As you sow, so you reap
One evening as I entered the house my wife told me about an incident happened in the family of my cousin named Kailash. The whole incident put my memory in the time machine and I travelled some 15 years in the past.
The occasion was a marriage ceremony in my Masi’s (Mother’s sister) house. I had gone there with my wife and daughter. All the rituals of marriage were being conducted with lots of enthusiasm and fun. On the eve of the marriage ‘Mahila Sangeet’ was organized and a professional lady was engaged as ‘Masters of Ceremonies’. All the relatives and guests were enjoying the evening. MC was good at her craft and was inviting the family members to perform in a very good sequence; in between she was announcing various spot prizes also. We all were participating with lots of zeal and were full of ear to hear the next spot prize. And the MC announced the next spot prize, ‘any kid below 15 years of age brings me the marriage invitation card first will get a prize’. Listening this all the kids started running here and there, some went to their rooms; some started digging their mother’s hand bag, a few collected the car keys from their fathers and ran to the car park area to collect the card.
My cousin (Masi’s son) who was beside me during the evening had two sons below the age of 15, was cheering them to arrange the invitation card fast. Suddenly I saw a girl of around 8 years running towards the MC with an invitation card in her hand. Just then my cousin’s elder son caught the girl, snatched the card and within seconds presented it to the MC. In the milieu of so many people the MC could not see the reality and gave the prize to my cousin’s son. Now my cousin’s joy knew no bounds. In his view his son had shown supreme smartness by snatching the card from the little girl and presenting it to the MC. He was all high about his son. He called his son, patted his back and asked him to sit on his lap pampering him. I kept quiet trying to enjoy the next performance, but the cousin who was looking for endorsement for his son’s smartness rose the topic again that how sharply his son had acted. I paused for a second, framed the sentence in my mind and said, ‘Don’t be so happy, today he is snatching from others, tomorrow he may snatch from family members. Condemn him now’. This sentence put a brake on my cousin’s display of joy but his face expressed that he did not appreciate this piece of advice. Then I showed him the 8 year old girl, who was weeping silently in a corner.
The incident my wife told me that evening was related to the same cousin i.e. Masi’s Son named Kailash. Wife told me that Kailash’s son Mahesh is threatening his father to transfer all the property in his name. And his threatening was not only verbal but physical also. His tactics included removing the quilt from his father’s body in the midnight of December/January winters of North India, disconnecting phone calls made by Kailash to his other children, deliberately putting excess salt in Kailash’s food etc.
The information made me sad and I decided to call Kailash. Phone was picked up by Mahesh, he spoke very politely but made excuses about the presence of his father. I could not stop visualizing Kailash weeping silently in a corner somewhere just as that little girl was weeping some 15 years ago.
Passive acceptance of children’s rude, selfish or insensitive behavior by parents is a real cause of them turning in to brats. Whenever I hear about counseling session for children, I wonder, who is in more need of this session, Children or their parents?
Sanjay Bordia, 1044-A, High Point-1, Palace Road, Bangalore-560001. Ph. 09743322555