Giving is a two way game

G

When you were nothing more than a microorganism, I gave you parts of myself, so you could grow into a human form. I gave you space within my body, within my heart and within my soul. I gave you my blood and energy. I gave you life so you could be you.

After you entered the world I gave you the right to suck your life’s sustenance out of me, eagerly, and proudly. I gave you the biggest part of my life, a solid 20 years, feeding you, nurturing you, caring for you, helping you grow into what you are today. In the process I gave you my time, I gave up my pleasures, my dreams, so I could make space to accommodate yours.

baby-india

When you ripened into a young adult, although it ripped my heart to part, I gave you the right to flutter your wings and fly the skies. I gave you the freedom without giving you an inkling on what it meant to have an empty nest. I continued giving you strength and support wherever you were and giving you love without you ever having to ask for it.

I have given you my all, but that doesn’t mean i will redeem what I have given. Ever. It also does not mean that I will exercise control your life, how should you live, whom should you marry, which God you should pray or how many children you should bear. To each his own life. I, hopefully, have also given you the confidence to live your life the way you want to and take responsibility of the subsequent consequences.

BUT.

Giving is a two way game, my dear.

While I won’t expect anything from you, I will hope you will give my motherhood the acknowledgement it deserves.
While I don’t expect or want money from you, I hope you will give me the pleasure of hearing your voice as often as possible.
While I am only too happy to hand over the reins of the household to you and your partner, I hope you will give me, or any other senior person visiting you, the dignity that should be accorded for that age, hope that you will look forward to waiting on me, as I waited on you once.
Not because I want to rule and command, but because I want to feel loved and cared. And not because I am a needy old witch who can’t let go of her offspring, but because as a human being, that is the right thing to do.
While I won’t occupy your home and be a hindrance to your lifestyle – I am my own person and I want to live my own life – I hope you will give me the space and appreciate the fact that you and me are both mature adults now, and I have the right to live where I want, how I want to, visit who I want to.

For, my sweet, giving is a two way game.

 

This post has been written as part of the A-Z Challenge. Do keep visiting this blog on more gyan on life and my perception of it, all this month.

Demons Among Us

D

Nirbhaya. 2 School girls raped in Badaun. An 8 year old raped in Bangalore. A nun here. A boy there. India seems to be taken by a storm of sexual abuses at present. Other countries issue warnings to their women visiting ours, telling them how to keep themselves from getting raped. Politicians utter nonsensical statements, media gurus hyperventilate over each and every case that gets discovered. A ‘panel’ of ‘experts’ sit in a studio and scream at the top of their voices, in a competition to see who screams longest. Long op-eds and opinions fill up newspapers, magazines and even tabloids, not to mention their online versions. Social media goes ‘viral’, with people spewing venom (without being entirely sure on whom, just the all-encompassing ‘They’).

And then? You go back to work. To the dal that’s cooking for dinner. To the insurance premium that needs to be paid by tomorrow. To the assignment that needs to be submitted next week. To the girlfriend who needs to be impressed.

‘They’ go back to their work too. Completely innocuous looking. Even making everyone believe they are compassionate and caring. Approaching the little 6-year old whose lying on her bed with an Enid Blyton in her hand, her legs bent at the knee, wide apart with the gay abandon of childhood, her skirt askew. They reach for places that shouldn’t be reached, and when the little bird squirms, they silence her with the promise of a chocolate or the threat of punishment. They touch her newly blossoming busts and tongue her slender lips, all the while making her believe they are doing her a favor.

They are not strangers or criminals conniving to inflict suffering upon the young girl. They are people the child loves and holds in great esteem. They are her grandpas, uncles, chachas and mamas.

How many of you feel shocked to read this? Not many, right? For this happens in every home. Believe me, every single, seemingly honorable, respectable home. In every city, in every state. And yes, in every single country on Earth. There was even a video sometime back that talked of the rate of rapes in UK, which seemed as worse, if not more, as our country.

The truth is – demons are everywhere, even in our homes.

demon_alien_devil_skull-1920x1200

Then how do we save our children and ourselves, from them?

I am not expert, I can only offer suggestions. The solution is awareness, in ourselves, in our children. Awareness of what is going on around us, awareness of our own selves, awareness of the people around us. Being open with the child and letting them know they can open their hearts to us, take us into their confidence.

And hope, that we won’t be the next victim.

***************************************************************************************************************

What do you think we can do? Let us know in the comments.

This post has been written as part of the A-Z Challenge. Do keep visiting this blog on more gyan on life and my perception of it, all this month.

