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Posts Tagged ‘Family Values’

The prattle of tender feet around one keeps one very much alive and contented. Especially so when one happens to be in a phase of life where one can have the luxury of observing their behaviour at close quarters without having to worry about their mundane needs. Other then providing unalloyed joy and sparkling mirth, it also provides one an opportunity to grow spiritually.

When a Bollywood diva casts a spell

Take the case of a one-year old toddler who takes Master Thos to be his role model. If Thos was infatuated with a Hollywood diva, he happens to be besotted with one of the Bollywood divas. Play this particular song on the TV, and he goes into a trance which even the most advanced practitioners of Zen might not have experienced. Meals get forgotten. Toys cease to be of any consequence. Those around him might not even exist.

Sonam Kapoor, the diva in question, may be delighted to know of the brand equity she carries in the mind space of this young one. There is a good chance that he might even earn the distinction of being the youngest ever fan of a Bollywood diva.

One can only hope and pray that, as he grows, he never gets to emulate the goofy schemes of Thos the Terrible. In fact, thanks to the benign influence of the diva, perhaps there is a chance that he would end up performing such noble deeds as walking a few miles to fetch a newspaper for a guest or carrying any other injured young one on his tender shoulders, so as to win over the affections of his heart-throb.

The sincerity with which he expresses his fondness for the song featuring Sonam Kapoor is something which deserves to be emulated. It teaches us the innate goodness in all things musical, artistic and beautiful.

By being under the spell of a silver screen diva, he is merely following a long-held tradition of his ancestors. Soon, though, moving doors, books or other items may take his fancy.

He also demands equality in treatment vis-a-vis other kids in the immediate vicinity. If that does not come by, he knows how to shriek and attract the attention of his seniors, so justice gets meted out. This is invariably the scenario when some ice cream is getting distributed.

There are also times when he reminds one of Algernon Aubrey Little. When the father’s boss came visiting some time back, he was a model of ideal behaviour. No tantrums. No yells. Only some cute smiles. Peace prevailed. A promotion on the job soon followed.

Norway Schhol Art 1

A respect for technical gizmos

The other young boy, all of four years old, reminds one of Edwin the scout. It is not that his daily acts of mercy include dousing fires with and setting cottages on fire. But he does try to reverse-engineer and repair an egg-boiler, with catastrophic results.

Anything that moves attracts his attention. Curious to the core, he would tend to dismantle the gadget and then look on helplessly when attempting to put it together again. Door locks get fondled with much love. Remote controlled toy cars or toy boats are never safe in his vicinity. A family senior testing blood sugar or injecting insulin is an object to be closely observed and supported.

As he has grown, cell phones and iPads have gained his respect as reliable sources of perennial entertainment. Thus, these are no longer subjected to the kind of rigorous quality tests he used to conduct in his formative years. In his younger days, he has dunked many a cell phone in a mug of piping hot tea, marvelling at their steadfastness when compared to, say, biscuits.

One is yet to notice if, like Edwin, he is an expert on ant behaviour. But dogs, pigs, cows and horses do come in for stark appraisals under his watchful eye.

Locking up people inside dark rooms comes naturally to him. So does sneaking up from behind and suddenly yelling in one’s ear, thereby leaving one all of a twitter. Often, sudden bouts of some karate moves make one run for cover, lest one may need to review one’s medical insurance cover. Tying up one’s shoe laces surreptitiously makes him burst into uncontrollable laughter, much to the chagrin of the party of the other part.

Dealing with him is very instructive. His knowledge of all things mechanical and electronic makes one humble. One simply aspires to be a quick learner like him, so as to be able to quickly absorb the latest that technology has to offer and make progress in life, as defined by contemporary standards.

Norway School Art 2

A goofy mind, a tender heart

Consider also the case of a young girl of 6 odd years whose flair for drawing, painting and singing is often a talking point. But beneath the veneer of sophistication and innocence lies a mind which could churn out goofy schemes at the drop of a hat. The likes of Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng could learn quite a few tricks of the trade from her.

Much like Peggy Mainwaring, she is used to staring and giggling at odd times, leaving the party of the other part shaken to the core. A relentless chatter emanating from her often leaves one yearning for some peace and quietitude. A continuous barrage of queries fired at one leaves one exasperated at times. The value of courage and perseverance is thus learnt the hard way.

Compassion comes naturally to her. She loves being surrounded by pets she can shower her motherly affection on. When a bitter feud with a younger sibling results into the latter getting hurt, she gets immediately transformed into a caring and loving nurse. But Homo Sapiens often get bluntly ticked off by her for the slightest of perceived infractions on their part.

