Sunday, November 15, 2015

Children's day Special - Reignite...!

Yesterday was celebrated as Children’s day across the country, and for most kids like Abhay, it was a class-free and a uniform-free school day, with many fun activities and events organized to make them feel special, including customized cards from his class teacher. While all this is sweet and admirable on the part of the school, it is also true that the present generation of urban children is a pampered lot and seems to have everything that they want and we parents seem to be more than eager to let them have everything they want! Well, it’s not as if we were a deprived lot, but growing up in the eighties and nineties meant measured expenditure and expectations whereas today’s kids seem to have wish lists that don’t end at all! So much so that they even develop a sense of entitlement over anything and everything they set their eyes on! It is the same sense of entitlement that prompted Abhay to ask for a children’s day gift from his maternal grandma, when just a day ago she got a bagful of gifts and knick-knacks from her recent Himachal Pradesh trip! Of course, a gentle reminder of the same is all it took to make him understand, but it made me wonder if we are overdoing it as parents. In our effort to provide the best for our kids, we may run the risk of having them fail to realize that nothing comes easy.  So, just as we question the need to celebrate Mothers' day and Fathers' day……do we need a Children’s day and with our lives revolving around our children every day ....Children’s day is every other day...isn't it?? J

Every year during Children’s day, Abhay somehow manages to extract a gift out of us (read his father!). This time however, anticipating that his request may not be honoured, our nine year old cleverly hinted at a card or a handmade present. As incorrigible as parents (read father!) that we are and as crazy about scrap-booking that we are ( well..both of us!), we put together a little handcrafted piece of memory file on the lines of a scrapbook ……that is more for us to cherish this gift-greedy phase of Abhay's childhood (which we hope he will soon outgrow!)

Abhay of course was super thrilled to receive it and here’s hoping he realizes the value and sentiment behind it and understands that life is more than just gifts and treats! What better way to spend Children’s day than to begin reading “Reignite - Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future” by the former President of India, Late Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam, whose life is a true inspiration. It is no secret that the People’s President, as he was popularly known, was extremely fond of interacting with children and the youth and this book can be called as his parting gift to children!  Of course, we have only embarked on this reading adventure as it can be a lot for young reader to take in at one go. 

Co-written with Srijan Pal Singh, Late Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam renders a unique “insider” perspective to various cutting edge fields in science and technology like robotics, aeronautics, neurosciences, pathology and material sciences to children, should they desire to pursue the same as careers. The book not only offers exhaustive information on diverse niche career opportunities opening up in the field of science and technology, but is presented in an interesting format packed with “anecdotes, conversations, experiments, exercises and even helpful tips and inputs from leading scientists in the field and a note to parents in each section. Narrated in a style characteristic to the late former President, including an oath to be taken by aspiring palaeontologist, or neuroscientist, or pathologist, etc, the book goes on  to explain these new and developing areas to children and adults alike, without oversimplifying the same. However, the book does not just stop with enlightening the readers about science, but seeks to inspire young minds into realizing what it takes to become a scientist or pursue a passion or tirelessly work towards a goal. Whether one intends to pursue a career in science or not, this is a great book for kids and young adults to learn and reflect on the choices ahead of them, the ideals and values that will help achieve them and ignite not only their future but the future of our world! 

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