The Innocence is Gone!

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Some days back, I had put up a status update on my Facebook wall which went like ‘Sometimes Johnny is a Gadaar and sometimes he is a Joker. Whatever happened to that little Johnny who lived down the lane?’ I was obviously referring to the nursery rhyme ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’. Then a friend commented this on the post, ‘He had to grow up in this big bad world.’ Aah! Yes. I so agree. We all grow up, grow old and grow out of the nursery rhymes in this big bad world. Even the characters grow up and take a life of their own.

What brought me to the nursery rhymes is the fact that today’s kids are missing out on the charm of those innocent rhymes, words, characters and fantasies. I don’t remember the last time I saw a cute toddler reciting a rhyme or a parent asking the kid to recite a recently learned poem to the eager family audience in a social gathering. Call it the generation gap that goes more than two decades (between the today’s kids and I) or my old-school upbringing, but it does quite look a bit worrying to see the kids today mouthing the dialogue from a Salman Khan’s latest flawlessly, much to the delight of their proud parents.

The kids today are an active bunch of multi-taskers, jugglers, very able to pull off a little show with their antics and fast learners they all are. They learn what they see around them every day. They pick up the songs, the dance steps, the cuss words, the ads that make their parents uncomfortable and the technology that even their folks take time to get adept at. The kids of this millennium are sharp, fast-learners and witty.

However, I feel the kids are losing out on the whole beauty of growing up in the fierce so-called competition and modernization. I mean, where is the time for the bed-time stories, playing in the park in the evenings, spending summer vacations at grandparents’ house or getting dirty in the mud while playing? They spend most of the time in front of the TV where all they are hooked at are latest Bollywood numbers. And then I wonder do the kids even understand what they are crooning? Or, see them shaking their hips and doing pelvic thrusts like no other to a fast number and you will know the answer.

The kids of our domestic help aged 6 and 4 years come with their mother every Sunday as their school is closed. While the mother is busy with the chores, the kids never fail to delight us with the poems they have learnt. But I always find them humming lines like ‘darling aankhon se aankhein chaar karne do’ or ‘aaoji bauji dil se dil milaaoji’ while naively playing with their toys.

Yes, only these many lines of the songs. Nothing more and nothing less. they sing them with the ease of breathing. I won’t deny that it does feel nice. From their lovely cute little mouths, and with fumbled jumbled lyrics, it does feel cute. But…sigh!!

Today at the salon, a 4 years old girl was flipping the pages of a magazine while her mother was getting her facial done. On spotting Katrina Kaif’s picture, the kid called out to her mom saying, ‘Mumma dekho Sheila!’ I could not resist a smile.

Naina Madan

The author is a qualified Chartered Accountant but veered away from the profession some time back to find her true calling. Has worked in online marketing, public relations, copy-editing and now it is advertising that keeps her occupied for five days a week. She likes sitting at Cafe Coffee Day, sipping a cappucino and looking at people. And she can do it all day! She loves Hindi movies, is an FM addict, likes solving Sudoku and is a huge F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan.

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