Kid’s first day..

June 2005, the month my son started going to playgroup. I still remember both me and my husband were so anxious the night before his first day. Being first-time parents both of us were nervous. Next morning, we both accompanied him to the playgroup. His teacher lovingly took him inside the class and we both watched him go. Here was a chubby, lost, nervous 2-1/2-year-old guy. More than him, I was anxious till the time he came back from the school 3 hours later. In a few days’ time, he settled down happily.

Today 13 years later, I am having the same feeling. It is my son’s first day in Junior College today. The difference this time is that 2-1/2-year-old chubby boy is now a tall, lanky 15-/1/2-year-old who didn’t require us to drop him anymore. Yes, being a tad introvert he was a bit anxious, but I know he will settle down soon. Having spent 10 long years in a school with a huge group of friends, he has to once again settle down in a new environment. Yes..I am waiting for him to come back and give him a tight jhappi..

It seems as if my son has grown up, the mother in me hasn’t yet..😪

Miss-match?

During my parents’ time or even before that in arranged marriages the groom used to be at least 8-10 years or even older than the bride. A 20-year-old bride had a 35-year-old groom at times. This was common back then. The reason was the the young girl needed a “mature” man to handle her, which in other words means control/dominate her. It didn’t matter that the wife most of the times turned out to be more worldly mature than the man who believed dominating, subjugating or keeping a check/control on his wife’s life is a sign or maturity/authority/manliness (not generalizing).

Slowly time changed, but the groom still needs to be older than the bride in the “normal scenario”. The sarcastic jokes, memes, posts on an older Priyanka Chopra getting engaged to a younger Nick Jonas is the proof that even younger generation hasn’t been able to come to terms with the bride being older. There have been so many examples of successful marriages where the wife has been older to the husband. Ultimately compatibility, respect, and love matter.

No, I am not a Priyanka Chopra or Nick Jonas fan and the success of their marriage will solely depend on them. It is a decision taken between two adults. The behavior of the public is a totally like the neighborhood nosy aunties, “Arrey dekho, Priyanka ne bachche se engagement kar li..!!” Isn’t it?

Learning to respect choices

My son has a huge circle of friends comprising of kids practicing different religious faiths. They all respect each other’s cultures, beliefs, and food choices. My son has been to church, Jain temple with his friends. My son himself is not a religious person but respects other religions and what they practice. His friends also have the same approach.
 
Wish adults had similar approach. Just saw a page trying to shame non-vegetarians. There are people who kind of look down upon non-vegetarians. Shouldn’t people be more accommodating of other practices and their choices? Everyone has their own food habits, way of living. Judging and detesting them for that is absolutely appalling to me. Judge me if I am doing something awful as a person but not for my food habits.
 
My son and his friends are better off than many adults.

Conversation with God-Oh my God!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Somebody had given me his business card at a meeting and I decided to call him up regarding a prospective business association.  On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I dialed that person’s number.  The person on the other picked up the call.  I said, “Hello, Mr. X remember we had met the other day in the event and we exchanged numbers?  I wanted to have a chat with you about something that I have in mind.  Is this the right time to talk about it?”

The person on the other end said after a pause, “Ma’am I am not Mr. X.  You must have dialed a wrong number.  This is God speaking.”  I got annoyed and said, “Look here Mr. X if you don’t want to continue with this conversation that’s okay, but don’t make a joke out of it.  It’s not funny at all.”  The voice on the other end said, “Ma’am I am not joking.  Trust me this is God.”  I decided to check whether it was God Himself or someone was playing a prank on me.  I asked the person, “So tell him, if you are really God on the other end, what was going on in my mind 2 hours ago?”  I was so sure that the person would come up with some lame reply.  He said, “Two hours ago you were worried about your father’s health, your son’s admission, the dilemma whether you should call Mr. X or not, and your thumb pain.”  I was stunned.  “Oh my God!  He reads mind.”

I told Him, ” I believe you.  A request to you God, Please stop the catastrophe in Kerala.  Why are you punishing innocent people?  Not done God.”  He said, “Don’t you think you humans are responsible for the disasters that happen?  Whenever some calamity happens you blame me.  Sometimes its your own breaking of rules, sometimes its the urbanization and cutting of jungles, sometimes its your lack of empathy that you don’t help an injured person lying on the road bleeding, sometimes killing the little daughters in the womb, sometimes taking your own life as you can’t cope up with failures or not seeking help for depression and loneliness.”  I was silent for a moment and said, “You know God you are right.  We always look for an alibi or look for someone else to shift the blame for our own faults.  You have given us a beautiful life, but we don’t want hardships in it.  We might not thank you when we are happy, but we so easily blame and accuse you when we are sad or having a tough time.  You must be feeling so pissed off at times, no?”

He laughed and said, “No, I am used to it.  All I want is that people should start valuing their own life, valuing the life of others, valuing their planet, and love their beautiful life.  I am always there for everyone, whether you remember me or not.”

I said, “Frankly God for the past few days I was pretty annoyed with you.  So many friends of mine have a better life than me.  I asked you so many times, “Why not me? Why is their life better than mine when I deserve better than them.  But I guess I need to value my life better.”  God said, “Oh!  another nuisance in your world now, social media!  People get carried away easily and start comparing their life.  Don’t believe always what you see and even if the other person might be leading a better life than you, it won’t make any change to your life if you start cribbing and comparing!  Isn’t it?  Right now you should be concentrating on materializing your business association with Mr. X.  It might work or it might not work.  But that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your dreams.  If not Mr. X then it will be somebody else!”

