One of the most fascinating sights for me is to see children frolicking gleefully. I can say without any doubt that ask any child in the midst of a game whether his/her work/project is complete for the day. The child would probably halt, ponder, give a sheepish grin and then continue to play. The reckless attitude of the children to squeeze maximum out of life, out of that moment is what makes childhood an enviable phase of life which we all remember with nostalgia. There is something in childhood that tugs at our hearts. What is that we leave behind as we grow in years? When and where do we leave that wonderful saga of love for life behind? Are we happy in the rat race? Of course, we are not. Running around like ants and mice hoarding materialistic things!
We can be grateful to the Pandemic for at least one thing: it taught many to pause and ponder as to what they want in life. We discovered ourselves, we discovered our families and we discovered the little child within all of us. And that child blossomed when we allowed it to. And if some of us haven’t allowed it, it’s time to encourage the child to laugh, play and explore. I go for my regular brisk walk but there are days when I saunter and gaze at the tiny flowers that grow by the side. A flock of birds bathing in the small puddle makes me smile. My friends and I sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song loudly in a restaurant for a dear friend, irrespective of the people around. And when I look around, I see only smiling faces, their eyes silently appreciating the small celebration. I shamelessly go and praise a stranger for their act of kindness or for their graceful sway. I love the twinkle in the eyes of strangers. Everyone likes a caring gesture.
I envy my friends who trek mountains, take classes to learn dance, music or indulge in sports. There is so much to do, there is so much to learn. The whole world is a classroom where learning is solely activity based. One needs the curiosity and eagerness of a child to see the bounties of Nature and of God. Go to a fair to see a puppet show, go and see an animation movie and take out time to hear the singer at the wayside singing a rustic song. My most memorable moment was when I heard two singers sing the famous song depicting the marriage procession of Lord Shiva. My friends had to pull me to the party that we had to attend. As I sat near the two singers, I got goosebumps. It was simple but pulling. I let the little child in me, sit on the pavement next to them and get lost in a trance. I was oblivious to the people around me. Gradually, many stopped to hear the two. And all those who stood there lost count of the time.
I am learning to enjoy the simple joys of life from you, dear children. You appreciate the little things and surprises that life throws at you. You move with a sprint in your step. You play with children who may belong to a different strata. For you the game is important and not the names of brands and clothes. You are trusting by nature. You have full faith in someone up there looking after you, your family and the whole world. You don’t doubt. You are secure in the knowledge that things work out for the best. You praise, love and enjoy. You don’t plan, you go with flow till we, adults, step in. We teach you to measure happiness according to our terms. We are bad, aren’t we?
But we are learning fast. There are so many people who are letting children be. There are adults who are going back to hobbies that they left behind. People are going to professions which they once wanted to follow. So a person who wanted to be a Chef but was forced to be an engineer (by not very understanding parents) floats videos to showcase his/her culinary skills. A doctor decides to switch careers to become a Radio Jockey! And more and more parents are letting go of their children and are allowing them to pick a profession that they would enjoy. We have been on life’s treadmill for too long. We are exhausted and we are slowing down. We don’t want to put you there. It’s tough, arduous and killing. We need to understand the joy in living a simple life. Mall culture, globe trotting is fine but one’s home with close friends and family members can be an oasis to soothe tired souls. Help us to explore this option. You have the secret to turn a plush living area into a play area. Never mind the artifacts. That is your beauty.
So, children teach us not to forget that life is precious. Teach your parents that they do not always have to be responsible. They can afford to laugh at anecdotes and silly jokes. Give us reminders that there is a child within all of us. Take out time from your studies to teach adults that life and fun can co-exist. And do remember to keep that child alive within you. Happy Childrens Day to all of us!