Jun 15, 2019

From the Great Indian Culture to the Great Indian Hypocrisy!

Two recent incidents have made me thoughtful and then made me write this post! No intention to offend anyone; this is straight from the heart. 

Incident 1:
The creator of Facebook, Mr Mark Zuckerberg, congratulated his sister named Randi Zuckerberg for an achievement of hers. He posted it on his Facebook page. Normally, whoever reads it, either they leave it there and move on to other posts or write a comment to congratulate  her. Some of the Indians found another way to react to that post, in all humiliation more to themselves and the Indian-fraternity than to the Zuckerbergs. Some of the Indians picked her name 'Randi' and confused it with its meaning in Hindi. They started posting all sort of inhuman stuff on Mark's post. Yes, some other Indians responded with rebuke but nothing could stop the other group of Indians from committing the socially-heinous act. Zuckerbergs did not react, and that's their take on it and a noble one, given the scenario. 

Incident 2:
Most of the cricket followers know about the ball tampering scandal that hit the Australian cricket an year and half ago. Cricket Australia had handed an year's ban on Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner. They did apologize and served the ban; they are now part of the Australian cricket squad playing the World Cup-19 at England. During the league match between India and Australia, some of the Indian audience (Pro-Indian fans as media exactly called) shouted at Steve Smith - "Cheater"... "Cheater"...! Although he did not reciprocate, he must have been deeply hurt; one day we may get to hear from him on this incident, possibly in an autobiography or in a media-interaction! Indian captain Virat Kohli exhibited the professionalism and sportive-spirit at the post match talk by condemning this act by some of the Indian fans . 

First incident shows that some of us, the Indians, do not know how to let others live. The second incident show that some of us do now know how to get on with life. High level of hypocrisy exists with visibly no cure! Indian culture is a lot talked about in all positive sense in the current generation. If the incidents similar to the above continue to happen, Indian culture will continue to be talked about in the coming generations, but not for the same goodness as is today. While we continue to praise the past that had handed us with the Indian-cultural standards, we must continue to build them up with inspirational acts rather than pull them down with unappreciative acts. Otherwise, the time is not far away to see the Great Indian Culture being replaced by the Great Indian Hypocrisy

Rain and the Rainbow!

Pune-rains and the rainbows are incredible scenes to start the weekend with!  

Jun 6, 2019

The lack of it... Take Home #674

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Neither time nor experience, often what we lack is "conviction".

May 25, 2019

Giving back to children - ParenthoodDiaries #16

In our walk of life, from childhood to adulthood to old-age, we come across many people who help us in different ways at multiple occasions. We may not be able to give back to all of them, due to various circumstances! Whatever that we cannot give back to them, we must give to their children. And that will be more than giving-back as far as a parent is concerned. Give back love. Give back help. Give back money. Give back everything except hatred. Only love must transcend the generations.

May 12, 2019

Parenthood and delegation - ParenthoodDiaries #15

Something that I have learnt, more in my ten months of parenthood than in my ten years of work experience, is DELEGATION.

Knowing what to do is the first baby-step towards delegation and the how part can be, rather shall be, left to the person whom we have delegated the task; if not always, majority of times! In my work experience I have seen people who have been successful in achieving the desired results by delegating. Having closely watched them and having seen myself improving my delegation capabilities over the last few months, one thing I can say confidently is that delegation is one of the skills every individual must possess and improve time to time, be it personal or professional life.

The crux of delegation is 'confidence on our eco-system of people' and the crux of confidence is 'risk-taking capability'. To become confident on our people we must understand them and help them strengthen their desired skill. Risk taking capability is something that we can improve only by taking risks!

There is undeniably high risk in child-rearing. It could go many ways and to let it go the way it is supposed to go, we must start showing confidence in the people involved; be it maids, teachers, friends of kids, or for that matter the kids themselves,  by letting them do what they need to do, while we observe and intervene on need basis. Instead if we micromanage, we ruin our children just like the way some managers ruin their teams!

Parents cannot be everywhere and do everything for their children. But parents can make their presence felt by delegating right things to the right people at every juncture of their child's journey; this includes delegating certain tasks to the children themselves.

Apr 13, 2019

Advantages and challenges - ParenthoodDiaries #14

Weather it's twin babies or a single baby, or no baby for that matter, there are advantages and challenges in each scenario. The moment we let the challenges start bothering us more than what the advantages make us positive, that's the moment we must start validating our own thought process. Challenges are every where and solutions may be are around the corner or they may be are far off. The quick we realise that we must accept the challenges, the better will be our determination and the more time we will have to find out the solutions.

