Since 5 am in the morning, there were butterflies in Mr. Kalra’s stomach. Instead of his regular Yoga, he decided to vigilantly pace in the park adjacent to his bungalow. Today evening, his 9 year old granddaughter Vaanya would take the bicycle to the colony market.
This meant that Vaanya would have to come out of the secluded lanes of their gated community and maneuver through the busy streets and the main road, cut through the speeding traffic of Bikaji Cama Place to make it to the market. This thought was making his 68 year old heart pound louder than usual.
Why did Sushant give her this permission? Doesn’t he realize the risks involved? Is he immune to all the incidents of road rage and accidents that have frequently occurred on this busy road? Mr. Kalra thought that he will speak to his son Sushant, about little Vaanya. She is only 9 years of age. She needs to play with her toys and be escorted everywhere. This is Delhi!!! Brash, rash and unforgiving. She need not ride on the streets own her own, right away.
The moment he met Sushant that very morning, he expressed all his worries and anxieties and asked him to reconsider his decision. Vaanya isn’t going anywhere Beta, we can always let her do all this when she crosses 15-16 years of age; Mr. Kalra continued.
Sushant patiently heard his father. He really got a grandfather’s apprehensions. Similar thoughts had haunted him too. Daddy, said Sushant – “remember the time when I broke my wrist while playing the inter school cricket tournament. How did you feel? Ma was so adamant that I will never play this wretched game again. Who convinced her at that time? If I did eventually play cricket at the state level, it was only because you didn’t give up on me. Parenting is all about courage, right Daddy?
It’s true, Vaanya is just 9 and she isn’t going anywhere. We can always let her do this when she is 15-16 years of age. But what is the guarantee that you will be around at that point of time. Or for a matter of fact, whether I will be around?
Isn’t a parent’s biggest role to make his child self-reliant? To make them responsible for their lives. Kal kisne dekha? “
Mr. Kalra was listening and absorbing every word that Sushant was saying. All his consternations were now taken care of. With a glint of pride in his misty eyes he addressed his son, “You know what Sushant, I have indeed done a splendid job with you and you sure are doing fabulous as a parent with Vaanya”
That evening the duo saw the apple of their eyes riding freely on the busy roads of Delhi. It was a moment of huge achievement for Vaanya and extreme pride for the Kalras.
Happiness is indeed seeing your 9 year old negotiating traffic on the Delhi roads.