Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ungrateful Children??????????

I was waiting outside the Principal's office to get my child's tranofer certificate signed by her . We were shifting to another city thanks to my husband's trasferable job. I happened to sit next to the door of the student counsellor's room. Some parent was having a session with the counsellar and I unintentionally overheard some comments which spilled out of the room carried away by emotions . Seemingly a mother was in utter frustration unable to understand her son's behaviour.I could piece up just one comment from her heartfelt outburst,''How can he be so uncaring and ungrateful after what we have done for him? I had planned this week off so much in advance so that I would be there with him for his exams but what the hell! He does'nt want me . He says he would prefer studying on his own.''
I could visualise the loving but helpless mother who was at a loss in understanding her child. My heart went out to her but I could do nothing . The peon called me ...handed me the signed certificate and I returned home . The helpless mother's words kept coming back to me again and again.I was thinking that she was feeling bad because she could not reach out to her son and so judged him, labelled him as uncaring and ungrateful . But what hit me was the last clause ..''..after what all we have done for him.''...I was puzzled ...did she do what all she had done to make the child feel grateful? I hear this comment very commonly used by parents...what I do not understand is how can they utter such a thing....why do they ever say this ? think this? may be out of fear of the child's future....expressing our fear for them ...but these words? what all we have done for them? ? I find it very very sad.
We parents bring our children on this earth by our pleasure but why do we bring them up with our fear? We do not understand them or reach out to them inspite of our love for them should we not ponder to see if we can find someother way to understand them. They are so precious to us ...they are our parts ...we need to understand them but what we keep trying is making them understand us. When we try doing so the children also replicate us by wanting us to understand them ..we stick to our guns they learn to stick to their's and one of the most beautiful and satisfying relationship takes on ugly shapes hurting all...both the parent as well as the child. If we try to explain things out to them gently ,patiently there is no reason for them not to understand ...but all of this requires endless unconditional patience and transparency of thoughts ...all of which probably not very easy for us adults...we choose the easy way out...start telling them rather showing them ...making their decisions for them rather than allowing them to experiment.....Parenting even falls prey to our double standards. we may have done anything in the past the children are supposed to be perfect because that gives us pleasure ...pride.. why would they do so? They would probably be honest when they see honesty in us ...not the honesty of convenience that most of us practise...They would learn when they see us learn from our experiences ...what happens is that we continue teaching with the plea that no changes can be incorporated in our own lives....they learn to do the same ...spend their lives trying to reach out to their children ,unsuccessfully.
When ever I come to Mumbai airport my eyes automatically goes up to the beautiful words written by Mahatma Gandhi painted in big letters;
Be The Change That You Want To See.........

Is It Really Just Destiny????

