Guest Story – Father & Son – Short Fiction Story
When will he throw away his toys in the basement? When will he start differentiating between what is right and wrong? When will he grow up? The answers don’t come swiftly for a learning father like me.
“Papa, why do those birds sing early in the morning?” my six years old Christopher Columbus asks me with a hand full of chocolates and a mind full of questions. I put in the picture, “Because they know you don’t have an alarm clock to wake you up for the school.” His dancing eye brows gaze at me as if he knows I’m deceitful.
The questions keep flooding inside my 1400 gram brain. Does our world of reality apply to the mind of a naive child? How do kids broaden their social horizons? How does a negative association with independence affect them? Do they learn from experience or do they rely on instinct? Will a child born in the jungle not play with the jungle toys? Will that child turn into an animal? I want to barge on an expedition across the Milky Way but then I doubt if the answers are playing hide and seek inside my own mind. Either way it is a tough voyage and my questions are my only companions.
His six years old raw brain questions me, “Papa, why is the sky so blue?”
“Because it’s your darling colour son. You don’t like it? Do you want me to change it to green?”
“No! I don’t like green. Let it be. Let it be.”
“All right, if you say so.”
I wonder which chemical process can elaborate child psychology. Can science describe innate instinct of a small brat? What is the scientific formula of building our morals? Buddha and Hitler were also little monsters once. Is there a technology to track their drastic deviation? How much does intellectual stimulation affect the little ones? Is the human mind always in transition or does it stop somewhere? Does the human development move from social level to individual level? Or is it the other way around? Is childhood a period to search one’s identity or to alter it? I reckon if there is a black box in our brains. If there is, someone please enlighten me how to unlock it.
“Papa, what is that big thing in the sky? I see it all the time.”
“It’s a flying machine son. The humans call it airplane.”
“Like a bird, papa?”
“Hmmm, somewhat like a ten thousand tonne bird.”
“Oh! Really? That will make a good lunch for my whole class,” he answers unpretentiously.
“No, we can’t eat it Sherlock Holmes. That bird feeds on us,” I react with a consciously confused expression.
My learned friend feeds me the intellectual crap, “Psychologists employ empirical techniques to infer casual and co-relational relationships between psychosocial variables. There is psychopharmacology, psychopathology, social psychology, developmental psychology bla bla bla” Ten minutes later, I dissect her methodical blabbering and hit the road. I don’t want the answers she writes in her medical exams. Is there a logical explanation? Is there any explanation at all?
How does a person become a master of one’s mental attitude? The happiness of a child is different from the happiness of an adult. Adults need cash, car, clothes and sex to be in high spirits but a single candy will do for a toddler. Why are their expectations lower? It makes me wonder is it good to grow up or not. Has the journey so far been worth it? I know we have no choice. Aging is stamped in the itinerary of our lives. Everything that was once created must turn into ashes one day. Everything fades away in due course. Is adulthood the beginning of that fading away? Is childhood the utopian world? Is adulthood a fall from grace? Is it a detestable exit? When are we accurately mature – early days or later life? Can you explain maturity to me? Is there maturity in asking for an ice-cream or asking for a Mercedes from your parents? When you have lust, greed, jealousy, betrayal and hatred in yourself; you don’t look mature to me.
“Papa, why do the stars twinkle at night?”
“Oh! They are just winking at you. They want to tease you.”
“But what are they made of?”
“Atoms. everything is made up of atoms sunny boy.”
“Everything?” he repeats. His eyes are dripping with dreams I know nothing of.
“Yes, everything. Every molecule in the entire universe is made up of tiny atoms,” I reassert.
“Where can I buy some atoms papa?” he asks me with a smiling heart.
“I want to make Mommy.”
“Son, she is with the one who created atom.”
Story contributed by Barun Bajrachary from Kathmandu, Nepal