Soon, earplugs attached to a pregnant womans belly will bombard information into her womb which the baby will gather &store in its memory

AS SOON as a baby is born it knows how to connect with its mother and suck milk. But if t

he baby hasnalt39t spent nine months in the womb and emerges early, it has problems. It doesnalt39t know how to suck and feed. It has other ailments as well.

Now musical therapy has been developed to help premature babies overcome their challenges.

Not a bad medical idea. But it is very delayed care.

Music therapy should begin soon after the baby is conceived. It should be given daily doses of classical music. It would speed up the learning process.

The babys learning begins soon after it is conceived.

The womb is its first school.

By the time it gets a birth certificate it has picked up basics of arithmetic, biology, psychology, time, sound effects, intuition, action and resting periods, and more. It knows how to attract mothers attention, how to please her with facial and body movements, when and how to demand food, how to release waste, when to lie quietly in bed and when to demand to be picked up and hugged, how to react to music.

Studying the foetus and the baby is great fun. Studying their brain is even more fun because it is a hugely complex task. A brain has 100 billion neurons which are joined together by a quadrillion ( 1 followed by 15 zeros) connections. It is through these links that the brain does the work of learning and storing memory.

Scientists have not yet been able to map this neural network.

Imagine the strain of a baby trying to cope with a quadrillion connections in its brain. No wonder babies cry so much. They donalt39t know how to deal with the information overload: which experience to send to which memory file, and which experience to delete.

They certainly need soothing music, and there is nothing more soothing than ragas and symphonies.

About 35 years ago I tried music therapy on a foetus. I told a pregnant woman to sit by a music system for an hour every day. The foetus was entertained and soothed with Bhimsen Joshi, Allah Rakha, Begum Akhtar, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and many more.

When the baby was born, the music therapy was discontinued. Some years later I learnt that the boy listened to Western classical music, while his schoolmates were into modern music. Imagine a ten- year- old enjoying only classical music! Some 15 years ago I tried this music therapy on two stray dog puppies and then on cows and calves. As they listened to the music, their restlessness ceased; they became still and slowly dozed off into deep sleep.

They surely had as much fun listening to classical music as I had in analysing their responses to music.

Theres nothing new in music therapy, of course. It is ancient. Primitive man invented Gods and devotional music and dance, and a separate kind of music and dance for entertainment. The music therapy process has technologically evolved over millennia. Brain studies in recent decades have enabled religion, politics, and advertising to use music to manipulate brains. Mind- control is a fast- developing business.

So what about the future? Consider education. Once upon a time formal schooling began with Std I at age six. Until then the child learned at home and in playgrounds. Then came KG for a lower age. Then came nurseries for still younger kids. Now there are nurseries for babies. The next stage – foetal training – has already begun and will soon go global.

Earplugs attached to a pregnant womans belly will bombard information into her womb which the baby will gather and store in its memory files.

What about a more distant future? Pregnancy may become obsolete. Men and women will donate sperm and ova to laboratories along with the parentsalt39 aspirational specifications.

The labs will manipulate the DNA to produce tall, fair, handsome/ beautiful, intelligent babies. By then bio- robotics would have pr

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