Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Spare the rod, spoil the child

This post was originally published in Parentous.

In Indian context, all of us must have heard this saying ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’ which denotes that hitting children in the garb of disciplining them has to be an integral part of parenting. But is it mandatory to equalize discipline with physical punishment to make it more effective? I would like to disagree here.
First of all, I fail to understand how anyone can live with the feeling of inflicting pain on anyone else, esp. on small kids. That day, while shopping I came across a couple with their kid of 5-6 years. The kid was absolutely a brat who was creating ruckus in that store. The father was behaving like a stranger while the kid was throwing tantrums to his mother.
The hassled mom slapped the child and twisted his nose hard while asking him to behave properly. The kid screamed in pain and a loud meltdown happened making the matter worse. I almost felt like snatching the kid from her grip. I understand that she might be beleaguered enough but that does not authorize her to behave so violently with her own child.
Instilling discipline in any child’s life & behavior is surely an art. The most imperative factor is being consistent with the discipline regime and your conduct towards it. Hitting a kid to make him/her understand anything might drill the fact in his mind that violence is the only way to get your voice across the other person.
Another important aspect is treating the child as an individual instead of someone of lower level in the authority tree. Respect their feelings and mood swings. Applying this concept is quite hard with toddlers as you have to exhibit lot of patience to understand their mind & vocabulary. But once they can understand that you are there to listen to them patiently, they also tend to listen to you more.
Treat them in the same manner as you would like others to treat you if are not showcasing the desired behavior. Make them feel responsible and wanted instead of treating them as pain in the neck. My two-year old grew some fascination lately with her shoes and insisted on wearing them all the time (might be she was symbolizing it with going out!!). She would climb up the beds & sofas with her shoes on. More I tried to tell her to take off the shoes, more adamant she became.
I even tried to keep a pair of clean shoes especially for home but it didn't work. So, I devised a plan. I showed her how I am keeping my shoes in the shoe-rack while my spouse applauded the act. Bingo… it worked. Now, the moment she comes back from outside, she takes off her shoes and place it in the shoe-rack, though she insists that someone should be there to clap for her!!!.
Consistency in our behavior while disciplining, also includes that other members of the family also align to the same page. The child should not get confusing signals from different approach of different elders on the same topic. Following the consensus can actually reinforce the desired behavior in small kids who learn mostly being into repetition mode.
Avoid confusing the child by tightening the noose around their nose one fine morning with the discipline schedule. The change cannot happen overnight. So, if you want your child to behave well in family functions or some birthday party, try incorporating the desired behavior at home as well.
Also, do not give in to tantrums. I know, it is quite difficult and embarrassing when you are in public places but if you fall in to this trap once, then the child would be smart enough to use this tactics next time as well. I choose to ignore my kid’s tantrum completely and continue with my chores if she is rolling on floor or shrieking her lungs out. After some time when she pacifies a bit, I firmly tell her she has to stop howling and reason her out why her demand cannot be fulfilled.
It works sometimes while there are other times when she continues her meltdown. I know many of my friends and relatives with kids of 2-10 years of age, who hit their kids occasionally at times when they can’t take the tantrums any more. But, I haven’t noticed any significant changes in their kid’s behavior because of this spanking. So, why to humiliate our child publicly or scare him/her with slaps?
Concluding the post, I can say that keep the discipline routine positive. Reinforce good manners & behavior by appreciation but never resort to bribe. And, above all always remember your kids observe your behavior too closely and tend to replicate the same. Incorporate the changes in your life which you want to implant in your child’s behavior. It would require a lot of patience & repetition. You may get instigated to raise your hands on the kids but always think about the embarrassment & fear element from the child’s perspective. Sometimes using the rod might spoil the child. Think about it!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani Collection @Jabong.com - Review

Courtesy: http://www.jabong.com/all-products/?usage=yeh-jawaani-hai-deewani-collection

While casually browsing through some online shopping portals, I accidentally landed on this fabulous collection of Jabong.com. Though I am yet to watch the movie (with a toddler in tow, I avoid going to watch movies outside and prefer to watch when the DVD version is released), but the vibrant chemistry between the protagonists of the movie accessorized with equally vivacious outfits airing in various promotional trailers has already captured my attention.
So, when I came across this Yeh Jawani hai Deewani collection of Jabong.com, I was not able to resist my urge to click on that link. It is categorized into four segments namely ethnic elegance, midnight party, playing it cool and casual cut. Browsing through these categories opened the effervescent world of clothing, jewellery, shoes, bags, accessories in front of my eyes. The whole collection seemed to be synonymic to its name which obviously talks about youth, passion and vibrancy. It looks like assembly of all well-known and popular brands under one big umbrella of Jabong.com. The price range of the products is the cherry on the top with its affordability quotient. Also, Jabong.com is known for its impeccable customer service and quick delivery of products.
The four segments cover all the aspect of dressing need of any young individual for various occasions. So, you can term it as ‘One Stop Shop’ which satiates your need upgrading your wardrobe with few clicks. Although the whole collection is quite attention-grabbing but few items which got my instant likes are:

Courtesy : http://www.jabong.com/e2o-fashion-Green-Sling-Bag-219855.html
Courtesy: http://www.jabong.com/people-Cotton-Black-Printed-Kurta-194106.html
Courtesy: http://www.jabong.com/miaminx-Pink-Tops-216354.html

Coutesy: http://www.jabong.com/hi-look-Layered-Princess-Necklace-212148.html


So, what are you waiting for? Login into this fantastic collection and pamper yourself with some online shopping now!!

