“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”-Alex Haley
These lines hold less or no relevance in today’s world, especially to the teenagers who have grown up in nuclear families. As the process of urbanisation grew, gradually came in the concept of “nuclear families”. Our tradition of living in joint families started making less sense to the job-oriented, younger generation who are mesmerised by the city life and do not believe in the traditional joint family system. The worst effect of this has been on the smaller children who lose touch with their grandparents in this process. In many cases, the grandparents are disowned by their sons and daughters so the unfortunate ones have to live in old-age homes.
There was a time when grandmothers used to tell bed-time stories to the children. They also inculcated in them the culture and morals of our religious texts and epics by reciting the texts in an interesting, story like format, making it sound more like an adventure.
We all knew about Ramayana, Bhagwad Gita and Mahabharata since our childhood days. May be because our grandparents told us about them in one or the other way. Today, many of the small kids hardly have any interaction with their grandparents. The stories that were to be told by grandmothers are now seen on television and internet. The games earlier played with the grandfather are replaced by computer games. There used to be a very intimate relationship between grandparents and grandchildren which is slowly and steadily vanishing.
Grandparents are the ones who have always been ready to give up their daily cores, and take care of their grand children. So, it is very aptly remarked by someone-
“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.”
Even if there are few joint families, then also no longer can that intimate relationship be observed. Kids find their grandparents backward in every way. They disrespect them. They don’t even have a single minute to sit and talk to their grandparents who always crave for their love. They are always left out and thus desolation is their only companion.
Some day when they will no longer be with us, few will realise their importance and a few won’t.
Old age comes to all, if today we find our grandparents “backward”, one day our grandchildren will feel the same about us. May be if we keep ourselves in their place, we would realize how important are grandparents for a person.
The writer is a Features writer at Youth Ki Awaaz.