Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Smell of Fear

Animals smell fear. And children pick up the scent.

I try, as hard as I can, to not pass on my prejudices. And even when I let them slip, the father steps in and blocks them. ( After the elections she could name the parties because of all the discussion at home- Who is BJP, she asked- we dont like them, I said. The ever correct father glared at me and said, They are a party, and they also fight elections.....etcetc)

We took off for a couple of days into the Ghats for a break from the routine. And ofcourse, all breaks are taken with the child, not from the child, even though she pretty much sets the routine!

I was pleased to see that the child turned out to be a hardy walker in the hills. Loved the horses and trotted on them alone, much to the shock of her parents and the horsewalla.

On the first evening, the caretaker of the place we were staying in said, dont go off wandering, there are a couple of rabid dogs around. Not a good thing to say to me, I was attacked by my favourite cousin's favourite pet dog!( and not once!!!)

But childhood fears and traumas are not meant to rule my life.
So off we went.
And found a dog,
who fixed his gaze at me.
No wagging tail, no snarl, no growl, just a gaze fixed only at me.

He followed from a distance, would disappear when people passed us by, would reappear again when we were the lone walkers. I was jumpy, and that is an understatement. I had jumped out of my skin and was holding my 'limp with fear' self by her hand!

George insisted I stay cool. My stern self insisted I stay cool. And we continued on our walk.

The dog knew that I was terrified. Of all the things in the world that she could pick up, she picked this up " papa, i am scared, please lets go..."

But she did throw her head back at the winds.


Grasshopper said...

Is that Matheran? It looks like it. Lovely pics.

I don't think it is much use to keep children free from our influences. Does the father not have any likes and dislikes?

Fear is not bad, its a survivors instinct. Fear of fear is what messes us up.

Banno said...

Hmm. Love the pics. Specially the father, daughter walking. As for fear, I've given up trying not to influence Dhanno. Or being influenced by her.

choxbox said...

thats matheran!
lovely pix.

SloganMurugan said...

what a lovely place!

SUR NOTES said...

Grasshopper: you are right, the child is not free of our influences- but we can try not to pass on our irrational fears.

but i like what you wrote- fear of fear is what messes up...

banno:oh damn you are so right- i am getting influenced by her too!

choxbox: it is. thanks

slogan murugan: it is lovely especially in the rains.

ajay noronha said...

lovely! i want to see all the pics n hear all the stories!

farinaz said...

Any more pix? Please post!
I agree with Grasshopper ... fear is an instinct that has survived with us probably through our ancient ancestors, and it what has also ensured our survival itself!
In the US people expect you to love their drooling snarling dogs up as if they are family / children. Excuse me, but I don't allow my child to run upto them and knock them down and drool over them, do I?
I am definitely an oddity here, with my "fear" of dogs that esp irks Travis.
Went swimming in the river with friends the other day, who have 2 Akita puppies. Akita are Japanese Killer Dogs. Yes. And these puppies are HUGE! They are bigger than full grown Alsations! And when one ran straight up to me, teeth showing in a "happy" smile, I let out my trademark "whoop" of fear! ... at which both Travis and Aisha were most embarrassed and hastened to make excuses on my behalf! The others just listened, uncomprehending. How could someone be afraid of dogs? How unreasonable. (And yet they show off that they are Japanese Attack Dogs!).
I just think of them chomping off fingers!
Aisha doesn't have that fear at all!
And I'm not sure I'm glad that she doesn't!
Thanks for writing about this!

SUR NOTES said...

f'naz: i know you are going to kill me- but thank god aisha does not have a fear of dogs. I am convinced that having no fear will not mean that her survival instincts will be any less sharp.
and swimming with japanese attack dogs - hmmm, they have access to a lot more than just your toes i would imagine. :)

MiM said...

i am trying to photograph the kiddos -- i am always lumbering over them.

beautiful angle.

SUR NOTES said...

aj: come on over before thebirthday cake is over! the stories stop when the last bit of the cake is burped.

MiM: why you need photos? your posts paint the pretty( and not so pretty) pictures!

wordjunkie said...

Lovely pix and post. perhaps it is better for our kids to see us as people doing our best rather than superhumans who never fear, crave, or get upset by anything.

SUR NOTES said...

Wj: You have put it perfectly. No, we cant pretend to be people without fears and frailities.

I did tell her the next day that I was being foolishly scared- the dog did not look like it was going to attack- just kept following us from a distance.

Poppins said...

"And ofcourse, all breaks are taken with the child, not from the child, even though she pretty much sets the routine!'

yep. And ofcourse you don't need to hide your fear - what are we - raising super perfect children?

SUR NOTES said...

poppins: not anxious about hiding fears- but definitely dont want to pass on irrational fears- the poor dog was just following us(me!!!!!) from a distance- did not seem threatening at all.

dipali said...

I guess our kids are well attuned to us, and they will pick up our fears, along with a lot of nicer stuff!
The pictures are lovely. I like George trying to undemonize the BJP!

farinaz said...

Ya, I totally agree: it all percolates through various filters.
On one hand the desire to pass down what's instinctual, on the other hand, the desire to nurture the fearlessness and independance, and (like you said) weed out the irrational...
What about the fear of the dark?