Tag Archives: smart

Mango king and pineapple queen

Last week was a friend’s birthday and it’s almost an annual ceremony with us to call each other up on our birthdays to yak. I lived up to tradition and we caught up on gossip – starting from our eccentric college professors to our kids growing up faster than necessary.

She, being a teacher, had much to tell me about adolescent behaviour these days. Kids have no respect and no fear for anything she insists. Their callous attitude is fuelled by the guilt of their working parents – who believe that their child can do no wrong. The teachers get yelled at by the parents for no fault of theirs. What’s more with this new grading system, she says, discipline has gone completely awry. The average students get away with high grades because they score more in sports and other extra curricular. They don’t even care to submit their projects on time anymore. And then the ‘good’, hardworking students get lower grades because they can’t seem to do anything other than mugging lessons. My cynical views of course did not go down well with her.

This new system requires a complete change in mindset of parents, teachers and students. Thanks to our current very academic based system – we have stopped giving importance to arts. I salute Mr. Kapil Sibal who has been bold enough to make these changes and face a lot of flak! But this hopefully will mark a positive change in our education system. Children are not mugging machines – rather they are individuals with several hidden talents. If the education system does not help them unearth these talents – then what will?

Bad enough our children grow up ahead of times these days thanks to all the exposure. I feel if we curb their natural skills then they will become muddle headed idiots. While they feel like singing and dancing their momma’s are sending them off to tuition classes. They get no playtime. No avenues to expend their energy. They start functioning like robots. They become mugging machines. But they are capable of so much more.

My friend does not agree.

She feels Indians shine abroad because they are so knowledgeable. I feel Indians are only capable of doing mechanical work that simply requires them to follow an established procedure. No wonder we are thriving in the IT industry. But where are Indians when it comes to sports and performing arts? We do not seem to excel in anything that requires physical application, imagination and creative manipulation.

It’s incredible how imaginative and creative kids are… Shoes worn wrong look like butterflies on the feet (ha… ha… bet you never thought of it that way!). Rainbows happen when God blows his nose after shedding tears of joy. (Ok this one’s a little gross – but think about it phlegm is coloured!)

I have great hope in today’s little iPod generation. They are way too smart. Ten steps ahead of us. Way too perceptive and mature beyond their years. Just the other day my six year old and I were discussing fruits. We said Mango the king needs a queen. We kept thinking of a suitable queen – I suggested pineapple as she has a crown. “No mom,” says my little one, “but she is so thorny. Then the king will never be able to hug her.” Err… point taken!

I hope this generation of smart, imaginative, perceptive kids…save the day.

The dog collar

Each day I learn something new from my little one. Ok, she is going to be six (!!) and not so little any more. (But for me she will always be the helpless little baby that was thrust into my arms!) So I’m constantly amazed at the words and ideas she suddenly throws up on me. They catch me unawares and most of the time I blubber and blabber. But one thing is for sure – I always want to answer her honestly. As much honesty as she would understand that is.

It’s been decided, by the way, that she will marry in a Church. Because she prefers the Cinderella like white gown to a sari and more importantly, she loves the idea of a wedding ring. (Don’t ask me who has been telling her all this. Not me. We perhaps have to thank the Disney Princesses for this!) Anyways, we seriously discussed the idea of her marrying in a Church and have agreed in principle that it should be ok with us all. She can’t however decide between Kishan, Atul and Ananth! Sigh! Yeah life is full of tough decisions, right.

Ouch…I’m drifting away from the focal point of this blah blah.

First, a little background to the uninitiated. I have stopped wearing my ‘thali chain’ for various reasons ranging from feminism, freedom of expression to dislike for gold ornaments…but lets not get into that now. Despite entreaties from my mother – who thinks this is total blasphemy – I decided to stick by my decision.

One day, when we were reading one of those fairy tales – M turned to me and asked me why I don’t wear my ‘thali chain’. I said I don’t like it because it’s too heavy around my neck.

“But how will people know that you are married?” she asked me perplexed.

“Why do people need to know?” I ask back smartly.

“What if some uncle thinks you are unmarried and gets married to you.” She wonders, her eyes going round with concern.

“Hmmm” I pretend to think about it while my brain absorbs the question and decides whether to laugh it off as a joke or take this one seriously.

“And…then what if you have a baby with THAT uncle. Then what will I do?” she continues her train of thoughts, while I’m still trying to think of a clever way to answer.

I’m now aghast! I wonder who has been feeding her such stuff. We don’t even watch soppy soaps on TV at home!

“But sweety, you forget that I know to talk. I will tell that uncle that I’m already married!” I say deciding to put her alarming concerns to rest.

“But amma why can’t you just wear a thali chain?” she asks – still not convinced with my answer.

I mull over how to answer this one. From the balcony I see a dog on a leash, its owner pulling it one way and the dog trying to go the other way.

“Look at that doggie.” I point out to her. We both peep and look at the doggie for a while. Amused at the way the master and dog tussle with each other.

“Ah…I know amma, when you wear that thali chain do you feel like that doggie?” Asks M – startling me, as always, with her perception.

I grin at her and we both break into a giggle at the vision of her father and me having a similar tussle.

But jeez! The kid never fails to amaze me! How on earth did she get that dog collar thing?!