Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Home or Jail?

Interesting representation of "A"

" A" for apple. Its interesting that she chose  to draw the apple along with the plant rather than just the fruit. When I asked her she said " Of course how can the apple be itself? without the plant"
"B" for Bums.

Our " feel free to paint on the walls" policy has always triggered off many artistic expressions. In fact  Chellu had learnt the alphabets by writing on the walls. There's something about the wall that's so attractive for kids. Maybe the vastness of it ...when we moved in our brand new home in Pune in 2009, we had allowed the kids to do what they want with the walls. And they had scribbled like crazy in no time. And then last year for Diwali we did a cheap Rs.6000 paint just to "feel" the newness of the house. But the inexpensiveness makes it so worth it cause u r not pulling out your hair over your kids' artistic pursuits. After watching them enjoy painting over the walls so much we have also made wall-wide black boards in 2 rooms. But interestingly they still prefer the wall and I bet once we near Diwali they will see to that every inch of the walls are covered with their artistic impressions!! No problems- we will do a cheap re- paint  & let them do it all over again.

The above photos are recent expressions. The first four are Chellu's attempts at teaching her sis the alphabets. The first 3 are the "A" with the third one specifically for A for apple - the green part is the plant . While the 4th painting is the "B"- B for bum. She later explained to me that she drew the bums on the side on purpose ..to make it obvious for Kunju to see & understand. 

The 5th painting is more like a collage and interestingly she chose to do it around the switch-board. That's a ncie way of highlighting the switch board I think. The 6th painting is the work of many months. It started out as a girl going to a wedding with flowers in her hand. Then after a few days she added "rain" to it by splashing blue paint with a tooth-brush. And then it became something else..will have to catch up with her for the latest version. I thought this was such an innovative way of painting..adding layers over time. 

Most homes are so S"trict" about not letting the kids do anything with the wall. They call this discipline or neatness etc..But I sincerely feel that this is another way of making the rule of " Dad & mom alone live in this house & have the right to decide to do whatever when it comes to the house". Like no jumping on the sofas, no jumping on the bed, no scribbling, no water-play , no riding bikes in the house, no coming in the kitchen, no opening the fridge. All of this and much more is allowed in our house. Why not? If the kids can't be allowed to be themselves in their own homes, where else can they be? If they can''t  let off their excess energy in their own homes where else can they do it? Are our homes a jail for our kids in our excessive drive to keep it well-organized? What will guests think? WHO CARES? Do we live in our homes for ourselves or for others? What about discipline? To be frank I think we give up too much on the altar of DISCIPLINE. Too much of our kids' childhood. 

But this is a recent development of living in urban homes. The rural home is so much more child=friendly. They have lotsa space to run around,  in & out all the time..the kitchen is child-friendly. The cooking happens ON THE FLOOR which lets the child observe & participate in cooking. Just the fact that our urban kids don't have all that free space to run @ in itself means they have very little space to let off their energy, to express themselves. A dear  Hsing friend of mine Hema gave a very interesting perspective when I was concerned with Chellu's passion with make-up last year - If the kid was living in a village or near a forest will they not be crushing leaves & all sorts of things and then smearing it on themselves or the floor or on the well or on the barks or somewhere? Wouldn't they indulge in body-painting?. Make-up is an attempt to replicate that with whatever resources our urban kids have. It doesn't have to mean anything more than that. Hema's interesting perspective gave me a lot of peace of mind. We were designed to live with nature , to learn from Her. But in urban homes since this is lacking a 100% we have to understand that everything that the kids do is trying to replace that absence. Whether painting on the walls or playing with water in the bathroom or with mud in the terrace. 

 Its so unfair. Don't our children have an equal say in what can be done in the house? I would say a "BIG YES". So nothing in our house is forbidden. And out of this freedom has come out some of the most artistic, innovative, fun-filled pursuits!! :))


  1. Wow, Chellu's works are simply great. love the wall paintings specially the fifth one from top. all the best for the little artist !

    1. Thanks..just curious..do I Know you?? :))

    2. Love it ...as always! Free Play makes for creative minds :)

  2. Love it all... especially the image where the paint is going around the switches and black board. I'm thinking i'll have a paint Hema's home day at the new house... It will be a blast! And we can paint around the images later :-) So the images may get framed or be left open.

  3. Loved the post Sangeetha, infact, am quite inspired by it. Would love to visit you all with little Aaryan sometime ... Am sure aaryan would love the coloured walls and would have a job n hands when we get back :)