JournalismPakistan.com June 24, 2013
When our kids were young we taught them there are no uncles and aunties. And if anyone hugs you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, move away without a second thought.
Our part of the world we have this inclination to show our affection for other people’s children. We’ll chuck strangers’ kids under the chin or pat them on the head or simply hold them. These days it is not a very good idea. I don’t say you should scare them but cut out all this affection.
A friend of mine at Delhi Airport began to chat up a five-year-old because he was cute. Don’t do it, I warned him, stop being so typical, it’s not your kid. Sure enough the father came marching up and dragged his child away.
The other day a lady in a supermarket evidently from our part of the world and maybe in her fifties saw this little English child with rosy cheeks (irresistible historically to south Asian women) and began playing with him and hugging him. The mother went ballistic and said: “Take your hands off my child now.” The lady was horrified and confused…clearly she meant no harm but that mother doesn’t know that.
A bit of a racist reaction, perhaps, but still justified. In today’s age you don’t mess with other folks’ kids. Leave them well enough alone. It’s not a nice world out there and stop this giving sweets to children and ruffling their hair…they are not yours.
All the grandchildren we have they'll get the same lesson...strangers are not friends. Nor, sometimes, are the friends.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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