Of nursery rhymes and happy babies…

Nursery rhymes are an odd bit.

Children enjoy them, non-stop, on loop. Adults however, have a “U-shaped” relationship with them.

We start by enjoying them – after all, we all were kids once, and some rhymes bring back memories…but then, after a while, one experiences diminishing marginal utility.

Oddly enough, if this continues, one starts to like them again, and they start to play subconsciously. You may find yourself humming “haathi raja kahan chalen” when working on an important project or “macchli jal ki rani hai” while driving to an important meeting.

In due course, the child gets bored, but we remain hooked a bit longer!

Babies are happy when their rhymes play continuously. Thanks to YouTube, you can now stream “bandar mama” 24/7. A goldmine for content creators, for I have seen views in the hundreds of millions. An industry in itself really.

Parents thank them from the bottoms of their hearts, and wonder what used to happen in the pre-YouTube era. It isn’t that far back though – 2006?

To hold the attention of a baby – now that is some task. And an enjoyable one at that. The wonder with which the baby looks at everything – and the way the baby enjoys the same thing again and again and again – makes one think about what changed along the way…how did we become so fickle that we need something new constantly?

A baby’s attention span can swing between intense concentration on something abstract..to constant distraction. An adult however, finds the latter to be the default setting, thanks to an endless stream of devices with goodies delivered through the Internet on multiple social channels.

Hence the need to take meditation classes, and also for Apple to deliver a “Focus mode” on iOS15. Like the tobacco industry sending you nicotine patches to de-addict yourself.

Anyways, being a baby can be quite daunting, and quite simple as well. A splash of milk, a splatter of fruit puree, a bucketful of drool, and a handful of papa’s hair and hey and pesto – majaa ni life!

We adults, on the other hand, spend most of our lives running behind a lot of things to make us happy, none of which really succeed, and then spend the rest of our lives running away from those very things. A confused bunch.

Maybe we should try the “baby method”. Keep things simple, uncomplicated, and wonderful. Waiting for a self-help guru to pick this one up!