October 1st was Deepu’s school sports day. He was rejected during the preliminaries held at school. Very upset he said it was all due to his friends’ fault who failed to keep to their track and marching the wrong way during march-past. As such he was not in any event. I told him participation was important and he had participated in most of the events and that is all that matters. On his insisting I went to attend the sports day function of Navadisha Montessori School.
As soon as he reached the stadium he asked me and his sister Anu, to sit. Saying he has to be with his other friends he just absconded. Soon the events started and I was enjoying the tiny tots in action. I was amused by one particular event. Kids from 1st standard lined up for a 50 meter race. These kids had seen others run and not knowing how far they have to run, they continued their race past the finishing line. Wow…no stop at all they just enjoyed running and were in action. The PT master had to run behind them to stop them. 50 meter race and they had already crossed 200 meter mark. Their innocence was just beautiful to see.
Ok back to my son Deepu. He came sometime later saying he was thirsty. Took the water bottle and as a passing remark he mentioned about a puppy that lay hurt and bleeding. Again zoom he vanished. Past lunch time he came to me and said he was hungry. I gave him his packet of lunch. Saying he would eat with his friends off he went again. An hour later, time to go home and Anu went in search of him. Yonder under a tree he was seen with two of his friends. Anu returned with him, and he was sulking. Why so early we have to leave was the reason behind his sulking. I looked at Anu and she shrugged saying he and his friends were busy with three puppies and its mother.
Enroute I asked him what are the events he really watched and what he really enjoyed during the sports event. He mumbled something about running race and was silent. And then he told me about his day in the field. He and his friends had spotted a puppy that was hurt in its leg and had fallen in an ant hole. With the help of an elder person they took it out and had managed to clean it. Proudly he said he was asked to be in charge of the puppies - ensuring no one tried to harm it. He had managed to give it some water. Having a little rice for himself he had offered the rest of his lunch to the puppies and their mother. The mother dog seemed to trust him and let him pat her puppies. He was even allowed to have the puppy in his lap. He and his friends had given names for the three puppies. A gleam shone in his face as he described his day.
Seeing other children compete in final events, I did long to see my son there…not to win races but to be present in the events. But as he described his day with such pride in his voice, I felt this was much better than seeing the medals and certificates which were lying for the winners. The hurt in his face as he described the puppy suffer, helping the puppy and its mother and the happiness on having done his little bit for them made me feel proud of my son. Any medal or certificate would seem very small to this act of his I felt. Hugging him and tears
of joy in my eyes…we returned home, having enjoyed a beautiful day.