Butterflies and Bees ~ Fiction


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

Varda sat there with a blank look. The frame above the fireplace held the photo of a handsome man with a strongly built canine by his side. The man in the frame was the first living being she fell in love with. She recalled the first time when he had held her as a child against his chest, while she was just a few months from turning one. She recalled the warmth of his hand over her tiny head. His touch had healed her insecurities and fears. They were to become the best father daughter duo soon!

She even reminisced the moments when he would take her out for those long drives with the cool winds of that tiny hill station caressing her long tresses. She loved it when he made her favorite Chicken sausages on Sundays. The long walks, the cool beats that played on the audio during long drives, running along the rugged forest trails during Spring, the musicals that played on the old gramophone at night, she missed them all. And, she missed him terribly. Especially, the mere physical presence…….

………………………………………………………………..4 years ago………………………………………………………………..

Varda was barely 5 months old when Wilson, a 50 year old widower had adopted her. Rather, he had rescued her. The feisty little hybrid Indie faced her first brush with death when she ran wildly towards the other end of the road chasing a beautiful polka dotted butterfly, oblivious to the peering headlights and the blaring horn that was heading her way. The butterfly disappeared into the mist. But, it was just too late for Varda to comprehend that she was hit and almost run over on her leg by the speeding car. She shrieked in pain and, winced for three hours till her eyes began to droop and, her voice had become weak. But the pain did not last. Perhaps, the pain went numb as her eyes were closing. She probably had visions of polka dotted butterflies and, yellow and black striped bees that was later followed by an excruciating pain. She opened her eyes gently and peered into that empathy filled face of the man she was going to know as her master soon! And then, her eyes closed again although she heard a lot of noises for a very long time. After an hour that seemed like ages, she opened her eyes again to find herself on a table and, a pair of hands with a needle. The world went blank after that.

A few days passed by. Varda drifted in and out of consciousness. She heard some muffled voices intermittently. “The medicines are doing their job. Her foot will heal. It is surprising that she survived such an accident! And Wilson, your faith is like a rock! When I looked at her mangled lower body, I had given up on treating this malnourished pup! Your faith actually got me through, here! That said, she will take a few more months to heal completely.”, said Dr. Sharma.

And what the silver haired man said after etched into her memory for a lifetime – “Common Sharma, In my time, I have seen the best fall and, the mediocre rise like phoenix. Somehow, her heartbeat assured me that she is a fighter! Had Shirley been here, she would have been on cloud nine…..” (Silence)

See, she is listening! sharp girl…..Varda!

Sharma swayed his head from left to right with a grin – “right! After the storm, Varda eh?”

It would take three more months for the Varda to realize how her life was about to be filled with sunshine after that stormy night!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Wilson had been married to Shirley for about 30 years. They were the perfect couple who had raised good children and, discovered a deeper love for each other with age. However, his plans to globetrott and, spend his post retirement life completely with his soulmate came to a deafening halt when Shirley suddenly passed away in her sleep one fine day. The void hit him so hard that grief now became a part of him. After retiring as a Colonel from the Indian Army and post, Shirley’s untimely demise, he went away from the crowd to lead a quiet life in the serenely calm hills of Kalimpong. His children had studied well and, were settled abroad. They would visit him once a year and at times, he would go and live with them for a few months. However, Shirley’s absence could not be filled even while his children and grandchildren admired and loved him unconditionally. He was still an affectionate parent and a grandparent. But, he kept his aloofness at times, intact. And after 10 long years of grief, that late evening walk brought in a change in his life, a change he never imagined. Varda, the storm had arrived in his life with her agenda of ‘butterflies and bees’!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Over the period of four years, they were together, they became the perfect master canine pair. Varda was a quick learner, given her strong genes from the great Indian Mastiff. Besides, having been born a stray, her adaptability to environments was amazing. She learned the tricks of fetching and hunting with the retired veteran. She loved running through the forest trails while the old man would yell – “Go girl, go! Run with the wind”. She even helped as a runner and fetcher when they went for long treks and expeditions wherein, Wislon would set up tents at night. They went fishing together in the small lake nearby on Sundays. After all, swimming was Varda’s favorite sport!

From a flustered and scared pup, Varda transformed slowly and steadily into a fiercely loyal and, an extremely vigilant canine. Wilson’s children fell madly in love with Varda’s charm when they visited their father. And, so did their children and, so did the children in the neighborhood. Life was good until….the fateful night of 11th April.

They had gone for a long drive as usual, which was always a part of their daily drill. Somewhere in between those bouts of joyful barking and laughter, somewhere in the middle of those mindless banter of how the world had gone from bad to worse, the incessant talker and the good listener missed the board of – Work in Progress, while they drove on, into a route towards the unfinished bridge covered in mist, that would later seal their fate.

When the hit happened, Wilson and Varda had looked into the face of death for the first and last time when the jeep hit the boulder and, tumbled into the river. That moment was too deep and too short and yet, too loud. And then, everything was calm. Deafeningly calm.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Varda looked up at the frame again. It had been four days since her master departed. And yet, she could not accept that he was gone! Although the short four golden years of her life felt like a a drop in the ocean of uncertainties she faced in the first few months of her life, that precious drop of assurance also made her believe in the fact, that there was enough sunshine in the world for everyone.

As she looked up, she saw the crowd paying respects to her master. It was then, she saw Marissa – Wilson’s granddaughter place a small toy near the frame and say – “Will miss you too, Varda”.

Suddenly, there was a blinding light at the door. Varda saw the familiar face and, barked with joy! None heard her barking. But, he did. And, she took the joyful leap into his outstretched arms as he said, pointing towards the sky – “Come girl, I know a forest out there…with so many butterflies and bees…..and we have a lot of exploring to do….”

————————————————–Butterflies and Bees———————————————————

mn2

P.S: The above post is my humble attempt at writing fiction.

Responses and Reactions


Do you know who Marina Abramovic is? Nope? Neither did I, until an article with disturbing images of a woman cropped up on my FB timeline.

I read the article. It showed a performance artist standing still for about 6 hours. This was a social experiment in which there was a table with 72 objects of pleasure and pain, open to the public. The experiment was conducted to show the swing of extremes in human nature, while men and women alike chose their objects for the ‘subject’. In the course of 6 hours that followed, the performance artist was made to sit, stand, be humiliated, pricked, cut, stripped, molested, groped and even, was subjected to a coup de grace stance!

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After 6 hours, she walked towards the very people who did bad to horrible ‘things’ to her and, in return she received averted gazes. The perpetrators walked away from her as if, they momentarily had lapsed into an alternate world some time back and are not aware of what had happened. This show was termed as Rhythm 0 and, was orchestrated in the year 1974. And the lady who underwent the humiliating 6 hour ordeal was Marina Abramovic, a Yugoslavian performance artist. As an artist, she has touched the forbidden realms of art and, I salute her for such a performance. To even engage in an experiment as that requires some kind of unreal courage. Given her disturbed childhood and, her channelization of energies into the field of art, I get why she even chose the topic of human depravity.

