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Never let the Child in you Die

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Rajan Kapoor

Age is a mere number. A numerical figure, not more than that. Yes, limbs and bones go brittle as the number climbs up. Wrinkles sport face, hands shiver and legs tremble. In brief, body turns into an island of physical ailments.
The condition takes a turn for the worst if the mental health too gets affected. ‘Never let the child die in you ‘ is the only maxim that can keep the denizens of this planet perennially happy and healthy.
Though I have heard of this great adage, I experienced it the other day. It was the birthday of my cutie, Zoya. She was very excited and expected of us to celebrate her birthday with full throttle. We, as parents, were reluctant to send an invite to her friends for the scare of the virus. But Zoya mounted pressure on us.
Finally, I rang up Ms Rekha, my next door neighbour and colleague and shared the tricky issue of celebrations of Zoya’s birthday with her. She suggested an idea which outwardly seemed to be impractical. She proposed that a virtual gathering of guests be made.
I was skeptical about this mode of celebrations as it lacked social mixing. Since I had no other option, I chose to go for virtual birthday bash. I convinced my daughter about the online celebrations of her birthday. A promise was made to her that a big birthday party would be thrown once the scare of corona pandemic was over.
Reluctantly, she agreed to it. We decorated our room with colourful balloons, festoons and streamers. A cake was prepared at home by my better half. Music system was put in place. Photos of decorated room were whattsApped to Zoya ‘s friends and they were asked to join us on the day of her birthday at 6:00 PM via Zoom.
I was still not hopeful of the success of the party. But my misgivings went wrong as kids took part in the party with full enthusiasm. Not only kids, but their parents also participated in the event. The moment Zoya cut the cake, the virtual platform started ringing with the customary ‘Happy Birthday to Zoya’ tunes.
Thereafter, Punjabi songs were tuned to the smartphone through bluetooth and screen was shared among the invitees. The kids danced madly, making the earth underneath their feet shake! The real fun started when Ms Rekha and her daughter Ankita made the kids play ‘Antakshni ‘ on the Zoom platform. Rekha and Ankita meticulously conducted a game of puzzle.
Both convinced the parents of the kids to participate in the game. Most of the parents took part in the game along with their kids. In brief, it was a wonderful online party. The very next day, I rang up Ms Rekha and thanked her profusely for making the party a big success. While acknowledging my thanks, she advised me not to let the child in me die if I really wanted to enjoy my life. It was really a meaningful piece of advice. Thanks Ms Rekha and Ankita
(Rajan Kapoor is Associate Professor, Dept of English KRMDAV COLLEGE NAKODAR District (Jalandhar) Punjab. He contributes to ‘Kashmir Vision’

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