I recently celebrated by 21st birthday. I was happy, I was feeling responsible, I was feeling like a real man. But then the kid happened. And my happiness was ruined.
Alright, so I might have been ranting a bit over there but let me explain.
I just turned 21 this May and on the blog post I published that day, I ranted about a lot of things which I’m not going to repeat here (To save you the horror). Basically, I was feeling young & wild & free, along with a bit of responsibility on my shoulders, but not any older than that.
Now, a few months down the line, I've come back to another city to continue my education and staying as a paying guest with a wonderful family who treat me quite well, considering my disgusting, out-of-sync lifestyle and blatant disregard for hours that are meant for sleeping. This place is a flat system with four buildings and as expected, accommodates a multitude of kids (who I feel, all go to the same school...). These kids usually play around in the evenings around the block and keep hitting cars and bikes like drunken Gujaratis in Diu.
I’m not usually in the vicinity at these times but I managed to befriend a few while helping them with their oversized bicycles one day. So the day before yesterday, as I was walking back home, a toddler of about 7 or 8 came up to me and asked absolutely innocently, “Uncle, why didn't you come for my birthday party?”
I looked at the little guy funnily for a whole minute and then chuckled in amusement at my own befuddlement. I had had a whole host of feelings in that one long minute. I had been shocked, then horrified, then bewildered, then intrigued and finally… amused. Of course, the kid was eight, what did I expect. Alright, maybe I expected a bhaiya (elder brother), but not UNCLE!
I didn't know what to say to that. In all the plethora of emotions I was running through, I actually forgot to answer his original question. I went, “Wwwhat? Huh?”
So he kindly repeated his query for me, “Uncle, why didn't you come for my birthday party?”
I replied, “I’m so sorry, I was very busy.” But in my head, I was going, NOoooooooooo! Not Uncle!
Satisfied with my answer, he turned and went back to his mates as I walked in a daze to the elevator and pressed 5.