बच्चे कुछ भी हो जाए आत्महत्या नहीं करना..

कुछ दिनों पहले मेरे ही घर के आस-पास एक १४ वर्षीया बच्ची ने आत्महत्या की.  उसके आत्महत्या का वीडियो हर व्हाट्सप्प ग्रुप में डाला गया, जो की बिलकुल ही असंवेदनशील और गलत था.  सबके दिल दहल गए!  क्या कारण था, अब इसपर बहस करने की ज़रूरत नहीं है.  उस बच्ची की मनोदशा ठीक नहीं थी, इसलिए उसने शायद यह रास्ता अपनाया.  उसके माता पिता की हालत के बारे में सोचकर दिल काँप जाता है मेरा.

मेरे दो युवा होते बच्चे हैं, एक १५ का और एक १० की.  दोनों ज़िन्दगी के बहुत ही नाज़ुक दौर से गुज़र रहे हैं.  आज सुबह जब मैं अपने बेटे का सर सहला रही थी, मुझे उस बच्ची के माँ के बारे में सोचकर रोना आ गया.  फिर कभी वह अपनी लाडली को देख नहीं सकेगी, प्यार से उसका माथा नहीं सहला पाएगी.

आए दिन हम अख़बार में पढ़ते हैं, टीवी पर न्यूज़ देखते हैं की युवा बच्चे आत्महत्या करते हैं, कभी परीक्षा में ख़राब नतीजे की वजह से, कभी प्यार में झगड़े या धोखे की वजह से, कभी माँ बाप पर नाराज़ होकर, इत्यादि.  आज बच्चों को पालना पहले से भी अधिक कठिन हो गया है.  माता-पिता बच्चों से ज़्यादा दोस्ताना रिश्ता रखते हैं, बच्चों को हर चीज़ बिना मांगे ही मिल जाती हैं, उन पर अनुशासन का दबाव नहीं होता, ऐसे में बच्चे भावनात्मक तरीके से कमज़ोर हो जाते हैं.

अपने बच्चों को हमेशा कुछ बातें बताना ज़रूरी है:

१.  ज़िन्दगी में कठिनाइयां, उतर-चढ़ाव, निराशा सब आएंगी, उनका डटकर सामना करना होगा नाकि हार मानना होगा.

२.  जीवन अनमोल है, उसे आत्महत्या करके नहीं गंवाना चाहिए.  मुश्किल से मुश्किल घड़ी ज़रूर टल जाती है.

३.  माता-पिता को अपने बच्चों से हमेशा बातचीत करते रहना चाहिए.  उनके मन में क्या चल रहा है, यह जानना बहुत ज़रूरी है.

४.  बच्चों को भावनात्मक तरीके से सशक्त बनाएं कमज़ोर नहीं.  उन्हें हर मुश्किल से बचाने की कोशिश न करें.  छोटी-छोटी लड़ाईयां खुद लड़ने दें.  इससे वे सशक्त बनते हैं.

५.  आपका बच्चा जैसा है उसे वैसे ही प्यार करें और अपनाएं.  कभी किसी और बच्चे के साथ तुलना न करें.  इससे बच्चों में हीनभावना आ जाती है.

६.  बच्चों से हमेशा कहें की अगर उनसे कोई गलती होती है तो वे आकर आपको बताएं.  आप उनका सही मार्गदर्शन करेंगे.

७.  अगर बच्चे के स्वाभाव में अचानक से परिवर्तन नज़र आये जैसे की गुमसुम रहने या अत्यधिक क्रोधित हो जाना या बिलकुल बात न करना, तो उसे नज़रअंदाज़ न करें.  ज़रूरत हो तो किसी काउंसलर के पास उसे ले जाएं.

८. अपने बच्चों के दोस्तों के बारे में जानकारी रखें.  उन्हें मोबाइल, फेसबुक, इंस्टाग्राम इत्यादि के बारे में सचेत करें और सही ज्ञान दें.

९.  हम हमेशा अपने बच्चों के साथ नहीं रह सकते, पर उन्हें बार-बार ये बोलना आवश्यक है की ज़िन्दगी में कितना भी बुरा वक़्त आए, मन कितना भी दुखी हो, आत्महत्या का रास्ता कभी न अपनाए.  उनके माँ-बाप के लिए उनका जीवन अमूल्य है.

Does the “Rajshree” family exist?

While surfing TV channels, came across one of the Rajshree movies. As in all Rajshree movies like Hum aapke hain kaun, hum saath saath hain, Vivah, etc., all the characters were perfect, too sweet, always had smiles plastered on their faces, were too “sanskari”, always in a celebratory mode, and everyone happy! Many people, including me in the younger days, cringed at these movies for being too “perfect and sugary sweet”.
 
