A Friday

Fridays are fun.

Friday mornings are brighter and Friday nights are livelier.

The Chennai city is a beauty during the month of December and commuting makes me feel heaven as I travel with the school kids. As the students are busy with their half-yearly examinations in December, it is a nostalgic scene to see the kids all over the city in the morning. All of them carry a plastic bag in which the wooden/plastic writing board is kept. The projection of pencil box and books could be clearly seen outside the plastic cover. The relief of each exam getting over is clear on their faces. The kids are accompanied by either their Mother or Grand Father. I look into their textbooks, at times into their question papers too and then sigh thinking what an emotional fool I am. Some kids will be very excited to tell me how they multiplied two numbers or how they matched certain monuments to their respective places. Thus the third week of December and March are weeks which I indeed look forward to. The kids bring back a lot of memories and the nostalgic-emotional-heart of mine forces me to regret for not understanding the value of childhood and school days then.

In last December, on the third Friday, a Mother and a boy got inside the share auto. The boy and I became great friends in two minutes. It was his last exam and he showed me his Social Studies question paper and we discussed the answers thoroughly before I predicted his marks. I carry chocolates in my hand bag only with the motive of bribing the kids who travel with me. To celebrate the closing ceremony of examinations and to welcome the Christmas holidays, his Mother had already bought him a chocolate. So to give him company in eating the chocolate, I took one from my bag and started eating. He sat on my lap and we enjoyed the messed up traffic jam licking the chocolate. 

Suddenly, his Mother beat him on his thighs and nobody understood why. Interfering between the Mother and the son didn’t seem like a good idea, so I waited for her to speak up. She sternly asked him why he threw out the chocolate cover through the share auto’s window despite her teaching him that it is wrong.

Then, why are you scolding only me? I did so because I saw her throwing off her chocolate cover through the window.” He said this pointing at me and with mixed emotions.

The Mother rudely looked at me and said nothing. But, all that she wanted to tell me was clear from her face. Her face told me why I am such a fool who doesn’t know how to behave in public despite boasting being educated and employed. I saw the anger on her face about why people like me are not aware that the next generation is watching us.

Truthfully, until that moment I never realized that it was my habit to throw things out of the window while travelling. The boy and his Mother got down one stop before mine. He waved me good-bye and I faked my smile. I didn’t have the guts to look at the Mother’s face. I felt ashamed of myself and I stared at my cell phone.

After getting down from the auto, I walked to my office asking a million questions to myself.

Watch your acts, the kids are watching you.

 

In search of “some” innocence

These days I am disturbed when I read through the leading Malayalam newspapers. Under the pages tagged as “Naattu Varthamanam” which means “Local News”, I can see news only about rape, abuse and murder.

The shocking news was about the murder of a 4-year old girl by a 10-year-old neighbor boy. It was unbelievable that he had molested her many times and the last time when the girl cried after the rape, he suffocated her to death.

 HE KILLED HER!!

While we were kids, parents taught us not to harm even an ant. There were times when we run back to Mom and cry after watching an accident or seeing somebody hurt. Today the feelings of empathy have vanished in kids. My colleague was telling her neighboring kid announced that he will kill his Mom if she doesn’t buy him a particular bicycle. Do you know in which class he study? 3rd standard!!

15 years back, I was 10 years old. I didn’t even know what sex was. There was so much innocence inside us then. Everybody in the class was our friends regardless of gender. Those days silly fights, childish jealousy and warm friendships were silly, childish and warm. A hidden flavor of “SEX” never came in between those innocent friendships. The friendships were healthy. But today things have changed. I think 7-year-old kids know more about sex than the elders.

Last week I read about the dark side of a 5th standard boy. He had come to stay in his uncle’s house. He “used” his uncle’s 1-year-old baby girl for his pleasures. The parents wondered why the baby cried non-stop without any reason. The doctor found out the truth only when the girl developed rashes at her private areas. Imagine the plight of that mother who took care of her brother’s son like her own son. He was just 9 years old.

We cannot blame the kids as they grow up watching the elders. Now we can see grandfathers having pleasure in pampering the neighbor’s kid, fathers selling their daughters, mothers forcing their daughters into prostitution, uncles taking nieces granted for their fantasies, classmates acting as lover boys and teachers teaching the first lessons of sex.

PS: Looks like now we should hunt for something/someone to symbolize innocence. Kids are no more innocent.

Irresponsible??Spoiled??

AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP

Certain articles make us ponder for hours.Last evening,I came across such an article in one of the Malayalam Women’s publications.

The article talked about how a couple lost their kid.They had bought everything their kids asked for.They had showered their kids,especially their son,with love and care.The parents had always praised the kids to make them feel great.They had never punished the kids.The parents had never let the kids know what misery and trouble were.

