The unrealistic expectations that we have from our kids

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Agreed that being a parent is not an easy job, but why do we always have to make a big deal of it. We fuss so much over our kids and create a whole drama of being a well-wisher of the child so that he becomes extraordinarily fantastic. We want our child to be good at everything – academics, sports, dance, music, art, and whatever that we can think of.

We keep telling our kids that we are shouting at them because we don’t want others to point fingers at them. 🙂 We keep giving lectures to them because we want them to become good human beings. Just because we are parents and the little beings have come into our lives, does it give us the authority to become Hitlers? Well, don’t think that I am standing on some high elevation and writing this blog. I am also a typical parent, whose day starts and ends with being a correctional warden, a monstrous task-master, and sometimes a loving mother. 🙂

As a mother, I have so many expectations from my child. While some of them are realistic, some are really not practical and are completely unreasonable.

  1. I want my kids to speak the truth and nothing but the truth: Well, if you give them cold stares when they don’t finish their lunches and give them a lecture on how expensive the vegetables are, they will surely want to lie to you, by either throwing the food in the dustbin or feeding it to some dog.. 😀
  2. The kid should not be rebellious: I really get irked up when my daughter rebels and argues with me. I also keep telling her that I was never like her when I was a child. But, come to think of it, we don’t want our kids to grow up and become subservient, do we? There are times when the kids really need to stand up against injustices. If parents had their way, kids would only be glued to their books and score high marks, as if nothing else was more important in life. 🙂
  3. We want our child to always be cheerful and happy: Why does my child keep sulking and why can’t she have a pleasant smile on her face? Hey, our kids are not mannequins to always have a plastic smile on their faces. They have to undergo a lot of stress and can have bad days too. The least that we can do is to try and cheer them up or lend them our shoulders to cry on.
  4. Why doesn’t our child win any prizes? We attend the annual day functions and wonder when our child would be on the receiving end of the coveted prizes. :-D. Am not sure how many of my readers have brainy children, but am sure most of them, including me, wish our kids too could win some prize one day and make us proud. Well, this is for all those parents and for me too. Our kids are really good as they are. They need not win prizes to become successful in life. I was a school topper but look at what I am doing, writing blogs, hoping that someone would read them… 😉
  5. Get good reviews at PTM: We really wish that the teachers only gave good reviews in the parent teacher meeting. And, if we hear even one complaint, we really want to give a tongue-lashing to the child. Hey, looks like we are suffering from Dementia. Do you think we were a totally obedient, studious and a polite lot in our school days? Come on, it is the teachers who need to change their mind-set. As long as our children are not causing any harm to the other kids and are only behaving as kids, it is no big deal.. :-D. If my daughter’s teacher does not have anything else to complain about, she cribs about my daughter having too many friends. Never thought that being friendly was a sin too.. :-). So, just chill.

Don’t suffer from memory lapses. Don’t forget that you were once a child too and would have done something similar in your childhood. You cannot expect your child to be perfect in everything. Let him be a child and let him learn from his mistakes. You can only help in grooming him but you would be doing a great deal of service by letting him be him, without putting too much pressure on him. Support your child, motivate your child and show that you are there for him, when he requires you. 🙂

'...And this is our spare son in case the first one doesn't live up to expectations'

Let the child remain a child…

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5 years back, when my 8-year old daughter came and told me that she knew all about menstrual cycles, I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to react, especially because my mother had never discussed all these things with me till I was actually on the verge of it. But, after the initial shock, I was happy that I did not have to initiate this discussion with her and could freely have a talk with her on this subject, now that she already knew about it. Though I gave her a small introduction to it, I also told her that she need not worry about all that till sometime later.

You might be wondering why I started this blog on such a serious note. It is because this is what I want to discuss in this blog. Don’t you feel that the children of this generation are maturing too fast? Why is the innocence and childhood disappearing so quickly? In fact, the children of this age know a lot of things and are smarter than our generation. If I look back at my childhood, I was blissfully unaware of so many things happening around the world. Either I was innocent or I was totally stupid. :-). As per most of my friends, I fall in the latter category. 🙂

Well, I don’t want to deviate from the main topic….

On my son’s 8th birthday this year, we had invited a few of his friends, and were totally surprised by the use of their language and their topics of discussion. My son told me later that some of his friends used the ‘F’ word quite frequently and casually. What shocked me was the indifference of the parents who don’t stop their child from using such words. The child is probably growing up in a surrounding where such a language is being used and the child picks it up from them and uses them liberally, thinking it to be very cool. Or, it is their friends who teach them. Either way, the child needs to be told. We cannot control the child’s exposure, thanks to television and other social media, but we can definitely supervise and monitor what the child is learning and doing, and how he is talking and behaving, right?

