Friends with no names.

Written on 31st July 2013
Here is one more from my treasured memory bag..

She is getting independent and I do not need to accompany her to the play area anymore.  Well, it was a tough decision to let her go and manage all alone. I could confidently leave my older one alone from the age of 4 in the play area. But I have always been overprotective with my younger one owing to various issues- her language delay, slow social development etc.  But after holding her hand constantly for long 6 years, I realized that she is sufficiently equipped to be left alone. She knows the dos and don’ts, can express herself and can sense danger and react. Children might be rude and bully her. But I have to withdraw myself to help her grow the hard way of life. The sooner, the better.  She can’t be a hermit crab walking around with a protective shell all the time.  The decision was made. And it has been one month and yippee! It was a success. For the contentment of my motherly worries, I have coordinated my walk parallel to her play time. Through the clearing of trees and buildings, I sneak through to check on her in the play area after each round.
She comes back beaming with confidence and is full of stories from play area.  I am eager to get the daily report as soon as comes.
 She talks about a new friend that she has met.   I have sneaked and found her with this little girl (must be around 4 years). They are totally enraptured in each other’s company.  She does not know her name.  Every day I remind her to ask her friend’s name.  She comes back with interesting stories of playtime without the name of her friend. They love to make ice-cream and cakes with their sand toys.  After a long wait of few weeks, my patience evaporated. Sounding stern I said-“You need to know names of your friends”. “Nope!! I don’t need to. Moreover, She does not understand my language English or Hindi and cannot talk to me”- she yapped innocently.  I stood stunned at the bliss of childhood, savouring the innocence on her face. Childhood is pure expression where no boundaries of man-created differences come in between. “Even you do not know names of all your friends”- she said with a conviction that kept ringing in my ears while she continued to play enthusiastically with her doll.
Very true!! I do not know names of so many friends.

  I do not know the names of all moms who are a part of my elder daughter’s school’s mom clubs. We share recipes, home remedies, parenting tricks, sales and events in the city and enthusiastically greet each other without knowing names. We have our identities as “somebody’s mom”.  

I don’t know the name of the old elegant couple whom I meet every day during evening walk.  We greet each other, exchange smiles, complement each other for our attires at times and even miss each other on days when we don’t see each other.. All without addressing each other with names.

I do not know the name of that mentally challenged dilapidated youth whom I meet every Saturday. He sits next to the vendor from where I buy my weekly veggies and fruits. He proactively offers to put my shopping bags into my car. He expects a banana. A lovely salute and an enthusiastic waving of hands to say ‘bye’-makes my heart smile.

I do not know name of this little boy who many a times accompanies his grandfather to deliver flowers for Pooja. He is shabbily dressed but the glittering enthusiasm in his eyes and the confidence in his gait can charm anyone. The insistence in the knock at my door lets me know his presence. A lovely smile waits for cookies or candies. His warm greetings –“Good Morning!!” and “Thank You Auntieee..!” fuels me up to run through the mundane morning chores.

I do not know name of the coconut wala. He is ready with four tender coconuts that I pick everyday on my way back from work. He has synchronized so well with my timing of return. This saves my wait time and the traffic hassle.

There are many to add to the list. The unsung heroes- the farmers, the soldiers, the sweepers, the garbage collector …….the list goes on…
They are truly the friends in need.

I do not know their names. But I do know one thing with surety that their presence at many times has brought solace and the much needed balance to my life!!


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