Thursday, 11 June 2009

In the fast lane too soon!

When Mithun was in school, he was perhaps one of the few students who used to cycle all the way from Fatehgunj to Makerpura, which by Baroda standards is quite a distance! Much as he looked at me in all the persuasive manners that children perfect when they want to melt your heart, I stood firm that he would not ride a motorcycle till he was 18. The tragedy in our country is that rules are made with very few attempts by authorities to see them implemented and obeyed, but in fact with the expectancy that they will be broken!

I see children of the age of 13 riding two wheelers like rodeo horses that are to be tamed, and when accidents of a tragic nature occur it becomes too late to set the clock back; and regret etches the devastated faces of parents as they weep inconsolably over the lifeless bodies of their children, wishing better sense had prevailed. Why is saying no and setting limits with children such a difficult thing to do? Socialising a child with boundaries makes for an intelligent and considerate individual. But perhaps it is because it demands for us as parents to set the example, and maybe that becomes the real problem to do!

Rash driving is actually another exemplification of bad conduct. Every time we allow misbehaviour we are setting ourselves up for people to believe that there are no codes of conduct that are necessary requirements within any collective space of co-existence to be adhered to. We care so little today about social etiquette, politeness or courtesy, believing instead that brashness is the hallmark of the new age modern Indian, and if you stop to think of how we normally behave in public or social spaces with one another, there will be a number of instances that will showcase the lack of cordiality and consideration think necessary to offer to others. Let us once in for all put an end to the myth that social inelegance and rudeness is OK because it isn't. Just doing and saying whatever you want becomes a bad cliche of liberalness, and education at home needs to address this behavioural delinquency.

As parents we are too indulgent, believing that love is about feeling self-gratified by the attention we give to our children. A more healthy approach is to keep a balance in which you allow yourself the space to grow as an adult, and simultaneously guide your child/children to know themselves through defining a personal philosophy of life. Late night drives with minors behind the wheels of fancy cars, and innocent people loosing their lives from the whim of a brat , is a blood letting that is hard to justify.

So lets clean up our act and our streets in more ways than by merely keeping it un-littered by garbage. Lets keep minors from driving when we know the lethal consequences, and lets catch those officials who accept bribes and don't book these offenders when they have committed dastardly crimes. It's a small start, but someones life may be be saved.

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