When germs of acute goofiness strike, the sky is the limit. A younger sibling’s trousers are found wet in the middle of the night. Wisdom dawns when one notices the empty bottle of drinking water by the side of the bed. Guilt-less pleasure is felt when the younger sibling gets a reprimand for an act of omission committed by her own self.

Post-ablutions, she turns out to be a great bathroom singer, requesting the support of a senior to clean up. ‘Potty is over’ is belted out, in tune with a nursery rhyme like ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’.

Her receptivity is not to be taken lightly. When it is playing time at a friend’s place, she realizes the rest, solitude and enjoyment the hapless mother would experience while she is away. The hapless mother’s rights to such well-deserved rest and recuperation come in for open and frank criticism.

Norway School Art 3

Competing with the Bermuda Triangle

Yet another case which merits consideration is that of a young lass of 7 years who is built along the lines of Kid Clementina. She is a not-so-quiet saint-like child, when in a good mood. When taken out for a movie and a dinner, she is full of gratitude. She gazes at her benefactor in silent admiration. But while at home, a stubbornness tests the patience of the seniors around.

Great deal of perseverance is required so she may partake of any single meal which may last well over 90 minutes. Each morsel is punctuated by a commercial break, so to say. Unless, of course, the meal comprises a pizza alone, followed by the temptation of either an ice cream or a chocolate.

The threat of changing the WiFi password alone works wonders and makes her obey various commands at home. Fond of playing such brainy games as chess, she is quick to perceive that an attempt is being made to make her falsely win the game of patience and strategy. She resents such acts of chivalry. Her artistic skills are remarkable. So is her passion for karate.

There being no ink pots around these days, one is sure that she is unable to put any sherbet in the same in her classroom. But messing up the password of the iPad of a schoolmate comes readily to her. Rapid progress gets made by her in the realm of mastering all kinds of technical gizmos.

She believes in keeping one on one’s toes. While going out of the house in a hurry, one suddenly finds one’s footwear missing. Or, a ping-pong ball resting inside one of the shoes. A toothbrush can suddenly vanish, leaving one gnashing one’s teeth in disbelief and dismay. A toothpaste tube could get replaced by a cold cream tube. Unless one is alert and agile, the experience leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth, literally as well as figuratively. One’s shaving kit could go into hiding for two weeks, leaving one feeling like a distressed soul pining for one’s beloved, beard and all. One’s favourite comb could get hidden, leaving one shuddering at the prospect of making an appearance in public. Overall, the house appears to provide stiff competition to the Bermuda Triangle.

Norway School Art 4

A Core of Innocence

Put any two of the kids together and the results could be disastrous. Put all four of them together and the foundations of civilization start quivering.

The combined goofiness of a group of kids is directly proportional to the square of the number of kids together.

Unlike what the Theory of Relativity postulates about there being an upper limit for the speed of light, one does not believe there could be an upper limit for kids’ goofiness. With three kids of his own, Einstein himself might have been in agreement with this proposition.

Their interpersonal interactions are more like sinusoidal curves, putting the Dow Jones Index and the Sensex to shame. Loving embraces are quickly followed by bitter arguments, accompanied by loud background music and tantrums of all kind.

Their minds are highly creative. Their imagination is vivid and fertile. More often than not, they are a reflection of what one is and how one behaves in their presence. In a way, they hold a clear mirror to us, especially when it comes to ethics, values and social leanings.

It is true that kids are simply adorable. Perhaps because their external sheath of goofiness is built around a core of touching innocence – a virtue which one loses as one advances in age. They radiate the purity of their chaste souls, yet to be corrupted by social prejudices and materialistic considerations. A sheltered upbringing obviously helps.

Towards spiritual progress

mothersymbolmeaningThe Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram has spoken of twelve attributes which help a spiritual aspirant to make progress. Sincerity. Humility. Gratitude. Perseverance. Aspiration. Receptivity. Progress. Courage. Goodness. Generosity. Equality. Peace.

Being with kids surely paves the way for rapid spiritual progress, besides keeping one amused and entertained at all times.

