Undercurrents and undertones : The Tribune India

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Undercurrents and undertones

Undercurrents and undertones

Photo for representational purpose only.



Priya S Tandon

WE were on a flight and my co-passenger was at her wits’ end because the boy sitting behind her was thumping his feet at the back of her seat. Despite all her angry looks and admonitions, the brat did not let up. She asked for her seat to be changed, but the flight was chock-a-block with passengers and the airhostess had to cut a sorry figure.

The exasperated woman told the prankster’s parents to discipline their child. The parents’ counselling worked for a few minutes, but the boy was back to his antics sooner than later.

Sometime hence, I got up to go to the washroom. I saw the boy playing a violent game on his mobile phone while continuing to kick mindlessly. His mother was doing a crossword puzzle on her phone and the father was watching a movie on his iPad. Both parents had earbuds on and were completely unaware of their offspring’s antics. This further antagonised my co-passenger.

The flight touched down and the affected woman finally came face-to-face with the mischief-monger’s parents and said, ‘You need to take this young brat across your knees and give him a good spanking.’

Surprisingly, the parents grinned. I wondered if they even understood what the woman had said. And then I saw what was written on the little devil’s red T-shirt in large and bold letters, ‘Women Aaaarrrrrgh!!! Ladies, you available?’ My eyes popped out! I blinked and read it again… I couldn’t believe my eyes. The boy would be five or six years old and the T-shirt… I looked at his parents. They realised what I was reading and grinned from ear to ear! My heart skipped a beat. Did they really think that their child was cutely dressed?

We deplaned, but I could not get the boy out of my mind. If this is what the parents want their children to learn, whose fault is it? Our children are our real wealth. This is true for the family, society or the nation. If our youth are misguided, how can we prosper?

It is important to ensure that children are exposed to positive thoughts, words and deeds. If parents use wrong vocabulary, children pick it up. If there are obscene pictures on the walls of your rooms, the children feel that these are normal things.

All things around us that are taken in by our five senses are a part of our food… even if it’s a violent video game! They nourish our body, mind and spirit. It’s the parents’ job to provide the right food not only to the stomach but also to the eyes, ears and most importantly, the mind.

We as a family do puja together every Sunday. One such day, I was fascinated by my one-year-old granddaughter trying to catch the smoke emanating from the agarbatti in my puja room. I smiled… these are the vibes I want her to catch… subtly but surely!


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