25 April 2007

Miniature gods.

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Till some time back there were lots of kids in our building. They have moved from here now, leaving behind the memories. I loved all of them, specially the ones less than a year, because I like kids before they start talking!

When they start talking, they become extremely inquisitive and ask immensely stupid questions like, Why the moon doesn’t fall? And how do the birds fly? A normal adult will never ask this kind of questions, But come to think about it these are the very questions which provoked Newton to think about gravity and Leonardo to his flying machine designs.

They are no more dumb and you can not take them for granted! I once asked a kid what is a computer, the answer from the kid is “Computer is an Arithmetic and Logical unit”. This is the most complex definition of a computer I have ever heard. Even though I confirmed the authenticity of the statement later, I still don’t know what exactly it means.

Once a teacher told her students that, “Jesus is all powerful and can do anything and everything”. Now this a statement to which I would not agree more. But a kid counter questioned the teacher by asking, “Can Jesus create a stone so big that, he himself can not lift it?” You don’t have to be Garry Kasparov to predict what would be the next question from the kid.

Another time, a little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah (from Old Testament) was swallowed by a Whale. Also pointed that he was in whale’s tummy for 3 days and 3 nights! Now any God fearing, religious teacher will not argue with that!

That’s why I like them just before they start talking! Because once they start talking it is like - Hey you, I was listening to your crap for a long time, now it’s your turn! They talk non stop. I have a friend whose kid repeats everything she hears, even though she doesn’t understand a single word. It’s like a parrot (Not the one in Pauline, which could understand what it talks), just plain repeating. I met this kid in a party, and said,

“say ball”
Kid repeated “ball”
“say cat”

It went on for few more words. Now there was a big women crowd dominated by kid’s mom, curiously interested in our little game. Kid was getting more attention than me. I had this odd feeling that the crowd has a mistaken assumption of my vocabulary being limited to four letter words.
So, I continued, “Bat”
Kid – “Bat”
Now the bouncer, “exophthalmia”!!!!
Kid went bonkers with my last word and women around gave stares which you can see only in Animal Planet!

One of the scariest things about the kids is that they wake up suddenly at odd hours. Kid will wake up at 3 am, and it wants to play. You can not do anything. Let’s say you have 3 kids, they will not sleep at the same time! Instead they will make sure that at least one of them is awake during the 24 hours span! Managing a kid is like managing a high end database server! You need continuous attention.

When they grow up, daughters are constant nightmares to fathers! A Father always prays to god that his daughter would not come across a person similar to himself when he was a teenager! A father sees a teenager son and wonders whether the gentleman in front is his own son or a specimen from mars! This is the law of nature, old needs to make space for the young and retire to oblivion.

Apart from all this, human beings are best when they are kids. Kids are cute, adorable, simple minded, not diplomatic, they live in present. Give a kid an interesting activity and it will forget the rest of the world for hours.

They welcome the new things with popping eyes, slowly they learn the ways of the world, education gives a template and removes natural curiosity, and they become adults, leaders, diplomats, entrepreneurs, only to loose the beauty and innocence!

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