Learn From the Children

A few days ago I thought, what would it be like to still be a child? Clean as a slate. No problems, no rights, no wrongs, an indomitable spirit of a flying falcon, ready to pounce on every opportunity to play and do whatever he wants to – that’s a child!

I was thinking aren’t rights and wrongs mere perceptions? A child doesn’t come into the world knowing what’s right or wrong. We teach it to him. Some may say, we only teach them so they be careful. But aren’t we just suppressing an inherent nature to toy around with things? Aren’t we scaring him even before he tries? Yes, you got to hold his back but give him a fighting chance to instill the necessary courage and self-confidence to meet his goal! A child does what’s absolutely clear in his head. We simply got to teach them to trust and respect us.

They must be allowed to learn their own way. We must never fiddle with their nature for they’ve got to understand themselves early. They’ll eventually figure it out but it’s only they who have to – not the parents. Parents I know, may feel a bit bad about what I’m saying, but I have countless examples around me that are trying to just be themselves and not someone elses image of perfection. And they are the ones who are truly happy even in their failures, for they can positively and most assuredly say, they are on their paths to their own idea of glory.

Not everyone is a Mahatma Gandhi or David Beckham by birth. We must teach the children to think straight, give them knowledge that helps them achieve their dreams and I highly emphasize on “their dreams”. We should tell them the meaning of dreams and how important they are for contentment. Because without contentment, all that we achieve and earn is worthless. We can never be at peace without it.

Money is nothing but a tool towards contentment. Money is and will forever be the reason for the greatest wars and terrible atrocious crimes. He who has money is as discontented as the man without it, because he never finds out the true purpose of holding it. So he keeps running after it all his life, gaining nothing and hurting a million others. Why does he need it? Why is running after it so important? Parents have to make sure that they set an example to live modestly so children themselves never raise their bar of expectations – those expensive toys, iPods, iPads and stuff. Parents have to let the children outdoors, for indoors is where all the bad stuff is.

One person though who still has the heart of a child, is my wife. She doesn’t understand the complicated. Most people simply misunderstand her because they think she’s playing with their heads, being all intelligent and cunning and stuff but trust me, she isn’t even a decimal percentage of what we call cunning. I am cunning. I know people who can’t be trusted and they are so close to me. And yet all she cares about is, she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She can’t seem to understand why on earth is she hated so much. My poor baby! How do I tell her, oh man!

I guess, she is the perfect example of who you must choose to be right from the start – free, warm yet chilled, and peaceful. And these traits are so easy to attain, if we grow up respecting everything that earth has to offer. People, animals, air, water, soil – respect everything and the world will respect you and that way, you’ll already have achieved 95% of what you may ever seek in your life.

And I keep thinking, why am I becoming a preacher when I can never follow it myself? Because that’s what I’ve chosen to be. To be the oppressed, a shield to someone who doesn’t know how to shield herself. I’ll take the hits while you run with your life. You just be… yourself. For that smile on your face is what keeps me going!

We have to learn from the children for we’ve forgotten the meaning of freedom and unprejudiced thinking. It is as simple as that!

Advertisements

How Wrong Was I?

Dhanolti - A glimpse of heaven on Earth!

Innocence in flesh and bones – that’s what kids are. They know no trivialities, no problems and the world around them more often than not turns perfect if they are born in a family of more than mediocre means. They are well provided, loved and taught.

On my journey back to Delhi, I met two such kids. Lovely and energetic duo. Would have loved to give their names but after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to keep them anonymous. They were students from 5th grade, on their way to Agra for their annual school trip. They took the window seats beside me and the train started chugging. I pulled out my headphones, grabbed my novel and started reading – The Associate by John Grisham.

At first they pretended to be shy and didn’t talk much, but then the tea arrived and with it came our first conversation while I was preparing my tea from a tea-bag, dried milk and hot water –

“Bhaiya (elder brother), would you mind if I watch you?” he said pointing at the tea.

“No, not at all!”.

