LOCK AND KEY The Dawn is the most beautiful part of the day. It brings in itself a dawning to the world. So, I have always been an early-riser, be it any season of the year, to start my days with a long saunter along the shores. I would never miss the chance to watch the glorious, magnificent orange ball rising above the horizon bringing with it the new beginnings for the day(s) ahead. After my perspiring walk, I sit at the edge of the water, to watch the waves adoring the shore tirelessly, salty breeze kissing my face, wind tousling my hair, without a care in the world. It was one of those days of scotching summer; when after my walk I sat down to relax. I saw children running about, throwing sands as they ran after each other. As a child, I was always an outdoor-loving brat(Oh yeah, I was!), so I was amused to see the children playing in the wet sands and getting themselves filthy. My mom, when bringing my sister and myself to the beach, she will let us play in the mud and get ourselves as dirty as possible. Once our neighbors had accompanied us to the beach and she was disgusted to see us getting dirty and she didn’t allow her children to put their hands in the sand. I overheard her telling my moms not allow us to play in the mud. But my mom said, “Unless they get dirty, they wouldn’t know how to wash it off and be tidy”. My mother was being practical about it. I thanked her silently for that. Drifting back to the scene of children playing, they were playing Lock and Key. Not a person in down South-India would have missed the game. It’s the game where one person plays the catcher and others run away from the catcher as he chases them. When the catcher is too near, the victim can lock himself and sit for a while until one of the players comes along and give him the key to join the run again. On seeing this, I was carried away by my imagination. I was picturing fate taking the form of the catcher and People taking the form of players running away from fate. When fate is too near we fear and lock ourselves. Yes, we lock ourselves from the outside world, we sulk, thinking of being the lone victim while others are running about happily, though we do not realize they too are running for their life and trying not to be caught by fate-catcher. But we do not feel relaxed for the time we are offered from the run. We can dwell over the fate for choosing us or we can sit back and relax waiting for someone to help us with the key. The choice is ours. If we choose to brood, we are too busy feeling remorse, that we don’t see the answers (key) of life coming to us in anyways. If we choose otherwise, to make the time favorable for us, we can make the best use of those situations. Imagine, when we play these games indoors, what is the probability of the locked person getting keyed out? Of course less probable than the outdoor, where there is a vast space to run about. So, it’s apparent that when we have a broader perspective, we can try to escape from the clutches of fate or help will come along to get us out of the swirling remorse. I was jolted out of my memory of Lock and Key game of Fate and Life, by a child who with tears strained cheeks called out to me “Aunt, did you happen to see a small bicycle key? I lost my key.My parents will be furious when they find out what happened.” I said I didn’t see any keys and if I, I will give it in the Lost property counter. The child thanked me and resumed his search in the sands. I decided to go home as it was getting late. I pushed myself to rise, and I felt something cool beneath my hands. I found a small bicycle key. I called out to him and gave him the Key. He thanked me with his radiant smile and he was very happy that his parents wouldn’t have to shout and lecture him to be careful. But, I took care of the part of lecturing him. I told him to be careful with things in the future. He nodded and ran away happily to fetch his bicycle and go home. I was content to help the child with the key and I knew this is going to be the starting of his key-lesson in life. Coming outdoors has its own advantages. Letting the child outdoors, heighten his/her sense of creativity, sprightliness, perception of the real-life, helps to keep a healthy physique, and they learn the ways of accepting, adjusting, sharing when they mingle in the group. Don’t confine them to television, personal computer games or video games, because they would never learn their life’s lesson from the electronic machines. As a parent I realized how much children fear their parents, when something goes wrong or when they do something wrong. We should not instill the fear in children in their early days. Even as grown-ups we commit mistakes. As an adult, being parents ourselves, we don’t fear our parents anymore or we are not worried about what others would comment. During the trial periods of our life we lose the key to our problems and fear fate. It was the same situation for the child, but the parent can teach him to learn from his mistakes. Every small accidents and incidents can teach the child and even we adults can learn, after all life is always a sea of learning. As an afterthought, I checked my pocket for my bike key and it was safely tucked inside. I took it out and started towards the parking lot to fetch my bike and drive away from the nature into the world of vehicles and pollution. But, I knew they are waiting to teach me another lesson, only if I listen.