A neighbor in his late sixties expired today.
A Diwali meet was going on in my complex when the news came to us. It was around 8:30 PM and most people were finishing their dinner. An unanimous decision was made by all the adult residents to suspend the planned events and call it a night.
The parents didn't want their young kids to know what had happened. So no public announcement about the death was made. The only news that the young one's heard was that there would be no tambola games organized tonight.
A group of these boys came up to one of the uncles standing next to me and asked him the reason for this 'wrong' decision. Uncle was caught between the devil and the deep sea - He didn't want to interfere in the decision of the parents but on the other hand the kids wouldn't budge if they didn't get an answer.
He tried to ignore the matter by saying that the decision had been taken by all elders and that the decision was final.
One kid made a very innocent but just objection - "You have to tell us the reason uncle. It's not fair. Why can all the girls know about the reason, but not us boys?"
All the young girls new about the death. One of them had overheard a few elders talking among themselves about it. And the word had spread like wild fire. However, there was an unsaid understanding between the girls that no boy should know. Unable to control themselves, one of the girls had taunted some guys about their lack of 'knowledge'.
The boys were not hurt because their parents hid the information from them. What they couldn't accept was that how come the parents didn't tell them, when they had already told the girls.