The challenge of minimizing Screen Time

While families have shrunk, technology has entered the family space. For hapless parents, there are two challenges. One, that of minimizing Screen Time, weaning away kids from gadgets and involving them in outdoor activities. Two, that of imparting them the values which would last them a life time. Perhaps it is time to consciously revert back to the joint family system. More about this in another blog post.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/some-plumsville-kids-and-the-richter-scale-of-roguishness-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/when-masters-thos-bonzo-and-moon-rise-in-love

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/bringing-up-kids)

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grandfather

Oh, what a change I have witnessed in these seventy-one years,

Wars, acts of terror and news of genocides has reached my ears.

 

Sure enough, I miss fountain pens, LP records and telegrams,

Not to forget a cell-and-internet-free peaceful life, noisy cars and trams.

 

I have witnessed a man landing on the moon, a space mission to Mars,

Our country gaining independence, gaining control of the land we call ours.

 

I have contributed to building the nation in my own little way,

Drawing power channels which feed water to the fields with grains and hay.

 

I have seen shrinking TV sets and shorter global hauls,

Several generations passing by, sprouting glitzy malls and highway tolls.

 

Time sits lightly on my mind, has certainly made me smart and wise,

You can still lean on my strong shoulders, despite challenges that arise.

 

I continue to be young at heart, in me some inspiration you can find,

As always, my advice is practical, objective, frank and kind.

 

All of you are born in our humble and common family,

So you need not take this as an old man’s homily.

 

As you grow, the world will try and define boundaries on you,

Soar above these you must, sticking to your own convictions and view.

 

Boys, treat all the women you come across with the respect they deserve,

Once home, let go of your trousers and wear skirts once in a while and serve.

 

Girls, don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement, make your own track,

Use your own wisdom, balance your duties, break the glass ceilings that hold you back.

 

You are the only one who will face the consequences of your actions,

Be bold, be wise, follow the path of righteousness, never become part of sinister factions.

 

The family has evolved from religion to spirituality, given you rich values to live by,

Carry forward this legacy, let your material and spiritual growth touch the sky.

 

A day may come when you may get to live on a comet or on the Mars or the Moon,

Values and Dharma shall always support you, come a dark night or a blistering noon.

(Image courtesy http://www.freeimages.com)

 

 

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Michael Angelo Painting Creation

I decide to get offended, you decide to stay aloof,

Who will then make us stay under the same roof?

 

A fissure today may well grow into a chasm tomorrow,

Who will fill it up with a wheel cart and a handbarrow?

 

I decide to remain silent, so do you remain quiet,

Which arrow will then pierce this void with its might?

 

If every small thing you were to take to your heart,

Who will then restore the warmth and play Cupid’s part?

 

I am unhappy at this gap, nor are you feeling nice,

Who will then take the initiative of breaking the ice?

 

I am not agreeable, to be amenable you do not bother,

Who will then have the magnanimity to pardon the other?

 

When our thoughts turn to the lovely memories of the past,

Who will lead us to an oasis of happiness in the sad desert vast?

 

I operate from within my huge silo of ego, so do you from yours,

Who will give us the courage to break open the shut doors?

 

Do you think we both shall live for all times to come?

Just look into each other’s eyes and keep mum?

 

Sipping together the elixir of joy that life is yet to pour,

One left behind not to repent when the other is no more?

 

Cross the point of zero gravity between us,

Be like twin stars in each other’s orbit without much fuss?

 

Life gave us the walls of caste, creed, sex, nationality, income and wealth,

Let us break the walls of our egos and enjoy good companionship and health!

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/of-novelty-and-relationships

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/the-alpha-beta-and-gamma-of-interpersonal-relations

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/an-illusory-search-for-the-perfect-soul-mate-bollywood-style)

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What is it that makes us label a movie as a classic? A unique blend of enchanting visuals, a rich story line, fine acting, lilting music and captivating lyrics are some of the features a successful movie invariably has. However, to be considered a classic, it would also have a multi-layered narrative with a social message which connects with us at a deeper level. Its theme would have an underlying timelessness, often brought in by the values it espouses.

Values which happen to be eternal in nature. Family values. Faint stirrings within a society to transform itself. The need for a soul to be free and joyous. The assertion of independence which demolishes societal norms of the time. The harmony in working towards a jointly shared goal or ambition. A meteoric rise in terms of materialistic goals. The frustration of having hit a plateau of sorts. The complex interplay of human emotions. The gradual transformation of relationships. The downfall arising out of human greed. The introspection. The burden of guilt. The beginning of a spiritual awakening. The search for a utopia. The redemption.

Here are some movies released fifty years back which remain as fresh as ever in one’s mind.

GUIDE

Released in 1965, this movie, directed by Vijay Anand, was based on a novel of R. K. Narayan, The Guide. The U. S. version of the movie was written by Pearl S. Buck.

