Got the best partner!

#WOW

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

This is a short simple incident which changed my life for the better.  Around 16 years ago, my aunt who lives in Delhi came to know that a prospective groom’s family was searching for a girl for marriage.  Since I was of marriageable age at that time, she decided to talk to them about me.

Later we came to know that the boy’s family wanted a girl from Delhi and a teacher and I was neither!  It’s not that this was something I was expecting or broke my heart, but it was kind of a “rejection” for me which I didn’t like!

That boy’s family passed on my alliance to a neighbor of theirs as they knew that they were also looking for a girl for their son.  They liked me and after talking to me over phone it was decided mutually that we will meet.  I met that boy and his family.  In the first meeting itself, I liked that tall lanky boy with a disarming smile and simple nature and within 6 months we were married.

On the day of our reception, the other boy’s family came to greet us.  He had gotten married by then.  When I looked at him I instantly said, “Thank God I didn’t get married to him!”  Personality wise he was nowhere close to my husband, he was a grumpy irritable fellow.  Later on we came to know that he subjected his wife to domestic violence too.

That rejection of the boy’s family was a blessing in disguise for me as I got the gem of a man as my husband and not that abusive man!  I got the best partner that any girl could wish for and here we are happily together for 15 years now!

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No option but to stay strong

When I see, read and hear parents worrying to the extent of getting paranoid about their kids’ safety, I am reminded of how so many times I have, as a mother, kept my composure and stayed strong leaving everything to the hands of destiny and the Almighty.  I know many might find this unbelievable given the circumstances.

My son started with his education in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.  He was 2 years old when he started with a playschool there.  The playschool was a nice one and my son spent good 3 hours there with very loving teachers and friends.  He got to play and learn a few things too.  My son used to go by a van and it took 15-20 minutes from our home to the playschool in the van.  Being a hilly place, the way to his school had many steep and curvy roads.  One particular road had a very steep U curve, which if not maneuvered properly by the driver could lead to fatal accident.

One morning after we woke up, we got to know that a fatal accident had occurred on that U curve road.  A bus full of tourists from Gujarat had fallen in the cliff from that road and all tourists succumbed to that deathly fall. My little son went to his playschool from the very same route that day and all the other days to come.  I couldn’t stop his playschool because of this accident, could I?

As parents both me and my husband always used to worry, we still worry, but we also know that we cannot stop living or let our kids to stop living normally.  I have sent my kids for picnics and outings since the time they were in playgroup.  I would remain worried till the time they reached home safely.  I am still restless till the time my kids are back from school or my older child is back from his friend’s home or tuition or outing.

I know the world is not a safe place for kids.  So, what do we do?  Don’t we all wish that our kids would never be out of our sight, but is it really possible, is it really normal?  I may be a little less paranoid than many, may be a tad too practical, but I cannot let my fear make my kids paranoid or stop them from enjoying a normal life.  I cannot confine them to home.

Already the kids now know about murder, rape, molestation from a very young age.  They are taught to trust no one right from the time they can barely speak.  They already lose their innocence thanks to the way they are raised.

We have to stay strong, we have no other option.

Wish you were alive..

#LoveJatao

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day.

This contest had put me in a dilemma.  My grandparents are no more, I lost all four of them long back.  So, it was difficult for me to pen this one as even imagining made me emotional.

This is totally what I believe I would have done had they been alive.  My grandparents passed away much before the selfie, online shopping, mobile era.  They didn’t live in the same city as we lived in.

So, the best way would have been to arrange a meetup where I could bring all four of them at my place.  It would have given them an outing, a change from monotony.  Nothing would have given them more pleasure than meeting their great grandchildren, i.e., my children.  I would have arranged for a small cake, made their favorite dishes and surprised them.  I would have taken them for shopping to the mall, which wasn’t there during there times, and made them try out some dishes that they would find amusing and new.  I know they would have loved to gorge on the sweets.

I would try and teach them online shopping, online bank transfers, which again they would, I know, try out reluctantly as they would prefer their old school ways of shopping and banking.