But again, the experiment as per me, was a doctored reality. It was a staged experiment. Someone out there knew this was an experiment. Imagine the same scenario in real world. Which woman, pray tell will throw herself at a pack of wolves, willingly?

Now, almost 4 decades later, the article highlighting this disturbing social experiment was floating around like a recent happening. Someone has taken time to dig it out and, share! Well, we are living the technological dream and, everything is just available to everyone. So many articles, so much of information, so many versions of facts and, yet so many judgments! So yesterday when I had shared my resentment on why such kind of social experiments must not be shared in such a reckless fashion on social media, I found myself engaged in a very healthy discussion in which a couple of friends mentioned about why they should be. Yes, they had a point. We cannot un-see evil in the world. We cannot ignore the wicked ways of people and, pretend that all is well on God’s planet! I agree to that point. Only to that point. And, I agree to disagree on the way the information was being shared with the disturbing images.

While, we all reached a kind of truce on the importance of helping our children sense the kind of energies around them, I suddenly recalled an article I had written for a website on psychology, 6 years back. The article was on Determinism psychology that essentially states that the cause of events is a predetermined facet of time and that; we have little control over the triggers that initiate the chain reaction. However, this psychology also emphasizes on the kind of determining factors that govern the cause for the events such as,

  • Environment
  • Laws of nature
  • Human instincts and desires
  • Logical thought process
  • Genetic make
  • Fate

And then, there is free will psychology too wherein, the assumption for the study is – you always have the free will to decide what you want. And, you will be held accountable for your own actions. Now, this unlike the determinism psychology lets the concept of regret take form. Say, you missed a train for a meeting unusually makes you feel the regret that, you could have clearly avoided missing the train, had you reached the station on time. However, both psychologies have one thing in common and that is, the consequence of the action. Whether or not the cause is predetermined, whether or not the chain of events have already been charted, the consequence is a reality that has to be borne by the individual, good or bad. And that is the only thing that matters – The consequence. The end result. The dot effect!

So when Marina gave such a gut wrenching performance out of free will and, let herself be violated by the crowd that went from passive to active aggression, she gave out a message – Humans have a tendency to cause harm to their fellow beings if the subject is placed in a defenseless state. To an extent, I agree. That is what adults do when the propensity of their wickedness is unchecked.

However, this social experiment actually ended up generalizing an entire human race. Now, this is where I fiercely agree to disagree! Now, ask yourself a few questions, very simple ones!

  1. When you take a walk in your neighborhood and find a wounded pup in the middle of the road, what do you do?
  2. When a women laborer comes to your doorstep with a dirty bottle and asks you to fill it up with drinking water, what do you do?
  3. When you are returning back from your walk and, you see a teenager losing control over her bike and, she falls on the road, do you rush forward to help?
  4. When you buy something from a grocery store and, on your way back, see very small children selling pens and, asking you to buy them too, do you buy those pens?
  5. When summers arrive, do you mind keeping a few buckets of water in your backyard for animals, or small bowls of water for birds?

I will stop the questions here. If you even attempt rescuing the pup by removing it from the middle of the road, if you give water to the thirsty laborer, if you even attempt running towards that young girl who is wounded, if you even think about buying those pens and, if you do keep the water resources ready for the birds and animals, let’s say you just had that genuine thought……Dear friend, you are still a human with a good heart! The seed of goodness is still there. Humanity has not died yet.

My mother narrated to me an incident that happened during her teenage years. She has studied in a girls school through out. So, I had asked her if eve teasing was prevalent in those days too. It was then, she shared this incident –

“We were a group of 5 to 6 girls who went to school walking. Our uniform then, was a saree in a blue and white combination. So, every time we passed through a particular street, we could hear some boys singing a few romantic songs in the alley. Sometimes, they whistled too. But, we used to walk fast. There was absolutely no trouble beyond the usual singing and occasional whistling. And then, an incident happened.

One day while we were walking back, we heard a lot of commotion. A bull had gone rogue and, it was out on the streets, mad and running aimlessly. And, we froze at that second when the bull began heading towards us. The boys who whistled at us, sang songs while we passed the street jumped in the fray, held the bull by horns and said – “amma tayee….neengu aathu ku pongo….naanga pathukarom!” (meaning “Dear sisters, go home! We will take care of the bull!) That day, we realized how fast we could run. And, it was only after I reached home it dawned on me that I did not even look back once to see whether they were fine. The next day, on our way to school, we saw them, bandaged. But they were back to normal. They were back to singing and whistling. Only now, we knew that they did not mean what they were doing so aimlessly. We never spoke to them as usual.

Now, why I told you this incident is to let you know, that sometimes what seems to flow on the outside may not be the whole picture. We judge people too soon. There were umpteen occasions before that incident when the boys could have done something wrong. But they never did. Which meant, they did certain things out of fascination but never crossed over to engaging in unlawful actions.”

This conversation happened way back. But even at that time, it made me think about our perceptions of people around us. Until a few decades back, the world seemed bearable. Because, we did not really opine about everything. Sometimes, when things did not work in our favor, we did not create a ruckus. Sometimes, when things worked out beautifully, we just thanked our stars. However, today we have become slaves of social media. Every action, every thought and every perception is scrutinized. This is not freedom of speech. This is restriction of thoughts. Every opinion will have a million haters. Every dialogue will have a million followers. Every tweet will have a million trolls!

It is a wrong assumption that we are all fighting for freedom to speak. Actually, we have lost it. We are indeed abusing this freedom of sharing information in a very reckless manner, forgetting that the good deeds being done in the world, the good men working 24/7 for women empowerment, the good women trying to reach out into villages to transform them for good, are being ignored.

Disturbing realities are shared. I do not have an issue with that. Yes, we need to be aware of the harsh realities in this world. However, dissing the entire human race, men and women alike is fundamentally wrong. This world is made of all shades of characters. But remember, no human is born bad. Environment and social conditioning has everything to do with it! A majority of criminals (not all) come from a troubled background. The first time offenders with no criminal records may have had a very weak support system. Suffices to say, weak roots! That explains why there is always a trigger point in a crime. Somewhere, someone was not paying enough attention.

Talk about child abuse, it is by no means on a decline! This may not be a first time news but in many cases, some of the child abusers may have been abused as children themselves. Has portraying movies on rapes and murders helped? Pray tell, how much did the documentary – India’s daughters help in creating ‘awareness’? Rather, rapes and crimes against women have only increased steadily!