Still these movies are a hit..why? Because like the mindless action movies, people know that these characters, these families are fictitious, they don’t exist in reality. Deep down everyone wants an extended family which has great relations, where people understand each other well, respect and love each other, celebrate everything together, and after all the differences unite and are happy again in the end. People wish that their families also were like this. I am sure still there might be such families, but I haven’t come across one.
 
Still I find these films a over-the-top in terms of sweetness and sanskars, but as I am ageing and as I have encountered the relationship realities these movies provide relief for some time at least..

Don’t Call Your Husband An Abuser! He Doesn’t Beat You At Least…

“It was a nice party.  Rekha and Kshitij are such nice hosts, isn’t it?” Maya and Nitesh had just been back from their friends, Rekha and Kshitij’s party, and Maya said this to her husband.  Nitesh looked at Maya and said, “I wonder how Rekha manages everything so well.  Look at her, she has maintained herself so well, she works for a reputable firm, manages her children and home perfectly, entertains guests, always has a smile on her face and look at you.  Such a lazy woman you are.  Look at yourself, I feel ashamed to take you anywhere.  Nothing looks good on you.  You lack the culinary skills of my mom.  Our kids are not chubby and healthy like Rekha’s kids.  You are useless.”  Nitesh went to the other room to watch TV.

Maya had tears in her eyes.  This was not the first time Nitesh was humiliating or mocking her.  Everyday he used to pick on her for one reason or the other.  Once or twice she tried to confide in her mother and she said, “Don’t be so touchy about small things.  He is a good husband.  Has he ever yelled at you or raised hand at you?  You new generation girls don’t know how to adjust.”

For the outside world, friends and relatives, Maya and Nitesh had a perfect marriage.  He earned well, was jovial and courteous (for everyone else), they had 2 beautiful children, a nice home, perfect holidays; only Maya knew how day in and day out she faced the emotional abuse.  Just the other day when Maya tried out a paneer recipe for the first time, Nitesh went and threw the dish in the dustbin and mocked her, “Don’t try to be like my mom.  You can never be a good chef like her.  Such a disgusting shit you had made.  Useless woman.”  Maya tasted the dish, it was not bad, might not be of her mother-in-law’s caliber but not worthy of being thrown in the dustbin.

Every time the kids fell ill, Nitesh blamed her.  “I wonder why women like you become mothers.  Can’t you even raise two kids properly?  Don’t you feed them well or take care?  I won’t allow my children to fall sick because of your laziness and carelessness. Why the hell did you marry, you moron?”

The marks of physical abuse are visible to everyone, but there are no marks of emotional abuse.   There were days when Maya would retaliate and Nitesh would get even nastier.  “Don’t dare to raise your voice woman.  You enjoy my money, my security, my home, and despise me?  Next time I hear you answering me back, I will throw this shapeless figure of yours with your pea-sized brain out of the house, understood?  Ungrateful stupid woman.”

She knew she had nowhere to go.  Her parents would never believe that Nitesh had this facet.  He was very well-behaved in front of them.  She couldn’t go out and work as Nitesh didn’t want her to.  If she dared to separate, she knew Nitesh would never allow her to take their kids with her.  She was stuck in an emotionally abusive marriage.  Even law and police would need proof that she was tortured mentally.  Its so easy to prove physical abuse, but so difficult to prove emotional abuse.

Maya decided to take baby steps to get out of this rotten marriage where she was treated like a garbage.  She had already looked for a work-from-home option and eventually get out of this mess.

Once she had told her friend about Nitesh’s behavior and all she said was, “At least he doesn’t beat you, so its really not abuse..”

Wish the world understood that there are many women like her who daily get humiliated and tortured emotionally, which is as bad as physical abuse..

Age is catching up!

Early morning the alarm rang and I quickly tried to get up.  “Ouch”!  the back hurt.  I had to slow down and then get up again.  While combing my hair, saw 2 white hair strands.  Hmm..  After a trip from outside, it took me 2 days to recover.  I sit in front of the laptop to write a blog and then defer writing.  On days, I feel depressed and tired without any reason.  Then I realize..oh my hormones are acting up!

Ten 10 years ago this didn’t happen!  I was raising 2 little kids, always on my toes, with not a single minute to rest.  Being in a nuclear family set-up, there were days when 24 hours would be less.  The kids were dependent physically on me for everything, but still I believe I had more energy to do things.

Now, the kids are relatively grown up.  I have more time to rest, to take care of myself.  I have a bucket list to do so many things, but then ageing has set in.  Despite taking care of ourselves, somewhere the body starts to indicate that things are not the same as they were in your 20s or 30s.  I suffer from an autoimmune disease, which again has been a big health spoiler for me.  This condition has no cure, so more than my body my mind needs to be strong to cope up with this for another 30 years or till the time I survive.

There is a lot of help and motivation from my husband and children to go out, to do things, to have fun with friends, to chase the unfulfilled dreams, and yes I am doing so, to the best of my abilities, but I wish I had the energy which I had 15 years back.

