The Lost Innocence: Tanya Bahl

valuesMy cousin had come to our place after a long while with his four year old son. While the whole family was busy having hearty laughs and talks, I noticed my nephew sitting in a corner busy playing temple run on my cousin’s phone and at the same time chirping “chinki chameli pahua chada ke aayi!”  Right from the time he had entered the house, excluding the forceful namastey to all, he had isolated him and his cell phone.

Hearing to the song, I initiated talk with him.

“Hey Reyaansh! Ye kaun sa gaana gaa rhe ho aap?”

“Massi Katrina vala!”

“Aapko pata h Katrina kaun h?”

“Haan na massi, Rahul (his classmate) kehta hai, she is very hot and sexy!”

Four year old child singing chikni chameli, using profane language, expletive words could have left any one aghast.

This small incident made me to ponder over the effect the ‘so called’ modernization and advancement has caused to us. It has cost to us the innocence of such small kids!

We were also kids once. Of course all toddlers interrupt, whine and throw tantrums, we also have done this in our childhood. Those behaviors are quite normal ways for little kids to exert their independence, but the difference is made by the adult’s reaction. Spoiling occurs when kids pre-dominantly take charge in the family. In other words, kids aren’t spoiled because they whine, but because their whining consistently gets them what they desire.

We as adults, rather than explaining to them about their in apt argument prefer to “LOL!” over a forwarded whatsapp joke.

Gone are the days when the kids used to wake up hearing the chanting of prayers by their mums or grand mums. Contrarily, the alarms of our cell phone are set to the tunes of “Aaj blue h paani paani!” The songs like ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Aye mere vatan ke logon’ in this “dude’s” world are meant to be played only on 26 January and 15 August (of course if elections aren’t on, coz during those days you can hear the maximum of these kinda songs in auto-rickshaws with a screaming voice asking to vote for the biggest ‘DESH BHAKAT’ ever), otherwise Honey Singh is the maestro. I mean common, who would like to hear about “khoob ladi mardani”, if we get a choice to listen to “choti dress mein bomb lagdi mainu”. Why to bore kids? Let them enjoy isn’t it?

Talking about us 90’s children, we were taught to recite mantras like Gayatri mantra, Saraswati mantra or simply fold our hands and close our eyes and pray to Almighty whenever we felt anxiety or nervousness. Vis-à-vis earphones plugged into rock music is the solution for today’s kids. Be it the mathematics test the next day or some boring lecture by an adult that “screwed” them in their terms.

Even the cartoons served to the little sweet hearts these days communicate to them words like ‘abey’ and ‘saale’. They have their ideal Shinchan on one hand, crushing on his own teacher, making plans to woo her and the protagonist of the other using Doremon’s gadget to find any easy way out to get high grades for the next day’s lecture.

To them everything that is served looks ideal. Something they have to have. It all sounds to them so appealing often so much than it really is.

Every weekend, religiously, I have a whatsapp message from a distant aunt of mine asking me to help her in making her son’s project which she feels he (12 years old) is too young to do by himself.

While his mother and I do all ‘his’ work, he is allowed to play games or surf the net (of course facebook, twitter, Instagram what else) on computer or watch his favourite show on television, so that he doesn’t disturb ‘his’ work.

A very petty thing to mention about some school project but still having major repercussions.

With their Baby gap wardrobe, Gymboree classes and Disney videos, it is no surprise that the kids of the 21st century have been clearly shielded from the hardships of life by their over protective parents. We are plunking our kids into what Sally Koslow has termed “Adultesence”

“Please make a difference between modernization and westernization”- Dr. Subramaniyan Swamy. By this I don’t mean that we must not teach our children to be at par with the advancing or rather “westernizing” India. But what is meant is that we must not leave the roots that bind us to our morals. And this is the duty of adults to teach these values to the little darlings. After all who wants their priceless innocence to get lost in this cacophonous world!

So let us begin this change in us and with the people around us. After all:

“Akhir hum badlenge tabhi to badlega India!”




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