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.
As a part of a committee in his college, my son has to make cold calls to various people for sponsorship. As a part of the service industry, I know how these calls work. I told my son about how some people might be rude, some might disconnect calls, some might ask to call later, and some might show interest. All-in-all he would encounter various kinds of people in these calls and that he needs to stay calm and neutral in all the calls.
As a youngster, its not easy to take rejections or deal with rude people, but that’s another aspect of life. Dealing with rejections and handling various kinds of people will be a part of life. Now, the advice and ideas given to the children are in another tangent 🙂
Most “motherhood” ads focus around new moms and their babies. Wish there were ads and discussions focusing on another side of motherhood, semi-veteran moms like us with children ready to fly out of their nest.
There are a lot of similarities between the early stage of motherhood and now. In both the stages, moms are overcome by the effects of hormones, in both the stages they are trying to mold themselves in accordance with their children, in both the stages at some stage they are lonely, in both the stages they are marred by physical and emotional changes, in both the stages they are judged, in both the stages they are often clueless.
The only difference is then we teach them to walk and now we give them wings to fly out of their nest.
My daughter has opted for French as her subject instead of Hindi for class 9 and 10 and since there were lesser students opting for French, the school had told us that they won’t be teaching it but taking exams and that if we are sure that she can do it on her own to opt for it. Since my daughter wanted to opt out of Hindi, she chose French. In our family, only my son has studied French from class 4-8 and then again in 12th. I had decided to opt for tuition for my daughter, but within 2 days we realized that the teacher wasn’t that good. My daughter then decided that her Dada (elder brother) would be her French teacher.
Between his own studies, meeting his friends, playing games, attending online college meetings, doing assignments, leg pulling and bickering, my son managed to teach French to his sister. In the first term exam, my daughter scored second highest marks in French in her section and did well in this among most subjects.
The sibling duo keeps bantering, Dada keeps pulling the sister’s leg all the time, but the duo did some serious stuff too!! This Teacher’s Day my daughter in a typical sibling (reluctant) style wished her Dada “Happy Teacher’s Day”
My mother had a surgery last week and one thing worth noticing was that apart from the surgeon all the pre and postoperative caregivers were women; the nurses, ayahs, physiotherapists, cook, house-help and last but not the least I and my elder sister. All these women were from different walks of life; a single mother, a headstrong widow, a newly-married girl trying to fit in; but their struggles did not deter their dedication towards their work.
Women manage 2 forts, home and work, and that’s not easy at all. Not because they cannot, because mostly the society and family expects them to be superhuman and don’t pitch in or don’t appreciate. Along with handling these 2 forts, they also handle the expectations and “rules” set by the society and family and the unwarranted advice meted out to them.
I wonder why people still doubt the efficacy and sincerity of women when it comes to their work. They might be breaking from inside, but their dedication towards their work is unquestionable. No, women are not born multitaskers or resilient beings; their circumstances and conditioning makes them so.
Time to recognize and acknowledge their work ethics and skills beyond their social status, family life, personal issues…they are pro at handling everything with remarkable efficiency.
My mother underwent a surgery last week and I have been taking care of her. This was the first time when I wasn’t with my children during any festival, yesterday being Rakshabandhan. My children have always helped and supported me in taking care of parents. They both have taken care of each other emotionally and also in taking care of the house.
Rakshabandhan is not just about a brother protecting his sister physically, its about the bond where both the siblings love and support each other through good and bad times. Many a times siblings aren’t present physically, but the emotional support and connect is there and that’s what matters.
There’s a lot of debate regarding the essence of this festival, but with changing and evolving times and gender dynamics loving and supporting each other, be it siblings of any gender, is what matters in the end.
My son has handled the home pretty well in my absence whenever I have gone out for an extended period. In the future also, he will do it well. Today in a course of our conversation, I asked him whether it was difficult to manage home or not. He said, “it’s not difficult, it’s tedious. Day in and day out doing the same chores does get monotonous and tedious.”
At least my son acknowledged this. There are people who do not acknowledge how handling a home can be a tedious and monotonous task for years. Women do it for countless years and are not supposed to complain or have a break either. They are supposed to carry their duties with a smiling face and no complaints or get tired. Just as my son realized it after handling the home for a few days, everyone in the family should be handed over the home for a few days to handle and see for themselves how difficult or easy managing a home is!