This post is written for blog contest by Jabong.com - India's leading OnlineShopping Portal. For more information about the contest please visit Yeh Jawani hai Deewani - Blogger's Contest

Monday, 3 June 2013

June Photo A Day - Day 2, A Moment

A Moment: A moment when my toddler wanted me to sit on that decorated chair meant for newly wed couple in my sister's wedding.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

June Photo A Day - Day 1, B is For..


This month I want to challenge myself for this photo a day challenge:



B is for...Birthday. 1st of June is my daughter's birthday. This year she joined the bandwagon of terrible - terrific two club.

Don't miss the amazed look on her face!!


P.S.: On this day, my Face book status says:

I won't sound clich├ęd by saying 'Time flies'...with YOU in our life, time moved on to unfold a new phase at every turn. We witnessed the drastic changes in our life with YOU as center of attraction. A carefree DINK couple evolved as sensible parents in these last two years under your supervision. 
Happy Birthday Ishaani (Mishti) ...Stay blessed, Stay healthy, Stay Happy, Stay Safe....Love U Ms.Naughty Chatterbox

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wish someone took care of those warning signs timely...!!

Those warning signs were popping their head since long. But nobody took them seriously. Most of the times it was brushed aside by terming it as ‘ladakpan ka josh’!
No one actually remembers when it all started…or maybe it was there since his birth. He was quite young when he hit his sister just because she refused to take his orders. ‘How can she say No to me…I am her brother…she is just a girl!’ a voice inside him thundered. His family members also took his side and punished that girl for bothering her brother. This first warning sign went unnoticed and in a way this incident established his superiority of male gender in his mind.
 As he grew up, complaints came from neighborhood families about his harassing vulgar behavior and obscene gestures towards their daughters. His family members fought with the neighbors defending him. ‘How can they blame our apple of the eye….those girls must be loose in character’, his father shouted. His mother and grandmother confirmed that those girls are a disgrace to society as they wear jeans occasionally. ‘Boys will be boys ..Right’!! Again this warning sign was also never taken care of.
He always witnessed his mother getting beaten up by his father on petty issues. But, no one in his family ever interfered. He grew up learning that women folk need to be taken control of, and if required violence is necessary to make them toe the line.
After few years, he saw a girl whom he proposed after stalking & passing crude comments. He felt he was in love with her. But surprisingly, she seemed not interested in him. ‘How can she say No to me…I am obliging her by showering my love on her…she is just a girl!’ his mind ranted. She needs to learn a lesson. He abducted her with the help of few friends and raped her. ‘Now she would know what a MAN I am’. The girl’s father complained to the local Panchayat. The Panchayat and other villagers were astonished by the shamelessness of that father. ‘He is making a public farce of his daughter’s rape….ladki ki izzat to gayi!!’ the Sarpanch (head of Panchayat) commented. Anyway, they have to take a decision. So, they ordered that girl to get married to that boy (her rapist). ‘She is already impure now...Who would marry her…at least this boy is decent enough to forgive her for complaining against him and marry her!’ Another big warning sign was twisted to act in his favor.
His married life was similar to that of thousands other couples of this country where domestic violence and tolerating it was a part of fulfilling their marriage vows. He even hit his wife the day after their daughter was born. ‘She deserves to be punished because of her faulty womb which produces a girl’. All the family members’ supported him in his barbaric act. By now, his fire of confidence has been fueled enough as he came out of all these incidents unscarred nonchalantly.
Then one winter night, while driving back from his work on the chartered bus, he saw another girl walking with her friend and seeking public transport. ‘Ohh these city girls, how can they walk at this hour of the day out in streets’, He thought while hatching a heinous crime in his mind. ‘She seems to be asking for it….She needs to be taught a lesson!!’  He did not bat an eyelid to commit the odious felony with his bunch of friends by violating that girl’s physical as well as psychological space. The aftermath of this incident was astonishing …at least to the rapists. Whole country came out in the streets to protest against the barbaric act they committed that night. They demanded for his death sentence. He was confused….. 'I never did anything unusual this time, I am the same person who treated female clan in this way throughout my life…then what is new today? Why are they overreacting?’ He pondered behind the prison bars.
Do we still need the moral of this story? This story is though fictitious with strong resemblance to many individuals of our country who are brought up and conditioned to treat the women in this manner. They are a product of rotten mindset which still prays for male child to be born in their family, who still treat female members of family as the B-grade citizen. The moral of the story strongly conveys the fact that ignoring or feigning unawareness to these kinds of warning signs gives birth to socio-psychological criminals who can rob the humanity of its robe.

Ignoring any warning  signs can lead to worse problems

This post is my entry for Indiblogger contest in association with My Healthy Speak Blog

Friday, 17 May 2013

If it has been there those days...!!!


