Something’s Missing…

My elder son wrote his 10th Board exams last month. While most of his friends had chosen Sanskrit as the “second” language, we prevailed upon Ved to take Hindi. The reason being we could help him with Hindi and not Sanskrit. I took it upon myself to teach him Hindi. After-all, I am the son of a Hindi professor. My grounding in Hindi has been good, I topped my class in Hindi in both 10th and 12th.

Ved’s syllabus had Kabir, Meera, Pant, Mahadevi Verma etc which I think we covered with relative ease. There were some interesting interludes though. When studying Meera and her devotion to Krishna. She says that she would do whatever to get Krishna residing close to her. Said Ved to me, rather seriously, “Dad, if I were Krishna I would never ever even look at Meera. She is crazy!!” Aah, what a difference a word makes! Would not the Hindi baawari be better than crazy?

In of the chapters there was a reference to Krishna coming to Draupadi’s rescue during her “cheer-haran”. And Ved wanted to know who Draupadi was. And he freaked when he got to hear that she was married to five brothers, all at once!

See the erosion in knowledge over three generations? My father is fluent in Sanskrit, and here I was convincing my son to take Hindi for his boards as I was not confident of helping him with Sanskrit. The next-gen extends this to absence of knowledge about a commonly known detail from the Great Epic. The kid is not to be blamed, he has just not been exposed to this story. And my wife and I are the “culprits”, so to speak.

xxx

Don’t you think something getting lost here?

xxx

Not that I have not been trying. It is an old habit of mine, listening to “Hanuman Chalisa” in the morning, on my way to work, in our car’s audio system. The family car has changed over time, the medium has changed (cassette, CD, and now thumb drive); but this little habit of listening to the “Chalisa” has not. What has also remained constant is the “teaching” I do to my kids as we drive together on their way to school. I explain to them the story of Hanuman and the meanings of the words in the “Chalisa”. Sample this: “Ramdoot, atulit bal dhama, Anjani-putra, pawan-sut nama”. Now you need to picture two lads- my sons- in their early teens, having lived nearly all their lives in Bengaluru figuring out what those words mean. Figure “doot”, “atulit”, “baldhama”, “Anjani” etc. They quietly imbibe the daily lesson. But that’s about it.

I fret sometimes, there is “something” being lost here, in this decline of knowledge about our cultural heritage. And I don’t know if something is being gained in the process.

xxx

Mai, my mother, God bless her, is going strong on 81 now. She can still sing in her strong voice the Bhojpuri folk songs of yore, sohar, chaiti, vivah geets etc. Creeping dementia makes her repeat some of the lines again and again. But she holds forth with great enthusiasm. And that enthusiasm is very visible when on a recent visit to her place (she and Pitaji, going on 86, stay all by themselves in Jamshedpur) I take out my laptop and begin recording her singing. Long forgotten songs from my childhood now digitally captured on my lap-top hard disk.

My wife is cheerfully though silently joining in some of the songs. She is more “humming-along” than “singing-along” as she does not know the words of many of these songs. Here is another aspect of our culture being lost. The next gen will probably have no clue about these age-old folk songs, forget about associating each song with a specific occasion.

xxx

My wife is at least aware of festivals and sundry rituals accompanying the festivals. She still does teej and rakshabandhan and lakshmi puja during Diwali and other such activities. She still covers her head with a dupatta and sits down to do Durga path during navratri. She still banishes non-vegetarian food on Tuesdays. Much to the chagrin of the children who adore non-vegetarian food at all times of the day.

As for me, I am not into pooja etc. Neither do I visit temples unless it holds a “touristy” significance. I do know the significance of the festivals but I have a “could-not-care-less” attitude. I am not a compulsive non-veg eater, but if it served to me on Tuesdays on my travel, I am perfectly fine. I do not fret if I miss Holi or Diwali due to my business travels across the globe.

Something is indeed being lost here.

xxx

Pitaji fretted when he was getting me (and prior to me, my elder brother) admitted into the school where we finally passed out from. After-all he was then a Hindi lecturer in a prestigious college. And our school was an English medium one, run by Irish-American Roman Catholic priests. Some of Pitaji’s colleagues remarked on his hypocritical approach; teaching Hindi for a living and having his own sons admitted into an English medium school. While others told him this would make the sons’ future, why should he impose his personal preferences on his children. The latter camp won. We passed out from this English medium school. This was in the 60’s and 70’s when English medium schools were not common, though highly coveted.

