Let me begin with my good wishes for a very happy year ahead. May this New Year bring sunshine in your lives.
Another year has gone by and I feel inclined to reflect on what a New Year means to us. Is it just another new calendar or could we strive to make it eventful? I went for a small get together last night and we had people reciting poems in Urdu and Hindi. One such recital was about there being no difference between the year that has gone by and the one that is being ushered in and the reference given was that of the rising cost of essential commodities. It was delivered in an apparently light vein. ‘Bitter truth delivered as sugar coated pills’ I thought to myself. I then made a quick list of what an ordinary person like me could do to make this New Year different. I cannot stop the price of potatoes from sky rocketing nor can I stop people from buying gold at ‘any cost’ but-
1) I can do my bit to sensitize society on the issue of female foeticide and infanticide. This is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately and I am going to do my bit by talking to my students, and, their parents if need be, to create awareness about the gravity of the problem.
2) I am going to ponder deeply on the emotional health of our school going kids and see if something can be done to give back to them, their childhood, which seems to be slipping away from their lives. This I plan to do by educating my students who will be dealing with families of their own in the near future. I feel it is the inferiority complex among the parents of today that makes them push their wards too far. I want my students to be proud and confident about their own capabilities. Only then can they have faith in their children and let them grow at their own pace.
The founder of our college Dr. N. K. Singh was accorded a grand felicitation by the Senior Citizen’s Council for Excellence and the views expressed by some of the speakers based on their experience and observations merit consideration. One such advice given to parents by Dr. N.K. Singh is –
You give the children your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You house their body, but not their soul,
For their soul dwells in the house of tomorrow,
Where you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes neither backwards, nor tarries with yesterday.
I have almost fulfilled my duty as a parent and cannot rectify or undo any error in parenting that I may have unknowingly committed. But I do have a few more years as a teacher. I have decided to devote the remaining years of my teaching career to learn to let children explore and innovate instead of imposing myself on them by way of ‘teaching’. Who knows what I may end up learning from them!
For a New Year message this has been a serious piece of writing and that too from a person like me who is known to make light of everything. I’ve been listening to a lot of intellectual stuff recently and feel that the social problems that haunt us need to be addressed as best as they can. Let us all join hands and do our bit in the year 2007.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!