Friday, 17 July 2015


My journey to Delhi was the most memorable tour I must say. Not because I enjoyed being in Delhi which is the smallest n not so interesting part of my tour but because of the train journey I enjoyed from Nagpur to Delhi and then back from Delhi to Nagpur. Since last several years I have been traveling by train at various places and believe me train as I think is the best place to meet and know different people coming from different states, different languages and different culture. Most readers of womensweb might have read my article of journey to Delhi, “let the women be daughter of her parents’ always!”On how I met a family from Rajasthan and how they made me think over the issue of girl child. I had fun time with the kids in this story who made my travel easy. My back journey to Nagpur was nonetheless as interesting as the journey to Delhi. After boring journey half the way up to Bhopal, where most of the companions were of my age I guess shared no similar interests with me of talking/gossiping or discussing and knowing each other were mostly busy on their laptops and phones watching movies and talking with their friends and family. I finally got a good company of some children who had finally managed to make my last moments in that train quite comfortable and entertaining. I guess, it is my love for kids which make my time go quite easy and memorable.
After sitting ideal for several hours and looking at people’s faces who were not at all interested in me when the train stopped at Bhopal and people from my compartment got down and I got the new companions. Two ladies with their three kids and too much luggage seemed like they just had shopped it from Bhopal. The ladies got busy in arranging their luggage and the kids reserved their favorite seats for themselves. One kid who was around the age 5-7, was very much enthusiast and was speaking continuously. Mother you keep my bag here! Mother don’t keep my shoes deep inside, it’ll be difficult to find them! Mother I want to go to the upper birth…mother this…mother that. And his mother was constantly asking him to keep calm and let her do her work. After settling there the kid wanted to sit near window though it was packed with glass, he was struggling to see outside. But both the parallel seats were occupied by two people. One by an old lady who was not interested in him and the other one were with the girl of his age group mothered by another lady who boarded the train with this mother son duo. The girl had an elder brother studying in 8th standard. Unlike this kid, both the brother and sister were calm and seated ideally. On his asking for seat near a window his mother again asked him to sit properly without making noise. Seeing his desire to seat near a window sit I called him up to seat on my side lower birth. And without wasting a time he came to me and sat by my side and started talking to me. And over the time I was introduced to him and his family and the other companions. And we started talking to each other. There was nothing much to share culture and rituals unlike my previous journey as all of us were Marathi from Nagpur side but what fascinated me was the activities of those kids. I was seeing two types of kids. The two siblings as calm and “well behaved” and the other one who attracted me the most was enthusiast and talkative. All the time he was playing with me, asking me questions from his first standard text book. Asking me to multiply two into two or add five with seven and sometimes to correct the shuffled letters from a word such as MAT, CAT and sometimes real difficult for me like TIGER. Or sometimes climbing from one birth to another…he was enjoying the arrangement of the births one above the other. While his mother was continuously watching him and instructing him to not to peep up-down from upper birth or not to roam here and there or talk too much! Or sometimes he’d include all of us in his tricky fun questions from his textbooks. I enjoyed his company and neither of the other companions complained against him. But the mother was continuously asking him to keep shut or else complaining papa. May be it was my prejudiced towards kids that didn’t annoyed me his behavior (though I have seen real annoying spoiled kids but I didn’t find him annoying or misbehaved at all! May be only the parents who have to handle such kids all the time can understand how she suffered or maybe I could not understand his mother that the other mothers can! But one thing that drew my attention was when after several time after being scolded this kid finally said in a sad tone, “mother you always scold me in front of public. I don’t like this!”       
I was shocked to listen something like this for the first time. A 6 years old kid asking his mother not to scold him in public! He did not use the word insult. Probably he does not know the word but he feels it. He feels insulted when his mother scolded in public.
I felt sad for him. I wanted him to do all the masti and fun he was doing then. For me he was the kid what the kids of his age have to be. And aaj kal ke bacche are not as same as the kids in our parents’ time were used to be. As the elders tell me how their parents used to beat them or even the teachers to make them study. Now our generation cannot use force to make them come on line even as a part of their rearing. This generation is smarter than ours. They know what to study, what and how skills to develop, how to operate smart phones and computers even better than us. And using force or scolding them in public simply not going to work. Because these bachhe are smarter, they know what insult is, they too feel humiliated because they don’t fear elders and they too have the feelings. We as the elders have to understand this.

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