Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Spare the rod and spoil the child!

I am one-year-old. No, I’m not a toddler. I’ve been married for a year. And that means, my honeymoon period is officially over. “Time to think about serious stuff,” the aunt says, looking at me from above her thick-rimmed glasses. “Hain? ‘Serious stuff’, what?,” I think, scratching my head. First anniversary aashirwads are typically the doodho nahao phalo phoolo types. “Let’s have some good news soon” the elders say, winking and chortling.

Kids.

Oh my! Oh yes, they are beautiful. But our own? Hmm...As soon as someone mentions kids, the first picture that comes to my mind is that of my neighbourhood. Kids. They are everywhere. Runny-nosed, teary-eyed, rolling and admiring booger, loud, adamant. Please don’t assume that I’m some sort of a monster who despises kids. No, no, I’m not one of those. My husband and I, we love kids. But what we don’t like, are the ones who are badly brought up.

I’ve often been amazed at how some parents can let their kids do whatever they want. Scream their little lungs out, thomp their feet until their demands are met, ransack other people’s houses like it’s pretty much a part of their deliverables, talk like 60-year-old toothless granpas and granmas; all of this, surprisingly and shockingly making the parents chests swell with pride! Hain?!

I remember how my ammai’s eyes would trace me like a hawk. One roll of her eye, and I would freeze. She never raised her voice, never hit me. She only pinched me, till my skin turned red and I could feel the heat traveling to all parts of my body, sirens blazing into my eardrums. A ‘no’ meant ‘no’, nothing else. There was no arguing with her. I would be terrorised, especially during study holidays. I would be glued in front of the TV all day, but as soon as the clock would give me a warning, it’s hands inching towards my undoing, I would jump up like a cat on fire and bury myself into the pages of some boring, fat book. And when ammai would be back from office, I would be the obedient little devil.

“Shoes are not supposed to be thrown around. They are for your feet and if you’re not wearing them, they are supposed to be inside the shoe rack, placed together, understood?,” she would ask, rolling her eyes, again. “Yes, ammai,” I would purr, making sure that she never got a chance to roll her eyes at me, again. At least, not because of the shoes. I was taught that we should never let anyone else wash out plates, never insult anyone. “A child’s behaviour speaks volumes about the parents,” she would say. “No one will call you a bad girl, they call us (appa and ammai) bad parents. Would you like that?” she would ask. “No,” I would say, loud and clear.

The pinches, the pain, the tears, they have all vanished from my memory, but those words, they remain imprinted. A child’s behaviour does reflect the kind of parenting, which goes a long way in shaping the kind of individual the child will eventually grow up to be. The values our parents infuse into us determine how well we lead our lives.

My parents, smart as they are, brought me up on a good dose of Dabur Chawanprash and with loads and loads of values. Yes, kids form our world, define our future. And to ensure our kids are healthy, we need to protect them from all the illness causing germs, the Dabur way and also make sure they are brought up well. Aakhir, andar ki ki shakti and bahar ki shakti,both are equally important.

This post has been written for the www.daburchyawanprash.com 'An Immune India' contest, hosted by IndiBlogger.