The Wonder Years

When we were young, carefree, without the restraints and constraints of the real world hanging on top of our heads. When we were free to roam and do as we pleased without a 9-5 or 6 or 7 routine hanging on top of our heads 5 days a week. When the biggest stress points were just exams in our life. When entertainment wasn’t mostly digital or technology based. When we could live with our heads up in the clouds. Those were great years. They were wonder years (yes the statement is a play on the old show which is also on some levels synonymous with the ideology of this post).

True the above outlined is pertinent only to the privileged class – somewhere along the lines of our SECs A to perhaps a little higher side C. So not getting into the division in fortunes over the more spread out SECs. That is better left for another blog post.

So coming back to the premise of this post.  The wonder years. How things can go from that to such a complicated pattern of dealing with different aspects of life and people and real life stresses is unbelievable. And it’s not just any one particular aspect of life. It is more or less in all areas. Work, personal life, professional life, future, operational day to day stuff, commuting for things, social, micro, macro. All. All of a sudden everything becomes pertinent to you which previously wasn’t. I mean let’s be honest, really honest with ourselves. How many of us truly cared about the GDP of the country or the IMF before we joined the ranks of salaried individuals or for some the family business. Or for that matter how much did our local residential body’s governing mechanisms and processes for xyz things matter to us. How many of us were interested in the economic policies that were taken up by the government? How many paid any attention to topics like circular debt? Very few I am sure.

It was a carefree time in our lives and we will always look back and cherish on them. I bet if I did a survey, some of the happiest memories would be of people either in their childhood or perhaps of their early parent-hood from their children’s birth to early growing up years.

But then again one must consider that the wonder years I am referring to were perhaps a better time overall in the context of the world. It was a more secure climate overall. Terrorism wasn’t as spread an evil as it is today. In the generation before me it was even better. I was talking to my aunt yesterday and we both agreed on this – even till my childhood I could at the very least take my bike and ride to my uncle’s place to play cricket with my cousins. During daytime and even at times during late evening. It was ok. And it’s not like I had a cellphone on me in those days. Nor did anyone else my age. Not that I recall. Not the case anymore by a long shot. It was even better for my parent’s generation. In retrospect their life was perhaps even more simpler and less complicated even though it did not have many of the technological conveniences that are present today.

I believe that will be an ongoing thought process for every generation to come. Maybe 50 years from now someone else will be writing a post along the same lines. And 50 years from that someone else.

All we can do is just look back upon our wonder years and reminisce. And smile at the memories.

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Kids

Kids are the most reliable source of absolute and pure joy in this world. They can make you smile, melt your heart, give you belly aches of laughter and provide that positive tonic that would otherwise be missing. They are innocent bundles of happiness that are essentially the anti-humans to today’s adult humans. They are everything that this world does otherwise take away from humans in the process of growing up and living.

I feel happier around my nieces and nephews. All at different ages and stages. From their antics at discovering they can walk to their first words to their little childhood hero obsessions and fantasies. Their imaginations can run wild with creativity. And to top it off today’s kids are much more tech savvy then me and my generation. We didn’t have as many gadgets back then either but still. That adds even more to the variety of antics, questions, discoveries and evolution. And it keeps getting better and better. One is in the midst of learning to walk independently. One is a little ball of infinite energy (MashAllah) and a chatterbox. The eldest is making up jokes and stories and well deciding things on his own pretty much. And then there is his younger sibling who loves his food and is in the phase of forming sentences and on the verge of having conversations. They are all my separate little bundles of joy. Without them the last 4 years of my life would have been emptier.

And that’s what kids and children do. They bring with them such unconditional love and happiness, one which cannot be replaced by any other kind. Yes they are loud, don’t listen at times and can be mischievous and  trouble making but hey – that’s what they are supposed to do. That however is something that I have always been told is a view that is the luxury of uncles, aunts and grandparents (basically anyone who isn’t directly responsible for the required disciplining of children i.e. anyone apart from parents and perhaps to an extent teachers :p). While I have had the pleasure of seeing all of my niece and nephews grow up more or less in front of my eyes there are some of my friends who are now discovering parenthood and getting that full time blast of everything that kids bring with them. From the late night howlers to the innocent faces that are made after doing something they are not supposed to. Oh and if they already have siblings – watch out, kids are capable of being some of the most jealous creatures on earth. More than buffoon headed meat jockeys and crazy, insecure and obsessive girlfriends. I remember my eldest nephew was very excited about getting a younger sibling. Till he realized that all the attention that he used to get all to himself was getting split after which point he decided that no no – this is to be corrected. And well the rest is everyday life of young children :). ( I am guessing a couple of people reading this are getting ready to dish out some babysitter duties to me soon – ‘yes yes , everyday life of young children … please handle’). 

If you have any kids or children in your life (yours or anyone else’s) make sure you take them on as many ice cream trips, park trips, have as many play times, story times etc with them as you can. They will outgrow you sooner than you think. Or well actually in a less harsh way – they will outgrow all these activities much sooner than you think.