My Lessons !

I’ve been learning a few things in the past few days, which have made me pause and take a different look at life. These insights into life, make us a better human being for tomorrow.

Lesson 1 :

No person or incident can make you less happy in life. The happiness factor depends upon – how you react to the incident or the person.

Scene – Early morning 6.45 at the breakfast table.

My girls are having milk and scrambled egg for breakfast. I am busy plaiting my daughter’s hair. At that time, I hear the horn of the school bus. OMG, the bus has come nearly 10 minutes early. My daughter, reacting to my frenzied pace, started gulping down her milk pretty fast. As I am requesting the bus driver to wait for my daughters, I hear my daughters plea to come and help her. Alas, the milk had spilled on her uniform.

Usual me – Start shouting at my girls for not being efficient in doing things, always being clumsy etc etc. My daughter will go to school with a grumpy face, which might affect her attentiveness at class. The screaming woman in me will be displayed to the hubby dear also, which can spoil his whole day at work.

The New Me – Because of my new learning, I faced the situation in a calm and peaceful way. I smiled at my daughter and said “Its OK, dear. It happens to us also. Don’t worry, I’ll ask the bus driver to wait for few more minutes while you change your uniform”. WOW, Wasn’t that easy ? My daughter will go to school with a big smile on her face. And more importantly, the happy woman in me is flashing the happy smile on my S too. Every body’s day goes off well and I am happy that I’ve been instrumental in that.

Just by reacting differently to the whole scenario, I made myself feel happy. So, its all inside us – how you react is how you’ll feel.

Lesson 2 :

Being grateful in life, for all that you have, is the secret to happiness in your life.

Scene – Prayer before bedtime, with my girls.

The regular questions which I face are – Is God hearing our prayers ? Can he understand, if I ask for an iPod, and give it to me ? How can he help in my studies, when I can’t see him ? And many more like this.

Usual me – Pray to God with a sincere heart and he’ll grant all your wishes. By encouraging my daughters, when they are asking for more and more things, I’ve enabled them to understand that the keyword is – keep asking but ask sincerely.

The New Me – The new order in my home is this – Prayers at bedtime are not meant for asking for things, instead they are for thanking God for all that he has given to us. I am insisting on my girls to list 3 things everyday, for which they are extremely thankful to God. Also, I make them write down those things. Eventually, they’ll come to understand that we have so many things to be happy about in life.

I hope that I am imparting a great lesson to my children to follow in their lives, for which I am grateful to God. By being grateful, I found the key to my happiness.

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Are you a good parent ?

This happened to one of my friend’s cousin, say S, who is just about 17 yrs old. She is very calm and quiet, refusing to mingle with others. When I enquired about her, I was told that she is undergoing psychiatric treatment.

OMG ! I was saddened by the whole story !!!!!!!

When S finished her 10th standard, her parents put her in junior college to do her 12th board exams, in the maths and science category. So S joined the hostel to stay close to her junior college. But after an year of her studies, S felt that all the studies and preparing for the entrance exams are just too much for her and she requested her parents to come and take her back home. But since she had already finished one year of studies, her parents tried to convince her that everything will workout fine. And then came the board exams and it was such a bad luck for S as she failed to get selected to any of the prestigious engineering colleges in the city.

Now, her parents decided that S continue to train in the junior college, so that she can write the entrance exams again and may be she’ll be selected in any of the engineering colleges in the next year. It was at this time, that S requested so many times that she doesn’t like to continue the studies. But in vain, the parents never listened to her – her problems – why she doesn’t want to continue.

The result – S is under depression – of the severe order. She now wants to break away from everything. So, S had been advised psychiatric help and is now under medication. She is so dazed because of the medication that she doesn’t communicate with anybody. Now, she is undergoing training for meditation, to channelise her energies.

A very confused, depressed little girl – all thanks to her parents.

