Saturday, August 29, 2009
My school St Josephs Convent Chandannagar, where I studied till the sixth standard, was a massive range of buildings, with hugest green fields and its own inhouse church, complete with organ et al. The sports events would be held on the schools fields itself. I used to do gymnastics then, floor and balance beam. I was good at the balance beam and bad at floor. For the life of me I could not do the peacock arch, but cart wheels were my thing! My house came last in gymnastics that year, and I blamed my fall while doing the peacock arch.
I participated in the short races. 100 mts or the 4*100 mts. There were 3 girls faster than me in school and in two of the three years that I participated, I came in fourth. In the third year I somehow got past the third girl and came in third. I was beyond myself with elation thinking I had won the brinze finally... until I heard that that particular year there was no bronze medals. The world conspired against me even then!
In South Point High School, Kolkata, sports was an unknown thing until we reached the final year, the 10th standard. I was so sure of my performances till just a day before the events I took a fall down the stairs and sat through the annual sports with a crepe bandage round my ankle.
And now its my daughters school sports. I thought she was too young to participate until they announced races for pre KG. There were 5-6 participants from each of the two sections, all boys. I wonder why no girl was participating. I, for once, didnt know anything about the events till the previous day, when I was handed the invite. So my daughter and I sat through the beginning march past and colourful presentation by junior students, and the pre KG races, and then got too hot and bored to sit through any more and sidled out.
So much for School Sports. Maybe next time.
Friday, August 28, 2009
People in Shanghai can now have two kids.
China till a few years back, just stopped short of executing parents for flouting their "one couple- one child" norm. And now this? It seems that the population of China is ageing very fast. "438 Million people in China will be 60 and older by 2050, leaving just 1.6 working age adults for each elder." says Newsweek.
We with our "Hum do, humare do" policy, which was not that strictly followed anyway, would turn out little better. But from my absolute lay persons view, consider this. All my friends are either alone, or have a single sibling. Our parents come from the great Indian middle class of the 60-s to 80-s. They were educated, politically motivated and ambitious about themselves and their children. Most were still single income households. The middle classes decided to stop after their first two.
The next class didnt quite. Hence we still see lesser privileged cousins who have 4 or more siblings around.
With time its gone worse. To provide the best for their children many have stuck to their only child. By then we have come into the "upper middle class" strata. We own a house, a car, and gadgets. SEC (socio economic) class A. We are shrinking at a much greater rate than other SECs.
The first to relise it is the doctors of government hospitals. My sister, who is a gyenecologist, have assisted in the births of more than 4 children from one particular woman in the last 6 years. Rest assured, she is not the only one, nor is my sister the only doctor experiencing this.
Another study, another country. USA- "According to futurist Andrew Zolli people born after 1975 could end up taking care of their mothers longer than their mothers took care of them" (newsweek) Women of our mothers generation are likely to live 18 years into their retirement, a new record! Men follow right behind, though. And USA hit with financial woes, is seeing a new trend of having 3 generations or more under one roof.
We Indians have been there done that long enough to know that it is possible to live that way if there is mutual respect. The kids get company, the grandparents get mental peace and joy, and care in their own house, and that goes on to create a more stable society.
The age of the world is changing and thats changing everything. And how!