US – together

ME – WE: WE – ME

ME – WE: WE – ME

ME – WE: WE – ME

In every religion, marriage heavily emphasise on the ‘big shift’; making the big move. We are forced to acknowledge the imminent change in status, from ‘ME’ to ‘WE’.  Be it the Christian couple saying ‘I do’, or the Muslim tradition of accepting ‘Qubool hai’ or the traditional Hindu Saptapadi; they signify only one thing, I am no longer ‘Me’. From this moment on I take the big step and acknowledge the life of ‘We’.

Christian weddings have the tradition of hosting a bachelor party. Known as a Stag Party ( USA and UK) or Buck’s night ( In Australia)  which is held for the” to be married” groom, before he enters the  holy matrimony  to celebrate his ‘last night of freedom’ and bachelorhood. They have something called a Bridal shower for the soon to be married girl, which used to be a traditional ceremony. The girl received gifts from family and friends, things she may need in her future life. In this generation, even the girls hang  out with their gal pals and enjoy their last night of freedom. In this generation we tend to marry at leisure, after living a few years of independent working life. In the western world, almost everyone marries more than once, and almost everyone has a pre-nuptial agreement signed and sealed. The threat of divorce looms large, even before they make their vows of eternal togetherness.  All these pre-nuptial agreements, over enthusiastic ‘stag nights’ predict a failed marriage and gives this mind shift of ‘me to we’ a very small window of opportunity to fructify.

“Marry knowing that it is for love and not money. This prenuptial agreement (also known as a pre-marital agreement) allows you to plan how you will divide your current and future wealth between you and your husband, wife or partner should you decide to divorce or separate in the future. It will help you control your ownership of important assets such as your house, sentimental possessions and your business.”  Lawyers have this pre-designed agreement, offered to the clients for 44 Euros! Kind of preordained, right? ‘We’ has zero chance of survival because the ‘me’ is already cognizant of the ephemeral life of ‘we’.

I don’t think Muslims have a ‘stag party’ tradition.  Moreover, this religion accepts polygamy. Even the laws of remarriage for women are not very stringent. They have a philosophy and practice which is different from the rest.

Let me come to our Indian, Hindu weddings; we never had anything like a prenuptial agreement. I do not remember ever having a ‘stag party’ tradition either.  Our upbringing was such that the girls were prepared for this mind shift right from our childhood. My parents had the same advice for us sisters, ‘That’s your family now, your first home. What they believe and practice is what you abide by.’  Education, ambition all were cast away in the wake of upholding this one relationship. Despite having complete awareness of the trials and strife that came along with this mind shift, the ‘me to we’ mind shift was natural. In a married life, nothing stays hunky-dory for long, but jumping to divorce for every disagreement or difference of opinion was never the option.  We were taught to make it work, this was no longer a ‘me’ scenario. Everything automatically became a ‘we’. We agree to disagree and walk the middle ground. Except for exacting situations ‘we’ survived. We fight, come close to parting ways, we are on the brink of killing the spouse, almost everything one can imaginably think of, happens; yet me survive the ‘we’.

However, the rising divorce rates in our country today, tell a very different tale. The advice our parents gave us was always for the girls. The result is; disillusioned mothers egged their girls to fight for their own rights, demand an equal share and prove that they could compete with the boys. To make matters worse, we, as parents, failed to teach the boys how to behave or how to be a co-operative, respecting adult. Thus, men are clueless and women are outraged. Gone are the days when women accept or follow anything that is thrust upon them. They are independent and free spirited women capable of making a mark in this competitive world. They want to succeed in both the worlds and refuse to give up on their dreams and ambitions. Like for every other belief; even for marriage, Indians find the western culture more worthy and adaptable. We want a married life, but a life, preferably with zero encumbrances and minimum sacrifice too. Else, we are very willing to walk out of the marriage, the willingness to live the ‘me’ life is far more alluring than having to live a burdened ‘we’ life. Thus, the increasing interest in prenups amongst the youth of India, especially amongst the affluent citizens.  My master says, ‘Married life is all about heart and ego!’. It used to be about our hearts and his ego then, now it is all about ego, his and hers.

