Today morning while reading newspaper, my eyes were stuck on a story, first in disbelief which soon gave way to disturbing thoughts.
The story that appeared on the global page was about a British boy all of 13, became ‘proud’ father of a baby girl! The boy, Alfie Patten and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, 15, had a night of unprotected sex when he was 12 and is now keen to be a devoted and responsible father!
My neighbour kid back home — 8-year-old Ammu — recently expressed some doubts which made the whole area laugh. My amma had planted a hybrid pigmy plantain. Though the plantain tree was looking small, it was bearing fruits, a bunch as big as the tree itself.
Ammu was puzzled to see some saplings near the tree. She asked my amma whom she also calls amma: “Amma, this plantain has got kuttis (children)?”
Amma said “yes” which left Ammu totally disappointed.
A pall of gloom spread over her face and she said with all her innocence that began with a sigh: “Then somebody must have cheated it (plantain tree). Otherwise how can it have a kutti at this age”!!!
The same Ammu when she was just 5, left everyone dumbstruck when she revealed something to her mother.
Ammu: “Amma, you know why Sachin (who is another 6-year-old near our place) comes here everyday in his cycle?”
Her mom said: “No mole, you tell me...why?”
Ammu: “He is in love with me”!!!
Her shocked and surprised mom asked: “Is it, how do you know that?”
Ammu: “I have seen him glancing at me. He smiles also. But please don’t tell achan (father) about this. Anyway, I don’t like him.”
Ammu’s mom laughed when she shared it with us then. But I’m sure after reading today’s news she may not be able to take everything so light.
I wonder what impact do such stories make in the mind of children and their parents. Children will no longer confine themselves to the pupa of innocence and parents will no longer see their kids’ acts with the same secure feeling that ‘they are just kids’.
The present century had so far only stories about losing innocence early...but now there is no room for innocence in children. Whom to be blamed, what has to be done... elders are totally at a loss.