Life is strange.  When you are young and raising small kids, you defer things for the future, when the kids grow up, when you are more free and have time, but the age sets in.  I am a very positive person, the one who never gives up, wish the time went by a bit slower…

Why shouldn’t girls have fun without getting judged?

Yesterday I was in a sulky mood; blame it on the hormones or the weather😜So, me and hubby went for the last show (as usual) of Veere Di Wedding. It kind of served as a movie date night for the both of us😉 My main motto was to get entertained and that I got!

No, I wasn’t searching any “moral science” stories in the movie. It was only 2 hours of fun, treat watching Phuket, good costumes and makeup! Why are people trying to associate it with women empowerment I don’t know! Also, people who are associating it with urban women need to know that rural women also smoke bidis and use a lot more filthy cuss words. The audience yesterday was a mix of college students to couples like us to friends to a family where the women folk had pallu on their heads intact. I believe their “sankars” didn’t get “bhrasht” after watching this. The move is an Adult movie where the watchers are adults, so I believe the adult women know what they are watching and whether they would want to get influenced or not. In an age where kids know about “Game of Thrones” and other stuff, people shouldn’t be scandalized watching 4 adult women smoke, drink or have fun. Society in general is extremely judgmental towards women. I liked two dialogues in the movie where the girl says it doesn’t matter how qualified you are or what you achieve in life unless you get married. Also, the girls being under pressure to get married, to have babies, that “pressure” factor unfortunately is there.

The “good” and “introvert” girl in me deep down has always wanted to be free-spirited and sometimes bad-ass, and I am sure there are many like me who given a chance would like to shed all their inhibitions and simply want to have “fun”.

Just watch it as a pure entertainer and nothing else. Life has many problems as such and we don’t need to scrutinize or judge everything. The movie is a hit and its a proof that audience has accepted films revolving around female protagonists despite all the different reactions.

As Rekha said in the old “Khoobsurat” sometimes its only good to have Nirmal Anand (ironically Sonam’s husband name is Anand and on screen she interacted with a character Nirmal!!!)..

Golden Rules I Follow To Keep My Child Away From Cold And Flu

The weather in Mumbai is bad right now.  It’s extremely hot and sultry.  Its unbearable without AC in the indoors.  So, most of us after coming back from the scorching sun or sultry weather immediately switch on the AC and drink cold water.  The kids also do the same.

Right now summer vacations are going on and the kids are out in the sun playing, swimming, and enjoying.  My daughter is out playing with her friends and is at their home in the evening.  One of the friends got infected by viral cold and flu.  Kids being kids cannot be away from their friends and it’s not even feasible to ask the kids to be away from each other because of cold.  So, I insisted that my daughter keep a hand sanitizer with her and use it at frequent intervals so that she maintains her hygiene and the keep the germs at bay that could be potentially contracted from her friend.  Hygiene for kids is extremely important for me and with hand sanitizer and hand wash serve as hygiene solutions.

After coming back from her friend’s home and playing, she knows she has to wash her hands with Dettol hand wash.  It is a mandatory rule for my family that whenever they come back home from outside the first thing they do is to wash their hands using a hand wash.  This is a very important aspect of hygiene in my home.  It ensures that the harmful germs are killed.  Health and hygiene is the topmost priority for me and my family.

So, whenever there is any change of season where there is a high probability of getting contagious viral diseases from others I make it doubly sure that me and my family use Dettol handwash and hand sanitizer diligently.

Comparison

Asha’s mother was fuming with anger today. Her board results were out and she had scored 75%. She wasn’t taking any phone calls or replying to any messages. She yelled at Asha, “I am ashamed of you. Who gets 75%? We spent so much money on your tuition, your school, and you do this to us? I can’t face anyone. I am so ashamed to inform about your result to family and friends. Look at Sameer, he scored 92%. His parents must be so proud. He must have studied hard. He must be more intelligent than you are. You are dumb. Just get out of my sight now.”

Asha went to her room and tears rolled down her cheeks. She herself was not expecting 75%, she expected at least 80%. She knew her caliber. She wanted to take up Arts and study psychology in the future, but her parents insisted on Science. After all, all her cousins were either engineers or doctors and her parents didn’t want to feel “embarrassed.”

She wanted to go and tell her mom, “Please stop comparing me with others. You are ashamed of me simply because I scored 75%? What if I tell you that I was ashamed of your behavior with me, I was let down by you when you forced me to take Science, I felt humiliated when you called me dumb? What if I start comparing you with other parents and tell you how “cool” and understanding they are. How would you feel if I compare your upbringing with Sameer or anyone else’s mother?

But Asha knew if she said all this, she would be labeled shameless and defiant. She prepared herself mentally for another round of comparison once her father was back home.