Uraban upbringing and village upbringing

I am sure I have told before that I grew up in a village (I hear you screaming, “only a million times”!). I cannot stand living in a city. I don’t even like visiting cities. London, Madurai and Coimbatore are the exceptions, while living in London is still not an imaginable term for me. I admire the life lessons I got from my village upbringing.  I love the long days of wandering and running around in the fields unhelicoptered by adults. I love the silly talks and silly games we silly friends played together. I felt sorry for the kids who went to after-school-tuitions. Heck, I felt sorry for the kids who did their home work!  The feeling still remains the same.  Well, it is only magnified now, as I feel sorry for the parents who attend after-school-activities on behalf of their children and worse, I feel really really sorry for the parents who do home work on behalf of their children so that their children can get some stars and the parents can claim that their children are some kind of genius in something or the other. I often think that may be they never studied when their parents asked them to, which they are making up now by studying on behalf of their children (and getting the stars through their children 😉 ).

But the urban upbring has one strong advantage, rather, the village life has one strong disadvantage. Awareness. We, the villagers, lack awareness. We don’t know what is happening in the rest of the world. We just know the trees and the birds and the sun and snakes around us. We do not know that “Obama” is a name of a man. It happened to me and it is happening to Muffin (well, to Muffin’s parents on behalf of Muffin). I didn’t know one has to write entrance exam to get into engineering colleges. And is it a surprise that I looked at the “practice book for engineering entrance exam” as if it was something that was just dropped by a flying saucer just a few minutes ago while the exam itself was scheduled to happen just a few minutes later?  It is not that bad in Muffin’s case, well in Muffin’s parents’ case on behalf of Muffin. Muffin’s parents didn’t know Muffin can be trained to read at the age of 4! Yes, we know that Muffin can be trained to swim, cycle, skate, jump, run, hoola hoop, rope walking and similar activities a 4 year old can do, and we have slowly started the swimming lessons. Nothing else yet. She tells me like a broken record that “have to be careful”, when she sees the bike. She loves her skates and the helmet but I have to carry her when she has those on her.  But, my neighbour tells me that Muffin does have music sense and identifies music notes! (I need to have at least one item to brag about my daughter and that has to be in the genius range, otherwise I will be seen as a failure!). Well I am digressing. So, we didn’t know that Muffin can be trained to read. Yes, we noticed that she identifies a few words and can write her name. Yes it occurred to me that it is part of her “pattern recognising” development. And yes, I did think that she can be trained to recognise alphabets. But didn’t put lots of effort into it. And why hurry, she hasn’t even started reception yet.

Last week we visited our friends’ houses and we were flooded with information and we were informed that they are all fully booked on weekends (and after schools on weekdays), so they cannot visit us for the next twenty years. Here I am with my tomato seeds and planting pack for Muffin and Timmy, but unable to do that activity since I am physically crippled for a few weeks. A friend mentioned that she was going to dispose off a set of books she bought for her son. I grabbed them and thought that they will be useful once Muffin starts the big school next year. Balan used one of the books for thebed time story time. What a surprise that my genius daughter started reading it back! So we introduced another book and she did it again! The proud father was over the moon about the gifted child. Second night when I thought I should help him out at least in the not-moving activities when the kids were running around too much and reading a bed time story would help me bring some peace to this household, I took the third book in the series and started to read to her. She not only read it back to me, she also told me what is there in the next page! And my suspicion was confirmed when she told me the title of the next book in the series! The preschool has introduced this book series and she is getting the training to read in her preschool. We parents didn’t know what is happening in this world.

I know i am leaving this incomplete. Will edit when I come back.

Back now, and on second thought, I should write on these differences whenever I remember them and make it as a series 😉


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ag
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 15:58:52

    Reading this one now.. with a great big smile on my face :-D. I am also like you grown up in a small village near Dindugul. I second everything in your post.I have no clue about the classes and activities these mom’s are talking about when my daughter was small.



  2. thenormalself
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 18:56:10

    All I have learnt so far is that it doesn’t stop here!


  3. mona
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 20:13:26

    Doesn’t stop dear ladies, buckle your seat belts.
    Just gets worse and worse. swimming, piano, tennis, indian music, dance, kumon, karate in elementary and middle school.
    Then you will hear about competitions and tournaments and school theater productions after school clubs which the kids founded- not just participate in.
    In high school it will be the the paid internships at the best firms or @ NIH and high school classes will be all the AP classes, college courses, hundreds of service hours, atleast one arangetram, and participating in numerous group ticketed events.
    Not to scare you, but this seems to be the norm.


  4. thenormalself
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 10:05:45

    It IS scary! But, haven’t the Chennaites and likes done it all and we, the Kombaites and likes survived too? 🙂 But I will have to find a balance as it affects one’s confidence when an ungroomed villager encounters the citybred counterparts. When I went to a military interview I lost all my confidence when I saw the other contestants who have had training for the very interview, how they carried themselves, how they dressed etc. Muffin already says “preee” for “pretty” and looks at us to see whether we have noticed the change in pronounciation. She uses the words “sic”, “cool” and “sweet”! She is trying to fit in, which is what I struggled with (and I still do). She has to develop confidence to deal with her peers. And, Timmy needs a lot more confidence as he has to deal with one more person whom he wants to please/get-approval-from, his own sister!


  5. Trackback: Episode two of series 1, UUVVU « The normal self

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