One day their son,who was a 3rd standard student,had beaten up a classmate and the teacher punished him.The fight was over his father’s income.He came home and told his mom about it but didn’t cry over the punishment.But he overheard the truth for which he fought for during mom’s “kids praising” session to the neighbors.She proudly told others how much her son loves his Dad.When friends teased him for lying that his dad is a big shot guy,he fought with them.But the truth was that he never knew that his Dad was working as an electrician.The son had no clue what his father’s job was like.He always thought that they were rich enough.But when he overheard from his mom that his dad bought most of the toys in debt,he sank.His mom took the above act as a token of love the Dad had for the kids.The son couldn’t bear the embarrassment.He couldn’t believe that all he had talked to his friends were just an illusion.He killed himself hanging in a rope.Now the parents are in an ocean of tears and in a pitch of depression after losing their son.They gave their son everything he wished for but still they lost him,that too at an early age.

The cause lies where they “gave everything” to their kids.

I have seen most of the parents think that their kids should never have any troubles or tensions.It is normal to wish that the kids should have a better life than the parents had during their young days.But when these thoughts become an obsession,it will take your kids to a place they bear no troubles at all.

R.I.P.

Most of the problems happen when the parents never let their kids know about their job,their income,their friends’ circle,their past,their school and college days and more importantly their financials.

My parents always used to take my brother and me to their offices.We will be advised to sit at the corner and watch them work or read a book.So at the age of 8 or 9 itself we knew where and how they worked.Also we knew the correct meaning when our parents tell us that they are busy at office because we have seen by ourselves.So we became sensible enough not to disturb them with calls during office hours.

Though there were maids at home,it was usual that Mom make us go to the near by shop to buy vegetables and household items.Even when some of her friends boast saying that their kids know nothing about the money matter,she always used to reply them with a naughty smile.I remember our monthly shopping at the Triveni departmental store at S.M.Street,Calicut.After coming back from the shopping,they would make us write accounts for the day.They would say that my handwriting is good and my brother is good at using calculator.So writing of accounts became a routine at home and we used to have fun during these session telling about people that we saw during shopping or about some incidents that happened at work or school.So we knew the price of everything that we bought at home.We knew how much our parents could afford in a month.

Later,they taught us what a salary slip is.They taught us about the income they earn and the other family committments.So by the time we reached our teens,we were obviously aware of the financial issues at home.We knew how much our parents earned and we were sensible about what to ask for.

There was a transparency among us.We knew about their hikes and promotions and they knew our teachers,friends and of course our marks.We knew that during the month of March parents have to pay tax,so it is difficult to spend too much on that month and they knew our favorite teachers and friends.As we four had a good rapport with each other,it was easy to understand when our parents said a NO for any matter.

My parents never had the ego to tell us when they had a bad day at office,so we also learnt to tell them when we got punishment at school or if we had any fights with friends.So that made us support each other during bad times.The one hour talk during dinner time was a to tell about our whole day and to get relieved before sleep.

I feel great about my parents now.

Today,I see a lot of my friends who have no clue about what their family income was or how much debt/loan their parents had.Some people don’t even have an idea what their dad’s designation was.They are ignorant about their parents’ job.Most of the parents hide their salary and designation from the kids and tell them that they are big shot at office.They refuse to take them to show their work because at home they must have told like “office is huge“,”I have a cubicle of my own“,”everybody wishes me when I come in to office“…

Why do parents do this?If you feed the kid with false and fancy descriptions about work and financials,the respect they have for you will go the moment they know the truth.Instead tell them about yourself,your school and college days,your friends,your work,problems in family etc.I have friends who don’t even know where their parents had studied.Some are completely ignorant what their parents’ educational qualifications are.

Sigh!!

So if your child is irresponsible or emotionally weak or not confident or cannot take risks or decisions, you are the reason for it.Rather than pampering them with money,you let them live through your tensions but share your happiness too.Rather than buying things for debt,give them what you can afford and make them understand how difficult it was for you to earn such a small amount.Kids will surely value it.Celebrate your small achievements with your family.It is not necessary to go for a tour to have fun with family.You can do household works with your family.In my home,we used play a game “cleanest room”.To win the game,we used to clean nook and corner of our room so that our room is cleaner than parents’ room.Though we were cleaning our house,we do so as fun and that builds the family bonding.:) ;)So instead of pushing the kids for studying and tuitions round the clock,spend time with them.If you think that the money you spend for them is love,then kids will consider you as an ATM. 😛 😛

Let your kid know that you are a SENSIBLE parent than a super parent.