|   Sep 04, 2014

There are two challenges I continuously encounter when taking Yog out for his daily walks. One, he loves automobiles irrespective of the fact whether they are stationary or moving. If he sees a car coming towards him, in place of moving away from it, he will try and run towards it. Even a split second distraction on my part can have him hugging the moving automobile in no time.

Two, we have explored almost all nooks and corners of the road in our neighborhood so Yog is itching to go some place new each day. I don't yet have the courage to take him to busier, unknown streets so he is pretty much confined to the same 200 meters of road and trees of our neighborhood. But of course his thirst for new territories remains undeterred. In order to continuously expand his area of exploration, he now pushes out on all the gates of our neighbors houses. Which ever gate relents to his tiny hands, he enters that house as if the house was all along waiting to welcome him. His speed and sense of purpose as he enters this new territory is very impressive. He quickly takes a 360 degree assessment of the area and runs towards his key areas of interest - water taps/buckets/puddles (basically water in any form) and of course automobiles. I let him wander for a while and then try and distract him back to the road again. This works for a few steps, till he comes to the next gate on the road and the same sequence repeats itself.

Most neighbors are very friendly and love having Yog enter their homes uninvited. However, some are not so. When Yog approaches their house, I have to literally pick him up and carry him till we cross the house. As I deposit him back on the road, he runs back to try the same gate again, cause that is one of the few ones that has not yet relented to his gentle push.

For me the dilemma of how to make him understand continues. How does one explain to a 14 month old child that people have made boundaries to their houses for a purpose? How can he understand that in today's world people eye uninvited people in their houses with suspicion, even if it is just a toddler and his mother? How can he understand that the land that we live on has been divided between people till the last inch available and not everyone is willing to trust and share?

I am pretty sure he will not understand all this right now. At the same time, I foster this small hope in my heart that maybe he will not need to understand. Maybe, by the time he grows up, the world might be a little different. Maybe, the gates will not be so strong and maybe the hearts will be a lot softer. Maybe he will be free to wander not only in his spirit but also in his world. Maybe, just maybe...

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