Dadu! You again landed up with a fracture!...my shriek almost gave another heart attack to the cardiac patients admitted in the adjacent Cardiology ward. I was standing near the hospital bed where my grandfather was lying with a Plaster cast across his right foot.
Oh! These hospital people were missing me…so I had to visit them’ Dadu replied nonchalantly.
So, what’s the current count now? 18 or 19? The sarcasm in my voice was evident.
'This is my 19th fracture, but this is a minor one, only a hair-line crack on my toe' I would not have believed him if I had not known his case-history. He was suffering from acute osteoporosis. Thus, even a small knock or twist resulted fracture of his brittle bones. This deficiency developed in later part of his life and even multiple shots of external calcium supplement didn’t helped to improve the calcium count of his bones. He first broke his bone in the year 1967 when he was still working with Defence Accounts Department of Central Government. That accident changed his whole life. He fell down in a slippery part of his bathroom and broke his left femur bone. Those days, in a small town like Allahabad the medical amenities were too rickety. The government hospitals expressed their inability to procure an orthopedic within stipulated number of days so Dadu has to rush to a private nursing home which claimed of providing orthopedic help to the distressed patients.
That femur fracture required a surgery. However, that hospital very neatly botched up the whole procedure. His bone was wrongly assembled which resulted in shortening of his left foot by 1.5 inches. Yeah…he was never able to walk straight after that! They did couple of rectifying surgeries after this mess but it was futile. Not only that he was crippled for lifetime but few of the nerves of his leg also got affected. Thus the blood supply to that particular limb was also weakened. Not only the hospital messed up the surgical part but they also failed to provide a decent post-surgery support. While his stay in hospital, his family members noticed a small boil on his left ankle. It was brought into the visiting doctor’s notice but they never paid much heed to it. That boil remained there for few months and after that opened up as a wound. However, this was not a simple wound. It refused to get heeled because of lack of blood supply to that part. So, Dadu has to carry that wound on his body which sometimes reduced in size but never heeled completely for rest of his life except once, i.e. next thirty five years!
The only time the wound was completely cured by the help of a bit advanced technology, i.e. skin grafting. A sample of skin was pitched from his thigh muscles (donor area) and placed on the open wound part of his ankle. This procedure was done in early nineties when modern & advanced healthcare facilities have started knocking the door of common man of India.
Modern Day Healthcare has indeed arrived as a boon to the mankind. The advanced medicines & vaccinations, diagnostic tests with the aid of superior machines, Hi-tech surgeries, all these factors has elevated the chances of human race to live a aware, healthy and fit life. Today, whenever I come across any news, article, post about the modern healthcare amenities like this, my heart squirms in pain and helplessness for my grandfather who fought an unyielding battle for three and a half decades. I wish if the present day healthcare infrastructure would have been there to aid him to recoup from a bungled up fracture treatment, the precious thirty five years of his life would have been so different. 


This post is my entry for Indiblogger contest in association with Apollo Hospitals Cutting Edge Medical Care

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mishti Unplugged - 23 months!!

Fortunately Mishti's fascination with books is still intact and recently she has discovered the fun of scribbling around with pen, pencil, chalk whichever comes handy. Initially I had a hard time explaining her that she is not supposed to write on walls, furniture, bed sheets and all over her body. But, she understood somehow and stopped her drawings on anything other than paper. But, you see the tricky part is not over. She would keep scribbling on books ( mine & her), news paper, any random letter apart from her designated drawing book. 
 I tried explaining her with lots of random reasons to prevent her from doodling on books. I am not sure what actually worked but she has now limited this activity.

One morning she came to me with the book I was reading that time ( Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan). I had won this copy in a facebook contest organized by the publishers. She was shouting while rolling her eyes ' Mamma, Kaano Kaano ( she wanted to say 'keno' which means 'why' in Bengali)'. 
I was surprised but then a big smile flashed on my face when I deciphered the reason. Mishti was showing me the first page where the author has given her autograph ( It was an autographed copy sent to the winners of that contest) and was questioning me assuming I had scribbled on that book!!

See, my mother has already found her replica who can assume her authority in her absence!!

***************************************************************************
We got her hair shaved for the first time a month back. So, whenever anybody mentions her about her hair, she would promptly reply 'Aannkal', 'Zzzuuuuzzuuuu', 'Toffee', 'Thangtu'!!!

This is actually her shortened version of the whole hair cutting procedure. If you are still not able to make it then let me explain. An Uncle( Aannkal) cut her hair with a machine which made sound -Zzzuuuuzzuuuu. After that she was given 'toffee' by him and she said a sweet Thank You ( Thangtu)!! Now you get it!!

****************************************************************************
She tries her best to recite many nursery rhymes but we are able to make out only a word or so. 'Tinkle Tinkle lili starrrr (Twinkle-Twinkle)', ' Baba Bashir ( Baa Baa Black Sheep)' and 'Hunty Dunty ( Humpty-Dumpty)' are the few which we are able to make out a bit but there are lot many which she performs with full action but alas we are not able make anything out of them. So, the best option is applaud loudly after her every pause!! Also, very funnily, she says 'Theek hai - Okay - Bye' after she finishes reciting any rhyme!!

*****************************************************************************


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Maa ...and few realizations!


