Now, I came across this poem very recently, and I can’t believe how I’d ever miss it before. This very powerful and apt peom was quoted in an opening address in the Women Leadership Conclave I attended. One of the greatest poets of our times, all I can do is reproduce her work her. RIP Maya Angelou
Just read about a shocking incident in Bangalore, a six year old girl raped by her teacher and another man, her ‘Teacher’ for crying out loud!!
What is wrong with people? Cant keep it their pants? She is a kid! A little kid! Six years old for God’s sake! What does she know, huh? And that sick monster scarred her for life! These SOBs should be castrated in public! There can be no less a punishment for them.
I mean,think how sick and filthy do you have to be do such a thing! To a kid! What makes it worse? The fact that this isn’t the first incident in the school! There have been few more reported incidents which were obviously hushed or brushed under the rug, and am guessing many more unreported incidents. The school is making the parents sign some indemnity form which frees them from any responsibility towards the safety of the students.
If not the school authorities or teachers who else should be held responsible for the safety of the kids, while they are on campus? How can it be even legal? They said the teachers are outsourced and hence the role of the school is unclear. What does that even mean? Just because you hired an agency does not mean you don’t have to take care of your students, does it? What if the child was yours? Would you still have the same stand? Wouldn’t you just rip the head off that man?
I can not imagine the plight of the parents who send their wards to such prestigious schools in hopes of getting them a higher and brighter future. The kind of fear they would live in with these incidents making news every other day.
The school was the most safe place for me when I was a kid, and I know for a fact that my parents never had to worry till the time I was there. But now, when I hear all this going around, I have second thoughts about bringing a child in this world.
‘My dad is a retired engineer, and my mother doesn’t work, she is just a house wife’ said the candidate sitting in front me of while telling me about his family. This was not so long ago.
This statement had disturbed me for I guess, forever now. My mother is a Homemaker, and I know how much effort she has put in to bring three girls up; cooking, cleaning for us, and to entertain as well. Apart from looking after us ( which was the toughest job in the planet, we were a handful :P) she indulged in a variety of other things. She is the most talented women I have come across, and I say this because its true, and not just because she is my mother. She is an excellent cook, an avid reader, gifted painter, has amazing skills of stitching, knitting and crochet and a trained beautician. She used to conduct hobby classes for cooking, baking, and art & craft. Most of my primary school days are filled with memories of different cakes and cookies (slurp slurp!).
She has always been proud of the fact that she is a housewife. And handled everything with grace and elan. Maybe that is one reason for my different outlook on the whole thing. Today all of us are working and handling our homes too. All thanks to her, we are doing a pretty good job so far (I would say so). We also manage to delve into out hobbies, be it cooking, painting, writing or any other. She has taught me till my high school, I never took any tuition till then. I never took tuition. Period. I have always thought of her as not only the best mother, but now I know she is all that a homemaker can be, and then some. Now if someone says that a housewife does not work, my reaction would be..
Those who think that way are just ignorant or too full of themselves to notice the work a mere housewife puts in a her normal day.
Now, before I get carried away let me mention a couple of recent incidents.
A teenage daughter was reluctant to introduce her mother to her friend’s parents, as her mother is a stay-at-home-mother and her friend’s parents have full time jobs. Now this lady, not only works at home but also is a counselor. She wakes up early in the morning with her daughter to give her warm milk while she studies, then drives her to her tuition class. Brings her home, makes her breakfast, drops her to school, gets busy with her own work all the while entertaining plethora of phone calls and random guests. She also drives her daughter for another class in evening and brings her back too. All the while she maintains a fine home, makes arrangements for any and every thing her daughter might need, and takes care of her house guests too.
Tell me now how can you say she doesn’t work?
Another incident happened with a friend. She chose to stay home to take care of her daughter, while her husband worked. Now this sounds normal, right? Well, it did till someone’s comment made me think other wise. She can do anything she wants, but she ‘chose’ to stay home and look after her family. Which again is not a small job. Her husband understands the choice and also the effort that goes in it (applause for him!). But when someone, unintentionally, commented on how she can sit idle and watch TV all she wants just because she is a housewife, it got me thinking, on how we still have that outdated idea about a housewife. She is qualified and a very talented individual, she cook, reads, paints and what not. The choice was something that she made from all of her options, not something she was forced into. And its something she is enjoying. So how does someone who has never been in her shoes get to comment on her situation?
Well I for one person do not get that at all. One is entitled for one’s own opinion, but one doesn’t have the right to pass judgement on anyone.
I do not understand the dogma linked to the term ‘housewife’. We have grown up as a society, we have embraced numerous new phenomenon viz. inter caste and inter religion marriages, live in relationships, adoptions instead of giving birth, gay marriages, etc. You name it and we have it. We have understood their meaning and given them enough space.