I am sure, Pitaji too would have wondered again and again, is something getting lost here?

xxx

My wife and I had both decided that we will speak to our children only in Hindi. No English words even. This was rather tough as they both grew up in a mixed society in Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore. Not the ideal places for Hindi speaking friends and classmates. But we persisted. Till the schools where they went to summoned us- in case of each of them- when they turned five that enough was enough and it was high time we started speaking to them in English. Or else they would fall behind in class.

With great diligence- and effort- we switched to English. Kids made slow progress with conversational but with eventually did succeed and with strong long-term effects. So much so that now, when the children are in their teens, it is normal for the family to converse only in English. Sometimes, when I insist that they talk in Hindi, the conversation is so stilted that we switch back to English.

Something surely has got lost here!

xxx

Wonder what you, dear reader, feel about this loss. In a future post I will give my version about what I think is indeed getting lost.

xxx

PS: Ved struggled with his Hindi exam preparations, he was exultant when I went to pick him up after his Hindi Boards. “No more Hindi for me, ever!” he exclaimed. I quietly assured him then, “Ved, another twenty years or so, you will long to come back to Kabir, Meera and Tulsidas. You will. And then you will thank me for the works of these poets I have in my book collection.”

xxxxx

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43 Responses to Something’s Missing…

  1. yayaver says:

    Like this post. I can only say counting my inexperience, ” Old order changeth, yielding place to new “… Nothing more pain than forgetting of history by future. Still applaud to you for giving him roots of Hindi with wings of English. Let the time decide about next gen path of learning !

  2. Roli says:

    I can relate to the “somethings missing”very easily. Living in U.S. for past 13.5 years and EVERYDAY i feel that both my kids and we are missing a lot of things.
    Primary amongst those things are- family- both close and extended, the importance of relatives and relationships, friends, Indian people, HIndi language, the culture ( that is primailry passed form one gen to another simply becuse grandparents and kids live togteher under one roof), the lifestyle ( mom stays home and enjoys the kids…..i’ve either studied or worked 11/13 years, rest were spent on vacation InIndia! :-))and the “mood” of being an INdian and living in “Des”, enjoying the festivals en masse with the rest……
    Regardless to mention, the “hardiness” that comes from being brought up in India and attending Indian schools- it surely implies that if one can survive and make it good in India, one can excel anywhere.
    Because in India, people are successful INSPITE of the Indian government. People from india are made of steel, the ones that study in U.S. or are brought up here are made of “bone china” – fragile- both physically and emotionally.
    What we’re missing by not living in India surpasses any list- and it cannot be compensated by money,material success and the clean streets and easily avaialble civic utilities of life.
    Someday, i have a plan to change it, hopefully soon.

  3. Roli says:

    Oh, i forgot to comment – very well written.It clearly expresses the dilemma and pain of us the parents as we move away more and more everyday, from our roots and culture, all meshed up in our work lives and the modern lifestyles.
    Folk songs….i wish we woudl have local groups- in communities to teach our kids the local culure- somgs, art, clothing etc- that;s unwritten and documneted anywhere.
    As much as i would tap my feet at the latest Bollywood number or shake my “butt” at “bidi jalaayile..”, i really DETEST and regret what its doing to the Indian music legacy.At least Bidi jalaayile is still a folksy song…with folksy words and meaning- a bad example in this case- but rest are soooo- filmy, non-indian (not close to any local culture of India) and Dubai money-influx-oriented” the influence is hard to miss.I have stopped watching all and any Bollywood movie- and buying or listening to Bollywood music- simply because it is NOT Indian and a very bad influence. Given Bollywood is not the reflection of our society- then neither is entertaining, anymore!
    Gettign back on track- i try to speak in hindi only to my kids- waer Indian clothes on festivals- do soem kind of pooja on festivals and from time to time at home, attend local temple at least once a month , if not weekly, be active in Indian community and events locally, organize a culture class- with soem families of sam eage kids- to exchange and learn about Indian culure -once a month, attend Chinmaya Mission classes and Arya Samaj claaases on weekends- both have pros and cons- but at least teach something Indian- all this is required to be done with a hope that our Indian kids growing in U.S. will reatin soem Indian values.And that’s the reason we try to mix more often with Indian families and help each other.INdia mein Hindu/Indian culture is being sacrificed in the name of “secularity” and east meets west or modernisation, at least U.S. mein bachaa kar rakh sakte hain- prayaas jaari hai.
    Geeta mein likhaa hai- karm karo- phal ki chintaa mat karo.