The train moved into Howrah could see people all around to where ever your eyes could take you. Looking out of the window Riti was filled with excitement. Kolkata had always had this effect on her. She just loved this place and she was coming here after a long span of ten years . Someone or the other in her family of four having problems in getting leave from work or school , someone coming over to spend vacations with them etc etc had made their regular annual visits to her maternal grandparents house had become infrequent . Now they all had managed to come to attend a marriage in this side of the family.How much she had to plead with her research guide to get this one week off and oh! how happy she was to be here.
She had been visiting her memory lane all through the journey.Who all would she get to meet much change would she come across everyone ...she too had changed so much ... a fifteen year old shy girl now was a confidant lady of 25 years of age...doing research on gene mutation..Her old dadu and dida who always doted on her ...She remembered all those times when she would nestle down with her dida listening to stories ranging from fairies to giants to gods to demons ,animals birds and what not. She was filled with the warmth that she always got from her grandparents. Among so many faces two of them stood out clearly . They were her cousins Roly and Polly.They were identical twins and Riti had not seen any one more beautiful than these sisters...Peach skin two pools for eyes lovely cascades of shining black hair which Ratna aunty would so lovingly oil .massage and tie into plaits ....Aunty always would say these are my princesses...I would marry them to the most handsome prince who would keep my daughters like queens. Roly and Polly never had to do any thing in the house ...they would just take care of themselves and they were so delicate that anyone shouting at each other would make them tremble. They were soft spoken and very very gentle. They could never think bad for anyone forget doing any harm.They would play with Riti and show her all their dolls...Riti had come to Kolkata last to attend their marriages. They were married to two seemingly very eligible boys who were distant cousins ...They got married the same day . What beautiful brides they made. Riti was very eager and looking forward to meeting her Rolidi and Pollydi,who she was told were also coming for this marriage.
Somu mama stood smiling at the station to welcome them . Everyone huddled into the Innova that mamu had brought and soon they were speeding on the magnificent Howrah bridge...a marvel of architecture built over the shimmering holy Ganga . Gaping at the changes over the last ten years they all reached home.The cries, the hugs ,the greetings ,,the tears ...looking into the sea of faces packing the house after all was it not a marriage house. Suddenly Riti was pulled into a tight embrace ...she looked up to see her beautiful Pollydi...oh !didnt she look even more beautiful than before? She introduced Riti to her two lovely daughters who were almost hiding in their mother's pallu.Where was Rolydi? She was to reach later in the evening...well Riti was soon sucked into the excitement all around her . She was sitting with her grandparents in their room when the door opened and some one came in and touched her grand parent's feet . Riti could not believe her eyes ..she was her Rolidi !but what had happened to her ? She looked years older than her age.The calm serene appearance had been taken over by a tired resigned and flustered look..She had two sons..cute little boys.They hugged each other and then she went to freshen up . Riti could not stop herself from turning to her dida with a stricken questioning look. What had happened to her Rolidi. Her dida gave out a sigh and looking up is all destiny..
On insistence Riti got to know that both the sisters got married into good respected families. Both the husbands were doing well in their jobs.Roly and Polly were pretty timid by nature and had been brought up very protectively.They went into their married lives with this mindframe. On finding that they were not very efficient at doing things ,not very mature to take up responsibilities ,could not even cook well both the families reacted....differently. Polly was now being treated like a girl who needs to learn things ...she was pampered to the extent that her husband would help her dress to his taste ...he would show her wives of his friends they managed their house and all the while he would help her do things that she was supposed to do . He and his family did this so gently , sensitively that with time, Polly got smarter quicker and managed to shed off her unwanted timidness and she has been so happy all the while leading a contented married life .
Poor Roly on the other hand met with a different fate. As her inefficiencies surfaced with time she was ridiculed,shouted at and humiliated so badly that the timid girl who could not stand shoutings had now had to live in a constant fear ...when would she be pulled for some wrong ...when would her parents be blamed for her was pathetic. She would feel invisible eyes scanning her every moment ....she was a timid girl but she took it up all alone . She would always try to cover all this up with forced smiles when ever she visited her parents ...but the parents got to know of things going wrong from the changed behavior of the son in law. At every possible opportunity he would blame Roly's parents for his misfortune and all this blaming game had led Roly to be what Riti saw for herself. Her husband is also full of frustrations unhappiness and that coninues...
The marriage got over . How these past five days flew away ...Riti sat near the window of the Punjab Mail ...her thoughts were running faster than the train...Faces of her Rolidi and Pollidi came flashing by ...twin sisters glowing with happiness and the other resigned to unhappiness.What was the cause of such different outcomes? Was it just Destiny as her dida had said or did it have something to do with love and sensibility shown by her Pollydi's husband and family which led to a happy family inspite of her failings and the insensitivity and arrogance shown by her Rolydi's family at her failings which led to so much unhappiness to the whole family????????

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Music...Language Of The Soul

A language is a mediam through which we express ourselves. The need to express oneself is so great that probably languages were created.It may not be the only way of expression but is definetely the most used and practised way.Language is made up of words ,sentences phrases to project the required feelings . We talk ..we write but there are times when expressions break the boundaries of language and go beyond...far beyond and that is as we name it -MUSIC. It has such nondefinable, noncomprehendable powers that can take one to the highest realms of one's being...can reach out and touch the soul. It has such unfathomable depth and such miraculous can take one through a journey of pure unadulterated passion. There are so many of the great masters who you just look at perform and you are struck by the intensity of feelings.Music transforms the lyrics. I remember so vividly that when we were school children we would have these TagoreJayantis, NewYear and other such occassions celebrated locally . There would be singers singing Tagore songs and we youngsters would be bored to deathand would never understand how could anyone like forget love such slow songs. Today I am absolutely wonderstruck by the genius named Rabindra Nath Tagore...I fail to understand how can any mortal being possess such depth of understanding of life, God ...our mere presense and express so so beautifully. I feel zapped listening to his songs ...the lyrics the music...unmatched genius he was undoubtedly. His songs always have the power to touch. Another master who is capable of giving goose pimples is A.R. Rahman. This guy exudes passion see him sing and you will understand.
I simply love music but have not been lucky enough to be gifted by a great voice ...I sing because I love to sing and I feel what power music has over me . It gives me a feeling of serenity ,happiness...rejuvination. I really wish I could sing like these great much power they have in their voice ..they bring in love ,humility grief all so purely ...just through music. No wonder I find music to be language of the soul.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Beautiful Garden

