Please read my earlier post, Awkwardness, to understand what has been going on so far.
As time ticked past, the ice between Pari, her bus friends and Nina slowly started melting. They started having fun during their ride to and from school. Though Nina’s father still wasn’t friendly with us, but since the kids had shifted gears to becoming friends, I was happy with the way things had been shaping up.
Though Nina has been quite reserved and shy, but I have seen Pari looking forward to meeting Nina in the bus. This is because Nina never gets down from her car till the school bus arrives, much to Pari’s dislike. While I was happy that the two girls had become friends, my new-found joy found another roadblock in no time.
In the school Pari attends, snacks and lunch are served in school. Children are not expected to carry lunch boxes. But my little fussy eater darling, who doesn’t like eating sweets, is often left hungry because snacks many times have muffins, cakes, porridge and the like. After having a word with Pari’s teacher, I soon started sending a fruit box to serve as a healthy snack.
But the other kids in Pari’s school carry loads of chocolates (read as,more than 3-4 big bars of Dairy Milk/ Mars/ Snickers etc.) in their bags normally. Not only chocolates but Kurkure, Crax, Lays and the like to be eaten during bus travel. Since the school is pretty strict about the children being served healthy food, all the junk is forbidden from being eaten in school.
So the party ensues in the school bus. Unfortunately, Pari’s gastro-intestinal system doesn’t quite like these snacks and gets upset. It wasn’t much of a worry till Nina got friends with Pari because Pari’s other buddies, bring fruits or home-cooked snacks. But, Nina’s bag is always overflowing with potato chips, chocolates and the like. In no time Pari started having a sick tummy. Despite my efforts at reasoning with Pari, the episode has repeated thrice in the past few months.
I have no control over this situation because I just can’t stop another child from eating what he or she likes. I can only try to make things clearer for my child who, at 4 years of age, succumbs to temptation seeing other kids eat packaged snacks and ends up falling sick. It is not that Pari is intolerant to any or all of these snacks, but over-indulgence in them gets too much for her system.
While I was still wondering how to end this chaos, something new came up.
One fine day, while waiting for Pari’s bus in the afternoon I saw two boys (aged around 26 to 32 years) riding a brand new Royal Enfield. One look at them, who were smoking at a nearby shop, I didn’t like the way they were passing remarks at the school girls heading back home. Though I was highly uncomfortable watching what these two men were up to, I kept quiet.
A few moments later, Nina’s father arrived with Nina’s elder brother (who is around 9 years of age). Watching them arrive, I looked at Nina’s father who was standing quite far from me to see how he’d react to the two boys passing remarks. He didn’t looked bothered a bit.
Hardly a minute passed and two very pretty school girls (whom I believe are in class XI or XII, because I have often heard them discuss the Chemistry lectures on their way and by the sound of it they look like they are students of senior secondary classes) passed the two boys smoking on the Royal Enfield.
The next moment the boys kick started their bike and were now trying to talk to the two girls. The two girls didn’t look panic struck but in my head, I was. I know, I over-react on more occasions than needed, but I could feel restlessness build up inside me.
Neither the girls changed pace, nor did the boys who were now circling the girls, every few seconds, bother about the onlookers. The two girls looked like they were enjoying the extra attention but the bits and pieces of their conversation that the blowing breeze trickled in my ears, hinted, this was not how acquaintances or friends or even boyfriend or girlfriend talk.
The boys weren’t scared of the many vehicles passing by (because there is a big school near the bus stop) or of the stares they garnered. After five long minutes, the two boys chose to let the girls go their way and turned their bike towards the shop (where they were seated earlier). My crazy, restless mind was about to heave a sigh of relief just when the bike stopped right where Nina’s father and brother stood. The two men got down and hugged Nina’s father. My eyes were now glued to the corner of my eye watching what followed.
The next instant, my jaw almost dropped to the road when Nina’s father along with the two rogues (ok, I choose to label them so) passed a lewd remark about the two school girls before a mad guffaw. I have to admit, eavesdropping is not good, but what I saw and heard that day has left me disturbed. Very disturbed.
I was aghast, how could a parent behave so irresponsibly in the presence of his 9 year old son. What kind of a message did he just pass on to his boy, that it was fun to eve-tease? I don’t know, I might be taking this way too far. But, I tend to judge people around me, especially who can impact my child directly or indirectly.
This was not the only time I have seen Nina’s father being friends with people I’d avoid like plague. He seems to be friends with a lot of people whom I’d not think too long before labeling as rogues (cause of their actions, despite coming across as pretty rich given the clothes, mobiles or the cars or bikes they own).
I am amazed, how this series is going beyond one episode and the title I initially gave, fitting well into the happenings thus far. I sincerely hope, I don’t need to scribble another post in this series. Fingers Crossed.
Continue reading to the next part.
The song on my mind: Khambe Jaisi Khadi Hai ~ Dil