In Coorg for a small vacation, I roam around admiring beautiful offering of the nature. Away from city lights and traffic, life is calm and slow. Grass is greener and flowers are brighter here, you can smell coffee aroma around . It is as if all of my senses are heightened. Sun is setting down , few kids are playing in twilight at a distance. This time of the year, weather is lovely, there is slight chill and nip in the air but kids don’t seem to mind it, most of them are running around in t-shirt and shorts. Some of the brave parents are also letting their kids swim. Brave because Indian parents are hyper sensitive , 2 degree drop in temperature and kids could be seen wearing monkey caps. As I drift around breathing in the beauty of nature, I wonder what was I doing when I was 8. Probably playing some street games like hide and seek ,badminton , gallery, stapu , you may understand it better when I say hopscotch. These kids are much more smarter , much more exposed thus much more demanding. Amongst all the kids, I notice a quite Muslim girl helping her brother in the kids play area, she is about 11, in blue and white suite salwar and head covered properly with black scarf. She is dedicatedly taking care of her brother as she has not left him alone even for a second .
For the first time , I see a floor trampoline, nearly 700 sq ft big , it’s fun to watch kids and adults jumping together, falling and laughing with every jump. Seeing them having fun, I get on it and start jumping , didn’t realise all these years that jumping and falling could also be fun. The young Muslim girl approaches me and asks if it would be ok for her to jump, I am surprised with the question , why shouldn’t it be ok for her to jump and why does she need mine or any bodies permission . I ask her to jump in and jump on, unsure she takes her shoes off and hesitatingly starts jumping , as she is about to fall she clutches my hand feeling profusely sorry the very next moment. Demotivated with sudden fall, she is getting of the trampoline , I hold her hand and ask her to jump as its ok to fall and offer to hold her hand in case she is afraid. She looks left and right checking something , reassured, she starts jumping . With every jump she lost her inhibitions and grew her confidence , as she jumped higher and higher , her veil came of her head , silky black hair came loose and started bouncing playfully in air , alive and carefree. What children at 11 are meant to be !