Once upon a time there was a little boy sitting on the lap of his grandfather, pestering him to tell a story. The grandfather, though old, was still of sound health and wonderful memory. So he took a deep breath and started.
‘Once there were two cats – Kalee and Goree, they were good friends and always played together and went everywhere together in the village. Whenever they found anything to eat they would share and enjoy the food together.’
‘One day, they were jumping on the roof when they found a sookhi roti (dry bread) on the roof. “Wow!” they both said. “We have found a sookhi roti, let us eat it.” But there was only one roti so they decided to divide it into half. Goree decided to cut the roti in two halves and gave one of the halves to Kalee.
But Kalee was not happy, “Goree you have given me the smaller piece”.
“No that is not true, you get your eyes tested, actually I have given you bigger piece”.
“You liar, my eyes are fine”, said Kalee and jumped on Goree to snatch the other piece.
Soon, a big cat fight started and a monkey who was on the tree joined them, he wanted to know what was happening.’
I am sure all of you know the rest of the story and I need not repeat it here as I am repeating the first half again below.
A few years later, the little boy has grown up and is a father himself. (Ok baba, a lots of years later).
So the little boy who is now father of two beautiful girls is sitting in his study-room and working on his computer writing a post for a parenting portal called Parentous. His thoughts are interrupted by his younger daughter walking in the room.
“Papa can I tell you a story?”
“Sure cutie pie.”
“Ok Papa, this is a good story, after the story you will have to tell me what the moral of the story, OK?”
“OK sugar, I will listen carefully.”
‘Once upon a time there were two cats – Kittie and Katie, they were best friends and always played together in the building. They shared everything they found and ate it together.
One day they found a piece of cake in the park of the building.’
“What?”, I asked. “What did they find?”
“Papa, I told you to listen carefully, you were not listening. They found a Piece of cake in the building park.”
“Who told you this story?”, I interrupted and asked.
“My Ma’am in school, now don’t speak in between and listen carefully. You have to tell the moral of the story to me”, said the daughter.
The rest you can put 2+2 together. This is the changed urban middle class India. Cats are no longer Goree and Kalee and they no longer find sookhi roti . The cats today are Kittie and Katie and they eat cake. While the kiddo did understand the moral, of not fighting with friends and sister, from the story, she has no idea how many people in this country sleep hungry, leave aside cats eating cake.
At her age I do not have the heart to tell her this. What I understand from her story is that, I was a child in a different age and time. Ah! those innocent Doordarshan days, not only the toys and games of the kids today are different, the characters also now eat cakes. Marie Antoinette would have approved.
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.