Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Lost Childhood


Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh


Do you remember your juvenile days, the time when the whole world was full of wonder and possibilities? The time when the whole world was just perfect and everything was just a thought away? The truth is most of us cant, if I were a wee bit wrong and I do wish I was wrong, we could have seen a whole lot of people trotting along the streets smiling happy smiles. If I were wrong we could have seen unknown people playing with each other and there would have been no disgust or bias based on colour, race or faith. Every evil is the work of an adult, the child is not tainted, the child knows no distinction, and for a child all are one and the same. With age we learn to bias, discriminate and demarcate!



Let me tell you something that happened on my train journey yesterday, I was travelling on a train to home in a relatively full cabin. There was a young couple, an old man, a middle aged professional and then there was me. A rather weird mix of people that under no circumstances would strike up a conversation with each other but it so happened that in this particular journey we were meant to be more than just polite  in our conversations but friendly enough to play together. There was a girl, A sweet, cute angel with a flower the size of a lotus stuck to her hair bow and a smile that could melt the world away. She talked to us every one of us and before we knew we were cracking jokes playing at each other’s expense and mocking each other. What had happened for such a remarkable transformation to occur to a very strange group of people?



The truth is, the kid happened, her innocence transcended our hearts and heads, her innocent melted away any discrimination and disgust we would have carried, it annihilated whatever it was that prevented us from talking to each other. In her presence we were becoming children poking her, making faces, mimicking her stories and acclimating to her emotions. She made us able to see through life with clarity, without prejudices, an ability that we have lost in a very distant past. It’s a shame that we can’t live the life of a child always. Wouldn’t it be amazing had we been able to remain a child forever, an age of mind where your biggest sadness was not getting candy and your days always started with sunshine and ended in fairytales? An age when we were willing to believe in magic, fairytales, magic and fairies. An age characterized by an ability to trust and love unconditionally.





I believe we need to reclaim our childhood if we are to live life to our fullest. I believe when we lose all childishness and child-likeness in ourselves that’s when we really become old. It is possible and it is achievable, to be like a child, it is possible to keep an open mind and it is possible to love and trust unconditionally. We need to understand the child in us and keep it alive inside us. Life is too short to be not a child. Ask yourself if being in the presence of  a child is enough to make you childlike then would it be hard to be childlike all your life if you tried.




Photo Credits: Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh© 1996-2012 National Geographic Society.