This blog is an excerpt from Ramen’s recently published parenting book,“Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm”.
Many of us are so busy getting things for our loved ones by investing money that we forget to give something which is free but invaluable. I am talking about the gift of a memory. And this gift comes wrapped in a currency which we all have in plenty but we perennially complain we are short of – the currency of Time. We should remember that gizmos get outdated, gadgets break, clothes get torn, but memories are forever.
We have all heard of ATM or Automatic Teller Machine Card. Today I invite you to invent a new ATM – Any Time Memory Card. This currency is not plastic, it is for real. It has no value, simply because it is priceless. It has no expiry date and comes in all denominations. And whether there is a surge or slump in the market this ATM will always be cherished.
For many years now I too have been making conscious, deliberate efforts at creating memories – to leave behind a legacy of endearing moments for my daughter and son. Every year during the first burst of rain which usually happens in the month of May we three go out on the lawn in front of our house. There in broad daylight, clad in our shorts, we get totally drenched. As we slide through the slush and mud, singing and dancing to glory, the moments are captured on camera. This unselfconscious, uninhibited and unadulterated madness has been going on for years. And when it stops I don’t know who will be sadder my kids or me!
When my kids were still quite young, together we evolved the concept of ‘Papa’s Day Out’.
My wife Madhavi, who works in the same Steel Plant as me, would be packed off to office for the day. After attaining ‘freedom’, the three of us would go berserk. The entire agenda would be set by the kids. We would be doing crazy thinks like having lunch for breakfast and vice versa. We would go to the park or on long drives, eat in seedy places, which Madhavi wouldn’t be found dead in, watch kitschy movies on the DVD player, sing, dance and do anything and everything which was nutty, wacky and loony. And if it rained there would be a slight amendment – we would ‘solemnly’ observe ‘Papa’s Day In’ with all the lunacy intact.