Thursday, September 14, 2017

Keeping the Whale at Bay !

Those were the days , when we came back from school we used to gulp whatever little cold coffee given by mom , carefully divided amongst all the siblings and then rush over to the school play ground for playing Kabbadi or Football or cricket whatever the flavor available and allowed by the seniors present at the turf. The intent was to play , exhibit your skills, prove that you are no moron and no less skilled than your closest schoolmate and return with satisfaction, sweat and some scratches around the knees, carefully washed to evade the prying eyes of parents back home.

Having satiated the thirst for daily dosage of games then one settles down with the books to do the never ending math homework , with an ear to the radio playing the film songs waiting for the call to dinner, which will anyway be frugal,  not that the lunch was royal. After swallowing the solitary item, normally in the company of pickles and onion slices, we used to settle down for the night invariably by 9 PM gossiping in low tones, until father yells everyone to sleep in order to get up early next morning and there ends our day. The house invariably retires by 9.30 at the most, know not whether it was to save electricity or a habit being inculcated. But the gossip and pulling of others' legs in hushed tones under the sheets is a scene, one could trek miles to enjoy !

The absence of a Rooster will invariably be nullified by the early stirring of my father who ensures by making enough sounds that even the best of Kumbakarna in the house gets up. He will either recite slokas loud and /or switch on all the lights and compensate it by switching off the solitary fan spewing more sound than air and which will be available only in that room.

As we retire early at nights, early morning studies are a must, which is a blessing in disguise as that is the best time to grab the complexities of the subjects faster. In the absence of Refrigerators, daily purchase of vegetables was a routine exercise and in turn everyone of the brothers will be assigned the job which will effectively bring the curtains down on the morning studies.

Sadly none of these are in vogue with the current generation and that perhaps accounts for allowing the whale into your drawing room. The discussions under the sheets at nights amongst the siblings could be anything from the goofed up maths test to the shrill whistling  of guys at the street corners. Normally, the heroic brother takes care of such little blips the next day. The point is, children had a forum to vent out and someone in the family to listen to !

The current generation in contrast sulk into their shells at the drop of a hat ! First of all, people have little time to interact and even the dining tables where ideas are normally exchanged becomes a hub where faces are hidden into mobile phones, with the mouth monotonously  munching something prepared few days back ! There are no confession places and no shoulder to rest as each has its own reason to droop!

From what little I understand of the menacing whale lure, people are sucked into it more due to the loneliness and helplessness. The hapless victim-to-be is initially lured into the activity, then coaxed to share the personal details of the family including photographs and then as further tasks forced with threats to share things which leaves the now cornered victim with little choice. Fearing for the safety of their near and dear ones and not wanting to face the ignominy of having been found out about his sharing all personal details, the desperate sucker normally sticks to the course of the game, as directed, rather reluctantly but without a choice, towards his doom.

The availability of free and unchecked Internet across the house is the first culprit that the parents fail to check and allowing the children to use the same to the extent of uploading photographs is, in my opinion, an unpardonable dereliction of parental duties. The closed door facility offered on a platter, in the name of privacy,  to the potential victim of such dubious baits is a disaster that could have been easily checked if only the parents had cared to spend more time on following and interacting with them. Even on weekends the working parents are either busy with their office chores trying to clear backlogs or sleep their way through the day wasting some precious moments that could have been spent to guide their little ones to safety.

The current generation will not be cowed down by unreasonable parental orders, unlike my era but am sure, they understand when explained patiently why they should not indulge in any activity. That is the reason why I choose to put the root causes of this evil to easy availability of Internet and free pass to wander into the oblivion, impatience of the parents to spend more time with their children and insufficient awareness education of the lurking dangers at every bend. Compare this situation with the yesteryear, when bored children used to play group games like Carom Board, Trade or the traditional 'Pallanguzhi' or 'Paandi' wherein more people are involved and they were rarely left alone. This nails the basic causes of the prevailing travails of the younger ones and the resulting heartbreaks for the parents.

Let us learn and learn them quick. It pays to be together, listen to the children and keep talking to the younger ones that could encourage them to come out if they find themselves in a corner. Let us respect the new found words of 'privacy' but also learn to draw the line as to where it could be breached with reason, in times of necessity.

It does pay to talk to your dear ones and more importantly allow them to talk and make yourself available to listen to them too. By such conscious efforts we could not only keep the whales at bay but also net them if they dare to advance further.

Though it beats me as to how the adults and even some techies have fallen for this, I am more concerned and focused on analyzing things where children are mislead. 


  1. "Lovely blog sir ! Really sad today kids plight..Reason.. parents"-Sunanda- 17-09-2017

  2. "Excellent KV. Your idea of bringing the lifestyle of people like us into focus and then coming to the main subject is of the top draw. Keep it up . A big thumbs up to you for this great writing.👍" - Venkatesh Jagadeesan- 17-Sep-2017

  3. "Wow super post. You can write a story" -Panchatcharam Radhakrishnan- 14-Sep-2017

  4. "Fantastic Blog , Kapali !!! Enjoyed reading every bit of it" - Rema V - 14-Sep-2017