Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Monday, March 30, 2009

33. Care Taker

Wish I had video clips to share with you, but nevertheless, I remember the small (and big) incident fully.

On Saturday, I was in a small village. It was only 11.00 in the morning, but the Sun was blazing merrily. The volunteers who had come to receive me had some work in the school office. So, I was just waiting aimlessly in the car, in the school campus

The school building on the left hand side was gorgeous. A huge playground increased the beauty of the building. Many boys and girls were moving around all over the playground. They were all going home. Suddenly a pair of kids, just passing by the car, attracted my attention.

The sister was about seven year’s age. She was wearing white blouse and sky blue skirt. Her short hair was tied in a pony tail. She had a rack sack on her back. Her left shoulder was carrying one more school bag – that was probably of her younger brother aged four to five. On her right shoulder she was carrying something wrapped in a piece of cloth, it looked heavy. The bro was all smiles. His sky blue shirt was bit torn. With his curly hair on the forehead, he had naughty plans written in his eyes. The sister was obviously given the responsibility to bring her young brother safely home. She was the care taker for the time being.

The young bro had different view of the situation. He was looking at the occasion as a complete freedom to do whatever he wanted. He knew that the sis had limited power and he could stretch the limits. The sis was calling him and asking him to catch hold of her finger, which she had stretched forward. The boy was running. He was teasing her and challenging her to catch him. He was young, motivated and was burden-less. Naturally he could run fast. The sister was running behind him. To increase his hopes, he was stopping after a distance and waiting the sister to cover the distance. The sister with increased hopes, made a dash. But as she came within a catch-able distance, he again ran. He also laughed loudly and teased his sister.

It happened once, twice, thrice. Every time the little sister ran with hope and every time she failed to catch the bro. Fourth time, she lost her heart. The moment the bro ran away from her, she sat down. Her belongings were thrown on the ground. A water bottle dropped from the bag. She started weeping. Her whole body was trembling. She was frustrated, defeated, lost. Her shoulders were dropped; she buried her face between the shoulders, knees and chest. She was completely helpless.

I was in two minds – whether to help or not. But I was aware that being a total stranger, my intervention would scare both the kids. I decided to wait for couple of minutes more. Someone who knows the kids would definitely come forward and help them.

The boy stopped at a safe distance, turned back and yelled, ‘catch me if you can’. He was ready to laugh loudly, but he noticed that his sister was missing from the level of his eyesight. Then he saw her sitting and weeping. For a moment he was perplexed. He looked around, with what intentions I cannot imagine. His eyes bulged. He was silent for a moment.

Then he ran faster; this time not away from his sister but towards his sister. He approached her silently. She did not notice him even when he came near. The little boy hugged her from behind, kissed her left cheek, patted her and pulled her face upwards. He wiped the rolling tears of the sister. Now the sister was surprised, but she still could not trust her bro. She thought it was one of his tricks. She continued weeping. The boy gathered the things that were fallen around, he made his sister drink little water. The sister started smiling. He made her stand and then stretched his little hand forward so that the sister can hold it.

They walked towards the other end of the playground. Both of them were smiling, chatting, both were happy. The role of care taker was completely reversed now.

If they can take freedom of playing, teasing, challenging, troubling each other…. and then come back and support, help, motivate, love each other..... they can face any difficulty that life might bring to them.


  1. Savita tai, how beautifully you write!! I could visualise the entire seen. And what I admire most is your ability to observe and experience. Thank you.

  2. Catch me if you can.......written nicely...what if the brother does not come back and help her sister....I was wondering on these notes!!!

    Keep writing

  3. Savita,

    It is touching,emotional and no words to explain. I remembered my childhood,my sister had that task to look after me, she is 5 years elder than me. Due to this story I remembered lot of incidences of childhood.so thanx also
    I am fan of your writing.

  4. Don’t need video clipping. Your description is very pictographic.


  5. It was the boy - the male - who made her cry, purposely. What's so great about soothing her afterwords? Is this a care taking behavior, in its true sense?
    Anyway, you have written it so well that i was drowned in the rage against Male community! Hats off!

  6. Times Change....
    the role of Care Taker can sometime become a Care Giver.
    You do not need a video. Your descriptions were so vivid.
    Very nice story!

  7. Touchy incidence.... nicely written...

  8. Read the story and the comments, V. good. simple n sweet

    Rajyashri K

  9. It touched my heart.

  10. Thanks Mrunal,Sapna, Shriniwas, Joy, Nutan, Gina, Veena, Rajyashree, Anonymous for your response.

  11. touching story... nicely written :)
    i remembered my school days...i used to irritate my elder brother in the same way... ;)
    and he never cried ...!!!

  12. apurva, now you said it, i too remember you in your childhood...

  13. Your writing style is such that the reader actually lives the entire scenario. Good work and nice article.


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