When Child Becomes the Parent !!

A young branch takes on all the bends that one gives it: Author Unknown

Motherhood has had plenty of pleasant changes in me over time. From being more tolerant, to being more organized, being less self-centered, being more mature (if I may say so), to saving more and wasting less. There are tons of changes that motherhood has brought in me. And I feel proud, of myself in some little way. When my little munchkin was born, I was not very sure of how I would raise her up. I had this plan in my mind of a perfect life for her but the nomadic lifestyle that I was used to, I was not sure if I would be able to accomplish that. But things changed, I would not say I have been able to achieve all that I wanted to, but So far So good and I am happy with my progress.

I have enumerated many times how life changes after having a baby, but gradually as the infant phase goes away and the toddler stage sets in I have realized that all is well. It does take time and perseverance, but in the end all is good. And one of the things that my daughter has been able to do is to metamorphose us for better. My daughter has been successful in bringing out the flaws in us so that we can realize them and change. She brings out the flaws in us by either emulating them so we comprehend that she picked up this unpleasant habit from us or many times very bluntly telling us to our face that she is not very fond of this habit of ours. And surprisingly enough, we change. It impacts us in an improbable way.

From simple habits of not picking up things from the floor, being lazy and not cleaning the spilled water on floor, to not switching off the television before dozing off to not stacking the shoes in the shoe rack, to not putting out the towel to dry in the sun (Most of these habits are of my husband’s). My girl makes sure that the house is spotless all through the day. The simple fact that she is looking up to us to learn and live has made us responsible for our actions. It’s good to have this house mother in form of my daughter always around to change in us things we were most reluctant to change.

So over the three years that we have had our daughter we have become cleaner, methodical, accountable, we love more, respect more, care more, and listen more. So in the process of teaching all the good traits, we are imbibing the best from her.

Big Hug and Thank You to my little Munchkin!!

The Cow Story !!!!

In the wee hours of the morning, I was out for my morning stroll when I saw a group of men holding flags of all hues of red and marching in one direction and singing slogans that I was finding hard to understand, but they were musical and lyrical for all I know, and on continuous repetition seemed melodious. I had nothing interesting to do in the morning so I decided to follow these men. To my horror after a few minutes they got hold of a boy and started hitting him, like really hard, he was pleading and crying, shouting and wailing but these men did not stop. They were hitting him even when he fainted and eventually walked over him to continue with their march and shouting. All I could hear and understand was that they were hitting him apparently because he ate their mother. Cannibalism, I thought, these humans can be weird at times.

After this sad start to the day I decided to walk around the park where I could find some happy cheerful children and feel happy for the day. I was crossing the road when I saw four men forcing themselves on a girl, she was screeching and pulling herself away, but they were strong men I think. I wanted to shout and call for help, I started moving hysterically in distress but people around went about their business without noticing what was happening. Just then the same group of men with the flags and shouting crossed me, many saw and ignored what was happening and preferred to walk away. I looked at them in disbelief, I was unable to understand what was so important for them other than the lewd behavior happening to the girl that they decided to ignore it and go ahead with their business of shouting and marching. Humans, I tell you need to learn to respect your women.

The next day I woke up late and it was while I was strolling on the streets that I found that a newspaper that read the news, “Man brutally beaten up for suspicion of him having consumed beef”. It was then then I could put the picture together. I was appalled to realize that they almost killed a person for mere suspicion and even if the suspicion was correct they decided to take matters in their hands since cow is their mother and someone had tried to hurt her. I did not know how to feel at that moment, whether to feel secured or ashamed.

We met for our weekly meeting at the roundabout near the street that evening, obviously the topic for discussion was the prevalent beef ban. Cars were screeching horns all around us, we were discussing and trying to bring a rationale to the whole situation. Some of us were happy about this development, others were being pragmatic and thinking if this is reasonable, whether violence in the name of this is befitting. We were still discussing it when a car just banged against one of our babies who was standing a bit away from us. The baby fell, the car turned and took off in the opposite direction as fast as possible. The baby lay there in pain for a good half an hour, we were trying to get help, wailing and crying at the top of our lungs but many cars and people came and went without stopping.

It was a long day I decided to go back to my home, it was a long way and I spent most of it thinking, I met my friends on way, everyone was upset with us, hens, fish, pig, goat, everyone, they said we are being partial why only cows, why no objection is made to their killing, Don’t they have a life, aren’t they the creatures of god. I tried to reason with them that it is probably due to the Hindu mythology where cows are treated as mothers and the whole logic behind it.. But they were not ready to buy my logic, they were visibly upset. I decided to give them sometime till the matter cooled down and walked again towards my home.

Did I tell you that I stay just near the pavement, I mean I don’t live there since most of my time is spent traveling but in the night I go there to sleep. I have many of my family members there and we prefer sleeping together in a circle every night. I was hungry and asked one of us if we had something to eat, it mooed me towards a heap, I went there to look what was left in for me. I saw green leaves, peas, fruit leftovers, and chapattis wrapped in plastics sheets, I mean do these humans really think we cows are capable of opening the plastic and having the chapatti? It is insane, but at that moment I was too hungry to think of plastic and ate the chapattis with the plastic.

I could not sleep that night, I think the plastic did its wonders in my stomach, it was also cold outside. It is tough sleeping by the roadside in a cold weather with the cars passing by with loud horns every minute but this is how we live. If only before the ban, vandalism and violence they could think of providing better care for their cow mothers. I thought of the girl too who I had seen being violated, I just thought of what she might have felt, a cow was more important than her. This is a country where rape convicts might be convicted over years or many would even remain scot-free and people are killed for cows. I thought of my fellow animal friends, how they must feeling, obviously their anger is justified. Lastly I just want to say that lets respect LIFE as it is, all are important and all have their choices. Let’s respect that and live with that, don’t we have better or worse problems.

