I normally don’t believe in unsolicited advice.
Last evening I did something that I don’t think I would ever have done. I still can’t believe it myself.
I was on my way back home from work. A lady on a Scooty zipped past me. She had a little girl with her, standing in front. When I caught up, I noticed that they had stopped at an ATM a few buildings away. The little girl was standing alone on the bike and the lady (perhaps her mother) had gone into the ATM. I almost went past the ATM but I just couldn’t get myself to ignore this little girl, all of 5-6 years standing alone on the road. I looked for the ATM watchman – couldn’t find him.
So, I took the decision. I went back to the ATM. Stood there – not too close to the girl – I didn’t want to scare her (she as such looked uncomfortable with me hovering around). I just kept standing there till the mother came out. Now, this was difficult. As soon as she came out, I asked her in English, “Can I please talk to you for a minute.” Wrong move. She mistook me for a salesperson and hurried away muttering that she is in a hurry. I then switched over to Tamil and said, “I’m sorry I’m not a salesperson. I’m a mother of a small baby girl too. I was passing by and saw your baby standing alone on the road and decided to keep a watch on her. I could have ignored and passed by but I was too scared for her. Anything can happen in 5 minutes. I just request you to please never, ever leave your baby like that on the road alone. Sorry again and thanks.”
Looks like the lady was too shocked and totally unprepared for this kind of unsolicited advice but lady, I did what my heart told me to! They say times have gone bad. Fine, agreed but at least, we should take our precautions for the safety of our children. Every day we hear horror stories of kidnapping and what not. What’s the point in blaming the degrading values of our society if we are not careful ourselves?
I then started walking back home, mulling over what I did. Another lady was talking to a patrol policeman at the corner of my street. This is what I could make out from their conversation. “Yes Sir, they snatched her chain and ran away...there near the temple... the poor lady is still there…” I then heard the lady giving the policeman the location and he was getting ready to go there on his bike.