Saturday, February 14, 2009

Losing innocence or missing innocence?

Today morning while reading newspaper, my eyes were stuck on a story, first in disbelief which soon gave way to disturbing thoughts.

The story that appeared on the global page was about a British boy all of 13, became ‘proud’ father of a baby girl! The boy, Alfie Patten and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, 15, had a night of unprotected sex when he was 12 and is now keen to be a devoted and responsible father!

My neighbour kid back home — 8-year-old Ammu — recently expressed some doubts which made the whole area laugh. My amma had planted a hybrid pigmy plantain. Though the plantain tree was looking small, it was bearing fruits, a bunch as big as the tree itself.

Ammu was puzzled to see some saplings near the tree. She asked my amma whom she also calls amma: “Amma, this plantain has got kuttis (children)?”

Amma said “yes” which left Ammu totally disappointed.

A pall of gloom spread over her face and she said with all her innocence that began with a sigh: “Then somebody must have cheated it (plantain tree). Otherwise how can it have a kutti at this age”!!!

The same Ammu when she was just 5, left everyone dumbstruck when she revealed something to her mother.

Ammu: “Amma, you know why Sachin (who is another 6-year-old near our place) comes here everyday in his cycle?”

Her mom said: “No mole, you tell me...why?”

Ammu: “He is in love with me”!!!

Her shocked and surprised mom asked: “Is it, how do you know that?”

Ammu: “I have seen him glancing at me. He smiles also. But please don’t tell achan (father) about this. Anyway, I don’t like him.”

Ammu’s mom laughed when she shared it with us then. But I’m sure after reading today’s news she may not be able to take everything so light.

I wonder what impact do such stories make in the mind of children and their parents. Children will no longer confine themselves to the pupa of innocence and parents will no longer see their kids’ acts with the same secure feeling that ‘they are just kids’.

The present century had so far only stories about losing innocence early...but now there is no room for innocence in children. Whom to be blamed, what has to be done... elders are totally at a loss.

7 comments:

Renju said...

How you gonna support your child financially? - British reporters asked the 13-year old father.

What do you mean by 'financially'?, he retorted.

rasmi said...

Good read:) is ammu the same kid of our "chandadasehadan" episode?keep writing ammini. i enjoy ur writing a lot though i dont post a comment every so often :)

Pradeep said...

Yamini, a well-written post! The analogy you brought in was good.

Every word and action has different contexts and connotations. This is not easily taken note of or understood. When a child says "I love you" or "He loves me", he is not saying it with the full import of an adult utterance. It's more of a blind imitation of an adult utterance.

I remember the case of a teenage girl who used to get it all wrong, every time her friend (a boy) signed off his letters to her with "love" instead of "regards". And she was shattered when she realized, he hadn't meant anything she had imagined.

This kid who is in the news must be the youngest dad in the world. I would see this rather as a one-off incident. It will be more interesting to read about the backgrounds of the mom and dad and what what led them to all this.

We do know that children mature -- at least physiologically -- much faster now. Of course there is the more important emotional factor, which is far difficult to measure.

Now, whether this is a trend already, or whether this will start a trend, we need to wait and watch.

Sudheesh Bhaskaran said...

Good post Yamini..Very disturbing also.
There is no doubt that media is fast changing the way normal kids think and act. Especially visual media is influencing them very much.
There should be more awareness among the parents and the society about these bad influences and there should be proactive movements against ballooning a isolated incident or act into a most wanted news item.

Also parents need to really vigilant and careful about their kids.

-Poison- said...

sit back, have a cup of coffee(or a beer), and enjoy the show the world is putting on for you. let the chaos permeate everywhere! not having much of a conscience would help here!

AMAL BOSE B.S said...

just because some are that way doesnt mean you have to look at all kids through the same eye. and i agree with sudheesh in blaming the media especially the internet in causing such kind of an 'enlightenment' at a tender age.

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Akhil