I recently travelled to Kolkata in Rajdhani train. It was a nice journey. In my compartment there was another family having a 4 year kid. This kid was super excited and hyper. He was singing “4 bottle Vodka kaam mera roj ka ” [Translation: I have 4 bottles of Vodka daily]. During conversation lady said that her kid is very good at reciting rhymes and is very fond of singing. Honey Singh is his favorite and he has learnt every song sung by him. One of the co passengers was not happy about this. She tried to divert the kid to other songs and rhymes but he was a diehard fan and singer. He chose another song “I swear! Chhoti dress mein bomb lagdi mennu” [Translation: I swear! you look bomb in this mini dress]. 🙂
We (Me and mother of the kid) were enjoying the concert of this very talented and upcoming singer. But on observing the frustrated and disgusted looks on other fellow passengers’ face his father interrupted and made him busy with coloring. The little boy got so much immersed into coloring that he stopped singing. All of the co passengers felt great relief and they started discussing about how these songs and movies are corrupting young babies. “These kids know Vodka!! At this age I didn’t know Pepsi” said one of the passenger. “Nowadays small kids know bomb and rape!! They have lost all their innocence.” said another passenger. And similar judgements were passed by other passengers. Kid’s parents got defensive and announced “These kids belong to fast forward computer era. They know so much about everything. They are very smart and it seems that they have learnt it all in their mother’s womb.”
I was really confused whether these folks are worried about or jealous of the young generation. Obviously, in our times we people had a simpler and slow paced childhood. Our parental generation used to serve fruit juices and not Pepsi and we used to have Poori instead of Pizza in the kids birthday party. So, at that time not knowing Pepsi is not surprising. But today parents arrange kids birthday party at Mcdonald’s or Domino’s or similar food outlets where kids are served Frooti and soft drinks, pizza and burgers. Kids see in the films or in parties that their seniors drink different thing like Vodka or other alcoholic drink. They very simply understood the Vodka as elder’s Frooti. Is derivation of this analogy suggests that kids have lost their innocence because they know Vodka? They don’t fancy Vodka or ponder on the consequences of having Vodka. They don’t understand Vodka as we adults do.
Coming to issues like eve teasing and rape, why we elders think that kids don’t understand this concept? Let us go back to our childhood times and remember someone (annoying) in the neighbourhood commenting on you “Oho! badi jabardast frock pahani hai.” [Translation: Wow! You are wearing a sexy frock]. We know how annoyed we felt at that time. Is it any different than a victim of eve teasing feels? Remember when a relative grabbed us and kissed us without our consent. We know how embarrassing, offended and dirty we felt. Is it any different than a rape victim feels? Magnitude may vary but basically it is the same. So, in our childhood (boy or girl) we also knew it and experienced it in our full capacity. It is just that we could not map these feelings into an adult life and the reason was that we were never exposed to such terms. But does that make our childhood more innocent than present childhood?
We adults must admit that when we were kids we felt every emotion and understood our environment in our capacity like the present generation kids are doing. Present childhood generation is more informed and is more expressive but this does not mean that they have lost their innocence. They are still kids and we need to understand them without being judgemental. Listen to a kid at his level and process the information at your (adult) level and respond at his level. Let’s not get frustrated if our kid sings item songs or likes to dance on such songs. And stop confusing kids and being a hypocrite – something done by kids is wrong and when the same thing is done by an adult is correct. When honey Singh sings, he earns name, money and when a kid sings he earns scoldings. When Katrina dances on “Sheela ki Jawani”[Song celebrating girlhood of Sheela] our jaws drop and when kid dances on the same song we feel disgusting.
See you again.
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