And then I taught him how to prepare tea while his all-knowing buddy kept instructing him from behind. They had very sweet voices and I may sound soft for such a hard spoken man but I have no better words to explain how their manners combined with their voices, won my heart completely. They kept asking me questions about myself – if I was married, if it was a love marriage and we kept holding the conversations. I liked answering them even when they never cared to let me read my novel. There was something very satisfying to go with their flow. They kept asking me to leave some space to let them use the loo and I obliged. On other days or with other kids, I may have even kicked their teeth in after the third or the fourth time but not them. With every passing quarter-hour, they kept spreading the word about a “Super Cool”, “Super Awesome” Bhaiya who would let them listen to the amazing songs on his phone. They even learnt the password for my phone the very first time they saw me drawing it.

One by one each of their mates came and shook hands and told me – “You are truly awesome Bhaiya!” full of reverence. I could only smile.

They kept arguing about my age, if I am 18 or 40. Some told me that I look very fearsome sometimes and some said I looked sweet and cute. Some were confused whether they should call me Uncle or Bhaiya. For them, Uncles are married and Bhaiyas aren’t. The two beside me had a strategy and I’m gonna lay it out flat in front of the world – “Their Secret” – both of them were very adept at impressing their teachers and used their impression to get extra marks.

At some point there was a cut throat race between the students to impress their teachers with food. Our lad here, who had a pizza in his bag, held all the aces though. When the rummaging was going on, he, with a bang, pulled out his box and offered the entire thing to his teacher. He looked all around and with this move stopped all the scuffing for food.  He was proud and it showed on his face. It wasn’t going to last long though. When he landed back on his seat, he wanted his pizza back. He now wanted to share it with his best buddies and not her but couldn’t ask the box back. He kept cribbing for next 20 minutes about it when the box landed in his lap and the teacher, who wasn’t too interested in the pizza, asked him to offer it to other teachers. The boy though had other ideas. He quietly slipped it back in his bag and pretended he hadn’t heard what the teacher had told him. I was laughing my ass off!

They kept offering me eatables though (including the pizza) but I stuck to my philosophy to not eat from any strangers when travelling.

They even made me give their parents missed calls, so that they could call back. I was the main subject in those calls too.

But what happened at the end of their journey struck me the most. One of those two kids, came running back from the door and touched my feet as mark of respect to the elders. I just touched his face and said – “Now go. You are late!”

When they left, I could only think about my mortal nausea at seeing so many kids together at the platform and dreading my journey from there on. How wrong was I?

Daily Prompt – Generation XYZ

We-Are-the-Facebook-Generation

To understand a generation, we need to understand what generation means in the first place. A generation by a dictionary means –

The average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own“.

Welcome to our generation. Our generation that grew up hearing songs on CD players hung by our belts, grew up to carrying mp3 players and then iPods. Our generation that saw an internet boom, fought Y2k. Our generation that’s seen wars breaking states and countries into two. We probably witnessed the rise and spread of a technology revolution so big that it now has changed the lives for every living being on this planet. Things are now small enough to be held on the pore of our fingers which once couldn’t be held in hand bag.

We are the generation that believes that our future beckons to technology while we continue to value things that our parents taught us. We are the hybrids – the best of everything if we have our head in place and yet the worst of everything if we’ve lost it.

The generation that succeeds us, lets just say, gives up way too easily. They are weak hearted and weaker minded. They are affected more by movies and Facebook than their parents. Since I don’t have kids and I deride the next generation, ones that were born even a decade later, I’m going to talk about the generation that preceded us. We have tons to learn from them and yet tons to throw away what we learnt from them.

Our parents were strong for they believed more in human communication and touch. We learn senses. They weathered freedom struggles, wars of the worst kinds and yet survived to tell their tales. We learn toughness. They invented so much, we can’t help but wonder if we would still be the whiz-kids had they not laid the foundations. They invented bits and bytes. They invented memories. They gave the non-living, the brain to decide – yes or no. We can never waylay their contribution to the humanity.

My parents never failed to bring me in touch with that facet of their times. They taught me to see and think different. It’s a different side if I actually did it. But they tried their best. They cheered me up when I raised my first cricket bat. They were open-minded, for I was travelling alone in public buses responsibly taking care of my brother and his friend, when I was 8 years old. They taught me responsibility. Through the ups and downs of their lives, they taught me humility.

Crazy as I may sound now but our preceding generation tried teaching us society when they should have taught humanity. They taught us jealousy when it was competition we needed. They tried teaching us pride but all they really emanated was ego. We learnt to see the blackness in people first than embrace the truth of their deeds.

