H – Hear?or Listen??

h

AllJazz is pottering around the kitchen waiting for inspiration to strike, to serve up a storm. It’s way past breakfast time. Yet the first cup of her favorite poison is just about to simmer, on the stove. In walks Scintillating Sonny, ready to take on the world, firing on all cylinders.

Son      : “Have you read any of Adam Smith’s works?”

AllJazz: “Huh?”

Son      : “Do you know something about the Rhodes scholarship?”

AllJazz: “Hmmm?”

Son      : “You know how hedge funds work, right?”

AllJazz: “Well..”

Son      : “Did you check out Google’s Project Tango?”

AllJazz: “I tried to..”

Son      : “Can I get a Schrodinger’s cat tattoo?

AllJazz: “What?” “Slow down boy”, she mutters to herself. “I am just about waking up..”

Son      : “Don’t worry mom. What’s for breakfast?”

Ah famous last words in a loving conversation.

As on cue, Darling Dotty walks in. She is already bursting at the seams with all these questions buzzing inside her.

“How did this river Saraswati disappear?”

“Ah it’s like this..” AllJazz manages to get in a couple of sentences before Dotty fires the next salvo.

“Why was Telangana carved out?”

“It’s long story. Let me try and simplify it for you”.  AllJazz is still finishing her sentence and Darling Dotty is already onto the next topic.

“I have to imagine this meeting between the Buddha and King Ashoka after the Kalinga war. What can I eat?” And it goes on and on this way, every day.

Do children stop asking their parents, questions, knowing that parents often don’t answer their questions? Do parents get annoyed at children for this tireless tirade? On the contrary, if children are not inundating the parents with information or are keeping to themselves, parents should start getting restless.

Children are smart enough to figure out that the parents do not have all the answers. At least to their ever increasing bank of questions. They are quite indulgent about that singular fact. They realize that Gyaani Google is the ultimate go-to tool. All these Q&A sessions are their way of reaching out to us, communicating and sharing with us parents.

The trouble brews when we just hear and don’t listen. The communication however lopsided, does dry up. To listen is to deliberately apply the ability to hear. When we listen, we think about what is being said, what it means, how to respond. When we make a pact with self, to listen to their tales with all our senses, the rewards are life affirming. We would be left with enough enthusiastic tales for our old age. That is something wonderful to look forward to.

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