It was about six months ago that we were sitting spending some family time with my wife and my two kids. Suddenly my son - half immersed in his mobile went out of the room only to return after fifteen odd minutes. His return was with a smile on his face and mobile in his hand. He spoke to his sister in hushed but excited tones. She too showed signs of great excitement and my casual enquiry to it was dismissed by both of them simultaneously replying - brother-sister talk - out of your syllabi. My raised eyebrows were not even acknowledged by either and I thought it was the end of the matter.
|My target bird vs PokemonGo dragons...|
|My children's target Pokemon|
A few days later one night after dinner once again as we were sitting chatting - my brother and his kids too in our house. Once again I saw the same hushed talk and excited look in all of the kids eyes. Suddenly my daughter asked for my car keys. Well she is an adult so as to say and owns a drivers licence so I just handed over the keys with a question - where too ? It's almost midnight - once again a simultaneous reply was - we will be back soon by all four kids. To hell with it I thought and let it slip. They returned after about an hour and were jumping up and down as if they have achieved something of great significance - my reaction was that of a father and an uncle - guys you are grounded if I do not understand why and where you went now. They did not skip a heartbeat and all were jumping around me and shouting all at the same time. They have captured 'Charizard' - and as expected I had no idea what they are talking about. After the party ended - before dropping down dead in bed I did some research. Well PokemanGo was a virtual reality game where in characters appear on random places overlaid on google like maps and you have to go and capture the virtual characters.
Bloody - like hell I realised I have done that my entire life... scanning bird reports, web logs to see what bird has been sighted where and then rush to take snaps and log the sightings. Well there was a basic difference between my child and myself in the same game we were playing with different names. I hit bed early - rise early and am in the womb of nature savouring the fresh air, appreciating nature and God's creation. That led me to be more responsible towards mother nature and sometimes am ashamed when I am given more than one napkin in a restaurant that I have to throw in the dustbin without using, or forgetting to tell the retail that I do not want a copy of the credit card slip - lest I throw it in the dustbin without even glancing at it. Birding has taught me to respect nature, be careful in wasting resources - be it paper, gas, or anything else. I do not litter the country side and carry my own waste bag to dispose off the garbage I create while out of house. Then ofcourse - there is this one little thing more about the difference between my kids game and mine - I have struck with it for better of 25 odd years nurturing it - my kids have already moved on after playing this game for a month.
I am sure that there will be things we can do to coax our kids towards nature and respecting nature. I wonder what will happen to this world with kids who have no exposure to nature and are living lives with no connect with their surroundings. After all it will will be they who inherit this planet and take decisions to protect it for their siblings and generations to come. I wonder if we are doing all we can to pass on the batton to our kids and telling them that winnings are not in a virtual world with PokemanGo but the very world we live and inherit.
And here's the game I played...
Slept at 9 pm sharp. Got up at 3 am, brushed my teeth, took a shower had a cup of tea and hit the road.
|Sighted this wonderful sight with a breath of fresh air and blessings of orange lit morning sky...|
|Would not have let this fiery dragon of the pokemon go scot free...|
|Greeted the Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker that started to peck for the Breakfast|
|Heard the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler calling a hundred yards away - tracked it down and bagged it...|
|Caught a Common Tailorbird that was calling another kilometre away...|
|...another two km down the road captured these Chestnut-eared Buntings resting and sitting hidden beneath a bush...|
|...captured this pokemon dragon that had kept an eye on my movements from the top of the hill another 5 km ahead...|
|Caught another pokemon flirting with me - coming in sight and out another few km down the road...|
Finally reached home from in the evening from a very satisfying game - took a bath and sipped on my favourite Single malt,,, satisfied and tired like hell...