‘I am writing a Tribute to Mom in association with Parentous.com

I had always been the pain in the neck for my Maa (mother) in my own ways. It started while she was heavily pregnant with me and I created ruckus inside her womb from 8th month only. She had to brave the labor pain for almost four days before giving birth to her first born - that’s me. Yes…you read it correct, FOUR days in severe pain!! Even after my birth I had to send to neo-natal care immediately as my head was bloated with water and most of the people who were eagerly waiting outside the labor-room thought me to be a still-born baby. I heard my birth story almost billion times from all my family members but somehow was never able to relate with the anxiety and tension surrounded with the whole anecdote. I actually enjoyed being the central character who managed to captivate everyone’s attention. But, it seems that destiny has its own plan and timing for teaching us the lessons of life.
When I underwent labor pain which fortunately lasted for only 3 hours, I shuddered at the mere thought that how must have my Maa had tolerated this acute pain for 96 long hours! My daughter had to be admitted NICU (Nursery-ICU) for 24 hours just after her birth because of the excessive bilirubin count (jaundice). I cried and stayed awake for the whole night. Needless to mention here that how I felt like an ungrateful slime ball who never appreciated her mother.
I had been selfish enough throughout the first twenty-five years of my life when I really took her for granted. I rarely cherished her mundane errands which kept her busy the whole day. I understood their significance when I lived alone in another city for my job. The realization part amplified once I got married and had to handle a household of my own. All those chores which she took care and I thought them as automated ones danced like devil in front of my eyes. I wished secretly so many times to hop into time machine and go back to those days when I didn’t acknowledge her efforts.
Last year when I suffered from a type of temporary Anosmia ( a medical state when you lose the smelling sense) and felt like a handicap person by losing one of the important senses  of my life. I felt so incomplete. Then I realized how difficult it was for her to deal with her hearing problem for so long. She is hearing impaired from one ear since her teenage days. But, she had been all ears for her kids to that extent that I was not even aware of her hearing problem for the first decade of my life.
None of her physical shortcomings created hurdle for her as she learned to deal with outside chores with same zeal as she participated in household work. Now, she takes care of the entire bank, post office related jobs, various bill payments and even filing income tax return. She keeps herself updated with the national & international news by her regular dosage of news paper and TV channels.
Today, life comes to a full circle when my toddler sways her hand and says ‘No’ to her Tiffin while munches happily whatever is there in her daycare friend’s lunch box. I can understand how she had felt when I compared my lunch box with my school mates’ box many times. I had been rude to her, acted so difficult sometimes and now I know that I might have to face the same music few years down the line.
Thus, I am taking this opportunity to say ‘Thank You Maa’ for all what you have given, all what you have restricted, for whatever you have taught, whatever you have instilled in my mind to make me the person what I am today. I now can comprehend what you used to say ‘'having a kid is like letting a part of yourself roam outside your body'’!

Two person in this world who made me understand the real meaning of Motherhood 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sweet Dreams


SWEET DREAMS

Sukanto Ghosh** still remembers those days when he braved the scorching sun while balancing big bags of ready-made garments & Bengali Taant saree on his Vespa scooter. Even after visiting almost 8-10 houses of his acquaintances, barely one or two items were sold and sometimes that too on credit.
"Dada…This Saree is so lovely, I want to wear it on Durgasthami…but errr…you can understand this is pre-Durga Puja month…I would pay the money next month!" But it is a Pre-Durga Puja month for his family as well, Sukanto screamed in his mind. He also needs the additional money to cover the festive expenses which comes as the meager profit of his garment business apart from his limited salary whose major chunk vanishes to pay off the EMI of his Government flat.
I had known him since long as my friend’s father but became familiar with him only after my marriage. However, soon I realized that there is more to his visibly ordinary persona clad in equally ordinary Kurta-pajama most of the times. During last seven years, I have always seen him devoted or in better words submerged neck deep in his work only. Today, his work – his business- his passion has helped him to upgrade his financial strata to the prosperous class of society. But, it had never been like this always. He had seen adverse days of his life. Those days…. which forced him to dream big. He knows how it feels to strangle one’s desires just because the monetary part is not supportive enough. He can never forget the struggle which he and his wife faced to provide a decent upbringing to their kids.
Other than the garment business, he also started creating wall decors made of plaster of Paris. He sold them to cover up the loss incurred in his garment business. But, that also turned out to be a flop show. His wife constantly stood beside him in his struggle. She tried to augment the family income with her singing shows in AIR. Both the partners left no stones unturned to bring that additional money to their family which can afford them the small luxuries of life. He slogged himself in extra shifts in his Telephone set manufacturer company and somehow managed to run those additional small- time side businesses for years.
Sukanto conceived this idea of establishing a food joint/sweet shop in those days when neither his means nor his financial condition actually backed up the plan. It was there as a passionate dream lying in some corner of his mind. He felt too shy to discuss it with anyone else in case they mock him.
While boarding his office bus one day, he noticed that vacant house standing in the corner of the row. After observing for many more days, he knew that this is the place where he can actually shape up his dream venture. But, suddenly he realized that with his depleted savings and pending financial responsibilities, it is idiotic to even think of buying that property.However, he still enquired about the owner of that property. Months passed by but he had no clue how he can initiate his first step towards his dream. Apart from running on the daily grind of life countless thoughts remained clouded in his mind.
"From where can I accumulate the preliminary capital amount to launch this business? I don’t have any ancestral property to sell off! If I start this venture, I have to devote all my time in it…..then what would happen to my job? If I leave my job and this project also follows the fate of the previous businesses, then how can I come out of that failure? I have already completed five decades of my life…in late fifties, isn’t it too late to launch any new business."
Apprehensions, inhibitions, uncertainty flooded his mind all the time. But, more he thought about it, more he was able to relate with his own passion to launch the assignment. He spilled the beans to his wife who heard him patiently. Like always, she promised her support and asked him to keep faith in Almighty. But, even God helps those who helps themselves…Sukanto thought in his mind.
By the beginning of this 21st century, when technology boom engulfed the telecom sector with the launch of mobile phones, he knew that his employers would not be able to keep pace with the changing demand of the market with their redundant thought process and reluctance to lay their hands on manufacturing of mobile phone handsets. Sukanto was able to visualize the downfall of his company.  "This is the time’… his heart yelled…either now or NEVER!" He applied for VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) in a jiffy. After days of vexing trysts with various valuators ( who evaluated  his present house as well as that property which he wanted to buy), random government officials he somehow managed to sell-off his own house and buy that particular property which topped in his wish list.
Now, the actual field research part boggled his mind. Those who were already established in this business were not ready to divulge any trade secrets with him. "I have to rely on my observing capacity & hunch feeling only…nobody is helping me with any information" Sukanto told his wife. His wife suggested that opening a Sweet shop specializing in Bengali Sweets in this city of North India might act as the USP of their business. Soon, he was able to track down some karigars specialized in making sweets…Bengali sweets.
Within a month he sent out invitation of the launch of his ‘Ghosh Sweets’ to all his relatives, neighbors, friends, critics, enemies. Unsolicited crticism started pouring in to his household.
"Have you lost your mind!...Starting a business at this age(late fifties)!You should have invested the retirement amount appropriately in some mutual funds. The interest amount would have been sufficient for your family.Have you ever thought how you would repay the loan you have taken for your elder son’s studies in case this shop falls flat on its face!!Bengali’s are not shrewd enough to earn profit from a business!!"

