Life has an amazing way of showing up in the most unexpected place and bringing with it something that’s worth pondering. While strolling around Lal Bagh, we saw these kids, around twelve of them, running with all the energy they had; as they didnt want to miss even a moment of their favourite summer morning pastime once they were done with their lessons at the Madrassa.
Consumed with curiosity as to what could make a bunch of kids run crazily in an otherwise placid park where joggers and strollers were moving around with a great energy as well as a sense of purpose on a Friday morning, I followed them. They lost no time reaching the pond and descended a small set of stairs, and put their palms in water in arched fashion facing each other with a distance of a foot between them. Not able to figure out what they were upto I asked a slightly older one, who informed me that they all were catching fish!
Okkk… this was a new one..no fishing line, no nets, no bait. Just palms? What do you do with the fish? We put them in this..and shows me a small plastic jar with murky water and a few small fish swimming in there. And then what do you do to the jar? We put the fish back in the pond. And then with such unadulterated enthusiasm so characteristic of children who are totally amused and engrossed in what they are doing, he invites me to join them and try it out myself!
Why didn’t I join them? Was I a grown-up embarassed to be seen with a bunch of boys playing around in a pool of water, wasting my time? Was I afraid of entering their rather simple world where being happy didn’t need so much? Was I afraid of getting my hands dirty? I sat for a while watched them do their thing, clicked a few pictures hoping to make a memory of how a group of boys can make you feel so inadequate with their sheer capacity for joy.