So, next time whenever a woman is questioned, “Saara din karti kya ho” or says handling a home is easy, promptly ask that person to manage the home at least for a week and then question…
The other day my teen daughter was talking to me and casually she said, “I like this certain quality and attribute of mine very much.” I cheekily said, “Self praise, eh?” She said, “Why not? Aren’t we entitled to appreciate ourselves too?”
This set me thinking. We are always critical about ourselves, but why don’t we appreciate ourselves? We always end up being critical about the way we look, our behavior, what we couldn’t achieve, but how many times do we pat our back about what we are good at or the qualities that are worth appreciating? May be because we are conditioned that appreciating oneself will sound boastful or vain. How is that being critical comes easily to us and not being appreciative?
I would definitely want to have the confidence of my daughter when it comes to self-worth. May be we all should start looking and cherish our worth more and be less critical…
I was watching a 90s movie, a movie of my school and college time, and the leading lady and the hero were looking so ridiculous with their gawkiness, unpolished and unfiltered looks, funny costumes, makeup and dance steps. Those two actors are considered to be good looking and stylish in their 40s now. Why just them..even when I see mine and other 90s kids photos and videos it makes me cringe. We were ridiculously dressed up, had funny makeup on, had awkward poses, camera was basic.
But those actors and even me or kids of my generation had one thing which time has changed, the innocence in the eyes. We have become wiser, more confident, the tide of time has shown us good and bad of life, and all those have gathered in our eyes. The eyes are more tired now, wiser now, with lesser gawkiness and sparkle.
We acquired life skills, confidence, etiquette, diplomacy, wisdom, experience, great mobiles with good cameras and filters, but left behind those innocent eyes and the sweet awkwardness.
It was another event for the superstar; the heartthrob of millions, superstar Raghu. People thronged in thousands to catch just one glimpse of him. He wasn’t just another superstar; he was a superstar down in the Southern part of India where heroes are worshiped as Gods. They have fanatic fans who build temples and worship the star. They bathe their giant-sized cutouts with milk. They throng to the theaters to watch the first day first show; whistle, clap and shout on their entry; dance when the superstar dances, believe that the fights are for real; cry when the superstar cries.
Raghu was now in his late 40s. He knew he was ageing. He wore his expensive wig, asked his makeup man to cover his fine lines before he went for the event. Just last month he had gotten a face-lift and liposuction done in an expensive clinic in London. For his fans, he had to put up the facade of being young. They wanted to see him forever young, immortal.
He had entered the film industry as a gawky 20-year-old in the 1990s. He was from a middle-class background, very ordinary looking. He somehow got a chance in a movie as the hero’s sidekick and over the years after immense hard work, many setbacks, multiple humiliations and rejections he had finally become the darling of the masses. When he was on screen, he was on fire. He would bring out a thousand expressions with ease, dance, sing, fight, romance with ease, but off screen he was this quiet and aloof person who had a certain melancholy in his eyes. He looked uncomfortable when his co-actors, producers, directors would flatter him with compliments. He knew that 2 flops and the same people will ignore his existence, fans will burn his effigies. He had seen it all. He knew how he was mocked and sidelined when in the middle of his career he had 5 flops in a row. He was seated in the fourth or fifth row in any function, sometimes people wouldn’t even invite him for parties and premiers. Producers wouldn’t sign him. Raghu knew “Nothing succeeds like success.” Now that he was a huge superstar again everyone wanted a piece of him, wanted to be clicked with him, seen with him, work with him. Heroines 20-25 years younger to him would want to work with him as they knew even one scene with him would mean a big boost in their career.
His own parents, relatives, so-called friends also wanted a share of him; his money, his fame. His children were constantly hounded by the media for a photo or a byte.
As soon as his BMW entered the event venue, he could see media persons, fans, film industry people thronging towards his car. He could see the familiar “flattering smile” on their faces. He knew once he got out of the car he had to act off-screen as well. He was tired now, but he had chosen this life. He knew he enjoyed this attention, this demi-God status. He was at that stage of life where he had millions of admirers and fans but no genuine friend. Despite thousands around him, he was lonely.
The cameras flashed and captured him at the angles where he looked good,, but even those flashlights couldn’t camouflage the blank and pained eyes.