Humans of Ludhiana – Sidharth and Aakriti Khanna

When Anushka and me started the thread of Humans of Ludhiana, to share stories that were both inspiring and had lessons to learn from, little did I think that the next story in this thread (after Jeena Saharan) would be mine and my husbands.

The incident below is not of any heroic act we pulled off or some unsurpassable courage we showed, but just a story of compassion and a big lesson that we learnt and would like to share.

It was a Sunday and our family of 3, (myself – Aakriti, my husband – Sidharth and our 3 year old daughter, Advika) had whisked away for the weekend to Hyatt, Chandigarh. It was half past ten in the night and we had just got back to the hotel after a long day at the mall. As we made our way down the hallway leading to our room, we suddenly heard the cries of a child from one of the occupied rooms. Our first instinct like anybody was to not to intrude in anybody’s privacy and trust the parents would handle it. Few more minutes passed and the crying did not stop, becoming more and more disturbing, compelling my husband to look into the matter further.

Following the sound we spotted the room where the noise was coming from and we stood outside trying to trace an adult voice behind the closed room door but no luck! We shared our apprehensions with few people passing the hallway and then one of them suggested knocking on the door. The crying stopped with a snap, the knock had probably startled the child, but it resumed again after just a few seconds. We knocked harder to check if there were any adults in the room but no response. I fears had come true, the child was all alone! He was probably sleeping and the parents left him hoping he would sleep through the night while they go out to chill for a bit.

From that particular second of realization, till the second we managed to rush someone from the Reception to unlock the room, each cry of that child for help was excruciating. We could hear him standing right next to the door, yearning for the sight of his parents who had left him stranded in the middle of the night, as we tried helplessly to keep him engrossed in words and rhymes. He would calm a bit but then the horror of being alone would take over and kick back the fear and the painful cries.

At last, the door opened and a tiny hand popped out trying to open the door further. I grabbed him straight away, didn’t even look at his face, but just held him tightly close to me as he shivered with the fear.

Whether it was the relief of seeing another human after what might have been an hour of solitude or the exhaustion of crying for help, he calmed down immediately. His clothes were wet (peed out of fear) and he was still shivering from the trauma that he had just underwent. After a few minutes, he pointed back to the room. I followed his instructions and took him in. The he pointed back out of the room. I followed again. And then I realised, he was searching for his parents…

From that moment it took about 40-45 minutes to locate his parents and hand him back over. Now I sit back and think what all could have gone wrong while he struggled inside that room for help. He could have fallen from the bed and hurt himself badly, he could have touched a sharp object, eaten something he shouldn’t have, crawled to the washroom and fallen into the pot or done anything he wanted to and put himself in grave danger. And what the parents might have come back to is a seriously injured child.

Dear parents, I can understand the challenge of raising a child can tempt many of us to take this gamble and leave a child asleep in a room alone to just chill out for a bit. But NO! The consequences are just not worth it. If ever you are lured by such a temptation, I urge you to recall this article and resist from it. No party, no coffee, no going out for just a bit is worth comprising you child’s safety.

We request you to share this post with all your friends and relatives and help us raise awareness on child safety.

Wishing the families of all our readers good health and wellness.

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