The heroine, Rosie, walks out of a loveless marriage, so as to be able to pursue her passion of dance. The hero, Raju, helps her in achieving stardom. The song ‘Tere mere sapne’, though four minutes long, had merely three shots, each helping the heroine to gradually overcome her hesitation to accept the offer of reassurance and love from the hero.

The movie had great dance performances by the inimitable Waheeda Rehman. Other than the snake dance, we got treated to the six-part extravaganza – ‘Piya to se naina laage re’.

With success comes the fading away of love, which gradually gives way to self-interest. The transformation of tender love depicted in ‘Tere mere sapne’ gets eventually replaced by an emotional chasm between the main protagonists, so delectably captured in the song ‘Din dhal jaaye’.

The movie had a female lead character who was ahead of her times. The climax was rooted in superstition, though. The hero attained a spiritual enlightenment of sorts.

The charm of this landmark movie remains undiminished even after fifty years of its release, proving the immense possibilities of artistic collaboration.

The Sound of Music

Based on the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp, the film is about a young Austrian woman studying to become a nun in Salzburg in 1938 who is sent to the villa of a retired naval officer and widower to assume charge as a governess to his seven children. She brings love, spontaneity and music into the lives of the family through kindness and patience.

The manner in which mutual respect and affection grows between the naval officer and the governess is delicately captured in this tender piece.

The governess ends up marrying the officer. Together with the children they find a way to survive the loss of their homeland through courage and faith.

The musical scores stand out for their richness and the way in which they advance the plot of the movie. The heroine, though plagued by self-doubt, shows ample pluck and resource to win over a bunch of defiant children and their disciplinarian father. Characters of all the kids are well etched out and enamour us no end. Underlying the whole narrative is the value of family togetherness, delicate love interwoven with the need for discipline, and the loyalty towards each other.

Even after fifty long years, the movie does not fail to cast a spell. Watch any portion of fifteen minutes and one would come back refreshed and invigorated.

Chemmeen

Even though one is not familiar with Malayalam language, one has heard a great deal about this movie. Released on August 19, 1965, it acquired a cult status in the minds of movie buffs.

The success of this movie is said to be due to its heady combination of social-realistic melodrama, bolstered by high production values. It had creative inputs from some of the most talented persons from the Indian movie industry at that time – music by Salil Chowdhury, editing by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, cinematography by Marcus Bartley and lyrics by Vayalar Rama Varma.

The tale of Pareekutty and Karuthamma is a tragic romance. It makes one cry. It gives one a feel as if one lives close to the sea-coast, listening to the incessant roar of the waves, rising to the cries of fishermen and joining their yells of glee when their catch is a bumper one.

At a deeper level, in a muted manner, the movie argues for social transformation. It portrays the problems that arise when an Araya girl falls in love with a Muslim trader. This is a chasm that most of us are still grappling with.

This New Year eve, one would be tempted to curl up in bed to soak in the delectable cinematic brilliance on offer in any one of these movies. As the New Year rings in, we could be joining the Von Trapp family in its trek across the Alps, looking ahead to the future with hope, faith and goodwill!

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When members of the next generation of a family, born in First World countries like Norway and Switzerland, visit their roots in a Third World country like India, the poor souls are left clueless at times. Often, much hilarity ensues, as they try to cope with the realities of day-to-day life in such a delightful country as ours.

The best countries to be born in

Some time back, The Economic Intelligence Unit had compiled an index onEU Flag image the best places to be born in 2013. As many as 80 countries had been ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 standing for ideal living conditions. The rank took into account 11 indicators, like crime, trust in public institutions, health infrastructure, family life, besides fixed factors such as geography.

As per this reckoning, Switzerland was at the top, scoring 8.22. Norway was ranked number 3, scoring 8.09. Amongst the top 10 were not only Sweden (rank 4, score 8.02), Denmark (rank 5, score 8.01) and Netherlands (rank 8, score 7.94), but also Australia (rank 2, score 8.12), Singapore (rank 6, score 8.00), New Zealand (rank 7, score 7.95), Canada (rank 9, score 7.81) and Hong Kong (rank 10, score 7.80). Incidentally, India was then ranked 66, with a score of 5.67.

Hard core patriots in India may derive some comfort from the fact that Russia was ranked at 72 (score 5.54), Pakistan at 75 (score 5.17) and Bangladesh at 77 (score 5.07).

The side effects of a visit to India

What do such kids discover when they visit their roots in India?

