|Priti with Mittal Patel at the VSSM girls Hostel, Ahmedabad|
She nodded in affirmation.
“What do you take?”
She chose to remain quiet.
“Money?” I asked.
I continued asked about stuff that could be lifted and Priti continued to deny.
“So, can you tell me what do you lift?”
“Oh ok, and?”
“Ah, is it.”
“Why only this much?”
“That is because, I am fond of them!”
I was enjoying this conversation. It made me nostalgic, of times when Kiara was a junior KG student and came back with lots of such stuff in her pencil box. And she too would tell me the same thing.
“It is not appropriate to lift things without asking,” I told Priti.
She just refused without opening her mouth, “It is called robbery, a sin!”
“Oh, who told you that? And why did you do it even when you knew it is wrong?”
“Because I like them so much, Didi!”
It was hard not to fall for her innocence and humbleness.
“Next time you crave for sharpener, foot-rule and eraser come to me, I shall give them to you and promise me that you will never take anything without asking again.”
I stretched my hand towards Priti asking for her commitment.
“I will not take anything, I promise!” she voiced loudly and gave me a high-five.
“But what if you continue with your habit even after promising me not to!”
“Will accept whatever punishment God gives me,” she told me looking at the sky.
“God will put a big ball in your tummy, you won’t be unable to eat. So, think before you promise. Children like you are very dear to God so they aren’t punished. He forgives children but places a ball in their tummy.”
“I will never repeat this again!!”
I felt the need to share this experience with you all to give a glimpse of how children think and act and how we as adults misinterpret their behaviour. We are blessed to be taking care of such fantastic children. They never hesitate to confess their mistakes. They have learnt their lessons well at the hostel and chose to be righteous in their conduct. We are sure our training and guidance will help them become better humans and that is what we wish to achieve because, we need to think beyond the stereotypes.