The other day during my evening walk I noticed a group of children playing. They were full of sweat and grime and very, very happy shouting and singing in glee. It was a wonderful sight to watch them enjoy the best years of their lives. I continued with my walk, and felt good at this positive change. Not very long ago, I remember, it was a cause of concern that children were being subjected to extreme academic and parental pressure to perform and that they had almost ‘forgotten’ to enjoy the most crucial phase of their lives – childhood. It felt great to find their childhood back.I think that the credit of this change goes both to the parents and schools who have realized the importance of stress free formative years. It does not mean that all is fine and rosy – it does not and will not happen overnight. There still is stress and pressure but attempts at taking the first step in the right direction have begun and are noticeable. Change happens at its own speed and time…..but one can definitely see it happening and it is a tremendously encouraging trend. Children have once again started spending their evenings outside their homes (away from their solitary world of computers and television sets) socializing with their peers, dirtying themselves and constructively spending their energy. Once again, I see them playing age old popular games like hop scotch, seven tiles, kite flying, kho-kho, marbles, hide and seek, cricket, football, hockey and many more…. It is a healthy and happy trend and I hope and pray that it continues, and the carefree childhood is not lost in playing virtual versions of games within the confines of their air conditioned rooms.