“Mera chasma dekha kya?”/ “Did you see my spectacles?”
“Arey gas pe kuch rakha hai…main abhi ayi” /“Oh! I have left something cooking on the gas, I’ll just be back!”
These are some of the common statements made by parents when confronted with intimate/steamy scenes in a movies,serials etc especially when they are watching it with their children. I have witnessed myself wherein someone in the family haplessly searches for the television remote the moment an intimate scene pops up! And inadvertently either the remote wishes to play hide and seek at that time or it stops working for no reason at all until you hit it hard on the table-an essentially middle class habit or hit it on your sibling’s head, if younger to you!
However the other day when we were watching Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara and the lip lock between Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif we exhibited zero nervousness, awkwardness or being under pressure as parents even though Anshika our 8 year old was around. Now before I am put under the moral policing scanner let me be pragmatic that times have changed. Children now are way more exposed than what we were and so is the case with the parents.
Without getting into a tussle between which style of parenting is better I would like to highlight that it is time we create an open and honest scope for our children to confide in us. Rather than them resorting to hiding or keeping facts from their parents or family it is wiser to let them indulge in heart to heart conversations. It is time that we do away with age old dogmatic beliefs and embrace what’s realistic and more feasible for generations to follow.
More often than not I get questioned by my daughter the moment she hears a “swishy” sound of the newspaper that I use to dispose my used sanitary napkins. Just as most Indian mothers I camouflage the reality and extinguish her curiosity with some harmless half truths thus unfortunately delaying both the obvious and the inevitable.
That way I truly respect (and I wish no judgements or backlashes against this statement) and admire the way some of our Western counterparts bring up their children-there’s often nothing hidden within the family discussions. Children are often told about their parents’ separation in the same way as they are intimated about their parents’ new partners. Once again the torchbearers of moral policing would point out how broken most of their lives are and how eventually every child is crushed under the influence of drugs, sex and other illicit activities. However can one deny that such things do not occur in the Indian society? I bet no one can. And that’s the harsh reality.
It’s time that we share the realities of life with our children and teach them to learn with every mistake. There should be absolute transparency in everything that we deliberate, discuss and decide. Children too should be made part of discussions, their opinions should be respected just as another individual in the house. At the same time, they should realize that they always have their parents’ back for that ultimate support.
This way as parents we can only hope that our children would imbibe all that’s been imparted to them at some point of time; not to forget that these young, observant individuals often replicate their adult’s behavior. So it is more of learning through what they see rather than what they hear. Also as parents it is time that we stop preaching before we bring any of these into practice.
Rest all eventually fall into their respective places…right? And if they don’t then I guess as they say in films…”picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!”