Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|The innocence of kids, a reminder for us|
|02/13/02 at 07:21:17|
| Salam alaykum,|
This is just a nice way of starting the day, have a blessed one
Counterpoint - February 13, 2002
By Sonali Raha 13/02/2002
Every issue, every event - global, national and local - has a point and a counterpoint. You are given the point all the time in news and analyses. Now, get the counterpoint
I was sitting in a cab, trying to read a book as the driver maniacally changed lanes, when I saw a long line outside Dubai Zoo. Little girls from a school, none older than four.
They were winding past the entrance in a crocodile, tiffin boxes and water bottles hanging from their arms, huge smiles wreathing their faces.
I asked the cab to stop. The driver swerved, nearly hit another car and screeched to a halt. I thought you were going further, he said. I am, but much later, I said, and got off hurriedly.
I ran across the street to join the crocodile. I can't explain why. But I do know that when I saw them I too wanted to go to the zoo. More importantly, I wanted to go to the zoo with the little kids. I knew it was going to be fun.
It was. From the moment I joined them to the moment I left, followed by much waving and shouting of byes, it was exhilarating.
To go back to the beginning... I bought my ticket and walked in. One little girl had fallen behind. She was bending over her shoe, trying to tie a sailor's knot with the laces.
I walked up to her and smiled and said hello. She thought a bit, looked at me and asked, "have you come from your school too?". No, I said, I've come from my house.
Why do you not go to school?, she asked. "Because she is big," said someone else. I looked around and found we had collected quite a crowd. Three other little girls, one with her red ribbon coming undone from her plait, another with her white socks crinkling around her ankles and a third with her water bottle open and dripping.
All four little girls looked at me and then asked - nearly in a chorus - "Where is your tiffin box?". Before I could answer - and I really didn't have an answer - one of the teachers came up.
She looked a little suspiciously at me. I said my name, extended my hand for a shake, and explained that I too was visiting the zoo. Can I come with your group, I asked. Okay, but you have to hurry up, she said, shooing the little girls in front of her like chickens. I fell in place too, meekly.
We walked up and down the zoo. We said ooh and aah at regular intervals. We laughed at the monkeys. We were frightened by the big cats. We fell all over ourselves trying to do a peacock.We tipped our heads and looked up, up, up at the giraffe.
Then we sat down in the centre, on little garden benches, and ate. Everyone was eating their own snack, but because I had none, everyone offered me some of their own. I had jam sandwiches and grapes and bananas and boiled eggs and chocolate biscuits and apples and cheese. I drank orange juice and strawberry milk and water.
We laughed and talked as we ate. Better still, we cleared up our own mess. All the crumbs and peels and cores and tissues were picked up and dropped into the bins. I left after the meal because I had to. I waved and smiled and said goodbye. They also waved and continued to wave right till I turned the corner.
For the rest of the day I felt happy, carefree. In that short hour, the children had shown me a lovely world. A world where smiling and sharing comes naturally. A different world to the one we adults live in most of the time.
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