Oh, The Things I Write About, T.V

Watch your mouth, son.

But first your mouth, beta.

Since, I’m such a sensitive person attuned to nature’s beckon and call, my ears pricked up like Bambi’s when I picked up the magical, dulcet tones of innocent children in a wrestling match and danced my way towards this ethereal sound-

In actual reality: I was honing my brooding face, to make it seem less like I had a lobotomy, while listening to my mother tell me that I’ll be the size of Punjab once I had unglued myself from the chair. I was drawn to the chatter of children outside my window which overlooked the lawn. Apparently, one of them had misplaced the ball and was now being verbally assaulted by the others.

Bacha#1: Yaaar! Aik he ball thee! Ab yahan kahan dhonday! $&*^ Hogae hay!

What caused me to cock an eyebrow, just one, was these boys were hardly 8 or 9 years old. Now, it all seems very normal. This kind of conversation with that particular four letter word being thrown out casually isn’t something out of the ordinary. In fact, I hear it everyday.

Age doesn’t matter. Children say whatever they want, say colorful words that aim to make a person blush or at least throw up their liver in horror and very few parents/guardians/siblings/other humbugs try to actually take this seriously. It’s just ridiculous to see no one gives a flying truck about it. I believe, I see some chubby 7 year olds sputtering delightful prose sprayed on walls here and there, most of them not even knowing what it means and it’s hilarious to see that most people think it’s cute. I’m sure that wouldn’t be cute when she/he’ll burst the bomb around your aristocratic guests while you’ll be sipping whatever noble people drink these days and exchanging stories about how intellectually(and linguistically) superior your children are.

Four year old cousin churned out a complicated Urdu profanity and clapped his hands happily.

Me: You do not say that! That’s bad! VERY BAD! Aunty, ap b kahain, please. Did you hear what he just said?

Aunt Dearest: Hawww! Chalo, he doesn’t know what it means.

Some random woman: Hayay, ainna cute lag raha tha.

Me (assuming my lobotomy face): …

It’s not even my own kid that I’m trying to chastise over this, you know.

The causes swirl around you. Yes, Television is possibly a wild and fecund place where the munchkins can devour all the good (and bad) and then spew the bad all over you but you can definitely limit what they watch and how much they watch. You can blame the media all you want but at the end of the day, if your kid learns something off the TV – you’re to blame. You’re not doing the right thing letting him/her watch this suspiciously rated flick besides you. No, he/she won’t magically forget what he/she saw or heard. In our days, at least we were taught to automatically close our eyes and change the channel – and I’m not that old.

Second cause is something you can do little of. As soon as the kids start to read, you know reality is going to give you a hit. All the unsavory things sprayed on the walls don’t stop children from proudly displaying their amazing reading abilities to you. “____ kay bachay… Ammiiiii, __ kya hota hay?” Awk-ward. Social interaction also has a lot to do with what they and how they learn. Like it or not, we all let one slip (Intentionally or unintentionally) when we’re around children who then make you their lovable idol and try to mimic you.

The point is that since our children are going to take the reins of this world after us. It’s best to impart some of the lingering etiquettes, manners and good behavior that are left, upon them. Maybe some of you might disagree with my steadfast belief in reinforcing positive behavior but if you could please imagine a society, where respect is scarcely given, role models are rarely placed in high positions, people run amok and care is hardly imparted – A dangerous, dangerous dystopia indeed; Hyperbole? I don’t think so.

This post was originally posted in Static and Voice Of Youth.