5 Values

Values that I would like to give my child

I actively refrain from writing on parenting as it makes me feel typical. I am a mother of two and they are all that I have in this world. I confess that I am a strict mother; I put in a lot of hard work to make them self- disciplined. My dream is to see them grow into self -dependent individuals with an aura that is distinctly theirs. Away from the regular chores pertaining to academics and health I wish to imbibe the following values in them:

Learn to say an unexplained ‘No’

In India, ‘No’ is considered as a bad word. Kids or adults who refuse to gel in an ancestral or societal set up are looked down upon. Majority of those who muster the courage to defy, usually do so with explanations because here unnecessary weightage is assigned to what others think. I want to teach them to have faith in their ideas and how to politely say a ‘No’. Initially people find it offending but gradually, they accept it as your nature. This in no way means that they will grow up to becomes less sensitive; rather they will understand that “I need not fight every time, not every battle is mine.”

Cleanliness and organization

Which mom in the world would not want it? Often in our quest to facilitate the children we end up carrying their bags till the stop, removing their tiffin’s once they are back, putting their folders in place…the list goes on. I don’t seem to relate to these acts of sympathy. I want them to live through the fatigue and still shine. Cleanliness and organization go a long way in living a quality life.

Multitask

Today kids live in a world of amenities and distractions. I make sure that my kids get a flavor of everything be it studies, sports, drawing, entertainment, friends time, stories and surprisingly so much fits in a single day. My daughter is 8 years and she has started understanding that if she is reading a book it is as refreshing as any other way to pass time. The moment they were exposed to the world of online shows and series, I imbibed in them the habit to watch with a pause. This allows screen time to be one of the many ways to take a break.

Speak the truth

Why does one lie? There is just one reason according to me – to protect one’s projected image in front of family, teachers, friends.. And these days’ kids are anxious about their social media standing which is actually even hollower. ‘What shows and what is’ are totally different, totally disconnected. I teach them that whether they get scolded or appreciated, truthfulness is one of the strongest of the virtues. It lets the child be free and in complete acceptance of self.

Celebrate routine

How many times can we plan a surprise or take a vacation? More than money, time constraints come in way. An ideal way of living would be where they celebrate the 24 hours that they get each day. How can one do it in the same space and schedule? One can, by changing the mix of activities while a few activities stay constant like studies. For example one day the child is painting, the other day he is cycling while on some other day she is just sleeping a little extra. This keeps their energy levels high as each day they look forward for some new thing to do. This fills the vacuum created by a monotonous pattern of living. They are happy in their so called routine which allows them to do it all.

So studies being at the center the extras can revolve around. It also increases their efficiency in academics. Doing everything every day is not possible and leaving everything is simply not worth!!!

I do not intend to give tips to any parent because I believe every parent-child relation is unique. But if my blog empowers a reader to adopt an alternate approach, I would be more than happy.

Mumbai teaches patience…

The city of dreams… the city of lights….. The commercial capital of India… so many titles have been accorded to our dear Mumbai. Today while I was waiting for an auto rickshaw, it dawned upon me that Mumbai is also our teacher in patience. Wondering why I am relating such a noble golden virtue to the super stimulated metropolitan – where your status is decided by your unavailability… all in the city are busy and like to be that way. Still amidst all the chaos, I caught a glimpse of patience…

When I saw a headphone clad teenager who was sweating due to the heat and heavy traffic. Suddenly he shakes his head and takes a spring, because his favorite track played.

I saw a middle aged woman, rushing to catch her office bus. There comes a temple on the way, she gestures her colleague to hold the bus while she takes a statue pause to pray for not more than 10 seconds.

The school van arrives and one of the kids has not reached. The driver is continuously looking in the direction from which the child comes, the moment he spots just a corner of his uniform, he shouts, “Come fast!!!”

My husband travels for 2 hours every day (one side) for work but comes home beaming. Occasionally gets goodies too. What does he do en-route, listens to music, pj’s on radio and yes does all his surfing work…

A teenage girl stepped out, wearing a red gown with dazzles in her ears. She is waiting for her cab to come and in the meantime it rains, she runs towards the shade below the tree, calls the driver again. People around are noticing her as she is all decked up, and all she does is gives a faint smile.

At the mart, the billing queue is long. I saw a man with 5 items in his cart, standing behind another who had 2 full carts to be billed. He thinks and requests the man ahead to let him bill first as he will take very little time, the other one willingly obliges.

I was down to fetch my son. An old man and a boy both were waiting for an auto. The boy, dressed in formals, looked hassled as if he had to be somewhere and was running out of time as he checked the time thrice in a span of 10 minutes. After a long wait, one auto arrived, the boy immediately reached for it, but wait a minute, what did he do next? He stepped back and asked the old man to board the auto.

