I live in a fairly big housing society with a decent playing space. I have a toddler and was excited to take her to the park in our society. I thought I will open her to the world where other kids run, laugh and play around. Of course, I also thought that I will be able to gel up with the other mommies.
The first day I went to the play area with my little one, I was disappointed to see no one around. I know there are lots of kids of various age groups in our society, but no one was to be seen outside their home. Nevertheless, I made it a routine to go the park everyday in the evening. Soon, I realized that only a group of paatis (grand mothers) come to the park religiously, to chit-chat. There are days when I see one or two kids playing in the swing or slide, but that’s a rare sight.
I convinced myself that the kids must be busy with school works and all the extracurricular activities that their parents have enrolled them into. Finally, it was summer holidays and I thought the kids will have to come out and play at least to while away time. Still, no kids turned up in the evening.
What’s wrong with the present day kids? – I wonder. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time outdoors – playing with my friends or cousins. Summer holidays meant cousins get together, playing together, devising more new games to play, eating mangoes and kulfis.
Today’s kids are so hooked onto their gadgets that they have no clue about outdoor games like kho-kho, kabaddi, kalla manna (land or sand), etc. Parents are happy to give away their phones/tabloids to keep them occupied. I hardly see kids conversing with each other. They are in their own world with Chotta Bheem and Dora and don’t like to be disturbed by anyone.
I know a lot of parents who are proud that their child can operate a smart phone like a pro. They take pride in the fact that their kids can browse rhymes or songs of their interest all by themselves.
In fact, many parents are surprised that I am yet to introduce YouTube rhymes to my little one. People often flood me with unasked suggestions of the best videos to show to my child. They say that time has changed and that the old practices will leave my kid behind in the present competitive world. Though, I don’t understand how!
Hope I find few parents who think alike so that there is company for my kid to play!