What surprises me is how the fact that disturbing images/videos will only have a far worse effect on demented minds, has been ignored. Rather, no one wants to discuss about it. Hours before the Nirbhaya rape happened, the perpetrators had been watching porn, is what some of the news channels said. The issue with our country then and now is, no one discusses the trigger points, the reasons, the cause. But, everyone enjoyed, cried, emptied buckets of tears discussing the gruesome manner in which the rape happened. Is that the solution?

Now, there can NEVER EVER be sympathy for any kind sexual abuse. Such broken individuals must be given the toughest punishment to send out a message, a strong message to the society. And that is what brings out the pertinent message – Broken adults cannot be repaired.

What Marina Abramovic had demonstrated in Rhythm 0 is that, evil breeds in cohesion. And, evil spreads faster than the good. As they say, engaging in sins is, by nature, an easier path than, abstaining from it. If you have watched the movie – The Devil’s Advocate, Al Pacino puts Lucifer’s point of view in a brutal fashion –

..let me give you
a little inside information about God.

God likes to watch.

He’s a prankster.

Think about it.

He gives man… instincts.
He gives you this extraordinary gift,
and then what does He do?

I swear, for his own amusement…
his own private, cosmic…gag reel…
…He sets the rules in opposition.

It’s the goof of all time.

Look, but don’t touch.
Touch, but don’t taste.
Taste, but don’t swallow.
And while you’re jumping from one foot
to the next, what is He doing?…..”

In the movie, Kevin the protagonist kills himself later understanding that shortcuts in life come at a price.

The very reason, God may have designed human in such a complex way is to perhaps test the strength of human minds. I have known men who despite having been surrounded by people with every bad habit, have stayed unscathed by their influence. I have also known women who have been extremely guarded about their beliefs and lifestyle, succumbing to the vices of life. So you see, it all comes down to how well connected you are with your own self. Because, if you are, the Devil will never approach you in the first place. The movie is a masterpiece and, the one message it gives loud and clear is –

The Devil comes to those who chase vanity. After all, “vanity is his favorite sin!”

Sometimes, it is not even about God or the Devil. They both have their roles to play. But many a time, it is about you and me, the humans. Our responses to incidents are conditioned by our reactions. Our reactions are molded by our thoughts. Our thoughts stem from the conditioning we have received in our childhood. Essentially, our own Karma is more or less a souvenir passed on to us through generations of upbringing. An honor killing in Haryana may not even seem to be a crime to the perpetrators because that is how they have been raised. It is unfortunate and sad. But, can you educate such adults? NO.

Sometimes, to spread awareness, we need good stories. We need stories of hope and faith. We need those stories where victims have turned into survivors. We need their stories to tell our children that even when the world treats you badly, you still can battle the demons and come out victorious. You can still reign supreme despite having seen the bad phases in life. Even when storms destroy our world, there is always the subsequent dawns that will help us build ourselves again! For raising strong children and, helping them become responsible adults, we need such stories, good stories! ONLY GOOD NEWS.

good news

When I visited Men’s saloon this Sunday!


Sundays are the best. Sit back and relax. Enjoy a late bed time tea/coffee. Begin with a matinee show at home. Munch away something without moving a bit! And then, perhaps postpone the bath time more. Until, you realize it is already late evening. And then, night approaches faster than sound! Once upon a time, that kind of schedule also appeared in my life’s timeline. Those days, I was just an ITian slogging away 6 days a week with no inkling of how the dawn moved so quickly towards dusk even as, debugging applications made me feel otherwise about time! Hence, those Sundays! Rather, those kind of Sundays.

Exactly 8 years later with a hubby and a kid, Sundays seem to be the most organized of all days. I have the most amazing schedule of early mornings of aromatic tea, followed by a nice breakfast of omelettes/poha/upma etc..and then, a luncheon outside, followed by a movie and then, some shopping followed by dinner. I also manage to complete dusting and cleaning chores on this day, 24 hours is indeed a copious amount of time that can be utilised perfectly. And, my Sundays usually end with preparing the son’s uniform for the next day while he polishes his shoes. (He will learn ironing later)

But this Sunday was meant to be different. Hubby is out for more than a month. So, son and I felt quite claustrophobic inside. After going through a few chapters of GK, we decided to go for a ride. The beautiful part about the place I live is, the Sunday market. Every Sunday, the market is loaded with fresh vegetables, fruits, spices and vessels that come from villages. And so, we did some fresh veggie shopping. On my way, I remembered that the son had to get a haircut too. So, once I was done with buying vegetables, I rode towards the fruit stall and, got some bananas and musk melons, the Summer quenchers! So, with a bag loaded with veggies and fruits, I headed towards the unisex saloon I usually visit. Now, this saloon happens to be the upper middle class kind where in you find men, women, teenagers from rich families who come to get pampered royally. Well, given that I came here once or twice a month for shaping eyebrows, the thought of getting my son’s haircut here sounded good. But then, I was wrong.

haircut

Sometimes, familiarity breeds contempt. No, let me correct. All the time.

I went there at 11 and by 11:30, my patience was running out with a few more men getting lined up near the couch. What irked me was the indifference and a bad attitude of the staff. After a wait of ten more minutes, I gave the owner a piece of my  mind on how they ought to treat customers better, especially women and moved out, not knowing where I could go next. Then, I called up the hubby and asked him if there was an alternative and, he paused for a while. And then, he replied – “See, there is a small barber shop near by. Quite crowded. If you are comfortable, only if you are comfortable taking him there, go. Else, I will arrange for someone to take Arjun for the hair cut.”

I mumbled an OK and, went searching for the said shop. It was located on a busy street near a snack stall. Needless to say, the area was swarming with men and men alone. And, a lot of loud music blaring from a near by shop. I saw the shop and, realized two things:

One, the shop was crowded. Rather, overcrowded.

And Two, – EUREKA! It was a Sunday!

As I stood outside, contemplating on whether I should enter that moderately big shop filled with men of all sizes at various stages of hair dressing, the son immediately quipped – “Mum, let’s go inside. I know the shop. That uncle has cut my hair twice. Dad has got me here before.”

And, my feisty little mischief package had already entered the shop while I stopped myself at the doorstep. While my son returned to pull me inside, I blurted – “Hey! You go and get the haircut. I may not be allowed inside.” Immediately, I saw a man walking towards me and, he calmly said – “Ma’am, aap andar aake baith jaiye. Koi dikkat nahi!” (Ma’am, please come inside. You can sit here. No issues!)

Suddenly, I was at ease. As I entered, the few men sitting on the couch vacated their seat for me. Later, a lady also joined me as she had come for her son’s hair cut. She is the same lady who had been standing on the other side of the road with her son. I had seen her then but was not aware she had come for the same purpose here. She later initiated the conversation and mentioned, how she had to bring the son for the hair cut in absence of the hubby. The entire waiting and cutting session took only 5 minutes and, I was happy paying the nominal 40 rupees for it! Besides, while leaving, the owner asked me if I was satisfied with the cut. Well, quite!

