My mom used to say that when your child is as big as you, you have to treat them with respect. What she actually said was that you had to address them using a respectful form of “anda,” which doesn’t make any sense in English, but may work in Hindi or French. It worked poetically well in Malayalam. I was reminded of this maternal pearl of wisdom recently when I was watching a movie with my son.
The protagonist in the movie, who felt like a human punching bag, was feeling low and getting drunk in a bar. And then he gets snubbed by a stranger, and walks away muttering something like, “Do I have an Everlast sign pasted on my forehead?”
My son, accurately guessing that I wouldn’t have gotten the reference, explained to me that Everlast was a boxing brand, and that they had punching bags with the name prominently painted on them. He had seen them in his Muay Thai gym. I remembered then that this was exactly the kind of tidbit that I would have loved to share with ayah saya, while watching a movie or a tennis match or whatever. The wheel had come full circle. Almost.
Saya katakan “almost” because I also remembered a time when the references would become just too many to share, and the sons would turn quiet. In the next five or so short years, I can imagine that my son will also find it overwhelming to keep explaining every little reference that flies past me. He also will turn more and more silent. While dreading that inevitable age of silence, I enjoy this moment for now, when his repertoire of interesting tidbits has grown beyond mine. And remember some other things that I wrote a while ago, in a moment of melancholy inspiration.
Radio Sony bermain di, tahan terhadap ini renungan sedih, dengan suara yang muda senang meremukkan lagu dan jenaka untuk kepentingan generasi baru komuter yuppie penuh semangat dan keinginan untuk menakluk dunia yang. Little do they know — it was all conquered many times over during the summers of yester years with the same gusto and passion. The vanguards lama menyingkir rela dan memberi ruang untuk kanak-kanak musim panas yang baru.
Generasi baru mempunyai rasa yang berbeza. Mereka bersenandung ke iTunes berbeza pada iPod mereka. Ini penerima radio cantik, dengan kebanyakan daripadanya tujuh belas aneh band gelombang pendek kini senyap, mungkin yang terakhir dari jenisnya. Muzik dan jenaka generasi akan datang telah berubah. Rambut-do dan gaya mereka telah berubah. Tetapi kempen baru mengisi masuk dengan impian yang sama kemuliaan sebagai orang-orang yang sebelum mereka. Mereka adalah semangat yang sama. Semangat yang sama.