One of my friends was telling me the other day that her young son’s older friends forcefully closed the door in their room in the house and showed him some dirty videos. The child felt so uncomfortable with all that and came back and told his mother all about it. I really appreciate the child for opening up to his mother, instead of brooding about it. In fact, such incidents can cause mental trauma to the kids unless they discuss it openly with their parents. As for his older friends, I am surprised that their parents allow them to access internet without any restrictions and supervision.

There are so many parents in our generation, who are handing over the phone to their child, to engage them so that they don’t bug them for their time. Or, it could be because the parents are bowing down under peer pressure and want to look liberal and cool. Agreed that we need to make our kids tech-savvy but it doesn’t mean that the child has to be given a smart phone at such a tender age. Whatever it is, the parents need to understand that the child is too young to understand the difference between good and bad. A couple of days back, my husband’s cousins had come to visit us and we were having a discussion on parenting. They told me that one of their cousin’s child, aged only 7, had a smartphone of his own. Also, he was actively on a Whatsapp group, which had people from the older generations. And, looks like everyone in the group cheered the child for being the youngest in the group. Imagine the kind of forwarded jokes that float around in the family and friend circles. Is it necessary for the child to be a part of all that adult discussion?

Well, I could just go on and on ranting about it but I would like to stop my rants and make a request to all the parents in my group:

  1. Please do take out time from your busy schedules and spend it with your child in a qualitative manner. Talk to them about what’s happening in their life. Even if their stories sound boring and unending, it is a major thing in their life. After all, we have also grown up doing exactly that. 🙂 Talking to them will make you understand what’s going on with them. Also, we need to put ourselves in their shoes while listening to them. Forget for the time being that you are the parent. Act like a friend. It helps. 🙂
  2. Please stop the child when he uses abusive language. Also, explain to him why his choice of words are not acceptable.
  3. Stop comparing, if possible. The other child in the class might score better than your child but we cannot expect every child to be a topper, right? Each child is special and needs time and space to grow. Don’t suffocate him.
  4. Agreed that we are living in a competitive world and our child needs to compete really well in order to beat all the competition. But, please don’t force your aspirations on the child. Give him some space and let him find out what he likes the best. There are many schools here which start preparing the child to become Engineers and Doctors at the tender age of 5 itself. Why are we forcing our children into this mad rat race?
  5. Have healthy discussions with them on all topics. In fact, teenage is the time when the kids get attracted to the opposite sex. This is completely normal and we have also gone through it in our growing-up years. My daughter is quite open with me and tells me about all her friends, including the boys. I listen to her and laugh with her and tell her stories of my own from my childhood.
  6. Lastly, please do not buy smartphones for your children till they are at least old enough to understand the rights and wrongs.

Let the child remain a child till we can help it. Let them grow in their own sweet time. What is the hurry of making them into an adult? Let’s preserve their innocence…

This song from Taare Zameen Par is so apt for it…

Dekho Inhen Yeh hain Os kee boondhen;

Patthon kee Godh mein aasmaan se khoode,

Naazuk se moti hans de phisal kar

Kho naa jaaye yeh taare zameen par…

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How much is too much?

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We live in this digital age where we have gadgets for doing almost everything. But, while the world is becoming smarter with smartphones, we are actually turning dumber, don’t you agree. We rely on the phone and technology for everything, instead of applying our brains or our limbs. Well, to the point the smartphone helps us in staying connected and getting our things done, it is definitely a boon. But, the same thing turns into a bane when it just becomes a permanent fixture in our hands and we refuse to log out of Facebook or Whatsapp.

Well, my blog is not about our addiction to the phone, but the growing addiction of children towards this gadget. As I move around my apartment complex, I see a lot of young children glued to their own handsets. Instead of playing some outdoor games, they enjoy watching videos, accessing Facebook and playing games on the phone.

The other day, I got a ping on my whatsapp and found out that I was added to a group called “Deadpool team”. I started to wonder whether somebody had added me by mistake. But, then, I realized that the group was created by my son’s classmate who is only 7 years old. Initially, I thought that maybe the group consisted of the mothers of the kids on the group, but was really shocked to find out that the kids themselves were online and were chatting with each other. Kids behaving this way is one thing, but what baffles me is that their parents are really cool about giving their handsets to the kids so that they can surf the net and do whatever they please to do. We all know how things are on the net and how ugly some of the websites are. Do we really have to expose our children to all that stuff at such a young and vulnerable age? You can call me a product of old school thinking as I am quite against kids using technology that is not required by them.

My daughter has several groups on Whatsapp that she accesses on my phone. And, she makes it a point to drop a hint several times that all the friends on her group have their own phones. She says that they do not disturb their parents for checking the messages. Though, I have told her that I do not have any plans of buying her a phone for the next 2 years at least, I am sure that the rate of dropping hints will only keep increasing and she will hold a grudge against me till then. And, the sad part is that I am not actually sure if I should go with the flow or hold my own stand about technology and its usage. The point is that there should be a necessity for it, before it is granted to the kids.

