I have this strange affinity for kids. It’s the energy around them and their innocence that enthralls me. Me and X have often debated on my love for unknown children. It baffles him when they coo and gurgle as I make faces or blow kisses from the passing car or at the park/mall or even in the aircraft just to make them smile. Smelling a kid is the most soothing expirience ever. I remember I used to love cuddling Junior and now my latest fascination – Princess!
The neighbourhood I live in is filled with children. I adore them and they find me cool, because I work, live alone, party, wear short dresses and yet my parents don’t scold me! (I don’t get the logic, but I hear this often!) Everyday as I return from office, the lawn is thonged with kids playing, quarelling or merely doting each other. The summer holidays have added to the crowd and extended hours of play.
Today as I parked the car I saw a little one slip. I rushed forward along with another toddler. He wasn’t hurt, there was just a scratch on his finger and blood had accumulated there at the tip. His lips were quivering but I knew he wouldn’t cry because of the ‘big boy’ sermons surrounding him. As the other children looked on, I urged him to suck on his thumb and see the blood disappear. I continued to urge him and finally he relented and the result was a happy face. As the ‘ok’ thumb was inspected and quivering lips took a back seat, the other little one urged and the hurt one replied-
Kemon chilo – Jhaal?’ (How did it taste – spicy?)
Tok?’ (Sour?)
Teto?’ (Bitter?)
Mishti?’ (Sweet?)
Tahole?’ (Then?)
Jaani Na – Odbhut! (Don’t know – It tasted strange!)
The kids rushed off giggling forgetting the taste of hurt, blood, dust, grime and tears – back into their innocent little perfect world. As I stepped into the lift I wondered, how really did blood taste?
If I were to ask any wise man he was to inform me that blood tasted like copper or iron because of the iron content in our body. But then again, was the answer restricted to just that? Does blood have this ‘stipulated’ taste each time? Doesn’t it differ each time with the situation, with the way it is looked at or witnessed and experienced?
Doesn’t blood taste sweet to a new born mom, who for the first time holds her blood wrapped baby to cut her umblical cord? Doesn’t blood taste scary to the young teenager who experiences her ‘periods’ for the first time, that forays her first step into womanhood?
Doesn’t blood taste like a bitter betrayal to the young widow, whose husband’s blood covered body could not be recovered at the border?
Or does blood always taste like steel?