Sitting at home, stepping out just for groceries or for a short walk. Home arrested for the sake of humanity and trying to grasp to tiny shreds of sanity. Whilst you are confined to limited space, its quite fascinating how you quickly tend to new ways to keep yourself amused.
My daily routine for the last month or so during the pandemic lockdown, has been to wake up around 7am, scroll my phone for an embarrassing amount of time till Instagram shames you by saying that you are all caught up with everybody’s business. Then make my way downstairs for morning chores and that hot cup of coffee afterwards. Then I go to my makeshift desk of sorts to start my office work, sipping on freshly made coffee, trying desperately not to get lost in my phone. My desk is next to our balcony door, I like to sit by a window or an open space so that I can work in natural sunlight.
Since I am deliberately trying not to touch my phone, my next distraction is gazing outside the window. I wish to say my view is the “beautiful city skyline, the Main river flowing across the Frankfurt city, the mountains, the snow”. No, my view is reality, my view is the tram lines where trams pass every 20 minutes, a bill board with a McD advertisement and a decent looking backside of an adjacent flat. I hated that flat and that view when I moved into this house a year back. I had planned then to buy balcony blinders and this and that and all that fancy garden decor but none of that happened. But this is what it is fast forward a year.
Everyday, as I am sipping coffee and staring into the realm of reality, bunch of kids around 5-8 years old from the adjacent flat come out to play, completely oblivious to the fact that there is a global pandemic happening. For them, it is summer vacation, period. They create a ruckus, an impressive array of noise and screams, indulging in various fun things. One kid would be playing hoola-hoops, an older kid making tik tok videos dancing to the same tune over and over till the desired output is arrived, a boy trying to do wheeling on his bicycle etc etc. Amongst these kids, there is one particular kid. Lets call him Gundu because I do not yet know his name.
I call him Gundu because he is small, around 4-5 years old, round, chubby, he is so round that when he walks I sometimes feel he is rolling. He is one adorable little prick. For the past one month I have been watching him (stalker alert!) and he is a menace. Oh god, he will give Dennis a run for his money. He is so amusing that sometimes my husband comes and asks me “What did Gundu do today?” when he is bored.
Let me paint you a picture. One day, he was playing with a football and trying to put it on the neighboring garage roof, didn’t happen and failed miserably. So he came back from his home with toilet paper rolls and tried to kick it to the roof. Mission success! Hearing the ruckus he made, his dad (I presume it is his dad/ guardian), came running outside trying to stop the madness and couldn’t catch him and was running in circles behind him. The entire episode was downright hilarious, I was laughing tills my lungs were hurting.
Another day, he was peeping from outside into the ground floor apartment window and the apartment owner opened the window and started screaming, he ran with all his might. On another such occasion, his mom was sun drying clothes and Gundu was eating the barbecued food his dad was making. After he was done, he casually went and wiped his hands on the freshly washed sheets. He walked away very professionaly with a giggle, happy that nobody saw the event and I was sitting here on my balcony side desk and was like “Wha… Hello??.. Why… How?”
On another unfortunate day, my husband and I were having our lunch and we saw him trying to put his pee-pee in between the stair rails and try to take a piss much to our dismay. Lost our appetite and we hastily blamed the parenting.
Even if he is a complete horror show, I noticed over the couple of days how the other kids behave with him. Even if he pushes the hoola-hoop girl out of her pink bicycle, she cries but quickly moves on and makes up. Even if he kicks the ball of an older kid to the garage roof, the older kid patiently climbs and retrieves the ball. Even if he tries to snatch the tik tok girl’s phone, she makes sure Gundu sanitises his hands before he touches the barbecued food. Kids are plain amazing, and simple.
Seeing and imbibing all this, I was telling my husband even if we have kids one day, I am happy if I get a hoola-hoop girl, or a tik tok girl or an older boy who patiently retrieves the ball kind of kid, but hard pass, no never the Gundu. I asked my husband what would he do if our kid turns out to be like “Gundu” and he without a pause said “will put him in boarding school”, to my utter dismay. I was taken aback by how much sincere thought my husband has invested in Gundu as well too.
Today, as I was having my morning coffee and watering my seedlings on the balcony, I noticed that Gundu had come out quite early to play. Just him with a bicycle, a sleeveless t-shirt, sunglasses and a kerchief for a mask. Major thug style. I shook my head in disapproval and was about to return to my desk for work. That is when I saw an elderly women who lives in the same building as Gundu (I know because she sun bathes on her balcony) was entering the building, slowly pushing her bulging shopping cart. Madam is old and was walking slowly so that her things do not fall out. She reached the bottom of the stairs and was trying to push her cart up the stairs. And then I saw, Gundu came from nowhere still wearing the sunglasses and kerchief mask, and helped push the cart up the stairs. The older lady was so happy when they climbed those 5 steps and entered the building.
Without realising what he has just done, Gundu continues to play with his bicycle. I was awestruck, that was a complete act of kindness from a 5 year old boy. I was ashamed how much I rolled my eyes over his parents’ parenting skill, without me having any kids in the first place. Gundu just made that old lady’s day and I decided then, I really do not care if I ever have a kid like Gundu or never have a kid, whatever the case may be its not okay to judge anyone. Some people might be a nuisance, but there is goodness in everyone and a 5 year old naughty boy is no exception.
Note to self – Be kind, its basic.