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These days, the parents are much more relenting than what the parents used to be in our generation. Kids only need to ask and the parents are too ready to oblige. What are these parents trying to prove? Love and affection can be shown in different and better ways too, rather than giving such material things. Is it really cool for the kids to flaunt their phones and show to the society that they are available online? With the kind of society that we live in, with online stalkers and crazy lunatics, is it safe for the kids to be exposed to all that cyber-crime at such a young age.

Apart from the physical problems that the radiation might cause to your children, it also affects them mentally. In fact, I was just browsing the net about the effect of phones on the kids and found out the following facts:

  • As per a study conducted, children who use smartphones more regularly, develop a low sense of well-being. In fact, many of them become prone to anxieties, depression, restlessness, sleeplessness, etc.
  • At an age, when their mind is fertile and their body is craving for physical activity, a phone can disrupt their growth and turn them into zombies.
  • Kids become so distracted about who is online and who is messaging that they concentrate less on their studies and do not get time to pursue their other hobbies.
  • Children are exposed to all the inappropriate sites that are definitely not meant for them.

Well, the only positive thing about phones that I can perceive is that it gives a sense of safety to the children and the parents. If your child is going to a far-off location and you would like to know about their whereabouts, then, you really need to be in touch with the kid. Such circumstances can warrant a phone, but even then, a normal phone would do, I guess.

What is your take on this? Please do share your views. And, by the way, thanks for reading my blog. Stay happy and blessed. 🙂

The mesmerizing beauty of Hogenakkal

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Hogenakkal…. Does the place sound familiar to you? Well, I had never heard about this place till my brother told me about it. While people keep raving about Ooty, Goa, Coorg, Kodaikanal and other places, I have never heard anybody talk about Hogenakkal. This is because it is a small place, and does not have many hotels to stay, which is quite surprising. Still, it draws a large number of people from different places. It is so enchanting and so mesmerizing that one can actually feel connected to the roots.

Hogenakkal is located in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, and is quite famous for its waterfalls, with Kaveri River water falling from the rocks. The place is quite close to Bangalore, (only around 180 kms), and it can be easily covered in a day trip.

We went there in August 2015, and were actually looking forward to spending some quality time over there. We made a booking in a TTDC hotel, Hotel Tamil Nadu, as we really wanted a break from the routine, and wanted to spend a day somewhere outside Bangalore.

We left Bangalore at around 7am in the morning on Saturday. It was an awesome drive from Bangalore. All the avid travellers would know that this beautiful garden city is actually surrounded by astounding rocky mountains all around. So, as soon as you leave Bangalore, and you are about 70 kms away, you will find yourself in the midst of beautiful rocks, mountains, and greenery. We stopped over at A2B (Adyar Anand Bhavan) in Shoolagiri. The place was so crowded, and people were standing in long queues, fighting for their Upma, Pongal and Vada. 🙂 Well, there is no dearth of hungry people in this world. 🙂

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The drive took us via Hosur, Krishnagiri, and Salem Highway, and then on the Dharmapuri-Hogenakkal State Highway. For people who love road trips, there is so much to savour on this route, with lovely greeneries, small rock mountains, water lakes, mango vendors, etc. When you are about 12 kms away from the place, you get on a narrow hilly road. The road signs say that you are entering forest area, and you should be careful of elephants crossing the roads, etc. Well, we did not see elephants or any other animals, but still enjoyed the ride through the wilderness and solitude.

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We checked into the hotel, and went searching for the waterfalls. The place was quite crowded, and we saw a lot of men and women holding oil bottles in their hands. It took us some time to understand that they were all masseurs, and were ready to give oil massage. Some steps further ahead, and we saw a lot of oily creatures around. Well, these creatures were the men, who were getting the oil massage done. I started to curse my brother for suggesting this place. Did we come so far to see such an unsightly sight? Well, we passed through all those oily people and got onto the Hanging Bridge, thankfully without slipping.. 🙂 We were awed by the spectacle. The waterfalls flowing from the rocks were magnificent, but still, it was nothing as compared to all the other falls that we had seen, like Kempty Falls, Athirapally falls, etc. We were still thinking of what was so spectacular about this place.

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And, then, we saw a sign showing directions for Parisal ride. For people, who are wondering what a parisal means, it is a Tamil name for coracles. We went looking out for them. Well, let me tell you, when I saw the Parisal (circular boat), I was really scared of getting on it.

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We negotiated a rate of Rs. 950 for a 1 hour ride, and got onto the boat. After going about 500 metres, the boat man asked us to get down and walk some 500 metres. And, before we could turn back, he had lifted the boat on his head, and was walking behind us.

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We got down some steps, and a lovely sight awaited us. There were so many parisals waiting for the passengers in a narrow valley between the rocks.

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When we got back into the parisal, the boat man took us near the major falls, and then took us on a ride through the River Kaveri. He even did a twist on the falls and it was no less than an adventure ride in itself.

