There is a little girl I know who cannot stand pigtails. She likes to have her long hair in flowing cascades and adorns it with blue hairclips for the blue denims, green ones for the green shorts. “It is high time you learnt some colour coordination too, Mummy.” She goes about telling that to her Mom, who repeats it to us in awed tones. Apparently, Mummy has also been told to stay away from sindoor and mangalsutra, for they are so “last-century”. Really? Then why do I see mangalsutra designs adorning every pamphlet I get with my morning newspaper?
The little girl gets into a nervous fit every time her pink laptop hangs up on her. “The thing is dead. I am tired of telling Pa to get me a new one.” But, didn’t the pink wonder arrive all of last month, I mutter under my breath. If said aloud, she would probably counter me and say – “But, didn’t you go to the parlour last month?” And you see, the problem is that I can’t remember.
“She got 768 likes for a new status update on Facebook. We are throwing a celebration.” her Mom came with an invite. A verbal one, thankfully. “Kids, you know. You have to do as they say.” And what was this supremely popular status update all about? “Oh it said something about boys being bratty…I don’t know the meatier details, really.” she winked. Of course. The little one had to be the expert on boys, given all the experience of her night outs and slumber parties and sleepovers. Nothing like a pack of giggling little girls to pass judgment on every bratty boy in school. Or the neighbourhood.
“When I was in school…” I begin, but am cut short. “Oh, you guys were simpletons. Whining about E.V.S. and getting all sweaty in P.T. My little one can’t stand anything ruining her fruit facial.” Guess she had heard about my parlour apprehensions as well.
To continue with what I was saying, when I was in school, we did not have i-phones/i-pods/i-pads. We only had i-mli waali candies. But if I had to choose even today, I would continue to choose a sweaty game of hide and seek in a summer park and a weekend spent feasting on the jalebis that Dad brought home.
Call me names. But few things irritate me more than a child who isn’t one. I personally find no reason to shower certain gadgets on a child who has absolutely no use for them. Doesn’t everything have a right time? Or was that in the last century as well? Shouldn’t there be a limit, a measure to this over-hyped thing they call ‘independence’? The little one and her Mom stare at my scowling face. “Anything the matter?” I feel like sticking out my tongue at them. Then I see the young lady inserting heart after heart in a text message. Silencing my un-lady-like instincts, I purse up my lips.
End note: If anyone has extra gadgets (read: phone, camera, laptop) and after this post, is hesitant about gifting it to their kids, feel free to check out the ‘Write to Me’ feature at the top of this page.