Learning from the United States of America

I have recently come back from my trip to the United States of America… Yes the United States of America. Why do I emphasise on it so much.. Because somehow around our part of the world it is considered a big deal. And trust you me, I am not kidding. I mean you tell any of your relatives or friends that you are travelling to the states and they would be like ”really, lucky you”. This is how we feel about the states. Not many would admit it but yes this is the truth.

Anyway I was there for vacation cum work and visited New York and Texas. It was fun and there are many things that I learnt. When you travel the world you get exposed to new cultures and lifestyles, some good some bad. And there is nothing wrong in imbibing the good part of their lifestyles. I find no shame in admitting that we might still be lacking in many things but there is always scope for improvement and learning and hence this post.

The most cliché learning from the states that I carried back home and which I am sure everyone knows is that this country is organised.. Much much ahead of us. Be it their roads, malls, public places, restaurants or even washrooms everything happens systematically. The system efficacy is tremendous and palpable..It’s good since you don’t have to fret about anything, being organised saves time and also relieves you of unnecessary tensions. I was a first time traveller but did not feel troubled as everything was on my platter if I planned it. However, there could be some glitches to it, I wanted to have French fries without the sprinkling of salt at a very popular chain of burgers but I could not because apparently cashier taking my order could not find the key for it. If you know what I mean ;).

Moving further the other thing that really caught my attention was the respect for time. Americans really believe in reaching and starting work on time. Even if their partying late at night you would find them at work dot on time. Something we can definitely learn. They believe in starting their day early so they can finish it early too. You need appointments for everything you cannot barge into anyone’s house or office without prior intimation. This is very unlike India where we can expect guests prior intimation at odd hours and this is considered normal. But, (yeah there always have to be a but) a colleague of mine told me that in the states privacy is such a big thing that sometimes even grandchild has to ask their grandparents the suitable time for his visit. I mean who could have thought of this in India.

They give you the time, can spend hours explaining you if you need help, but you have to await your turn. I mean back home we don’t follow the queue religiously, we are always in a hurry hence breaking queues comes naturally to us. Standing in the queues there I pondered, what made me stand in queues patiently here wherein I would have grown impatient back in my country in the same situation. It’s then that I realised this feeling of social responsibility comes from the environment around where you see everyone around appreciating their social responsibility.

Next on the list was the outlook of the elderly.. I mean you could feel that no one grows old there. The elderly were as active as the young generation. They were eager to learn, well adept with technology much better than even I am, like seriously. They travel alone, I saw old couples like really old couples going on vacations, just the two of them. They had the the latest technology in hand, were in constant touch with the world on the move and were cutely romantic. It was like no one grows old here, everyone has the urge to learn more, explore more, and love more.

 

I love my country a lot and I mean it when I say it, I have no plans whatsoever to shift base to any other country. It’s the most unfathomable thought in my head. My country is beautiful and I truly believe that we are a bunch of very intelligent and diverse people who can achieve anything we want. My recent trip proved to me that both the countries raised their kids with the same set of values but over growing up somewhere in my land we loose the hang of it. We as children are organised and systematic, remember how we formed queues for our school bus or morning assemblies but as we grow divergence occurs and indiscipline sets in.

Sure America must have its own personal problems, there are a lot of problems in that country but here I have no intentions to compare the two countries , there are perhaps many things that even America can learn from us, but currently I am only interested in making my country a better one. We don’t have to emulate them we can just be happy taking or learning from the things they are better than us at.

Everyone has the Right to Dignity

On a crisp Sunday morning (the days that I absolutely love), I was sitting in my balcony with a cup of coffee and a book. I was immersed in the book, was living the life of the characters, enough to take me away from my weekday life when I heard some noises from inside. I thought the television had been switched on and ignored it but gradually the volume increased. Intrigued and irritated, I got up from the very comfortable seat I was in and went inside. The scene that unfolded was not something new. My father in law and my house help were having a very heated argument. I looked on waiting for an opportunity to intervene and stop the drama, I was hearing all nasty things that my father in law was telling her, she herself is not a saint but she was replying in a manner which was much more sophisticated than him. He was not abusing her but commanding her to do her job in a very ruthless manner. At least in my world I consider it ruthless.
So one night I was out for dinner, we went to this pick up your sandwich and leave kind of a place, we entered, ordered, and were waiting for our order to given, when this man barged in and started shouting at the top of his lungs that his sandwich had a sauce that he had not ordered. The cashier tried reasoning with him, human errors happen, that he would replace the sandwich and compensate too. But this man was not ready to listen anything, he was shouting and being abusive in between. One of the things he said was that he could get the shops closed and make everyone loose their jobs and bring them on road. I mean it was just an extra sauce in the sandwich.

On one of my market visits I heard a lady busy arguing with a rickshaw puller about the money he was charging, we all do that some time or the other. But suddenly she slapped the guy out of the blue and the poor old man did not know what to do, tears welled his eyes. And the woman was constantly abusing him, his condition and his roots. I mean come on, don’t give that extra rupee if you don’t want to, he is not going to snatch it from you.

There are many such instances at the back of my mind where we dehumanize a fellow human being for the simple reasons of them being poor, or working under or for us, or just because we think we own everything in the world or simply because we don’t respect other’s dignity. I understand that sometimes we need to be strict to make our point and we can’t comply with everything sent our way. But I always believe that being rude and abusive in such matters is not the solution. We can be stern but not necessarily rude. We should be atleast be respectful of other person’s dignity. It is the least we can do!