    • santoshojha says:

      I quite like the way you have retained a lot of the language and culture despite being away from India for so long. In fact you are doing far better than most of us in India. Does your being a US resident for more than a decade have anything to do with this?

  4. Manik Ghoshal says:

    Dear Santosh, It is rather surprising that I have been having similar thoughts myself. This resulted in me taking my son and wife to the Iskcon Temple. I am attaching the experience here for everyone to read.

    ——————

    Last Sunday my wife, son and I went to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple here in Manchester. People who know me may me a bit surprised, because I am a rationalist and atheist. But my wife had been insisting for many months. We entered a large hall with people sitting on the floor listening to a senior ISKCON follower, an English sanyasi, delivering a lecture. There were mostly NRIs, but the 10% white followers were long-time followers all wearing dhotis and sarees.
    The gist of his lecture was that we don’t devote ourselves to Krishna is because we are afraid. We don’t want to be hurt either, after giving our love to someone. But if we give our love to Krishna, He would give us 10 X more. If we give 100% gold to someone we won’t have anything left. But if we give 100% love to him we will be still left with 100%.
    I asked a question after the lecture. “Swamiji, Is the final goal of Krishna Consciousness to unite with the Supreme Soul and deliver ourselves from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth? Because this is the same philosophy of Buddhism, which is called The Sankhya Philosophy, believed to have been preached by Saint Kapila (Kapil Muni) in 800BCE, who Buddha also followed, and termed as Dualism by modern scholars?” (Remember Buddha’s home town was named after Kapil Muni as Kapila-vastu)
    He replied, “We don’t believe in any Isms but absolute love towards Krishna. We are just travellers through this life and universe. This is not our home. Our home is with Krishna”. I was right! It was the Sankhya Philosophy that ISKCON believed in, which was incidentally very popular all over the West too among the Gnostics, Cathars of Southern France, Bogomils of Europe and Manichaeans. Some modern scholars have been suggesting that John the Baptist and Jesus believed in the same philosophy. Many believe they were both vegetarian tirelessly preached against animal sacrifice, like the Buddhists and Jains who were around from 500 years earlier and mentioned in Greek philosophy as the Gymnosophists or ‘naked philosophers’. They preached non-violence and love, an absolutely new concept in the middle-east, especially after the Macedonian conquest by Alexander. Google ‘Indo-Greek religion’ if interested.
    During the ‘arati’ at the ISKCON temple the devotees danced and sang with a wonderful devotion for nearly an hour, with men becoming more physically agile and the women on the right less so. I was pleasantly surprised that the English devotees were singing Bengalee Kirtans with a heavy Anglican accent of course carried down from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu of Mayapur, in the middle-ages and Swami Praphupad, the founder of ISKCON in America in the 70s.
    I asked the main swami of the Manchester Temple, “What shall I call you? Swamiji?. He laughed. “No. I am Anthony. But we call each other ‘Prabhuji’ and the women are ‘Mataji’. I was pleasantly surprised to observe that even the kids were calling each other ‘Prabhuji’ and ‘Mataji, seriously!
    I have plans to visit the Temple every Sunday. I have overheard my 11 years old son say that he does not believe in God and believes in Science, which was a bit shocking for me, although I knew he had picked up those ideas from his dad, me. Because, I do believe some amount of spirituality is good for our soul (conscience) and character. But I wonder if a hardcore rationalist like myself will ever be able to do ‘sangh-krtan’ (collective-chanting) in gay abundance with rest of the devotees, who even go to the Manchester city-centre sometimes, but I am willing to give it a go. There was a wonderful multi-cultural community atmosphere at the Temple which I liked!

    • santoshojha says:

      Good to read your detailed note. I am sure the other readers would find it interesting too. I am not a temple-goer myself, as I mentioned earlier, but who knows I might turn into one! Though I wonder I will enjoy the mass hypnosis effort of a Sangh-Kirtan.

  5. Dolly says:

    well said.I completely agree with the concept of ‘something missing’.
    But somewhere I have tried my best to keep going strong on speaking Hindi at home.And so far I think I have been successful in my mission.

    Every stage in my life I felt that you gain something only at the cost of losing another thing and the key is ‘to maintain balance’.