The Sunday went smoothly. Well spent, as well. But, it taught me something –

Sometimes, you have to take the first step to ask questions. I had never entered a man’s saloon after my 2nd grade. Till the age of 8, my dad used to take me to his barber to get my hair cut too – a bob cut actually! But then, when mum wanted me to have long hair, my visits were cut down only to parlors for women. And at 32, I suddenly felt awkward to enter a man’s saloon. I wonder, why? Maybe, social conditioning made me feel uneasy. But this visit brought down that facade of unease.

We are all social media addicts and, ardent readers of news. Each day, we read incidents of crimes on women and children. Although, we go on with our normal lives, somewhere deep down within, a seed of fear is planted. Fear of people’s unknown intentions. Honestly, I too have my share of fears. When a negative incident happens in the world, we immediately become judgmental. We do not feel like entering unknown zones. We question the safety of such places. We start viewing everything with a doubt. We question everyone’s intentions beforehand. Sometimes, we are even doubtful of asking the questions when they must be asked. Well, we almost start believing in things that may never really happen.

But then, there are places as these that may appear dingy and even, dirty from outside but, are not really unsafe. After all, the entire world is not demented. There are many good men out there too – Men who respect women they do not know, men who understand the hesitations of women wanting to get a work done but are unable to because they are uncomfortable in a particular space, men who help women feel safe.

When I came back and told hubby about this, he was quite surprised and, needless to say – proud! I remember what he tells me every now and then – “See! The world may not be good all the time. But then, that does not mean you have to be scared all the time. Evil always breeds on fear. So, even if you are scared, never show it. Strut around like a lioness even if you feel like a fawn within! That is the key.”

As for this visit, I know this was just the first of the many that shall follow. After all, I am a faujan! And faujans play the role of mother and father both, when the soldiers are away on duty!

“A first time is always special. And when it happens, we are already half way through the tasks we thought would never do!”

“We will mislead”, smirked the Headline


There is sensation. And then, there is sensational!

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What is sensation? I know the answer but, I had to rely on Google to throw a definition! And, this is what it says –

“Sensation is the body’s detection of external or internal stimulation (e.g., eyes detecting light waves, ears detecting sound waves). Perception utilizes the brain to make sense of the stimulation (e.g., seeing a chair, hearing a guitar). Sensation involves three steps:

And now, what is sensational?

Merriam Webster says – “arousing or tending to arouse (as by lurid details) a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction to sensational tabloid news”

Now, let’s talk about sensation first. Well, touching a steaming hot pot, inhaling a whiff of the repulsive HIT, taking a bite of a hot red chilli, getting the flash effect directed at eyes or, shuddering ear drums during times of festivals is sure to give you a platter of sensations you will not want to forget and at the same, will not want to experience again. Sensations! That is what they are! They are meant to be deep. They are meant to make a memory. They are meant to entice you or repel you. They stay with you, no matter what! Just like, I still love the smell of my mother’s fresh cotton sarees. I love the taste of bournvita she makes. I love to hear her sing – Kurai onrum illai (she is a huge fan of MS). Then talking about the other aromas, the making of fresh ghee, preparing chikkis for Uttrayan, soothing smell of freshly plucked coriander and mint, the intoxicating pong of petrol (I know! But I can’t resist it!) stimulate my senses in ways I cannot express….

Anyways, that is what sensation is for me. A memory to retain. A memory to reminisce. Sometimes, a memory to feel pain too! Yes, I vividly remember being stung by the golden wasp on my visit to Amritsar. Even a brandy shot did not relieve me of the searing pain! I tolerated the painful sting for about four days. Heal, it did but, the sensation, the burning sensation stayed behind. So sensations essentially remind us that life is full of butterflies and bees! Hmm.

Now, let’s talk about the term sensation-al.

Sigh….. (I know am heaving right at the beginning and. you will know why!)

I recently came across Shabana Azmi’s interview. You can read the post here. So, when it was trotting around on FB, the headline is what caught my attention. It read –

Health of a democracy depends on how its minority feels and, right now, we are in big trouble”……

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If you go through the article, it is more about what Shabana feels about women empowerment in Indian cinema and how, she is quite proud of the fact that women are trying their passions in the line of production and direction too! Now, somewhere in the middle of the article she was asked – “Given that religious politics has had such a significant impact on who comes to power in our country, lately, do you think the Ram-Sita model of virtue will make a re-emergence soon?

To which she replied what has been covered in the headline – “Health of a democracy depends on how its minority feels and, right now, we are in big trouble

Read the whole interview and let me know if she has mentioned any religion in specific anywhere. For all you know, she might be referring to the women kind as the minority! Because, the whole interview is about women empowerment in Indian cinema, the point of view regarding minority could be anything. And suddenly, the self proclaimed social media frenetic left nasty comments on how she should go and live in the neighboring country and how, she is oblivious to the fact that the said people following her religion are no more a minority!

I am deeply troubled by this. A headline as that was enough to create so much hate for a talented woman who is an irreplaceable artist in Indian cinema. Her notable films like Fire irked the ‘big men’ of her own religion to no end. Her role as a forced prostitute in the film Bhavna gave a different dimension to the entire thought process towards a woman’s choices of do or die in life. Her role in the movies of parallel cinema such as Lakshmi in Ankur and, as Sushila in Nishant are such in-depth portrayals of submissively sensual women! I can endlessly go on and on about her impeccable acting skills. But, that is now what this post is about.

People need to sit back and think after they read something on the Internet. Do they? Do we? Do you?

Well, the most convenient and predictable reaction is – Jump the gun, accuse the person, and then banish him or her to Pak!

Seriously?

Take the example of the recent crack down on illegally run slaughter houses in UP. Apparently, the ILLEGAL slaughter houses have been called to shut down. But, the headline was –Meat ban! So, a majority of people, without taking a note of the actual scenario already cried buckets of tears on social media about how they were going to miss the succulent galauti kebabs of Lucknow!

When late actor Om Puri said something distasteful in a spur of the moment about the Indian soldiers, twitter went berserk! (What he said was wrong. But none cared to know if he was provoked about something) For a moment I thought he was going to be eaten alive! He did apologize for his statement but, none cared! The veteran actor’s words had left his tongue and, as a celebrity he paid the price to be hated! But the question is – “Did he mean what he said?” (Remember, he played the role of a soldier as Col Krishnakant Puri in the movie – China Gate)

Before that, answer some of the questions below.

Dear Indian tweeps,

  1. How many of you say a lot of unpalatable things when you are angry?
  2. How many of you have been pushed to the wall and, hence have opened up your ugly side?
  3. Do you always mean what you say?
  4. Are you someone like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa who preached about showing the left cheek after being slapped in the right?
  5. How many of you treat your women folk in your family as your equals?

Keep these answers with yourself and, remind yourself of these when you read a post and are provoked to respond!