We have adapted very well to the ways of the west. We have bridal showers and stag parties now. We have started to draw up pre-nuptial agreements, maybe not as flamboyantly as the westerners do, but we are not far away. Today, with great trepidation and discomfort we give marriage a thought; and we ensure that we don’t give up on the ‘me’, ever. We are unwilling to risk the loss of ‘me’ at any cost. It seems to be a very big sacrifice, a steep price to pay for a life which we are vehemently running away from.

That’s what it is coming to today, we have stopped teaching our children a life of togetherness, sacrifice and acceptance, which is what a life of ‘we’ really demands. Instead, we teach them to fight for their rights, be unyielding, be bold and ambitious enough to choose the ‘me’ over ‘we’.  We have walked the whole nine yards; from ‘Me to We’ and today we prefer ‘We to Me’.

The above saga stemmed from my stoic refusal to learn driving! I miss out on many things because of my immobile status. I have to ask my husband to be my chauffeur. Incase he is busy or not in the mood to drive then I am stuck at home. I agree it is an inconvenience. I also agree that my husband will be the happiest person if I learn to drive (he can make me run his errands too!).  I am tempted too, it is a very freeing thought to be mobile and do your own things  without having to ask anyone. Yet, this dropping; picking and shopping together is probably the only ‘We’ errand we have today. The day I begin to drive this will also be gone, I run my errands; I don’t have to ask him and I may very soon stop telling too! He is busy with his life, I am busy with mine, children with their lives, and with a different time schedule and his extreme travelling, we have no common time, apart for these drops and picks! This is when we catch up on what is happening in our ‘me’ lives! I definitely am not risking losing out on this time.  He gets irritated, I get angry; we agree to disagree and it goes on… Still, no driving for me, ever!

Thank You Salesman!

Thank You Salesman!

I recently went shopping to pick some dresses for my daughter. She was not with me, so I looked at a dress and buzzed her to check with her, if she liked it or she preferred some other color. This was taking sometime and the salesman got a little vexed (I think) with the delay. He had to wait on one customer for long and that may be taxing his commission (my thinking yet again!) He watched this sequence between my daughter and me for 3-4 rounds and blurted, “Beti apki hai! Usse kya pooch ke khareedna! Jo marji pehnayiye!” (She is your daughter! Why need you ask her opinion? She should wear whatever you buy for her!) I was a little taken aback by his tone and the way he made that statement. I did not call my daughter again. Whatever I had already chosen, I hurriedly selected and made a rushed exit!

This small interlude took me back a few years. We were having a discussion on the role of parents or parenting and someone had given this description: “The boon given by God to play God!” I remember being very surprised and totally in disagreement with that description. How could parents be elevated to the status of God? Especially the present generation parents; most of the middle class income group has both the parents working and the time spent with the children is negligible and devoid of any influence on the progeny. So, do the parents really get to play God for their children in this day and generation too?

The statement this salesperson made brought back the whole episode back and my introspection commenced yet again.  Everything that happens with me leads me to this one activity, introspection! (One ‘chewing the cud’ kind of person I am)

What kind of a parent am I? The exasperated air with which the salesperson gave his dictate definitely made me conclude that he considered himself to be God for his children! But, where was I? With my repeated calls to my daughter I had managed to irk him and my daughter too. She was happily watching some favorite show and my calls were an irritating interference for her. She was polite the first two times and after that she barely looked at the dress. Honestly, the salesman lost his cool before her; another call and I am sure she would have said, “Ma! Stop disturbing me! All are beautiful! Buy anyone of them!”

So, where was I? Taking her opinion and picking a dress of her choice seemed ‘stupid’ to the salesman. I was asking my daughter so that she could have a dress of her choice or liking and I did not dump something on her head forcibly. Children these are very choosy and like to wear clothes of their choice. Bearing that in mind; like a ‘good’’ broad minded’ parent I was giving her the freedom of choice!  Both boomeranged badly, leaving me to wonder about my stance. I definitely disliked the God status, so I had consciously stayed away from ‘trappings’ of that esteemed post.

Asking for my daughter’s opinion for every dress; that too when she was not remotely interested and would have been happy with anything I chose for her; I felt like I was more of a ‘guilty’ ‘over-compensating’ kind of a parent. Was I seeking her opinion because I was not confident about my choice? No! Whatever I have purchased in the past she has never complained. So, what had changed? Introspection time again.

