Yesterday my daughter came to me and asked, “Which dress should I wear tomorrow for children’s day party?”
“Party? In school?”
“Means we will get some snacks by school for children’s day. It’s like party only”
I felt jealous for a while. This generation is really lucky in some cases.
“But do you know why children’s day is celebrated?” I asked her.
“Of course I know mom.”
She was confident while saying this, so I decided to cross check.
“Tell me why?”
“It’s because Jawaharlal Nehru was born on Children’s day. Simple.”
“STUPID ” I started laughing.
“Hey, why you call me that? My teacher told me, tomorrow we will celebrate Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday.”
“Ha. That’s fine. But it’s not that Jawaharlal Nehru born on Children’s day. He loved children and we celebrate Children’s Day because it’s his birthday.” I explained her.
“I was almost near to the answer, ” she said.
“Shut up. U said almost opposite to the answer”. We laughed on her statement.
So today we are celebrating children’s day. Right ? A tribute to India’s First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
It’s the day, which is celebrated by adults too, on social media. With a childhood picture of olden days or their kids’ pictures or some regular quotes of children’s day or maybe with a minor difference, the day will end like just another day on the calendar.
So I am not going to tell you the same thing which is already there in many Facebook posts or whatsapp status ,to keep the child within you alive and stop behaving matured.
I don’t believe that by sending such messages, would really create any difference in people’s behavior.
Because for a particular group of people it’s not required to tell them to keep the child alive and enjoy like a child. They are already enjoying little things in life, laughing and doing whatever they wish to do.
On the other hand, some people have reached a certain level of maturity where even on a biggest joke, they just smiles. You know, the straight line of lips just get little curved on extreme ends with little vibration of shoulders. As if someone have sealed their lips.
Anyways, kids are enjoying it, as far as their schools have taken it seriously. And that’s completely fine. I think every day is a children’s day for our kids. Isn’t it ?
So that’s the story where most of our kids get this day enjoy as much as possible.
But there is another side to this coin. Let me share with you one incidence.
Place : Choki Dhani
Few years back, we went to Choki Dhani for celebrating Children’s Day with my daughter. It was a Rajasthani themed resort where a small artificial Rajasthani village was built in an open space.
The 500 rupees ticket had everything, including the food, games, some old rides, events like puppet show, magic show, dance show which were in Rajasthani style. The staff was also wearing a Rajasthani attire. It was such a pleasant place. We felt like we were actually in a small village of Rajasthan.
Durva was enjoying a lot.
From the entrance gate, we started visiting different stalls and at the end of the resort there was a dinner hall.
Story starts here :
While roaming around, we stopped near a hut, where a lady was making hot bajra roti on chulha. There were two bowls kept near the chulha. One for red chilli chutney and another for ghee and jaggery.
WOW!! That smell of hot roti and the melted ghee with jaggery.
I don’t find exact word to describe that feeling. It was heaven. It fueled our appetite.
Many people were taking three or four rotis at a time. In fact, there was a queue for hot rotis.
And I was confused why are they eating so much before dinner? How will they enjoy Rajasthani Thali at the end ?
The staff lady was preparing roti and gud, which was part of our whole package for the day.
We also planned to eat one, as it seemed really tempting. We were also in waiting phase then. Many were taking photos of that lady, some were making videos of live roti making and some of us were just sitting under a tree and enjoying that feel of village while the roti was getting prepared.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of a child crying. The child was inside the hut. After few minutes we realized that the young lady who was making roti, was his mother.
The boy looked almost 2-3 years old.
Looking at the queue, the lady was worried, whether to look for the baby or to serve the people first. She requested us and went inside.
After some time she came out, closed the door and started preparing rotis once again.
The child stood on the bed near the window. He was still crying inside while looking at his mother from the window.
The poor lady had no other options but to serve us.She raised her speed of making rotis.
