“Danger is real but fear is a choice”
The school bag banged against the wall, a quick change of uniform, the post school meal finished in no time…..only to run out to play, abandoning all the endurances of the day.
The ‘childhood ‘ was sparkling and the child in me was ‘fearless’.
Growing up was a gratifying experience in the lap of a small affable hill town with fewer opportunities but a far more composed environment, moulding us into friendly, fearless beings.
A ‘regular rendezvous ‘ with familiar faces in the vicinity, instantly brought smiles.Fetching a local bus alone at 11, was absolutely safe, arriving a little late in the evenings wasn’t always questionable and our guardians at home, least apprehensive.
Doubt, panic or fright, hardly ever gripped our otherwise calm psyches.
However, fear today, has an uncanny presence on the roads, in the streets, neighborhood and for that matter….in the confines of our usually perceived ‘safe’ homes & workplaces. It peeps in comfortably through all the unimaginable doors.
As an adult & a parent, the ‘fearless me’ pauses for a moment.The invincible strength with which i always drove my undaunted spirit…takes a back seat. The assault is ‘silent’, though, reflects distinctly in a varied set of instructions to our off springs.
A subtle sense of fear is instilled when a child is alerted against the possible implications of encountering a stranger, the lesson of ‘the good & the bad touch’. Further more, when we make a few commands mandatory…
“Do not go out in the dark”.
“Do not accept anything from an unknown person”.
“Avoid getting into an altercation”. Or..
“Do not retaliate when robbed or attacked “.
And that dreadful thought “i wish this doesn’t happen to my child”.
Hasn’t that compelling thought evoked your fear quotient time & again?
Fulled even more….by the deluge of terrible tales pouring in from all kinds of sources. A bundled set of ‘papers in print’ , every morning, to me, is now synonymous to fear. A fresh morning turns into an infuriating struggle when the front page itself startles you with disheartening headlines and the subsequent stories that follow inside.
Weather it is the ghastly image of a young girl stabbed mercilessly on a roadside by her enraged ex boyfriend;; a bunch of indisciplined minors who sought ‘revenge by knife’ on their own teacher; a son all of 21, who butchered his own mother & sister suspecting them of prostitution; someone who was beaten up in the middle of the road with a hockey stick on a trivial issue ; a teenage who drove his luxury sedan…flaunting his father’s wealth only to end someone’s life abruptly ; a seven year old who punched his peer to death just because the later had retaliated to his bullying; or the recurring incidents of rape & molestations.
Surprised , at how appearances can be shockingly deceptive,and mere acquaintances have the potential to be daringly treacherous. As values turn hollow and temperaments soar, the ‘present’ is intimidating us to be more ‘shielding’ towards our children.
Preying eyes are all over.And yes, this generation is more vulnerable.
Stuck in this ‘cosmopolitan web’, i feel helpless, at times. No matter how strong the hope is….fear still creeps in unknowingly.
And the curious question strikes back……
Wasn’t our childhood and growing up far more ‘unthreatened’ and ‘unperturbed’?