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  • Writer's pictureNiedhie

A stranger to my toddler

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

This post is dedicated to a friend of mine who inspired me to write again, to write a lot, to write to express myself, to write because at least he cares to read!

It has been a while (two years he reminds me) that we had not met. However even though we were meeting after such a long time, it did not feel even a bit formal. With a cranky 18 month old (who did not have her afternoon nap), I was all preoccupied trying to satisfy her high demands for attention. To make matters worse, she did not look immediately comfortable with him being around – stranger anxiety. She was seeing him for the first time, occupying her personal space – her home. He figured out the trick to make her comfortable around him is to ignore her, not give her the attention which upon getting she reacts with a bad “dry cry” as his girlfriend remarked! He instead played beautiful synthesiser for her without looking directly into her eyes. She would stare at him from the corner of her eyes admiring him for the beautiful music, but then he had not done enough yet for her to openly give a nod of acceptance.

We spoke about a gamut of things. It is so amazing to see that even after such a long time we could just talk about a wide range of things with great élan – be it the IS, the somehow-managing-to-come-together Greek economy, of course my writing which he has become a fan of, babies and work-life balance, their career and plans ahead, dreams and aspirations and the upcoming holiday plans. Really so much packed into the less than a couple of hours they stayed at our place along with a not-so-happy toddler around. Just shows how much we are in sync with each other to be able to fit in that much content.

People often say that birds of the same feather flock together. However, here is an example where we belong to completely different cultures arising out of completely different geographies – in every sense – appearance, food, language, faith. What binds us is the fact that we are just human beings who are good natured with strong values. We are mentally on the same platform which means that we could be done with talking about topics within minutes. I don’t get this level of comfort even when talking to many people of my own herd. There is so much of talk about radicalism in this world where we are reaching out to kill others because they don’t belong to our herd, but then the question is how far does it have to go before it ends. For now the criteria is religion, tomorrow the criteria will be attire, language, food, dreams, everything. Are we only going to stop when we all become robots – exact replicas of each other with no brains to have any divergence of thoughts. At that stage the only way to end ourselves will be to press the self-destruct button on our robotic motherboards.

I don’t want to live behind such a world for my daughter to grow up into. I want her to feel even more comfortable than me mixing with people from different backgrounds, different lineages. The only way to a successful livelihood is by having the openness in your heart and mind and appreciation for everybody. We may have our favourites, but that should purely be based on compatibility of thoughts – not on the basis of parameters that humans have created, including religion.

By the end of the almost two hours, the friend was no more a strange to my daughter – but somebody she was comfortable to share her toys with. I am sure she would love to meet him the next time he shows up, including being keen to show him her keyboard skills!

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