Shocked? Did the title ring a bell? You must be thinking that I’m going to talk about the children living in slums or orphanages and the problems they face. No, everyone knows about that. I’m referring to the normal children around us who are not deprived of their parents and get every damn thing which they ask for. So, how does the title fits in this case?Well, I must say this may sound quite absurd but that is what I mean to say- when I see the children around me; my juniors, my cousins, and many others who I know from my school days, I ask myself, is this what being a child means?
I mean where did the childish nature, the quintessence of a child, disappear? There are many instances when I find myself staring helplessly on this question floating around me.
I remember vividly that during my school days, we used to play like anything; be it cricket, tennis, table-tennis, sitoliya, hide n seek, ice-water etc. All we could say was ‘bring it on’! On a single playground, at least 8-10 different cricket matches took place. However, now, when I look at the empty playgrounds and parks, they appear to me like a haunted place. It’s not that the children today don’t play; of course, they play with agility on a computer- cricket, Farmville, Counter-strike etc.!We used to meet and play with our friends, chatting on all sorts of topics, and making fun of each other. Nowadays children, after the school hours, meet their friends online. We used to have real fights with our friends and then the reunion parties, whereas children today, ‘poke’ their friends online!
There is a hell of a difference between being ‘innocent’ and being ‘ignorant’. Innocence is something which can’t be defined. I can’t even remember how many times we were punished by the teachers for our mischiefs; however, children today don’t find doing ‘dher sari masti’ in classrooms interesting. Instead, they are more content in talking about the life of Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez!
They will answer anything related to Algebra, Physics, and NFS, but ask them about comics- Tintin, Chacha Choudhary and stuff, they can’t even move their lips.We used to capture our happy moments in pictures, making ‘horns’ on each other’s heads with our fingers and laughing all the time; today, children pose like some ‘models’ and help themselves with photo-editing - for preparing their ‘profile picture’ on facebook. Innocence, huh?
They maybe more ‘techno-savvy’ than us, but are helluva less ‘childish’! And I’m not exaggerating. Please, don’t misconstrue my views. I’m not comparing the two generations because that’s something impossible. Every generation has its own characteristics. But, still, it’s a matter of great concern. After all, we were not born some 30-40 years ago. We have just completed our ‘teenage’, and I really cherish the moment when anyone accuses me of being ‘childish’. If only I could be a child again! [Sigh..!]Who is responsible for this situation? Children alone can’t be held responsible. Parents are equally responsible, if not more. When I see children going to coaching classes right from 8th class, I can’t help but feel pity for them. They may be preparing for their (??) goal of IIT or AIIMS, but what about their precious moments of childhood being lost? How can they be held responsible for not playing, when probably, they are not getting time for even dreaming!
Why are they provided access to the computers and gadgets all the time? Why parents don’t encourage their children to play, to enjoy the life? Is fulfilling every materialistic need, the only duty of parents?I think it’s high time when parents understand the gravity of the situation and take some measures. Children should also ponder over this and select their choices wisely, because as our Dumbledore said, “Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.”
I hope the children would be ready to don a new hat and prove me wrong, and I would be more than happy to eat my own words.