Pic.: Malabika Ganguly
“That's the real trouble with the world… too many people grow up.”
- WALT DISNEY
It is quarter to eleven in the morning, and these kids – about fourteen of them – have no plans to go home for their breakfast. They told me that they all had planned last night itself to come down to ‘enjoy’ at 6 this morning… Six boys and eight girls. I seldom saw them down, so carefree and happy, for so many months now. Their school bus ferried them even before the Sun had come out fully; in the afternoon, they came home only to drop their school-bags and then off they would rush for half-a-dozen tuitions and classes. I would hardly see them playing down, together… The school and the rat-race had deprived them of what kids of their age had to get – simple playtime...
So, today, as their Diwali vacation is on, it was a delightful sight to watch them all together doing the utterly simple kid-stuff here in the open…
As I opened my office, at 8 this morning, almost all of them came to say ‘Hi sir”.
“So, chilling out haan?” I said.
“YESSS sir,” they said in a chorus, “No school, no tuitions, no classes… only play.”
“Good fun haan?” I encouraged, “Did you have your breakfast?”
“No breakfast sir, directly lunch.” I was told.
“That’s real fun, na?” I pumped.
“Chalo, go and have great time,” I sent them back.
The only difference between these kids and we kids was that we did not go to any tuitions, classes or camps… At least, I did not go. For us, after school meant play in the open… Vacation meant a total vacation. Nothing else but play… chill out with our simple stuff. Today, kids are rarely seen playing in the open, especially because of TV, computers, cell-phones, video games and other such stuff… Parents send them, forcefully, to several classes essentially to keep their children away from those gadgets.
Is it good or is it bad?
It is sad!
I really love to watch little kids doing their little stuff… I love to watch them, out there, play their simple games… I love to watch them bond and break, fight and befriend, argue, yell and cozy-up again… I love to watch them wonder, ask, cry and laugh…
So, today, when I saw these kids doing what they should, I really felt happy for them…
“Happy Diwali kids. Yes, I specially dedicate this Diwali to you… Play, cry and laugh more this time around."