    • santoshojha says:

      You have been away from India- in UK- for so many years and it is admirable that you have preserved spoken Hindi at home. And your elder son has taken it a step further by learning Latin and Greek as well.

  6. Vijay Sambrani says:

    Santosh, As always your posts, ignite some latent thoughts and emotions. one thing, i will do now after reading he post is to record my mother’s voice, especially when she sings.

    and hopefully , i will begin to do for other friends/relatives of mine too.

    atleast there is some use for this “modern technology”

    • santoshojha says:

      Vijay Bhai, as usual you have picked up something unique in the piece. Go ahead with the recordings, you will love yourself for it.

  7. Madhup says:

    very well written. Santosh. One of our age can relate very easily to it. You will be surprised, I had taught both my girls Sanskrit till their 8th std. But then it is all lost…. as unfortunately our education system does not support employment and growth through our own native languages….. They get lost.

    Enjoyed…

    Cheers
    madhup

    • santoshojha says:

      Thanks Madhup. One of my big regrets has been that I too quit Sanskrit after Std 8. Now I am a little more aware and want to understand the Sanskrit texts. But it seems too difficult to re-learn the language now. I hope you are persisting with Hindi at least Down Under!

  8. biswarup says:

    Sir,
    Its not something. Every thing is missing.

  9. Ashok says:

    As usual this post also was quite interesting.

    The way Gandhiji became famous abroad (You may remeber..Hotel in Eidhoven,Netherlands called’Gandhi’)after Ben Kingsley’s Gandhi bagged many Oscar awards.I hope some producer from Holywood will produce ‘New Avtar’ on our mythoogical stories then only new generation will not need assistance or guidance. One more point – Sanskrit is the subject mainly choosen by parents and students to ‘score’ marks!-Ashok

    • santoshojha says:

      I know, Sanskrit is chosen more for its marks-earning capacity. Learn by rote and then write and get near 100% marks. Besides the fact that I could not help my son with Sanskrit (as I could with Hindi) I also wanted to transfer some of my knowledge of Hindi literature to him.

  10. Urbi says:

    Santosh,

    I can relate to this as Ved … putting myself in his shoes this time.

    I enjoyed the article a lot, your efforts, your thoughts going into the generational change that you are welcoming yet worried about.

    Wonderful as usual and very candid. Keep it up.

  11. Rajiv Sahai says:

    Dear Santosh
    Neat piece of work. You have put most of our generation’s thoughts down succinctly. Of course its our duty to make the younger generation aware of our culture and heritage but with so many new inputs coming (much more than what we were ever exposed to)the younger generation has to choose whats best for them. What we have to do is to preserve these treasures for the posterity and make them aware that such an item exists.

  12. Madhumita says:

    she likes ‘Dandiya’ more than ‘Durgapua’,
    she likes ‘Luchi (poori)’ more than ‘Pizza’
    she likes her mom to be in ‘saari’ more than ‘trousers’
    She speaks Bengali at home ,loves to listen bengali folk stories, crazy about comic characters (watches CDs and TV program) ‘Batul The Great’ , ‘Handa-Bhonda’, ‘Nonte-Fonte’but can’t read and write Bengali.

    While watching my cousin sister’s marriage video and commented that she will not marry by following this rituals, rather she will follow Rakhi sawant or else Draupadi..she will choose the guy.

    she is my 8 yrs.old daughter Ishika, born in Jamshedpur but upbringing is in Mumbai

    What to say? what is the cause towards the ‘missing link’?
    WAY OF UPBRINGING?
    NEW GENERATION OUTLOOK?
    MIX BREED CULTURE?

    Santosh, your blog forced me to be more worried when day in day out I do believe about the ‘missing link’….
    well written !

    • santoshojha says:

      Maybe Ishika and you will learn together (like the most of us); Ishika about her world and making choices and you with parenting!

  13. Raaj says:

    Santosh Bhai, I do agree with your Something’s Missing post
    – and this is happening with Nuclear Family life that we lead.
    – this problem is not much in Joint Family
    – I connect with your articles like hell and makes me feel good that I am not the only person suffering.
    – like always your writing is mast and it makes my day.
    Take care -:)

    • santoshojha says:

      The comments on this post so far indicate that we are not the only ones “suffering” as you call it. May we should just call it the “joys” of parenting juxtaposed with the gen gap and move on??

  14. Debuda says:

    Very well written, Santosh. But it’s a fact of life that as society evolves, many customs, traditions, even complete languages get consigned to the recycle bin of history. How would historians put bread on their table and sundry research scholars earn their PhD’s if there is nothing to recycle in that bin?

