Beyond the Obvious
I feel life is a school without teachers! Here you are left to experience and learn what you want. Every minute is a new experience, every second has infinite possibilities and every second we are born anew. This is intuition and no coaching is required. I want my daughter to get to know this phenomenon which can give you serenity beyond words and a calmness to give you the strength to take up challenges happily.
She is more connected with this philosophy than I am. We tend to ignore the inner child. To cherish the inner child we need to cultivate what is known as the ‘Beginners Mind’ in martial arts. Soak into the experience, become a fish in the sea if you want to swim.
At times we complicate by interfering, hurrying and forcing. When we spend time together I just let her lead me. It could be an hour of making soap bubbles and laughing as they float around. She was fascinated by the rain bow colours reflected back toward us. In the bubbles, we observed own reflections at times. The enraptured hour had moments of pure bliss as it tranquilly passed on through the pendulum of a clock.
Children and curiosity walk together. What? Why? Who? How?
Rudyard Kipling described it so well when he wrote-
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I want her to have the inquisitiveness remain intact. Of course as she grows, she will have to find the answers by herself. However, she will have what is required. At times we sit with a big hard bound kid encyclopedia and search for any query. If she finds something that catches her attention, we stopping flipping pages and read about it. Then I remind her to go back to the original query.
Yesterday she asked me why milk curdles. I explained it scientifically as simply as I could. But she disagreed. She said it was because the milk wants to turn into paneer! Well, that could be the reason! No one ever thought of asking the milk its aspirations! This was the most original explanation I had ever heard of.
Every day we discover things around us, which seem very dull and regular on the surface but with her eyes, I can find some truth beyond the obvious.
Then the barren knotted tree trunk on the corner of the road transforms into a secret gate of an enchanted kingdom, the huge gulmohar tree which has shed all its leaves is waiting for the tailor to stitch the red flowery costume, stars shed tears in the form of dew because they received a scolding from God for watching too much of the Earth channel.
I wonder what goes on in her mind when she is asleep. She looks deceptively innocent yet she he can throw a tantrum worse than a fierce sand storm. The phases come and go. Restless is the energy of childhood which makes children explore and learn. Every child comes with an inbuilt ‘discovery mode’ we just need to expose them to creative pursuits. Let the choice rest on them. Flexibility on such issues will make you a strong parent. Respect the child to gain respect.
When she grows and finds her niche, I will be proudly able to say that we experienced life together and learnt so much from each other. As I cherish the moments shared with my mother.We still laugh and smile thinking about those days.