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The Cradle of Life: In the context of my Arunachal Pradesh

22 Feb,2022 06:37 PM, by: Tanuel Nonang
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I still remember the days when my whole family used to settle down on a carpet outside in the verandah after having our dinner listening to a radio. It was the summer nights of the 1990s when we were just kids and my father used to have this Philips radio in which we used to hearken to the programmes being aired. Staring at the starry sky till we fall asleep and our parents picking us up one by one was just a daily routine.

We didn’t have much. We didn’t need much. We had one bicycle in the family as a medium of personal transportation and during those times even riding in one of those was considered a luxury. Education was also very different from what it is now and coming home in our dusty tattered uniforms to eat the afternoon meal prepared by mother was one of the best times of the day.

Then one day the world started to change and suddenly we realised we have become adults and things around us are no longer static but somewhat materialistic. We now enjoy the amenities that we never thought we would during our childhood days. Looking back life was, to be honest, simple and rigid but not ordinary in comparison to what we have today. It was something so solemn yet enriching that we still miss to this day. Most consciously, the bonding that we shared in our family.

Family is called the cradle of life. Whatever we learn starts from this cradle and much of our personality is built around this time of our life. It is the temple where you learn the basic skills of life and it is where you find the physical as well as the moral support and guidance towards welcoming what life will transpire for you. In a nutshell, it creates you, nurtures you, and shapes you into who you become.

“Even if you are right, violence is never the answer. Never indulge in them.”

Yes, that’s exactly what my mother used to say whenever I used to pick up fights in school. I really used to hate it when I was chided and taught not to retort back even when I was not at fault! But now when I look back at things, I realise I was receiving some of the most priceless teachings about how to move forward in life and have empathy with one’s feelings.  I am 25 years old now, and I can proudly say I haven’t snapped to any sort of violence so far. Thanks, mom!

Today times have changed and it is often seen that there is no such reprimanding to kids when they do something wrong. Especially in private schools of Arunachal Pradesh, one scold from teachers to the students is enough to create an uproar in the administration of the school with the parents visiting the school demanding an apology from the teacher.

What I feel is that the children now have become so used to too much independence that they are moving away from the “cradle of life”. They are privileged, at the same time not guided to what is wrong or right and which in return have created rebels inside them. Parents today are busy either with work or socialising, that their kids are literarily left alone to be raised up by maids. The poor kids have no idea of basic civic sense or behaviour, and learn things on their own. By the time they become adults, they are very detached from the family. Hardly there comes a day when the kids will have a meal with their parents.

Nowadays, you will see many young school students riding bikes to school. Not that I judge them, but I wonder if getting things for granted or without merit is part of the many reasons why they are getting spoilt. I still remember the days when I had to request many times just to buy a postcard of Salman Khan and Amir Khan. Providing to your children is not at all bad. But what is important is to ensure that your kid is responsible and understands the value of the gift.  Unregulated fulfilment of wishes at times emboldens ego in them and once it is discontinued or checked, it results in an uproar in the family. I am not calling out the modern families just because they are going with the flow of the time. My view is focused only on the importance of keeping and nurturing bonding in a family. Since the education of a child starts with the family itself, parents should act as role models upon which they can place their trust and build a perspective on life.

Our elderly people are looked up to in respect for a reason. They are wise and they have seen life. There is a line in my Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh that goes like “Ngo nom takar kidarem kapo yane” which translates to “I was the one who saw stars before you did.” Experience matters and parents should use it to raise their children towards a life that is not full of arrogance but empathy, respect, and an inclination towards the ethics of life.

We the people of Arunachal Pradesh are rising with our dedication and hard work but our roots and culture should not pay the price for it. We now often see children growing up and moving to cities and starting their own nuclear family. As this trend, we see these children distancing themselves from their families and turning cold towards their parents. We must buy houses and cars but if it distances us from our loved ones it loses its worth.

Childhood is the golden period of our life. It is the time when everything wrong looks so right.  A simple dinner was a delight. The food didn’t matter nor did the place but what we remember is the sense of belonging, a belonging of togetherness.

We should not move away from the “cradle of life”.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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