Us and Them.

Posted by - Rohit

Looking back at those days when one could accelerate on to the open spaces without thinking of a cemented block hindering one's way; wearing shorts mended at multiple areas was a generality; when one would come back home with one's feet covered with dust up to the shin, I feel those golden moments have eroded with time. But evolution plays it's part, so do the now over-educated parents along with their over board concerns; and skyscrapers that have hacked into the open grounds in the name of development. As a consequence lethargy is making it's way into the list of routine activities as children get even more inclined towards the virtual world which has augmented itself to the real one making itself an indispensable part of reality.
So times have changed, and one can easily sense it now-a-days with children getting smarter by the day but at the same time inactivity is becoming a normal phenomenon.

I would usually get my haircut and routine shave done from a local barber who had his setup underneath a tree, resulting in two very happy individuals; the barber and I. A haircut that costs Rs 30 on an average in any barber shop with doors, now would help me save up to Rs 15. But as the friendly neighbourhood got even friendlier to the extent that snooping became a virtue, my Dad made it a point that he took his son to the right barber shop. He even decided my hair cut a couple of times. This reminded me of a time when my next door neighbour "Babbu" would take me to a barber shop. As a 7-8 year old, I would be commanded to adjust my head, neck and chin so that the barber could have proper angles while cutting my hair. Those were the times when I barely had a choice to decide my own haircut.
"Kaise kaatu?" (How should I cut his hair) - the barber would ask,
"huh?" (Baaah!) - Babbu would say.
"Theek hain" - (Yeah, even I don't care)
I recently met a parent who had taken her 7 year old daughter for a hair cut. As I asked them where they were returning from, the little one said "Javed Habib". Before I could overreact and exclaim at this sudden jolt, I was told that the little one decided her hair cut. For a moment I looked back at the parent and the daughter and back at the parent and asked "Are they doing it for free today?". The kid asked me to grow up and left with her Mum.

When I was all set to hurry home to watch "Pyaar ka Dard hain", I met this very old friend who was hit by a huge wave of nostalgia as soon as he saw me. Looking at the children around he went - "Look at them...playing on tiled floor, whereas our wounds still have soil grains. Would they ever know what it feels to taste mud, sweat and unfiltered water?". I looked at my watch and told him it's only 5 minutes to "Pyaar ka Dard hain". Both of us hurried to my place. But the point made by my friend is totally valid as that rawness amongst children seems to be missing now-a-days.

As I mentioned earlier, children are becoming smarter by the day and fairy tales are only limited to 6 year olds as they become Miley Cyrus fans later on. Just like most of us had a fascination with G.I Joes back then (well, I still have my collection), kids these days have a fascination with all devices and gadgets particularly those starting with I, to the extent that they even know that Nokia made a mistake by cutting a deal with Microsoft. IPOD, IPAD, IPHONE...I-Cant-take-this-anymore. They know what the world comprises of, the who is who of the world.

I had once volunteered to play Santa at my sister's residential complex. I was longing for this moment as I could see that shimmer in my little niece's eye as soon as she heard that Santa was coming. And that was it, 'The Amazing Santa Claus' arrived. I was flanked by kids, parents and grandparents all the while. Every little kid willing to shake my hand, so were some grand parents in the fore. I distributed gifts, sweets and blessings (yes I do get carried away). As I was bathing in this pool of attention and importance a little toddler asked me -

"Hey Santa...where is Banta?"

Moreover, my niece recognized it was me all the while as she said I didn't shave properly.

The movie 'Chillar Party' could be summarized as an excellent attempt to make children come out of this fully furnished sunless shell of comfort that even helps them remain content. What they've portrayed in the movie are possible snapshots of the director's memory as the ecosystem specified in the movie existed way back in the 90s when we looked upon a Nintendo as a time machine.
Well it's good to see them grow smarter by the day and a sense of practicality can be induced in them at a young age itself.

Your children are getting smarter by the day but sluggish too.

P.S: Just a clarification. My enemy here is not technology. Technology can't be ignored, it lives with us. I don't say the life we lived was the life to be lived. Everything has it's own drawbacks, so does advancement of technology which is not much compared to it's merits but certain issues are prominent and can't be ignored.

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  1. :D Neat observation. Very well scripted. The last line gives an impression that you've ground-breaking experience in baby-sitting and raising kids! And yeah Pyar ka dard HAI! :P

    1. Yes, I have six years of Nanny experience (sigh).

  2. Can't beleive that u scripted something we just chatted for few minutes! Well written with an loads of publicity to Star's new show...It definately has pyaar ka dard! :P

  3. When all is said and done, the childhood must be left to be lived as near to the nature rather than the 'safe, disinfected. civilized' world.

    Becuse, that period of unencumbered joy of the life never returns.

    1. Absolutely! Those are the times that play an immense role in defining one. The world surely plays it's part when it comes to curbing their enthusiasm.

  4. Childhood used to be adventurous where when you step out of the home you would end up in the mysterious world.
    Where you wud fight imaginary enemies, run like crazy and when u fall down and get bruised... you wont stop and cry but you get up and run again... you were a mighty hero who just won the world, when you returned home...

    I feel sad when I see my nephews/neice spending much time on dumb machine called computer and when they accomplish one level of angry bird and feel like thats cool and smart...

    Hence make up a point to take them out when they visit my place... push them around to fall and run from them on footpaths like crayzee.. and after than even when totally exhausted, when they say 'shud we do it, once more' I feel that everything is not lost.... but we are just turning away from it... for no reason why...

  5. In today's episode of pyaar ka dard hai, pankhudi's family will realize their folly and pankhudi after taking permission from her grandfather is going to call up adi n say sorry.. don't miss it...
    Oh btw, nice one ! :P

    1. Vrinda - HAHHAHAHHA! :D RoFL!
      Rohit - there you go! And you thought we're the only one! :D :D :D

    2. Vrinda, Are you a 'Bade Achhe Lagte hain' Fan too?

  6. - Something to relink your post to.. :D

  7. Good one Rohit. The inactivity is a very important and undesirable social phenomenon you've highlighted. Reminds me of what i wrote about "banning children playing". :-)