January 05, 2010

little too harsh a reality

It is indeed shocking how the future of our country is resorting to such desperate measures to handle a little dissapointment..
11 year old neha sawant commited suicide by hanging herself from her bedroom ceiling with a dupatta just because her parents refused to let her participate in some reality show.
The extremely talented girl had participated in a popular dance show "boogie woogie" 2 years back and was an amazing student at the dance academy.
reports state that she had wanted to pursue dancing as a career and when her parents suggested that she should stop her dance classes and concentrate on her studies instead, she could not handle the stress and hence resorted to ending her life!

Isn't it surprising how kids at such a tender age have become so career oriented that they are ready to bet their whole life on it.
Is it fair on their childhood? or rather does the term 'childhood' even exist??
In my opinion all we see now are 'kid adults'!!

Just a coupla days back, my friends 5 yr old niece declared that she liked this particular boy--a 6 yr old..Highly amused, we kidded about getting them married, when she left us open mouthed by smiling coyly and saying that she wants to get engaged first and know him well enough..
whoaa!! that was a real shocker for us oldies..

The next one hour was spent in nostalgia on how innocent we were in our days of yore..how we would screech "i am never going to get married" and run away huffing and puffing with anger at the thought of ever having to leave home and all our toys behind (yea! that was all marriage meant to us at that age) while the elders used to laugh away at our innocence.
"reality TV", "talent shows", "career choices", "marriage" were all complicated words back then some of which we hadn't even heard of.
Nobody told us that our crooning could be given a platform and maybe just maybe we could take it up as a career later in life..
Nobody told us that the dancing and singing like banshees during festivals and other celebrations could be pursued further by entering ourselves in some talent show for kids..

But then that's when we were happiest werent we?
the carefree dancing, the free spirited attitude, the swaying our bodies to the sound of music and yelling and screaming along with the songs played, the fun of antakshari, the playing with dolls, the competition of who could scream the loudest, the innocence of it all......and how proud we'd be of our achievement if some uncle or aunty bribed us with a chocolate to stop creating the havoc.
but nowadays, we gotta be careful lest the kid gets offended and suffers a nervous breakdown if someone tells him to stop and hence curbs his talent..sigh!

At a tender age like hers, when kids should not be exposed to words like suicide, leave alone methods to commit it, neha sawant has opened up a whole new set of questions to which we find ourselves inadequately equipped with effective answers/

should reality tv and talent shows be banned?
IMO, they shouldn't be banned but the people judging such shows should go a bit slow on their razor edged comments which are enough to trample an adults ego at times, leave alone a child's..
Also parents of the participants should inculcate in their children a good sport spirit and not act like its the end of the world if their child isn't selected--be it in the preliminary round or the finals..
The talent show should be considered a platform for enjoying your talent not selling it.
At the same time, i strongly feel that children or even adult participants for that matter should not be allowed to put a lot in life at stake and enter these shows.

i have seen so many people auditioning for these shows by missing their term at school or college..In fact in one popular show called 'roadies' almost 90% of the entrants leave aside everything they are doing in life to get into the show.
Now this is really cool if you have your degree in hand, are in desperate need of a break from work and have a craving to pursue your dream to become a 'roadie' or whatever the show requires..
but it just doesn't make sense when you miss out your term, skip your exams, resign from your job, fight and break ties with close kin and well wishers (who obviously feel that its a useless show), free yourself from the responsibility of the sole breadwinner of your family just in the hope of winning that big bag of prize money and the title of a survivor for being able to take all that gaali-galosh from some dimwits who anchor such shows mainly to vent out their pent up frustration in life!

what about parents? do u think they are to blame?
well like i said earlier, i think its the parents who should be taken for a psychological testing more than the kids. to see if they will be able to handle the stress of their kids not winning in the end.
Also parents should not be given a chance to speak or maybe even attend the shows (they can watch their kids on TV).
i know this sounds like a pretty harsh measure but one can only agree with this after seeing the parents burst into tears when their kid scores a point less than the other.then there are those who think its ther duty to question judgement when it comes to their kids alone.and ofcourse not to mention those who amidst tears speak about their financial instability which they hope to stabilise when their kids win..
I mean hell!! do u think your kid will be able to perform with so much of tension looming over them?
and more importantly would they be able to live it down after knowing that they have smashed your expectations in case they dont win?
In my opinion, parents play a very important role in shaping the kids character.Dont let your kids lose out on their childhood--it comes only once and they deserve that much!

