Monday, April 12, 2010

FACT & FICTION

The Copy-Kitten (my younger daughter) is a bold little mite. She tries her loudest best to argue the pants off people ten times her size (and age), and her voice is the 'most-heard' (top-of-the-volume-charts) in the playground.

But two things scare her, especially at night. Especially when she's in her bed listening to her routine bedtime story, and she wants to go to the drawing room to get a new book. So I have to suspend my story-telling and accompany her - small hand gripped tightly in mine - to the bookshelves to pick out another book.

She's scared of Wee Willie Winky. You know, the fairy fella who looks in at windows and peeps through the locks, to see whether all the children are in bed by "eight o' clock" (That's for Brits, I've modified it to 11 o' clock). The Copy Kitten calls him Winky Willie and gets all round-eyed when the curtains blow in the night-time breeze. It just might be Winky Willie, she claims in a hushed voice.

But she is re-assured by my BIG-ness (age-wise and size-wise). From the pictures of the puny, pointy-eared Winky Willie in nursery rhyme books, she has deduced that her Maa will be more than a match for him.

What scares her more are AATANKWADIs (Terrorists - she pronounces the word in the Hindi way). Whenever there are noises of crackers bursting too loudly, she'll get all worried and plaintively ask whether there are Aatankwadis around. What do they do? Where do they come from? How can we save ourselves if they do come? How will we fight them? How will the police fight them? ....

I don't know where she learnt about terrorism. I don't know when and where terrorists will strike. And this not knowing makes my reassurances rather unconvincing, at least to myself.

The Winky Willies of fiction I can combat. But as for the aatankwadis, I feel as helpless as any four-year old. And angry, at this spoiling of innocence that is the legacy of our terror-riven world.

DO YOU?

23 comments:

Swaram said...

Its so sad that even our kids @ their age are scared of the crackers and are worried how to tackle the aatankwadis :(

magiceye said...

miserable state of affairs indeed

Lazyani said...

Yes . That's so frustrating and infuriating. The worst is that these kids would grow up looking behind their shoulders; always.

I'm Nu said...

copy kitten is soooo cute Su :)

Sad that we as a nation are passing this terror with no guarantee on being a saviour to them ! sigh !

Nona said...

None of us knows how to fight aatankwaadis!

sujata said...

the breaking news of the TV channels do filter into the the young minds. Plus they have very active imagination..reminds me of my bond and his fears! love to copy kitten!!

Sayani said...

I simply can say how sad it is that we can not safeguard children from these terryfying scenarios...
but copy kitten is admirable :)

take care
sayani

Pinku said...

I hope enough children are scared so that aatankwadis are unable to lure anyone's child into their fold ever.

Jyothi said...

This is so true. Kids are more aware of these things than we realize. Earthquakes and Terrorism, my kids are scared of these. Media helps a lot in this regard. Do we or don't we keep them updated!!!

Tomz said...

For the children of Copy Kitten age, parents are the biggest..and they feel comfort when they are in the proximity of the parents..

Babli said...

Very well written. Nowadays children are aware of everything because of different media. Due to this terrorism not only children but everybody is scared. It has become very difficult to live as every now and then lot of terrible things are happening around us and the innocent people gets victimized.

lopamudra said...

Leave alone the li'l one, my elder one too is oblivious of terrorists.I guess, it is because their TV viewing is so 'age appropriate' controlled.I think all comes down to the exposure the kids have today.It is sad indeed! My 4 yr old is scared of a 'monster in the dark' and that's abou it!

Aparna said...

TV channels show such news 24x7 and our vulnerable kids feel the fear.
It angers me, but I know I can not do much to alleviate such fears.
Hugs to copy kitten.

wanderer said...

When I was small, my mother would scare me to sleep with tales of the "royal Bengal tiger". Leaving outside Kolkata, in the initial year, the white Tiger did more than His bit to make my cling to my mother and keep inquiring about his disappearance. I learnt about the poachers, from newspaper images of slaughtered animals. I learnt about human traffickers, after attempting to runaway from home-and safely return back in two hours time. I learnt about terrorists pretty later...wishing never to see such a face...wishing to find an suitable answer to pacify the small questioning eyes I tend to meet at all crossroads.

wanderer

ishita said...

suchi di,
i m completely in love with your blogs..i actually wait for your blogs.and when i see that u haven't written for a while, i eagerly wait for your next blog..i loved your fact & fiction blog...probably ur blogs are a part of me now which i religiously read and enjoy it every time..thanks for writing such wonderful blogs...chinky..

nsiyer said...

Was looking out for your post for a long time. Deterioration seems to be the order of the day but well accepted by one and all who do not want to queer the pitch.

Jaquanda Rae said...

when i was little i was terrified of night shadows, especially the one of the ginger lily outside my grandma's bedrooom window. I can still remember now how scary it was to look at. Give kitten and cat a hug for me.

The only people who are not fearful of these terrorists are those who don't mind dying.

Onkar said...

Terrorism has instilled fear in young minds. This is a new problem we have to grapple with.

睿玄 said...

It's great!!..................................................

phatichar said...

thot-provoking..really.

1208茹宣dinoreale said...

當你真心渴望某一樣東西,整個宇宙都會聯合起來幫助你。 ....................................................

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Piscean Angel said...

A rather sad ending to what begun as a humorous one ... but oh-so-true. :-|