It was an usual evening pick ups and drops of kids to their classes for me. Causally changed the radio station in car.The famous “O Chitta Ve,, …” was being played i raised the volume. My son (8 .6 yrs old),” Mom, change the song ,Udta Punjab a dirty movie, isn’t it ?” I was expecting this question sooner or later.
I sarcastically said , “Ask your sister .Her friends must have told her the detail story with all about Shahid and his hairstyle.”
She always tells me how, few of her friends go and watch almost every movie with their parents and how we don’t watch movies frequently. I really felt worried when I heard some movie names they watched with their parents. Poor little innocent brains fed with these stuffs. ‘Sab chalta hai , kids nowadays know all” cannot be an excuse to take them along with you parents .
Anyways, so she replied, “Oh no mom! My friends didn’t watch that movie. Their parents said it’s not for kids. I was like,,,,,, really?
The navel gyrating dances, the double meaning dialogues n body language, the Munni, Fevicol se , ladki beautiful chul songs, the violence , the pathetic portrayal of female in some movies ,are they appropriate for kids? Just google the word Chul , i did it and i am still cursing myself for humming this song so many times just because i loved the beats.
I asked her,”Do you think the same?” She said, “What’s wrong in that Aai, they are full of fun and entertainment .Nothing is wrong in that. Why can’t we watch movies that are for adults? ” She also mentioned some of movies , her favorite hero and she wanted to watch or wants to watch. I will not name, it will hurt the sentiments of the respective fans of those actors. Leave it here only.
I was taking time to assemble the words to reply as i could sense more questions in pipeline.
He again asked, “Is it a bad movie?” I said “No not at all.”
“Then can we watch ?”It was the expected question from both of them. I said yes but after some years.
“If not bad then why not now?” He.
“You can ride bicycle so take these keys of car and drive to the class.”
“No, I can’t . I am not old enough ,i may end up banging on another vehicle or people, i cant do it” He.
I said, “Exactly son, because it is not appropriate for the age. You will not understand some scenes, references. You may get confused , scared , shy and may carry the wrong thoughts with you. You may not see the pain , fight , blood and other disturbing things ”
“Hmmmmm……..” both of them .
“But we are old enough and we don’t scare when we watch fights and blood .”he.
“But I want you to feel scared, sad , when you see somebody in pain . When you see bloodshed on screen I want both of you to feel uncomfortable , disturbed because it is the right feeling . It is very normal for us to react this sensitively. These are feelings that suits us human being”
(Rest below I thought in my mind)
“At your age I want you both to keep these sensitive reflexes intact. This is very normal. I know if you see these things regularly you will get immune to these things.Being a human we are not supposed to be immune to others pain. Being sensitive is not timid. I don’t want you both watch how unsympathetically female characters are portrayed. I don’t want my son to see / hear and make an ugly image of female in his mind like the way some songs are throwing loudly. I don’t want my daughter to follow or copy the so called leading actresses.A sharp chilling sensation runs through my bones when i see my daughter mimicking the dance moves of her favorite actresses . I know to some extent I cannot have control on it and it is very natural at this age. But at least when I have choice I will not show or I will choose the content wisely that my kids are going to be exposed to. I don’t want her to etch these values as they portray female characters, when she will start exploring her as a female.”
I said yes immediately when they expressed their wish to hear the story of the Udta Punjab . I tried to explain as per their understanding how regardless of education, culture, age , financial condition people destroy themselves due to the addiction. How the talent of Shahid was wasted, how due to the ignorance and greed Aliya gets involved and suffers etc.
They seemed satisfied .So do i was. As parents our role should be to available for every query whether it is embarrassing or not appropriate for the age. Out side home we don’t have control over the kids what they hear,see around them in society. I was shaken, though i didn’t show and saved the situation when my son some months back asked me, “Aai what does fuck mean ? “.I was more worried when i came to know this word was written on the window of there school bus. Now imagine what kind of things must be going in tender minds in school and that too in so early age.
At least we can provide the needed knowledge properly so as to end that query , because if you overreact , avoid the kids question , scold them for asking , the invisible antenna gets activated in their brain. Misinformation , half knowledge is always risky i guess.
I am thankful at least so far my kids feel the need, want to ask and don’t scare to ask about the things that they know somewhere are little awkward. I know slowly it will decrease as they grow ,but at least if i am able to develop the habit to know about the query properly in them they may handle the future things properly. It is not a minor thing for us parents , isn’t it?
(This write up belongs to Dr.Rupali Panse . Images source: internet )