When FB was flooded with some news of actor Surya having converted to Islam, I checked the article. The headline said so, again! Apparently, he was reprising a role for a movie! See, this is what I am talking about.

Yesterday, I watched the movie – Confessions of a shopaholic and there was this interesting conversation between Becky and Alette (played by Kristin Scott Thomas). Becky beams about writing about affordable fashion – the job offer that Allete herself has brought to the former’s doorstep. And then, Alette picks up a shoe that turns out to be Louboutins. Becky instantly points out that it cannot be covered under affordable fashion. To which, Alette explains – “Fear not, chez Alette. We print the prices very small! And then, what are credit cards for?”

A harmless trick or, a harmlessly harmful trick? But a trick that people shall fall for, surely! Isn’t it?  That is exactly what the news channels and papers are doing these days. Finding ways to print news in a way that is legal and yet, will not give away the whole truth! How convenient? And then, who loves a plain Jane? Everyone loves the spice!

No. Not me. I prefer plain Jane. I want real news. As a citizen of India, I am entitled to receive genuine news that has stemmed from actual facts and NOT from some cut and edited footage tailored by journalists who have thrown away their conscience!

Dear Indian Media,

Headlines are supposed to be leads for your news piece. Unfortunately they are anything but that. Your duty is to ask the right questions. You are not supposed to make statements within questions. If you call people for interviews of debates, allow them to speak.

Sometimes, you need to listen to your conscience too. Whether you want to give good sensations to people or, give sensational people heart burns is your choice. But then, choose wisely. Sometimes, what goes around comes around. God forbid, a day comes in future when we live in a country ruled by a dictator who chooses to silence the true voices just because you behaved so reprehensibly in the past! God forbid.

Freedom of speech is more of a responsibility than a luxury. The day you realize it is the day this country will progress in the truest sense!

I stopped reading newspapers the day, ‘martyred’ was replaced by killed and, obituaries had severe mistakes like gender mash ups! I had great respect for Media once. It is after all, the fifth pillar of democracy (The first four pillars are justice, equality, freedom and representation). It is also our country’s fourth estate. However, the pillar is crumbling down. Worse, credibility is no more a root for truth.

I am sad that I wanted to become a journalist when I was studying in school. And, I am glad that destiny made me an engineer. Enough said.

The Guilty Mother ~ Part 2


So, in my previous post on “The guilty mother” series – Part 1, I had mentioned about how the son (and hubby as well), do not make it any easier for me to maintain a museum of a home. Apparently, I hate museums. Going by my previous posts, you would know that I sustain in chaos. There has to be something arranged in a haphazard manner to make me feel at ease. And so, one can imagine how stressed I feel doing house keeping knowing for a fact that, it stays impeccable only when I am the only living person in the home. But then, what is a home without some craziness? Now, coming to the crux of today’s post, I have some serious topics to discuss.

ms

The guilty mother in me kicked me in the gut!

Yesterday, the son came back from the park. He was cheerful. We even played badminton in late evening. And then, when I was tucking him into bed, he slightly winced in pain. On being asked, he showed me a cut on his thigh. Some child of his age probably and accidently pushed the swing in his direction and, he got hurt. I asked him – “Why did you not tell me earlier?” to which he replied – “Ma! You only said that we do get hurt in playing and that, we should not complain about it!” The guilty mother in me kicked me in the gut! Thankfully, the cut was not deep but, it wasn’t too superficial too! I felt bad, very bad as my son tolerated that pain only because I told him that getting bruised and falling was all a part of the game. Somehow, I had a very disturbed sleep. And as I was still trying to figure out a way to reach out to him in a way such that he doesn’t misinterpret my advice, another incident happened today.

In the morning, a couple of his friends came over and asked Arjun to join them. After all, there is still a week for the schools to open. I gave my regular instructions – “No playing inside anyone’s homes!” Now, here I would like to point out that one of the boys is my neighbour who stays all by himself for a major part of the day while his parents are out for work. And, the boy is going to fourth grade and so, he is still a child in my eyes. I would have happily allowed the son to go along, which I eventually did after looking into those deep cajoling eyes of my son. The guilty mother in me gave in to that coaxing look, but the strict mother in me came out and added her lines to the permission – “You can play, but not inside anyone’s home. You either play in the park or, you play in our lawn and block space. To put it candidly, you play in an open space!”

The friend clearly did not like my idea. But I am an elder and, he had to listen. So, they went to the park, played for 10 minutes and came back. Later, the friend asked me again – “Can Arjun come over to my place, please? Please, Aunty!” My answer was a NO as there was no adult supervision in his home. (Now, I will be shortly coming to the point on why I have been sceptical about letting the son alone with the said boy in case you are already judging the guilty mother in me as a domineering one too!) The boys spent some more time loitering around. Later, the boys drifted away and, Arjun came back with an expressionless face. He came in quietly, removed his footwear and headed into the bedroom and, opened his favourite book. I knew he was not studying. He was not crying. There was not a flinch on his face. But, the guilty mother in me knew he was upset. To steer him out of his unhappy mood, I asked him – “Can I play badminton with you?” Suddenly, his face lit up and, we played for a while until he saw the boys again on the street. Well, after that he went inside. I asked him – “What happened?” and, that was it! His eyes welled up and he looked at me accusingly – “I won’t be able to make friends like this! Why do you restrict me from going to his place? You know, he has many friends! All his friends come over to his place. And, you do not allow me! Why?” 

“Mum, I saw something the other day….”

Now, I will narrate an incident that happened a few months ago. My son was going regularly to the said friend’s place. That boy also used to come over and play at our home. However, the boy’s uncontrollable energy resulted in tearing off my bean bags. Needless to say, some of my cushions were also ‘injured’ in the process! I am sure his parents who are gem of people are oblivious to his actions till date. But I also dreaded the fact, how a home would look like if there were four to five like the boy! Anyways, I am digressing. Coming back to the incident I was talking about, my son had been to his place during one of the vacation breaks. Everything was normal until one of the days long after the incident actually happened, my son mentioned to me candidly about how the boy had shown him something on the phone and that, it was dirty! I asked Arjun to explain the word dirty (I did not want to judge a child). But the son replied back – “Ma! You know what dirty means!” His look churned the pit of my stomach. My son knew what he was talking about. And, I knew now. I spoke to the hubby and, he called the son and said, “Son! You are going to be six years old soon. You have a choice to decide your company. Good children do not watch clips on phones that are not meant for them. Now, you know that. Tomorrow he will call you and, you might go to his place again. This time, he might expose you to something murkier. What is worse, he is a child too. He is not having adults to chaperone him in the major part of the day. But, you have! Now, you decide what you want to do. Son, keep in mind, studying and playing are the two goals of your life for now. Nothing else should distract you. That said, you can play with him. But remember, if I get to hear anything negative about you from anywhere, I repeat, from anywhere, you will see a side of me you do not want to see ever! The choice is yours, son! Rest assured, you can play with him in the park. I will not say anything. But, no going to any one’s home from now on.”