Yesterday I came upon a story I had read in my childhood.I read it again as it was one of the many stories that I love. It was a story of a giant who had a beautiful garden. The garden was full of the prettiest of flowers .It had a beautiful pond with shimmering blue water in it. The giant was very possesive about his garden . He was always worried if anything or anyone would make his garden dirty and so less beautiful. So he strictly put a ban on the entry to the garden..
The children of the neighbourhood would try to have a peep into the garden but were shooed away by the giant . They would want to come and play in the garden but the giant fiercely guarded it . Soon the garden lay deserted. The wind refused to blow through it...the bees and the birds refused to enter it...and even the spring decided against visiting it . The giant got worried for the flowers were dying and there werent any new flowers for there werent bees for pollination ...In no time the garden started to lose it's life....the trees were without flowers. The giant did not know what to do . He then went to the wise old man of the village and told him his problem. The old man listened patiently and then said,''God has made us. He has created this universe . you have been wrong in stopping anybody entering your garden. God is in the smallest of beings. Go and open your garden to everybody ,let them enjoy the beauty of your garden and you will see all your worries gone.'' ''But my garden will be ruined,''cried the giant.The wise old man smiled and said,''what is the point in having something that you value so much that you keep it away from anyone to see? Who is aware of the prettiest of the roses growing in some uninhabitated land? Share what you have and let it give happiness to others will see how all of that comes back to you.''
The giant went back to his garden and in the morning surprised children saw him standing at the gate calling out to everybody to come and play in his garden. Hesitantly the children came .They gave out screams of joy and wonder at the sight of such a beautiful garden. They ran here and there and everywhere admiring the flowers ...the pond ...the trees.The giant's heart filled with pride.From that day the chidren came, the birds came ...the bees came ...the spring came ...the wind blew softly and the garden was filled with joy and beauty.The giant realised that what a fool he had been...his conceitedness was the cause of worry and the unhappiness that he was spreading was only being reflected ....he only needed to spread happiness to get it back......

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Disposal Of Waste

People have started giving importance to waste disposal...the right way ,for the last few years. Before that and in smaller places even now,this matter was not given much thought . People would throw rubbish in the closest quarters . They would be strewn along the streets the corner of the lanes...the stray animals would be scrounging them and it would be a hub of various germs spreading diseases. Then people started getting aware of the problem and started disposing waste in a planned manner...disposal bins were put at places ...they would be kept covered and the urban class started following the practice in a conscious manner for they had understood the benefits of doing so . everyone started valueing hygiene in life much more than before. They do all this for a healthy body...
But what do we do for a healthy mind?Our mind is like a bin...our thoughts also need to be sorted before depositing into our bins ...The confusions ...the problems are thoughts that we generally throw deep inside our bins ...away from all eyes. What happens then? They keep depositing and with time begin to rot....Our lives slowly gets filled with its stench and leads to so much of unhappiness.. Then why cant we throw them out of our bins and fill the bins with beautiful fragrant flowers of our choice? our lives would be so much beautiful....thriving and growing in a beautiful garden of positivities?Every life has its own share of negatives and positives ....why is it that we end up misusing both? The negatives we store and guard so fiercly and the positives we flaunt unashamadely?
I was reading Amitabh Bacchan's blog and in one of his writings he has written that he very closely guards all his problems as much as he can for fear of ..''Jag hasai''...fear of being ridiculed at ...yes he is right if we throw our rubbish at the wrong places we will be ridiculed at ...but that does not mean that we should hoard them .. It could mean that we should learn to throw them at the right places....similarly it would be so much better if we start practising this ...of finding out the right people to throw out our negativity ...our confusions for hoarding them may not do us good in the long run...
Life is beautiful ...wonderful ...but we have to keep doing our share of waste disposal to keep it as beautiful for us ,as it really is...letting it convert to a barren untendedd field would be a sin...won't it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cussing ....Being Cool !!!!!!