I smiled and said, “Thank you so much God.  I needed to hear this.  I am a very reserved person and can’t share my feelings with everyone.  I thought of visiting a counselor to pour my heart out, but you are the best counselor and I am happy that I dialed your number, even though I didn’t mean to.  Can I call you some time again?”  He replied, “Well!  You don’t a number to call me.  You can simply share your feelings aloud or write it down and I will be there to hear you out, help you out, as always.  It was nice talking to you.  Take care and all the best.”  He disconnected the call.  I felt so light and happy talking to Him.

Next day, I felt like to talking to Him once more.  I went to the call list and when I checked that phone number had disappeared.

Winds of change

#windsofchange
#genderequality
My mom has no brother. They are 3 sisters. So when my maternal grandfather died the 3 sisters cremated him. This was in the early 90s. They didn’t pay any heed to what the society had to say.
Yesterday when former prime minister Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit his pyre she again made a very strong statement; a daughter has as much right in performing the last rites of her parents as the son has. Yes, its not going to be easy. Any change will meet with opposition. The so-called puritans will raise questions about beliefs, moksha, gotra and so on but if a daughter stays strong and “defies” all this she can do everything for her parents including performing the last rites. I have told my children when I die both my son and daughter will together perform whatever little rituals are there ( I don’t believe in elaborate puja and rituals) because my love for them has and will always be the same.

Dreams come true, sometimes differently

#smallhappiness
#momkadil
#fest
 
During my college years in Baroda, I had few classmates from Mumbai. There they used to talk about the various fests held in the colleges of Mumbai like Malhar in St. Xaviers, Umang fest of Narsee Monjee college and so on. Having raised in small towns all the stories of these fests fascinated me. After marriage when Mumbai became my home, I always used to read about these fests and the fun and grandeur of them. I so wished I could be a part of these fests as a collegian but knew that wasn’t possible.
 
Today my son has gone to attend the Malhar fest in St. Xaviers college with his friends and I am so happy. This might not be really a big deal for many, but I felt happy because what I had dreamt of enjoying, my son is enjoying today.
 
Now I understand why parents sometimes feel so happy when their dreams come true through their kids (no not forced ones).

अरे, कहीं भारतमाता की कहानी तो नहीं?

एक औरत थी.  उसका पति उसपर बहुत अत्याचार करता था, उसका जीना दुश्वार कर रखा था.  एक दिन वह औरत उस हिंस्र पति के चंगुल से भाग निकली.  अपने साथ अपने ८ बच्चो को भी ले लिया.  औरत को पता नहीं था की आगे वह क्या करेगी, कैसे अपने बच्चों को पालेगी.  पर कहते हैं ना माँ से बढ़कर अपने बच्चों का ख्याल कोई नहीं रख सकता.  एक छोटी सी झोपड़ी में वह अपने बच्चों के साथ रहने लगी.  दिन बहुत मुश्किल से कट रहे थे.  जैसे तैसे वह औरत अपने बच्चों के खाने का इंतेज़ाम करती.  उन्हें पास के एक म्युनिसिपल स्कूल में भी पढ़ने भेजा ताकि बच्चे उसकी तरह गरीबी में ज़िंदगी ना गुज़ारे.

धीरे धीरे बच्चे बड़े होने लगे.  औरत वक़्त से पहले ही बूढी हो चली थी.  शरीर को खाना और आराम नसीब ना हो तो शरीर जल्दी बूढ़ा और कमज़ोर हो ही जाता है.  बड़े ४ बच्चे अब कमाने लगे थे.  घर की हालत सुधर रही थी.  हालाँकि अभी भी पैसों को लेकर, जिम्मेदारिओं को लेकर घर में कभी कभार क्लेश हो जाता.  एक दिन ऐसा भी आया की सारे बच्चे अपने पैरों पर खड़े हो गए.

अब कुछ बच्चों को अपनी माँ की गरीबी और जर्जर हालत से शर्म आने लगी.  वे अपनी माँ को कहीं लेकर जाना नहीं चाहते थे.  डरते थे की लोग उनपर हसेंगे, उनका मज़ाक उड़ाएंगे.  कुछ बच्चों को माँ पर दया आई और उन्होंने उसका ख्याल रखना शुरू किया.  कुछ बच्चे माँ को छोड़कर चले गए क्योंकि उनको अब माँ का घर छोटा और गन्दा लगने लगा.  पर माँ तो माँ थी, जब भी ज़रूरत पड़ी उसने अपने बच्चों को सहारा दिया.  दुनियावालों ने माँ को कहा की तुम्हारे बच्चों को तुमसे घृणा होती है, फिर भी तुम क्यों उनको सहारा देती हो?  औरत हंसकर कहती, “आखिर मैं माँ जो ठहरी.  जैसे भी हैं आखिर हैं तो मेरे ही बच्चे.  वे भले ही मेरी निंदा करे, पर मैं तो उन्हें दुत्कार नहीं सकती ना.”

आज उस माँ की उम्र ७१ साल की हो गई है.  उसकी हालत अच्छी नहीं है.  अभी उसके बच्चों को उसकी देखभाल करनी चाहिए ना की उसे दुत्कारना या उसकी बुराई करनी चाहिए.

इस औरत की कहानी किसी और की कहानी से मिलती जुलती है शायद.

अरे, कहीं भारतमाता की कहानी से तो नहीं?