My time with my daughter had changed!  We had a very busy schedule in the past; yet we (my son-daughter and I) managed exclusive ‘together time’ always! Now, we have shifted to a new country and it is just the two of us here, no work and loads of free time. Yet, we barely seemed to spend any time together. We both have an independent time table which has no together time in it!

This being a new place, school, friends, language, culture and everything else was a fresh start for her. Similarly, the place was new for me too. She got busy with her new friends at school, at home and whatever free time she got she was busy chatting and ‘connecting’ with her friends from India. I got busy ‘connecting’ with my friends back home and …. nothing! I was perpetually on the ‘wats app’ ‘connecting’ and getting most disconnected with all else around me! We would have continued this disconnected – connection pattern for longer if I had not made this short shopping expedition I think!

I was asking my daughter for her choice because as I stood looking at those dresses it hit me that I did know what clothes she had! I was clueless about what she needed! Whether she needed or not also I was unsure! What was happening in her life? She always seemed busy. School was good, at home she was seemed more than happy to be on her own with her I pad or phone or laptop. These were her constant companions.

Where were I ‘together’ times? In that busy schedule, back home, I had managed to keep abreast of everything that was happening in her life. Here, we had so much free time, yet we never seemed to do anything together. Introspection done it was time to act now; make the corrections before I really feel guilty and over compensate to assuage my guilt!

We made a timetable, a together timetable. We go walking together, if that is not possible for any reasons then I meet her halfway on her way back home from school and we ‘talk’. We have lunch together and ‘catch-up’ (she used to eat lunch watching some show on her I pad, and I used to continue ‘connecting’L).Now, I consciously stay away from my phone second half of the day, once she is back from school.

I now know what she is happening in her life. She plays cricket! Has learnt to play foot –ball and is getting better at hand ball. She is a good runner and is teaching her friends some ‘Indian –games’. She gets hurt way too often to be bothered about such silly scrapes and wounds now! She teaches Hindi to her classmates and has learnt a few Irish-Gaelic and Spanish phrases. She writes ‘fantasy thrillers’ (that is her area of expertise she claims!). I suddenly realized I have an ‘all rounder’ extraordinary daughter! She can just about do anything she sets her mind to.

These 2 hours of together time has changed many things for us. She and I share many things and enjoy each other’s company. That salesman did me a big favor. I never wanted to play God, but I don’t want to feel guilty and over compensate either! I hope to be her best friend and if possible help her feel successful, accomplished and competent in anything she chooses to do.

So, thanks to the salesman, parenting tips for you allJ. Spend time with your children. Connecting with the world at the cost of disconnecting with your dearest and nearest is …. I don’t have the right epithets.

My epitaph

My epitaph

“To live in the hearts you leave behind is not to die” – I read this line when I was probably 14 years old and it simply stuck; I could never forget it, I don’t know who coined this line, where I first read it or why I remember it even. It simply is there and keeps popping up now and then. This line has always come to me when I have a doubt or if something dissatisfactory is happening with me, around me and I am groping in the dark seeking a way out, searching for a ray of hope; light.

Most of my youth I frittered away aimlessly searching for a goal and my true calling. I joined courses thinking this is what I wanted to do, and this would be my last, I had finally arrived. And very soon boredom would sweep in and I would be searching again. Then for some time I would do job hunting take interviews and start working.  After marriage, my husband, poor soul, would be on tenterhooks whenever I used to get into one of these job hunting frenzies! He could not reason with me and I used to be like a woman possessed, just stomp off, step out and get a job.  I realise now that it took nerves of steel on his part to be able to cope and endure a spouse as crazy, wilful and dominating like I! I worked as an audit assistant for some time when my son was a toddler. My husband was on an easy timeline at that point in life and used to be home, cater to our child and see that one of us was always available for him. Probably one reason why my son dotes and idolises his dad so much till date, even though, nowadays they barely exchange a few words whereas I spend every waking minute with the kids!

When our son was 3 years or so, we both got busy with work and careers. My husband dissuaded me from getting into fulltime work; but my madness inevitably crept in and then nothing worked. One fine day I simply went, marched into a college, met the chairman and sought a demo session for the post of lecturer. I went on Friday and Monday I started working, appointment letter in hand! My poor husband said nothing at all, with great reluctance and heavy heart he agreed that our son would be dropped off at the crèche after school, and I would collect him in the evening on my way home from work.

