When my daughter was born, we had decided to slowly transition our son to sleep separately in his room. But he was only 5 years old back then and would climb up to sleep with us every night. I also realized that the birth of his sister and transition to sleeping alone wasn’t a good idea, at least for some days, as it would made him feel left out. My son would share the bed with us and daughter would sleep in the cot next to the bed. In the midnight, she would wake up for feed and eventually somehow sometimes we all would end up sleeping in the same bed. Of course, eventually the kids slept separately. Even during travel we would share the same room with an extra bed.
Now my kids belong to the “adult” bracket and need to have a separate room in hotels. They no more run around the room or jump on beds. Its another transition like any other stage. When they were younger I would wait them to be independent and have a separate room, but finally when they did it felt strange. This is the way of life. From getting crammed in one bed together to having their own room; its like life preparing you for their eventual flight away from the nest.
Every little transition stirs up a lot of emotions…
Yesterday my son told that his friend has dropped a year after his 12th to do some job to support his family who is going through a major financial crisis. That boy intends to pursue his graduation from next year. There have been youngsters who are having family issues, body image issues, financial issues and they are trying their best to cope up these circumstances.
Before assuming that all teenagers’ life is a bed of roses or that they are carefree and ignorant about the world, before labeling them as reckless and selfish; one should never forget that assumptions are wrong. There are teenagers who are struggling, who are unhappy, who are trying to help their parents to the best of their abilities despite their own emotional turmoil. Most of my son’s friends have turned 18 and here begins the struggle of adult life. albeit a bit too early for these kids.
Life is not a bed of roses for every kid, so before assuming or generalizing let’s be, as a society, more mindful and sensitive.
As I grow older, I look around me and see equations changing, tables turning. Its just a matter of may be 2 or 3 decades but one thing that I notice is people who were young, powerful and with authority once have become older now and ones whom they dominated have grown young and powerful. Now that child is a young person and the young person is more or less powerless and repentant (might not admit though!)
The authoritarian can be a parent, a teacher, a relative, a boss, a neighbor, someone with more power, money, beauty and good health. They forget nothing remains permanent, that change is the only constant. The damage that they do is forgotten by them, but not by the one who bears the brunt of that damage. Someone prettier and richer than you might have mocked you and now he/she might have lost that youth, beauty and power. A parent who might have been emotionally or physically detached or abusive wants the grown-up child to shower him/her with love and emotions.
Don’t push away people and relations when you are at your prime. Don’t let your ego ruin everything. Some day you will lose your prime and the one who was weaker will be in his/her prime. Those lost years, damaged relations, hurt and bruised hearts won’t just mend magically. Be good, be nice when you have all the energy, money, youth, beauty and time because by the time you realize your follies it might be too late to mend the broken hearts and relations.
The entire country has become a moral police. They are behaving as if they don’t know about drugs. Look around you; youngsters and general public are taking drugs and that’s a reality. Look within you..are you treating women/men/children in your life and around well, are you free of gender bias, are you sure you don’t indulge in manipulation and deceit, are you sure you are not fake, are you sure you don’t yell and abuse, are you sure you don’t smoke, drink, or have other vices, are you sure you don’t body shame, victim shame, child shame, back bite and so on?
Movie stars should never be considered as role models. Its the people within the family and around us who are better role models. Before judging anyone else, pehle apne girebaan mein jhaanko. A strong character is much more than drug abuse.
A mother is shown wearing a crisp cotton saree, hair tied in a bun or plait, her eyes always wet with tears, running around the house like a robot, never shown resting or indulging in her own hobbies, who never eats with her family, being accused and mistreated by everyone including her children, sacrificing till she dies, cooking and cleaning for her grown-up son (daughters are groomed to be like their mothers and hence don’t need to be pampered) and then the tagline:
Maa to Maa hoti hai.
Reality: A mother like me with colored cut hair, seldom wearing saree,who likes to rest and pursue her own interests, who will not take any rude behavior from her children and cry in the bathroom, who will teach both her son (yes!) and daughter cooking, cleaning and being self-reliant, who will not sacrifice unnecessarily, who alone doesn’t take the onus of keeping relations alive, who likes to share pizza and chocolates with her children, who wants everyone to know the fact that no one should take a woman/mother for granted and yes I too deserve and justify the tagline of
Maa to Maa hoti hai
This is for all the makers and loyal viewers of regressive Hindi and regional serials which are immensely popular.