Let me tell you, I have never experienced something like this ever before, in my life. This place is not so popular, and yet, has such lovely attractions. It connects you with nature, and you are amazed to see the nature at its purest. Some of the famous movies shot over here include Roja (Remember the Chinna Chinna Asai song) and Raavan (Abhishek and Aishwarya movie)

By the way, when you visit there, remember that there are not many eateries around. Though there are lots of fish fries sold in the local market, for vegetarians, only cucumbers are available.. :-). Hotel TTDC is the only decent place around that offers some good and edible South-Indian meals during the day and Rotis/dosas during the night. So, go prepared with your own snack boxes.

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Well, it was definitely a paisa vasool trip for us. Thank you brother for suggesting this place to us. I had wanted to share the experience with my friends, but never got down to penning it down. I know it is coming out a year late but well, here it is anyways.. 🙂

Our India is definitely incredible, and has so much to offer. There is still a lot left to be explored.

 

Choose to be happy

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Life throws umpteen challenges at you and you end up wondering if you are a fielder in some cricket ground. You are confused deciding whether you should catch them or allow them to cross the boundaries. And, in the process of fielding whatever life has to throw at you, you sometimes get stuck up in a black-hole and get a feeling of discontentment and unhappiness. After all, it is not humanly possible to achieve everything in life, right? And, there is always something that pricks your conscience and makes you feel helpless. Well, guess what, the choice of being happy or not, actually depends upon you and you alone. If you want to be unhappy, even winning a lottery cannot make you feel happy as you would probably think about the tax cuts. 🙂

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There is a major difference between how an optimist and a pessimist looks at life. While an optimist sees opportunities even in his failures, the pessimist will even convert his success into failures. While it would not be easy to become an optimist overnight, the idea is to maintain a balance and achieve some moderation.

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So, what is the key to happiness? Wish there was some secret formula, which could lead to eternal happiness. I have heard that alcohol or drugs can give you some temporary happiness but these can also cause permanent damages. And, they definitely are not worth taking the risk, are they? Well, I give below some simple and doable things which might actually make you happy. It definitely works for me, most of the times.

  1. Don’t listen to others. Do you know something? Out of the 100 people that you meet, 80 people will always find a fault with you. And, it could not be because you have a problem, but because they have a problem with their mind-set. In fact, I have realized that people tend to make you feel guilty, even without intending to, sometimes. If you are doing A, they would expect you to do B, and if you are doing B, they would say that you should have continued with A. So, stop living your life as per other people’s standards. Set your own standards and live accordingly. At the end of the day, you should be contended and happy and that is what matters.
  2. Be positive: Our lives have become so stressful that we have forgotten to live and enjoy. And, if something goes wrong personally or professionally, we tend to hit the bottom of our emotions. We, humans are so fragile that even the smallest of incidents can leave a huge impact on us. So, for a change, why don’t you think about the positive side of things? Even the worst calamities in life can have something positive to teach you and you will have a lot to learn from them.
  3. Set achievable targets and prioritize them. Are you torturing yourself with tasks that are not achievable? Why don’t you set some small and achievable tasks which can give you happiness once they are accomplished?
  4. Find happiness in the smallest of things. There are some really simple things which can give you tremendous amount of happiness. Happiness is just a state of mind and it totally depends upon you to be either happy about what you have or to be unhappy about what you do not have. It is like viewing the glass as either half-full or half-empty. For me, my simple happiness bucket would include having pizzas with my kids, visiting a bookstore and picking up some books, playing a game of scrabble with my son, building houses with Lego toys, a game of table tennis with kids, a night stroll after dinner with the family or simply lazing around reading a book. What is in your bucket-list?
  5. Go for walks. Exercise your body and your mind so that your good mood endorphin gets released. And, when you go for walks, try to breathe the fresh air and observe your surroundings. In fact, I love the sight of kids playing in the sand in the park, without a care for the world. How we wish we could be like them, right? Why did we ever think that adulthood would be more interesting?
  6. Talk to your loved ones. This is really important. Make it a practice to call up your parents regularly, if they are staying far. And, do keep in touch with everyone who is important in your life. Recently, when my youngest mama/uncle passed away, I felt quite guilty as I had not called him up in the last 2 months. In fact, I never expected him to die so soon, but that is no excuse for not keeping in touch, right? There is no surety to life, so do pick up the phone and call. Whatsapp or Facebook might give you a preconceived notion of being connected but they do not give that personal touch.
  7. More importantly, believe in yourself. Even if you face rejections and failures, do not forget to believe in yourself. Remember that life is too short to waste away on such things. So what if your project didn’t work, or you were fired from your job, you still have your physical and mental faculties intact, which is more important. There is nothing more important than life and living.

Happiness is not measured by the amount of money that you have, the kind of car that you drive, or the posh locality that you live in. Happiness is measured by the number of smiles that you help create, the number of lives that you touch, the love that you help build in your family, and the overall contentment that you feel. So, do change your measuring yardstick and look at some simple pleasures. Your life would be less complicated and more contented.

