Each generation while raising the next feels that the times have changed, I feel the same every now and then.
While narrating the story of Hanuman leaping across the sea in search of Sita, I noticed the look of disbelief on the face of my son and realised that he is wondering why Hanuman had to do that whereas he can always take a plane. I had to explain to him that in those times there were no planes, nor were there mobile phones. It would have been so simple then isn’t it, Sri Ram could just pick up his mobile call Sita and ask, ‘Where are you?’
I remember when small putting a basket on the head and shouting ‘aloo pyaj le lo’, A playmate would then give me money and I would sell them aloo or pyaj. Tried to play the same game with him and he looked at me with a shocked expression. On my last visit to India, I showed him the roadside vendors and then he understood.
Similarly having never seen a postman / mail carrier, he doesn’t understand what a postman does. I guess on my next visit I have to show him what post means and what a postman does.
When we were small we used to start writing by writing on a slate with help of a chalk. Now slates seem to have disappeared, though I feel it was more eco-friendly. The amount of paper wasted in teaching a toddler to write is outrageous. Of course we can get a whiteboard. But I feel a child learns to grip, better with a chalk or a pencil than a pen.
My nephew once remarked that what was th need for learning multiplication tables when it can be so easily done on a computer or calculator. And my niece had once asked that how we had passed our time when we were younger if there was no TV.
So the younger generation is not able to conceive a life without television, mobiles or computers. They cannot understand that earlier kids used to walk down to school and that once upon a time parents were…..well parents and not friends to joke with or play with.
Times have indeed changed.