Raise the boys better…its high time!

After a long time, I visited my beautician today. I have known her for over a decade now. She is a hard-working girl from Mangalore who has always a smile on her face and is very talkative.

Today while I was in the salon she got a call and she became disturbed. She vented out that it was her younger brother who wanted more money from her to buy some stuff which was not really necessary. The girl’s parents are no more and she has literally raised her brother. She literally was in tears and said, “You know ma’am, my brother only wants my money. He is younger to me, still he doesn’t respect me, questions about my character, doesn’t let me wear clothes of my choice, humiliates me, dominates me.” I simply advised her not to take the crap anymore and start saving money for herself as I am sure the brother of this kind wouldn’t be of any help. She said, “Ma’am, all men are the same. You are lucky that your husband “allows” you to wear what you want or doesn’t question you or insult you. I hope your son also doesn’t become like one of the usual men. I told her, “Dare my son ever do anything of this sort, I will be the first one to rebuke him. “

Its really sad to see how most Indian boys are raised. The parents don’t question them, discipline them, or teach them to be respectful towards women. This is not just confined to any one strata of the society; this is prevalent in all the strata. Girls are asked to mind their manners, what they wear, where they go, what they spend. This girl was not the only one whom I have seen in tears or disheartened; I have seen many such women and every time it breaks my heart to see these heartbroken and sad women.

Those monsoon days..

Its raining here in Mumbai and it takes me down the memory lane of my first tryst with Mumbai monsoons way back in 2002. I was newly married and started my new life here in the City of Dreams. I had joined work. My office was in Andheri. I was getting used to the local trains, discerning East from West (areas), trying to figure BEST bus numbers taking me to the correct destination.

Once on a rainy July or August then, I boarded a BEST bus from Andheri to my home and it was raining heavily. It took almost 3 hours or more for me to reach home. Back then there were no mobiles for communication. I would always reach home earlier than my husband. But that day he reached earlier and I hadn’t reached still. He was worried as I was pregnant with our son and in a very delicate stage. Heavy rains, no way of communicating, me still getting acclimatized to Mumbai all this caused my young husband to panic. Finally, I managed to reach home and both were relieved. Dinner was pizza amidst the rainy weather.

Those were the days 🙂

“One old song, a thousand old memories.”

Last week my husband was casually playing some old songs on his mobile. Those were the songs of our childhood, the songs of early and mid 80s and 90s. The songs were truly melodious but more than the melody it was the memory associated with those songs which stood out. I remembered my childhood how my mom used to switch on the radio every morning while me and my siblings hurried to get ready to go to school, mom used to give breakfast, dad used to get ready for office while all those songs kept on playing, almost daily. I remembered the school and college days.
While traveling by Ola cab when the FM is switched on, the songs that play often remind me of my early days of marriage, the time I was expecting my children, the time my children were younger, the time I used to listen to radio along with my sister and mother before marriage and so on.

Any Bengali Robindro Sangeet is associated with my childhood and my father teaching me and my sister those songs or us performing at the small Bengali gatherings.

As my husband played an old Hemant Kumar song, it brought back the memories of my late father who used to sing Hemant Kumar’s Bengali and Hindi songs.

Why are some songs so special to us? Most of the times it’s the memories that are associated with them, both good and bad, that make those songs special. We go back to that time, re-live that particular moment.

“One old song, a thousand old memories.”

Compassion and encouragement costs nothing a veteran but means a lot for a newbie

My son has just started driving and today he drove while my husband sat next to him. My husband has been driving for more than 30 years now and is a great driver. My son was a little nervous to drive with his dad sitting besides him. He faltered once or twice due to his nervousness, but my husband calmly asked him to not worry and rectified what needed to be. This gave him more confidence.

When someone is a newbie the expert in that field should guide him/her without getting annoyed or pointing out his/her mistakes harshly; it shatters the confidence of the newbie. One eventually learns after practice and experience. This is applicable everywhere; workplace, home, children, a new bride, a new mother.

A little compassion and encouragement costs nothing for the veteran but means a lot for the newbie.

Losing out the precious moments..

This is the second year in a row that my kids are unable to celebrate their friends’ birthdays by going over to their houses with cakes, giving them birthday bumps, and in general having a good time. With every friend’s birthday, I can sense my kids’ disappointment of not being able to cherish that moment in person. Zoom calls cannot replace the actual presence.

