Sadly, today’s children miss out on the fun that we enjoyed in our past. Today, kids are mostly found with their eyes glued to the latest gizmos, and heads buried in their e-books, completely oblivious to the joys that lie outside their homes. Those childish games we played, the outdoors, the parks with the swings and the slides – they all seem to be calling out to these little people. Really, where are they?
I remember how I and my friends would gather with our dolls and chat endlessly, when mum would chid us for wasting the evenings and encourage us to play. She would teach us games she played as a child herself. Games, which we found very entertaining! There was aatya paatya – a game, which required us to enter a grid of squares from one end and exit at the other end without getting caught by the other team that was scattered all over the grid. How enthusiastic we would be, all along getting orders from our team leader to be careful.
Then there was blind man’s bluff, catching the cook, hide-n-seek, lagori, hop-scotch, and, oh, there were so many! And, how exhilarated we would be! Play time was the best time of the day; it was something we waited for all day long. And, today, I hardly see children outdoors! They do play, but only when the cricket fever is on. No other game, no other activity. How very dull and unstimulating that feels!
Every time I see kids with their laptops or iPads, I get a strong urge to grab those gizmos, fling them out of the windows and push the children outdoors to indulge in some physical activity. I could very well teach them a game or two, which they might enjoy. Maybe a game of blind man’s bluff could get them into the mood, or even a high energy game of lagori. All that screaming and shouting and dodging the ball to save themselves would definitely get these kids interested.
Wishful thinking, that! Taking into consideration the highly competitive life of today and the constant arrival of new tech-toys, it sure seems a difficult proposition, getting children to turn outdoorsy. However, having said that, I would really want the tiny tots to enjoy the outdoors, at least once in a while. Just forget their studies and leave the constant battle for better grades aside and go out – to play, to get some oxygen into their lungs, to laugh hysterically with their friends over silly games and to return rejuvenated. That is my wish for the children of today.
How I wish I had Aladdin’s magic lamp. I would rub it, and poof! out would come a genie granting me a wish. I would ask him to steal all that technology from those tiny hands and transport those little souls outdoors! The parents would love it, for sure! Wouldn’t they?
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