We really should change this little fraction of old school impression we have about the term housewife. This whole impression is created as a result of TV serials, movies etc. As they mostly portray old school version on the housewives. I rather agree to this
Gone are those days, my friend. Its time to wake up and smell the coffee.
In my first post of this series I shared a few memories that are close to my heart, majorly about the growth of television culture; an era where Doordarshan reigned the television kingdom.
But that is just one part of it. There are a lot more things which only people born in 1980s could relate to. My first memory as a child is of the huge courtyard in front of our house where we could play running behind squirrels, of throwing tiny stones in attempt to get some almonds from the tree, of us drawing shapes in the dust on the ground with a stick. Oh! I can just keep rolling down that memory lane.
As I mentioned in my first post we lived in a locality where all neighbors interacted openly and it was as if we were one big family. Kids of all ages would be playing out in the playground in evenings. We used to play all kinds of games mostly outside, there were no barriers, not of age, not class, not of gender either. It was just a big group of ‘us’. We used to gather together and all play together. Every kid had a play time, and parents made sure the kids are out playing not at home in front of TV or computers like now. In fact in our case, play time was till dusk after school, so we used to rush after school, change clothes (at times 😛 ), grab a bite to eat and rush to play. We only had one rule, it has to be FUN. We would settle for a game the majority wants to play. An then started the whole process of finding the first ‘catcher’ or the ‘seeker’. We would generally gather around in a circle and then pick a catcher. And picking the catcher it self was so much fun! We would use certain rhymes and the person touched at the end of the rhyme would be ‘it’. Some rhymes I remember are
‘ Inky pinky ponkey, father had a donkey, donkey died father cried, inky pinky ponkey’. -‘Akkad bakkad bambe bo, assi nabbe poore sau, sau me laga dhaga chor nikal ke bhaga’.- ‘Eenie meenie miney moe, catch a tiger by his toe, if he hollers let him go, eenie meenie miney moe’
I just cant recall what were the others. We did use rock paper scissors, straw picking and hand flipping etc. It was so much fun. There was always an initial tension among all and then as the game progressed the initial tension or strain just vanished into fun and frolic.
Oh how can I forget the hand clapping games. I do not leave any opportunity to play them even now. One of our favorites were Miss Mary, A B C D E F G, etc.
Now looking back I realize the values we have learned from those times. The games were played by using the things readily and mostly freely available in the fields, hence were cost effect and economical. Kids from any and every background would come and play as one team, hence taught equality and secularism. These games were very simple and ubiquitous, they created a strong bond among siblings and peers, which is not seen nowadays. We were aware of the strength and weaknesses of all our friends, and were in a positive competition knowing who excelled in which game. These traits are now becoming scarce if at all present. Every memory associated with a particular game has a person too, one who excelled in the game, one who was a good contender, one who always cheated and got into petty fights and so on.
Generally starts with drawing boxes on the and the players then toss small objects like stone of broken piece of pottery into one of the box and the hopping back and forth all other boxes, retrieve the object placed in the first box and then jump out. As the games progresses there are many complex rules that come in, like placing the stone ones palm or on forehead while hopping, skipping boxes etc.
A game played between two teams. Teams takes turns to throw a rubber or tennis ball at seven stones stacked in the middle of the field. The fielding team members have to prevent the hitting team members from form the stack of stones again by throwing the ball at their team members. There are variations of the game in almost every region. One of my favorite games growing up.
Generally played between two players, the games consists of five to eight steps and the player to complete the steps in minimal tries wins. We used to play this with small stones of similar sizes. And not to brag, but I aced it!! 🙂
This was an all time hit. Every time we had a big heterogeneous group of kids playing, we would mostly settle for Chhupa Chhupi. We used to hide in such unusual places, that at times we would even lose track of time. We have even carried teh game forward at times to the next day, when the seeker couldn’t get find anyone. Me and my sisters have very fond memories of this game.
There were a few more games which were very common, and after many attempts I still managed to not learn these properly. Clumsy me! Anyways, some of the games that fascinated me were
I have always been attracted to the kites flying high in the sky. And during summer vacations you can always see atleast a few kites. Our colony even had kite flying competitions ‘patang bazi’. This is again a sport where age, caste, gender, class doesn’t matter at all. I wish I could learn to fly a kite properly sometime.
I can keep going on, enumerating things I miss from my childhood. But the thing is miss the most actually is the sense of belonging, the kinship, the strong bond we had among peers. I just hope the present generation gets a chance to experience what we had sometime. These things may seem like stone-age-games to some, but you don’t know what they mean unless you have played them.
