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We can be cruel without knowing it at times. Especially little kids. Because kids are so innocent, there acts of cruelty just can not be the result of maliciousness. For them, its one sweet game they are enjoying. If someone gets hurt in the process, oops! But chances are the kids won’t even realise that they are being cruel. Isn’t it upto the grown ups in their vicinity to tell them that their seemingly harmless fun is actually causing pain to someone? Now if you are wondering where i am coming from, let me tell you…
There is a mosque opposite my office and a small galli that leads into a colony next to it. The colony is mostly old fashioned single storied houses next to each other. Now yesterday, there was a goat tied to the gate of the mosque. It was actually a kid, with horns that were just starting to grow. So the goat kid was there, minding his own business and a 5-6 year old boy comes out of the galli. Seeing the goat kid, he starting pushing it, he pretended to kick it a couple of times, but I guess the blows didn’t really connect. He pushed the goat kid again, and again… While it was just a game for him, the goat kid got really irritated. He started to get into combat mode by facing his opponent and pointing his half grown horns towards him. The boy pranced to the side and pushed the goat again. This time, the force was greater than before, and the goat kid slid to a side due to the impact. The boy air-kicked once more and the goat kid was now seriously bugged. Thats when the boy apparently lost interest in the game, but his last assault wasn’t well received by the little animal. He raised his head skyward and lifted two of his feet in the air, in perhaps a desperate attempt to break free. The boy pranced of back into the galli and the goat kid remained there, bound to the gate, still looking into the galli…
Now the point here is, there were two old men around. One was smoking his beedi, blissfully ignoring the mock fight unfolding inches away from his nose and another was sitting on the ledge outside the first house in the galli. The second old man saw the entire scene, and yet didn’t say a word to the boy. He could have stopped the boy, shooed him away, but no, he did nothing of the sort. He went on watching the scene as if it was his daily dose of entertainment. If the goat kid is still there, will the boy come back again today evening to ‘play’ with him? Or maybe he’ll talk to a couple of his friends about last evening’s escapade and they’d all come down for some fun. What about the goat kid then? Who’ll protect him?

This is a post I wrote a while back… its been lying in my phone ever since… the reason i remembered it today is because i saw a similar seen enacted out yesterday. In a different city, a different place, a different child, a different animal… but the same scene.. a little girl was kicking a dog, not a puppy, but a full grown street dog, just for the heck of it. When she realised i was watching, her kicks had more vigour… unfortunately, she ran away before i could ask her why she was doing it… but, it was a sad scene…

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