'Never break your promise to a child.'
My students and I were all set for a Picnic to Humayun's Tomb on the 24th of December. Last year Ritu and Anupriya had joined us. This year I was the only adult. Excellent at taking responsibilties some of my fourteen year old students said I need not worry. They would be the leaders. Suvojit volunteered to sponsor a car.
Humayun's Tomb in winters is my favourite place in Delhi. School Children in their best clothes prance around the trees. Some uniformed children run up and down the stairs. People from all around the world shake hands with students. And inspite of all the action its uncannily calm and quiet.
After doing a cake and chocolate round I announced it was my time for siesta. The leaders hollered at the young ones. I sensed them climbing up and down the trees.
After half an hour I was attacked with numerous historical queries. I humbly and quietly promised them the answers ... but uh later!!
When you are with a bunch of children questions are inevitable! But answers can be avoided by counter questions!!
Anil asked me why had people thrown coins in some of those fountains.
I asked him back - 'what do you think?'
Anil smiled and retorted 'They have too much money.:)'
I grinned back.
He jumped into the fountain. Waved and jumped higher when he found a coin. This was the begining. The splash event had begun. The rest of the seventeen kids jumped straight in. Their socks were wet and so were the lowers of their pants. They were grinning, shouting, shrieking, swimming and constantly calling out each other's name. I didn't protest. I saw no point.
After a while we were out in the open. Eighteen wet children were giggling,chuckling and shivering. Blowers were switched on in the cars. The moment we stopped being cold we grew so hungry. We tried silencing our tummies by singing and chatting ceaselessly. Eventually we hopped down at the Aggarwal confectionaries. We gorged on chaats and sweets. The piping hot tikki with green and red chutney was relentlessly pursued by one and all!
And to think of it...I had almost cancelled the picnic!!
Thats when Seema had told me 'Didi never break a promise you make to a child'. I had unconditionally agreed adding "sometimes I might just..."
To which she had exclaimed 'But Didi it was my turn to be Santa this year!!!'.
Oh!!! Ouch!!! It was all about being Santa!! How did I miss that!! And I thought we were supposed to wait for one:):):)