''Maa Maa what does 'sexy' mean?''rushed in Rahul....Pooja's 8 year old.That was a real googly ...Pooja almost cut her finger with the knife that she was carefully cutting the ladyfingers. Where did Rahul come across THIS word? What company was he keeping?She looked up to the enquiring and expectant look into the eyes of her son. She kept the vegetable tray away and wiping her hands pulled Rahul to her and hugged him planting a kiss on to his red sweaty cheecks.''.Maa ,you havent answered me?'' '' Sexy? it means beautiful ...attractive...very good looking...''Rahul burst out laughing..'' really?then why did Nakul use it forKamala?she is no way beautiful?''Kamala was a middle aged tribal woman who worked in the neighbourhood. Pooja put the glass of milk in Rahul's hands and told him to narrate the whole thing ..exactly how it had happened.Rahul started off saying they were all playing cricket when Kamala passed by and Nakul 2 years older to him,started singing ''sexy sexy sexy tujhe log bole''...looking grinningly at the maid. Answering to Rahul's question about the meaning he seemingly said that he will know of it when he too is a big boy .Pooja then lovingly kissed Rahul and said,''I am so happy that you came to ask me. Nakul gave that answer probably because he too didnt know the meaning ..he would have overheard it from somewhere and was using it just to show off that he was a big boy...but actually he proves to be a foolish boy . You should always be sure of the meanings of the words that go out of your mouth. Find out the meanings from relevant sourcesand then use them. Mostly children do not do so ...they just copy their seniors who also would have done the same sometime and then you are caught in the habit of speaking without being sure of the meaning.and that never reflects well for the person.'' She looked into his eyes and said ,''come to me with any question and I promise to give you the right answer...may be I would not know some answers myself , so then we will look it up together ...right? That is how you will be assured of the correct information which you are entitled to...'' Rahul then asked,''why do all my friends not do the same? why do they not ask their parents ?'' ''Probably the parents forgot to tell them ...assure them can suggest this to your friends...'' Rahul was satisfied...kissed his mother and ran back to play ...with a renewed confidence...with the assured love glowing on his little red face....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sharing Is Caring......

Sharing is caring or sharing is a beautiful way of caring. It strengthens the bond between people and is one of the most effective ways to nurture relationships.I have somehow always valued this very highly and have practised all through my life ...ofcourse it takes two to share ...and also not everyone can share much as they would want to . There could be many reasons for that which we can talk about some other time ...let us now only talk of the fruits of sharing..

Actually sharing is speaking your thoughts aloud to someone who you love more importantly trust. Trust that the person will not judge you ...will not belittle you ...ridicule you and very importantly never hold it or use it against it's true sense sharing happens between people who also want to find solutions to their problems,confusions and what happens that by sharing even if they do not find all the solutions they restore their strength to find the same.How? Well when you talk you let your steam out ...that is the first advantage. Then you yourself hear your talks and that gives a lot of clarity to the situation. Thirdly you get another point of view in the matter which you may choose to agree or disagree. We all know but we forget that every single action will have different reactions from different we ask ourselves why? because our perceptions would be different...sharing helps in evaluating those perceptions...It teaches us very subtly that we too may think wrong so sharing gives us a probability to correct that wrong.

Surprising as it may sound so...sharing too needs to be taught...right from the very beginning of our lives ...gently and through practice. I remember that when I was in my teensI would have this strong urge to share my thoughts and generally that was not the done thing those many years back. Children were always supposed to replicate their elders in as many ways as they could and asking questions was a big dare .... I had vowed to myself that I would bring this wonderful word into my life with the people I could and on practising that for life my convictions have grown stronger..

