I am one of those mothers among many, who was fortunate enough to be a part of that era, the bygone era where happiness was just not a product of globalization or affluence but it was more of a thing found here and there, lanes and by lanes, rain drops and sunsets, flies and grasshoppers, street “gol gappa’s” and local “jalebis”, muddy hands and stolen flowers.
An enriching experience when childhood was a little carefree, careless and less objectified not all draped in glorious brands or glitzy covers… it was as simple as happiness.
Our childhood was all about finding happiness in small things.
I still remember those good old days when I was pampered by just a little coin once a fortnight or a week to gulp on those road side delights. Supposedly a plate of paani poori from that vendor whom we affectionately addressed as “Bhaiya” and it gave us a joy of lifetime, endlessly waiting for that special day to come.
And after having those sumptuous treat, had to wait for another week to have another delicacy… might be the bhel all wrapped in that drab looking plate or may be the local khatta meetha “goli” being sold outside our school. Good old days, meagre pocket-money, an absolute bliss.
But these days, kids are quite over sensitive and protective with parents like us who are quite fussy or may be over particular about everything. Those joys had that unique sensation which is lacking in this generation. Having a treat is just not very common these days because those are mundane things. Kids are actually losing the value of finer pleasures.
Watching the first cloud of monsoon and getting wet in the first showers, holding a little grasshopper in that tiny fist, sniffing those tiny fresh flowers from neighbours garden and even stealing a glance and putting some in that frock’s pocket, making wonderful delights with “ghaas phus” in that little kitchen set bought from that local market were so much a joyous fiesta, which the fanciest of hi-tech games cannot impart.
Buying a new toy or a gift was a great motivator in our days but now heaps of toys, gazettes are just a child’s game. The monotonousness still persists, yearning gets bigger, craving for “more” is another symptomatic behaviour resulting in “no contentment syndrome”. The mirage gets bigger and bigger. Illusions boundless.
Value of everything is diminishing gradually. Materialistic goods are infinite but joys are so finite, temporal and object oriented. Pleasures are illimitable but sense of gratification so less.
Change in lifestyle, nuclear families, globalisation, extensive utilitarianism and abundance of everything has diminished contentment.
Happiness is just another butterfly these days hopping around…
Let’s start again from where we had left… Let children catch those little objects of happiness here and there.
Ronita-Maitra Bhandari is a free-lance creative writer who writes for various sites and blogs. She has also done a certified course in “Positive Parenting” from U.K. She is a mom to a 7-year-old and loves nurturing her greatest resource, her daughter. Apart from writing she is a nature lover and gets energised wandering around green patches. She believes family is a treasure chest and children are those precious jewels in the chest who sparkle to illuminate lives. What else would one desire to live a rich life?