One of the things we discussed on Aahaa Kaapi Klub. A man in China is making his 8 yeur old child run for more than 3500 kms as preps for the Olympics. More or less the distance from Chennai to Delhi. Not to mention a man made his 1 1/2 year old child swim in Chennai. Their so many seconds of fame. I seriously believe all these parents who make their children undergo unnatural exertion must be put behind bars. Avariciousness and not allowing the child to enjoy something as beautiful as childhood. I wonder whether this is something typical of Asian countries. Too much population, the drive to prove oneself in an ocean of people and the innate desire to stand out. If not oneself, then may it be his child.
A lot of talented singing children lose their singing voices by the time they are actually ready to perform and sing. Mom always used to watch in dismay in several occasions, especially the boys, she noted have a total loss of resonator in the early stages of voice transition. She says that there are several children's orchestra cropping up every day and the tyranny is that exerting boys after 12 years of age and girls after 13 years proves disastrous to the resonators in children. This need to be addressed on an elaborate platform and she hopes that it will be done soon. But do the avaricious parents realise that they are ruining the entire singing future of the children by doing this, never allowing them to learn properly, even before starting to learn the kids are forced to perform and earn. As is clear, nothing very different from child labour. Excepting that educated parents subject their children to such torture. By the time they grow up and truly understand the depth and beauty of music they probably will be bored and in some cases grow to dislike the art form. I am sooo glad that I have a mother who is knowledgeable and had the wisdom of not taking me around this way, and this was also the reason that she did not want me to perform when I was young. To this day she stresses that I should sing only when I want to and only if I truly enjoy it.
When I was about 12-13, I had the opportunity to meet the scholar T Vishwa and he said that I will thank my mother in the future because she did not put me in this "stupid practice of child prodigy and sing in every other street in the city". As a child, my mother did not allow me to participate in too many competitions. My entry in Saptaswarangal was quite by accident. And I never appeared in any other talent hunt thereafter. And 9 years down the line, people still remember my singing in the show, and not just that, even the colour of my dress on that day and my hairstyle. When I eventually did appear in a Talent Hunt, it was as a special guest, or a judge in some cases. Post ASSJ, I understand the velocity of what he said and these are times I thank all the stars and Gods that I have a parent who is one of the wisest in the field of music. To this day, and forever she will always remind me that it is better to be a good person than a great singer. Which I think every parent with a talented child must do. Encouragement is great, but constant reminders to learn and re-equip oneself, to push the child to grow as a complete individual is the parent's responsibility, which sadly a lot of them do not do. And the day anyone feels that he is the best in something that he is doing that is the end of the road for him.
Art constantly reminds a person that he is inadequate and that there is more to conquer. And to be an artiste in a life itself is a lesson in simplicity. Albert Einstein believed he was still a student of Physics until the day he breathed his last. Of course this is no parallel as long as art is concerned, but I could not but help bringing him up here.
Yes, it is sometimes necessary to showcase a young talent to the world at times, but not an exercise so regular and a daily rum-drum that by the time the children grow up, people lose interest. Of course the children also believe, due to lack of proper guidance from their parents, that they are better than the best in the world. And there stops learning.
A lot of times, nature also seems to teach lessons to men, as soon as the race believes that there is achievement and they have controlled her, there is a new problem. Nature is the biggest road roller of human audacity and ego. Every time there is a natural mishap, people temporarily go into a phase of introspection and then its back to the grind. Just like the temporary phase of "we re born alone and die alone" when we visit someone's funeral. Some also make a weak "I will lead a righteous life" that lasts a few hours.
I probably received this comment on this blog, Oscar Wilde's quote is classic, "I am not young enough to say I know everything".
Even when learned people advise these parents with singing children to take a break, they refuse to see the point. Hey, its all in the money, right? Why let children be fireflies when they can be torches?
Sigh and bigger sigh. After a point in time everyone gives up. And they let time be the tutor. Which is also probably why learned, experienced people do not waste their breath too much in a lot of cases. If they see promise somewhere they would probably give a hint. If the recipient is smart enough to take it, good, otherwise, as they say, time will tell. And it tells all.