What’s A Pavement Dad?

Don’t be surprised if the conversation below happens with you in it:
“What’s a pavement Dad?” asked the little girl looking up from her homework.
“My child,” said the father gently, “haven’t I always told you to refer to the dictionary, see how you found out the meaning of ‘ambidextrous’ and ‘sycophant’ yesterday, today you will learn the meaning of ‘pavement.’ Look in the dictionary, it is a good habit to inculcate.”
“Dad,” said his daughter, “the dictionary doesn’t really help much, it says the pavement is a level surface on all the streets for walking on.”
“Exactly,” said the father happily, “see now you’ve learnt a new word. You can talk to your teacher about pavements, you can use pavement when you write essays or short stories!”
“Dad, what the dictionary says, explains nothing to me, what do they mean by a level surface on the street for walking on. Do they mean the concrete that it is on the road?”
“No, no not the concrete,” said the now slightly irritable dad.
“Oh you mean the tar on the streets?” asked his daughter brightly. “I prefer walking on the concrete because the tar has a lot of potholes.”
“Pavements don’t have potholes my child,” said the father, “unless the municipality comes and digs looking for lost cables or telephone lines.”
“Okay so it is not the tar nor the concrete, nor does it normally have potholes, so what are pavements then?” asked the little girl, now really puzzled.
“I think they are made up of tiles or slabs,” he said a little uncertainly.
“I have never seen tiles or slabs on the roads,” said his daughter quite convincingly, “How would buses and cars ride on slabs. They would bump along like a bullock cart, and auto rickshaw tyres could get caught between the tiles.”
“Listen,” said the father angrily, “buses and cars and auto rickshaws don’t ride on pavements, they drive on the roads. Pavements are meant for people to walk on.”
“You mean there’s actually a special place for people to walk on?” asked his daughter incredulously.
“Yes,” said the father, happy that she was finally getting close to the meaning. “It’s meant for you and me.”
“But I have never seen any such thing,” said his daughter doubtfully, “I always walk on the road.”
“Never walk on the road,” shouted the father angrily, It’s dangerous!”
“Dad, just come onto the balcony and show me a pavement will you?”
The father and his little girl stood at their balcony and watched a little child come out of a hut and pass water, they watched a woman outside another hut sweep the road in front of her, which was her front yard. They looked on row upon row of huts and shops and hawkers.
The little girl looked up at her father innocently, “What’s a pavement dad?”




DARE by Robert Clements.
It will change your life.

1 thought on “What’s A Pavement Dad?”

  1. At least pavement was occupied by the poor homeless people. What would you have to say when occupied by hawkers, or worse still by 2 wheelers & cars of so called educated class. This state of affairs is due to poor facilities for the downtrodden given by municipal corporations.

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