My questions are

  • Is it justified that the parents always tell (or probably force) what their child has to study or do in their life ?
  • Why are the parents (so called matured adults) so much obsessed with this engineering or medicine courses ?
  • Whatever the parents were not able to do, when they were young, can they force it on their children to satisfy their inner self ?
  • Don’t the parents need to ask the child, if they are willing to do a particular course or more importantly – What does the child want to do in life ?

Why don’t we give freedom to a boy or girl, who is 16 / 17 yrs old, to choose whatever they want to do in life ? I am not denying the responsibility of the parents in the whole decision process. The parents can guide them, give them inputs, help them to choose from different options available – but never force them to study a particular subject.

In today’s world, there are so many ways to satisfy the soul. Starting from a beautician, fashion designer, an artist, an author, a lyricist, an environmentalist, dancer, singer, journalist, animal welfare worker, potter, chef – you can be anybody you want. The satisfaction that is achieved by working on your passionate goal is just something that words cannot describe.

Not everybody who is born on this earth can be an engineer or a doctor. It is total absurdity to think on those lines.

This request is for all those parents who come across my blog – Please allow your children to be what they want to be. Don’t ever force your children to study a particular subject or take some course – just to satisfy your own inner desires. Be there as a guiding light, a beacon, for your children. Support them with all your capacity.

Already, in this world filled with scientific gadgets, we’ve lost the so called innocence in our children. Now, lets not lose our children to the confines of depression.

Shiamak – a hype ??????

I had been listening to reviews by various people about the Dance classes run by Shiamak Davar and all of them vouched that its a great thing to do.

As a new branch was opened near to my home, I enrolled my 2 daughters for Winter Funk, last year. Alas, our bad luck, the show was cancelled due the Mumbai terror attacks at Taj. Since my girls were totally disappointed by the cancellation of the stage show, I decided to enroll them for the Summer Funk, this year.

The classes began on 25th Apr and ended by 9th May – that was a total of 15 classes of 1 hr duration each. The show was held on 10th May, which turned out to be quite a disappointment for me. 38 batches from various branches in the city, performed for nearly two and half hours. But only 2 or 3 dances made their way into my heart.

This made me sit down and ponder at the following things, which could have been done in a much better way.
– It sadly showed that there were not enough rehearsals, to achieve that perfect finish on stage.
– During the 2 weeks of dance class, first week is spent on choosing a song and in the second week we are made to run between tailor to tailor for getting the costume done. Don’t forget the prop – that should also be made ready. At least, they can guide us to a good tailor. Nah ! Its all for you to find out and get it done.
– For the amount of money they charge us as course fees, there could have been more classes for rehearsals and to achieve a good synchronisation among the dancers.
– In a group of more than 25 people dancing on stage, only those in the front row do the dancing part right. Sorry, the ones in the back row take it easy on certain steps.
– I also found so many steps repeated among many groups.
– On the whole, I had spent for the classes, the costume and also for the tickets to watch the show by my daughters.

Shiamak seems to be a better businessman than a dancer was my overall impression. The proof is the number of branches they have opened so far.

The only satisfying thing in this whole episode was that my daughters had great fun, enjoyed dancing and also gave a stage show. Shiamak was also present to add glamour to the whole show.

The hype created around this Shiamak Davar Dance Classes were so much, that I expected a much more better performance, better choreography and better costumes. And because of the high levels of expectations, I was hit with disappointment. Some of the costumes were really in need of re-design. I think that lot of consideration should be given to the costume while designing, so that the dancer is totally comfortable in that dress – only then the moves will be done to perfection.

I think I satisfied my daughter’s wish to join this dance class and perform on stage. I am happy doing it for my daughters even though I am not convinced about the whole thing.

Simple pleasures in life !

Today, I had been reading a very interesting article in the IE, about the simple pleasures in life. The author had went to describe how it was more pleasurable to read a novel in the train and in the side look out for the next snack that will be doing the rounds. He had also explained how he is unable to enjoy such things now, as our lifestyle has changed dramatically.