People posting from their Smartphones “Our childhood was so good” or “The olden days kitchen and women were so good”..what’s stopping you from doing the same?
Discard your mobile, laptop, and do the same for your children.Discard all the electronic gadgets in the kitchen and shun the gas pipeline and go back to good old chulha. Allow your children to run around freely without asking them where they are! Buy only 2 sets of clothes for yourself and your children and give them gifts only on birthdays. Shun social media.
Its doable, isn’t it? So, if you can do all this, only then lament about how good the bygone era was and how our kids have a not-so-great childhood. Accept the fact that times change, we evolve.
I remember when I was newly married my brand new husband had called his friend for dinner and he wanted me to make rajma-chawal. We had an arranged marriage and I was hesitant to tell him that I didn’t know how to make rajma! My mother mostly used to cook Bengali cuisine and rarely made rajma, so I had no idea how rajma was made.I put rajma beans in the cooker and even after 10 whistles I saw that the rajma wouldn’t soften. I had no idea that rajma needed to be soaked for 6-7 hours before being cooked. As expected, dinner was a total disaster. My husband and his friend didn’t utter a word and ate silently.
Eventually, my husband taught me how to make rajma, chole, matar paneer and 18 years into our marriage now he says I make these dishes better than him.New relationships are quite similar. They need time, experience, and patience. Had my husband showed his annoyance that day, I might have totally lost the zeal to learn a new dish.
As they say, experience is the best teacher. We learn to strike the right balance in all the relationships like we add salt and other masalas without measuring as years go by. Life is like that, the more we experience, the more we learn..be it cooking, relationships, or anything!.
I was quite young and I vaguely remember the hot topic of discussion in the late 80s, Neena Gupta’s pregnancy. There were a lot of speculations about the father as Neena wasn’t married. It was a blasphemous act to do, still it is, and it was a big deal in those times. Those weren’t the days of social media, so only film magazines and newspapers provided the gossip and masala. When she gave birth to Masaba, it was not difficult to guess who the father was because of Masaba’s physical traits.
Neena Gupta was judged even though the fact remains that she raised her daughter as a strong single mother and the so-called society didn’t help her out! Of course, criticism was ample. Masaba herself went through a lot of ordeal because she looked “different”, because her parents weren’t married. Well..present day she is a successful designer and a brand name.
Masaba Masaba on Netflix revealed her acting genes that she has inherited from her very talented mother, apart from inheriting her strength. I loved her confidence, the way she carried herself, and of course what she wore. This is applicable for both mother and daughter.
When a woman is single, divorced, widow, or someone who is like Neena Gupta who want to live life on their own terms the society is quick to judge and criticize. No one pays a single penny for their survival or shares their anxieties or sorrows. When you can’t help them, better not criticize them or their choices.
Loved Neena and Masaba Gupta in the series. Loved the feisty ladies.
Few marks here and there won’t matter that much, integrity will. Parents who are helping their children during online exams are really setting a bad example. They won’t be around their kids always and serve shortcuts for problems of life in a platter. It’s really unfair to the kids who work hard and are true to themselves.
As it is said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” Let the kids not question this quote’s truth!
Scrolling through TV channels yesterday, stopped at Life Of Pi and watched Irrfan doing a tremendous job. It made me sad once again as I realized how soon we had lost a great actor, how a life was cut short. He could have given so many more great performances, seen his sons grow, had a good old age with his wife.
During my post-graduation, I had a great friend and lab partner who wanted to get married early and was full of life. A car crash just before our final exams cut her life short. Had she been alive today, she would have been one of my friends who would have grown older with me.
When I have the flare-up of my autoimmune condition, I simply pray that I shouldn’t be having a painful old age and shouldn’t survive that long. But again, the desire and greed to see my children young and doing well in their life, the desire to grow old with my husband, the desire to go for an all girls trip with my friends, the desire to fulfill some of the wishes from my bucket list wants me to live more.
As it is said, “Growing old is a privilege denied to many.” There have many who couldn’t grow old with their spouse, couldn’t see their children grow up, left with many unfulfilled wishes. We should simply take each day as a blessing, no matter how tough some days are. At least, we are present in our loved ones life, at least we are thriving..