This continued for a few months and my new job was taxing me, I was an excellent lecturer but the subject was not to my liking. Again my sense or boredom was approaching and I was getting irritated with the students, their lack of interest and easy going attitude towards the course. B.Com students are usually there just for the degree and most of them have a business waiting for them or are already pursuing MBA on the side. So this course and class, lectures are for them just a chance to have fun, be with friends and play mischief. It is very draining and discouraging teaching such a bunch. Invariably, I used to start fresh every day with a new resolve of gaining their interest and every evening my hopes would plummet. I used to be a very grouchy person when I picked up my son and in no mood to play or give him any good company. I was too full of the dismal day and simply needed a rest. Playing with my son, spending some quality time with him became rare, very rare.

One day I took an off and we spent the whole day together, just the two of us, my son and I and we were playing, happily laughing and enjoying every moment. During the course of the day he innocently made a remark, “Ma, I would always like to remember you like this only, laughing, and having fun with me.” I burst into tears that night, what had I turned into, I was not a good mom, I was so busy working that I had forgotten how to be a loving person. My son was cherishing this moment, imprinting it in his memory to remember me by! He has no good memories of me! I came home to him every day and got him what? My share of irritation, frustration, anger and spite! When did I become like this I don’t know, and that line came back to me, simply popped up – ‘To live in the hearts you leave behind is not to die’. And with a sinking feeling I realised I was dead already, and my son was hanging on to some shreds of the good me, to desperately continue to love his mom, remember her with some long lost good memories.

I never went back to being a full time working woman after that night. If that line was to be my epitaph, I was long way off the mark. Many messy memories needed to be cleansed and fresh loving ones were to be reinstalled. I would have to work really hard to make that line come true. I did work and I can humbly say I have achieved success too. My son is still very close to his Dad but I am his darling mom too, and he has many things to remember me by, in case I cease to be tomorrow. I am sure he will miss me and always feel my presence whenever he may need me.  He has been such a beautiful gift from God to us that I feel totalled humbled and grateful. He has taught me many lessons and helped me become a better person in his own simple, unassuming, innocent way.

Game of Life

Game of Life

As kids, the most popular game at home was Snakes and Ladders. Most of the games used to be for two players or four; Chinese checkers was the only game for 6 people. Snakes and Ladders could be played by any number; we simply improvised with the chess pieces if the players exceeded four. Apart for this, the other reason why we played snakes and ladders was that we were always more than one inching our way to the top, neck to neck, and the others used to be way below, praying that a snake bite us and we slip down to join them! It was more a play of human emotions all the time and it was weird and different to see friends become enemies, pray for their loss and be happy when a third person won, instead of the contending winners. As we grew up, studies took precedence, most of the school friends went different ways and in our busy lifestyle Snakes and ladders was lost and forgotten.

Things took a different turn after my second one, our darling daughter came along. Contrary to her brother, she loves board games of all kinds and she insists that the whole family sit and play! And to our dismay she was not an avid television fan either. Even if we did put her in front of the idiot box, she would barely sit for 10 minutes, even her favourite shows, she wanted one of us to sit and watch with her and she would be explaining the story!! None of us could endure the story of Thomas the Engine, or Oswald or Cee-Bee Bees on a consistent level. Very soon we were taking turns sitting with her and gradually we all started dreading our turn! So a new game almost every week became the new escape route for us, and that is how snakes and Ladders got reintroduced into my life.

She and I used to play for hours and she would be happy winning always, and since I was her only opponent I used to allow her to win, it made her happy and I had a chance to sneak in a few other quick chores, multi-tasking was a feasible option for me only if she won! She used to play with her brother and dad at times and both of them also quickly devised a way to let her win. They soon escaped seeking umbrage of repeated loss or that they were no match against her expertise. She grew up never being able to accept defeat and also overconfident that this was her winning game, she was victorious always.

