It was bed time. We exchanged what bothered us during the day and what went well.
Tejas spoke. “Today again everyone called me Baby. As I too short Mom? It is bad to be short, right? I want to be tall !”
He had felt very bad. The ma’am, classmates everyone made fun of him. Ma’am called him ‘Chotu’. Others called him ‘baby’. He is shattered.
” Oh Tejas. It is okay. You can ignore when people talk about height.”
Somehow this was not good enough. Not convincing enough.
” Tejas, I too faced same situation when I was young. Many had laughed at me. I too felt bad. I felt like I should have been tall and strong. I did not know what to do and sometimes I cried.”
Suddenly Tejas was very interested in what I said. This was exactly what he went through. For him, it was comforting that his father also went through that. At least, he is not alone. There was no better way he could handle the mockery. There is confirmation of this now, from his own father.
I went on. “Later I realized that almost everyone had nicknames. Most others were mocked at by others, some or the other time. There was a boy who was tall and he was called ‘lamboo’. Another one had height and weight was okay, but he used to get angry very easily and scream at everyone, even on small things. He was called barking dog. I found that everyone had one or the other issue that bothered them”
Tejas was still listening.
“Then I realized that I was good at so many things. I could concentrate on subjects much better than others. I also could learn quickly. I was a very good runner. I also was better at reading.”
Further I continued.
” More the people troubled me, more I focused on improving myself in other areas. This way, I was better than many other kids who had many many friends. Guess what Tejas, I later became taller. It seems, our genes decide at what age we become taller. Some become tall very young. Some grow taller after high school. ”
Tejas appeared much more calm. He still had a question.
“So, in the school, when others bullied, how did you face?”
I confessed. ” No. I did not face properly. Sometimes I had to fight back. I could not. Few times I handled it well. Some other times, I had to let it go. But I did not. I know many people who did not.”
He was much more relaxed now. He knew that there were many who had been through the same. He was not worse. And he knew that he may grow taller some time soon. Also he knew he would grow in many other ways faster than others – like cycling or arts or his martial arts.
A happy ending.