Pint-Sized Shysters

March 27, 2010
Deepti Lamba

People don't wake up one fine day and decide they will be obnoxious. It starts from the diaper stage. There are little people toddling around us who are sociopaths waiting to happen. Its a matter of degrees. Some turn into hefty Tony Sopranos and some into the next door loud mouthed Shyster with the shiny Ferrari.

We happened to stumble into the latter kind at the grocery store this evening. Unfortunately he was pint sized and his victim was my son. As we shopped he tried to chat me up with his puppy eyes and rough played around Aayan. He grabbed him, shoved him and basically tried to treat my scrawny little boy like a punching bag.

His mother, dressed like a tacky Fashionista Barbie but with the life condition of a sullen dimestore janitor refused to step in and restrain her kid. She ignored her kid as if he was an abandoned roadside mutt and he made the most of it till he finally grabbed my kid in a WWF arm lock and yanked his arm as if to break it.

The mommy in me kicked in. There is play and then there is bodily harm. I grabbed the kid's hand with which he twisted Aayan's elbow and firmly said - Too rough. Let him go.

But the little bully didn't hear me. He seemed in some LSD zone. He kept yanking my son's arm and Aayan started whimpering. I again said - Too rough. But he continued to yank and I couldn't believe the kid's zoned out condition. I was louder - Let him go.

Our eyes finally met and he knew that I knew. The game was over. The little bully ran off to his mother who watched the entire episode from a corner and did nothing.

Aayan burst into tears and the store came to a halt. People turned and looked. Some asked what happened and some who already witnessed the episode looked concerned. But I didn't respond. Instead I took my crying son around the store and spoke to him. He told me the boy was rough and I responded with the truth that the boy was naughty and his mother should have spoken to him.

We walked around till Aayan regained his composure and went to the billing area where Aaman and Parita waited for us. While we were gone Aaman had a word with the mother. He told her that she should stop her kid from playing rough.

The woman repeated the same words to her son. Too little too late. We walked out a little displaced by the entire episode.

dee.jpgDeepti Lamba is an author, besides editing at Desicritics
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