Critical eye

I am walking outdoors next to my apartment complex, heading to the gym for a bike ride. I am wearing my tri-shorts, and a white T on top.

Two kids pass me by. Boys. One is maybe 9, the other 12. Somehow I think they are friends, not brothers. The older one says “Hi!”.

Many men/boys pass you by in this part of the world, without recognizing your presence. Sometimes they look at you, but don’t return your smile. Anyhow, these kids aren’t like that. I’m glad for a moment. “Hi!” I say.

The older one reveals the reason behind his opening salvo. “Love your tights!” he says. The sarcasm in his voice is clear. The younger one snickers. I pass them by, a bit saddened.

I wonder what caused him to make that remark. He doesn’t know me, I am just a passer-by. But he found it important enough to make that remark, by first making the effort to establish a short exchange. I think I attribute it to two factors:
i. His desire to reinforce his way of looking at things, his aesthetics, and to subtract mine, through a putdown. This perhaps, adds to his sense of confidence about his place in the world.
ii. His need to strengthen his influence as a role model to the younger boy – there was a hint of appreciation at the smartness displayed by the 12 year old, in the younger one’s chuckle. It seemed this transaction upped the 12 year old’s status within the little tribe of two.

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8 comments
  1. Tiny Seal said:

    Nice style of narration.

    We’ve all been there done that, and still do it in adult life, mostly behind people’s backs. Someday, the older kid will be in your shoes 🙂

  2. rendezvous said:

    Well expressed.

    Children today express themselves and speak their mind more openly and clearly – without the fear of being judged in return too! As you see they were not daunted by the fact that you were a stranger – which is both good and bad.

    They are only getting ready for the real world!

  3. Mridul said:

    you are still feeling raw at that aren’t you ? 😉
    Just kidding 🙂 Good to see that you go to the gym … I think I should start too – add to my five year plan 😀

  4. Unawoken said:

    No not feeling raw. The function of the tri-short more than trumps the form. And, I don’t see why tights are evil in the first place. Just wondered where this came from.
    Yeah, go to the gym and eat healty 🙂 You asked for that!

  5. Moonjungle said:

    I wish those runts were in India. They’d probably get a good seeing too. Out here things like these are usually culled at smaller age by bigger kids.

  6. Mridul said:

    Vipin reiterates his patented solution again – tie them up and beat them if they fall out of line 😛

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