…by letting the progeny of their upper middle class [from Delhi/ NCR] loose onto the rest of the world. By progeny, I mean the annoying, screaming, shouting, ill mannered, little children who live in my building.
I’ve already written about the screaming kids I’ve encountered in champagne brunches. They’re generally running, speaking on the top of their lungs, playing games in a restaurant instead of outside…all the while their parents are getting hammered and not the least bit concerned that their little angels are annoying the hell out of other customers. I can understand them wanting to be hammered—hell, I’d want to be hammered every day if I had their insufferable children. It’s just that, I’m really surprised they just don’t leave their kids at home. Why bring them to a champagne brunch? To be fair, these parents have done their share of hard parenting by delegating the task of looking after their children to a maid, who’s probably under age, and is very aware that she is ‘lucky’ to be taken to a restaurant in the first place. Not like the other maids who’re not ‘good enough’ to be taken to such outings.
Well, the kids in my building make the champagne brunch brats look like the Von Trapp kids (after they become nice). Case in point, I’ve been advised to exercise for stress relief—not just exercise like going to the gym, but exercise in terms of taking on a sport. Apparently, it’s a good outlet for my aggression which has accumulated and then compounded by prolonged exposure to bad drivers, bad roads, pollution, traffic jams that last for hours, annoying old ladies, general chaos and lack of order in life etc, etc, you get the idea. Since I am generally weak and have terrible hand-eye coordination for any kind of sport, I’ve taken up badminton. You don’t really need a lot of strength to play it and my building has an indoor air-conditioned court so it’s easily accessible. So basically, the story of my life at this particular moment is: I’m playing badminton to avoid a large scale nervous breakdown.
The rules in my building are quite clear: children under the age of 12 should have parental supervision when using the gym or other fitness facilities. This means jack shit to the people in my building. In the evenings, parents tend to lounge around the ‘media room’ or ‘park’ while their kids run amok.
Seriously, until the last few days of my life, I had no idea that human children, let alone adults, were capable of having vocal cords to sustain such loud screaming. Though I suppose it’s good practice for when then become adults and will need to do a lot of shouting at bad drivers, incompetent Vodafone employees, and co-workers who are ‘beneath’ them in the office hierarchy.
Back to the story—so when I’m playing badminton with Kartik and taking out my aggression on the feathery cork, there’ll be kids running in and out of the indoor court, screaming on the top of their lungs. Last Thursday night, I actually herded a few of them out saying that the courts are for adults to play badminton and not for kids. There were these two little girls trying to play badminton (no parent in sight even though the rules clearly state that children under 12 need parental supervision), so we let them take up half the court. Apparently, they were ‘fighting’ with another little girl in the building who sent her ‘henchmen’ (two other little girls) to call a truce. What ensued was a long and extremely loud conversation of what they were fighting about and other internal politics of the playground. Until I shooed them out that is.
Kartik called me the badminton bully but meh, I don’t care. It’s freaking 8 at night. Kids under 10 should be in bed or at least eating dinner. Not annoying adults who’re trying to play badminton to avoid a nervous breakdown dammit.
So anyway, I’ve a few options on how to deal with the situation. Kartik says that talking to the parents won’t help. If we alert them that the rules say parental supervision is required for kids under 12, they’ll simply take down the rules. You know the expression “rules are meant to be broken?” Delhi/ NCR defines it. Kartik says the best way to deal is to keep playing, and if you hit a kid with your racket because the kid is running around the court, then the kid will learn his/her lesson and won’t come near you again.
I’ve come up with my own plan—I’m going to talk to the parents and hope they’ll keep their angels supervised. If that doesn’t work—I’m going to be in the badminton court talking about tequila, vodka, drugs, you name it. Pretty sure this will ensure that mommies and daddies will keep their bunties and bubloos (and whatever nicknames they’ve given their kids) away from the lady in the badminton court.
Note: Kartik says this sort of behavior is most exemplified by kids in Delhi and that he doesn't remember so many bratty kids in Hyderabad. I must say that I concur with him, though I haven't really encountered too many children in Hyderabad.