And, if nothing works well for you, just put your hand on your chest and sing this song.. 🙂

All iz well….

Jab life ho out of control, tho honton ko karke gol…

Honton ko karke gol, seeti bajaake bol..

All iz well…. !!!!

This is my happiness anthem… 🙂

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Education: Are we moving in the right direction?

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“Your child is excellent in all the extra-curricular activities, but she needs to improve in studies.”

This is what I keep hearing all the time. And, I dread going to the Parent Teacher meeting, as the teacher keeps ranting about how academics is more important than sports or dance, and why my daughter should be concentrating more on studies. She says that academics should be the main priority, and my daughter should be scoring more marks. Well, isn’t she right? So, why am I cribbing? Actually, how many more marks, is my question. Well, I don’t consider 75 – 80% as a bad score, especially when the child is not mugging up things, and is studying on her own. Also, when she is trying to explore all the other possibilities in life, as well, right? But, the teacher doesn’t think so.

In India, we measure success only by the number of marks that a child is getting. In that process, if the overall development of the child suffers, then so be it. How many kids come out of the education system as well-rounded people? While they have all the bookish knowledge, they lack practical experience. And, on top of that, there is always the constant pressure to excel and super excel. Do you know that the rate of depression among the younger lot has increased so much in our country, due to the pressure of studies? In fact, our country is ranked the highest in the world for suicide rates in the age group of 15 – 29 years. So, why are we building up so much of pressure on the younger lot? While some children are born brainy, the majority are average-kids, right?

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Do you think it is easy to study in our country? With the cut-off in some of the colleges getting close to 100, probably, our country expects to produce only nerds. And, what happens to people, who are below the 90 percentile? Are they less brilliant? We are actually undermining the confidence of the children, by burdening them with the need to score more and more. And, in the process, the quality of education suffers. There is always some kind of rat race, where only the winners get rewarded.

Leave alone the admission into the colleges, even getting into a nursery school is a major challenge. Yes, the pressure to compete starts at a very young age for our kids. They have to be ready to face complete strangers in the process of getting admitted into a good school. And, if the child is not able to get through in a particular school, he is reprimanded by the parents. Why is the child not allowed to be just a child? Why do we rob their innocence so early?

My poor 7 year old has to carry a school bag, which weighs about 10 kg. Though, it is not building up his muscles, it is definitely weighing him down.. The kids carry such heavy weights to the school, because there is so much to be covered in one day. They keep having all kinds of assessments throughout the year, leaving them with no time to play and recreate. In fact, my kids have tests every Monday so they have to sit and study during the weekends. Isn’t that torturous? Weekends are for relaxing, right? If a 7 year old is burdened with so much of studies, I wonder who should be doing the actual playing. I feel bad about scolding him for playing with his cars and guns, and for not putting in more efforts into studies.

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One of my daughter’s friends flunked in one of the subjects. And, she did not show her paper to her parents for almost a month. Her mother kept asking her about it and she kept telling her that she has not received it. In fact, the mother called up my daughter also to find out. So, why was she scared of telling the truth to her parents? It was because she was scared of the reactions of her parents. Naturally, all the parents want their children to be good in studies and come first. With so much of competition everywhere, the parents also cannot be blamed. Don’t we ask our kids all the time, ‘How much did that other person get? And, how come he or she is getting more marks than you?’ Take my own example. Mathematics is my favourite subject, and I really get touchy when my kids commit some silly mistakes in their Maths paper. Well, why do I fail to understand that what I find easy can be quite complicated for them?

The lines from this song of Taare Zameen Par is so apt for the kids:

Dekho inhein yeh hain os ki boondein

Patton ki god mein aasmaan se koodein

Angdaayi lein phir karwat badal kar

Nazuk se moti hans de phisal kar

Kho na jaayen ye taare zameen par

It is good to be competitive, but the competition should not become the only thing to focus on, right? Do we ever sit and ask the child if he understood what he has studied? Also, are the studies focusing on what he or she wants to do?

I also feel that the kids of this generation have to face more number of challenges than what we had to face in our childhood. This is the age of smartphones, computers and internet. With so much of distractions around, and all the CCA and CCE activities happening, kids have so much on their plate.

Why don’t we just change our education system and provide personalized education to each kid, instead of having a standard set for all? I sincerely hope that the future education system is designed in such a way that the kids will get to study what they feel like, and in the way they feel like.

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Also, we should try to focus on making the kids more confident and self-assured. They should be made capable to handle all kinds of challenges in life. Academics alone will not take them everywhere. Even a rank holder might not be able to lead a company if he does not have all those other necessary soft skills and leadership skills.

