Monday, December 17, 2007

Spiral of violence

If he hits you once, hit him twice. Hit him so hard he doesn’t get up. Hit to hurt. These were my words of advice to my gentle, eight-year-old nephew — who, if he progresses the way he is, may turn into a spiritual guru. He had been regularly bringing back bruises from school. Two boys were delivering them. This was my third or fourth such lecture. Earlier, I had told him to handle the attacks himself, then talk to the teachers, and so on. Didn’t work and that, in turn, brought out the hidden violence and impatience within me. His answer silenced me for good, and has since turned me into a family joke: “But mamoo, first he’ll hit me, then I’ll hit him, then he’ll hit me, then I’ll hit him. Then what?” It also accorded him a premature sainthood --- we’re waiting for him to start preaching!

Opinion in The Indian Express, December 17, 2007

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