In this internet age, when the world is literally at our fingertips, we should try instilling hope, pride and humanity in our children than burn them early in their childhoods all the while suppressing their basic need for necessary freedom.

And I learnt this from my parents. Freedom if imparted carefully turns into responsibility much better than any other virtue.

I Hope This Continues..

I couldn’t recuperate this weekend from the 2 weeks of ballbusting in office as something really unwanted has happened –

We have new neighbours. The old ones were fine for they had kids old enough to not cry when bathing. The old ones were fine for the woman in the house never lived in the house. The old ones were fine for only the only man who lived there, never gave a f***!

Since Saturday when I shifted to my bedroom from the spare room, I’m regretting my decision to do so. It’s as though a ticking time bomb goes off every morning. Children cry… ehhhh… sorry… they howwwwwlllll like dogs do when you step on their tails! Woman shouts like she has an army to command. The husband screams and fights like the woman is stabbing his mother! No wonder my wife hates our bedroom for we can hear it all!!

And all of it happens at 6 o’clock in the morning. It doesn’t matter which day of the week – it happens everyday as my wife tells me!

Now even though my day started the same, this day has come to be the most peaceful day from the last year. Workload is zilch. I’m at peace and so are my bosses. I hope it continues this way even at home!

Save Me – The Prelude

Amit had turned into a steadfast disciplinarian after marriage. He had vowed to never let his pre-marriage sluggishness slow his career and family down. And it rubbed on his family too. They would wake up early, spend time together and move on to the day. Dinners were together and so were the weekends. They loved and admired each other. For his children, he was a role model.

But he woke up early that morning. It was 5:00 and he couldn’t sleep again. He freshened up and came close to Maya who still looked fresh like she was fooling him with her sleep. The autumn sun had begun to make way through the window panes and Amit noticed it was disturbing her. He playfully placed a finger to put a shadow on her eyes. She relaxed. He then removed it slowly. He repeated it and got the same response. The third time, she slowly moved her eyelids and opened her eyes. She loved waking up this way and Amit knew it. They held palms together and he helped her get up to rest against the head of the bed. It was very quiet. The kids would wake up in half an hour and they wanted to spend this precious time together. She got up, prepared tea when she noticed, Amit staring at her from the kitchen door. She felt amazing with this attention and went up to him and hugged him real tight.

Amit needed this and so did she. Somehow Maya always knew what he wanted and the same stood for Amit. They felt love. And yet the uneasiness that had woken him up, didn’t subside. He whispered in her ears while holding her against his chest – “Can you skip work today? Lets watch a movie together at home”. He sounded so excited that Maya almost gave up the thought of office but the reports struck her head immediately and she said – “Baby, you’ll have all my time from a few months later. Let me finish my office tenure on a high and not flunk on a few bugging reports. Boss gets irked”. Amit almost knew her answer to the letter and yet somehow controlled his anger hormones and answered wryly – “Sure!”.

They broke their hold finally and started their respective days. Woke up their children, bathed them, got ready themselves, pulled the car out of the garage after a heavy breakfast and scurried into the traffic. Amit just couldn’t yet get his gaze off from Maya. She looked stunning and he was jealous of her male colleagues for they got to see her more than he did. The pinches of uneasiness in his heart though, had started to show on his face now.

After dropping her off at her office and children to their schools, Amit after a few miles stopped to text Maya – “Would it be possible for you to come home early today? I just want to see you home in bed today”.

He drove again after a pat on his steering wheel and his phone beeped with her reply – “I’m really sorry sweetheart but no”.

Maya couldn’t help but think of Amits behaviour and wasn’t sure of what exactly was bothering him. He had never pushed her from work till date and it was awkward. He had always been laid back and he knew all this would end soon.

Amit in his office, on rarest of occasions, was seen pacing the floor and some even saw his temper flying. He wanted Maya so bad and couldn’t wait to hold her in her arms again in the evening. He even thought of visiting Maya during the lunch but later rationality struck and he gave up the thought. He worked and waited for the evening – drinks and bed. He had smiled.

Maya on the other hand was having a rough day. A few mistakes hither and thither, were already pushing her behind her schedule. She had thought of calling Amit after lunch but Boss had come calling. She had given up and began waiting for her time with Amit in the evening. She had smiled.

She just didn’t know, Gurgaon had other plans for her tonight.