Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Normal and Special occasion - A matter of time.

Yesterday my younger son who is attending a summer camp had an overnight stay at the campsite. The organizers organized a pot-luck dinner and the parents too were invited for the dinner. The children were having a blast, and it was wonderful to see the energy in each child late in the evening! The children sang songs, danced and then finally sat around in a big circle to have dinner. Each child took turn to go around the circle sharing his/her food with each one seated in the great big circle -  it was indeed a beautiful sight. For the parents, it was a wonderful dinner, with a variety of dishes from all over India.

All the children were enjoying the dinner, it looked like an extended family. A friend of mine keenly observing the proceedings commented:
 "When we were young, we  went back to our hometown for holidays and occasions like these were a pretty normal affair as all relatives landed up at the hometown too. In the urban setting, eating with a large group of friends is a special occasion. On the contrary, what is normal for the today's child was indeed special for us! Buying new clothes, going to a movie, getting new toys,  were tied to special occasions in the past."
An interesting observation! As we urbanize/modernize, simple things that we used to take for granted in the earlier days are becoming special, and what was special then is becoming normal. As we complicate things now (though we like to believe that we are making things better with new technology!), the most simple things fade way and become memories to cherish. Alas, the newer generation never encounters some of the simple pleasures!

In a conference in US that I attended last year, the conference person after outlining the agenda for the day, said they have designed special breakout sessions to enable the participants to network. He said "Do not use SMS, Email, Facebook, Twitter...", the audience had a perplexed look on their faces. He sensed that,  and keeping a straight-face, said slowly & loudly "Walk up to a person and say H-E-L-L-O. It is called talking".  Everybody had a hearty laugh!

Enjoy the simple things of life.
Have a great day.


Anonymous said...

The notion of quality requires a standard of perfection, or at least desirability, a willingness to judge by that standard, and unfortunately, a willingness to be judged.

That a game has winners and losers doesn't mean that the game is zero-sum. If I win, my correct behavior is validated; if I lose my incorrect behavior is brought to my attention. Either way, I am improved and in both cases I receive value.

Beginning with the education of our children, we need to abandon the absurd notion that pupils mustn't be judged because failure is painful. Then we will produce citizens instead of consumers, and we might again be a country worthy of the world's admiration.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Nice post, Ashok. It is so reminiscent of life here in the US. Kids are so used to things that were exotic for me as a kid. And, yes, what a concept to look people in the eye and say hello aloud instead of texting! :-)

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