My daughter’s sand castle crumbled when she began playing with her granny. My mother in law is a very ‘play it fair’ always, kind of a person. She plays to win, be it her grandchild or anyone else, and unlike us she was their putting her life into the game. This became a kind of a tug of war for my daughter and a deja’vu scenario for me. The first time my daughter lost she took it sportingly and hid her shock well in front of her granny; she came and cried her heart out to me saying, “Granny cheats!! She is not a good person, she does not know that in snakes and Ladders I am the only winner, she won I don’t know how!”…it was a stream of epithets and wails, engulfed by abysmal sadness due to her first ever defeat! This instance set me thinking, and I knew I could not approach my mother – in-law and ask her to lose! After all it was a child, her favourite grandchild she was playing against. And even if I did convince and coax my mother in law, what after that? How is my daughter ever going to learn to accept defeat? Is she ever going to learn to lose or will she grow up with the illusion that winning is her birth right?

Somewhere along the line I had made a mistake; in my lethargy and escapist attitude I had passed on something which my daughter may have to suffer with for the rest of her life! I was unable to really pacify my little one that day, just hugged her and kept thinking what my next course of action should be. She obviously did not go back to playing snakes and ladders with her granny, not in that trip, and in a way I was glad. It gave me a respite and time to think.

We sat down to play after a short hiatus and this time I was conscious about many things, my alertness, honesty in playing the game, win or lose accept both with equanimity, her spirit and attitude to the game! Marshalling my defences and strengths we proceeded; and at every step I started talking to her, if a snake bite her she immediately looked at me askance that would I overlook like I used to, and it broke my heart not to. But I was smilingly firm and gave her a new story for every ladder and every snake! A ladder came when she was honest, able to compete, play fair, not feel jealous, and think that this is a game and every game is to learn, enjoy, win some, and lose some too! She lost to granny and she did not like it, and similarly I lose every time I will also feel sad and may never play with anyone again! And a snake bite was when she was getting angry, ready to cry because I was winning, she wanting an extra turn so she could win or even she teasing me if she was on 98 somewhere and I was miserably stuck at some stupid 10 or so, a snake if she could not cheer my previous win and so on and so forth.

It took time, few very patient, long drawn, exceedingly intense games before it finally dawned to her that she had to learn to play, enjoy the game, win or lose a game; any game had a lesson and was fun if the lesson was learnt.

She plays all games with the same ease and grit now, to win always, but willing to roll  a quarter over to the winning side and congratulate the opponent too! Snakes and Ladders had arrived with a bang in my house, teaching my daughter and I a game of life!:)

Jab Tak Hai Jaan–

Jab Tak Hai Jaan–

All my 5+ years in Sahaj Marg the most often repeated question by most of my friends is how to maintain the focus or momentum in a spiritual life which is totally riddled and driven by material challenges, aspirations and temptations.

I joined Sahaj Marg late in life; at an age where I had practically outgrown the material temptations and I was very parched, thirsty for spiritual growth. So focus and maintaining my momentum came naturally to me. This analogy below may help my friends understand and maintain the momentum or at least figure out what exactly they are seeking from Sahaj Marg and how their results are also reciprocal to their search.

Sahaj Marg is like any Hindi movie particularly Yash Chopra’s Movies. Most of his movies have one hero two lead ladies vying for his attention or one heroine and two men wooing her and winning her over!! Sahaj Marg also has only one Hero, My beloved Master, but the distractions are too many. Husband and wife are struggling and lost in the mire of worldly distractions or trying to understand one another in real life. The larger purpose of identifying the real Goal, the true hero never seems to come or is deferred to a later date. They keep squabbling amongst themselves and the path to the hero keeps growing distant and further away. The couple between themselves become the biggest distraction and fail to focus on the Hero together! A movie is 3 hour long and Sahaj Marg is for life, so the focus invariably gets shifted from time to time and they are beginning again and again after breaks and a short hiatus. So, Sahaj Marg is like a different release, afresh and new every time they revisit this road.

Secondly, most of us go to a movie for a reason, we like the cast, the director, storyline or anything else. And human nature is such that we look and enjoy only what we like, remember what we like, focus on what appeals to us. The director is the only person who is concerned about everything in the movie, story, cast, music, screenplay, cinematography and even the name of the movie! Whereas the audience picks and chooses some part of the movie to like, recollect and enjoy. Similarly in Sahaj Marg, Sahaj Marg is the whole movie! Being directed by Master Himself and the basic 10 steps laid out, morning meditation, evening cleaning and night prayer are the cast or the essential parts of this wonderful movie! To grasp the essence of this movie and live it to the fullest the whole movie needs to be understood and lived with. If we are doing only meditation then probably we like only one the lead cast of the movie, or if we are able to follow 5 steps of the 10 laid out we have grasped the music and yet to understand the lyrics of the other songs and their purpose in the movie!

