Readers who've been reading all the frustration I've been churning out over the years, know my contempt for children of all shapes, sizes and ages. For the uninitiated, I think children should be locked in the bathroom the minute they're born and released after they turn eight years old or something.
Which brings me to the topic of discussion. Why don't I see any well-behaved, polite children anywhere around me these days? And why does everyone around me think that these excruciatingly bratty kids are awfully cute, while I think they're just plain awful? In retrospect, I sometimes wonder if it's really a child's fault for turning out the way it does, or its parents'.
Everywhere I go, I can't walk around any place in peace without stubbing my toe on a brat. And I'm not referring to just any simple, uncomplicated brat. But the sort of brat whose neck you want to wring with your bare hands and whose remains you want to eat for breakfast. You encounter such species in malls, restaurants, theatres, mobile stores, beauty parlours, trains and any other conceivable place. These kids believe that their entire world is their playground, so they won't waste a minute playing catch-and-cook or hide-and-seek, in which case they simply lock themselves up in an unsupervised changing rooms and refuse to come out, despite the long line of customers that gradually starts building up outside.
I really don't understand where the parents of these kids come from. Wouldn't a normal, self-respecting human being feel at least an iota of shame when their kids are given annoyed glances, disgruntled looks or in some cases, told to shut up? Turns out, not really. Mamma dearest turns all protective about her offspring and gives the wronged party a dirty look in return. Sometimes, she may even throw in her favourite argument: "Agar bacche nahi masti karenge toh kaun karega?"
No, mummy dearest. I get that you unfortunately, love your child. But I don't get why your child should go ahead and spoil everyone's time and experience. I also can't fathom why you think your child is so cute when he's clearly behaving like Satan's spawn. If you have any argument in your favour, I'd like to hear it. But don't be surprised if I throw my shoe at you in the middle of the conversation. Goodness knows you have nothing to say in your defense.
These are the exact same parents who will happily continue shopping in malls, when their children are on some other floor playing havoc with the toys. These are the same parents who encourage their children to sit on sofas and beds with their shoes on, in expensive furniture shops. Such parents don't bother stopping their children from doing anything, like playing with the gas right upto talking back to whoever's in front of them. Forget trying to stop them; they make merry these disgusting habits thereby encouraging the child to become increasingly difficult day by day.
Don't these parents realise that they're being nothing but bad parents? That they don't need to prove their love to their children by indulging every whim and fancy? What makes them so afraid to show their kids who's the boss? The possibility that their children might hate them? That's a little impossible, considering a six year-old will remember that its mother rebuked it for drawing on the walls, for only about 10 minutes. At the most it will cry, throw a tantrum and not hover around its mother for sometime. Surely the mother can live with that?
Most importantly, don't you realise you're making your child a less likeable, annoying, whimpering, complaining little piece of hate? A someone who is not used to taking no for an answer and hence, not used to tasting bits of failure now and then?
Perhaps I don't have the right to teach you how to bring up your children. But please, keep your beloved offspring away from constantly staring into my plate and reaching out into my food when I'm trying to enjoy a decent meal at a restaurant. Or don't blame me if I give your child a resounding slap the next time.
Or maybe I'll save the slap for you.