The impact was deep considering the fact that, hubby is the cool cucumber in the family. He does not raise his voice. The one time he spanked Arjun was, when Arjun tried to lean over from a fort wall at Mandu! Otherwise, it is always the emotional mother in me who is the self proclaimed Cruela De Vil! So ever since that incident, the son never went to his place in the absence of the boy’s parents.

However, today I knew that he was being arm twisted into doing something he knew was not right! And, a part of him wanted to ‘fit in the crowd’.  I left him to his space after the uncomfortable face off and, immediately made a call to my mother who is currently vacationing in Chennai. I told her about the situation and, she heard me out patiently. Once she had heard the entire thing, this is what she said to me –

“Narayani, as a parent, you did what had to be done then. But, a NO like that doesn’t go well with children. You have to make that No sound like a No for him from himself. Now, how do you do it?

Remind him that he has some amazing friends who are also going to join him in the first grade although they do not stay nearby.  

Remind him that park friends are not permanent. After all, he is a fauji kid and, he is never going to have the same set of friends permanently.

And importantly, remind him every now and then that it is more important to have good friends than having many many friends. True friends will always be less in numbers.

Every day, remind him that, he is his own best friend first! He may not understand immediately, but repeat it to him every day. A few months down, the change will set in and, he sure will find his happy space. A mother’s intuition is always right. So, don’t second guess your parenting. When one dicey experience strengthens your intuition, do not dismiss it. You may only appear domineering in tricky cases as this but actually, you are not. And then, being a careless parent is worse! This is just the first of his many to come heartaches. Don’t let him dwell on it. At the same time, do not restrict him from playing with the boy. Sometimes, a NO dents ego badly and, a child may not understand the reason behind the NO fully. Like you said – “Play in open spaces like park” is a good way of putting your message across. And in case, that boy doesn’t include him in the group, tell him it is fine. In that case, he can cycle or perhaps, play badminton or chess with you. And believe me, there are so many options out there. Make him realize that!

As a parent, keep a watch on him from a distance. And, I know my grandson well. He will not do something notorious to harm someone. Have faith in him J”

I felt a bit relieved. I finally had a talk with the son and, pulled out my mother’s pointers in the most delicate way possible. He listened to me intently. After a pause, he said – “Mum, there are some very big boys that come to the park to play football. I also want to play football.”

This was my chance to push my son out of his comfort zone that he believed was his age group friends! My instant reply was –“Go! Ask them! Tell the big boys you want to play with them.” His sceptical look told me his fears of being rejected. I added, “If they reject, it is fine. No issues. I will get you a foot ball in that case. But, you ask them first. Take the first step. How do you know that they will not include you without you even trying to make the first move? Ask them. Politely.” He suddenly recalled how he had kicked the ball many a time and that, they sometimes would ask him to kick the ball back when it went a little too far.

That was it. The uncomfortable sensation clouding my son’s aura was gone. He was back to normal and, we played badminton till the Sun pushed us inside with a warning –“Get inside or I will burn you both!”

There are times, I question myself a lot. I second guess my parenting means. The guilty mother in me corners me every now and then. But my mother tells me one thing and, she repeats it all the time.

“Every child is different, Narayani. Some children are innately daring. Some are born with a lot of patience. Some are aggressive from the beginning. Some are born with the art of manipulation. As parents, we can only channel the energies and guide the children. We cannot change their nature. Just like you cannot change the spots on a leopard because you like checkers! So, there will be times when your son may not prefer to go with the mass. Do not get perturbed. People often forget that geniuses do not come from masses. So, just have faith in him. He will learn to fight his battles. And, as a parent, be his safety net. Rest, let destiny unravel the wonders J”

So, dear guilty mother, take a chill pill! Relax……Being a mother is incomplete without the “good mommy, bad mommy” factor!

As for the wound, both the son and I know, will heal. Therefore, situational awareness will be my next subject of learning that I shall be imparting to my son.

So stay tuned, peeps! 😀

P.S: For reading The Guilty Mother ~ Part 1, click here. 🙂

“WoW! You did it? I am surprised!”


If you mean that, the answer is – “No. Please Don’t be.”

When I was a child, compliments were synonymous with something like gulping down a 500 ml Slice/Maaza/Dukes whatever! A red star in the notebook would take me to cloud nine and seventh heaven, whereas a black star on the discipline chart would swing me into the other extreme – Hell! My moods of euphoria and ennui episodes in school would leave my doting mother confused then. But I do remember the difference in her ways of handling me in both times. When I was intoxicated with small successes in life such as winning some recitation or, acing my subjects in school, I would be greeted with wide smiles and warm hugs. Given that, I was a consistent performer in academics, I never felt the sorrow or depression that stems from the other side. But that charade came down at an inopportune time – My XII std Physics paper which I still vividly remember with shivers. Had the paper been difficult, I would not have felt bad about it. However, the paper was a good one, the kind in which scoring was like a cake walk! But because of some flawed timing, one silly mistake of mine cost me a lot other questions that followed. The fact that I realized my mistake right after giving the paper made me feel depressed, inadequate and blank for a long long time! I remember those sobs yet, as they still reverberate in my ears at times, though more than a decade has passed by since the incident. But that day also happened to be a day of great learning for me – Even the mighty, fall. The below image just became real for me after that paper!

compliment 1 1

 

Real compliments are Assurances gift wrapped in Kindness

But the way my parents responded to my outburst that day made me a normal person again in a matter of few days. After the exam, they had taken me to my favorite restaurant and, had ordered my favorite meal too. Seriously, who does that? Now, I am aware I have mentioned this incident before too, but it deserves a mention here again for a different reason. I remember what my father had told me apart from his punch line – Heaven is not going to fall down, and those words have come along with me since then.

be like river

Errors, mistakes, loss of judgment….whatever you call it, can happen to anyone and everyone at any time. Sometimes, your success not only leads you to believe in a facade that you of all are utterly and totally incapable of making certain mistakes. Worse, it also makes others around you enforce that view further. It is perhaps that belief is the high hopes that people have spun around you makes you feel punctured with shame when events turn out exactly how you don’t want to! But then, even a river meets its diversions during its course. And, what does a river do? It keeps flowing! And, you must keep moving!

Compliments come in various shades too. In this case, it came to me in the form of assurance despite the bad timing. When the results were out a month later, I saw that I had done moderately good though, it was not my best. A replay of the time I spent crying over the fiasco, made me understand how words have the power to change your emotions. Had I been constantly reminded of how bad my paper went, I may have perhaps performed worse in the subsequent ones too! But, it was my parents’ assurance in that crucial period that built the confidence in me and, gave me a reason to look forward to.