Well, God bless our country, and I hope the teacher has something better to say for my kids, the next time. 🙂

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(Pictures picked from Google)

A mother of a teen

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13 years ago, on this date, I was travelling by a DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) bus to the office. There were many co-passengers, who looked at me and told me that I should start taking rest at home. But, at that time, the maternity leave was only 56 days in our office, and I had to literally work till the very last minute, which I did. In fact, I went straight to the hospital, from office, on 2nd December. (No, it was not a dramatic entry, like it happens in the movies. 🙂 ) I kept waiting for the pain, which never came, and my sweet little angel refused to come out. She wanted to spend some more time inside the cozy womb. She decided to make an entry into the outside world only after 18 hours, that too, after a C-Sec operation, on 3rd December… 🙂

She was such a doll, and was wrapped in a pink shawl, when she was shown and handed over to us. My heart went out to her. She got all the attention from all the family members, as she was the first child in the next generation. A hugely pampered child, she refused to grow up for a long time. 🙂 I still remember that she used to make me feel so guilty when I had to travel abroad for my official trips, and I would end up crying in the airport, thinking about her and missing her.

Tomorrow, she will be 13 years old, and she has already got that rebellious streak, which comes along with the teens. And, I suddenly feel that I am dealing with a volcano. It really takes a lot of patience to control your temper and emotions, at times. Though, I am known for having a short fuse, I am really trying to learn to become a mother of a teenage daughter. Wish there was some crash course conducted to handle this. But, we have to be hands-on parents, and have to deal with parenting, on the job.

So, what are the growing up symptoms? Well, if you have a daughter, you will know that your daughter is getting into that teenage phase:

  • Being bothered about the pimples so much that special attention is given to each and every pimple.
  • Spends at least 30 minutes in front of the mirror, and still looking unsatisfied about her looks.
  • Decides to cut her hair, on her own, out of the blue, and feeling quite proud about it. (Well, don’t ask about my reaction. It took me days to cool down. )
  • Stops celebrating birthdays in the usual manner, as it has become quite boring. Prefers treating the friends outside home, away from parents.
  • The bangles and accessories slowly start disappearing from your cupboard, and end up in hers.
  • Looks become so important that it takes hours to just straighten up the hair, which is actually looking alright.
  • Needs a separate deodorant, cream, face-wash, lip gloss, and God knows what all.
  • There are long conversations on phones, with friends, and mostly, in low whispers. Nobody can hear what is being spoken, and there are multitudes of secrets being exchanged.
  • Becomes health conscious, and is quite concerned about eating unhealthy food, but actually ends up eating all the junk food.
  • A lot concerned about weight, and even a few grams of extra weight puts a frown on the face.
  • Starts sizing up the boys, in a discreet manner, thinking that nobody is noticing. (Well, mom definitely notices :-))
  • Room is totally messed up, but she feels quite comfortable, sitting over the mess.
  • She thinks that mom and dad actually need to be trained in a lot of things.
  • Starts speaking in acronyms, and slang words.
  • Dress shopping takes hours, as she has to try out everything, and still feels unsatisfied about how it fits, and looks.
  • Wears dresses, which have become quite small, but are more fashionable for her, now.
  • Shorter the dresses, the better they are.
  • Arguments become a daily routine, and she has an answer for just about everything.
  • And, the best is that you are reminded of your teenage years, and are actually worried about what all will happen next. 🙂

Well, all said and done, my daughter is my best friend. In fact, I feel good to share a lot of things with her. And, I try to keep a straight face, when she tells me some of her secrets. Am sure that I am told only 10 to 20% of them. But, well, she has a right to her privacy, and too much of interference is not going to help us in any way. Well, it is easy to write than to actually practice, especially when you don’t know what will happen next. This is a lesson that I need to learn. 🙂

I miss my little girl, with those innocent looks, who used to listen to us, or at least tried to listen to us. In place of her, I have got a person, who has her own perception, and her own mind-set. As long as things are in control, it’s alright, I guess. And, I hope I am able to remain sane till she becomes an adult.

So, to all those people, who have lovely daughters, do get prepped up, otherwise, you will not know what hit you. And, share some of your experiences with me, on this blog. 🙂

Here are a few quotes, which I found on Google, which actually explains the teenager’s behavioral patterns.. 🙂

Life begins at 40

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Hello friends!!! How are you? Hope everything is going on as usual.. Have been absent from the blogging scene for quite some time now, as I was busy pursuing some of my dreams. 🙂

As you would have guessed from the subject of the blog, I turned 40 this year. It means that I have completed 4 decades in this world. Hey, but i was just born yesterday… how did i become so old so soon 😉 (Haa.. haaa.. that was definitely a little over-the-board statement.) Though, a lot of people commented.. ‘Wow, you are 40 now’, which actually meant that you have become old, but I do not feel any different. In fact, I feel much younger and much more mentally active now than I have ever felt in my entire life… 🙂 No, it is not an exaggeration. I am a 20 year old now with 20 years of experience.. howzat? 🙂