The child was crying at his highest volume. Some elder ladies from visitors offered her some help in making roti for themselves so that she could give some time to her child.
But as she was on her duty, she rejected the offer. Some young girls started showing their mobile to the baby from the window to make him smile.
But he was either too hungry or too horrified by looking at the crowd.
I could not see him crying in that way. Though they were poor, they have self esteem.
I felt a little proud about her. I decided to cancel our order so that she would get free earlier.
The boy was crying horribly then. Now few ladies among us literally shouted at her to stop working and look at the child first.
Listening to this, she touched the feet of one aunty. And said, “please don’t stop me. If I will not work, how can we survive? The salary we get in resort is too low. It’s only my work of making great soft rotis that people like you give me rewards, as of their wish.”
The baby was crying till then. Those who had finished their plate, put 10, 20 or 50 rupees note in a box just to help her.
This was not mandatory. In fact, that particular snack was included in the package. But many people including us helped her with a small amount as humanity.
Many of us changed our mind and left that dish with some unwillingness. She was requesting all, to wait. But we could not eat while listening to that child wail and scream in front of us from the closed door.
We left the place and went to enjoy some other places. I was sad with the experience.
As we have money, we can celebrate this so called Children’s Day for our kids but what about poor children?
They need to stay hungry till the rich gets their food. And that too not for hunger but just for the taste of village food?
Oh god ! Questions kept coming in my mind.
My daughter was enjoying bullock cart ride. But I was not able to concentrate in further joy rides and was not able to forget that face of the lady and the poor boy.
His weeping face was shouting, “Children’s Day . . . And to Hell With It”
At around 8PM the dinner in open hall started. People started coming in dinner hall as soon as they finished all their rides. On the dinner table, now the story got a twist.
There was a discussion going on among few visitors. They were talking over the same incidence.
Some people were saying that she was a liar and disingenuous. She used to take advantage of the baby every time.
He said it confidently, as it was his second visit to the same resort. And he said, last time exactly the same incidence occurred. Even after getting official salary for making bajra rotis, she has a hunger of money and she used her baby for that.
Then he continued, I think she had also trained the kid enough to make such drama when visitors come to their stall. It’s another kind of begging.
As soon as we started discussing more on it, we got to know that many of us had cancelled the plan of eating roti. So she didn’t made much efforts and still earned extra.
Horrible. Not because of our money but it was a feeling of getting cheated. In fact ,more than us the child was cheated.
He is not aware of the things, just following the mother’s instructions blindly and innocently.
Now I felt more pity on the child. His own mother is keeping him hungry and screaming ; for money. Then what kind of children’s day he would expect in his future ? sad it was.
And then there are many such children who have a completely different world than ours. We are aliens for them on the same planet.
They never get any chance to enjoy their childhood, reason being poverty.
However, some kids with good background also gets in the same list, because of their parents behavior. By continuous criticizing, pressuring, restricting their choices or being bossy they kills the kid’s creativity, limit imagination and curiosity.
So in short, in most of the cases, parents are more responsible for all the loss of childhood of their own kids. Agree ?
When we read the news regarding child abuse, father killed his son, mother killed her son, a girl child raped, a girl child murdered and such horrifying news related to children; the mind gets numb. Isn’t it ?
What’s their fault ? The question remains unanswered.
So Children’s days are only for the few lucky children in the world. We are fortunate enough to know and get opportunity to celebrate such a day and give our children that joy.
Whenever I make bajra roti at home, I remember that hut. That window. The boy. His face. Miserable. Helpless. And that wail. Makes me uncomfortable even in my happy times.
You know what, whenever any child comes in a local train or garden to sell something, I buy it, even if it’s not required.
As I have seen their happy faces in those little things when their product gets a customer. And then that day becomes a children’s day for them.
Unlike our kids, who have everyday as a children’s day.
Anyways, Happy Children’s Day.
Friends, Please write your views, experiences on Children’s day in the comment box below.