The stress of joblessness, the effort in laziness and the weight of an empty wallet… so many times I yearn for something to take me back to the good ol’ days… of nothingness, of no worries… of nursery school! I don’t remember how my classroom looked, which fellow kids I kicked and which bullies made me cry… I don’t remember what I finger-painted, which stories I loved, nothing! But that was the best part about nursery school, wasn’t it? There was nothing we needed to remember.
Except the nursery rhymes, of course… our introduction to another 20 years of learning lessons by heart! Learning nursery rhymes and narrating them countless times at school and then at home and occasionally to entertain guests on weekends, meant that our young brains were programmed to learn historic dates, chemical formulae, mathematical equations and Dr Ambedkar’s life history in our future years. And yet, I stutter and stammer, trying hard to recollect the lines, when occasionally I have nothing better to do.
So when my 3-year old niece visits, my family’s favourite way to spend time is to make her speak and nowadays, narrate rhymes. And what rhyme to start with, rather than “Twinkle Twinkle..” So last week, my niece started in her squeaky little voice…
“Twinkle, twinkle traffic light,
Round the corner shining bright.
Red means stop,
Green means go,
Yellow means go, but slow!
Twinkle, twinkle traffic light,
Round the corner shining bright.”
Whatever happened to little stars shining like diamonds in the sky! Whatever happened to the tiny spark that brightens up the night! Whatever happened to imagination, nature and fantasy? Shockingly, my niece has never heard of the original. And most of her rhymes are now New and Improved! No hot cross buns, no ring of roses, no Jack and no Jill! The 21st century rhymes are here! And they are depressing..
If not now, when else would kids learn to let their minds roam free? Why curb creativity when they are 3? Rhymes about traffic lights? They probably would have stuff about paying their taxes next! One way to look at this would be that, it is probably to ensure good traffic sense in the next generation. But that’s a long shot… and such “reality show” versions of nursery rhymes are definitely not worth it!
Soon the same rhyme may go…
“Twinkle, twinkle traffic light
At every corner, a useless sight!
Red means honk,
Yellow means go!
Green, errrm.. we really don’t know!
Twinkle, twinkle traffic light
At every corner, a useless sight!”
New age rhymes, buh!