He sounded very restless and somehow, I knew he wasn’t making it up.
The father kept his calm and said, “Maga. Malle ijji. Itthe muttuva. Adha parka.” (Son, don’t work. We will reach in a while. We’ll drink then.”, though their bus hadn’t arrived yet.
The father lead the son and moved further away.
“Appa. Mast bajel apundu. Mast bajel apundu. Daalandala parka.” (Father, I am very thirsty. I am very thirsty. Lets drink anything.)
They father for a minute lost his calm and yelled, “Paniyatha, boka getth korpe andhu? Hata malpodchi. Manipande unthula!” (I told you right, I will be buying for you later. Don’t be stubborn. Stand quietly now!)
I had an urge to go buy a bottle of juice and give it to the boy. I was feeling that bad for him. But that just wouldn’t be right. It didn’t appear like the father was denying to buy the boy a bottle of juice because of financial constraints. At least that’s how it looked. But I am sure that the father would have had some reason. Maybe the guy wasn’t supposed to drink juices, health issues maybe. Maybe the guy was making it up. I couldn’t recognize it, but who am I? Obviously his father knows him the best. Or maybe it was financial issues after all. The one thing I learnt quite early is that never judge anyone by their looks.
I continued to stand there as the guy continued to whine and the father kept consoling him to have patience as he moved away step by step from the crowd, becoming conscious that the kid was loud enough to be heard midst the racket of the national highway and chatter of the innumerable people rushing around.
I saw my bus coming round the corner and moved ahead to board it. I looked back for one last time to see the kid. He looked up with pleading eyes to his father and the father looked outstretched in the direction in which the bus they were waiting for would be coming from perhaps.
I boarded my bus and got what I refer to as the ‘Side seat’, the one beside the driver. The entire episode ran in my head again. Deep inside I felt very bad, for no apparent reason. It was then that I realized, I sympathize too much. Maybe, I sympathize unnecessarily. I must really stop that.
Till Next Time.