A sea of difference

The smaller ones are usually accompanied by grandparents or maids.

I recently moved to a large high rise apartment occupied by a number of young software professionals. Thus I get to see a lot of children in the play areas. Children of different age groups occupy different areas and it is a joy to watch the children play, particularly more so when my children have grown up.

The smaller ones are usually accompanied by grandparents or maids. One thing that strikes me is the number of toys that these kids have. We could easily have half a dozen toy shops with this collection!  I compared it with the first wooden cricket bat that I bought for my son when he was about six years old. I remember his face lit up with joy and he would take care of the bat like a guardian angel. He would clean it, polish it, play imaginary strokes and check the cupboard every few hours to confirm that it was there.

 But strangely the kids of today are lacking in happiness even with an assortment of toys. More time seems to be spent in comparing the number of toys, the brand of toys, size of toys than the actual playing. Even where they were playing, a lot of time is wasted in conflicts and accusations of cheating. A few of them were more interested in playing video games.

I was shocked by the way a six or seven year old boy was firing his maid saying that she should have brought the cricket set as she ought to have known that he might want to play. The meek lady went back and returned with the cricket set. “See you have taken so much time, I don’t have the mood to play now,” he chided and sulked into a corner. ‘What mood’ I wondered with so many toys and a maid at your beck and call. I shudder to think of our country with such impatient and intolerant future citizens.

I contrasted this with my experience with Aditya, a student at a school for special children. During weekends, I visit this school to train the students with few exercises to improve their mobility. Aditya was one bright intelligent child with a twinkle in his eyes.

He loved his friends and couldn’t bear to see anybody hurt .Sadly, he was born with cerebral palsy which affected the movement in his legs. Aditya was eager to play and dance but his legs failed him. One day I was trying out a different exercise and coaxing the students to do. Slowly the children began to progress, but Aditya did not seem to pay attention. It was a tiring session and I was losing my patience. “Why don’t you concentrate”, I ask him in a slightly irritated tone. “I am trying” he whimpered “but my legs don’t listen to me.” My throat choked and eyes began to brim with tears. “Why is it God” I asked “that people who have everything don’t appreciate it, while people who appreciate don’t get that in life. I reassured Aditya and we began to progress.
Meanwhile, I am sure God will answer my prayers and Aditya will be able to move by himself.

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