A few months back I was at a shopping center with my wife and my three year old son. While she was looking around a store, my son and I went for a quick stroll. We walked through the reception area of the building where a coin-operated massage chair was placed. There was a payment kiosk for a bunch of service providers next to the massage chair. While I was getting a massage done for myself, my little one started exploring the kiosk.
After a few moments I saw the security guard at the reception walking towards my son. I was sort of 'trapped' on the massage chair and was watching the scene with caution! He came next to my boy and started looking at him with a lot of interest. I could see his gleaming eyes and a tiny smile on his face. My son, oblivious of a stranger looking at him continued to check out the various buttons on the kiosk.
After a few moments, I was released from the clutches of the massage chair and I promptly got up. The security guy looked at me and smiled. I was still not sure what his intention was and so I returned the smile though with an element of suspicion. He looked at my son again and asked me, "Sir, how old is your little one?"
I replied, "He turned three last December".
He then asked me a few more questions about my son. He wanted to know about his schooling, playtime activities and a few other things. I answered him, though was not feeling very comfortable with these questions being asked. I felt an intrusion to our privacy.
I was almost ready to take my son away from the scene since I was getting worked up with these queries. That's when the man spoke again. The next statement he said disarmed me totally.
"Sir, I'm from Pakistan and it has been two years since I went back home. I left home on my son's first birthday. When I saw your little one I was wondering how mine will be looking like now."
I was speechless and soon my eyes got welled up. I took my son out and this time it wasn't because I was uncomfortable with the security guard, but because I didn't want him to see me in tears.