Category: Thoughts

Clearing my head

Clearing my head

…. that’s exactly what I’m trying to do through this post today. A few weeks back I shared my anxieties regrading the twin’s academics  – how they seemed completely unconcerned while I was losing sleep (and hair in equal measure). 

A mum blogger, Suchitra raised a point in the comments.
She said, “I wonder sometimes if it’s just us trying to impose our insecurities on our kids because what they do and how they do it reflects on us and how we raise them.”
It made me think. Am I pushing the kids solely for their sake or also because their performance proves my credentials as a good parent – to myself and maybe to others too?
Will it matter to them whether they scored a 100 or a 40 in their exam? The truth is I will be more affected than them maybe because the importance of academics hasn’t quite sunk in for them.
Good grades are important in that they are an indicator of a good education. And they make me come through as a good parent. And both those make me happy. The two motivations are so closely entwined it is tough to separate one from the other. They are almost the same thing. Almost.
It really is a thin line, because when the children do well it automatically makes me look like a good parent. The important bit is to make sure the focus remains on them and not on me – on their progress and happiness rather than on how I am contributing to it.
It is easy to confuse the two and to begin to do things for them, to choose paths for them that make me happy or make me feel like a good parent, in the belief that it makes them happy too. The grades are just one instance.
However, as they grow up, I need to remind myself, that they are not solely a product of my parenting – not their grades, nor their talents, definitely not their likes and dislikes or their personalities or even how they turn out, finally. It is important to recognise them as separate people guided by myriad influences.
In other words to not be an obsessive mom!
I am not as evolved as all of that. But recognising that it needs to happen will put me on the path to making it happen soon enough. Hopefully.

Picture credit: PIXABAY


And also with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.
Of rude strangers at coffee shops

Of rude strangers at coffee shops

The other day as I was at a coffee shop with an ex colleague in walked this man. ‘Black coffee with milk on the side,” he tossed out loudly over his shoulder and settled down on one of the sofas with a friend.

A few minutes later we heard raised voices. The man was yelling at the staff – You have NO idea what a black coffee is and you work in a coffee shop!! You bloody f****** Indians . . . . . No don’t call them becharas (poor things). That’s exactly why they do nothing to improve themselves. We’re too soft with them . . . . . . . . DON’T, DON’T say sorry. Save it up for your bosses when they fire you.”

I had my back to the man and I turned to look just as every other customer in the coffee shop. The verbal barrage was vicious and brutal and very loud. It left us stunned and silent. Oh and in case you are wondering he was very much an Indian. I wanted to say something, anything. Something in support of the boy at the counter, anything to stop the man. But I couldn’t. All I could do was throw the rude man a furious look and turn back to my colleague. The man quietened down after a while.

My friend and I continued our conversation that ranged from books and my blog to his job with a newspaper. When my friend got up to go to the counter I heard a 
“What’s your name?” addressed to my back.

It was the rude man. He was alone; his friend had apparently left.
“Why would I tell you?” I asked half turning to him, still infuriated.
“Because I’m a writer too. I write scripts for soaps at Balaji Telefilms.”
I put a mental black strike against television soaps and their writers even as he seemed completely unaware of my reaction. He simply went on to enumerate the soaps he had written and how “people like me” would probably find them boring. For a moment I wondered if it was the same man at all. It really was like he was a different man, like the nasty scene hadn’t happened, or at least as if he wasn’t responsible for that vitriolic attack.
I was too outraged to get into a conversation with him. I nodded/shook my head dismissively as my friend returned to the table. Then finally when we were leaving he called out a ‘God Bless You’ from his corner!!
I am still stunned at this volte-face. Did he not realise how rude he had been? Did the boy at the counter not matter to him at all? Or did he think as a ‘creative person’ or a minor celebrity he had the right to ‘mood swings’? And worse, did he think I condoned his outburst?
Most definitely, yes!

What irked me even more was my reaction. I wish I had made my displeasure obvious. I could have asked him to keep his voice down while he was shouting. I could have completely ignored his attempts at a conversation I truly didn’t want to be a part of. Better still, I could have mentioned his earlier outburst.

However, none of this happened.
It was only later that I thought of scores of ways in which I could have expressed my distaste for his behaviour. For many many hours I couldn’t stop thinking of the boy at the coffee shop whose day had probably been ruined. 
Does this ever happen to you – this inability to verbalise your feelings – specially negative ones even though you know you should? How do you react to rude strangers? Would you consider reacting even if the rudeness isn’t directed at you? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

A wandering mind!

A wandering mind!

I had a
medical checkup recently and its report time! I’ve been putting it off, yet it’s
been on my mind .. a lot. Oh I know I’m in decent enough health, yet the
thought that something may not be just right is scary.
All day I
hear a constant stream of — “Mama I’m hungry”, “Mama may we watch TV?”, “Mama she’s
teasing me”, “Mama where are my clothes?” …. on and on.

I rarely
allow myself to think about this, but it is my secret dread – that we won’t be
around long enough to look after the kids forever.
***********
And now I feel all melodramatic and sad and worried. That’s what happens when you let your mind wander, all thanks to this prompt from Write tribe which asked us to ‘Write a hundred words without thinking – just free your mind!’

For a peek into more wandering minds look here here.
That’s the way I like it

That’s the way I like it

Isn’t it strange how we get used to things? When I first started my post-dinner walks in this new city I used to miss the vibrancy of Mumbai nights. In Mumbai our society had plenty of ‘late-nighters’. When I would come down at ten there would be scores of families complete with kids, out for a walk or to get some ice cream or to catch a late night coffee. I loved the happy shouts of the kids, the dads playing with them, the moms looking on relaxed.

Here our society is full of ex-army men, mostly senior citizens. By 9 the gardens are almost empty.. by 9.30 everyone’s gone. I freaked out a bit when I started my walks with just the guards looking on.

Apparently I got used to it. I didn’t realise when I stopped worrying about being alone, when I started revelling in the peace and quiet, when I started tapping my fingers and nodding away to the tune in my headphones, when I started lip-syncing the songs silently (not discounting the probability of singing aloud too). With just the guards looking on morosely, I came to think of it as my personal walking area (presumptuous, I know).

Then the other night I saw a family walking towards me and I was taken aback. I stopped short mid song and wondered what they were doing down so late. Of course they were just taking a walk like me. Yet, I disliked the ‘intrusion’. I disliked the kid’s shout and wondered why he wasn’t in bed on a weeknight (I know that’s weird but that’s what I did think). I stopped my happy lip syncing and walked in a self conscious silence waiting to cross them at each round.

Since that day the family’s been down occasionally and I’m getting used to their presence. It’s funny .. this getting used to business. Funny how we get used to situations, people and places… at the gym I have a favourite treadmill, a favourite cross trainer, a favourite locker, a favourite place where I stand for my aerobics. And strangely enough I find I have the same people around me during the sessions… so apparently others too have these preferences.

Strange na how we get used to things for no apparent reason.. We have fixed places at the dining table, fixed sides of the bed, the kids have preferred places in their school bus too… Strange, isn’t it.. these inexplicable preferences?