Yes, the simplest formula that we all forget as we let the years take us from one dream to another is that magic is there when you look for it. We stop looking for that magic because childhood forever isn’t what most adults dream about. But the truth is that a child is there within each of us and waits patiently to be allowed to go out and experience life without burdening it with interpretations and regimentation.

A constant lament that I hear is about not having enough time to splash through time as a child does. All I can say is, ‘You need just the inclination, sir… and nothing more.’ Sometimes all we require is the right nudge. A little push… and it is almost like deciding to sit down and watch (or re-watch) films like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Stuart Little 2, Jumanji, and Mr Go to name a few.

‘Really? Is childhood forever as simple as this?’

‘It is.’

No one needs to go and get a chromosomal botox done to put back the clock. The child needs nothing more than a simple activity like this to lead the stiff-necked adult within towards a comfort zone that seems lost in the mists of the past. By the way, children love to watch these films more than once… and now that their summer vacations are a reality we do have the option to sit with them by our side to add value to the entire experience. There are other activities too that children love – and I mean activities like ice-cream binges, long drives, listening to stories, playing imaginative board games. It isn’t difficult to notice that children love to do all these with their parents. I know my son always loved playing Battleship or Scotland Yard with me than with just his friends. It was probably because I loved mimicking a bumbling cop who is never able to hold a thief… or a thief on the run ready with jokes when caught. So I know that even movies watched alone aren’t really as much fun as they are when the family sits together.

Well, to make things easier, &pictures – India’s premium mass Hindi movie channel – has announced a special summer movie festival, ‘Kiddies Express’ that will run from Monday, 09 May, it will air daily at 12 noon up to Friday, 13 May.

‘You think it is fine for kids to be watching movies every day?’

‘Well, these aren’t just movies. Each of them is like a subtle imaginative teacher.’

‘Ah! Then I think it is fine.’

Indian parents, you very well know are obsessed with including ‘learning’ in every step… and so as I write this post, I thought it would be a charming idea to talk about some facets in the movies I’ve listed. For instance, I remember this excerpt from the movie, Kung Fu Panda:

Po: “Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles.”

Oogway: “Quit, don’t quit… Noodles, don’t noodles… You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Living in the now is what the movie subtly tells the viewers… and in a way that children understand.

Madagascar is such an apt representation of what Kurt Vonnegut once said, ‘Enjoy the little things in life cause one day you’ll look back and realise that they were the big things!

AndPictures_Madagascar

AndPictures_Madagascar

Stuart Little is forever looking for the silver lining in the cloud and deals with serious friendship goals like determination, trust, respect, and acceptance.

AndPictures_Stuart Little 2

AndPictures_Stuart Little 2

Jumanji is a film that made even me, an adult, realise that a problem needs to be faced bravely and there was hardly any advantage in trying to run away.

Mr Go is based on the classic 1980s comic ‘7th Baseball Club’, the titular character that refers to a 285 kg circus gorilla and who is the first to be recruited by a savvy baseball agent to join the professional Korean Baseball League.  It is a heart-warming, poignant and inspirational story.

AndPictures_Mr GO

AndPictures_Mr GO

I know that trying to link lessons to movies makes me sound like a cranky old teacher who is bent upon converting even fun into some sort of a tutorial or a classroom activity… but hey, I am just trying to convince the lesson-obsessed parents here. But all said and done, this channel called &Pictures is certainly bent upon giving this vacation a different flavour.

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&pictures presents Kiddies Express from 9th May - 13th May daily at 12 noon

&pictures presents Kiddies Express from 9th May – 13th May daily at 12 noon

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Arvind Passey
08 May 2016