While the above said is in general applicable while handing any challenge, challenges related to kids are perceived to be the toughest by parents. And that's exactly why we must be really quick in accepting the challenges and be strong rather than getting pressurized and get weakened!

Mar 21, 2019

Birthday 2019 as a mom!

Many birthdays passed and it never occurred to me! Today as I have become a mother, I feel like saying this.

My mother was a teenager when I was born. She used to top her class and she had to miss her final exams since I arrived before the expected date of delivery. That was just the beginning of the streak of compromises and sacrifices. And I'm very happy that my mother continued her studies for another four years and became a teacher. She could do that because my grand mother, Vijayalakshmi, took care of me and my mom. My grandma did a lot for us, which I can't explain in few words. On October 10th, 2002, suddenly we had to face her day of death! I have deeply missed her ever since. Mothers do a lot for their kids. My mother and grand mother have done a lot for me. Saying thanks is never enough. I must and will do whatever I can for them.

I'm reserving about my father for now! One day I shall express about him, who's the most influential person in my life.

Mar 17, 2019

Sharing responsibility - ParenthoodDiaries #13

Husband and wife share the responsibility of be it home-making or child-rearing.

Ladies, next time when you are asked if your husband helps you at home, say this - we share the responsibility.

Helping and sharing responsibility are different not just by their literal sense but also by the way they are executed. Help is the assistance we get when we are solely responsible for a given task. Sharing responsibility is sharing of ownership; the act of being equally responsible.

Home-making and child-rearing are real fun when they are executed together by the couple. Also, they happen smoothly and sensibly when done together. Children are known for imitating and majorly learning from what they observe at home. They learn to be equally responsible as they grow and become a parent; after all, child-rearing is also about making the parents of next generation!

Mothers and their stories - ParenthoodDiaries #12

This post is not about kids but about parents, mothers to be specific.

I have been interacting with quite a few 'mothers' recently. The maid at my home, the cleaning staff in our housing society, women colleagues whom I meet at the company creche and few of my good friends etc are some of the mothers who have shared interesting insights about motherhood, majorly based on their personal experiences.

All I can say is, every mother has a story. Each one has her unique share of ups, downs, difficult decisions, streak of compromises and of course invaluable memories for lifetime. Life becomes unexplainably adventurous at times and mothers have to handle it no matter what. And they do, with love and passion.

These days there are some helpful aids available for mothers, like diapers, formula milk powders, creches, maids at pay etc. I wonder how mothers back in 20th century and before maintained their kids, and a number of them not one or two! I think mothers find the ways out to nurture their kids, sometimes with the help of family members and at times all alone as well!

ME time and its impact - ParenthoodDiaries #11

Not compromising on 'ME' time makes the time we spend with kids more joyful for ourselves as well as for kids.

Time waits for none. It keeps ticking. Kids wait for none. They keep growing. The time we spend with kids at every stage of their and our lives is going to be in all our memories for life. While we try to spend time with kids, we often compromise on the 'ME' time. It's extremely important to notice and prevent this from happening.

Each one of us have certain things to do for ourselves; by doing which we feel relaxed and rejuvenated. We must recognize those few things and make time to execute them, no matter how the rest of the time is going, so that we become joyful. Being joyful from within is one of the prime ways to make our kids joyful when we are with them.

Crying is the weapon - ParenthoodDiaries #10

'Crying' is the weapon children own by birth and eventually learn to use. Its good to let them learn that with crying, they may get what they need and may not get what they want.

People say that crying doesn't suit a man. Not really though. And for women, based on the situation, crying is perceived  to be  either  a weak-link or a strong weapon! Glad that none of this gender based generalization is applied to children yet.

They cry for many things like when they are hungry, sleepy, cranky etc. Whatever is the reason, they seek attention to their need or wish.

While we have to fulfill their needs, we may choose to delay or decline fulfilling some of their wishes. They may cry as we do so but eventually learn that they get what they need, and not always what they want. It's important for every child as well as parents to understand and differentiate needs and wishes.

Mother being a nurse - ParenthoodDiaries #9

If a doctor needs to be a doctor, and not a mother, while operating her children, a mother needs to be a nurse while nursing the babies.

Mother would want to feed the babies more; nurse would feed just enough. Mother would want to bath the babies for longer time; nurse do it in the required time. Mother wants her babies to sleep longer and longer; nurse would let them sleep for a sufficient time. Mother do not want her babies to fall sick; nurse handles the sickness with a smile. Mother would not want her babies to get dirty with dust and sand, nurse would let them have their share of happy play-time.

Mother tends to do more. Nurse does enough.
Mother tends to protect. Nurse treats. 
Mother tends to do the desired. Nurse does the required.

