The child is the father of the man, said someone very wise. Likewise the child is the mother of the woman. In many ways the child has the key to how a happy life can be lived, easily and simply.
A child can soften the hardest heart. Even a tough criminal is putty in the hands of his own offspring. This reminds me of an old Hindi film, ‘Nanha farishta’ (little angel), where a cherubic little girl, transforms three hardened criminals, so much so that they surrender finally.
This is a topic that has been written on time and again but to each her/his own experience is unique. Each one of us sails in the same boat, so to say, of taking birth-living-dying and yet every life is different in its own way.
As children we must have lived in much the same way, except that our world was simpler, less gadget-ridden and less exposed to many things making our childhoods last longer than that of our kids.
Nevertheless and thank God for that, childhood is a pristine time and many lessons are learned by us adults, unknowingly or with awareness.
The gift of be-ing comes naturally at birth. All of us have had it and many of us preserve it to a varying degree even as adults.
Looking back I remember a time when there was no sense of time and each day stretched out endlessly, simply because one was fully immersed in what one was doing. One activity finished, a child moves seamlessly to another one or ambles around, dreams or does whatever the moment makes it do.
Any little thing can make a child laugh. Some of us are like that when we are with friends. The smallest joke is endlessly funny. A tickle, always welcome as a source of some more laughter. As we grow our laughter gets shorter, engages the belly lesser. The number of times we laugh daily gets lesser and lesser less. It is lovely to share in my child’s laughter, watching the antics of Tom and Jerry and other such delightful characters, recounting comic anecdotes, making up new games and the like.
At times I am harsh with my little one for what I perceive as an undoable thing. Sometimes this is needed and sometimes totally unnecessary. When I have been needlessly harsh, I feel mortified and ask for forgiveness and explain when it’s been more from my state of mind.
What I have realized is that I don’t forget and come back to the same issue after school or whenever I can if I feel the need to explain. I have been beating myself up within me all that while.
On the other hand, the little one has forgotten within a maximum of 10 minutes. While I want her to learn that we needn’t be ashamed to apologise when we are in the wrong, I also see and enjoy the fact that she forgets and moves on, in a trice.
Be-ing, Laughter and Forgetting are only 3 out of the countless gems we can pick out, absorb and apply from a child. I will continue in another post, some other time.
About the author
Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.
She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practicing Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity. Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure.
She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing. Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi.Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad. Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka,that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl