Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
"Maa, " .. her super excited voice resonated in the corridor, her speech hyphened,partly because of excitement and partly because of the ordeal of climbing up three floors, but the undaunted spirit asserted ,even before entering the home" I need a proper sports shoe tomorrow only, for sports day selection". I was like "AEEE!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?".
Now, this, coming from a 9 year old,who has been always strategically successful in maintaining an arm's distance from anything related to sports, and is seemingly embracing Kathak and art & craft, definitely provoked me to give the above-mentioned expression. Again I categorically asked her : "Is it mandatory?" Before she answered, I saw a message popping up in a social media platform, installed in my cellphone, from her class teacher,on behalf of the school, instructing the guardians to send their ward in sports shoes which validated her whimpers. Okay,I started my own chain of reasoning: "You have shoes, meant for various occasions and it has nothing to do with affordability issues. But the thing is, since you are not inclined to sports , is it justified to buy a 3000 rupees shoe, which will serve it's purpose only for a day?" She gave me a one liner: "Ma, I will feel outcast ." More intrusions in her mind revealed: "our HM had come to our class and told everybody to wear sports shoes and not the white shoe that we wear in our daily PE classes". I countered," What if I write a note to the teacher?" Her eyes reflected total disagreement.
Without any further discussion, I took her out to the shop, bought a branded pair of sports shoe and sent her to school today.
Today , as she came back from school, I asked her, "Did all the children wear sports shoes?" I read the answer in her eyes. After a few while I heard a timid "Sorry".
"Are you now ready to listen?", I prepared myself. Getting an affirmative answer, I continued, " It took you 3000 bucks and 24 hours to understand that you could have done without these fancy shoes. But next time , may be, it will be something which will be challenging our budget or our ethics or our norms and regulations and I have to come up with an upfront NO. And, oneday , when you will be earning yourself, you may have to compromise your necessities and choices in the name of show off or other's approval. So, it is always better to set and depend on personal parameters and priorities than succumbing to peer pressure."
I do not know whether this got tangential for her or has precipitated within her. But I do hope that someday she surely will be able to curve a path for herself rather being content as an anonymous face in the crowd.