First off, there are objects which invite wonderment.

A ceiling fan sounds like an alien object. A manually driven rickshaw is looked The horse carriages I saw in the museum were larger, grander version of this cycle rickshaw.at with unmasked curiosity. An auto rickshaw evokes a sense of novelty. A horse-driven Tonga comes in for ardent admiration. A bullock-cart gets viewed with wide-eyed wonder.

Insects and reptiles like cockroaches, lizards, ants, spiders, snails and worms of all sizes and shapes come in for close scrutiny. So do creatures of all kinds, whether bovine or porcine, especially when found exercising their democratic rights on Indian roads. Flying objects – whether unidentifiable or otherwise – get looked up to with a sense of awe and respect. Squirrels and chameleons generate much merriment.

A splash in the tropical rains uplifts the tender souls. Jumps into puddles on

Lakshmi

Lakshmi

the streets generate much excitement. The seagulls flapping about their sonorous wings leave them mesmerized. The wavering reflection of a pale yellow uprising moon on the pristine waters of the Bay of Bengal makes them attain a heavenly bliss.

Kolams outside homes arouse their curiosity. A classical dance performance leaves them spell-bound. Depending upon their own areas of interest, a keen desire to learn some form of fine art or a cultural activity gets enshrined.

An encounter with Lakshmi, the famous temple elephant of Pondicherry, invigorates them no end. A dip in the sea comes about as a blissful experience. A visit to the Planetarium and the Science Centre proves to be highly instructive.

The Incredible India

Then there are things which invoke ridicule and pity.

A power cut which disrupts a Tom and Jerry show on TV invites a stridentPGW Tom and Jerry protest and needs to be explained. When a beggar gets sighted, or when the vehicle passes a hut by the road side, the parents get called upon to explain the rationale of peaceful co-existence of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ of Indian society.

The absence of dustbins ready to receive the wrapper of a chocolate arouses curiosity. The garbage, as well as the generally poor civic sense, invites an adverse comment. Smelly trains and railway stations get negative rankings.

The absence of courtesy and discipline on the roads and the density of vehiclesKrishna_Arjuna_Gita on our roads, all come in for sharp criticism. To ensure parking space near a favourite ice cream joint, divine intervention is prayed for.

Crossing a road is a trying experience. Use of public toilets, if any are available, leaves their souls in torment. A rat feasting on a dead bird lying on the road side comes across as a traumatic sight, explained with great difficulty by an accompanying adult by invoking the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

Within the confines of a home, unquestioned obedience on part of the juniors in the family causes some surprise and amusement. The rights of the younger ones – to decide which flavour of ice cream to have for dinner – can simply not get curtailed. This is an experience which is quite alien to their value system.

Expansion of the family nucleus

Other than feasting on Indian delicacies, the pampering by all seniors theyRamayana 1 come in contact with leaves them assured and self-confident. A sense of belongingness comes about. Stories from scriptures fascinate them. Narrations of the lives of great men and women of the country leave them awestruck.

They also end up imbibing some values of a joint family system. Sharing, caring, a sense of responsibility towards juniors and a healthy regard for the elderly gets implanted in their thought processes.

The twin advantage

This generation has a unique twin advantage – that of having a Western mind and an Eastern heart. Their analytical abilities are getting nurtured in a more scientific environment, while their hearts carry the seeds of compassion, empathy and love. From their working parent, they imbibe a sense of professionalism in whatever they do. Through their folks back home, they understand the importance of togetherness and team work.

A truly balanced human being they are apt to make. Unknown to them, they take humanity further on its path of evolution.

(Photograph of cycle rickshaw courtesy http://www.shabnamphoto.wordpress.com; link: http://shabnamphoto.com/2014/10/28/pondicherry-a-certain-sense-of-gallic-glory-gone-by)

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You have wiped our tears with your gentle hands,

The core values of togetherness, love and sharing we understand;

You have been the catalyst of change in our lives day by day,

Ultimately enabling all of us to become what we are today.

 

Your understanding and compassion has made us brave,

Exploring new frontiers and facing situations grave;

Your tireless guidance has made us take an adventurous flight,

 Always propelling us like a beam from darkness to light.

 

As children safe within the warmth of your embrace,

Through all the trials and tribulations that we face;

Protected from the cold careless world outside,

We know that under your wings we could still run and hide.

 

God has taken care and reached us through you,

Nurturing, grooming and guiding us as and when due;

You are the angels, who have fallen from the sky,

To fix our wings whenever we cannot fly.

