My niece is 11 years old. She's growing up, an intelligent, observant and articulate girl. I like to think I'm a doting aunt. I am very protective of her and can do serious bodily harm to anybody who tries to hurt her.
One Saturday, my sister dropped her off at my place. I was to help her with her latest project - research for an essay on a nearby animal shelter. So we set off, aunt and niece, to the Blue Cross close by.
We had a great time at Blue Cross. She loves cats and cooed over the orphaned kittens. I'm a dog lover and played with the adorable puppies. Together we wondered if we could take one (or 10) home. She interviewed the caretakers and they answered her questions patiently. An afternoon well spent.
As we walked back home, I noticed a car with tinted windows parked on the left. A man, who appeared to be the owner,was standing near the bonnet. I sensed something was wrong and immediately moved my niece over to my right and away from the guy. As we neared, I realised that the jerk had stopped to flash us! There he stood, with his fly undone and his thing exposed. I turned my head away in disgust and quickened our pace.
A while later, still shuddering with distaste over the incident, I wondered if my niece had also been 'exposed' to the view. I looked at her as she walked by my side, quiet for the moment. She seemed ok, but I realised I should say something. I had gone through a similar experience as a child. I remember the fear and confusion I had felt. I did not want history to repeat itself.
" Were you afraid?" I asked, opening the discussion.
"Of what?" she queried
"Oh you mean the guy near the car? I forgot." She tried to gloss over the incident obviously uncomfortable at having to discuss this with her aunt. But I did not intend to give up.
"Its not your fault ok? He's sick" I said, hoping I was helping.
"What?" she asked
"Next time somebody tries this with you, I want to you pick up the biggest stone lying on the ground. Look around for an escape route. Then throw the stone at him. Make sure you hit his pee-pee (that's what she called it)" I told her, hoping I was equipping her with essential survival skills.
"Ok." She said and dissolved into giggles. Equilibrium restored, we walked on home.
As we turned into our lane, we saw a little guy, about 3 years old, pee-ing onto the road.
"Look Chitti! He's showing his pee-pee! Shall we throw a stone at it?" exclaimed my niece.
Ah well. At least she got the message.
- Welcome!Blogging is a form of self expression for me. I find it a wonderful, democratic space. So often in life, our articulation and expression are controlled by environment-like relationships or work place. Here, it is only about me and what I want to say. I write about anything: books, movies, issues, rants...anything which strikes a chord in me or makes me think. Life's lighter moments, highs and lows, causes, opinions. Anything. I follow no structure. It is all about self expression - a form of empowerment if you like.
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