and the kids..wht about them?
they share an equal responsibility too..they should understand that there are thousands of children out there who are not half as priviledged as them..they should respect their parents and understand that they would always want what is best for them.
As for their dreams, im not saying they should let them go..ofcourse they should pursue them.But what is important is learning to strike a balance--right from a tender age.One can follow their dreams at any age and its never too late for that..
Life is very precious..and it will keep putting you through a lot of trials.
the key is never throw away your dream..but do not chase it to such an extent that it keeps eluding you till you find yourself alone with nowhere else to go.
Nurture it...cherish it and hang on to it...live for it..and live with it!!
"Khud hi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle. Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hain"

and always keep in mind that parents are sure to be convinced once they realise how sensible you are to make your own decisions.
remember whatever they do, however strict they may seem, they are just trying to help you get a good life.

As in the case of neha sawant, the media is blaming talent shows and reality TV for this episode..the anchors of the talent shows are blaming the parents..and the poor parents are pretty clueless why their 11 year old daughter took sucha drastic step.
Whether it is the pressure of academics or the fear of refusal to pursue her dream career from her parents or some other deep seated reason which triggered off sucha horrible response, nobody can say for sure.

Everybody concerned is defending their bit of action..The govt is prmising its bit of action against it as well..but like always the news is bound to sizzle down with time..
All we can hope is such horrendous episodes are not repeated in the future and that the youth of today realises that 'talent shows' and 'reality TV' are supposed to promote talent and improve reality not destroy it!

I think there is much much more to life your 5 min share of publicity.
The real drama that you gotta fight and win starts only after those 5 minutes end!!
what say you??


sri said...

Thts so unfortuante to commit sucide over such a small issue. As you said there are only child adults and one of the reason for it is , that we treat them as one. From the style of dress they wear, the music they hear, the films they watch all shape them and look what we are modelling them to grow up for. And the sucide itself is a concept she has learnt from movie/tv show.

The drama at the reality shows are too much to take for me , so I hardly see them. I guess parents really need some lessons in bringing up the kids during these times.

chital_phenomenal said...

well, i think its sick and horrible to think that kids are driven to the heights of suicide on the denial of certain things. as parents, its impossible to hinder the child's wish to see the glory around rather i think parents should make their kids stronger to face things. they shud cultivate the concept of acceptance and patience which not many kids are aware of.

ash89 said...

this is just horrible! An eleven yr old committing suicide! Its very disturbing. I wish parents would just stop forcing their decisions on their kids. Let the kids live!

lena said...

I was thinking about the same the other day.. kids grow up too fast these days and we as adults somehow are guilty too. We expect too much from them, we put too much pressure on them and we also ignore what they want, thinking we know better though we are not sure if it is better for them or for us.
Parents got to make tough choices for their kids. And it is even tougher to know that a kid's life might be at stake.
Not sure if i know the answers to the questions, but if we dont change our approach now we might keep losing kids again and again.

Pri said...

@ srivats
i agree with u..its we who are partially responsible for moulding the kids to grow up way beyond their age.
and somewhere down the line. a lot of innocence has been killed in the process of winning in the competitive race.

@ ash89
ya it is really disturbing that kids that age can get so serious about life.
childhood is meant to be enjoyed..gowing up comes with a lot of pressures anyways and its only when u live a fulfilled and wholesome childhood that u can manage to get by and deal with the competition in adult life.

Pri said...

@ lena
exactly..something HAS to change! its late already.

@ chital phenomenal
i couldn't agree more with u when u say that its the duty of parents to make the child strong enough to face criticism and failure in life..to stand tall against the strongest of storms.
its only then that they can have a healthy future and live a life they can be proud of.

commited to life said...

it was indeed shocking to read about her..
11 year.. indeed a tender age, i dont understand how on earth did she think about it

i think reality shows are definately to blamed.. they are exposing the kids to a competitive world at a very small age..

and parents.. i understand studying is important.. but they have to understand each has his own capability or interst.. how does it matter if she gets 90% or 70%..

our times were indeed better, innocent.. i think parents are definately to be blamed..

i know someone.. whenever her 10 year old child is asking for her attention, she makes him sit in front of tv or computer..

our parents were definately not like that..

andplus news channels and newspapers.. where did she get the idea or knowledge of such an act..

a very thought provoking post indeed..

p.s was just passing by..