Bridging the gap

“When we were of your age we did not have things our way. We strived for it, sacrificed so that we could be in this place.” Sounds familiar? Every youth must have heard these lines from parents or grandparents or uncles or aunts and even elderly people living in the neighborhood. The two strongest emotions that arise whenever these lines are uttered are that of humor or anger. Can we keep both aside and think from a third perspective of understanding. That is one way of bridging the gap.

Let me correct at the onset itself understanding does not equal to surrendering. That’s a very limited way of looking at it. It’s as weird as if I step into the sea, the waters will take me in. There are many other possibilities you can feel the water and step back, you can swim or you can even sail through. Let us look at how we can make the last option possible – ‘Sailing through’…

Take it light

Keep conversations light. Elders have their way of putting things across but you need not take it heavily. Because that’s when the words become bitter, expressions become stronger and you lose both the possibilities of understanding or making them understand. Being elder to us they have that natural urge to control and guide so their tone becomes imperative. On days like these it is better to step back. Create a space where matters can be kept on hold be it education, job or relationships.

Gauge what matters and how much

While you have created a space – decide on what you really want. If the point of conflict is about something that you are really passionate about, muster the courage and put forth your plan. Be soft-spoken and thorough as ambiguity about your idea makes most of the parents anxious. Convince them to give you a chance and hear what they have to say. Assure them that their insecurities will be taken care off (and you better mean it) because you never know if there is a hole in your boat.

But contrary to that if you yourself are in self- doubts consider listening to them. The latter is beneficial when you are unknowingly falling prey to herd mentality and fads that in no way connect to your personality. What is strange is that deep down inside you know it but for social validation you choose the veil. In such cases which are very prominent even amongst grown- ups parental reservations actually help one find the real meaning to life.

After all they are people who have contributed to your growth, trifling your relationships with them over pesky matters is not worth. Even they put in a lot of efforts to create a rapport with your new persona (that changes with puberty, college, higher studies, first love, poor results or excellent scores and the list goes on). For parents they grow with their child.

Never underestimate them

We often read stories of toppers coming from humble backgrounds. Yes every child is blessed and they must have worked hard but even their parents must have burnt the midnight oil to make them into the person that they are. However less is the exposure of a parent given their life span they would always have some valuable inputs to give if given a chance. So hear them out non- judgmentally breaking your own molds, inside which you have buried their experiential wisdom.

Find a mid- way out

It need not be their way or your way. In most of the cases one can find a mid-way – try reaching there the fastest. If you think your parents will not budge and you don’t wish to give in either, proceed your way with conviction. Worst case scenario is if its they who turn out to be correct, admit that you were wrong and best case scenario is that you succeed even then be humble and pay them your respects.

Fight with compassion

When as a child we make mistakes our parents scold us, reprimand but at the days end they always make it up. Till the time things are sour, a part of them is with the child and it is only for the betterment that they maintain a curt distance. Can we please treat them the same, it’s okay to have disagreements but as you fight for your dream, your passion, and your love can the fight be compassionate? Can the words and actions be chosen with due consideration to what they have given us over a life time? And trust me it is not as difficult. Yes, they put up a strong face but inside they already know they have lost to your decision, help them transcend.

You may think that my article is dwindling towards the side of the parents but somehow the aggression is uncalled for even in the most extreme situations. They have been patient with us when we messed up out of innocence and they deserve to get the same back. The rules of Karma never change.

Bhaidooj – Time for sibling love

Bhaidooj is made up of two words namely- “Bhai” meaning brother and “Dooj” meaning the second day after the new moon which is a day of its celebration.

Bhaidooj is an auspicious occasion for the Hindus where brothers pay visit to their sisters and sisters in turn make special arrangements – treating them with delicious food and gifts too. An important part of the ritual is the tilak which the sister puts on the brother’s forehead wishing him prosperity in life.

There are few Hindu mythological based stories related to the origin of this auspicious day. According to one legend, Lord Krishna visited his sister, Subhadra after killing demon Narkasur. Her sister gave a warm welcome to him and made the occasion really special through flowers and sweets. Subhadra also applied the ceremonial “tilak” on the forehead of her brother, Krishna and hence the festival of “Bhai Dooj” was born from there. Another legend revolves around the story of Yama, the God of Death and his sister Yamuna. It is believed that he met his beloved sister on Dwitheya, the second day after the new moon.

I am blessed with two beautiful children, a girl and a boy. They are young and tender minded, sharing a special bond with each other. Once I was upset over my son for misbehaving and playing mischief all day. I and my husband reprimanded him, by not speaking to him for a while. I encouraged my daughter too to not converse. Her reply was, “No, I will not stop talking to him, we have explained him and he will not repeat.” Though she was not on our side, inside my heart I felt very peaceful that she did not give up on her brother. That is all that mattered…

Another incident was when we were at Jaisalmer at a desert camp. My daughter suddenly went out of sight. It was a spread out property and she wandered away. I and my husband were both worried and angry. The moment we found her I just bashed her for how she just slipped away on her own. Even my husband carried a firm face and intoned, that she should have been responsible. But my little son, simply said, “We were searching for you. I was sure though that you will not have any fun without me and you will soon be back. Now you stay together…” and just held her hand. My heart melted because he did not give up on her…

Siblings are special and worthy of the connect, so do revisit your innocent childhood memories and choose to bond better this Bhaidooj…

My child is average

My child is no genius, he is simply average

Are marks and degrees the only means to gauge?

He draws so well, he can paint his mind

He is virtuous, noble and very kind

He is updated about the current affairs

Through his telescope at the stars he stares

He is a great chef, he makes lovely tea

He teaches orphans after office, for free

He follows football, and is a basketball player

He just made a sketch of the city mayor

He wants to learn dance, yet to decide which form

He is learning languages, you know ‘Madre’ means mom

When he acts on the stage, you can’t help but applause

He pens articles, poems, seldom with flaws

On weekends he participates in social initiatives

The list goes on, he is energetically creative

Your doubt is right, how can my son be so talented?

But these are the voices of all the moms who relented

All the moms who accept, “Yes my child is average.”

Coz marks and degrees are no means to gauge

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.

Motherhood

Motherhood 

My toddler was excited for his annual day

I dropped him backstage, he wanted me to stay

The stage was all set, with effects and light

The sound was energetic, the LED was bright

His class entered and they all looked alike

I was at a distance, trying to take a strike

Tiny little bundles of joy wanting to do their best

Spotting the child on stage was a tough test

Then I saw a boy, turning the way he turns

He shouted Mumma, he took a quick spurn

I immediately recognized the apple of my eye

He rehearsed naughtily and was feeling shy

In such big an auditorium seated in the balcony

I had no confusion, about where was my honey bunny

That’s when I wondered how I took such less time

After all it is motherhood warm and sublime….

Yuvi and Mumma