Thursday, February 27, 2014

Big boys of Tinyland

 As I look out from the window and watch little children play in the quadrangle, I wonder if coming events do cast their shadows years ahead. The little ones, inno­cent, yet so wordly wise, are miniature adults and observ­ing their behaviour and over­hearing their conversation, I realise the influence we have over their impressionable minds. Their mini world has the same rat race, competition and codes of survival that we adults have to cope with and it is interesting to watch them acquit themselves in the fray and imagine their fu­ture...
Five-year old Tinku will grow up to be a hard boiled business man who will make full use of his assets. He drives hard bargains. He brings with him his video game when he comes to play. “Please Tinku, let me play with your video game”, begs Chotu. “Give me your cycle for ten rounds and you can have two games with my video” is Tinku’s condition. Chotu is thrilled with little mercies and the unfair deal is struck. By the end of playtime, Tinku will have had an enjoyable bicycle ride, eaten two chocolates played with an eletronic toy plane and extracted a promise of a Thums Up-all by lending his video game to his friends on his own terms!

The Adman in the making is little Bunty. He can exagger­ate and improvise so well that his gullible friends gape open mouth­ed and swallow his yams. “My daddy's ship can move so fast… so fast... just like an aeroplane...” he says with such conviction that even I get to believe it. “My uncle is a doctor in America and he has a roomful, of money.. just like Richie Rich..” He’s got a glib tongue, our Bunty…

‘Show off’ Sanju isn’t too popu­lar with his buddies. He talks of his mummy’s diamond necklace, grandpa’s Merce, daddy’s gold cigarette case and lighter and his own digital watch. He’ll grow up to be quite a bore, though he will bring some colour to drab lives with visions of affluence. The little imp says he’s going to Hawaii for a holiday in his grand­pa’s own ship! Some tycoon!

 En­ter the macho man.  The future trade union leader. Tall, hefty Adil, all of six years old, strikes terror in the hearts of the young. He loves dictating terms like - “Here Chotu, let me puncture your bicycle”.. or “Sameer, I don’t like your bat, I’m going to break it...” “Get me a nail, Pa­ras, I want to let the air out of your football...” The surprising thing is he gets what he wants...

The tell-tale Johnny is naturally the most unpopular. Every fall or fight he has, he runs to his mam­ma who obliges by coming and shouting at the errant ones. John­ny will have problems when he grows big. Mama’s can’t be around to fight sonny boys’ bat­tles.

It’s heartening to see Pinku’s punk in contrast. Small and thin, he doesn’t let his physical frailty in the way of his punches. He can take care of himself.

The loner kindles my curiosity. He keeps to himself, quite happy watching others play, fight and enjoy. No one bothers him and he bothers no one. I wonder what he will grow up to be.. a diplomat? a sanyasi? yogi?