Friday, June 18, 2010

Carefree Days

There was a sprawling park across my house that had a children’s area in it. When I see the young children running in glee to the park in the evenings, my memory would go back to the years when I was a child.

I was born in a big city and I grew up there. As a treat, one joys of my child hood was my being allowed to visit alone the local park and play myself silly. The evenings would witness children flocking to the park in droves to enjoy playing in the swings, slides, revolving platform and various climbing equipments. It was always a treat because it was so full of greeneries, beautiful flowers and had everything a playground should have for little kids to enjoy.

I must thank my mother for encouraging me to play there daily though she had the cautionary words of safety, telling me not to walk in front or behind a moving swing, always to get down when it has stopped, to use the railings when I climbed, not to talk to strangers and not to stray alone behind bushes. Her care and concern is still vivid in my memory. I must admit the significant role these visits to park had in my growing up as a confident person.

It looks funny that she used the trip to the park as a reward for my visiting the dentist without throwing up tantrums. I had always made a big fuss and had to be cajoled, coaxed and even threatened for going to the clinic. I had a mortal fear of the drilling machine and loathed the shining instruments with a mirror that he inserted in my mouth. But the moment she promised a long stay at the park, all my protest melted away.

This evening as I was standing in the balcony, as was my past time to watch the happy children going to the park, I saw a police car and people huddled in groups and talking in hushed tones. Unable to resist my curiosity I went down to join the crowd. What I heard was a bizarre story of a pedophile luring a six year old girl with a bar of chocolate that was drugged to a corner of the park and attempting to satiate his lust beastlike on the girl. 

Luckily for the girl, her puppy that followed her barked so noisily that the wicked man was troubled. As he threw stone at the puppy, it caught the attention of a passerby to the spot before much damage could be done. The child was unconscious but was saved in the nick of time. The man was chased and caught and the girl taken to a nearby clinic.

This incident set me thinking how even a children’s park where innocence and gaiety alone ruled in my younger days, have become dangerous places. While my parents taught me to be respectful to strangers and mind my manners, it is perhaps necessary to teach the kids that it is okay to run away from a stranger, not to answer him, and scream if the stranger attempts to touch.

The park is no longer a haven and safe place for our kids as it used to be.

“Upon our children – how they are taught – rests the fate – or fortune – of tomorrow’s world”.


Written for Thursday Tales (Tale No. 12)
Photo Courtesy: andrewf1


  1. You are so true. I think of all of the adventures had by myself and brother when we were kids. We would never let our kids do that now. I found your blog by chance. Enjoyed my visit.

  2. Very Much True. Beautiful Excellent Write Up Amity Dear :) :)

  3. An excellent write Amity, a real pleasure to read as always.


  4. SO true! have written over two different aspect fo childhood and so well interlinked it!

    One that deals with the irony of Gardens and playground...for the no longer exist with same cheer and feelings!
    And other one is being safe! It is indeed one of the most dangerous place these days for kids..And sure we need to teach them how to ignore and as you said run away from such strangers.

    ~ One more thing that kids can do is one that My parents taught me was..."not just running away...but running away making a constructive noise that brings the attention of other people around!"

    Beautiful Post in whole:)
    It made me recall my own childhood and moments with which I'm still moving and almost everyday cherishing!

    ~Keep the Spark ALive..

  5. Kids these days losing their innocence to "wisdom"

    They know all wats going on in the world wat all wrong.. so they have become defensive...

    so honestly put dear!

  6. A harrowing and deeply upsetting story indeed, Amity. Very poignant, and very true.

  7. That was, indeed, a very sad reality... i can relate to it... but you're fortunate... co'z you got to experience those days of your life... unlike me... i remember, when i was just so li'l we(me and my siblings) were not allowed to go out of the house and mingle with kids on town... we just found ourselves playin' with each other... having fun with each other... but i'm not satisfied with that... now i felt like i'm missin' a lot from my childhood... i regret those days when i could do nothing but only to look at the window watchin' those kidos laughin'and playin' and everythin'...well, anyhow... it feels so nice to read true tales like this... thanks for sharin'!!!:D

    Have a blessed day!!!:)


  8. Oh yes, that quote is so true. I had to read it a couple of times because it spoke to my heart and soul. Sadly, children can no longer be carefree spirits. There are too many evil, sick people waiting in the shadows of play. Preying on innocence and trust. I hold my son's hand without letting go. I don't care if he is 5. I never let him out to play alone. Because I have a genuine fear of him being taken by a stranger.

  9. Oh I remember those days well as a child Amity. I couldn't leave my own children alone until they got older as we lived in Chicago then. People lock there doors and windows there!
    What a sad thing to have happened to that poor little girl. There are just so many bad people around, my 15 year old still doesn't get why I don't let her wander the neighborhood alone.
    I let her go with friends but not alone. She just does not get it!
    I understand your fear of the dentist, I was exactly the same way. Not so much anymore!
    At least you still have fond memories of the days when you could be at the park without worry!
    Love Di ♥

  10. Amity, Childhood was really the best part of our lives. I will give anything in exchange for it again! Very nice post dear. Why have you decided to abstain from Acrostic? It was so much fun.

  11. Present is often a footprint of the childhood - so good or bad experiences need to be handled very carefully.

  12. Hi Silly Girl;

    I have to check on your blog before posting my comment on your comment!

    Thank you so much..:)

    And I would like to reiterate my lines I did write in your latest post: That I am a frustrated journalist! :)

  13. HI Sahana;

    Thank you so much! Glad you liked it!

  14. places of beauty are used by the few beasts for destructive activities... take an example of sports which is supposed to be beautiful, have more security than players... world is so different... the last para is very rightly said, it is ok to stop talking to strangers...