An Unadulterated Childhood For My Daughter
My father is a tailor, a middle class person with a unique vision. In spite of having extreme financial hardship in life, he chose to send both of his sons to alternate school to make us good human beings. He believed that sooner or later they will learn to earn, but learning about life and being a good human being was essential for him. Till the 7th grade I was with him and then in boarding school. Though it was a hostel, during the course of 7 years we never called it by that name. It was always our first home. We had a perfect schedule, learning under the tree, Occasional farming, mandatory sports like football, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho. This built up our personality, induced sportsman spirit.
I still wonder about the entire system which was designed in such a way that apart from teaching, teachers had a minimum role in our daily life. They used to of course have minute observation but indirectly. They would always allow us to be the problem solver and only in the case of an emergency they would pitch in.So living together, taking care of each other, self-reliance, debating without a teacher about the existence of God till midnight and coming to our room while chanting ‘Ramrakshastotram’, childhood quarrels and then settlement all of this was part of my childhood. So my childhood broadened me from I to we, mine to ours and elevated me from all kinds of discrimination. I grew up having an unadulterated life in the lap of nature.
Mine was an arranged marriage. We met, discussed, gave enough time to each other and then finalised everything. (This was all happening when I lost both the jobs and was searching for a good one.) Finally I got a really good job in Bangalore. Somehow my interview was cleared and I was offered a good salary. It was a crucial time since I had to choose only one direction, academic profession or technical writing profession.
I always loved human interaction and teaching learning atmosphere and the interaction with younger generations and experiments with minds. Sitting in front of a computer surely would have given an edge for earning but I was firm so I rejected the offer and chose to be a teacher. As a couple we had our own thoughts about having our own child. We planned on getting to know each other for the first two years at least. My second job in school was Rishi Gurukulam, a residential school in Pune. There I learnt lots of principles of engineering the child’s mind.
In the vicinity of nature we used to think of what kind of child we want in our life and we even used to pen it down. When my wife got pregnant my entire family came forward for support. As Indians the knowledge passed on through generations is so much useful for a new baby. We followed Vridhi Sutak for three months, which is meant for the development of the intelligence of the child. Whether it was a girl or boy was never a subject of discussion. We looked for a good soul, gender hardly matters, and it is beyond your control. We had a healthy baby girl and named her Shruti. Though there were struggles, we tried hard to keep positivity and happiness in our lives by keeping ourselves engaged in creative activities. The result could be seen after the birth of our child.
Now she is almost four but completely away from any kind allopathic medicine since she was of four months. She has never been vaccinated, is fully energetic and away from TV and mobiles, so she is very communicative. At home we always avoided television so she was never addicted to it. We always tried to avoid mobile usage in front of her. We also always encouraged healthy eating habits like
eating raw food, like salads and fruits, in the early days and also no sugar and minimum salt in the meals.
Hence her taste also got developed a lot. Now that she has grown up she has made a rule that chocolate and mobile only on Sundays. She follows it diligently and many times if any child is eating a chocolate she would ask fiercely that they should not eat chocolates on weekdays. She never plucks leaves off the trees, hardly tears papers, doesn’t even know how to fight, but since we are social we meet a lot so she has a habit of interaction with new people, new environment and new animals without hesitation.
My family, not only from my side but even from my mother in law’s side have always been very supportive, and whenever needed, they would pitch in. Even now when my wife Shreya thought about continuing her study, both my parents readily agreed to take care of Shruti. It was possible for us to send her to daycare but nobody agreed. We all collectively want to give Shruti a well-rounded childhood and upbringing. I am happy to be raising such a morally aware child and I hope for many more fulfilling years to come. My daughter is my world right now and I want to build up a beautiful life for her where she is a conscious citizen of this world and always walks on the right path. My growing up years entailed a lot of learning through simple things and I really want the same unadulterated childhood for my baby girl.