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“If we would listen to our kids, we’d discover that they are largely self-explanatory.”  – Robert Brault

This is Rohit, a five year old whose mother complained about his long lapses of silence when at home. He was bit/scratched by someone/something when he was in school and didn’t tell anyone for an entire day. When his mother took his layers of clothing off the next day, and saw the marks, immediately called the principal to ask about this; much to everyone’s amazement because he didn’t cry nor did he walk up to anyone and tell them about this. This sort of situation can be pretty scary for a parent or a teacher because no child can be monitored 24 hours of the day.

Rohit normally finds his place on my lap every morning as we get to work by the staff bus and over the past few months, he has taken up drawing as a method to express himself best. As he sits on my lap, I annoy him as I would annoy any human being below the age of 5 by constantly tickling him and not giving him a moment’s rest. This boy has the heartiest and fullest laugh I have ever heard from a quiet child. After his classes, as he comes to my room to draw and colour, I started asking him questions and he actually started responding. The funniest part of it all is… nobody knows when he started and what provoked him but I honestly feel that he just needed to know that he could start whenever he wanted to and there would be somebody out there to listen. I just sat there dumbfounded as he spoke to me in crisp words, absolutely audible as though he was waiting and practicing the words in his head all these months to have that perfect sentence out.

I also realized that everyday after he would draw something, he would run up and show it to me not saying much but just wanting some adulation, I presume. I would compliment him obviously and put up his drawings on my tag board. I don’t know why he took that long and I definitely don’t think that I had a part to play it in but it was an awesome moment to have a child say his first few sentences after a long lapse of silence, in a conversation with me!

You must realize that I talk nineteen to a dozen and it can annoy the hell out of people and well, it must’ve bugged the little guy too as I had monologue after monologue over the past few months. He must’ve finally just decided to talk and get it over with, to make that boring monologue, a dialogue!! So, I take that back… I might have had something to do with it after all 🙂

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This is the same boy who wore these enormous sized shades to look like his didis (what they call us young teachers which means sisters in Hindi) 🙂 Btw, they are for women as is clearly visible from the picture and yes, Rohit is a boy.

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