Does maturity kill innocence?

I am kitta with Prakruti… little Aakanksha said with her little finger stretched out… she always looked cute & when she was cross like this, she really made a really adorable figure…

Pan suthayu (but what happened)… why are you angry with Prakruti today…?  I asked, just for the heck of enticing her into having a sweet little conversation… don’t know why… but talking to the little kids & hearing all their trivial little stories always made me feel light in the mind… brought an instant smile on my face…

You know uncle (god… this word makes me feel like Dev Anand… an aged guy for the world who still considers himself young)… today na, we were celebrating children’s day in school… and we all got sweets during snacks… badha ne be Rasgulla aapya (we all got 2 Rasgulla)… now Prakruti was having more than what she could eat, so I took what she could not eat… uncle, I am her friend na… I can take one Rasgulla from her like that na… but you know what, she took it back & gave it to that Anand…

And after saying this much… Aakanksha sat there quietly… breathing heavily… with her eyes all wet… tears were just about to roll over eyelashes… This sight stopped my urge to preach her with the qualities of requesting things from friends, being courteous, etc… Instead, I kind of felt sorry… she had taken such a small thing to heart & was shattered…

Hmm… chodi de, nani vaat che (let it be, it’s a small thing)… Anand is also his friend na… so she gave it to him instead of you… next time she might give to you… aa badhu to thaya kare (these things happen)… And I am sure you both have to complete the decoration of the Barbie doll house tonight… otherwise, your Barbie will be living in a dirty home na?

By the time I had finished completing the consolation, I saw Prakruti coming with all her some utensils for the Barbie doll house…

Aakanksha… sorry… Anand nu Rasgullu padi gayu ne… etle mein ene aapi didhu (Anand’s Rasgulla fell nd hence I give him mine)… you will let me play with your Barbie doll na…

Prakruti always seemed so mature & balanced for her tender age… but then her childish desires always brought her innocence to the forefront…

Ok… buchha… pan next time hu maru rasgullu padi dais ne tu mane taru appis (fine, but next time I will drop my rasgulla and you will give me yours) … ok?

Aakanksha said while wiping out her tears… hearing her sentence I wanted to laugh but then at the same time it was making me feel so relieved and inexplicably happy, that I just smiled and walked on….

These little kids are so naïve… so innocent… their happiness is in so small things… on so small matters they quickly have their Kitta’s… and even faster & on smaller pretexts they make their Buccha’s… how easily they forget their fights (which are insignificant for us but so big for them)… & how quickly they cry with genuine pain & then just forget about them in a jiffy with some little apology…

Aren’t they better off than mature, thinking adults… who keep running around to find sources of happiness… who need to make efforts to adjust with other people… who can’t forgive quickly… who can’t cry & forget about the pain…

I am sure that’s why almost every adult I know says that childhood was the best time of their lives…

But then why don’t we retain our good child like qualities when we grow old?… Is it because of strenuous responsibilities that we don’t have as a child?… Or is it because our ego’s become larger & larger with time?… Probably it could also be our maturing mind shuns & labels the once pleasurable activities as childish & juvenile?…

A woman I know finds so much happiness in watching TV shows which are shown on Pogo & Disney channel based on school going kids… I always keep joking with her that though she has grown up physically, her mind is still the one of a 6th standard kid…

Sometimes I don’t know if I am taunting her or if I am unconsciously wishing if only I could be like her…

Being a kid again is so wonderful… Aakash never has problems sharing his desk space in school with Manav… Aakanksha & Prakruti fight so often but makeup so quickly & just forget about it… Anand is almost always happy in building his small little sand castles… he is not dependent on Jash or Vijay joining him all the time for his pleasures…

How we wish to become children again… probably to escape the burden of our responsibilities… or maybe to just be delighted & content in tiny measures of life… or to be able to live in harmony with everyone around…

Sometimes such wishes make me question… Does maturity kill innocence? Don’t inflated ego’s & complex desires follow ageing of our mind?

And if it does… is it worthwhile to become mature… to become thinking adults…

But then we don’t have a choice, do we?… the river of time will not stop… it will flow on the bed of our mind & live its imprints in some form or the other…

Then what is the way out? How can we retain our innocence & wonderful juvenile qualities while we keep growing every single day?

Nietzsche once said, “The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play”… Is it?

I end this note with this question for anyone to answer…

A childish…

Vaibhav

– Written on 27 November 2007

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