Wednesday, 4 August 2010


This was published sometime back

I work for a children's weekly and as a part of my work, I meet several children and their parents. The tete-a-tete have not always been pleasant; I have often come across children who are too 'adult' beyond their years. Twelve-year-old boys are reluctant to cycle around the colony on their own or get wet in the rain. Instead, they prefer playing with their gadgets and using adult 'cuss' words. The 12-year-old girls love dressing up in their college-going sister's attire. I sometimes find it difficult to distinguish between a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old girl.
At the other end of the spectrum, are children who are too 'frivolous', and believe in 'Live Life Kingsize' . Unfortunately, most of the parents do not think that there is anything wrong in giving their children a Rs 1000 currency note to blow up in one evening at the multiplex or the mall.
I have often come away feeling disturbed and powerless to stop this 'disease'. If the word 'disease' sounds harsh, then it's meant to be so. Unable to stop myself, I did talk to parents, only to be told very politely that I am 'middle class' in my values and that times have changed.
Times have changed. Or maybe they haven't. Last week's visit to a city school has reinforced my belief in the innocent fun of the childhood. I had gone to the school for a photo-shoot during the lunch break. The cacophony of the happy voices that greeted me was very refreshing. The teasing and gobbling of food quickly to go and play with friends was still the same.
The sight of the girls sitting, prim and proper, in one corner with their tiffins placed on the neatly laid out napkins was, at the risk of stereotyping gender attributes, very 'girlish'.
The boys, on the other hand, were eating their chapati rolls, vada pavs with their grubby right hand and reaching out their left hand to grab something from their friend's dabba.
I will call this a very 'boyish' trait.
I also noted how the boys in Std VI were puny and shy, while those studying in Std VII were tall and sprouting a thin moustache, bursting to crack a joke and bully others. It was just a year's difference. But what changes!
I found the whole sight 'reassuringly normal'. A sight which told me that there is some innocence in the children left.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahahaha, this is rich,'u have middle class values and times have changed'!!!!!
    whoever said this should be interviewed and printed on the first page with his/her i am ready to give them some parenting lessons!!!!
    Spending vulgar amounts of money at an extremely young age doesn't teach you the value of money.
    And thanks for the middle class values we are not yet running around sniffing grass and in bikini with the 'times have changed and liberty is here' attitude... :)