I saw him in the inauguration ceremony of his shop.With a serene smile he welcomed all and it seemed that he had determined to thrust the negativity back with his optimistic approach to the life. He was well aware of the huge risk he has taken which has almost bargained his family’s future.But, he was dogged to prove everyone wrong. His wife took over the administration, supervision and quality control part of the shop while he ventured out in the market to acquire raw materials and bulk orders.Almost single-handedly as a unit, both of them worked to establish and join the bits and pieces of their dream which now does not seem as impractical as it appeared few years back.
Now, almost a decade has passed since the establishment was launched. He toiled day & night to develop his business.Being the cynosure of everyone’s eye his successful business now boasts of his relentless hard work. Sukanto Ghosh – my Father-in-law live to the fact that ‘Your dreams come true only when you act to turn them into realities!'

I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with BlogAdda.com

**Name has been changed for privacy reasons

Friday, 26 April 2013

W = Why, Who, When?


Why we cannot ensure safety to our kids, toddlers & teenagers?
Why everyday small kids have to face the brutality of monstrous pedophiles?
What kind of pleasure those beasts’ gets by inflicting pain on those tender souls?
Who would take care of the scars, the wounds which would remain etched in her mind for her life?
Why any incident needs to have horrendously atrocious to elicit our outrage?
Why I have to feel terrified every time my toddler is out of my sight?
When would the victim blaming stop with the pleas that accused ‘got carried away’, ‘was staying away from family since long’, ‘never wanted to rape but the girl provoked her’?
When would the victim blaming stop with the excuses that ‘she was drunk’, ‘she was wearing exposing clothes’, ‘she was asking for it’?
Why we have to listen to our politician’s bull shit & mechanical speeches every time after any heinous brutal incident takes place?
Who defines the time line of judgments in Fast-track courts of Indian judiciary system – actual how fast they are?
Why we cannot teach our sons to treat the female clan with equality and respect the diversity of culture?
When would the law enforcers of our country understand their responsibilities rather than scaring, harassing, passing judgmental remarks and sometimes even raping the victim?
Who can be blamed when a rapist slips from the hands of law-enforcers with the plea of being a juvenile?
I can continue these questions endlessly as there are so many which are staring at our face, but right now feeling too numb & disgusted to write a single word more.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

