Having a fascination for aesthetics, I have always adorned the idea of collecting Asian art especially masks and idols of Gautama Buddha. When I bought these I didn’t realize that these rare art pieces could ever scare someone. Never did I imagine that the beauty of a dusk face with dainty eyes and a serene look could ever drive someone away from its ambience and aura. But such was the case with my son who faltered and shuddered each time he was near one.
His aversion was possibly the fear of the unknown and my alarm certainly seemed the concern for the known. In my boy’s candid apprehensions, I realized that he was growing older and more mature than before and hence wanted to stay away from anything that intimidated him. That feeling of my little man being angst of my home décor became more than just a pinch.
Initially I thought of rearranging the accessories to make him comfortable of what he thought was draconian. Later however I felt that refurbishing the room was not the answer. Had I simply left the problem at re-accessorizing, my boy may have lived fearful of something that is one’s sacred strength. It was this feeling that changed into a thought and became the spur for a little mommy and son talk.
To spring a chat with my son has never been a problem. But this one was different. How would a mother share with a tot that Buddha is like the Micky Mouse of enlightenment that cheers us through his benevolent teachings and great wisdom? With titanic strength and taking a long breath in, I said to my son, "how would you feel if you just met a new friend?" For a moment there was complete silence. Perhaps the little guy didn’t know if he actually wanted a friend. But within seconds his sweet little voice said, ‘nice’. So I continued and said "do you know what friends are for?" The little voice said, "to share, to play" and there it was!
The feeling of fear seemed to have gone for a ride. We both went near an idol and started to feel its beauty by just being by its side for few moments. Surprisingly, I saw my son touching the idol. He seemed to feel that neither did the idol have sharp teeth that could bite nor did it have any claws that could clasp. His fear seemed to be changing colors like the hues of rainbow. This sight of composure was a relief. It made us all happy including Buddha to be understood and acquainted with as we should be.
Today when I sometimes catch my son trying to have a kung fu with the idol, it makes me more than happy to see my Lilliput turn into a little Gulliver. I fondly ask him, "son what are you doing"? He says "playing, Buddha is my friend". With those words I just pray, "may Buddha always be his friend."