I can so clearly visualise the days when our children were school going and I would wait for them to come back ...they would enter all dusty ,redfaced sweating with big school bags on their backs ....they could not wait to start off with so much to tell ...all that had happened during the whole day and some rare days if I was preoccupied pat would come the complain that I was not interested....even the sight brings back such warmth...we would talk..while they would change and that continued ...probably the generation gap as they say was not so pronounced in our case , a lot because of this wonderful word called sharing....

I taught them through practising it doing this you always have a channel open between the two and things and thoughts keep spares you a lot of undesirable stress and negativity in can think clearly , rationally if you have a sounding is too too precious to take the wrong chances least we should try consciously to better our life ...minimise problems it is like tending to a garden . If you want a wonderful garden besides so many things like the right seeds.. .the right manure ...the right amount of water etc. deweeding is also very important ...this deweeding of our minds can be done pretty effectively with the help of this tool called SHARING... ...Just go ahead ...try doing it with the people you love may not be easy to start with but it wouldnt be all that difficult too, provided the will to make your life more beautiful remains....

I am what I am and that's it....

only yesterday I got to know that two of my friends who were together for the last so many years had decided to part ways...the news came as a shock for I did know both of them pretty closely...They did care for each other a lot and were looking forward to becoming life partners and then suddenly this news..Ria , the girl said that Palash the guy was not expressive enough by her standards. She said that she knew that Palash loved her, as much as he could but that was apparrently not good enough for her . She has tried to express herself a lot , to Palash but it seems Palash does not understand her problem...he is like this as a person , to everyone but Ria wants a different Palash which he does'nt seem to give much importance to and so this sad decision.
I was just thinking about the two of them and wondered that how is it that both of them stuck together for so long? I think both of them thought that the other would change...that if there is love then the other person would change ....but that did not happen for that never happens ...people dont change for you change for them , by choice.Now changing does not really mean change in your basic self actually means trying to understand the other person . from his/her perspective. Ria is a very sweet girl...full of love. life and dreams nothing wrong in that . Palash too is a very sweet person with the same qualities but a little lack of expression . Now I see that men or boys are taught or expected to be less expressive in our Indian society ...they are supposed to be strong and the lighter feelings should not be very dominant in them. They are ,from the very childhood , taught to be a so many ways to grow up to be the provider and the protector of the family . The girls now in the present times with their new found confidence and independence have become more assertive as well as demanding
and rightfully so ...but the men suddenly cannot change . The girls do not understand this and they end up having heartbreaks...oh yes they are strong and can walk over it but is it really worth it? With so many positives in each other ,which really attracted them and blossomed into a relationship should this reason be big enough? Till some years back when the arranged marriage system was more rampant in the urban class girls made their lives with partners they did not even know forget love them....and it was not that they had complete loveless marriages....I have seen that every single relationship needs to be worked upon CONSTANTLY it between any two people. So if the basic things are fine then should come the total acceptance of the relationship for only then would there follow understanding. There is nothing called a perfect relationship made in Heaven or at least I have not come across one but I very strongly believe that after the first step of ACCEPTANCE of the relationship you can make it to a beautiful one ....for anything that belongs to you is the best for you isnt it? Then we automatically react much moderately to differences where as the similarities are enhanced...I wish Palash and Ria would think about it and would nurture the beautiful things that they found in each other underplaying the dissimilarities...otherwise who knows any other choice would be better than them...for each other?
I really do not like this phrase which I hear so often....I AM WHAT I AM AND THAT;S exudes only weakness and negativity...why should we stick to what we are? why should we not have the strength to change? for the better match the surroundings and to make life more beautiful .. Anyone can argue endlessly over this but I have one litmus test for myself ...anything that I do should really and honestly make me HAPPY without harming anyone...if my choices are making me unhappy I should always rethink about you agree??????????

