My roommate and I sat on the wayside platform, swinging our legs in the shared joy of eating momos, when two little boys climbed the stairs stealthily, looked around furtively and made a dash for the bushes. We suddenly realized, much to our amusement though, that they had dropped a plastic snake on the staircase, and were now waiting eagerly to see the reaction aroused by their prank.
Assuming to be hidden (which they weren’t), they could barely control their giggles, let alone laughing out loud, while people exclaimed with fear, curiosity or a mixture pf astonishment and sheepish grins.
I know I would have been taken aback myself, but those few moments brought a smile on everyone’s face.
This did not last for too long though, for their last victim turned out to be their own elder brother, who in his embarrassment picked up the snake and threw it into the bushes after his naughty siblings.
So much for a fun evening, but it did remind me of how much I miss this humor in daily life. It does not have to be at the cost of someone else’s feelings, but a light hearted , free spirited self is what I do miss. I was glad I saw them today, they reminded me of what I am not to lose or what I have perhaps begun to lose, the joy of being a child, of laughing out loud with friends and enjoying every bit of it; The joy of living, the joy of savoring moments, the thrill that could be there in the present, which might be blurred behind the burdens of planning too much for tomorrow.
Once my “relive childhood” sermon was over, I realized that in a way thsoe children had made such an important comment on us. We were scared by the snake, because we did not expect to see it there, similarly we are heard shrieking our lungs out if we suddenly come across a dog, a cat, a cow or a lizard, as if we are the only living thing that should be seen around. I agree that fear of snakes comes from the fear of danger to life, but to what extent can we be scared of fellow beings?
Anyhow, we returned but not without our take-away, the role of humor, emotions and art in public spaces, in making people stop, look, feel and react, in bringing them together, even if just in reaction, and if nothing else, for sheer fun, for fun in itself is goal enough…