40 and fabulous

Age is just a number, and it is all in the mind. If you feel that you are old, then, nobody can save you from your miseries. Maybe, you should try looking out for an old age home then. 🙂 As per what I believe, you should eat and live a life like there is no tomorrow… Agreed that my BMI is on the higher side, but that doesn’t mean that I will stop eating Pizza and all other yummy fried items. (By the way, Bangalore is a haven for foodies like me, and you get some of the best vadas and dosas here. :-)) Coming to the BMI, my husband, doesn’t have an extra inch of flab on his body. And, how does he manage that? By eating healthy food like Oats, Ragi, Corn Flakes and all other health products, which have absolutely no taste. 🙂 We live contrasting lives, under the same roof, but we both are quite happy. <touch-wood>

Even though, I feel bad about my greying hair and my stiff body sometimes, I am enjoying being 40. I am more matured now and know a lot of things, and would not want to trade it back with 20 less years. Who would want to get back into the grind of studies, career, marriage and childbirth again? We have crossed all that, and we feel happy when we look back into our pasts, without any regret of the approaching old age.

Lifeat402

When you are young, you are always running behind something. There is so much on your agenda that you don’t live your life. You have to finish your studies, look for a job, look for better jobs, and then get married, and have kids. All these are things, which have to be done. And, if you try to stray away from this customary path, you are not seen in a kind light. There are only few people, who try to pursue their dreams and passions, while the rest of us only end up making money. So what if you are not enjoying your work, you are at least getting the money into your account at the end of the month. I am sure majority of us have lots of commitments on our heads, and earning a consistent salary is more important to us than doing what we would have loved to do.

Life gives the same set of options and opportunities to everybody, and it is our wish how we want to utilize them. There are things, which I am doing now, which should have been done by me about 20 years back. But, no regrets, and as the saying goes, ‘Better late than never’. There is only one life and we should live it.

So, for me, life is taking a new start at 40. What about you?

(By the way, between you and me, I would rather live till 60, eating all my favourite food and doing all my favourite things, than extend my life by 10 more years, and torturing myself with tasteless food. 🙂 ;-))

lifeat40

(Photos Courtesy: Google…)

Zindagi Na Milegee Dobara

How many of you have watched this movie, ‘Zindagi Na Milegee Dobara’? Even though, this movie got mixed reactions from people, it happens to be one of my favourite movies till date, as it shows the importance of living each moment and living the present!!! Life2 What are we doing with our lives? Most of us are running around, trying to save for an unpredictable future. We are probably running behind our career, our ambitions, and are trying to make loads of money, so that our family does not face any problems in the future. Or, we are probably driving ourselves nuts so that we can fulfill our dream of buying a bigger house or a better car. But, dude, in all this running around, are we forgetting to live? We have no time for our family, and are probably giving gadgets to our kids, so that they do not pester us. Well, to tell you the truth, the kids will grow up and leave us one day. And, we would only be left with these gadgets, through which we could chat with them, if they are not leading hectic lives, that is.

There are so many hobbies which we wish to pursue, and so many dreams which we want to fulfill, but what we are actually doing, is postponing them. And, the irony is that there is no time like now, and there will be nothing left tomorrow. So, why postpone our dreams for an uncertain future? ‘Kaal Kare so Aaj kar… Aaj kare so abh. Pal Mein Parlai Hoyegi, Bahuri Karega Kab’, is a famous Hindi couplet, which means that, ‘Do tomorrow’s work today, and today’s work now. What if the world ends tomorrow, when will you do the work then?’ So, one must live one’s life today, and now. Life1 Well, you must be wondering why I am writing this blog post out of the blue. It is because I have seen a few people running behind things, which were immaterial. My father-in-law, who passed away in April this year, was one such example. In the race of running to office till he was 70, he forgot to live a life. He used to travel by Metro train, buses and go walking to his office in ITO in Delhi. Even though, he could have easily sat at home, he chose to work till he got a severe problem of COPD. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which affects the lungs).

While we were staying in Mayur Vihar in Delhi, he would come home on Saturdays from his office, and would have his lunch, and go about meeting his other relatives around, and then, by the evening, he would be ready to go back home to Janak Puri. For most of us, the idea of travelling in crowded buses, RTVS and shared autos, after a tiring day, is a dreadful thought. But, not for him. This was a part of his life, and he never ever complained. He never took an auto, no matter what, and lived a frugal life. He kept postponing a lot of things to be done post retirement. But, when he retired at the age of 70, he could hardly live a peaceful retired life. In fact, within a year, his condition deteriorated, and his life totally depended on an Oxygen cylinder.

He was a very social person, and did so many things for so many people, but never had the time to take care of his health, nor take care of his happiness. It was actually too difficult for him to sit quiet, and relax. His hyper-active psyche always insisted on something to do. He had arranged so many matrimonial matches, and did service for the community, but he did not spend much money on himself. There was always some social project going on, which he led, and he successfully completed. And, in all, he lived a very economical life, and has left a good amount of money in the bank. Well, is that money of any use to him now? He could have, as well retired at 60, and seen some places, and could have enjoyed his life.

