Few days back, I was at one of my known’s place when his 14 years old was sounding quite depressed and dull. Knowing him, it was a bit unusual, so I tried to dig him, and guess what I came to know... The Einstein could score ONLY 2nd rank in the unit test for some IIT coaching. Gee, are you nuts, I asked him, its just a unit test and further more, you are just 14! IIT?? He gazed back at me as if I have challenged his virginity. Almost similar expressions were shared by his mommy dearest, and then followed a long lecture on how important it is to start preparing now, and how sincere the child is, while spending 15-16 hours a day in the studies. Uhhh.. From what I can remember about my childhood, when I was 14, the biggest concern in my life was to somehow get my hands on the new BSA-SLR bicycle of one of my class mate and then convince my dad that my present ride is good for nothing and how unkind, unfair and lots of other words starting with “un” it will be if I dint get a new one.
Further more, even by standard 11th or 12th, if somebody used to ask me, so what are you gonna be when you grow up, I was like uhmmm.. and then stare at mum with a look on face that said “what do I say.. what kind of question is this..“ but today.. you ask a 10 years old and he/she will shoot back with the career/profession which half of the average Indians have never heard of.. How very contemplative and forward thinking, but ain’t it a bit unfair with the kids? Parents try to fulfill their dreams, desires and wishes in their children and somehow end up in forcing the child to be some one which he/she is actually not. The childhood which is supposed to be most innocent, stress-free and simply the best time of a persons’ life, gets lost somewhere in the unfulfilled cravings of the parents.
Then, there is my 2 years old niece. Getting her ready after bath or when going out is as herculean task as making Pakistan admit that they are behind the terrorist attacks in India. Kiddo will simply sit on bed while her mom will show all dresses and then ma’am will choose what color and what type of dress she is going to wear that day. Sweet as it might sound but its not, ask her mom when going out, while they are all dressed up for a party but the kid is dressed up in an old and strained sweater coz that is her current favorite at that time. If you ask me, I used to be all happy in a diaper with a loose home made vest. And colors, not even heard of them at that time.. o boy.. time is surely changing!