And while nursing the babies, mother better be a loving nurse.

Feb 5, 2019

Life is less difficult and more different - ParenthoodDiaries #8

With kids, life is less difficult and more different.

I keep wondering what would I be doing at the given moment if I didn't have my babies. Like in this moment, may be posting something else than my parenthood experiences. On weekends, may be watching a movie than keeping busy with the baby-tasks. In free time, may be clicking for my photography page than clicking the memorable moments of the little ones. At the mid of the night, may be dreaming aloud than feeding the babies. And so on!

I can't agree more that life feels difficult with kids, especially to those, like myself, who have had more years of bachelor life or had a few years of married life without kids. It feels difficult, less because it is, and more because it is different. It's different from that of the otherwise comfortable and well-set lifestyle.

Some experiences in life are worth the difficulty. Having kids is undoubtedly one of them. Realizing the difference and enjoying the same makes it less difficult.

The two tiny polio drops - ParenthoodDiaries #7

My first ever earning was 5 Rupees and that was when I executed the day-long duty at a pulse polio center as an NCC cadet back in 1998. Many women came throughout the day and did polio vaccination for their babies at our center. I never wondered then if the two drops of polio vaccine had been swallowed by the babies or not.

When I saw my babies taking those two drops of vaccine, I kept wondering during and after, if those two tiny drops had been swallowed properly or not!

The best part of my Parenthood journey so far is the sensibility  I have developed  towards every single task I do for the babies.  It does help to take care of the babies in a better way and also to develop the perspectives which otherwise would never occur to me.

Plan may not work but planning helps - ParenthoodDiaries #6

Plans may or may not work; yet planning helps.

With infants around, quite a lot of things go off the plan; and that's not the only time or reason though, for plans not to work. Our plans fail, quite a lot of times, even when we are alone. Reason could be either our inability to understand the situation or that something goes haywire.

With infants too, it's the same reason why our plans often do not work. With the basic things that they need, like food, clothing, sleep and play-time, there is a little chance of things going haywire. I believe, it's mostly our inability to understand their needs or doings that let our plans remain as plans. Infants communicate to the best of their ability, but we are not yet there to understand everything they communicate. That's the prime reason why we plan something and something else happens, often.

Well, we may not understand infants fully. Yet, making plans to the best level of our understating helps us a lot. It motivates us to keep doing better everytime. Also, it's rather simple to handle the situation when we plan, even if the plan fail, than when we don't.

Neighborhood and it's impact - PatenthoodDiaries #5

Since I started to go to hostel back in the year 2000 and until the last time I left home in Oct 2017, there were never as many people to bid farewell as today (9th Jan 2019), as we started to Pune with kids after staying for a memorable four months.

Children introduce our neighbors to us in altogether a different way. We think we raise our children but most of the time they are awake, they are nurtured by our neighbors usually. Neighbors play an important role in every child's development. We must choose the neighborhood carefully.

Dec 29, 2018

Infancy and expectations - ParenthoodDiaries #4

Infancy is probably the only time when children expect nothing but love from parents. As they grow the expectations grow, like parents like children.

Parents expect quite a lot of things from children from day one. About their appetite, about their smiles, about their sleep, about their various milestones like turning, crawling, walking and then the peak of expectations begin on the day the child starts schooling.

Like parents, like children. They learn to expect from us, parents. We cannot stop expecting and they never stop learning. And this cycle would continue for generations.

There is no specific solution to this by all practical terms. No one can stay without expecting anything. However, we can control what we expect; and that can happen when we know our children well enough. We can also control how we express our expectations to children; and that can happen when we know ourselves well enough.

Dec 22, 2018

Infants know and do things better than us - ParenthoodDiaries #3

Infants know and do quite a lot of things better than us.

They know when to drink milk and they know when to stop drinking milk. Unlike us, they don't drink for joy rather they drink just enough to live life. They know when to start playing and to stop playing as well. They enjoy their play, probably better than the bestest of the professional players. Their sleeping pattern, it's extremely better than that of ours; there is lot of peace in it and joy too. Their communication is exemplary; there is a deep intent to make us happy or smile and they never intend to hurt anyone.

That's a lot of stuff to learn from them, not just to live our lives happily but also to give wonderful memories to the people around.

Dec 14, 2018

Female foeticide: Kill the reasons why people do not want a girl child

Food, knowledge, health - Considering the "basic requirements" for the survival of any human being, there is no reason for #FemaleFoeticide to happen.

The other "imposed requirements" such as - girl's parents to give dowry, women to leave her parents after marriage and stay at in-laws' place, women cannot lit the pyre, girls to be given lots of gold at the time of marriage etc make some of the parents kill the female fetuses.