I would have called my parents and siblings over too so that it would be a big family get together where there would be all generations; grandparents, parents, grandchildren, and great grandchildren under one roof.

I would arrange for them to watch some old classic Bengali and Hindi movies which are now easily available on the net.  I would be happy to see them reminisce their golden olden times.

Of course, with such a huge gathering there would be constant bickering and mini fights as our family is full of hot-headed people!  I would love to see the expression of amusement on my kids’ faces!

I would hire a big SUV and take them for Mumbai darshan.  I can imagine them dozing off in the car.  I can imagine them complaining about Mumbai traffic, their happiness on watching the sea, their amused looks while we went through the Bandra-Worli sealink.  They wouldn’t be interested in watching Shah Rukh or Salman’s bungalows or who knows they even might be!  My grandmother would be excited when we would have passed Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow.

I would give them loads of hugs and kisses knowing that might be we won’t get an occasion like this again where all the generations are under one roof.

Well..I hope I could do these things.  These are the things that my grandparents would have been so happy about.

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.

Make the teens stronger..

#Makethekidsemotionallystronger
#Failuresareinevitable
Every generation kids get rebuked, scolded, alienated, made fun of, bullied, body shamed, gets depressed over academic performance, has heartbreaks, and other challenges. Today parents are friendlier than before, teachers are not allowed to hit or even give punishment to the children, yet there is something wrong because everyday we get to read teenagers or youngsters committing suicide over either of the above reasons. Yes..teenage is a tender age where the mind and body are vulnerable; the kids feel nobody understands them but the kids need to be emotionally stronger.
I am myself dealing with a teen and now with all these incidents sometimes nag my son trying to “talk it out” about Blue Whale game, not to worry about 10th exam marks, not to take heartbreak too seriously, etc., etc. As always, I firmly believe communication plays a key role. The kids should be able to talk about their fears with the parents. Kids should be taught that failure is part of life, it is inevitable but suicide is no option.
As such with the gadgets, games, exposure parenting has become tougher and to add to the woes daily news of teen suicides..tension never ends!

The silent, strong supporters

The other day I went to attend a bloggers’ event.  It was almost an entire afternoon event and in Mumbai commuting takes up a lot of time, so I knew it would be late evening by the time I reach home.  My husband was traveling and hence I asked my kids to take care of themselves that day.  Being grown up slightly now and in a nuclear set-up, they are pretty responsible.

When I reached home, I saw that the washed utensils were kept in place and the clothes were washed in the washing machine.  My son had already left for his 10th tuition classes and my daughter was listening to music and studying.  These are the very kids who in my presence become so naughty!

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed.  These two little kids of mine, who are my favorite muse for writing, have always been my source of encouragement.  The other big support has been my husband who had so many times worked from home to take care of the kids while I was away attending events.  Many would say that this is nothing great; a family is meant to do that!  But when you have such a strong support you do feel blessed.

I had my kids pretty early on in life, but I never for even one day, felt that I was sacrificing my life and happiness because of them.  I had raised them, still do, with a lot of happiness and love.  I expected nothing in return but I didn’t have to because my kids are supporting and encouraging my endeavors without being asked for support.

My husband even in the most stressful situations has asked me to continue to pursue what I love, writing.  A family which I have nurtured with love is giving me back the love when I require it the most.

Every moment of love, every gesture of encouragement and support counts.  I do have my three strong silent supporters always to give me that impetus!

English sikhoge?

“I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

I came to this new society around 3 years back.  Soon, I found a good and sincere lady who started working as a house-help with me.  She has 2 kids, a son and a daughter who go to a local school.  Things were going fine until one fine day life turned upside down for them.

Their slum caught fire because of 7-10 cylinders bursting together.  Many, many home turned to ashes.  All the meager belongings that the poor people of the slum had was engulfed by fire within no time.  My maid was also one of those unfortunate families.  I still remember the day she came to my house wearing a tattered saree, asking for clothes and food.  Within no time I helped her out.  Like me there were many families and NGOs who helped these families re-establish again.

Because of all this chaos, the children suffered.  They didn’t have shelter, food or clothes, and amidst all these their schooling suffered.  They couldn’t go to school for quite some time.

