Nowadays it seems like social media is under constant fire for some reason or the other. Sometimes it’s an inappropriate tweet while at others someone’s status on Facebook is too controversial and then there have been incidents where Instagram posts which SHOULD have been just for families, went viral and created an uproar!
But amidst all this drama, there are days when we find that social media can do wonders as well!
I hope that the latter applies to Arshman Naeem’s newfound social media popularity, a 12-year-old boy from a small city of Okara, Punjab, who has become an overnight singing sensation. His video with the rendition of Atif Aslam’s song Dil Diyan Gallan has quite literally, taken social media by storm. In a span of days, he has been on morning shows of local channels, local and international music directors have appreciated his raw talent and I’m sure there’s much more in store for this little music magician.
But with all this fanfare, a question keeps nagging me which I would certainly have to consider if my child had any amazing talent at such a young age. Of course, I would be on cloud nine for being blessed with such a talented child (don’t get me wrong…I’m still very proud of my boys who are super talented in annoying their mom! )
But on a serious note, in a situation like this, I think my first thought would be how such instant fame would affect my child psychologically. And like any parent, I would also think how it would affect his educational pursuits, which we are ALWAYS told are the backbone of any successful individual.
But as I thought more and more about it, and saw more and more of Arshman’s videos and interviews on social media, I realized that perhaps in cases of such rare talent, it would be better to let the child pursue his innate talent.
Looked at from the child’s point of view, if blessed with such a burning talent, it might be downright impossible for a child to pursue traditional education and academics. I mean when your heart and mind are elsewhere, it is hard to concentrate on seemingly mundane things, let alone do well in them, right? And in many cases, people who have been allowed to pursue their inborn talent, have been more successful than they might have been if forced into a traditional nine-to-five mindset.
Then, of course, like in Arshman’s case, once the child’s talent has been recognised and he has tasted fame, it can be very difficult to hold him back. Arshman is now known and appreciated by all and sundry and if this is suddenly taken away from him, it may affect him negatively at this tender age.
If I were in his parent’s shoes, I suppose the best way to handle this situation for me would be to try and strike a balance between the two. I would try not to ignore his passion and talent and give as many choices to avoid any conflict. I would have him devote time to such activities on the weekends. I would emphasize the importance of academics and would encourage him to take tests and exams seriously, but would try and give some allowance for his natural tilt toward music. In any case, I believe that effort should be appreciated as much as result (if not more) and especially, in children with known and recognized passions.
At the same time, I feel that it is important to keep the lines of communication open with your children. Explain to them the dangers of allowing fame to get to their head and ask their peers and teachers to treat them like any other child. Maintaining humility is essential in my book, talented or not; famous or not.
As far as Arshman is concerned, it seems like he has supportive parents who despite being from a family of naatkhwans (people who recite verses to praise Hazrat Mohammad PBUH), have allowed him not only to take to social media with his singing videos but also seem to have his back as he goes from one interview to the next! But only time will tell if someone will truly recognise his talent and take it forward or whether the flame of this newfound popularity will slowly die away.
Till then, happy singing Arshman! If nothing, you have shown to the world what raw talent and the power of social media can do. We wish someone will truly recognise your innate talent and you will soon be singing your own songs and making your nation proud!
Until then, immerse yourself into your talent and enjoy life kiddo!