It is funny that we can’t see the funny in funny too clearly anymore because of the times we live in. I know I have been, if not proactive then deeply conscious of what I expose Nadi to in terms of evils and realities of the world. Especially on TV. K and I don’t watch the news infront of him and we attempt keeping words like bomb and gun and kill and shoot out of conversation around the little people. Even the cartoons and animated features he has seen have been whetted by us for any confusing messages. The idea of Good vs Bad is a universal one and watching pretty much anything, even if U rated touches upon that and that kind of black and white existence has worked in terms of pushing some important lessons forward. Sharing is good, but fighting is bad. Good people help and eventually are happy, bad people are selfish and never win. You remember, the good old fashioned lessons of life. Etcetera and all that. But we live in Karachi so of course he absorbs and processes a certain number of the abstract negative concepts almost automatically as well and though I can see some connections start to get made in his head in regards to the complication that can be life, mostly so far I think he hasn’t strayed too far into the blur and is happy to accept the basic explanations.
So, on our holiday this time, once he got ready every morning, Nadi would switch on Boomerang TV for a daily fix of cartoon time and it was at 10am on one June morning, that the world of slapstick hit and run and smack and whack humour suddenly unveiled itself to his 5 year old brain. Having always been avid supporters of the no-violence formula in life, we have always no-no-ed the idea of hitting and smacking and deemed people who do it “silly” or “childish”. Of course in light of this, the relationship between Tom and Jerry completely fascinated him. As I watched it with him, secretly a bit horrified at how much more, for lack of a better word, gleefully violent they seemed, I could actually see him trying to get his head around the fact that they seemed to be a team and yet the wham thud pow went on. Interesting thing is although we have watched several full length animated feature films together and the concept of bad is much talked about and handled but I could tell that he could tell that this was different. This wasn’t about good vs bad, this was about nature accepting both sides. Tom wasn’t only bad and Jerry wasn’t only good. A whole new grey has been born.
drawing by Nadi of course.