Friday, June 7, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 26

To Joke Or Not To Joke…. That is the question.

One day as I finished cooking lunch and waited for Rayyan to arrive, I received a call from him in a panicky hushed tone, “Maa, I may be late in coming home”. This was the first time since Rayyan owned a mobile that I heard him speak in this manner. Naturally the contagious panic spread to me. “What did you do? What happened to you?..........................” and many other questions were blasted at him in lightning speed. “I did not do anything Maa. Nothing has happened to me either. Just waiting for one of the girl on the steps to move so that I can get down and come home”. Don’t blame me for wanting to hit him on his head with a hammer or something, but somehow I manage to ask, “You are speaking to me and I know that the cat has not got your tongue yet. For God’s sake can’t you ask her to move?” Again the irritating hushed voice comes from the other end, “No maa, I can’t because she is sad and maybe she is crying. I cannot bother her”. Soon my imagination starts running wild. Here is a pretty girl who is hurt and my son can lend her a shoulder to cry on. Soon she will be coming home to see who will be her future MIL. How pleased she is going to be with me…. Now my frustration and irritation are replaced with happiness. “Do you know her?” I ask enthusiastically. “A bit” says Rayyan. Now the story is fully written and published in my mind. “How stooopeeed can you be Rayyan? Go ask her nicely what is wrong. Help her if she in need of help. Don’t you know how to behave around girls who are hurt?” Rayyan answers in his usual tone, “OK maa. I will do that”.
I serve the lunch and sit down to have it because anyway Rayyan was going to be late and maybe he will take the girl for paani puri or lunch to console her. There was no point waiting for him to join me for lunch. As I am finishing my lunch Rayyan walks in. “What happened? Did you not help the girl?” Honestly I am very much disappointed that my son did not turn into the saviour of this damsel in distress. I am not even sure whether he is genuinely my son or not. He answers in that dull tone once again, “I asked her what was wrong, she said nothing and allowed me to get down the steps. I came down and waited for about 3 three minutes in case she needed some help, then I came home since she did not respond”. My face received the biggest face palm of its life. “That’s all?” I ask, “Yes” says Rayyan. I had not further words. I ask him to serve himself and get back to my writing job.
Slowly, I start teasing Rayyan around his friends, my family and everywhere about the incident. The biggest joke was, whereas everyone got the joke, Rayyan did not get it why it was funny. One fine day, he asks me, “What is so funny about it Maa? You have narrated it almost to everyone and everyone laughs but I do not understand what the joke is about?” It is not easy to explain this to this guy because he genuinely does not seem to understand even a bit of it. Now when I start thinking seriously, I don’t know why it is funny but it was funny anyway. Finally I somehow put it out to him, “You had an opportunity to get close to this girl, befriend her and may be take it ahead into a relationship. When you ask, the general answer is always ‘nothing’ but does not mean they don’t need help. You should insist and persist, right? All your friends are laughing because you missed a good opportunity with this girl”.
I expected an enlightened look on his face, but instead I got a shocked and a bit of disgusted expression from him. “I think the joke is on all of you and not me. A girl is hurt and we don’t even know the reason for her sadness. We are not sure whether she is ready to seek help or not. We don’t even know whether she wants helped and can be helped or not. All you were thinking of this as an opportunity? You too maa?”
Looks like I am losing this battle again but I blurt out in defence, “Isn’t helping someone good?” and he replies, “Off course it is good to help everyone and not just boys helping girls. What is wrong is force feeding help to people. If they want they will ask for it. I stood there for a while so that if she wants something she will approach me. Quite often people want to be left alone to sort things out for themselves. Not every problem needs someone to interfere to be solved. I think I did the right thing and it is not funny”.
I still think it is good joke to lighten up any event or gathering but somehow I am not so comfortable cracking it as I was before I had this conversation with him…………………..

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