Now, there is a reason I am citing this example here. We are living in a world wherein, compliments are more or less centric around decor of homes and gardens, attire and jewelry, bikes and cars and, the many materialistic indulgences that a man can covet in his lifetime. For instance – “Wow! You have lost so much weight. What do you do? What do you eat? Which gym do you hit?” blah blah blah is one of the most common set of questionnaire floating around when people meet people. These compliments make you soar as high as an eagle. Yes, they are compliments. I have no doubts about that. But then, how far do they come along when time and tide don’t pace with you?

Humanity is the most genuine compliment on Earth.

And now, coming to the crucial point, how many of us even acknowledge each other’s existence, be a stray pup digging into the bin across the street to find something to nibble on or, a very old woman suffering from dementia waving at you from the top floor for no reason? How many of us acknowledge a stranger’s smile while we go on a walk or, stop by to admire the innocent fun, two squirrels indulge in while climbing up the tree? How many of us say thank you, even when we buy something from the grocery store, or when we are served lunch or dinner in restaurants? How many of us initiate conversations with strangers while travelling by train? How many of us genuinely feel the thread of acknowledgement? Maybe, we all feel but, we don’t give it its due.

After all, what is mundane is what is most taken granted for. I remember an incident that happened with me in school. It was sometime in the year 1999. My father and I had gone to get a few Xerox copies of some documents. It was late evening and, we were walking towards the complex on the footpath. That evening, while I was talking and increasing my pace, I heard some thud! I looked back to see that my father had slipped and fallen into a wet ditch that was quite inconspicuous in the dark. It was a horrifying time for me as I could not understand how it happened in the first place since, he was walking right beside me. That day, people came running from all corners and jumped in the ditch and rescued him. When he came out, he was dazed for a while. Perhaps, the shock of having slipped with no forewarning of the incident, was still sinking for him, while I was still reeling from the freak nature of the whole accident. Seeing my flustered face and shivering frame as I took my father by his arm gently, a few men came to me and said – “Kuch nahi hua hai, beta….aapke papa bilkul theek hai..bas ek tetanus shot lagvalo.” We went straight to the hospital from there as my father had badly bruised his knee and back. He also got a TT shot! It took him a couple of days to recover.

At the time, I was a teenager. However, the incident is still fresh in my mind for two reasons – One, freak accidents come with no warning. And two, humanity is biggest compliment on Earth. When I saw people rushing over to help me and my father, I was overwhelmed. I cannot express in words what it meant to be helped by kind strangers and, further being consoled by them. The mere acknowledgement of the existence of a living is one of the greatest compliments we can give each other. It goes way beyond statements like – “You look fab!”, “You are so intelligent” or even, “You are such a good soul.” Etc….

compliment 1

Compliments should never stem from Surprises

When I worked as a pre school teacher a year back, I had a very different take on judging children. For instance, I made sure that the ones that were fast graspers shall sit on the last bench. The ones that needed help to grasp were my first benchers. But yes, I used to make sure that the rotation of positions happened to keep the discipline in check.

So, when I took over the class, I was briefed about every child. And, I was quite amused at how teachers judge the children purely on how they perform in tests. Well, I am not blaming teachers because having been there, I am aware of the kind of administrative work that also rolls into a teacher’s shoulders. However, I had some reservations about judging children. Now, it is here I would like to point out that it is not just among children, but also among adults like us, where we have a tendency to compliment people who are already doing well.

Sometimes, we know the importance of complimenting. But, we fail to give them at the right place. In my stint as a teacher (which was definitely short), I realized the importance of compliments at the right place. The bright ones in my class were always hungry for compliments, notwithstanding the fact that they were doing exceptionally good. Some of them had the ingrained nature of being ambitious and I am sure for all the right reasons, this quality is going to take them to great heights. However, it was the other kind that bothered me. Maybe, a lot of criticism at an early age mellowed down the ambitions in certain children who had trouble grasping. And, I started with the basics for them. Initially, I was met with a lot of indifference, but then I did sense a change of attitude in the following weeks. I remember a kid in my class who had issues with his left hand and, he had trouble writing. I used to spend more time with the selected five to six children, as they stood writing on their notebooks placed on my table. On good days, they got a star. Gradually the appearance of stars on their notebooks invoked a dormant joy in them. Their work was not yet the best. But, the stars motivated to do better and, the biggest compliment I received was from the parents in the PTM about how the children quoted me at home and, took efforts to write in a way that would fetch them stars!

Sometimes, the push in the right direction, a compliment at the right time and, a little acknowledgement of the very existence of our surroundings goes a long way in a child’s life. I still remember my colleagues’ surprised faces when the children who they had written off as consistent poor performers suddenly started performing very well. I suddenly remembered what hubby keeps telling me time and again, lest I forget –

“NEVER BE SURPRISED WHEN SOMEONE DOES WELL IN LIFE. BE SURPRISED WHEN HE/SHE DOESN’T!”

compliment

A genuine compliment stems from empathy and not surprise. And, empathy is what we all need, but lack big time. Because, when we have empathy, it will never pinch us to compliment at the right time, in the right place and, the right people for that matter  🙂

The Guilty Mother ~ Part 1


Like seasons, a mother’s personality undergoes myriad shades of change at every development milestone of her child. She plays the good mommy, bad mommy, sulking mommy, happily cooking mommy, moody mommy and what not! Not every day is her day. And, when it is, it is that time when the moon turns into a sky blue and, Mommy turns into a Cinderella with the yellow pumpkins becoming her carriages and, lizards becoming her footmen! I love fantasies, I always have! And, sleeping for me is an excuse to get into that unreal world and, play my fiddle as long as I want! Anyways, I am digressing by habit. Where was I? Yes, on regular days I am the regular mom who tries to do everything but fails to catch up on everything. I am sure, many homemakers who detest housekeeping business would relate with me. And today, hubby is out of town and, son and I have fallen back on a lazy Saturday routine.

So, after hours of making trains with the peg tables, my son has rehashed the look of my drawing room. Currently, it looks as though it has been ransacked by burglars. The cushions are strewn in some abstract fashion, the sofa covers are half in, half out. The center table is diagonally placed near the door opening into the porch! The wooden mesh turtle carrying a lampshade looks lost as it has already been rotated umpteen times! And, the wooden flower vase is seen hiding behind the tissue curtains in a fashion that someone like me who is prone to slip even while wearing slippers will have a Humpty-Dumpty fall! On regular days, this is not the scene though.  Because, on regular days I am the GUILTY mother who constantly pleads to the energetic creative world of mine – my five year old son to adhere to discipline. Yes, yours truly is Guilty As Charged.

