Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Changing face of kids' holidays

Children have started their much deserved summer break after a gruelling academic session. Keeping their children engaged through these two tough months is the question looming large for all the parents. And that too for two hot months when temperatures soar not just outside but inside the house too!

Back then during our childhood days, we used to look forward eagerly to these summer vacations as it was time to visit our grandparents typically in a small village. But sadly villages are no longer villages but have become mini towns. Infact in many cases, the grandparents have shifted from villages and settled down in towns/cities. Hence, in a lot of cases, a village 'homestay' is an experience that we cannot give our children.

I remember having fun climbing trees and climbing little hillocks and once even being chased by a bull and the way we all tumbled down the mountain in our haste to escape from this raging bull. But now my children have no trees to climb leave alone hillocks and the only thing that they have to run away would be from stray dogs, and the bulldozing vehicles on the road!

I cannot forget the delicious cooking done on fire wood at my grandmother's place. She would lovingly and painstakingly prepare all the traditional food and make yummy snacks like boondi laddoos, rava laddoos, murukkus, sev and so many more. We were forever devouring it as though that was to be our last meal. Absolutely no restrictions and lectures about diet and weight. Infact the more we ate the wider the smile on that delightful face of my grandmother would be. This would spur her to cook more extra delicacies for her grandchildren.

But now our children grumble about eating plain, traditional food. The present day grandmas need to be experts in international cooking styles ie. Chinese, Italian or other Continental, if they have to see that happy grin on their grandchildren's faces!! No rice, dal, rotis, subzis, laddoos, murukkus for these kids. That is soooo not happening. It has to be lasagna, pizzas, burgers and so on.

Nights would be story time for us. Grandparents took turns to narrate stories from Ramayan and Mahabharath. Now that is passe. Children will give clear cut instructions to the grandparents that these stories are boring and they would rather watch their favourite programme on TV.

Infact one of our friends was telling us that as kids they were very scared of their father who was very strict. But now he is being bullied by his own grandson. Even before they leave for their native place, this tiny tot calls up and lays down terms and conditions to his grandfather as to what are his favourite TV show timings. The grandfather meekly obeys and the moment he hears his grandsons voice he changes hastily from the news that he would be watching to cartoon channel! Such is the power of these grandchildren.

Well so much has changed during our times and now it seems a distant era altogether. Well if we tell that to our children I guess they would just shrug it off saying that was then mom , this is now.


jp said...

I burst into laughter imagining you getting chased by a bull! I miss watching it ! ha, ha!

As you rightly put it, nowdays we are only chased by stray dogs.

shobhana shenoy said...

Hi JP,
Thanks.Yes it does sound hilarious now.Believe me at that time no one thought so..)