And some of the "assumed thoughts" such as - girl cannot be an asset to the family and is a liability, girls cannot earn high, girls must not study well because it will be difficult to find a groom, girls need to be safe-guarded more etc make some of the parents take the extreme step, before even the baby girl is fully developed in her mother's womb.

Restricting the gender-tests is is not the solution for this problem and that has been proven in time and again. Its rather wise to kill the reasons why people do not want a girl child.

The basic requirements need to be prioritized irrespective of the gender. The imposed requirements need to be eliminated. And the assumed thoughts need to be corrected, so that #FemaleFoeticide can be prevented.

It takes one generation to welcome the change. One generation of parents, when they become in-laws, can change the "imposed requirements" for their daughter-in-laws. One generation of parents,  can change the "assumed thoughts" about a girl child.

Hope there will be a day when 'India' will not be automatically mentioned, when searched for Female foeticide in Google.

Being in present - ParenthoodDiaries #2

There are days with highs and lows. With infants, it's nothing different either. They smile, cry, shout, play and all at once at times.

They smile at us and don't think why we smiled back or we didn't. They cry, we ease them and they get back to play without thinking about what made them cry. They wake up crying from sleep due to colic pain, we burp them, they burp and get back to sleep without thinking about what just happened.

They be in their present without thinking about past or future and that helps them become efficient learners. Imagine we learn doing this and practice in reality; how blissful life feels and how productive we all become!

Dec 6, 2018

Two things to learn as parents - ParenthoodDiaries #1

As parents we must learn two things.

First one is not to get either super excited or too worried about what others have to say about our kids. Every kid is special in his or her own way. We must observe and know our kids well enough so that no one else's judgement can be more correct than that of ours. Comparison often makes its way through other's words. We must never let the comparison reach our kids, through us especially.

Secondly, our neighbors or friends or relatives may go by the gender of ours kids. But as parents, we must not get biased by their gender. Unless for the obvious things, we shouldn't be letting the gender-thing prevail in upbringing. Equal opportunity is still a long way to go in the contemporary time. It might be achieved when our kids learn from us how not to go by the gender. 

Nov 20, 2018

Oct 25, 2018

Doing what is necessary... Take Home #672

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Doing what is necessary, rather than what we want, makes life easy and meaningful not just for ourselves but for everyone around us.

Jul 15, 2018

Enjoying the rains!

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Stretch your arms 
Enjoy the rains
Welcome the droplets
Cherish the moments

It's been raining since a few days here at Pune. Though rain is neither new here nor new for me, this time's experience for me is really new. From our new home, watching the rain has been my day-time hobby these days. Cool breeze fills the rooms. Drizzle comes down every once in a while, making the rains more and more enjoyable. Learnt that it's been raining in many states in India this time. It feels great that farmers are really happy about it. Looking forward to yet another great, exciting and memorable rainy season. 

Jul 14, 2018

The more we accept our children the more society will accept them

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The more we accept our children the more society will accept them. It is and must be never the other way round! Every child is unique. Unfortunately, society's acceptance levels are not unique to every child. They can never be. So parents must never see their children from society's eyes. Parents must have their own vision for their children, which must be unique to each of their children, rather than having common expectations. Children may have been brought up by same parents, but each child sees and learns from the circumstances/people in his/her own way. Each child develops his or her own perspective about a given situation, about people around. Parents must understand this and have to accept the children on individual parameters. Setting common acceptance levels for children is not just being unfair to all of them but also being ignorant about their individual strengths. 

In the contemporary Indian households, many of the decisions about children are taken by considering society first and the child's interests next. Be it about their education or be it about their marriage, decisions are taken by parents consciously or unconsciously by considering the societal trend and thought process. When decisions are taken based on the understanding parents have about the given child, the decisions go right in most of the cases. Also, certain decisions must be left to the child; parents just need to guide the child in that scenario. Overruling the children's decisions or making decisions on behalf of children do not help, also they can work against in most of the cases. 

Individuality and independence are critical parameters that define the personality of the grown ups. Letting the children understand and maintain their individuality helps in a big way when they grow up. Giving the necessary independence to children lets them be more responsible about themselves, about the decisions or choices they make. Nurturing these two aspects in children is a lot important. By doing this, parents also learn to develop good acceptance levels for their children, instead of getting influenced by the society's common acceptance 'rules' that are never written. The more this acceptance level is, the more society will also accept. At least, parents perceive the acceptance of society in a better way, which makes both parents' as well as their children's lives peaceful, blissful and meaningful