Well, we still feel that he died an immature death, and could have lived for at least 10 more years, so that he could have enjoyed some retired moments with his grandchildren. Though, he led a very active life, doing lots of things for others, he never had the time to enjoy his own life. It was really sad to see him die, when he so much wanted to live. His dying eyes kept telling us that he wanted to live, and see many more things.

Well, there is no moment like today. Enjoy each and every moment of your life. These moments are not going to come back. Do whatever that you wish to do, and don’t postpone them. After all, there is only one life, and you cannot possibly go on your world tours, when you have arthritis, knee problems, or other such problems, right? Save enough so that your children get a good education, and are well settled. Instead of creating a fortune for them, make them capable to create their own fortunes. Life3

Are we allowed to dream?

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The ban on the BBC documentary has made many of us watch “India’s Daughter”. If the ban had not been there, many of us would not have even seen it, I guess. So, the banning has actually been a good thing. But, I am surprised why the documentary can’t be shown in India? Are we scared that the people from other countries, will form a negative image about our country? Well, the documentary is already released in the other countries, and they have already seen it. So, why ban it in India? Do we feel scared that our youngsters will get inspired to commit such acts? Well, when we put a ban, don’t you think, people get more inquisitive about finding out what it is. And, we should have the confidence in teaching our kids, some strong basic values.

Though, a lot of people recommended watching this video, I was quite apprehensive. I didn’t know if I had the guts to go through it. I knew it would shake me and I would be moved beyond imagination. Well, it certainly did. To watch the girl’s parents and her tutor talking about her, I was moved to tears.

The defense lawyers for the rapists, were the slap-on-the-face kind of people. Even though, we live in 2015, the mentality of these people, is still so primitive. To watch them talk like a prehistoric man, was like being spitted on our faces. I am sure, the prehistoric men would have never behaved in such a monstrous way, like these so-called modern men behaved.

India has always been known for its rich culture and heritage. But, I feel that it is all hypocrisy. On one hand, we worship Devis and Goddesses, and on the other hand, some of our conservative menfolk have no shame in saying that women should be within their limits. They should not step outside alone, and they should not dress inappropriately. Well, who has given the right to these men to dictate to the women? Just because they happen to be strong, physically, doesn’t mean that they can set the rules, right? To hear the lawyers say that the women should only go out with her father or uncle, well, let me ask you, “Are the women worse than dogs or pets?” Are we to be leashed and taken out? Don’t we have our own individuality, and can’t we have any kind of freedom?

I am not sure how many of you have gone through the curfews in your homes. I remember coming back from office at 12, in the midnight, once, after a party, and my parents told me that I should resign. I am sure, this would have been the scenario in every household. We instill a sense of fear in the girls. We make them feel vulnerable. And, we unknowingly give a lot of freedom to the boys. Maybe, I too get worried about my daughter, and maybe, I would not have worried so much, if there were not so many incidents.

I remember staying alone with my kids in Delhi, during Nirbhaya’s incident. My husband had got transferred to Bangalore, and I had to leave the kids in the crèche and go to the office. Every day was like a nightmare. I used to worry about the safety of the kids, and myself. Even, sending them to school by the school buses, had become unsafe. So, what are we doing about ensuring the safety of women and the kids?

In spite of so many protests and revolts, the punishment has still not been given to these criminals. Why are they still waiting for their punishment, even after 2 and half years? Am surprised that the driver of the said bus, does not have any feeling of repentance, even after spending 2 years in jail. The juvenile, who was institutionalized, will be released this December. Do you think he would have repented, and felt bad about what he did? I doubt it.

In our country, we still keep craving for sons. Well, I would say that the parents of these criminals, should have chosen to remain childless, instead of having these sons, don’t you agree?

I have a son and a daughter, and I don’t see much difference between boys and girls. In fact, I have seen the daughters being more affectionate and caring towards their parents. Even though, the daughters are married off into other families, their love towards their parents’ remains self-less, and sincere.

As parents, we love our kids, just the same. We love our daughters and adore our sons. We should all try to make our daughters more self-confident, and should not put fear in her minds. And, we should try to teach our sons to be respectful to all the womenfolk in the family, and around. I believe that respect and courteousness starts in the family.

I am sure you would have come across some men, who check out the vital statistics of women, as if they are some kind of display objects. Even though, these men belong to the high-values-and-principles class, they probably do such an act, without their knowledge. Well, men, don’t you think, it is better to show some respect, and meet the women’s eyes instead? Do you ever see us hovering our gaze anywhere else? Well, these are some of the basic values, which we need to teach our sons.

Let’s just hope that all the hue and cry about the BBC documentary, makes our legal system, a little more proactive. Unless we mete out punishment to such wrong-doers, there will be hundreds more, who will be repeating such crimes, and who might have a false sense of pride, of having done something great.Nirb1