Moments of Anticipation

I finished my light dinner and got ready to leave. N had already taken the packed up bag to the car. My brother S was waiting in the car, happy and ready to act as my driver for this journey. Amma stood before our huge array of Gods, asking them all to give me strength. I joined her, heart beating fast with excitement. Five minutes later we were speeding towards our destination – the Maternity Hospital. Continue reading

The Domestic Censor

I think it was some time in the early 90’s. The song would begin to play on TV, in the then ubiquitous Doordarshan, with a rather cocky chorus of “kuk kuk kuk kuk…,” and my father would immediately rush to the knob on the side of the screen. To change channels. This happened always, without fail, when my brother and me were in front of the TV. And every time I would be disappointed at not being able to watch Madhuri’s thumkas and expressions. Even Nina Gupta’s, for that matter. But who could say a word against appa. Those were not movements for children to watch, or lyrics for kids to hear, he said. Poor him, the more he tried to shield his children from the trash the content in TV was increasingly becoming (in his eyes, and that, in the 90’s), the less he was able to withstand their onslaught. What with DD Metro coming into the picture, that flamboyant, colorful cousin of the dull and serious Doordarshan, our exposure to cheesy, saucy, raunchy songs from Bollywood and Kollywood only kept increasing.

Image

Courtesy: Google Image Search

I remember the time when Criminal was released. 1995. The Superhit Muquablas and other countdown shows would play that lovely song “Tum Mile, Dil Khile”. Ah, how lusciously sensuous Nagarjuna and Manisha looked together, standing on a dock by a riverside, romancing into the setting sun. Alas! It was not for us to enjoy romance at that age. Whenever the song was aired, my father would jump into action. Now he had devised a new method. He would change the color settings of the TV so that it went completely black. So we could hear the song, for the lead singers had sung it so well (and probably he thought we were old enough to listen to it), but watching was prohibited. With Nagarjuna caressing Manisha with such sensuality, we certainly did not expect Appa to let us enjoy the song with him. Enjoy we did though, furtively watching it when he and mom were out for work.

As the quotient of sensuality and sleaze kept steadily increasing in Indian songs, my father eventually relented. We had begun watching “Oorvasi Oorvasi”, “Mukkala Muqabla”, “Kadhal Rojave”, all in front of him. No more hiding. Although, we were aware of his grumbles and mumbles behind us, we learned not to take them too much to heart. After all, he was a parent. And parents had their own fears. But we were also growing up, and we knew what we were doing.

It was at the turn of the century, when I was preparing for my board exams, that I got hooked on the MTV. And boy, the songs that they played! I instantly fell in love with a lot of boys there – from Backstreet, Boyzone, Ricky Martin, Savage Garden, Ronan Keating. And not to mention the girls – Britney, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Madonna. My oh my! However, I wouldn’t dare watch some of these songs in front of my parents, yet. In fact, I wouldn’t dare watch any of them in front of them. I was supposed to be studying after returning from school, or during those study holidays. Yet my days were never complete without a 2 hour dose of MTV every day. My brother had become a huge cartoon fan by then, and would lap off Swat Cats, Ghostbusters and Dexter with great enthusiasm. He did not care much for the music, nor I for the cartoons (although, having to watch them day in and day out with the sibling made both of us eventually like both). We both had an arrangement. As soon as we returned from school, he would spend an hour with his cartoons. Then the remote would come to me, for my music. And then, just about half an hour before mom would return from office, we would tidy up, wash up, put on the lights, light the lamps in puja room and play some “good cd” in our player – like Vishnu Sahasranamam or Kanda Shashti Kavacham. And yes, without fail, put TV on Discovery Channel or Animal Planet before turning it off. If dad or mom decided to investigate what we had been watching and pressed on the ‘Last Channel’ button, they would be happy thinking their kids were such science buffs. Smart we were, eh!

As I entered college my interest in English music went stale. I did not get time to watch more MTV, and MTV too decided to take a route away from music, and I become quite enamored by the local music scene, thanks to my college gang. No, not classical or traditional Tamil music, but ‘local’ music, the ‘Machi, mamu’ kind. Tamil hero Vikram became my biggest favorite, and his songs, my anthem. Not to mention Suriya. By the time I started working, my attention had turned a bit backwards, to Illayaraja and SPB. A long list of favorites, both old and new, English, Hindi and Tamil, were my constant companions, to and from work, and even at the workplace. Appa had stopped his shielding act for good. He realized maybe, that it was no good, and instead started enjoying the songs and videos with me.

Now why have I recounted my ‘music loving history’ out of the blue? Its because, now “Blue hai pani pani…”. For the past 3-4 years, I had almost completely stopped watching song videos, for they had become either too sleazy or too local for my taste (largely, not all). And for the reason that with an infant, I hardly found time, and in the time I found, I chose to read or write or watch an English movie. So when Sid suddenly started singing Lungi danch, lungi danch, I was surprised and amused. Not shocked, yet. But shock has come, all too soon. My son is singing and dancing to Pani Pani, Gandi Baat, Battameez Dil, and the like. I didn’t bother much at first, but off late, he demands I show him the Pani Pani video on You Tube. And with all the women dancing with almost nothing on, I squirm and shift in my seat every time the song plays. I now realize how Appa must have felt. Still, I try to reason, we did turn out all right, so will the kid, won’t he? I don’t know the answer to that yet, and till the time I can help it, I will try distracting him with something else, every time he demands watching those bikini clad women waltzing on the beach. Or maybe, switch off the computer screen, a la Appa?

Image

Courtesy: Google Image Search