This clicked on my thought process.

Oh ! how many small, simple things made me happy when I was young !!!!!

I am very fond of train travel (even now). When I was young, me and my sister went along with our aunt to Ahmedabad (my uncle used to live there). The journey was 2 days up and 2 days down. And it never bothered us as to what we’ll do for 2 days in the train. We played a multitude of games, befriended a lot of kids in the train and had so much fun. The best part was we both sat and wrote down the name of every station we crossed / stopped. And we cross checked it while travelling back home. That’s one train journey which I’ll never forget.

My grandmother (my dad’s mom) holds a special place in my heart ( I think not only mine, but in all her grandchildren). She has such soft hands that I’ll be waiting for the weekends, when she’ll oil massage my hair and body. That afternoon nap after the bath, was my favourite. She also allowed me to sleep on her lap or shoulder ( in our households, the grandparents are into so much of rituals and customs, that they refrain others from touching them). My grandmother was an exception. She found ways to twist rules, to make us happy. The best part I remember about her, is the way she used to make small balls of curd rice and put it on our palms to make us eat, all the while fabricating such wonderful stories. In the center of the curd rice ball, she’ll press a little with her finger and in that, she’ll pour a little sambar or keep a piece of mango pickle. Oh ! It tasted so delicious, that all of us will be gobbling more than we could possibly eat. I’ve still not found anything that equated that simple pleasure of eating curd rice, from the hands of my grandmother.

Me and my sister have this rapport for talking on for hours together, without getting BORED. We can talk about anything, but over a hot cup of tea. When both of us were in our teens, we had spent so much time chatting that we were oblivious to the world around us. This is another of life’s simplest pleasures which I treasure.

Oh ! This blog will be incomplete if Md Rafi is not mentioned. This genius’ voice is such a soother / stress buster / call it anything – that I literally worship him. Such is the versatility of his voice, that he can sing any number – duet, solo, sad song, gazals, almost anything. Listening to him / his voice / his songs was the top most in my list of simple pleasures in life. I still listen to him but nowadays, it has become a rarity, with two teenagers behind me all the time.

There are so many to this list and I am deeply thinking about them all, which might continue in my next blog. But till such time, I am glad to have listed a few of those things which made me so happy. I am smiling as I write this and I will be very happy to write more about these simple things.

I am praying to God at this juncture, for everybody to relive their simple pleasures, as they give more meaning to life than materialistic things.

Obsession

People have such strange obsessions in life.
Ask my S to know about mine, which I think have been kept quite a secret so far. Here I am trying to explain about only one of those. So, why this revelation now ?
Maybe, when people comment on my post, I’ll get to know about the weird things, which they are obsessed with and the whole process might turn out to be very funny, indeed.
Isn’t this a great job to do to spend all those lazy summer afternoons ?
OK, coming to the point of discussion, I’ve this strange quality of collecting carry bags. You name them and I’ll have them.
Yes, you’re absolutely right in guessing that carry bags are those plastic bags in which you’re handed over the stuff you buy in shops, malls etc.
Just imagine that I’ve shopped for 3 salwar suits and 2 sarees. Even before the bill is paid, I am near the delivery counter trying to make eye contact with the packing boy. That is actually to make him pack the 5 things in 5 different bags instead of one bag, as is usually done. I do all these silly things, if and only if, the carry bag is really good and has captured my heart with the design. I’ve a great eye for catchy design, mind you.
You should see my expression when somebody tries to borrow one carry bag from me. Those prized possessions, which were absolutely a delight to collect, is certainly not available for borrowing. But, I do give consideration to the people who ask me for it. If they are somebody whom I am really fond of or if I know that they’ll take very good care of the plastic bag just as I do, I might come down and give them one or two.
Of course, I do have a really good collection now. I love those wonderful smooth carry bags which I got in Dubai ( we had been there for a holiday ). The carry bags which you get at duty free shops are just awesome.
And when you give those bags collected with great difficulty to people, they sometimes use it as lunch bags, spill food inside and throw it away, I feel very sad about it.
I know, I know, this is absolutely weird and silly – this obsession with plastic carry bags. But what to do ? It is all this weird and silly things that make us as human beings.
So, are you obsessed with anything in life ?