My son is in his second year of graduation and my daughter in class 9. They have only another year before they move out of their college and school respectively. As such, the kids will choose different colleges and schools and won’t be able to meet regularly.This pandemic has robbed the kids of their precious moments and memories. The disappointment in their voice and eyes breaks my heart, but there is nothing that I can do. Even vaccines aren’t available for their safety.

Waiting for the kids to go back to their normal life soon, God knows when and how…

That’s how a brother should be..

Today being Brothers Day I came across a post where it was being said that God made brothers to protect their sisters. This reminded me of an incident where I was discussing about the various fasts that are kept for husband, brothers or sons for their well being and longevity. Basically, women fast for the well being of their “protectors”. Almost all the festivals are for boys and men.

My son, who is the older one, is a feminist and he said, “I will be always there for my younger sister, but I am sure she will be so independent, fearless, and self-sufficient that she won’t need me to protect her. When we grow up we might not stay in the same city and I might there be around immediately. Rather I will help her in being capable to take care of herself.”

That’s how a brother should be or for that matter every man should be; protective yet not overbearing.

Change is the only constant..

Of late, I have been scrolling through posts of how people are excited to watch the reunion episode of popular sitcom Friends. I hope it lives up to their expectations.

Often, we have seen that season 2 or sequel of most series or movies disappoint the viewers. They have the pressure to live up to the expectations of part 1 but more than often they are not.

Often, we see people going with a lot of excitement to meet their childhood friends or for a school or college reunion may be after 2 decades; going to meet relatives; meet friends in an old colony after a long, long time; old office colleagues after years but coming back not feeling just the same as expected. People remember the good old times and those moments are frozen there. Times change, people change, circumstances change, feelings change. Don’t search for the replica of those frozen moments again; this might just disappoint you. Accept that fact that change is inevitable, that change is the only constant.

Aamchi Mumbai is taking a nap

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

‘That’s the thing about this city…aamchi Mumbai…a city that never sleeps, but right now the city is taking a nap. Mumbai..the city of dreams, with its share of flaws, is like an addiction; once you are addicted to the city you can never leave it. People have complained about its infrastructure, fast life, people who don’t care yet one cannot deny the warmth that this city exudes.

I came to Mumbai 19 years ago from a small town. Initially I struggled to differentiate Andheri East from Andheri West, I was skeptical about going in the ever-bursting local trains. But now the drive to Bandra Worli Sea Link is magical, Bandra Bandstand, Worli Seaface, Juhu Beach, Churchgate station, Kandivali, Malad sound and feel like magic. A city where you can find food even at wee hours, get a mode of transport even at any odd time. This is the city which gave me wings, gave me freedom.

Pandemic has made this city dull and people scared. The hustle bustle of local trains, BEST buses, traffic jam during office hours, the laughter at cafes, the tapri chai is missing. The spirit is mellowed. But I am sure my city will bounce back once this pandemic is gone. The happy spirit of aamchi Mumbai will be back with a bang. After this nap, the city will be fresh again and will not sleep.

Till then keep your “Mumbai spirit” intact my dear city..

Talk now…not in dreams..

“Why have you left this tea? Drink it. You know each penny counts. Don’t waste stuff.” He rebuked me again. Wearing his pajamas and his comfy, faded old shirt, he started to open the front door of the home. I asked him, “Where are you going at this hour? It’s midnight.” He said with a smile, “The weather is quite good outside. I will take a stroll and come back.”

I woke up. It was dream, just a dream of my father who left this world 4 months ago. The dream was vivid yet when I woke up I realized I won’t be talking to him ever again, watch him ever again, get rebuked by him ever again. He has gone for a long stroll and will never come back again. Talk to your loved ones as much as you can, as you never know when the conversation might only be in dreams…

The Earlier The Better..

I was watching a series Out of Love on Disney Hotstar and one particular scene caught my eye. The protagonist’s teenage son’s female friend confided in his mother that he was trying to touch her inappropriately despite her asking him to stop. The boy’s mother was extremely apologetic and profusely apologized to the girl for her son’s behavior. She even asked her to tell this to her mother. She rebuked and counseled her son regarding the same.

In most Indian homes, the parents of boys either deny their son’s such behavior or try to pinpoint what the girl was wearing or in general tarnish her character. Instead of doing that, its always important to talk to the son about the unacceptable behavior, if he is at fault.

Mistakes or unacceptable behavior, of any kind, by any gender, needs to be tackled with maturity rather than denying it or trying to put the blame on someone else. The earlier the better.