Jumbled mythological ramblings

Jumbled mythological ramblings


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The maid was on leave. I was dusting, sweeping and mopping while trying to keep an eye on the children studying for their geography exam. I glanced at the two of them. N was bent over her book while H lay sprawled on the floor, writing.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked him.
‘I’m making a soil chart – alluvial, black, red, laterite,….’

I tuned out rushing to switch off the tap as water overflowed from the mop bucket.

‘…… loamy, clayey’, the tail end of what he was saying brought me back to their massive Geography portion. I glanced at N struggling through the jungle of vegetations and soils and I remarked rather absentmindedly, ‘Whatever it is, share it with N after you finish, okay?’

And BAM! Right there I knew how Kunti got Draupadi in the five-husband mess. When Arjun won her (Draupadi) in a Swayamvar and entered the house saying, ‘Ma look what I got!’ her obvious response was, ‘Whatever it is share it with your brothers’. And so Draupadi landed up with five husbands.

I have always felt truly sorry for that poor woman, and I mean Kunti. Imagine having three boys and then a pair of twins; boys again! What’s worse, she lived in a joint family with her sons and their one hundred cousins, all boys again. I feel faint each time I think of that much testosterone packed under a single roof. Oh and her sister-in-law would have been little help with eyes permanently blindfolded.

You see now how her patience must have been tried? That sharing line was the most natural thing for her to say.

The thought of the brothers squabbling over whatever Arjun had brought must have freaked her out even before she knew what it was. And she said the obvious pre-emptive thing any mom with multiple children would say, ‘Share it’. Thank goodness they were in exile and the cousins weren’t around. Small mercies.

It’s been twelve whole years – take a few months off for when the twins were infants – but since then, with every living breath of mine I’ve been trying to teach them to SHARE and they still don’t get it. It has been one of my most epic fails as a parent. And yet I persevere, reminding them to share share share till it has become a reflex, I say it without thinking.

Just like Kunti.

H goes to a birthday party and comes home with cupcakes – share it, I say.
N wins a goody bag at a school contest – share it, I tell her.
Her friend gives her a chocolate – give half to your brother, I tell her.
He wheedles a computer game from us – okay we say, but share it with N.

I can completely imagine being absentminded enough to say the exact same thing as I work at my laptop.

Am I being fair? Perhaps not. Definitely not in the kids’ minds. After all, as N tells me, ‘When I win something it is mine alone, and it should be my decision to share or not’.

Right? I’m sure Draupadi would agree and Arjun too.

However, as a mom there comes a point in one’s life when all one wants is peace at any cost and fairness be damned.

I have to add that all said and done, this new age funda of I-for-myself doesn’t quite gel. It’s more than just about keeping the peace – I do genuinely prefer the old Indian way of sharing – sharing willingly and with love. And till the kids get that, they can whine and complain but share they shall.

 

 

Note to self: When your child says, ‘Look what I’ve got’ – check what the ‘what’ is before asking him/her to share.

20 Replies to “Jumbled mythological ramblings”

  1. Hahaha! I simply LOVED this post, Tulika!!!
    Yes, I and my brother didn’t have to be told to share because we belonged to that olden golden times when kids shared, naturally, at times, or at others because their strict dad was watching! But, we did share. Today, it does become tough getting kids to share. Arrey bhai, today, I too don’t like to share my stuff with anyone else!! Guess, I have changed with the times..:P SO, I can’t blame your bachhaas for being so reluctant to share their stuff with each other.. Hehehe

  2. Draupadi was a forceful personality. Why didn’t she not say no and settle the issue? But I agree sharing, not wife, is a good idea.

    1. In todays day and age it seems like the obvious thing to do – to refuse to be shared like an inanimate possession, specially as you point out, for a strong woman like Draupadi. Perhaps the diktats of elders were held in greater regard than ones individuality. She paid a very heavy price for it, not just once but two times over.

  3. I think there are things one does share and things that should be savoured alone so that we can make and keep connections and yet be able to set limits.

  4. I’m thinking if I had kids I would have asked them to share too – might have nagged them to death too! I’ve watched my brother’s kids growing up – a girl and a boy – and seen that they’re pretty good at sharing. So there’s hope still! 🙂

  5. I think you shouldn’t ask your kids to share . And why should they ? Just because they are twins ? They are different entities for crying out loud ! And it’s so unfair . Imagine if in a race , one’s timing is better than the others can you AAK’s them to share ?

    1. They should share not because they are twins but because they are family. Believe me when I say that I am very conscious of them being two different people and have never forced them to be alike or to stick together or have the same friends.
      That said I would definitely like them to share. Ideally they should want to share and perhaps they will when they grow up. But some habits need to be reinforced.

  6. Hehe That was such a fun read! I also have the same habit or shall I say had. These days they share everything they get. So yes there will come a time when you will not need to say it. I also believe that siblings must share stuff, even if they won it. That is the whole point of family.

  7. What an observational account form a parent. Anyways…you are so right in telling the children to share. I think that when they grow up they will understand the real meaning behind it. When their comes testing times in life, it is only your sibling who shares your struggles and pains.
    A deep message with a lighter tone. Loved reading.

    1. Thank you Neeraj and welcome here. I’m glad you agree and I hope you’re right about the fact that when they grow up they will understand the importance of sharing.

  8. Hahahaha! This was a fun read with some gyaan. I liked how to connected the two! Sharing is a very important habit that should be inculcated and sharing makes sense when it is out of love.

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