Life started limping back to normal again after a few months.  The kids started going to school again but their studies had suffered.  My maid’s son because of all these unwarranted circumstances and poverty suddenly wanted to grow up soon.  He wanted to help his parents in taking care of the family.

My maid often tells me that his son wants to some job after 10th or 12th but because he studies in a local school he doesn’t have exposure to English language.  There are classes that teach English but she cannot afford them.  The NGOs which offer such help are far off from their place.

I often wonder how could I help them.  Due to my own time constraints and responsibilities, I don’t have time to shoulder such a big responsibility.  At the same time, I understand the little boy’s emotions and want him to learn English and fulfill his dreams.

Then I came across Nihar Shanti Amla’s Pathshala Funwala’s toll free number 8055667788 which gives such children easy access to learn English in a fun and easy way.  This is a service which is free of cost, easily accessible and very easy to learn.

I was extremely happy to know about this number.  I have decided to give my maid this number so that both her children can benefit from this awesome initiative.  I will ask her to spread a word about this number to all her friends whose children can easily learn English free of cost, which will help them in life.

Being a social media specialist, I intend to spread awareness about 8055667788 through my social media pages and different groups.

Let the future of a better India learn and learn easy.  Because of this initiative now I can ask any little child who truly wants to learn English, “English sikhoge?”

Is your child a bully?

There is no child who has been spared by a bully.  Right from the time a toddler starts being social, starts going to the park, playschool, neighbors, he/she definitely faces another child who loves to bully; loves to hit, push, throw toys, snatch toys, can’t take NO for an answer, loves it when the other kids cry.  Why is it that some children love to bully others?  What is it that makes them a bully right from their childhood?  Is it just their fault or somewhere the parents are at folly too?  What gives him the “authority” to tease, hit, push, irritate others?  There is a difference in being naughty and being a bully.  As the child starts growing and if he is not controlled the bullying tendency spirals.  The parents have a big role to play here.

Imagine a scenario where a cute little kid goes to the park with his parent and is waiting for his turn in the slide.  Suddenly the child standing behind him pushes him and with a glee slides breaking the queue and also hurting the other child!!  Sounds familiar?  Just think, is that bully your child?  You might be in denial.  You might say that my child is naughty like any other child of his age, but just sit down and think isn’t there a difference in being naughty and being a bully?

Who is a bully?  A bully is someone who uses power to intimidate others, hurt others, tries to thrust superiority upon others.  Such kids are used to having their way at home, who cannot take NO for an answer, who are used to throwing tantrums.  Are you the kind of a parent who gives in to the child’s tantrums always?  Do you laugh or go gaga when your child hits you or others, throws things, shouts or yells at other kids?  Do you believe that this is a sign of smartness?

Parents are the first teachers of a kid, they lay the foundation of the child’s behavior.  We all love our children and love to watch their new antics every day.  But hey, do learn to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.   Correcting a faulty behavior, learning to discipline or saying No might sound difficult but it is really not.  Often as parents you might think that the child is too young to understand what we explain but the age-appropriate channel of communication should be started pretty early.  Children also emulate the parents a lot.  So, just keep an eye on your own behavior.   As parents, as citizens keep a track of your own behavior.

If your child is a bully, you will tend to get complaints from other children and their parents.  Don’t become defiant (just as your child).  Listen to the others patiently; just do not dismiss their complaints.  Also, don’t start scolding your child then and there itself.  Talk to your child when he and you both are calm.

Parenting is a big challenge in every step.  Don’t ignore or panic if your child is a bully.  Take charge, after all you are the parent.  Help your child to shape up into a better individual.  He will learn to be considerate, compassionate, make more friends.  If he continues to bully, he will be left alone.  Other children will fear him, ignore him, hate him, and he might remain friendless.  Socially the parents will boycott your child.  He will become more resentful.

As a parent, learn to say NO, give him rewards and time-outs as and when necessary.  Keep on talking to him.  Tell him being bully is “not cool”.

Help your child to attain a healthy and happy childhood where he should be social, not anti-social (bully)!