What happened when I found a child lost in a mall...
What would you have done moms? How would you have handled the situation? I felt I should have waited, but as it was getting very late I had to head back home. What would you have done?
Last week a friend and I were at a very swanky Mumbai mall. We had reached there after work and were just walking around, window shopping, chatting, and just taking a relaxing break.
As my friend was checking out something in one of the stores, I decided to wait outside. That is when I noticed the child.
The moment I noticed him, I realized something was not right. He was walking alone, with an empty cup of a cold coffee or something similar in his hand, and he was looking around everywhere, as if searching for something. He had a big smile on his face and a look of surprise in his eyes. A very sweet and innocent boy.
I call him a child, or a young boy, but actually he must have been between 21 and 24 years of age. The reason I called him a child was that I noticed his mental development had stopped somewhere at the age of six or eight. He was a special kid, a very sweet special kid.
When I saw him pass by the first time, alone, honestly, I wasn’t sure if I should stop him and speak. What if his parents or family were nearby and felt offended? What if he got scared of me? I decided it would be best to watch him, to ensure he was not alone and was safe.
That is what I did. And I saw that he was absolutely alone.
He roamed around the entire area and crossed me almost five, six times. I finally gently approached him and asked if he was looking for someone. His smile did not move away even for a second.
He looked at me and said that he had just found his family and was going there. I said alright. And I saw him entering a store.
My friend was done by now and I mentioned the incident. My friend could see I was still worried, so we decided to go and check at the store, if the boy was still there. He was not. And as I was leaving the store, I saw him again, moving around in the same space looking here and there.
We went up to him, I said hi again and asked him if I could call his family. He did not give us any clear information. By now we informed the mall security and they arrived quietly to follow him and finally get him to his family.
He said goodbye to me with a big smile and waved at me, and that was it. As I watched him go, all I could wish for was that he would be safe and be with his family soon.
It made me think how we casually ignore situations when just a little intervention can help and keep someone safe. What would you have done moms? How would you have handled the situation? I felt I should have waited, but as it was getting very late I had to head back home. What would you have done?