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.

Fooling Around

F

Fooling Around

Do what the world does, we are told.

Eat with your right, clean with your left,

Wake up at dawn, shut eyes at dusk.

Go to school to learn, later work to earn,

Get married, have kids and

Last till you end up in the urn.

 
 

Most of us comply with the norm,

Fall in line with the rules.

We follow the herd, telling ourselves

We are guided by the unseen shepherd.

We live the same life that others live,

And disappear at the end into oblivion.

 
 

There are though, a few who stand out.

They toe the line, they question the norms.

They take the route never before taken

To reach destinations others have forsaken.

They care not for the herd, and believe

Their shepherd gives them the leave,

To discover their own meadows.

 
 

They get called names – lunatics and crazies,

And are accused of fooling around.

They are fools to think different, we say,

And that they are surely going to pay.

We are aghast at their blasphemy,

And laugh at their stupidity.

 
 

Yet history has shown time and again,

The fools are the ones who bring about change.

They transform lives with something brilliant,

Which was born in the first place,

Out of their foolishness.

 
 

They care two cents for acknowledgement,

And even less for the ridicule.

They chart their own course,

Whether it leads to success or failure,

They fear not.

 

So be a fool, today. Don’t hesitate. Do what you want to do, Dream, design and create. For your foolishness might pave way for the next greatest turning point in human history.

fool

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.

Eternity

E

Seasons come, seasons go. People come, people go. What remains is what is eternal. My post for the letter E, is a poem I published a few years ago.

Eternity

An ode to the permanence of our cores, which remain unchanged in the midst of the transients. Much like the water, which, though its form may change from time, still remains water, H2O. Or like the sands on a beach, which witness myriad encounters with transience, but persist the way they have been, forever.

eternity-quotes-1

The news reader exclaims with glee,
“The monsoons are here!”
The cuckoo on my courtyard’s Gulmohar,
Echoes her joy with ‘coo’s.
The clear patch of blue,
Where the brilliant orb shone yesterday,
Is a thing of the past.
Replaced today,
By a muddy patchwork,
Of Cumulonimbus’s,
Straight out of a cotton farm.

 

 While the sky sheds tears,
Bemoaning the cloudy infestation,
I muse.
The clouds are same,
The drops are same,
And so is the breeze.
Meeting up in the heavens every year,
Before they come visiting,
At my window sill.
Only to be greeted by,
A different story.
A new movie each time.
New characters, new plots, new settings,
All new, save me.

 

 I am like the sands of Marina.
Numerous footfalls,
On my static grains.
A light tread here,
A heavy one there,
Some fast and some slow,
All, all over me,
 While I remain unchanged.

 

No storm, no tide has ever
Caused me to budge.
The physical me totters,
The mental me sways,
But I, I remain unmoved.
Absorbing the experience
Of varying footfalls,
As they come and go,
While I remain.

 

I was, I am, I will be,
Here along with the clouds,
The rain and the breeze.
Living the ultimate truth,
Watching the transients pass.
The revelry of joy and pangs of despair,
Are only for body and mind.
As ice, liquid or vapour,
Water still remains water,
and so remain I.

 

This poetry was first published in Contemporary Literary Review India Nov 2012 Issue.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Choices, for Empowerment?

C

Moving on to the third day of the A to Z blogging challenge. Today’s letter is C. I toyed for some time with two topic ideas, two choices, both equally dear to me. In the end, I decided to go with the one with a positive ring to it. The other choice is important too, but let’s leave it for another day.

So, Choices. Deepika Padukone’s Vogue video has almost made the word evil. I saw it right before sleeping a couple of nights ago. At that time, it didn’t register more than a “meh” in me. Only the next day, when I thought about it some more, and read people voicing their opinion about it, did it strike me as bordering on absurd. When the video began playing, I had half the mind to stop it right away, for more than anything, it looked scary! Right out of the Ring series!

To be fair to the team that created that video, the intent seems to be right. Everyone, not just women, has the right to make their own choices. It is the ability to make one’s own choices that brings about real empowerment. Every man and woman must be able to make his or her own choices – to marry or not to marry, to have children or not, to become a doctor or a musician, to be a vegetarian or non-vegetarian. In our country, women are more tightly bound by tradition and culture than men, to be able to make their own choices (especially in the matters of marriage, sexuality or progeny), which is why they end up being less empowered by men. For real empowerment, choices need to be equal for both men and women.

However, proceeding to say that as a woman it is my choice to indulge in adultery, to run wild if I want to, to deny you the pleasures of a relationship because I so wish, seems to border on narcissism, or worse chauvinism. Like many people have ranted on the internet in the past few days, if the same words were to be uttered by a man, he would have been shot down with criticism for being backward and an MCP.

We all live in a society, and in order for the society to function smoothly, there are some strictures and rules that need to be followed. No, I am not talking about caste divisions or discrimination. For any society to prosper and flourish, values like honesty, integrity, trust and faith need to be upheld at all times and by everyone. A society is but a network of relationships, and in a relationship, trust and respect is very important. The culture or mutual collaboration, teamwork, integrity and shared success don’t belong only to the corporate world. It starts from the very basic relationship – between a couple, between parents and the child, between teacher and the student. One cannot leave these values to choice, for if one does, then that will only give rise to anarchy and chaos.

So what are the choices then, that empower?

The choice to not be bogged down when life pulls you down, and fight against all odds to succeed in life. Like Patricia, who braved poverty and loss to emerge as a successful restaurateur. Read her full story here.

PAtricia

The Choice to be healthy, for yourself and the people who love you. Like Angelina Jolie Pitt, who underwent a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy to protect herself from Cancer, so that her children didn’t have to suffer the agony of an ailing mother.

Angelina

The Choice to stay at home and look after the children, while the other partner keeps his or her day job and becomes the primary breadwinner for the family. Note here that I have kept the words gender neutral, for this is equally true for both moms and dads. While I know a great many moms who gave up their lucrative careers to care for their children, I also know of an absolutely fantastic dad who decided to stay at home while his wife kept her day job. He only proves it that it is not a woman’s prerogative to give up her career or not; the choice is equally in the hands of both partners. You can read more about him, in his own words, here.

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Sid Balachandran – The New Age Indian Dad

Had Vogue’s video featured choices such as these, choices that really matter, perhaps they would not have met with so much ire.