Two-year-old Heer was inconsolable. Her parents, uncles, grandfather, older sister, and my friend Manish tried their best to appease the child. She wailed, then gave out long helpless breaths and again whined.
The father took a turn to quieten the baby. With his left arm, he picked her up and with his right began hitting the small study desk from which the girl had fallen. Pointing to the portable table as the bad guy, the father indulged his baby, “You terrible table, how dare you hurt our lovely diamond – Heer.” He then took the fragile hands of the girl and helped her slap the surface of the board. He chastised aloud, “Here take this for making our darling cry.” As everyone mollycoddled little Heer, she seemed satisfied and soon stopped crying. The elders continued their conversation while the baby got busy with something else.
Manish came up to me and whispered, “Do you realize they pretend as if nothing has happened while they have just been violent to their child.”
“What are you saying?” I asked, surprised by his declaration that the older folk were rough. “I thought they loved and gave all the attention the poor thing needed.”
“Did you notice they taught little Heer that the study table was responsible for her fall? That damned table is guilty!”
“So What?” I said dismissively, “that’s a harmless way to pacify the child.”
Manish’s eyes widened, “No my friend, it’s insidious; the child has learned a bad lesson today- ‘ others cause my miseries.’ Later in her life when she goes through emotional pain, she’ll quickly look for a table to hit. Our elders teach us the blame-game early on in life – I am not responsible for my happiness, and it’s others – like the desk in this instance – who cause me pain and suffering. It’s deeply scripted.”
To be continued …