This pandemic and the resulting lockdown has turned us all into hassled adults. We all have that air of stress, tension and sometimes dread around us. And rightly so. We are all living in dangerous times. People close to us are dying, businesses are already dead. The whole burden is too much to carry. My day starts with asking the well being of all the relatives and friends affected by COVID and reading with despair and helplessness the desperate SOS messages from people for either bed or oxygen or other help. Makes me so anxious.

The other day I stepped out of the house with the full gear of mask etc. and from the neighbouring house the 4-year-old twins called out. “Aunty don’t go outside. Corona is sitting outside. It will catch you.” This sure brought a smile to my face because I could picture some cartoon character kind of monster sitting outside the lift door ready to jump on me the moment I step out.

It got me thinking… We, adults, are all caught up in our problems and how our life has gotten topsy turvy. But look around you and see how the kids are coping with it. They are my inspiration these days. Maybe children are more adaptive to the changes around them. As they have moulded themselves to the new lifestyle so well.

Coming back to my neighbours – the toddler twins. They started schooling in lockdown in Nursery class and this is the second year in a row of online learning. They have reached JR Kg without putting a step inside the school building. Which is hilarious. But still, if you speak to them they will tell you about the activities they did at school (online of course), the homework (which is uploaded every day), the friends they made at school. Their excitement about their teachers and notebooks and colours etc. is the same as any other toddler was a few years ago. 

Then there is my sister’s son. He is so diligent about wearing a mask. He makes others follow the rules if by any chance others become a little relaxed. His father had travelled recently and had to be quarantined. He was the one who was the strictest to see that no one steps into his room or he doesn’t step outside.

What do they know about the virus or the lockdown? Everything from their study to leisure has changed but still their sunny disposition and excitement gives me hope.

Let’s move on to a little older children. The pre-teens and teenagers. If you have ever been into an online classroom. You will still be able to recognize the eager beavers – who answer all the questions the teacher asks and the backbenchers who now hide behind switched off cameras. They have plays online, debates and elocution online, they learn music and games also online. These children have adapted so well to the new way of life. 

I will give you a funny example. The schools had no other option but to conduct online exams for their students last year. The school tried all the ways possible to be as strict as possible. But the mischievous students came out with such ingenious ways to cheat. Technology and devices were put to good use. The stricter the school became the more creative the students became. I know it’s not actually funny but ironic. 

But what I mean to say is that they did not leave their usual mischievous ways. They found other outlets for it.

Recently the board exams of Class 10 got cancelled. I was feeling so worried that how my son will get a good score. With this score actually mean anything… How will he get admission to the next class etc? And my son oblivious to my thoughts comes and says “Everyone was scared of Board exams all their school life and look when it was our turn to face the boards; the board exam got scared of us..” I couldn’t stop myself from laughing.

My elder son is busy editing a video with his friends. They all log in from their residences and record video and audio. Sit together online and edit it. They are still finding a way to talk, chill together, come up with ideas and collaborate. 

Seriously when I look at the children of these times I feel sad about how much they are missing out on the normal childhood. But then just look at the smile on their faces and think if they can cope up with such a humungous change in their life… So can we. There is hope…