    Rhetoric apart, the tendency to cling doggedly to the ‘culture’ of one’s ancestors can probably be traced back to the time when humans formed their first clans or sects. Every clan invariably considered their own culture to be superior than those of others. Since ‘culture’ was intimately linked with one’s very identity, one always tended to be fiercely protective about it. Obviously, any signs of dilution of this culture in one’s progeny was frowned upon and strongly discouraged. This continues even now.

    I’d like to conclude with one observation. Every generation believes that most things were better in their generation and the new generation is ‘going to the dogs’. The new generation calls it the generation gap.

    • santoshojha says:

      Debu Da:

      Thanks. As cogently argued as ever!

      I agree with you. We tend to stick to a falsely-held belief “our era was the best, the following era is found wanting“. Some would even get into unnecessary debates on dhoti v/s trousers, hand-written letters v/s emails, eating- out-of-one’s-hands v/s using a spoon/knife/fork. I know I am citing ludicrous examples, but I am just illustrating some funny thinking.

      My confusion lies in defining for myself the core, the essence, of religion, culture, etc- of Indian-ness. I hope my thoughts will evolve over time.

      Thanks again for your detailed comment.

  15. Akshat says:

    I think its a brilliant piece and I absolutely love Ved’s reactions, esp. about Meera 🙂

    How were his exams? I’m sure he’s done well!

    • santoshojha says:

      I knew you would like ved’s reaction like a true next- gen. guy! ved’s exams went well, thank you!

  16. Manish says:

    Hey santosh
    interesting observations and thoughts as ever….As much as i would like to agree with you that Something is getting lost, personally i dont think anything is. What is lost is what we think or relate in relation to our own understanding of us. It is we who decide that that this is what i knew in my childhood and my own child does not seem to relate as well to it or maybe not at all to it. But frankly speaking in the real sense i dont think it makes any diffeerence since i am sure you also would be observing that they teach you a new thing or two almost everyday which otherwise you would not even have known or heard of…All this is some kind of Evolution and it needs to be there.. it is for us to maybe balance it in some form depending on how strongly we feel the need to but otherwise its just a natural evolving process…..better to accept it than not ….

    • santoshojha says:

      Manish,
      I am all for evolution and new learnings. But as I have said in my response to another comment above, I wonder what is the core which is essential. What we can do without, and what we need to retain.

  17. Atul says:

    My daughter has taken Sanskrit as the second language.It is one subject where I am quite out of my depth and I hoped my wife was too, but she told me that she and her siblings were taught lots of Sanskrit by her father. So that way, my daughter is able to learn Sanskrit from her mom. Even otherwise I think learning any language, and not just Sanskrit expands one mental hozizons, if it is learnt with the aim of being able to understand the language, and not just to pass the examination.

    In olden days, we knew Ramayan, Mahabharat etc not just from elders, but also by reading them. I found the tales of these epics wonderful reads and I would read them as entertaining stories. I read them in thick books published by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur and other such publications. The fact that there were no TV, Video, internet etc meant that we as kids developed good reading habits. I would devour all books, including text books , the very first day I got my hands of them. Reading your Hindi text book cover to cover the very first day with interest- it meant that you had covered the entire syllabus on that very day, without realising it !

    I try to inspire my daughter with my example, but I can clearly see that she does not find me enough of a role model for her. 🙂

    It is a great read. Forgetting ones roots bit by bit with every generation- this is certainly cause for worry.

    • santoshojha says:

      Those wonderful (and mercifully very low-priced) Geeta Press books were my favourites too!! And I agree with you that we had little other to do but study, play and read.

  18. Ajay Vidyarthi says:

    After parting ways with you at Nagpur I went to a medical college. During my period of study I was also given Diksha into the spiritual realm by my guru. Both my paths of learning continued in parallel and the worlds never collided. Since then I have always maintained that although we teach our children how to read and earn we don’t teach them how to live. This needs a grounding in spiritual sciences. Yes, it is a science because it is based on experience rather than on blind faith. I am unfortunate in having a child to whom I cannot pass this knowledge (my son is suffering from Autism).

  19. santoshojha says:

    Well said, Ajay; teaching the kids how to live is critical.