Another comparison between Yash chopra movies and Sahaj Marg is most of the audience comes out remembering only what they went in to see in the first place! Like in ‘Jab tak hai jaan’ the three of us (My husband – for one lead lady, my daughter – for the Hero and I – for the songs and cinematography) went for a different reason and believe it or not we put the whole movie together in bits and pieces, combining our memory, when we narrated it to our son! Similarly Sahaj Marg, if we are happy doing only cleaning I have noticed that the steps always seem difficult and beyond reach. In case dairy writing is something unnatural; then it is invariably postponed and the last thing on the ‘to do list’. Like there is no harm in watching / assimilating ‘Jab Tak hai Jaan’ in bits and pieces, there is no harm in understanding/imbibing Sahaj Marg in parts. The core difference though is that a movie remembered or forgotten makes no difference, but the longer an abhyasi takes to follow this unique path in its totality the more the abhyasi is likely to lose. Sahaj Marg cannot be understood in parts, one have to immerse self in the whole movie, become Sahaj Marg, Manasa, vacha, karma, not just lead lady or a song and lyric!! The whole movie is imperative.

So, Sahaj Marg is a movie to be lived day in day out, in totality and lived to the fullest, jab tak hai jaan, Sahaj Marg onlyJ.  It is a movie worth a zillion yash chopra movies and more.

 

 

My daughter says so…

My daughter says so…

My nine years old is very argumentative, wants a reason, logic and a viable ground to work with; it can be any topic from maintaining her time-table to the reason why I learn music at my age! There are innumerable incidents in our daily life and I can easily write a book narrating her thought process and logical conclusions. Every anecdote has some learning for me and I realised that I may have imparted very little of me to the kids whereas my learning from them has been unimaginable!

Their innocent, incessant cross questioning and maddeningly hair splitting examination of every word I utter has forced me to be vigilant and weigh my words with utmost care and caution; resultantly loose talk is out of the way completely in my house! It is full of intelligent humour, and quizzical play with words and topics.

Here I am citing the latest anecdote. We are going to music class together; my daughter and I. she is an amazing singer more like a child prodigy and I am just the opposite. To be brutally honest, I really don’t know why I am still in the class, because my vocal chords still seem to be the same and my voice worse than ever. During my courtship days, I used to confidently sing for my husband and he used to never tire singing my praises and the crystal clear quality of my voice. And I always used to think I am a good singer, just in need of a little practice and of course a good tutor for formal training!

When I joined I thought I would soon improve and my teacher would definitely appreciate my hard work. But with the passage of time truth showed its ugly face and I knew that I was simply kidding myself. For some strange reason I continued to go and never thought of quitting. It is such a contrasting scene in the class, once ma’am asked us to sing a particular Raga and the teacher complimented her saying, “It is the teacher’s good fortune and good karma that they get a chance to teach such and gifted natural and exemplary student.” I was all smiles and feeling very proud when she smiling added, “Sharanya, you don’t feel bad, whatever you lack and can never achieve; God has bestowed on your daughter in a double doze!!”

I said nothing; simply smiled. My daughter chipped in on my behalf saying, “No ma’am, Mama wants to sings only for Her Master. She wants me to become a famous singer.” I was very grateful for her support and congratulated myself on raising such a loyal, devoted child, my good fortune and blessings of Almighty.

Recently, because of unprecedented guesting / hosting I was too over worked and decided to skip a few classes. The first 2 classes the teacher did not ask about my whereabouts and my daughter also never bothered to find out why I was not accompanying her. Third class the teacher asked her and she very innocently replied, “She just dropped me off and returned ma’am, don’t know why!!”

When she told me I didn’t know what to say!! What would the teacher think? I was returning from her door step the last 3 classes!! God!! This silly girl, she could have lied or made some excuses on my behalf!!

And as fate would have it I could not go for the next class either. But I carefully coached my girl and told her to ma’am, in case she asked, that I was unwell. That is why I am not attending the class.

I eagerly waited for her return that day, totally restless and praying that she would not mess up. The minute she returned I asked her if ma’am had enquired. She was very upset and took off like a rocket saying, “Please give me a complete reason next time!! What exactly has happened to you? I don’t know!”

