She was a young English woman, in her late twenties, with curly hair.
For a year and half, we had worked together in an anti child labour organisation. We made life miserable for one another. She thought I was there to help her in her progammes and workshops for children. I thought I had been hired to run the organization as I thought fit.
We were constantly fighting with one another.
Before one workshop for children, I stopped talking to her after one fight.
She started complaining to colleagues that I was not speaking to her.
They started coming to me to ask why?
I felt like a jerk.
I decided to bury the hatchet.
An opportunity came my way in the evening.
After a hard day’s work, the conductor wanted the children to unwind. She asked them to form a circle and invited the staff to join them. My colleagues and I did.
The game was we were to move in a circle as somebody sang a song. The moment he stopped, we were expected to stop too. Anybody who failed to do had to go to the centre of the circle and dance alone.
I had my speech ready for her if I was caught napping. In some ways, I am quite a fun loving person. But my shyness often gets in the way. I can’t speak in front of a big crowd.
It would have gone on something like this.
“I am going to talk about a baby, a baby who is over twenty-one. She is a baby to me as I am twice as old as her, just as you all are babies to her, she is twice as old as most of you. Without her, this workshop would have not been possible. She has fought with me many times to make this programme a success. Sometimes, she has cried, too, to get things done. I’m not on talking terms with her. After seeing the day’s programme, we should give her a big round of applause for her great effort. I am ready to bury the hatchet with her if you force her to dance with me.”
At the crucial moment, I got a phone call. I stepped out of the circle and went out of the hall to take it. When I returned, I developed cold feet. I did not join the circle again despite the persuasion from the conductor to do so. My courage had deserted me. I am terribly shy.
Come to think of it, even now I find myself thinking how could I have thought of such a thing? What had I been thinking at the time? I must have gone crazy. More than that, I, sometimes, wonder, what her response would have been if I had had done so?