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Years and years back, when the First Born was about three months old and sleeping in his cradle in the bedroom, I heard a sudden clattering sort of noise loud enough to startle me (though not the baby, he could sleep through loud noises, only the small ones woke him up). I promptly ran out of the room. Are you wondering, why? Or have you jumped to the conclusion I was sh*t scared, so left the baby behind and ran away to save myself Someone else thought so. But before that let me tell you what prompted me to rush out of the room without a second thought.

The clattering noise had come from the desert cooler kept outside the window. Punjab summers are so hot and desert coolers were what you depended on to keep the rooms reasonably cool those days. The noise I heard probably had something to do with the blade clanging against the body (it was a very old and much used secondhand one hired for the summer) of the cooler.

Of course, at the time I had no clue and only knew that something had gone wrong with the cooler and it being something that functioned with the aid of electricity, my first reaction had been to run and switch off supply from the mains before investigating the matter any further. But by the time I had run a few steps down the corridor, the clanging died and stopped and I ran back, by then guessing that it was not an electrical problem.

Mother, who was with me at the time, had seen me rush out of the room. She came by to ask what had happened and I explained about the sudden noise. She interrupted me, barely suppressing her laughter to ask, ‘but why did you run away?’ I looked at her sharply. The insinuation in her tone had not escaped me: I had run away out of fear, leaving my newborn behind. What a no-good mother that made me. Hahahaha.

Mother remained deaf to my explanation, not buying the logic behind my action, of running cut off power to the malfunctioning cooler. She insisted on sticking to her version of the scared Mommy running away to save her skin and continued laughing at me mercilessly. In fact, it was the first thing she told the L&M when he got back from office, and others when she went back home.

Do you see where I am getting? People have their own logical reasons to respond to emergencies the way they do like I had, that day. But others are either unable or unwilling to see the logic. They evaluate actions according to their own subjective feelings and also on how they want to *see* the other person in their own minds: incompetent, incapable, not up to mark. In short, lesser than them. Even when you offer perfectly valid explanations, they prefer to believe their own version which has no basis whatsoever in truth.

Note: I’ll be thankful for you not telling me in your comments that it was all meant in fun. Remember, I am not talking about your experience, but my own, and I should know.

©Shail Mohan 2016