I asked, “what exactly occurred, baby? What did ma’am ask?”

Daughter, “She asked me why you did not come and like you said I told her that you were unwell!”

I , “Then?”

“Then what! She asked what exactly happened to you! And I don’t know what is wrong with you, so what could I say?”

“Then, What did you say?”

All I could say was, I don’t know what is wrong with her, but I heard her taking an appointment with the doctor now and I know that she is going to a doctor in a while, and she continued very sweetly, Please give full details next!! I hate lyingL”

I felt very bad for her and totally ashamed that I was uselessly forcing her to lie. What was a casual habit for me, making excuses, became a grave lie for her and could not cope with it! I apologised to her and promised myself that I would never repeat anything like this again.

That incident actually brought a change in me; I am regular for class, no excuses. I practice at home with my darling and I have challenged myself that I will surely force the teacher to compliment my voice too, someday in the near futureJ. And my daughter loves my spirit and encourages me!

The change these little incidents have made in my life, the learning I receive from children, their innocence and purity is very humbling always.

Khalil Gibran on marriage

I am an ardent fan of Khalil Gibran; a poet, philosopher, visionary, saint ….I run out of eulogies when I need to describe this one person. This page is dedicated to him, In the sense I will be writing his poems and try to understand them with you all. Each of us sees the same thing with a unique individual perception. Help understand this great prophet better… He writes:

The sea between the shores of the couples souls
Aye,you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But, let there be spaces in togetherness.
                                                                                                                                  There are a lot of calories in beer and drunk homemade detox drinks in indiscriminate and you don’t individual to drinkable rattling such of it to play putting on unit.                     
Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other”s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of lute are casino alone though they quiver with the same music. give your heart but not into each other”s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. Stand together yet not too near together. For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other”s shadow.
colorful life



Beautiful, is it not? A few lines to aptly describe the way a couple can live together and be happy too! A marriage is not about merging with each other! How can two different people merge? Lose their identity? Can an oak tree and the cypress tree be called oak tree? We need to walk hand in hand towards the same goal. Like the train tracks, each one independent yet dependent and very imperative for the smooth running of the train. Give your love to your spouse but safe guard your heart. That is for the creator! We humans forget this truth. We shower everything on each other. And breath down each other”s neck! We forget the creator ,the purpose of our lives and ourselves too. We begin trying to merge ;with unmet expectations end up on different shores with a sea of misunderstandings between us.
So simple yet so difficult!

Women empowerment – do we need it?

Women Empowered already

Ever wondered why every God has 2-4 hands and his consort or almost all the goddesses are seen to possess 8-10 hands? When you do the breakup of any feminine word the masculine word is in that word itself whereas the vice versa is impossible! For example, every woman has man, a female has a male, and a she has a he within the word itself, whereas the opposite is unimaginable. Tells us all a very serious tale, does it not? Women are embodiments of whatever they can conjure. They have the power to be what they wish to be and when they wish to be and how they wish to be!

A woman needs to know her role well and play it to the best of ability with understanding and discernment. There are many instances where the man has gone astray; the harm that comes to the family is revocable but a blundering woman has ruined the family irrevocably without any chances of salvage even. That is why Gods too very wisely took umbrage under their consorts and listened to them. History and mythology, both are replete with stories of woman causing the downfall and success of mankind, empires. Queen Kaykeyi is the catalyst in Ramayana; most of the crucial events in Mahabharata have either Kunti or Queen Draupadi behind the scenes. On the good side we have Savitri as the only woman who could bring back her husband from the jaws of death, and King Harishchandra’s wife who supported and stood by him throughout, his good days and bad days and lived his life uncomplainingly.

Till the recent past in our country; from birth to marriage parents taught girls how to play second fiddle and survive with equanimity in this male dominated society. They were educated and quipped to work in case such a need does come by, post marriage; else they had to be happy tending to the household. Once they got married the initial years are again a series of adjustments with the person you are married to and with the extended family also. Playing the good wife and daughter in law, women forget their individuality for a very long time to come. Children happen and motherhood plays a very dominant role. The woman or the individual self is like a dormant volcano simmering and subsiding till the children also become independent and the mother has time on hands. Time to sit back and think and contemplate over the bygone years and life spent. The whole problem surfaces at this age, somewhere between 35-45, where everything seems alien and too many confusing questions crop in the woman’s mind. In a different perspective, it must be the same for the men folk too; I will talk about them some other time. Here I am talking about the feminine gender alone.

