Saturday, 9 April 2011


     I have a potted Bamboo tree. It is no ordinary bamboo tree. It has moved around with us for the last eight years ...from the salubrious climes of Dehradun to harsh winters of Kashmir to the extreme climate of Delhi. I have a special name for it...Roots.
    The journey of Roots starts from Boguan, a small village in Goalpara in Assam. My father-in-law hails from this village. As a youngster, he trudged the muddy paddy lanes to reach the highway, so he could take a bus to Guwahati, for his education. Today his grandchildren go to coveted schools in big cities and metros with much ease.
  Many parents are constantly moving from one place to another due to work related reasons.  So their children make friends and are exposed to a multitude of desirable and undesirable ideas, ethos and culture. They adopt Hindi and English as their first languages as necessities.There are children who refuse to speak in their mother tongue for fear of ridicule or those who claim not to know about their festivals and various festivities..They lip-synch to the latest pop numbers, after much concentrated search on the youtube.Then there are parents themselves, who will not introduce their language and culture to the children since they want to be part of the ' English speaking' swish crowd. This gadget savvy (who know more about your mobile features than you do)and sms lingo spewing generation, are like happy colourful kites fluttering in the blue sky with abandon. You and I know what happens to kites without strings, or the ones that have been cut in competitions...they drift and eventually fall at some unknown place.
   There will always be pot-holes as they were in our time and the generations in the past. But as we move forward in the progress of civilization, challenges will be tougher and many more reasons will emerge to get the children carried away.
   And so I have Roots with remind us, that this is  your humble beginning, which we have to carry forward.When in doubt or in the 'pits', if your roots are strong you can always rise again with new found wisdom and renewed energy. It is a reminder never to lose your identity in the crowd...a forest is most interesting and awe inspiring, when it has different trees with distinct qualities...
     And so I have lugged Roots around with me whether he likes it or not, to help me keep grounded not just my children but also me...