“Ajo, why don’t you play the slide with me?”, asked little Ashni to her grandpa.
“I am old now, beta. I can’t.”
“Ajo, but why can’t you? You are fit.”, came the next innocent question.
“Ashni…beta, do you see old people playing slides? No, right? It’s the thing of children.”
Ashni traipsed back to play. And grandpa went nostalgic with his childhood memories and smiled to himself.I overheard the conversation and went into my thinking cave. She was being trained by the ‘way society thinks’. What if Ashni was not taught that only children play slide?What if grandpa himself was not taught that only children play slide? He cherished the childhood memories then why is he not living them again? Why is he not running to that slide again? Because society wants him to not do that? And what if he enjoys doing that? Assume a case where no one is there to see him – what would have he done?
Oh, the point is not about slide and the old man, the point is about the way society carves our opinions and to some extent carves us – it’s not always bad I must say – it is the society which teaches us to love, to care, to share. But it is the society that sometimes may hinder the you inside yourself. Why? Just because it is not supposed to be that way! I want all of you to think about some things that you hesitated to do just because you thought they are not to be
done that way – no other reason! Ever thought of going on the road and dance in the rain just the way they show in movies!? Well, we did think! But we never actually danced – just because it is not to be done that way! We have not seen anyone doing that.
I want to someday see a society that offers more freedom of ‘being oneself’, patting the back of person for doing something more freely than judging that person. I want to see the society where Ajo does not just smile to himself recollecting his childhood memories but also plays the slide laughing out loudly, in a state of euphoria, looking up in the skies.
Because skies? Skies never restricted his freedom…society did.
Sidenote: Ajo is how you address your grandpa in Marathi (: