The one that got away....Siti Soraya Cassandra 4 Agustus 2012
There is this one kid.
Now I know we’re not supposed to have favorites. But this one kid, he somehow makes my head cartwheel in a completely different way from the rest of the lot. Why so? It is probably because he is most difficult to reach. When I go for a jog, he comes. When I play on the beach, he comes. When there is football involved, he is definitely ever so present on the field. But when it comes to afternoon lessons, dead hopeless.
So I guess I am always intrigued by things I can’t get my hands on. And in my case, this kid is one.
This kid is not necessarily shy.
He is quite the brave heart, the front-man among other boys in the ‘fight club’ of kids here. He is small, relatively light pigmented compared to his friends, always running around with his overly large and torn t-shirts. He is the fourth child of seven children in his family and is currently in the fourth grade, though you wouldn’t be able to know this just by looking at him since his physique is equal to that of a first grade city kid. But physique does not matter much here, his strength is probably ten times stronger than city kids older than him.
This kid goes by the name Niko.
One very distinct characteristic of Nikoi s his extremely short temper. Though full of life, Nikois also very, very, very much full of rage. He is sort of like a girl on constant PMS. Senggol, bacok (you touch me a little, I’ll take you down, literally).
Now, before I continue on the kid, let’s get one thing straight about this tough-rough attribute. This nature is prevalent across the board, all kids are like this, girls and boys. And by all I really mean ALL of them, even the really small ones who have just learned to walk. These little kids, the first thing they want to do is fight. So they run around hitting other little kids, they sometimes even run towards me and start hitting my thighs and laugh as they run away.
They all play rough.
Rough to the extent that one could see it not as play but as violence. But I cannot apply my constructs of violence to the condition of the people here. The culture is incomparable, it is too different that it becomes unfair to impose such raw definitions.
So although everyone plays rough, Niko is a different kind of rough. He’s brutal. One of the roughest of all the kids. I know this because I have seen it for myself. It is quite scary and fascinating at the same time. I have never in my life met a kid with a temper as hot as an angry, drunk, grown-up man.
This is one aspect I find intriguing.
I have always believed that all of us are capable of the most noble, most kind, and most gracious of characters. Sadly, not all of us come to realize such blessings. Sometimes we tend to stay with the personality that has been most dominant throughout our life without realizing that we can be better.
So I’d like to show this kid a different character of himself, to himself, that he does not yet fully realize is there. Something inside him that is calmer, kinder, softer,something less extreme to his usual outbursts. I have seen it, glimpse of it, so I know I can dig more of it out.
As for his current academic standing, his knowledge is equal to that of a kindergartener. He doesn’t know his alphabet or his numbers, let alone read or write. The lack of and poor attendance of teachers assigned to this village has devastated the most basic literacy of the kids. To make matters more problematic, parents here are ignorant towards their kids’ education. They’re too busy focusing on the basic survival of their family to even consider checking on what their kid has or has not learned in school or even to teach them a little. I find it funny that all adults in this village can read but almost all their children can’t.
If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like this kid to be able to read also.
Quite a big dream ahead ey?
I only have a year, so better start somewhere big than small.
So just wait for my next chapter on Niko. I’ll find my bait. You'll see.
Anak-anak bilang...4 Agustus 2012
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