Monday, January 14, 2013

The Language of Love

My Dhobi (Ironman! Well, blame it on the Avengers movie I saw this weekend. Dhobi is the guy who irons clothes) was a young guy in his twenties. Since he is from Bihar, he went home right after Diwali and his father has been working in his place ever since. Now there is one thing common in both of them. They greeted my daughter with a lot of affection. The son would always wish her Good Morning and ask her how she did. His father calls her Memni (a derivative of the respectful Mem Sahib which he uses to address all the ladies) and always asks her if she has eaten her breakfast.

My daughter is fond of making payments. Whenever I have to hand over money to anyone, be it a shopkeeper, the household help or anyone in the market, she takes it from my hands and gives them. Most people just smile and take it. This elderly gentleman folds both his hands as if he is receiving prasad and says, "Jai Shree Ram" after he has taken it. He then bows down to her in a Namaste and leaves. I never had the heart to tell him she is a kid and you shouldn't really be doing this.

This is how he takes the money from her

Today, she was getting ready for school when he visited. He asked for her. When I told him that he was inside, his face fell a little. I then went inside to fetch the clothes. My daughter insisted that she will hand them over. Even when I was paying him, she took the money from my hands on her own and gave it to him. Almost as if she had sensed his disappointment on not receiving the money from her. When he took it, he said "Aap to Bhagwaan Hain" (You are equivalent to a God). The little one just giggled away.

In this day and age while I fear for my little one's safety and want to limit her interaction with others outside of home, I realise that we miss out on such moments. A little child knows only love and is not choosy about who she gives it to. It feels natural for her to receive affection from others and she is never suspicious of the attentions she gets from others. Heck, she does not even understand the concept of others now. If only our world was like this. If all of us were able to communicate with the purity and innocence of a child, we would be in such a happier place. Our lives would be free of so much stress and clutter and we would enjoy every moment of it. I just wish we could all speak The Language of Love.