OPINION

The Family Tree: What Kids Lack Today

May 27, 2007
Sakshi Juneja

Some time back the woman with (weird) voices in her head had this emotional post on her blog, which was centered on her memory of the mystic Taj Mahal visit with her dad. Agreed, time flies by with a blink but then we can always sit back and re-live these ever beautiful and mesmerizing moments from the past.

Last night while helping mum re-arrange old photo albums, I found this really old photograph of me with my cousins.

To me it's nothing less than what we often say, "A perfect Kodak moment". This picture was taken by my dad, who was ever so enthusiastic with his camera and tons of nieces and nephews and not to forget, his own kids. I must have around 6 or 7 years old and was on my yearly summer visit to Mhow (about 1 hour drive from Indore, MP), which also happens to be my native place. Dad had taken us for a picnic to one of my granny's farms, which about 45 minutes drive from our family home.

The boys spent the afternoon playing chor-police, girls being girls mostly talked about everything under sun whereas I and my cousin sister, since we were the youngest of the lot, were mostly bossed around by both the groups. Though I must have cribbed a lot then but if you ask me now, I would not mind going through this moment time and time again.

Today, most of the young faces you see in this photograph are married and some even have kids, barring me and the girl sitting next to me. Since all of them (except my bro & sis) live outside Mumbai, we barely ever get a chance to mingle except during family weddings or something.

Frankly speaking, I feel nowadays we people keep ourselves just limited to our immediate family, that we never bother to make the extra effort to be involved in the lives of our distant family members. And this does bother me at times, especially when I see my own niece and nephew growing up without such wonderful encounters.

Most of us cover-up this flaw by blaming it all on our fast-paced life - "This is what we call life" is what I often hear my cousins exclaiming whenever the topic of "old days" crops up. So engrossed are we in securing our lives financially and materialistically that we don't even notice the finer and simpler moments we and our children are missing out on.

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned...is a complete Blog-a-holic.
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#1
Amrita
URL
May 27, 2007
01:18 AM

Saks - so true. I think people are basically lazy and once the elders aren't around anymore to crack a whip, people just sort of get absorbed in their own lives. I have a cousin who always makes it a point to gather as many of us around as possible for every single occasion. He entertains like crazy but I guess its worth it because his three kids are growing up, still alone in another land if you choose to look at it one way, but with the knowledge that family means more than mom and dad. I only hope I can do the same when the time comes.

#2
the mad momma
URL
May 27, 2007
08:25 AM

this is going to sound weird... and i dont know why... but well, we're so involved in travelling and seeing the world that holidays are no longer abt visiting family. now if we get a few days off its a weekend getaway or else its a holiday in europe. parents dont get vacations at the same time so its hard for all the kids to be together. .. what can one do? I know i miss the long summer holidays spent with cousins..somehow i dont know what extra my children will gain with holidays in bangkok and the US

#3
Anand Menon
May 28, 2007
10:38 PM

We need to listen to those "voices in the head":)...definitely need some more emotional posts like these.

If one has to foster familial bonds and healthy male female relationships we need more family get togethers...they'd definitely grow up into happier people......in the long run we'd have fewer siffers and feminists.

I'd have written more but i have to run... and you can blame that on "fast paced life":)

#4
Dev
URL
September 23, 2008
05:40 AM

Great seeing this nostalgia filled post on Mhow...
p.s. I had tried posting a comment earlier but the attempt didnt seem to have succeeded...

#5
commonsense
September 23, 2008
08:18 AM

Saskshi:

""Most of us cover-up this flaw by blaming it all on our fast-paced life - "This is what we call life" is what I often hear my cousins exclaiming whenever the topic of "old days" crops up. So engrossed are we in securing our lives financially and materialistically that we don't even notice the finer and simpler moments we and our children are missing out on.""

True, but it's true! the very structure and texture of life has indeed changed for almost everyone, such that it's impossible to the new generation to re-live the life of leisure etc. And then of course there are millions of those who are barely getting by....perhaps they do have stronger extended family ties. and then there's the tv, the personal computers etc. that provide individualized lives or connected lives with folks we'd never meet in real life, as me on DC...it's nice to look back in nostalgia and reflect about "the way we were", but a different generation, different time period! Good post. Enjoyed it tremendously!

#6
kerty
September 23, 2008
04:45 PM

Our lives have become atomized, disconnected and detached from our immediate surrounding and our emotional world. We are failing to make necessary investments to build our own emotional and social infra-structure.

We now live in a virtual world - most of the time, we are physically present where we are, but we are not really there in spirit. We are mentally connected somewhere else. We have invested a lot of time, energy and money in creating our own private virtual world. But how much have we really invested in building our own private social infrastructure? So when we really need it, our bank balance with it will be zero, zilch, negative. It will not be there for us. In our mad pursuit of material accomplishments, we are missing out on simple pleasures of life and what is really important in life. Our near and dear ones is our immediate universe and we have to be fully invested in it.

I am as much guilty as anybody else for taking everything for granted and yet hoping for the best . Thanks for reminding what is really important in life. Simple things I often forget.

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