The famous Pablo Picasso once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
This probably explains the cubism period of Picasso, where he experimented like a child.
My Jijaji (Brother-in-law) said something I will never forget. My nephew was swaying his head left to right with a huge smile as the wind blew at the beach. Jijaji said, “kids are so innocent and don’t have social obligations to present themselves in what we so call respectable manner. When a child sees/feels something he likes he/she enjoys it and show it. One would not see a grownup man sway his head left to right when he feels the breeze on his face. We would consider that crazy. When we grow up we lose that sense, we are so bound by what society expects from us.”
I fully agree with him. But why does the society expect that from us? Or perhaps why do we train ourselves to fit into the society?
I saw Adi crawling around exploring new territories, fearlessly, meeting my dog Sheera the first time while I was holding him, he would call my dog with his hand gestures, but the moment Sheera came closer Adi would cling to me. He would explore my cabinet pulling each CD, magazine, books, out dedicatedly one by one and throw them down (but not before tasting them). He would watch 9x TV with eyes wide open and clap his hands when the kaminey movie number “Aaja Aaja Dil Nichode” would play. He would light up the entire room with his smile when he sees his dad and come crawling as fast as he can to him.
I heard him try new words every day from his “Aaaaa” to the clicks he made with his tongue, I saw him play with water as if it was the 2nd most comforting thing in the world (the most comforting would be in the lap of his parents of-course). He would dip his hand in the bucket and try to gather the water and watch in wonder as the water slipped though his tiny fingers as he closed his fist, and he would do it again, or reach out to the running water stream from the tap, hold his hands as long as he can, or slap the water around in the bath tub. He would scream in agony when pulled away from his bath and wonder why his parents are so cruel and would not to let him enjoy a bit longer. I am sure he must have the feeling we grownups are so lucky to have the freedom to enjoy life.. if only he knew we envy him much more!
I saw him taste different flavours for the first time, from biscuits to chocolates. He would make hissing sounds which showed the papadum was spicy and yet would continue tasting it once more.
I watched him go to sleep as my sister sang a lullaby, one that I used to fall asleep to years years back when my mom used to sing to me. Was a different feeling listening to it after so many years as childhood memories flashed in my head.
The movie Ishqiya has a line “Dil toh bacha hai ji”, “my heart is an infant”.. So friends, be a child for a change and see life from the small eyes which see wonders all around.
The photograph is of my nephew Adi who was playing in the sand at Morjim beach.