Since our young days we were taught to sit sit with the family on the dinner table and eat together.We thanked God for our meals.We ate together,discussed about our day,laughed,pulled each others legs and enjoyed Our mealtimes.The banter was an important part of our day.
Not in our own house even if we paid a visit to our maternal or paternal grandparents, the system remained the same.My maternal grandfather a retired civil servant was a strict disciplanarian and all youngsters were in awe of him.He believed in simple living and high thinking.Meals were simple and nutrious and he took two hours to finish his meal.He chewed and enjoyed every bite.He made all his children and grand children sit around him.No one could leave the table,even if they had finished their meal.It was the advent of the black and white television in India.He had got one but to switch it on ,during mealtimes was forbidden.It was the time to communicate and discuss various topics from politics to spirituality.We learnt a lot of things as we sat there.There was warmth and a feeling of joie-de-vivre.Even we young grandchildren joined in the discussions.He wanted our opinion on things.He started his day with yoga,meditation,hearty breakfast,nutrious lunch and a light dinner.He worked on his farm whole day keeping him fit and ailments at bay.He died at the ripe age of 86 and without any suffering.
Growing up on this diet,we too learnt the art of communication and healthy discussion during mealtimes.Our childhood had the essence of good communication with our parents.
After marriage i started the same cycle in my house and the minute the children wers born,we fed them sitting on the dinning table.We sang,told them stories to make mealtimes interesting.They followed this till high school,the minute they started their plus two a drastic change came.
The advent of the 21st century and technology had reached its pinnacle.Schoolwork is done with the help of the net.These tech savvy children have metamorphosed into gadget slaves.The mealtimes have become like a drudgery and no anecdotes or banter is heard.Meals are finished in seconds and each person goes into his or her room.Music is put and laptops,mobiles,tablets adorn their study tables.They have lost the art of communication and laughter and with the result have changed into recluses.They don’t laugh,they only carry burdens and with the result they have a low immunity and the doctor visits have increased.
Being the Hitler in the house i forbid T.V. viewing during mealtimes.It is like a forbidden fruit,the time the meal lasts,they look at the clock waiting to watch their favourite shows.
I can only say Family that prays,eats together,stays together.It is necessary we lessen the use of gadgets,have more communication,sports and enjoyment to lead a better and happier life.
No communication distances the family from each other.