05 September, 2006

Then and Now


Nature reminds us many things. Fall of neem flowers and arrival of Water melons, Tender coconuts used to remind us of the arrival of summer. All children walking with the pads, with ‘Vibuthi’ on the forehead promptly put, will signal the arrival of annual exams. Normally History and Geography used to be the last exam. Most of us used to score less marks in those subjects because of that reason. Though Geography was interesting, History used to be a bit boring and dry. As children we used to return with a great happiness swinging the exam pads home with great plans of Summer holidays.

The same evening, we used start climbing the lofts to take the hidden play things. Those days we had treasures like Pallankuzhi, Thayam. Girls used to be busy playing indoor games. As boys we used to plan about hosting cricket matches, tournaments and cycling. The wealthier people used to go to far off places. In those days we had so much of pleasure in many little things. We have developed stomach pain, by eating too much of ‘Korukapali’. It used to be green and kind of fruit. It was available in abundance in country side. I cannot still forget those ‘Kalakka’. Once we decided to climb a nearby hill (the so called Vandalur malai), and started as a group of 7 boys. We have heard stories about a Iyanar Koil at the foot hill. Our seniors had told stories about Iyanar. They were bit exaggerated. We heard that Iyanar walks out of the temple to take bath in the near by tank right exactly around 12.00 mid noon. So, we decided start climbing the hill after 12.00 to avoid Iyanar. The trekking was adventurous. We never knew the location of the Iyanar temple until we reached there. It was among tall grown palm trees and bushes. We saw the statue of Iyanar. It was fearful. We slowly passed the temple and were keen to hear ‘Chal…Chal..’ sound. We heard a weird sound. One of the inquisitive bloke, tried to reason it out. I never had the guts to look back. Later my friends said, that it was the sound of palm leaves, dancing to the wind. After a great ordeal, we reached the top of the hill, to see giant reflectors. Suddenly we heard someone screaming “Cut…Cut…Cut..”. We realised that we had interrupted a film shooting. Probably the crew did not expect a group of boys coming behind from no where. We realised it was a Telugu movie shooting with a popular actress of yester years.

Tomorrow my son’s school is being re-opened and we were busy shopping this whole week for the kids stuff. According to my daughter my son’s school is reopening after they wake up from bed tonight and her school is being reopened after we go to bed tomorrow and wake up the next morning. They are glad with their new uniforms, shoes, school bags, PE dress, PE shoes and what not. Probably they may ask me the cost when their kids go to school. I look back at their holidays. They have spent their major time on Play station, Computer games, Cricket coaching, and few weekends out with the family. Of course they are familiar with bit of small screens and big screens.

We had pleasures in little things. Collectively we would have learnt many things. We would have had new friends, learnt new game, read books, met relatives and spent a bit of holidays in villages and towns. We would have tasted Nungu, Tamarind, had a bath in the pump set daily, walked on the lake shore, and seen more nearby places, cycled at least 150 Kilometres by cycle, all at little expenses for our parents.

What do the children nowadays have except those electronic games? Being away from home, it is difficult to have social gatherings. At the same time I pity the kids at home. Many of my relative’s kids are being pressurised with so many classes in their holidays too. I know that kids are kept busy with Mridangam class, Carnatic Vocal, Drawing, Oil painting, Sketching, Swimming, Skating, Cricket, and after all this coaching for their next year. Where are they heading to? I feel guilty for the new generation.

Already I am seeing a new generation who have come from professional colleges and are less experienced in other general matters. One of my young colleagues was spoon fed so much by his parents; he lacked in confidence and struggled hard to survive. Some of them are struggling to cope up with life, in every day’s affairs. I am ashamed to say, that majority of younger ones are more worried about only increasing their bank balance and not anything else.

At least I wish the younger parents will realise the importance of our olden days values, and find innovative things or bring back the forgotten customs, traditions and blend old and new to their offspring.

21 comments:

indianangel said...

Very true Bala! Gone are those days when kids used to play out in rain and sunshine happily! todays kids are starting to wear spectacles at a very young age! What is really scary is the fact that they will eventually grow as adults who know to work with machines and become more mechanical forgetting the natural wonders of this world! Nice post!

Vanathi said...

http://mist-dewdrop.blogspot.com/ Check it balaji :)

Pavithra said...

A good post !! But, as time changes, things change. Its true that we have stopped relaxing and enjoying nature as we are busy saving for the future.
"pressurised with so many classes" ..its good to learn many activities unless it is overloading !! Today, I feel bad that I didn't learn singing. I was satisfied with Veena. I could have learnt singing too. What a great relief it would have been pacifying all the senses !!

Raji said...

beautifully written.. I could feel myself magically transported to the village and accompanying you all to the Vandalur Malai.

Kavi said...

I see the kids of today, have to be adept weightlifters, given the bags that they carry. Somewhere, the joys of childhood is lost !

Children need to learn and apply. We need to teach them !

Marutham said...

