Day by day I float my paper boats one by one down the running stream". These starting lines of the poem by Rabindranath Tagore ring clearly even today. I remember this was a poem on syllabus when I was in school. More so, something as simple as a paper boat which one used to make so often as a child is a part of the joyful memories of the growing up years. Pure unadulterated joy....
Last week, rains lashed the city creating little puddles and abundant opportunity to re-live the paper boat experience. I managed to convince my daughters to experience the magic of the paper boat. Experience the magic of making the paper boat. Experience the thrill of launching it in a puddle of rainwater. Pushing it along gently and watching it glide lazily. Watching it get entangled in the garden weeds. Jumping over puddles to retrieve it and then, start the process all over again. The paper boat mesmerizes with its simplicity.
Do today's children miss out on the real world and on the small simple joys out there? Do we glorify complexity? Does simplicity take the backseat? Well, the first thing that my younger daughter asked when we made the paper boat was "Where is the motor?"
Today's games train the mind to solve, yesterday's games trained the mind to observe. In this era of short attention spans, shouldn't we train the young minds to observe? If meditation is observing the mind and lessening the clutter....the paper boat is one of the first childhood interventions that help in that direction. Let us not lose the magic of these paper boats.
"When the night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars. The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and the lading is their baskets full of dreams" .