Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Our kids love pigs.

It's a short-hand that they have among themselves.  A little secret joke that they have going.  A shared set of laughter that is strung over weeks.

Yesterday Enoch took over the whiteboard and gave a rendition of the various varieties of porcine faces.

Strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely) I used to draw pigs when I was a year or two older than he is today.

When I was in the German School in Bombay, we had quite a thing going for cartoon pigs.  'Schweine' were all the rage for us.  Possibly because they were easy to draw - and of course had the delicious attributes of being dirty and disgusting. 

But my memories are not all happy ones.  My circle of friends drew these pigs and then personalized them.  There was a boy in the class below us that we targeted.  His father was an honorary teacher - filling in since the school did not have a chemistry master - and we were merciless in our cartoons with the father and son repeatedly shown as pigs.

I was able to contact the boy in question many years later.  We linked up over the internet (he was a PhD candidate at that time in Germany) and I tried to apologise.  I don't remember his response, but to this day I regret my cowardly participation in a kind of bullying.

My hope is that the next generation of Eichers will learn from my errors.  Let pigs be drawn, but lets keep them de-linked from anyone we know.  And lets be very, very careful when it comes to making fun of others.

The real pigs were my friends and I.  Schweine.

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