No More Sundays
A Typical Modern - Day Conversation.
"SON , A NEW CABLE CONNECTION?"
"OH! I LOVE YOU DAD!"
"SON , SOME COOL INTERNET SITES?"
"OH! YOU ARE THE BEST DAD!"
"SON , COMPUTER GAMES?"
"OH! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!!!" , HUGS DAD!
"SON , A LITTLE HISTORY OF OUR CITY?"
"UH OH! NO , DAD!"
"OK , THEN WHO WANTS TO ACCOMPANY DAD TO THE PARK?"
"UH OH! NO ONE DAD!"
"OK , THEN A ROUND OF BADMINTON , PERHAPS?"
"DAMN DAD! YOU SPEAK A LOT! I LOST THE LEVEL IN ROAD RASH!"
The Cage : How does today's childhood scramble its way through the blind lanes of despair?
We all know what’s waiting , yet we can't / don't do a thing. It's like our hands and feet are forever tied.
And yes , we are busy. The man needs to leave at 8 am for his work. He returns at 8pm. His wife needs to leave at 10 am for hers. She returns at 8 pm.
The boy of thirteen years goes to school by the school bus at 9 am. He returns at 4 pm.
Hardly can he carry the huge load on his back. No wonder his school bag weighs more than him!
Everyday , the caretaker opens the door for him , then shows him his naasta (the evening meal) and leaves for the day.
20 X 15 feet - His Kingdom. His Rules!
Yes , he loves to socialize himself. He has five hundred friends on Facebook and around a hundred contacts on WHATS APP. But , hardly does he know anybody in his high - rise apartment.
His dad has recently bought him a palmtop...his mom got him a tablet for his birthday.His cousin sister has a mini version. How can she not have , eh? She is already seven!
He has got all the latest video games in the city.
He uses his book - shelf to keep the discs. Some quality books? No , they do not find their way in the apartment.
He kicks off the first virtual soccer game of the day.. Germany versus Nigeria. His eyes remain fixed on the screen. Left to right...top to bottom...he tackles , dribbles , scores. He imagines himself in front of a seventy thousand spectators...each cheering his name.
The empty bedroom walls smile back at him. Was it a sarcastic one ,or are they indeed happy?
His optician has advised him to spend lesser hours in front of computers.
But who cares? The frame is a trendy one and his parents have promised him his contact lenses very soon.
Just as a parrot takes the cage as her world , the child never complains. He doesn't hold any grudge.
He has surrendered to the solitude around him and has accustomed himself to his concrete digital life. He doesn't really have an option. Does he?
The conflicting emotions.
The last rays of the sun seldom find their way through the compact windows and thick curtains. Artificial lights and air rule inside the complex.
He is addicted to a site. His parents know nothing about it. They have blocked some of them but there is always a second option. The innocence and simplicity get strangulated with each passing day. His classmates know everything. He can’t lag behind. He keeps his eyes fixed on the screen , swallowing each and every moment.
He is scared to watch it for long , in case his parents return early.
"Better to log in to Facebook." , he thinks to himself. Some of his mates are online. The others are perhaps off to their coaching classes for the evening.
He is disturbed by the howls and screams of the Kumars of the 9th floor again.
This starts after Mr.Kumar returns drunk from his factory and hits his wife. It goes on each day till late evening.
“Perhaps this is what happens if you ever get married…” he thinks to himself and goes back to chatting.
His tuition teacher arrives at 7:30 pm and his parents at 8 , happy to see their son so serious with his studies.
It maybe that...
1. He doesn't sleep at all these days!
He is holding on to a tension. It can also be a result of too much exposure to television or video games.
2. He is such a brat!
He is pampered or is granted all his wishes too soon.
3. He doesn't have any friends in his school.
He is scared to mingle with the real people in real life.
4. He is losing his apetite.
He is suffering from tiredness and depression or it's due to the lack of exercise.
5. He seldom speaks.
He unnecessarily thinks to himself a lot.
Are we going the right way?
“You got to become an engineer like me , son!” , says his dad.
"No! You promised me that you will become a doctor , no?" , says his mom.
“Ok ! But only if you buy me a bike.” , the boy blinks an eye.
“But you’re too young for that , son!”
“Fine then! I am too young to start thinking to become an engineer or a doctor!”
His parents get the point. “OK son , you will have a bike soon. Just keep on studying!”
A deal is made.
After dinner , it’s the FTV time of his mom.
Dad loves soccer.
A high — pitched dispute. Happens every night.
“I’ll get a new T.V tomorrow. You go to hell with yours!!!” Mom’s verdict.
The boy goes to bed every night at 11pm. But he doesn’t sleep.
No , he doesn’t read any books either.
He watches some films which he has acquired from his school on his tablet in his personal fully - equipped room.
His parents knock and enter each night to pat him to sleep.
Does he sleep? Well, no one really knows.
How long / When does your child stay alone at home?
Do we really care for their well - being?
He gets all the time in the world to surf , race , fight , watch T.V and chat on the Sundays.
He doesn’t have a holiday!
He never had since his second standard.
He is growing up. He is competing. He is going to become a doctor , an engineer , a teacher , a scientist , a lawyer… He will definitely survive.
But can he ever live?
The rain cries for the answer and the wind silently laments on the closed anti — reflection glasses and walls of the 10th floor.
Indeed , they are too strong for the rain and wind…afterall , the parents don’t pay such a high rent for nothing!
Where do The Answers Lie?
It's high time for us to start thinking on a serious note...
- Is the future truly safe for our kids or are we throwing them unintentionally in a pit of darkness?
- Is our tendency of granting them whatever they wish for slowly killing their chances to ever become self - sufficient?
- Are we not trying incessantly to realize our unfulfilled wishes through them , without ever thinking if they have a sky to touch?
- Are we giving them enough company both in their thick and thins?
- Do we think that the responsibility of a parent lies solely in spending thousands to provide for the child?
- Are we performing our duties towards our children in the best possible way?
" UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD " IS THE ANSWER." YOU " ARE THE QUESTION!