PS – There are so many other things about which I am obsessed with, which I’ll share with you in the coming posts.

Golden moments !!!!

How many of us really enjoy watching the 24*7 TV music channels that telecast only the latest bollywood hits?

The songs shown are from the latest movies or the movies that are about to release shortly. Music from films released just 6 months back is considered OLD !!!!

I am not against these kind of music, actually I do like all kinds of music. But being exposed to these 24 *7 music channels day in and day out – courtesy my younger daughter – I rather felt out of touch with the film music, with which I grew up.

Then, finally, last week, I was rewarded for my patience.

One fine evening, I find myself in front of the TV, with the REMOTE in my hand, during the prime time slot 8pm – 9pm !!!!! My girls are still playing and my S has not yet got back home from work.

Wow, God has been really kind to bestow this gift on me. The REMOTE CONTROL was in my hand !!!!!

And, I was thrilled to the hilt, as I sat glued to Doordarshan’s Chitrahaar. For nearly an hour, I was in a different world, which I thought never existed for me anymore. Oh! My fav songs still come on Chitrahaar. The black and white melodies, the 70s duets – OMG ! I was so happy !

And, God being the ever so kind soul, was stretching the happiness bubble for me.

As I got up early on Sunday morning to send my daughters and my S for swimming, I found myself alone with the REMOTE again. And what a timing ! I was in for a visual treat, as it was time for Doordarshan’s Rangoli on Sunday mornings.

What a collection of songs !!!! WOW !!!!!
– Main naa booloonga mein naa booloongi, chandan sa bhadhan, tarif karoon kya usiki jisne tumhe banaya ………….

What a treat for me ! Thank you God for creating such wonderful opportunities for me, so that I was able to watch a collection of my favourite songs, after a very very very long time.

I sincerely hope that these Golden moments will continue for me !!!

My plans for the Summer !

At last, the Summer vacations have begun, of course, for my girls. And everybody keeps asking me – What are your plans for this vacation ? Where are you going ?

When I asked myself this question, I was absolutely sure of the answer, which is – I would love to chill at my home, sweet home.

But Why ? Why ? Why ?????

Now, let me justify my point. In a country like India, it’s hot or scorching hot during May, when summer is at its peak. So, even if I plan a trip, I am sure, I cannot escape from the hot rays of the burning sun. And how can I go on a sight seeing trip, when I am being barbecued alive?

OK. OK. I can go to a hill resort, where I can hide under the chill. But, how long can I do that ? May be a week ??? Then, I am again back to the hot, hot city, where I live.

Now that I’ve decided to stay put in my home during summer, what’s my agenda for the holidays ?

One thing is for definite – more cooking time – as the need for snacks increases when children are there at home. I’ve been gifted a wonderful baking recipes book by my best friend and I intend to try out a lot of things from the book. Cheers to the baker in me !

Also, I am planning to enroll my girls for some summer classes, which will keep them busy for a few hours everyday. This vacation is the right time for them to catch up with their hobbies, as the academic year is almost spent on studies. My God ! What a huge syllabus they cover in one year ? Worse still, is the need to keep up with the competition.

Fortunately, there is a swimming pool in our apartment, where I can fight against the terrible heat. At the same time, I’ll be battling against my belly bulge, through vigorous swimming exercises. Now, this is what I call as 3B – Battle with Belly Bulge.

Hey ! Now, some constructive thinking and planning are happening, I am sure that this vacation will keep us all busy. I am also desperately trying to win the 3B. Wish me luck for this battle.