WOW!!! I would really say a "SEMA RAGALAI"!! -Kalakkiteenga....

I really loved reading your post, and already feeling bad for not having done few of the many things you have mentioneda bt childhood :D... I guess its not too late :P....Just 20!;)And yeah- u rembr a lot of great things- like the reason why we score low in GEO & HIS :)....

I do miss those days... :> I loved history for i was History teachers PET! ;)

Am glad you wrote this.... We are thankful to you for this post!! :)
Cheers!! :)

Regards,
Marutham!

Balaji S Rajan said...

Indianangel - You are right. I am afraid that whether they will grow as adults who may forget the natural wonders of this world.

Vanathi - I checked it and have left my comments there.

Pavithra - Oh..yeah. Even I have felt bad that I could not learn so many things. We had two reasons. One was affordability, and unavailability. But kids nowadays are priveleged, but I wonder whether they realise this.

Raji - Thanks for your comments. I am glad that I could inspire so much.

Kavi - I have talked about this school bags in the past. It is pathetic to see those kids moving from house to school with such heavy loads on their back. I have felt pity for those who used to run behind buses which do not stop at their place and make those children run.

Marutham - Thanks for your comments. I am glad that youngsters like you are different from the normal. I too loved history. It depended on the teachers. We had wonderful teachers. They used to collect various references and teach us about those historical wars. Even today when I drive or pass through rows of trees on the sides of road, I remember the king Ashoka. I am glad that you liked the post.

Jeevan said...

This took me to my summer holidays and school exam's, as soon my exams are over, I will be standing in front of my friend house to play. Their is nothing wonder in this world without playing in the fields, pump set, sleeping under the trees roaming with friends....

I too worry about our kids, who spent there most of there time before TV, Video Games. I have see some of my relative kids are very lazy to work or play outside games.

Hope you kids enjoyed the holidays, wish them a happy schooling.

mona said...

hi dear,
ya thats true..espacially kids living in metros dont know whatis aagan, chokhat and all..voh padh par chadh kar phal khana and all that..
so beautiful days..

mona said...

hello dear,
thanx for coming and appreciating my veiws..
but today blogging is seems to be very good way to reach customers..n thats way its a buzz word in industry now..
lets see wat others have in their mind and wat will be the result of my research..
take care..

Syam said...

kalakiteenga...chinna vayasula remote control car ellam yethu vacation la enga village ku poi nungu vandi ottunathu ellam nyabaga varathu :-)

RandomThoughts said...

True Bala! We wud wait for summer holidays ...But for today's kids it would be not school but different camps.It is upto us to teach them simple pleasures before they lose their innocence... 'coz that's the best part of being a child ,right?

Sundar Narayanan said...

that was a very good post.. i must have gone to school a good 8 years after you went to school. it was the same expeirence for me and my brother.. but my cousins who were in school 10 years ago had a completely different experience..

we lived in single houses. they lived in apartments.. gone are the spaces to play hide and seek and the road side games.. cars zipping past every second into the apartment, interrupting their attempted game of road cricket.. had to pity them.

ambi said...

wow! verynice writeup. enjoyed and U know i was the school pashtu in social science(a combo of history+geo+civics).
i love that subject as if i'm travelling in horses doing wares with mighty swords, romance too.. of course he hee. :)

Suji said...

Very true. Children nowadays don't know the simple pleasures of nature. I used to feel jealous everytime my parents told us about their childhood, but now when I see today's kids I feel we were better off.

vibhor said...

young generation are changing..in our times, we are like stupid people not knowing a single thing but today, my daughter itself is ready to teach me anything...she always says daddy its not like this..its this.
my god!!children are so smart...

visithra said...

Remember u used to roam around alone with friends? Well children get babysitted now - hence the playstation addiction - u take something u lose something

prachi said...

our next generation will going to be gadgets menia...
they just stick in front of computers and tv and video-games...

Dany said...

Good one. I remember all you have said korukapali, tamarind, kalaka. Near by my house we had elantha pazham tree. I too wrote some articles on old days you can read them here and here and here. I also agree with your comments on current generation.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jeevan - Days are changing and so everything. Thanks for your enquiries. Yes.. My kids did enjoy their holidays.

Mona - Yes you are right. There is lots of difference between the kids grown in urban and rural areas.

Syam - Nungu Vandi...!!! Oh.. what a great joy. LOL... Have you run while dragging a Coconut tree bark (Thennai Mattai)?

Balaji S Rajan said...

Rashmi - Yes you are right. We need to teach those kids before they lose their innocence.

Sundarji - Yes changes are happening between every generations. I think the kids can hear about games of our days and wonder.

Ambi - I understand why we loved few subjects when we were at school.They took us to a different land.

Suji - True. Days are changing. We can only moan.

Vibhor - I agree children are getting smarter according to their exposure nowadays.

Visithra - True. You take something and you give something. Games according to the time.

Prachi - I agree that the future is going to be a gadget mania.

Dany - Thanks for your references. I read them and enjoyed reading them.