There was a time when kids were so naive that you could make them believe in almost anything you said – like my cousin (as a toddler) demanded to know why she wasn’t invited to her parents’ marriage, on watching their marriage video and witnessing a little me running about. It struck her, that if I was there during the marriage why wasn’t she? My uncle’s story seemed very convincing to her – ‘you were so little that I had you in my pocket… Or else it would have been difficult to look for you in the crowd’. Nobody was surprised that she bought it back then.
Innocence and the wide-eyed attention to everything were synonymous to children till some years ago. Now, it’s about competition and recognition from the very early years of life.
We as kids would actually think that the government was a person, maybe the prime minister was nicknamed the government, for the way people used to talk about him/it. ‘The government is not doing this or that’, ‘the government has done this’, ‘the government has taken a bold step’ .. etc. Some even used a distorted nickname – gorment – and they still do. Upon somewhat comprehending the relevance of government, I did try for years to correct people’s diction, but they are just too stubborn to learn something new. Furthermore, the moment some of the uber enthusiastic, and pseudo-intellectual beings mispronounce my name, I lose patience and start to imagine great doom coming their way.
Mom had once been to this theatrical show, where a couple of characters representing the underprivileged of our society had a hearty exchange about gorment!
‘Tumi gorment a dekhiso?’ (Have you seen government?)
‘Ha dekhisi! Mota-shota, shosma pora, kalo gaari kori hoosh kori soli gelo.’ (Oh Yes, I have. He’s a fat spectacled man who swooshed by in a black car)
In contrast to the aforementioned details of naiveness and innocence, now we get to see kids talking about politics (something I’m yet to grasp and argue about in my twenties!). And the baby starts walking just minutes after birth in Brazil! It might not be a very distant future that all babies start walking the way the Brazilian did and went viral on the Internet – a celeb is born(literally). But, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, babies sometimes take steps when they are upright with their feet on a solid surface, and the reflexive urge to do this generally lasts for about the first two months of their lives. (https://www.romper.com/p/baby-appears-to-walk-after-birth-but-theres-a-medical-explanation-for-it-60933)
The transformation isn’t just happening psychologically but physically as well. It doesn’t seem to be far for us to reach the preconceived evolutionary level that the MTS ad had shown a couple of years ago.
Just the other day, at a cafe I noticed a super-excited selfie freak mom trying to make her baby pose for a selfie with her. The child was just too occupied in looking elsewhere admiring some silly majestic looking ice coffee on the opposite table. When the dad comes, he tries to take a pic of the mom and the baby… Now suddenly the baby decides to bite his mom on the chin, interesting pose, huh!? Upon a brief explanation through sign language and eye gesture, the child looks towards the camera, tilting its head and waits for a second. As soon as he assumes the click of the shutter, he starts to nibble on his mom’s chin again! Such smart babies. They know when to pose, how to invent new angles and set a selfie trend!
This takes me back to our childhood when we looked so lost staring at the camera, we did not know what was happening till we were three or four. And now, the strike of fast-paced evolution gives babies as young as a few months the ability to pose for photoshoots! Not only do they come ingrained with the knowledge of selfies and other important things, but also they get to play with these multi-keyed gadgets – a luxury we were not entitled to! I’m a little jealous.