V = Virtual World


Virtual World – this is the place which has been my breathing window since last few years. Albeit, being a Computer Applications graduate I was introduced to emails and chatting in late nineties. But, those days the affordability of internet was a big factor and usage of internet was through dial-in packs of HCL & other private service providers. I still remember the initial excitement of checking emails and using Google search. Chipping in a li’l confession here – I even chatted in chat rooms with anonymous identity!
 Then, the fizz evaporated in next few years but like everyone else I also got introduced to the virtual socio circle with Orkut. After getting used to posting scraps and writing testimonials, I found a new addiction in Facebook.
Initially my favorite activity in FB was to search for various school & college friends with whom I have lost touch in real world and connecting with them via social media. FB also helped me to bond better with my n number of cousins. Yeah… I have lots of maternal first cousins whom I have met only once or twice in real life but our chemistry just clicked like anything in virtual world. We have a closed group in FB called ‘Bonded with Love’ and sometime we just chill out while having ‘adda’ via FB.
I also got addicted to various social games that FB offered and has been a passionate virtual farmer who played Farmville diligently while waking up in middle of night to harvest crops or feed animals. I even asked my hubby once to feed the pet dog in my farm while I am at work so that it does not runs away. I even found many like minded people who played these games and we traded gifts, fertilizers etc like maniacs. However, I stopped playing it once my li’l one was born…nevertheless my whole house generally looked like some farm by then!
As far as Twitter was concerned, I was quite reluctant to join it. Actually I was not able to comprehend the basics of Twitter till lately. However, finally I joined the band wagon. Although being an infrequent visitor there, I participated in few contest of Twitter. And whoa….I managed to win one sling bag, one t-shirt, one copy of ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan’ and few vouchers!. But, honestly, I found it very taxing…it literally kills all your time. So, now I log into my twitter account just to know the news trends.
Another important aspect of virtual world which is a part of me now is blogging. I entered the blogging world a couple of years back (I know it is quite late), after my kid was born. I started as mommy blogger but soon my blog became a media to vent out my opinions, views & thought on everything under the sun. I made some good friends in this blogging world. I know them through their blogs and feel like knowing them since childhood. I evolved my parenting knowledge through so many parenting blogs and somehow give them the credit of helping me to bring up a kid in nuclear family setup. This blogging world gave me the exposure to so many novel aspects of life. When I made up my mind to participate in this A2Z challenge, I never thought that I can survive till the end, but now when almost it is nearing end I have started pondering about how I would miss the enthusiasm. I  feel so good to know so many diverse bloggers through this challenge and hope to keep in touch with them even after this marathon is over.
So, this is my tryst with virtual world..What about yours?
  

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

T & U = Television & Unlimited Regression


So, here I am, trying my best to return to my blogger self. I lost the steam since Q and only posted some cheat posts after that. Now as I had failed to write anything for T so thought of combining it with U.  
I am here talking about Daily serials of Indian Television industry.- ‘Kkkkkk soaps’. Those who are not able to make out its meaning, I am actually referring to mindless, gaudy, overtly melodramatic daily soaps of Indian Television. But why…Kkkkk soaps? Well, I am trying to name this horrible genre of TV soaps with its origin…. How can we forget that this all had been started by ‘so called’ TV soap queen – Kekta Madam (Don’t you dare to disintegrate the K from her name!!!).
I am not getting into the details that how & when this genre changed the face of the TV industry. No. I won’t say that I miss those weekly TV serials or old Series like Buniyaad, Humlog or anything else similar to that. Everything has transformed into glossier & more glamorous now a days so why only blame Television.
You surf through any Hindi entertainment channel ( why blame only Hindi, any other regional language channel are also same), and you would find almost cloned story plots, overdone faces, horrendously kitschy outfits, loud acting and loads of glycerin. Even though chronologically we are in 21st century but the trash kkk soaps which are aired actually compel you to go back to some 18th or 19th century. I observed few different channels which cemented my belief that they are somehow trying to give us a ride in time machine.
A young girl of in her twenties who was shown widow of the protagonist of the show is made to wear spotless white saree even though her spouse died months back. And this too when the story backdrop is not rural but the national capital of India.
Another channel is showing that how a couple who got married against their parent’s will &permission is trying hard to get the acceptance in the family. So, the videshi DIL has to pass certain tests set by the head of the family. The nature of those tests varies from wearing a saree, washing whole house after drawing water from the well, preparing food for the whole 56 member family, or singing devotional songs with correct pronunciation in the temple even before the sun rises. The dutiful DIL keeps on participating in those tests with a big smile plastered to her face and without even uttering a single protest.
An illiterate eve-teaser or to be precise a molester forcibly marries an educated girl and the next 1000 episodes are aired justifying his passionate love which forced him to own that woman without her consent. She was shown to fall in his love after some hundred episodes when she realizes he has a golden heart which contains obsessive love for her!!!
A contemporary girl gets married and a 360 degree makeover takes place. She is shown roaming around only in sarees, accessorized with big ‘Mangalsutra’ and the vermillion is somehow placed in her hair-parting with help of a ruler or scale which is generally found in a student’s geometry box!!
Any woman with a career in her mind and ambitions has to be vile & negative in character. She would soon realize her incompetence in front of the sacrificing housewife who eats her meal only after her family members have been fed and burped!
I can continue to write about these instances endlessly. These regressive tracks are surprisingly the biggest TRP puller. I know so many people including me who don’t watch this stuff but then this fact cannot be negated that a large chunk of population is hooked to these shows and follow them religiously. I know its impact on the literate class is limited only to the imitation of designer outfits & jewelry but the less educated strata are hugely affected in different way. I had discussed with my maid and concluded that somehow many of them believe that whatever shown in these serials are for real or closely connected to reality. Another thing which they believe is that if these serials are showing any regressive track on economically upper class background then it should be followed. As per her, when an English speaking couple is following these mindless track in the serials then it must have some logic and reason.
These regressive serials in all the channels are actually spamming our entertainment quota. Far away from reality, these monotonous & senseless shows keep on mushrooming through all the channels irrespective of language or religion.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Selfless Soldier



