13 August 2007

Chacha Nehru vs. Superman

India’s 60th Independence Day is just around the corner. Celebrations galore…especially in schools across the country… my friends sons school being no exception

For the kiddies they are having a fancy dress competition... Samarth aged 4 and 1/2 came home really excited…
The conversation between mom and son after he has told her about the competition…

Mom: you can dress up as Gandhi ji or Chacha Nehru…
Samarth: Gandhi ji was “taklu” (bald!!!), I don’t want to be Gandhi ji.

Mom: OK, you can dress up as Chacha Nehru…
Samarth: Who is this Chacha Nehru? I don’t want to be Chacha, I want to become Superman.

Looks like Jawaharlal Nehru needs some publicity!!!

Mom: Chacha Nehru was a very great man…(does not let her complete)
Samarth: I don’t want to be Chacha…he must be an old man. I want to be Superman
Mom: He wasn’t an old man. He loved children and they would affectionately call him as Chacha Nehru. He used to give sweets and chocolates to the children.

She Googled and showed him some snaps of Chacha Nehru…

Samarth: So what, Santa Claus also gives sweets and chocolates to the children.
Mom: He was a great man. His birthday is celebrated as Children's Day.
Samarth: So what, its only a holiday.

He needs an Image makeover too!!!

I guess for the younger lot some schools declare Children’s day a holiday and only the older students celebrate the day in school :-(

Mom is quite helpless now. She calls her friends including me to help her convince him to dress up as Chacha Nehru. We think of some arguments but it’s difficult to explain to a 4yr old the significance of Independence and that he was the architect of the nation. Still we thought we should try…

Mom: You know the British ruled India and he helped India get independence from the British
Samarth: What do you mean by that?

Finally he seems to be coming around…at least he started showing some interest…

Mom: well… everyone had to listen to British people and had to work for them. We even had to pay lot of money to them. If you don’t listen to them, you would get beaten up…
Samarth: So they were bad people. Superman can kill them all.

Oops…looks like its not going to be sooooo easy after all…

Mom: they were not bad people…but…Chacha Nehru looked after all the people in India.
Samarth: So what, Superman looks after the whole of India and America…

Mom: It’s because of him that we have offices, schools in India. Papa goes to office and makes money and buys you so many things.

Not totally convinced...but finally he agreed.

That was last week. He went to school and found many children came dressed as Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose so he was quite happy that he dressed up as Chacha Nehru. This week they have another party in school and he wants to go as Chacha Nehru…:-))

All is not lost still!!!
Kudos to Ganga (Samarth’s mother and all the other parents who managed to enlighten their kids and convince them to dress up as our national heros and not as one of the “chaddis over the pants” gang.

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