It is such an honor to have Ritu from But I Smile Anyway do a guest post for me. I love this delightful story and pictures from her childhood. Thanks Ritu.
Indian weddings are big affairs, and in a Sikh temple the men sit on one side, and women on the other. It was, and still is, the norm for young children to spend most of the 3 hours that the ceremony lasts, running from mummy to daddy, them back again. And then to do it all over again!
I was no different.A child with far too much energy, and also far too much to say!
My mum told me a story of one wedding we had attended, where I was doing exactly this. Sitting with Mummy, then getting bored and running over to Papa, then after exhausting his entertainment, running back to Mummy again. They were used to this, and would glance over at each other periodically to make sure I was with the other.
At one such glance, they realised that Ritu was not with either of them!
A quick scan of the large prayer hall confirmed their fears; that I was not there…. They dashed downstairs to the main Langar (Food) hall and I was nowhere to be seen, not even in the kitchen.
Now this temple was on a busy main road, but I wouldn’t have gone out, would I?
They quickly rushed out and checked the car park, and surrounding area, but nope, I was well and truly gone. Where would this little curly mop head of a girl have gone? I was possibly 2-3 years old at this time.
Pops walked out of the gate to the main road, and they were scared by now. And lo and behold, there I was, coming back up the road, holding an English Man’s hand, happily chatting away!
The man saw my parent’s panic stricken faces and walked straight up to them. He said “I assume this little one is yours. I saw her wondering down the road, all alone, and I had a feeling that as she was alone, she may have ventured from this her temple, so I was just bringing her back.”
Obviously, my mum was almost delirious at this stage and grabbed me as my Pops profusely thanked the man. I was still smiling, and chatting away to the man, to all intents and purposes. I had found someone new to listen to my whittering on!
Had this been in the present day, what would have been the first thought? Kidnap, child abduction, the poor man who returned me to my parents would have been called all manner of things like a pervert or a paedophile.
But he wasn’t.
He was just a genuinely good citizen, who, in all honesty, if he had wanted to take me, he could have…( but it was probably my chatting away that made him bring me back. I’d give anyone a headache!)