 

May the radiance of your thoughts and values never fade or go away,

Forever illuminating our paths like the millions of stars in the Milky Way;

Continuing to regale us like a beautiful and soothing rainbow in the sky,

So our coming generations shall always strive to make the things okay.

 

The sun-eyed children have already broken the caste-n-creed gloom,

Like morning stars the new buds have begun to bloom;

They shall wrestle with destiny and make their own way,

Their forceful tread shall make Earth pleasant and gay.

 

Feet echoing in the corridors of Time, no chance to excel shall they miss,

They shall be full of wisdom, sweetness, might and bliss;

Their lips shall chant new mantras to uplift the soul,

Aspiring for divinity, they shall realize a higher goal.

 

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“Daadoo…….!”, comes an excited yell from across the house. It is early morning yet. I have just picked up my newspaper and am savoring my first cup of tea – a tissue restorative with which I prefer to start my day. With nimble feet, my 18 month old grand-daughter runs up to me. She catches hold of both my hands and, demonstrating athletic skills which could put a professional to shame, climbs up my not too sturdy a frame and promptly maneuvers herself on my lap. The English daily attracts her attention, and she joins me in an impatient browsing of its contents. “Vroom… vroom!”, she says, putting her dainty finger on one of the car advertisements. This is the start of a typical day in the life of our household.

The love and affection one feels for one’s grand-children is not easily captured in words. One never realized when and how one’s own kids grew up! Tied up then with responsibilities, chasing career ambitions, juggling the diverse roles one has to play in the society when in that age group, seldom did one have the luxury of spending quality time with one’s kids. But with grand-children, the scenario is quite different. Responsibilities have taken a back seat, and there is ample quality time available to be spent with the little angels.

Their simplicity and innocence is remarkable. Their million dollar smiles are priceless. The pranks that they play keep one amused. The clarity in their sharp eyes is such that one can peep into their souls. No prejudices and no biases – theirs is a pure soul. The soul is blemish free, yet to gather fresh impressions of a new life time.

They live in a world of their own. To them, life is possibly a garden, of which the lawns are covered with the soft morning dew. The sky is a brighter blue and the grass of a greener hue. Dawns and dusks are more fragrant. The days are carefree. See them doing a pantomime when playing a nursery rhyme like “Twinkle, twinkle, little star……” and you would see what I mean! Put them in a bath tub with a couple of toy ducks, and see how much they enjoy themselves!

The speed at which they learn from us and from the environment around them is simply amazing. Quite often, one realizes that their acts are merely a mirror image of what one does in their presence. Wordsworth, while expressing his love for nature, said that “The Child is father of the Man”. He was surely not off the mark. Grandchildren teach us how to experience unalloyed joy and love! They keep the family united and spread love amongst all the members.

The way we handle situations, our little angels quickly learn the same. When we feed the poor, they get a message. When our children show empathy and concern towards our welfare, their kids end up imbibing the same spirit towards their parents! When compared to a unit family system, the joint family system provides a healthier environment for the next generation to grow. The joint family system ends up creating an ecosystem which enables continuity in our cultural values and social beliefs. The same get passed on to subsequent generations.

On the flip side, children surely know how to wrap you around their tiny little fingers and get the result that they want – be it nourishment, entertainment or a simple toy which would lit up their face with an inner joy. If “management” is about getting things done, children are effective managers. Ask any marketing wizard, and he/she would vouch for the efficacy with which kids today determine the contours of a company’s advertising budget.

Their tiny egos surface the moment they feel neglected. They need undivided attention. Their demands brook no delay in execution. Tantrums come easy to them. Tears are one of the several weapons in their arsenal which they use with deadly precision to get what they want.

When one lives with one’s grand-children, one gets a unique opportunity to rewind one’s life back to the days of childhood. Each moment reminds one of one’s own childhood. Life itself is nothing short of a miracle; to see it reinventing itself, making a fresh start, and getting prepared for a new future is a blessing indeed.

“Allo, allo, allo…….ayye jutoo malo…”, she says. I find that my grand-daughter has started prattling on my cell phone. She has a very serious and intent look on her face. In her universe, a more serious telephonic conversation perhaps never took place! Soon, she hands over the phone to me, expecting me to continue talking to an imaginary person at the other end. I do her bidding, since I know she would expect me to chat endlessly for a few minutes. Meanwhile, her attention would waver and shift to some other object or activity. I can then possibly get back to the steaming cup of my morning restorative!

 

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