Are you wondering why this mischievous kid is toying with an elder’s spectacles? You will be surprised if you knew what I am wondering at.

I have been for long eyeing my grandpa’s glasses, for an opportunity to inspect them closely. Only today I got the chance. Just now grandpa switched off the TV and retired for his afternoon nap. I too closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. Very soon I heard grandpa snoring. Making sure grandma is busy at the backyard tending her vegetable nurselings, I sneaked upto the stool and took hold of my grandpa’s glasses.

As far as I could remember grandpa keeps on grumbling mournfully, ”the world has turned upside down”. My grandma who seldom sees eye to eye with grandpa invariably joins with him to chant this refrain.

The refrain is relentlessly chanted at the drop of a hat, almost after every daily activity – after mummy toasts bread and pours coffee out of the machine, after the news program in the TV, after a walk in the park, after folding up the magazine, after daddy gives me a bath or turns on the dishwasher.

Grandpa goes into a nasty mood on times like when daddy bought a new car or when he told about our European tour. Perhaps he preferred prior consultation to formal announcements after finalizing everything. Grandma shows disapproval when she sees my teenage sister walk in with her boy friend holding hands and laughing loudly. Her face turns stern when daddy pecks at mummy’s cheek in the middle of the hall.

Of late my grandparents slip into bouts of nostalgia more frequently. They get transported to the world of their younger years and dwell with pleasure on the discipline, good manners, respect for elders and a sense of values prevalent then and which they have concluded are extinct now.

As I said before, my grandparents who were generally at loggerheads most of the time were astonishingly united in their declaration about the world having turned upside down. So it made me very curious to view the world through grandpa’s glasses and see for myself if the world has really turned upside down. What a weird spectacle that must be!

I had a suspicion that the mystery of my grandpa seeing the world upside down lay in his glasses. Some error, perhaps. I wanted to get an insight into the matter. I bided my time waiting for a chance to check his glasses.

Now that I have laid my hands on them at last, I am quite baffled. Try hard as I can, holding the glasses straight, upside down, against my nose and all other possible ways, I can’t fathom the mystery. I see everything blurred, whatever way I try. May be the result will be the same if I ever get a chance to take grandma’s glasses. Why this fogged vision? Funny thing- these big spectacles!

The riddle remains unsolved. I have never heard my parents say the world has turned upside down. It is only my grandparents who are always grudging. Why such difference in vision? May be my parents too when they become old grandparents, wearing glasses, might see the world as turned upside down. May be this is what has been happening for many centuries, ever since mankind began to live in civilized, social groups. May be this is what will happen in future also.

Is this what you call generation gap? If you are bemused by what you hear I am amused with what I see!


More by :  Pavalamani Pragasam

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