As a school kid we found him scary – with thick moustache covering almost half of his face and big rolling eyes, he managed to create that aura in his personality which actually his profession required. He was the watchman – chowkidar – guard who took his position near the gate of Girls Degree College since many years. Our school was situated just opposite to that college. I saw him relentlessly present on his duty every day since I was in kindergarten.  He shooed away the school kids with his loud voice, who loitered in front of that college gate apart from shouting on the cycle rickshaw pullers who jostled to get customers from the college. We called him Muchhad (a typical slang used for a person with big moustache).
This incident happened when I was in Class 10th. It was the first day of our school’s summer vacation; however the college was still open. Our batch was called to school to attend some extra classes. By the time, we came out after our classes around 2PM; the road in front of our school was deserted with hardly few people around. Among those people, there were few boys in their early twenties who were seen regularly wandering in front of that girl’s college with malicious intentions. They didn’t even spared schoolgirls and always searched for triggers to enter into a fistfight with the boys of our school. They sketched opportunities to vent out their perversion – Stalking, hooting, whistling and sometimes even dared to grope few girls.
I would not dilute their heinous behavior by calling them eve-teasers or road side Romeos, but they were assaulters – who assaulted girls psychologically and physically without any shame. That time, we have already heard from grapevine that some ugly incident has happened few days back. A girl has mustered courage to confront them when she was assaulted and even slapped one of the hooligans. This gave guts to other girls and they managed to scare those guys enough to leave from that place instantly before the college administration stepped into the issue. For next few days, those guys never turned up.

But, on that particular day, I saw those guys waiting like hawks on their bikes. Next I saw a bunch of girls coming out from that college. Suddenly, a bike with three people sitting on it zipped in front of them, forcing them to halt. One of those guys took out a dagger and held it closely near that girl’s neck who has slapped them. Other girls stepped back in fear. The other pillion rider guy leaped in the scene with a bottle of acid in his hand. We were dumbstruck with the fearful intensity of the happenings which has numbed our senses and transformed us into mute spectators.
That creep was about to open that Acid bottle when out of sudden Muchhad jumped into the scene. He started shouting hysterically and hit the guy with the lone weapon in his hand – his stick. He dropped the Acid bottle with the blow which broke into pieces with a sizzling sound and splash of acid all over the ground. Muchhad continued to hit that guy with his stick. By this time, the first guy left the girl and attacked Muchhad to save his friend. He stabbed him with his dagger on his arm twice and all three of them beat a retreat from the scene hastily. I returned to my senses with my fellow classmates shouting and running inside the school for help. Soon, many people from both the college & school rushed to the spot for help where Muchhad was bleeding profusely but still in his senses. He was taken to nearby hospital and his wounds almost took a month to heal. He joined back his duty afterwards and was felicitated by the college management.

Whenever I passed thorough that road even after graduating from the school, I made sure to catch a glimpse of that altruistic person. Few years back, during my visit to my hometown, I searched for him again but found a new face in his place. My niece, who studies in the same school, told me that Muchhad died few months back.
Although this incident took place almost couple of decades back but still today I salute that selfless soldier who never gave a second thought before jumping into the crime scene. Even the fact that those guys were armed was not able to deter his action. His mind only raced & reacted to save that girl whose face & body could have been charred by that acid. His quick reaction and presence of mind not only averted that ugly incident but even managed to draw attention to the shoddy safety measures implanted by management & government for school & college students. He could have remained silent, He could have just been a mere spectator, but his soldier instinct compelled him to act without even caring for his own well-being. Although he was not educated enough, but his action has proven his mettle to the world.


This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

Q = Quoting Khalil Gibran


These are wonderful words from Khalil Gibran which portrays some essential thoughts about parenting. 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

So, whenever you try to live your dreams through them, pushing them over the edge to jostle in the mad rat race,think of these lines.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

P = Pedophilic Perverts

Fear, guilt, anger, frustration, pain, hate and above all helplessness....these assorted and jumbled feelings numbed their existence. In some cases, multiple times, repeatedly they went through the trauma. Devastated & shattered they suffered those nightmares alone. Few of them were not even able to understand that something wrong is done to them. 

A popular talk show hosted by Amir Khan last year - 'Satyamev Jayate' gave few of them a chance to open up their heart. The show startled many of us by highlighting the huge percentage of Child sex abuse victims. Yes, in India, almost every fifth child unfortunately has been abused sexually. 

I heard somewhere which was quoted on a funny note "We are descendants of monkeys....but the problem is that still we have not stopped descending!!". On a serious tone this is so true...those pedophiles have descended far below the human level.....just that these sickos roam around freely in our society in the garb of a human face. SMJ tried to negate many myths involving CSA. Those who are in blog world might have already been aware of the facts behind these CSA myths through well penned posts during CSA Awareness Month. But for rest of the people it was indeed an eye-opener. I am sure there would be many parents who are not comfortable with 'sex education' of their kids must have been shuddered with the horrifying tales of the victims in that show. 

We need to understand that nor are the CSA victims from any different world neither the abusers. Here at this platform now I can also admit being a CSA victim once. I was never able to muster the courage to tell anyone about it that time. But why?...I shared a very open relationship with my parents especially with my dad. Even then I never opened up with him about this matter. I gave subtle hints but they went unnoticed. 

So, you see it is not only healthy & open relationship with your kids that would help but you have to be observant about their body language & changed patterns of behavior as well. Communicate, be aware & come out of your shell of ignorance. Those scars maul the soul of the child which they carry throughout their life...I might have escaped with a bruise but everyone is not so lucky. However memories of those incidents still leaves sour taste in my persona. 