 

The pivot

Women- The pivot

Women are the pivot or the centre to which the spokes forming the different events, relationships and happenings of life are attached. Though the father or the male figure is the provider it is the mother who maintains or manages the provision and the provider too. Without the centre there is no wheel at all and consequentially no wheel of life even, it becomes a disjointed series of events and a very erratic rise and fall in the life graph. It is the mother, wife, woman who removes the emotional hurdles and irons the frayed nerves in the family. She can make it or break it, it works both ways. A woman who knows her self-worth and potential contributes positively to the family and consequentially to the society at large. The presence of the woman at home is irreplaceable and trying to turn a blind eye to this verity is futile. It augments to the imbalance in nature and causes debacles. The woman needs to wake up to this call and seek her role where she truly belongs.

What is happening in the virtual world is the contrast. Women have not even touched the tip of the iceberg as far as exploring their real potential and self worth goes. These days most of the upper middleclass women are working women. They are trying to match each stride with their male counterpart and help them shoulder to shoulder. They are equally educated and are trying to climb the corporate with the same speed. They make all adjustments for work and have pushed family and home to the back seat. They are unhappy being housewives and feel as if it is a waste of their education and life itself. The impact of this is visible in the children though. They are bereft of parental presence and the family structure has disintegrated visibly. Nuclear family set aside, these days it is maid oriented families and the dependence on maids, crèches and day care centers is rather alarming. The woman who is a force to reckon with at home is wasting it all on the society and leaving the home in dark. Result is the increase in divorce rates, single parenting fad and the rampant rise in miscreant children.

An empowered woman is one who can identify her role, like the needle in the weighing machine. On the one side is the home, the other side is the society , to maintain balance between the two we need the woman or the pointer which tells us which side weighs more and needs to adjusted to bring about equilibrium. She has to manage both, from her end and not get too immersed in either role; else she will cause an imbalance and tilt the scales!

wake up dads

Through a daughter”s eyes

My sister”s daughter wrote a poem for her dad on his birthday. It was a straight from the heart writing, not at all fancy or rhyming, nothing. It’s just a few lines telling how she felt about her father and how she wished him to be for his own good!

Most dads today are visiting/guest daddies. Actually, maybe even our dad was a visiting dad. But we siblings were more in number, and between us and mother we did not miss our dad much. True? Most of my friends are 4-5 brother sister combination. And none of us remember much about dad spending time with us, taking time off to teach us or us noticing his absence and complaining about it.

India has changed dynamically in the last 3 decades. From predominantly joint family to nuclear family, only father earning member to both the parents working, from 3-5 children to 1-2 children has all happened in this last few decades. It has been one too many changes and too soon for us to be able to cope with.From our childhood to our adult parent life this has been the biggest change and all differences are because of these few changes. My This is strongly indicated by best-horoscope.com for this year. son also notices his dad”s absence and most of my counsel-lees have a word or two about the busy, independent, aloof life styles they seem to lead!

The poem was telling the father that it is good to be ambitious, get rich and successful in life. In the end though, none of these really mattered. She, the daughter, wanted him to be happy and do the things that made him happy even though they may not bring in world renown, money and riches. These things would bring in happiness which would last and the put smile back on his face which she rarely saw these days!She pointed out everything that her father was missing out on in his race to succeed in life! Very succinctly yet in a very unambiguous way she was talking on behalf of all the adolescents and to all dads out there!

Time gone will never comeback dads! Your corporate ladder and empires can be climbed and built but you will be a stranger to your kids. Unlike you, we are half in number and do not have too much company either. We spend our childhood alone in our nests; when the time for us to fly away comes you will be staying home, alone. In case you want the excuse of “This is all for them only!, a logic as a sop to your conscience, maybe you could think again. You earn much more than your parents and your progeny will definitely surpass you! You are not going back and staying at your ancestral home and your children will also follow their destiny and build a life elsewhere! You build an empire for them, which is of what value to them, they will never figure out, in this process you are missing out on the little time that God gave you to be with them, as a family, to know them and love them! Wake up dads, before they fly away from your nest.