Yesterday was a sad day for us, my cousin lost her battle against cancer and breathed her last. She was 34 years old, a daughter to a very loving and affectionate mother, a sister, a dedicated wife, an amazing mother to two handsome and very smart boys. She was a dancer, a ward councilor and had a very active social life. Entire neighborhood poured over to pay their homage to her. It was something everyone dreaded but none was prepared for. It was just a shock to all of us. To see her beautiful body transform in to just skin and bones, to see her her voluptuous long black locks gone was distressing. Yes, she is free from all the pain and suffering of the treatment. But the void caused by her absence will never be filled in. Every one said they have to move on, and as hard as it looks now eventually they will move on. Time does that for you, it doesn’t heal the wound but it does attenuate the prick of the wound. Everyone loved her dearly and will always miss her. Her place is such which will not be substituted by anyone. I just hope her soul rests in peace and that she find her happy place sooner.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder! I am most certain that every one has heard this quote more or less and it attracts derision (aptly so) from all who have had to stay apart from their loved ones. I have been thinking about this for sometime now, but only recently have I realized what it feels like.
My husband’s job required him to travel a lot. This meant many days apart for us, not at a stretch, but still. After initial adjusting, we not only got used to this but also started seeing our relation in a better light. In our time apart we have communicated better. Go figure! We had to resort to text messages, mails and phone calls, but we knew how the other is feeling and it also was the best time to resolve any conflict of opinions. After his return our time together used to be, well, ‘our’ time.
Now, its been more than 10 days that he left for a foreign land for better career opportunity. Every one thought this was a risky move. But then again, whats not risky? He’s doing this for ‘us’ and I support him. This perhaps is the best time for a move like that, its only the two of us right now. We haven’t started a family yet and hence do not have that many shackles. The only issue we face on the relationship front is the uncertainty. We do not know when we will meet again, or when we will be together again. It may be weeks or months or a year.
The day he left was the worst. I suddenly felt alone. The house seemed bigger. The hours seemed longer and the night, well it was like the night resolved not be over. It wasn’t the first time I was alone in this house, but this was the first time in knew he wont be back on the weekend, the first time I wasn’t certain of his tour. I suddenly longed for him, for his touch, for his presence. The feeling was overwhelming. But I had to get a hold of myself. Just a couple of days and I was back to my normal self.
Yes I miss him terribly but its for his own good, for our good. And I think I can live with that, for now. Like everything else even this is not permanent, and shall pass. I do and will support him in every decision, as I know him to be one of the most considerate person. And I love him so.
I thought we should think of this time as our post-marriage-courting period. Oh we had so much fun while we dating even though we hardly met each other. The anticipation, excitement and the intensity of emotions was at its peak. And its the same even now. I think of us as the lucky ones, to get to experience that again. The best part is I can say all kind of cheesy stuff. Like this (its something I found online but it fits the bill :p)
I miss you when something good happens, because you are the only one I wanna share it with. I miss you when something is troubling me, because you are the only one who understands me so well. I miss you when I laugh and cry, because you are the only one who makes my laugh grow and my tears disappear. I miss you all the time, but I miss you the most when i lie awake in the night and think of all the wonderful times we had together.
He isn’t into any typical romantic stuff. So right now, I can watch as many chick flicks, as many mushy mushy romantic movies I want and cry my heart out. I can watch sit-coms which he never enjoyed without making him bored. I can make loads of paneer. I can cook beetroot again. I can fall asleep watching movies on my laptop in our bed. I can eat on our dining table for a change :P. I can sleep on his side of the bed! There are a lot of things I have fun doing alone, but the list of things we had fun doing together is much longer.
I miss him when on Saturday morning when our iron-man (yes, we have our own Iron Man) rings the door bell at 8AM.
I missed his gentle massage when I had terrible body ache due to fever.
I miss his yelling when I don’t drink hot water for my sore throat.
I miss him when I make a single cup of coffee in the morning.
I miss him when I forgot to take the towel to bathroom.
I miss him while watching Golmaal (Rohit Shetty’s) when Arshad Warsi says “Hum kya black black khel rahe hain”
I miss him every time I see a trailer or mention of the Malayalam movie Indian Rupee.
I miss him every time I see Baskin Robins. Its no fun when he’s not there to stop me.
I miss his amazed reaction when I lip sync dialogs from DON or Agneepath (both originals of course)
I miss his annoyed expression when I press him to translate some Tamil movie dialogs. (I tried watching something, it so ‘not’ fun)
We have to make the best of what we have and I know we will. So with all the love in my heart I wish he gets what he wants sooner, that he doesn’t let me distract him, that he doesn’t frown on the little cheesy lovey dovey messages I send him and that doesn’t change too much.. ❤
Everything worth having comes with a price. Lots of work, love and patience and perhaps a little bit of sacrifice will get us there. For you, am happy to go the distance 🙂
P.S.- This can be a good way to avoid the terrible twos too 😛