Even God has no right to do so...
...well can't say it's a holiday for children. It is a proper Lockdown, especially for children.
They have been locked down for more than a year now. No schools. No playgrounds. No running around. Just be at home. Run from the living room to the bedroom. Shifting interests between TV & Video games..., i.e. if you are lucky to be born with a silver spoon, or maybe a German Silver spoon too.
What about those living in single-room houses? The majority of Indian Children live in such small houses that they have no luxury of space.
But then one thing comes to their respite and that is a neighbor's verandah or the terrace. You will find these kids make even a 35-40 degree hot summer afternoon, a luxurious getaway. Makeshift Shades made out of drying bedsheets and spreading a chataai underneath. Surrounded by drying clothes and vegetables or pickles getting Sundried, these smart children make the most of such personal spaces.
They will collect simple pleasures of toffees or mango-pieces or even tamarind and have a ball of a time.
I saw my childhood yesterday, while climbing down the stairs of my office, I heard the noise of children. I looked around and found that it was coming from the houses in the basti behind my office. A group of children was engrossed in a game of carrom on their rooftop (with the above-said arrangements). They were so involved that they didn't even notice that they were being admired for their arrangements. They were too focused to pocket the Queen.
I remembered how my brother always used to beat me in carrom. He was so good with his skills that he would finish the whole board, most of the time, in a single shot and I was left with nothing else but cry. I used to throw tantrums but of no use as he was truly a champion.
I vowed after every game that I will not play with him the next time, but every afternoon I would sit with him to get defeated again and again..., and again. I envied him but somewhere I imbibed his quality of how to keep improving on one's skills. He used to master his game by asking me to point at a coin and just in three shots he used to pocket it. He had focus and determination.
I couldn't pick up his carrom skills but tried to follow the focus & determination. Today's kids are too involved in gadgets and very far from real life. They do not enjoy Sun, Dirt, Sweat,.., because they hardly go out in the field or out of the comforts of their homes.
But then these kids on the rooftop give me hope that childhood is still alive.
Playing in groups and picking up team-working skills is an innate part of childhood and it all begins with summer vacations. Freedom from books & exams and then dive into the freedom of open-air & grounds.
Alas, Corona has snatched away that freedom of even breathing. Hope the pandemic ends soon..., at least before childhood ends for the current school-going generation.
The right to play in the Sun should not be taken away from the children. Even God has no right to do so.
The only good thing Corona has done,
is to make us remain close to our families. But then harms done to a growing child, is much bigger. We will see these effects of no school or no mingling with other kids in a couple of years, post-pandemic.
Schools, Teachers, Parents, and people in power must ensure to come out with mechanisms to handle this young generation of today who is more or less, growing up in isolation. Hope the real world will not be a shocker or unnerving.
Let's wish for the world to get back to normal soon and real vacation, some real Holidays for children...; well for us too.
C ya soon