  20. Raj says:

    Santosh,
    Another great post on a theme that touches every one of us. Something is indeed getting lost and i am sure each one of us feel it in our own ways. Having studied in a boarding school, I was never too much into culture and religion but my wife is the complete opposite and wages a lone battle to continue to practise of celebrating festivals, explaining their religious significance etc. My stay in the US drew me closer to Indian culture more than ever before. I went for Gita lessons, we put our kids in Balvihar, my younger son started learning Carnatic music and we started to frequent social gatherings where music was the theme and it was a great experience for my wife and I. As my boys grew older, they started to object and protest more and more, till we gave up. I can still remember the joy on their faces when we finally relented and took them out of balvihar lessons. Many times, my wife and i wonder if we are bringing up our kids the right way – I often wish there was a manual one could refer to on the do’s and dont’s of parenting that would guarantee results. But then, that would make for a dull and drab life, I am sure.

    Like always, you have beautifully covered a common theme and titled it very appropriately. Very thought provoking and enjoyable reading. Thankyou.

    • santoshojha says:

      Thanks a lot, Raj, for your well-written comment. I agree with you that a manual on parenting will make life drab. But just maybe a brief set of tips maybe. To help us navigate the parenting route a bit better. No?

  21. Seema says:

    At least now I know where to send Shubham when he is “struggling” with Hindi…:-)…just down the stairs!

    My Mom was double MA in Hindi!I was always getting highest in Hindi in school. When I went to college(Lady Brabourne,Kolkata), I was forced to take Hindi as a subject as Mom said that there would be less girls taking up Hindi and I would be able to score more marks as attention from teacher would be proper and she was right! Of course after a year I moved to Dentistry!And so no Hindi!:-)

    My kids having been partly brought up in US/Switzerland have difficulty in Hindi as at home we speak Gujrati. My husband and I absolutely insisted on this. So their Hindi was limited to Zee/Sony TV and the movies got from the Indian store. Their favourite shows used to be Mahabharat, Ramayana, some serial abt Ganesha….:) My daughter thankfully(as per her) is off Hindi and my son who has recently moved to 10th grade is waiting when he could get ‘off’ Hindi.Also having moved to Bangalore from the US,where kids speak to each other in English, their Hindi is of course very much limited. One day last year though I was passing by my son’s bedroom,I heard him talking in Hindi and wondering who he was talking to, I peeked in and found he was talking to his friend from school on the phone. So I was happy with that as he is a good friend of my son and they would be conversing in Hindi on a regular basis.

    Also I remember, on a funny note, when we moved back to India in 2003, my sister and I would be giving spelling tests to my kids and it would be movie names- for eg..Khoon Bhari Mang,Mera Gaon Mera Desh,etc…and my kids would laugh at the movie names too!! 🙂

    So yes Hindi is spoken less and less in this generation no doubt… and these days am seeing we cant force children too much…

    My 2 cents! 🙂

  22. Seema says:

    Also yes staying abroad one ends up being more ‘Desi’. 🙂

  23. santoshojha says:

    Wonderful that you guys speak Gujrati at home. As regards Hindi tips for Shubham, any time!!

  24. Sumita says:

    Dear Santosh
    Your post seems to have triggered a outpouring of parental angst! I enjoyed reading , lot of comments which this piece has evoked .It looks like almost everybody was waiting to go on a guilt trip about not bringing up children right .I have a different take on it, why not leave it to children to retain whatever they want to instead of foisting langauge and culture on them .We all have realized at some point in our lives how much we sound like our parents despite vehemantly trying to be unlike them .So best thing is to chill out and let children make their own choices and mistakes .We may provide a template though , by really doing what we are preaching

  25. santoshojha says:

    Sumita,
    I agree that “we sound more like our parents despite vehemently trying to be unlike them”. But can we afford to “chill-out” as you put it? And that template you mention. Absolutely. But, pray, what is this template? Language, religion, rituals, societal norms… what is it?

  26. sumita says:

    offcourse we can afford to chill out!All children are products of their OWN time .It will be disasterous shd they try to emulate their earlier generations .We have to accept that some things will go out forever and that is inevitable.It isnt necessarily a bad thing either, in every case.I will be happy if our children lose concepts of caste and gender divisions !!!!
    now template, langauge yes, best way to insure is to speak the language without making rules abt it
    Religion, expose them to religious concepts it is good to have a supernatural ally .But respect it, if they are not interested
    Societal norms only what they believe in .I mean its ok if they cock a snook at what socity terms as appropriate .

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