The fruit vendor while pushing his laden cart toppled over a stone on the road. His pile of fruits spilled all around. A car coming in his direction abruptly stopped and all the nearby people and vendors helped him by picking the fruits that had fallen near them.

I had a doctor’s appointment and I reached 50minutes late due to an accident that had occurred on the highway. I was feeling pathetic and that’s when the doctor said, “It’s not you alone, many of my patients are late. Please its ok!”

We visited a popular restaurant in Parel. We were waiting for a table to get vacant. A family had finished their dinner and was casually relishing their dessert. The woman noticed that we were waiting since long and she seemed to insist to her family to vacate as they were done with their meal.

I am sure even you must have come across a few such incidents while you wait for your turn practically everywhere be it roads, malls, theatres, play areas, ferry rides, restaurants, stations, airport, hospital – our city leaves us with no option but to remain patient and poised.

Visarjan

The aura of Visarjan

I am born and bought up in Mumbai. At the age of 34, for the first time I visited Girgaum Chowpatty on the eve of Anant Chaturdashi, and I discovered a new meaning in the process of Visarjan. To the world the relevance is that Visarjan is when Lord Ganesha leaves for Kailasha and takes the misfortunes of his devotees along with him. To me, it appeared as something bigger, something more magnificent.

I and my family chose to park our car at a distance and walk the streets to witness Visarjan. I was a part of a stream of people, belonging to different castes, each with unique physical attributes and of course from different financial statuses. But, there at that point all were together, in one flow. Visarjan unites….

We enjoyed the simplest of foods like berries, star fruit, corn, tamarind and Mumbai’s very own Vada Pav. Through our casual stroll, we relished these and so did my children. Visarjan helps enjoy small and simple……

I saw two kids, of a local labor family, poor but dressed to their best. As the music started rolling, they danced without any fear or intimidation, while their parents clapped and encouraged. Visarjan let them open up and seize the moment……

All were walking, all pedestrians – no two wheeler, no cars, no rickshaws, only feet to feet. No inhibitions about heat, distance and fatigue. Visarjan made us ecofriendly at least temporarily…..

An ordinary annual fest, appeared like, the world is celebrating. From where I could see, I saw only colors and a diverse crowd. From what I experienced I felt a gush of energy and inclusivity. It was as if I understood an unsaid message from God himself that humility is the only religion and camaraderie the only celebration…

P V Sindhu’s Conquest

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, has become a household name after she won the gold at the 2019 World Badminton Championship. At the age of 24, she has made the nation proud. Currently ranked world No.5, she has been a top 10 player for the last three years and has lost a few finals by feather-thin margins.

She hails from a family of athletes as both her parents were national level volley ball players. I always believed that fitness as a way of life transcends from one generation to next, and PV Sindhu’s success story reiterates the same.

There are many articles all over digital and print media that are trying to capture the essence of her achievement. I have identified 3 reasons why she could accomplish her long set target.

Consistency

It has been 11 years since she turned professional, seven years since her international debut. Handling both triumph and defeat objectively is the key to any sportsperson’s victory. Sindhu epitomized that victory is not necessarily defined by wins alone but by consistent form and temperament.

To me it feels, she never let the fear of losing overpower her. She altered her approach and played smart. “If you are consistently in that space and knocking that door, it will break eventually,” coach Pullela Gopi Chand said in a December 2017 interview to Mint.

Digital detox

Today we are living in a world dominated by social media and the worst fear is losing out on updates; with an impending need to ‘Stay live’ even if it partially costs us the moment itself. Sindhu fought the fever just like she hits the shuttle. I was swooped after I read that she did not use her mobile phone for about 80 days before the Championship and also changed her contact number. What did she lose? Nothing but what she gained? More time to build her internal stamina.

Inside out

After her win at the World Championship, her lifestyle and physical routine came to limelight. All were amazed when she achieved this remarkable feat, which drove journalists to cover her training schedule in detail. She owes her win to a strict diet and a rigorous practice regime.

“She has clearly done a lot of core work,” analysed 2008 Olympian Anup Sridhar in The Indian Express. “That power is definitely core and her legs, arms and back are all a lot stronger, that’s where all the power is coming from.”

She travelled 60 kms (to and fro) for specific strength training through the heavy Hyderabad traffic every day for about 45 days before her Championship.  Parupalli Kashyap, a former top 10 player and fellow trainee at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. “You need to peak at the right time. She has been able to keep her mind and body in a state where she has figured how to do that and get over fatigue at the right time.”

No tactics or strategies can substitute a toned body and a state of mental well- being – a thorough inside out approach.

Kudos to PV Sindhu and heartfelt gratitude for putting India first on the World Badminton Arena!!!