There was this one time I was travelling by a moderately packed bus. Sitting in a seat diagonally across me was a woman with an infant who was cranky all through my journey.
A woman got on the bus with a young girl, about 5 or 6 years old. All the seats in the bus were occupied, so I offered the woman a seat. She declined (maybe because there was a man sitting beside me) but let her daughter sit on my lap (That was a bit beyond logic, eh?).
She was a cute kid: very, very talkative. After a while, she started to get on my nerves.
Suddenly she started waving her hands to grab my attention and pointed towards the mother sitting across my seat who started breastfeeding her infant.
This girl just asked me out of the blue, “ Why don’t you have those things?” pointing to that woman’s breasts. She said it in Telugu (that’s my mother tongue and that’s what is spoken in Telangana (a state in India), I am just translating all that into English.)
I didn’t know what to say and was in a trance like state for a while. It was quite the philosophical statement. The moment I got out of it I slowly realized everyone’s attention turned towards me. My face was getting redder with each head turned in my direction. Okay, that was humiliating, but sadly, that wasn’t the end of it.
There were school girls standing by this kid’s mom and a few college girls. Of course, they overheard, and all they had to do was laugh and scream (Those delightful squeals as if Brad Pitt asked them out on a date). I died a little inside.
Armed with her newfound curiosity and dedicated to obtaining this knowledge, the kid continues to question my lack thereof. People started smiling and the women in my general vicinity started giggling. This little girl gave them something to gossip for a few weeks. (And where I live, gossip travels faster than a delivery by Amazon prime).
I decided to answer her, but I didn’t want to explain the birds and the bees to this kid so I just said, “That’s because the baby’s mom loves him.” What a simple little answer. Or so I thought.
There was an uproar all around, and by now even the conductor who was supposed to be collecting tickets was listening to us. For now, a horrible truth had dawned upon her.
She said,” My daddy doesn’t love me? Only my mommy loves me!”
Great! I just must’ve ruined the kid’s family! Just awesome!
I said, “Well daddy also loves you as much as mommy does!”
I looked towards her mother, pleading for mercy! And she went into a fit of laughter and I was like *Seriously! Woman! Your family and your marriage is at stake! Take control*
The kid asked, “Then why doesn’t daddy have those things?”
I looked up again and she mouthed me ‘ You started this, I want you to tell her’ *Are you crazy, lady?! She really has a weird sense of humour*
I pondered for a moment, wanting to end this conversation A.S.A.P. before my head turned redder than a tomato. Then, it clicked.
I said, ” Well your daddy gets tired after working in his office, so maybe, that’s why he gave your mommy his thing to show his love to you even when he is in office!” (I swear I was not high at that time)
The girl was silent for a while. I could feel the gears in her brain click-clacking, processing this new knowledge. Then, she nodded happily and said, “Daddy loves me!” And started clapping with her tiny hands all excited and happy! (Eureka! I did it!) Never did I ever feel so much pleasure looking at a delighted kid than I did in this moment. *Yes! No more humiliation! You little imp!! Do you even know what you have done!
I feel so blessed that this little girl didn’t ask me anything after that and stared daggers at her crazy mother for not helping me out!( She may have just wanted to have some fun .. with a weird sense of humor… Something out of her monotonous lifestyle with her over inquisitive kid)!
That’s when I sighed relief amidst all the laughter on that bus!
The girls ahead were all giggling, pointing at me and stuff. Well in a way it was cute. The centre of attraction of so many girls (my age approx), just not for the right reasons.
I just learnt, never lie to kids. The can give you a tough time! Never lie to kids, especially in public!
Well, this is how I feel humiliated; I just wonder how humiliated that woman would be who was feeding her kid, with everyone staring at her for a moment.
Well, that’s that! One of my most humiliating moments!