The husband is on a business trip. Tunmun has slept off. Venky has viral fever. He is lying on the sofa. I am stroking his hair to make him feel better.
“Venky, who are your best friends in class these days?” I ask. This year the sections got reshuffled. He does not have any of his old pals in his section anymore.
“P, AV and AB”
I discuss his new friends with him. Then, I ask him about one of his long time classmates,
“What about G? Where is she?”
“She is in another section now.”
“She was your best friend last year, isn’t it?”
“Nah. I did not like her!”
“She was rude. She would always threaten us with her big brother!”
“Yes. One day, her brother came to our class. He called out Z and shouted at him badly!”
“But Z was very naughty, isn’t it? You told me that he used to hit other kids.”
“Yes. But G’s big brother should not have shouted at him. It was scary.”
“Well, won’t you do the same if one of the boys from Tunmun’s class troubles her?”
“NO WAY! I am never to going to shout and bully little kids.”
“But shouldn’t you protect your little sister?”
“She should be able to manage her classmates on her own. My sister is not a weakling!”
Venky’s refusal to bully smaller kids and regarding his little sister as a strong individual made me feel warm and happy. So far, he is growing up just right.