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dignity Of Labour

I had been to a mall yesterday and was sitting at the food court . The table next to our's was occupied by two ladies with their children. As I sat there waiting for my friend who had gone to get us sandwitches,I overheard their conversation. They were discussing someone's marriage being fixed and among other details was the mention of the fact that the girl is lucky for the guy has a fleet of servants in the house and the girl would not need to do anything at all....I immediately remembered a writing of Vinoba Bhave where he has written that how mostly all of us look down upon LABOUR......we see the older they get older they get more and more inactive by choice and so many problems crop up...muscles become weak .Why is labour shunned like this? I dont know why should DOING be inferior to GETTING DONE?
I see it all around in every walk of life...people generally do not find physical labour acceptable....some one would say that doing mundane housework is boring or why spend your time on them when you can do something superior? I do not have a problem to that at all ..what I dont understand is why cant we be willing to do what ever comes our way ...why cant we think of being interested in household chores...tending to our children ourselves....basically we should have an attitude of a do-er all the job should be looked down upon . If we do so we pass it very easily to our children..otherwise it is so normal to hear children ordering around...they grow up believing that they are too great to do their own little jobs ...children going to school with maids carrying their bags is such a normal sight.Why do we do this ? Are we not telling these children that there are others who are supposed to do their jobs...we are looking down at work...I have personally seen that the attitude of being a do-er helps greatly in life. You are always ready to take up challenges are more confident of yourself and you really end up being a lot more productive in what ever you do in any sphere of life. I think we should understand the importance of labour ...physical labour exausts you mentally and physically eat well ...sleep well...your blood circulation is excellent which leads to a much healthier get that glow in your skin and as you end up doing a lot your satisfaction levels also increase....I am not against help at all ..please do not get me should be so that more job can be done not to make me inactive...look at the older they become active by choice and create problems for their ownselves...inactivity makes the muscles weaker by the day...but still I so often hear people waiting for the day when they would do just nothing ...I do not like this idea of doing nothing can dream of the time when he can do something of his choice-but nothing ...that does not sound right...well I very strongly would recommend people glorifying LABOUR for that definetely would lead to healthier lives...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Teacher Who Me??????????

well when ever this option for a career would crop up in the normal conversation amongst our group I would always be so sure that this would never be for me...may be brimming with energy and ready to take up the future like any youngster around me I would talk of being a doctor or join the Indian Foreign Service or sometimes letting go of myself I d wish to be a pilot....but never a teacher...I still do not have a clear reason for that ...we friends would talk of varied things...I guess the normal ones like every youngster does .. money ...marriage etc. thing I was very sure of at that point of time...I would not work full time after marriage...I have always been a great romantic by heart half measures would do for me....and at that tender age too I somehow believed that I would want to give all of me to my marriage sacrifices was my wish choice...I got married....started the new phase of my life with all covictions and faith in the institution ...I soon upgraded my status to a mother and would often find the days too children started going to school and I started off with odd jobs here and there...all during their school time....I would be waiting for them to come back...make different cuisines according to their choices...helped them with their school work and time just kept flying...most of my college friends were working full time and they never could comprehend that how could I be just a housewife......more ornamentally a homemaker in the present times...I would be advised to consider teaching as an option that would match more to my housewife role...but the idea never appealed ...I never could see myself as a teacher....
One evening a friend of mine came over and demande d a favour ...she was a school teacher and she wanted to help two of her students ...teachers werent allowed to take tutions and she said that she had seen the rapport that I shared with our children ...with their friends and she believed that I had to help her out as I could. After much discussions ,many arguments finally I agreed. The mother of the children was to come to meet me the following day ....well came the evening and the mother came ....along with her two children was in the third std. and the older in the fourth.......that was the beginning and now it is almost eight years as a teacher....and how much have I is amazing..I got into a career so very very important and meaningful...I was literally shaping lives...I went into it with all my passion. I learnt I had to be student all the time I was being a teacher ...I neede to learn how to teach the child for every child has different needs and hence the receptive levels are so dirrent ....I learnt that for a good crop the farmer needs to till the soil ...put manure and prepare it for the sowing of seeds ...we talk of subject teaching but I found that people -the parents...the teachers do not realise the importance of working on the mind of the child ...knowing the mind of the child ..they just want to load them with the things that are written in the books-without preparing their minds to recieve is so sad and so shocking that the educated parents also do not understand this they have not learnt the basic skills of life ...they have not learnt the basic teachings of life and so they do not know how to develop that wonderful word called THINKING in their child's mind and so the neverending strugglebetween the parent and child...I set out to work on just that and it worked wonders ...
This journey has been so enlightening ...inspite of the ups and downs that I wanted to write about my learnings ...
This is the reaso why I am here today share the learnings that I got from life...
will come back soon...bye