Friday, November 14, 2008

Retaining the child in you

-By Swetha Amit
It was the sight of a child not more than 9 years of age consoling his mother that brought me to a screeching halt equaling to that of a car slamming its breaks on seeing an aged pedestrian. As I drew closer to this rather unusual sight I learnt that she had lost her purse containing a lump sum amount of money which symbolized her pined up hopes for the future. “Don’t worry mom. Everything lost will come back in some form or the other. Life is like that.”

The calm expression on the little boy’s face was one that imprinted in my mind as I cruised through the busy streets of Mumbai. There was none of the expected innocence and the vitality that one would expect from those who haven’t even reached the brink of adolescence. And yet words spoken could have put a so called ‘grown up’ to shame who would have normally reacted in nothing less than a hyperactive manner. My mind flashed back to several instances earlier which did not have me indulge in introspection, but now they seemed to have clouded my mind. How ironically I thought, that such had to surge just on the eve of children’s day. The very day attributed to these little off springs who were known to be the manifestation of divinity with their hearts as pure as that of the morning dew. Yet today’s young generation seemed to have been diluted with the smog of hard hitting realities through exposure and forcing them up to ‘grow up’ quickly.

With an ocean of information floating around the virtual world, not to mention the accessibility factor, kids get the hang of not wanting to ‘kid’ around anymore. The new generation seems a lot wiser in comparison to their previous ones. Hearing, seeing too much of adult talks have definitely robbed them out of their naïve charm. The parenting styles have apparently altered of not ‘screening’ their conversations. Be it politics, terrorism, volatile stock markets, accidents cinema, and spirituality, there seems to be no dearth for a variety in exposure.

The fast paced approach has obviously caught on where children are trying to either match up to their grown ups or attempting to be a step ahead of them. While one can look at this ‘progress’ with much appreciation, its quite natural to miss the playful laughter and the air of vivacity with those who were oblivious to the world. The latter factor was what made many elders come from stress filled office environments to look forward to those angelic smiles of reassurance in their own way. Gone were the days of not caring for anything at all. The obsession for fashion seems to have caught up with the young ones as well. I could still recollect a girl’s vehement refusal to a piece of chocolate cake for fear of adding calories. Or that conversation between two kids which consisted of the ‘happening’ places in town. Or the young boys discussing their fathers’ financial positions.

Is it time to wake up to new generation that is awakening? And get ready to face the truth that they could be possible agony aunts/uncles during crisis. What a strange thing to note that either provides a soothing balm to us. Their charming smiles or the worldly wise lines. It appears that one cannot ignore this ‘upcoming’ aspect for long. Especially when even the latest advertisements where a girl offers a solution for future savings or a boy’s tagline which says” If you don’t ask questions, how will you learn?” Yes it’s that time of the era where elements of dependency are replaced with despondency. Playful stance is replaced with a replay of questions that would invoke ones grey cells to cause the same shades in their jet black locks.

So where is the childhood factor? And who can blame them? Undercurrents of vast information corrupt their budding mindsets to bloom into a beanstalk overnight. A quest to become the ‘Jack’ of all trades perhaps? The question is: will we be forced to grow old quickly due to these raging young blood or propel us to retain certain childishness in us not to feel the pangs of our twilight years soon?

Just the other day a suave corporate man mentioned that 60 is the new forty and “So where am I growing old? I still have the zest to explore different facets of life and have miles to go before I sleep.” I couldn’t help compare it to the contrast statement of a ten year old stating he was too old to be celebrating birthdays. And yet we are all heading towards the same direction through unique walks where one day or the other we reach our second childhood which is the old age. One where we may not be very welcome or have attention showered upon us. Demands will be shunned with disgust and horror. And then it’ll be too late to realize that the most gratifying years were lost only because one wanted to grow up quickly.

The youthful spirit is killed by depriving it of space, time and fun. It’s important to not kill the child in us at any cost and that which keeps us raring to go till the race is over. Our clouds of deriving little pleasure in small things shouldn’t ultimately lead to the cloudburst of the child factor. And its important that we retain the child in us.

Note: Wishing all readers a Happy Children’s day irrespective of age as the mind that makes the year factor and not the other way around.
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Blogger Ayesha Parveen said...

Good write up again, Swetha. The expression, "The calm expression on the little boy’s face" and his words of consolation to his mother rightly depict 'wisdom from the mouth of babes'. Morover, you have rightly said, "The youthful spirit is killed by depriving it of space, time and fun. It’s important to not kill the child in us at any cost and that which keeps us raring to go till the race is over." Best wishes.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks a lot Ayesha.:-)

6:15 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Comments on MSN:

sk jaiswal - new delhi on 11/14/2008 7:17:36 PM
Bosss...its really very important to Retain the child in us. nice post.

KParthasarathi - Gwalior on 11/14/2008 9:51:46 PM
An apt post on children's day.A thought provoking piece written in her inimitable and attractive style.Thanks

6:17 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

sharmishtha - kolkata on 11/14/2008 11:13:47 PM
marvellous post sweta, like almost all of yours (i just skip the movie reviews, :) will be waiting for the next one.

6:17 PM  

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