Like many parents doting over their kids, I, too have bitten the soft toy bug. In retrospect, I’m thankful that UNLIKE many indian parents I didn’t keep him away from the real furry ones. Now that those happy-go-lucky inanimate ones that ruled over his days and nights are merely serving as pillows around his bed, I thought I’d write an ode to all of them and one in particular.
About eight years ago I bought a soft toy for my son. A plump grey elephant, with some pink on the ears and laughing eyes. I christened it, Ellie – a girl elephant. Not sure whether the idea was to make my son grow to be sort of gender neutral, or just that I liked the cute heart a lot. There were others too and Ellie found her friend in a tiger, a huge bunny, Noddy and a polar bear. And like all the bigger ones, looked down upon the smaller dolphin, panther and the dinosaur. Like all pachyderms, she loved a swirl in the water, coming out of it quite the perfect being, unlike the others trying to hide their limp tails. Being the only girl among the boys, she immediately found a protective friend in the tiger. Oh yea, she was one of the few allowed to ride him. But that was only until I had my way with the kiddo. Somehow my son lost all interest in Ellie soon enough. All my efforts to make him like that girl, failed and the only time my son held her was to hold her trunk and put her aside. That was one of the first lessons my son taught me about his choice on material things. And how he would absolutely resist me forcing mine on him. However, being possessive, he refused to share her with any one else too.
He stopped playing with his softs about a year ago, but doesn’t let me remove any. So, all of them sit there, aging. Unlike us, not worse off without use.
Ellie, the ever-smiling happy protagonist in this note, sits proud with her trunk perfectly poised, with the only regret of not having made any memories with her favorite people.
They are kids, not adults
They aren’t a punching bag for your bad day
Don’t make them grow faster, slow down your own thinking
Its not business as usual. Its unconditional.
Don’t make them pay for their happiness
They’ll do anything if they can feel the love
Affection first. Rights and responsibilities later
You aren’t doing them a favor. In their mind, if you’re doing something its because you like doing it with them.
It takes very little to keep them happy. But do you even have that little within you?
Giving them food on a plate should be a thankless job, find charity elsewhere.
When was the last you did something just to bring a smile on his/her face?
My childhood can never be the benchmark, I haven’t turned out perfect.
And neither have you.
The most happening part of my job these days is a very busy tree just outside my office. Being on the second floor, I’m privy to ‘ave’rything that goes around it.
The last few days has seen a very persistent woodpecker, with a blood red toupée and flamboyant spots, completely replacing the two bright green parrots that gave me company for a while.
This is big.
Now I have to stand there and check out the proceeding of its daily life instead of being constantly updated on my chair by the garrulous couple.
There’s a buzz above
Its hard to miss
George is planning a house-warming
For the Prince it seems
Yeap, they’ll all be there
The keepers of music
Its a private party
That lesser mortals like us, shall miss.
(Image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23986803)
There’s a reason why we learn to read before we learn to write. As a writer, we’re expected to read other writings. We can choose not to, and that still doesn’t make anyone a lesser writer.
As a reader, we can disagree with the content – but surely we can’t criticize a writing or the writer. So, it’s either agree, disagree or ignore.
Can’t stop anyone from writing. That’s taking away the basic ‘freedom of expression’, which is everyone’s favorite three words, in India these days.
But how about writing lines that pry open the basic fabric of our constitution? Instead of burning papers, perhaps we should just criticize like mad. But remember, that not everyone criticizes by writing. Neither can writers take the moral high ground of being better people because they criticize on paper. All kind of people, at every level, are allowed to criticize in whatever way they find suitable.
So I take deep offense when some journalist, like Barkha Dutt or the very articulate Congress man, Shashi Tharoor – ridicule those who may not be educated enough to do it in a certain way and use a different language or process of criticism. Do they really think only the English -speaking people (with the correct accent) have the copyright of ethical protests. I have seen more lies coming out of the intellectual class than many others!
And yes, I am talking of criticism, not threats.