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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Monday, May 17, 2010

M&M Anand : "I want to destroy everybody"

Meira storms into the living room, all agitated.

Raj, on the computer, looks up for a moment – and then gets back it, saying to himself “If there is something to know, she will tell me anyway. And if there is not, no point in asking, is there ?”. Simple logic that he has used – successfully for fifteen years.

“Raj, WHAT have you been teaching Rohit ?”

“Nothing…. Well, I did sit with him for math a few days ago but that was because you wanted me to. Why, he hasn’t flunked it, has he ?”

“I am not talking about math. I am talking about something else.”

Raj, realizing that this was not going to go away easily “Now what?”

“Rohit has just come back from playing with his friends.”

“And…there is a problem with that ?” These things could go on and on.

“No…I mean yes…I mean, he has come back with bruises - on his hands and legs.”


“Is that all you can say ? Oh ?”

“Come on, he goes to play football every day…you get these little things every now
and then.”

“That is so typically you !!! You don’t really care, do you ? How do you know this is not serious ?”

“Because, honey, if this had been serious, we would not be talking here, would we ?”

“Thank God, it is not serious. I have taken care of it. Anyway, what have you been teaching him ?”

“I have NO clue what you are talking about !”

“You cannot just get away acting like you’ve done nothing…you have obviously been telling Rohit something.”

“Honey, this is getting really tiring. Where IS Rohit, by the way ?”

“He is in his room doing his homework. Anyway, today he looked really badly beaten up…when I asked him what happened, he said “I beat up those guys like Dad told me to - and they got together and beat me up”.

Raj looks uncomfortable. “I need to tell my son to keep my name out of all conversation with his mom” he mutters under his breath.

“So you want to explain ? What have you been teaching him ?”

“Hey, I did not tell him to go about beating people up !”

“ So what DID you tell him ?”

“Well, I may have just told him something like “don’t let anybody tell you that you are not good”. Something like that. ”

“So ?”

“And maybe he took that a bit literally. Somebody may have said something and he may have got into a scrap.”

“Looked like more than a scrap to me. Why do you even talk to him ?”

“WHAT ? YOU are the one who always says I should spend more time with him. He came
to me saying his friends were making fun of him, that he was not good at football, so I said – very encouragingly – “don’t let anybody tell you you are not good”. Just nice fatherly advice.”

Meira is not convinced – her look says it all.

Raj now feels a strong need to defend himself.

“Or what would you rather have ? That I just tell him to let it be…that he does nothing and they keep making fun of him ?”

“No, of course not..we don’t want him to turn out like you. Heaven, no !”

Raj feels hurt but lets the slight pass. This was not about him and he was used to such comments from Meira anyway.

“The thing is, Raj, you don’t really know how to handle these things. Instead of talking to him here, you could have gone to the football yourself and told those bullies to lay off him.”

“WHAT ? You want me to talk to 11-year old kids to lay off my son ?”

“What’s wrong with that ?”

“Honey, I have been there myself. You REALLY don’t want your dad or mom to sort out your problems with your friends, trust me. It is upto Rohit to work it out, if WE get involved he will only have more trouble with his friends.”

“Hmm…I don’t know. I think you are trying to escape from this also. As usual.”

“Trust me…he will be fine. You worry too much about him”.

“That’s because you worry too little. You don’t even know which friends he mixes with.”

“Must be his schoolfriends. And the ones in this apartment block. Who else ?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes I really get worried. The other day he came to me and said “Mama, I want to destroy everybody”.

Raj laughed. “Destroy everybody ? That’s funny”.

“What’s so funny ? Your son wants to destroy everybody - and you find that FUNNY ? You are REALLY something, you know. I will NEVER understand you.”

“Come on honey, relax. So he said he wants to destroy everybody. Big deal. Does he even know what he is talking about ? Must have picked it up somewhere in school.”

“And you are not the slightest bit concerned ? Don’t you think we need to find out where he learns such things ?”

“Honey, forget it. I am sure he has himself forgotten it. These things come and go – if you start worrying about everything he says, you will become a wreck.”

“I am sure it is because of all these stupid video games they have nowadays. It is all about destroying, killing, breaking. They should ban all these games”.

“Yeah, you may be right – maybe he picked it up from one of these games. But don’t worry – he will get over it. He is smart enough to know it is just a game. And anyway he will move on to something else.”

“I think you are being too flippant about this, Raj. He is our son and you may not care - but I will NOT allow him to get bad influence at this age.”

Raj is a bit tired from all this but he knows Meira too well to expect her to stop without having the last word.

“So what do you want to do ?”

“We need to find out where he gets all this from. Which games he has on his PC, what DVDs we have, which friends he borrows games from.”

“And then ?”

“We need to remove all that from his PC, get rid of the DVDs, we need to talk to his friends’ parents.”

“Don’t you think you are over-reacting ? Just a little bit ?”

“Raj, trust me, this is a dangerous age for him. Today he is destroying video-game characters, tomorrow who knows what this will lead him to. You really have to stop all this now.”

Raj, suddenly noticing the change from "we" to "you" is startled.

I have to ?”

“Who else ? You don’t think I am going to sit and go through those game DVDs ? I don’t even know how they work.”

“Nor do I. Honey, can’t we just forget all this ? I mean, he said it.. what ? Once ? If he says it again, then we will see”.

“As usual. You are using your postponing tactics. And you HAVE to fight with me. You cannot even do a simple thing like this. Why do I even bother talking to you ? You don’t even care about your own son…”

Meira’s voice is breaking - and Raj cannot take it.

“Ok, I am sorry, honey…I will get to the bottom of this. You are right. If he is talking about destroying things, we need to know what’s going on."

At that moment, Rohit walks into the room, scratching his arm.

“Mummy, again I am not able to do my homework. Why do you keep the window open in the evening ? Again there are so many mosquitoes in my room now…give me the mosquito racket…I am going to destroy everybody”.

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