Be childlike – Give it a try

November, 2014

One of my ex-colleagues had once narrated to me a small anecdote revolving around happiness of children. He had accompanied his boss (an expatriate) and his boss’s boss (again an expatriate) for some project site visit in central India. On a heap of sand were lying unclothed / under clothed children enjoying themselves thoroughly rolling on the sand, slinging it on each other etc. The boss commented on their poverty levels and lack of basic necessities in life to which the boss’s boss commented ‘why do you say so ? unlike you they are happy. They are rich in the true sense’. I harbor a desire to lie like the children without giving a damn to the world. Even better if I could sleep soundly like a street dog on a mud heap oblivious to the garbage around or deafening traffic sound. Oh, how sublime 

I was reminded of this anecdote seeing so many children playing with gay abandon with simple things like air bubbles, kites, balloons out in the open air. Do you think it is surreal or real ? Do children really enjoy this kind of freedom today ? Is safety issue coming in the way, especially in big cities that we are enslaved to gadgets to keep tracking our children ? Are they losing out on simple joys of life ?

On the other end of the spectrum, fathom what Nobel laureate Kailash Sathyarthi had to say in a TV interview recently. When he rescued children from a mining quarry in Rajasthan and offered them bananas they didn’t know that it must be peeled and eaten. They were born to parents and grandparents who were bonded for so many generations that they didn’t know what the outside world looked like, what freedom is. It was heart wrenching to hear that they could not identify any food other than potatoes and onion – that is the only thing they were fed on !! Is this surreal or real ?

Our children are our future and we are holding the present in trust for them. However, let us not be so bogged down with this responsibility that we lose the child in us. Keep it alive. You will enjoy life better !

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