A few weeks back, when I sat with the son before his exams, making a few test papers and some questions, I suddenly stopped midway for some unexplained reason and, started doodling on the last page of the notebook. It was some abstract design, one of the many that I make and that, either have no meaning or, have too many! I, of all can make no sense of what I doodle! However, that day I did not notice that the son was observing me doodle. He did not say anything and, I was oblivious to him being aware of my act. And, the regular mother in me resumed with the advising, pleading, coaxing, shouting, yelling etc……. My regular days with my son be like —–

“Study! Study!”

“Read aloud what you write! (A little nudge on the shoulder) How many times should I tell you?”

“WhAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? HOW ON EARTH CAN ‘EE KI MATRA’ (Hindi) BECOME ‘uuu KI MATRA’? DON’T YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF WHEN YOU WRITE?”

“+ MeAnS ADDITION! – mEaNs SUBSTRACTION! PLEASE……PLEASE…..Read, Understand and then DO!”

“What. Are. You. Doing!  What pleasure do you get in digging that pencil into a brand new eraser? Does Money grow on trees? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO DO IT?”

“Arjun! Where is your small water bottle?” (Which I find is now, a cave for all the crawlies and creepies that coexist with us peacefully…As per Arjun it is the snake Agasura and, all the creepies and crawlies are Krishna’s friends! If I say I am at my wit’s end, it is an understatement!)

“Arjun! Where is my kitchen scissors?” (I found the kitchen scissors in various stages of dying as I collected its mortal remains – the blades and the hold….from the garden…Well, the scissors was forced to cut down some strong branches which were later to be used for making a bow and arrow – as per the son! I got a new one which is now used for origami work thankfully!)

“Arjun, please keep the shoes on the rack! Please put that tiffin box in the sink! And, why have you not drunk all the water? You must drink a lot of water!” (On some days, I can hear an echo of whatever I speak. Trust me, he repeats my statements with emotions and expressions that make me go – “OMG! Do I really look like that when I speak? WOW!”)

“Arjun..read aloud! Focus! Concentrate!”

…………………………………..And, the list of my reprimands is endless!……………………………………………

So, after his exams got over, I felt as though I had won a gold medal! That feeling had more to do with – Pre kg! You are done! (Son is going to first grade this year) And no, I have not gone near any books since his exams have got over. Neither has he. But, something caught my eye some time back, a few days after his exams got over. That image made me swell with pride and, well with tears! Remember, I just spoke about some abstract design I had doodled while I was preparing his question papers. The son had drawn out his variations of the same on the same page with the same pen I had used. (The doodle on extreme top left is mine, the other two are his)

Arjun and me

This image was a revelation in parenting to me in many ways that can barely be expressed in mere words.

Today, I took a pause from my daily routine while the son is enjoying his holidays. And, I thought – I have to make the best use of this pause. And what better way than to introspect? Now the above piece of paper with the three intangible doodles made me realize why being an adult actually sucks and, no wonder it feels like being chained by archaic rules and protocols of which, many don’t make sense to me yet. The little Narayani within me smirked at me and, questioned – “Are you even practising what you preach? Why do you ask him not to doodle during study time when you yourself are not able to hold it back! He has your genes, woman! Believe me, let the chemistry in those magical genes work and, you will see a rising genius!”

Ever since the exams have got over, I have allowed the son to do what ever he wants. Though some of his recent shenanigans in the park have already diluted my resolve and I am secretly wishing for his school to begin again, I am also as a matter of fact, proud of his profound questions, thoughtful trances before the simple answers and, his endless trunk of tricks that he saves for priceless moments!

The other day, hubby had asked him –“What do you want to become in life?”

Pat comes the reply – “I want to be a community helper” (He had a chapter on community helpers in his UKG)

So, I asked him – “Which community helper you want to become?”

D….O…..C…..T…..(E)….R”….DOCTOR! The ‘e’ was later replaced with an ‘o’!

Hubby was clearly enjoying the conversation and, further asked – “OK. Which doctor would you like to become? Like, do you want to become an Army Doctor?”

The son thinks for a while and says – “hmmm…..ok….Yes….”

I was folding clothes then and, added my opinion – You better be a good one then!”

Son was lost in deep thought…..and hubby patted him on his cheek and asked – “What happened, son? Planning to change goals?”

To which, he replies candidly “No pa! I want to be a doctor. But, I also want to become other community helpers like tailor, carpenter, gardener, cobbler, milkman, postman, soldier, policeman…..” (and, he named every community helper in the world!)

Smiles, giggles and perspectives come from such conversations. I added – “Well son, in that case, you better become an actor! You can take on all the roles you mentioned!”

Well, I said it! I realized, I said it in the spur of the moment! On a lighter note, it sounds funny now. However, did I really mean it, given my contempt for the kind of films, our Cinema is giving us??

The question itself was a Eureka moment for the guilty mother in me. Rather, I found the answer in my own question and, I have the faith in his destiny that he will be the mad bull for his goal and, will achieve what he wants in life!

Recently when we were visiting a few friends, I met a boy who was appearing for his boards. While the conversation hopped from one topic to another seamlessly, I asked him what was his stream of interest. The answers came, crisp and clear but not from the son. Every answer that came for every question was from the mother, who began the sentence as – “His interests are so and so….So, he wants to pursue this and this….” The boy has been raised excellent and yet, he was silent every time his mother answered for him. As a parent, I feel a child must always answer from the bottom of his heart and, no person must fetch those answers for him. Anyways, to each, his own.

Thoughts of a child, they say are the treasure troves where even a mother cannot enter and take a peek into. I am learning that now. When the son doesn’t want to share something with me, he doesn’t. And, I don’t prod. I am glad that he has a space where he can be himself with absolutely zero inhibitions. I also have my world of thoughts where, I reign supreme. I am the queen in my world of thoughts and, I revel in the power those thoughts

That said, I cannot remove the guilty mother from my personality. I am going to be the fussy mother, the confused mother and the nagging mother who wants to know everything about the son as he grows up, about his friends, about his girlfriends, about his heartbreaks, about his crushes, about his games, about the million secrets he intends to keep from me. He will get annoyed with me. He will also learn to dodge his CID mother! There will be times when he will also call me up less. But then, he is my son and, I remind myself each day of my life that he carries the many traits of hubby and mine and that, the fiercely creative combination of the fire and water that we are, he will learn the tricks and trade of growing up beautifully.

Besides, hubby and I constantly remind ourselves from time to time – “Allow him to make mistakes. Let him take the fall and rise! If his heart breaks, let him heal by himself. If he faces failure, let him fight it himself. You brought him into this world. Now, let him evolve by self, just like your creators let you!.”

In that absolute faith, I am sure that there will come a time when hubby and I will share the same kind of friendship with our son that, we share with our own parents today 😀

On a lighter note, my parents at the moment have every reason to grin ear to ear and, sit back and enjoy the many CID episodes this guilty mother will be sharing on this blog!

Shhhhhh………………………………………………………………………………………………………

shsh