Once hubby told me that they were discussing episodes of SMJ in his office when one of his colleagues said that "Man, What this Amir Khan is serving as Sunday Brunch, they are showing too much reality, It is so depressing. These cases are only there in newspapers...He could have chosen some other theme for his show". Poor man, I think his taste of reality show is limited only to Big Boss or Splitsvilla!! This mindset of 'ostrich in the storm' would only keep up the spirit of heinous monsters. We can always be in our La-la land and believe that it can never happen to our kids but would that make the issue disappear!! 

One very important quote mentioned in the show was "Respect the behaviour, not the age". This can be quite a controversial statement in reference our Indian Culture. But I personally support its validity. 

But the most important point which was raised in SMJ was that CSA should be considered as a crime and strict laws should be there to punish those pedophiles. Whoa!!!...can you believe that it is still not there in our law books and this bill is yet pending (lying in dust) in Rajyasabha. My personal opinion says that these pedophiles should be prosecuted with stringent laws because they are sick...sick mentally. Otherwise why would a person has to feel up a child's body for any kind of physical pleasure!

I can continue to pour my disgust on this issue endlessly but ending here quoting Amir Khan: 

I’d like to leave you with a thought: perhaps the more closed or narrow minded we are about sexuality, the more repressed it gets, and then it manifests itself in ugly ways. I’m hoping that as a society in time we will reach a stage where we are not frightened of our sexuality. Rather, we learn to deal with it in a dignified, open, responsible and healthy manner. 


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O = Ohhh -ho!!


O as in Ohhh- ho!! This is the exclamatory word which my 23 months old daughter – Mishti has picked up lately. And yes …. It is me who uses this term often, so my girl has to pick it up.
Ohhh- ho Mishti…you have again spilled water!
Ohhh- ho why have scratched all over your body with this sketch pen!
Ohhh- ho why are you climbing the dining table?

MIshti comes back from Daycare and she starts saying or rather asking for ‘Baba Bashir’. I didn’t get the clue….Has she met some stranger with this name? But, as far as I know nobody in her daycare has this name? It doesn’t even sound like name of any other kid in daycare?  I scratched my head to make out what or whom she wants actually.
By this time, her irritation has reached peak level. She shouted, Ohhh- ho Mamma…..Baba Bashir!!
Me: Mishti, What Baba Bashir dear….Who is he??
Mishti: Ohhh- ho, Ohhh- ho, Ohhh- ho…… Baaaaaabaaaa Bashiiiiir ….peeezze (please).
Me: Baby I am not getting it...What do you want me to do?
Mishti: Ohhh- ho Mamma....Peeezee…Baba Bashir. And she starts crying.
I quickly pick her up and try to divert her attention. After a while when she got distracted and completely forgot about ‘Baba Bashir’!

When hubby came back from work, I told him about this mystery man ‘Baba Bashir’. Even he couldn’t understand what it is! Later in the evening, Mishti sat with her daddy to read her dozens of books. Suddenly, she picked up her rhymes book, opened one particular page and yelled ‘Baba Bashir’. We ran to look at it.

Gosh….she was talking of Baa Baa, Black sheep…that famous rhyme!!!
It happened that although she read this rhyme at home, but that day it was taught to her in daycare. And generally they teach these rhymes with some animated dance & actions. Mishti wanted me to do that when she came back home. But, poor baby, with a mom who was not able to comprehend her language, it was a herculean task for her to make us understand what she want.
Ohhh- ho!!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

N = Name Saga


After zipping through the A to Z challenge almost over the half-mark, when N came across, I have to write about my name which incidentally starts with N.
No, in case if you have guessed something, it is not about how I got this name. My dad gave me this name as he liked it…no fancy story attached to it. However, as a kid I never liked my name. I still remember when I was in Class 6th; I gave my dad the option of changing my name to Neha or Nisha which was obviously turned down instantly!
I hated the fact that no one was able to pronounce my name correctly. Carrying a Bong name in northern belt of India is quite difficult.  I had heard so many versions of my name that it has ceased to amuse me now.  The most common assumption was that it would spell with a ‘V’ instead of ‘B’. Do you remember how Vidya Balan has to interrupt every time in the movie Kahaani when Bongs called her Bidya instead of Vidya…in my case it was vice-versa. Few inquisitive ones doubted my spelling capability and insisted that it has to be ‘Nivedita’ instead of ‘Nibedita’. I had to explain them that Bengali language has no sound like ‘V’ sound…it is either B or Bh.
In school, I heard so many variations of my name in terms of spelling & pronunciation from teachers & fellow students; it ranged from Nivedita, Nebidita, Nibidita, Nibodita, Nebudita and so on!! The college pals were smarter and they shortened it to ‘Nibz’. I felt so relaxed, it was definitely better than to hear twisted sound of your own name!
I can recall one incident, when I was in Class 12th and appearing for board exams. For viva-voce, we had to face external examiners. I was so terrified in my Physics practical exam. The examiner asked my name. When I told him, he asked its meaning might be to break the ice….I told him that it means ‘dedicated’…He asked immediately, ‘To whom’? I had no answer ready for it so I just said ‘to God’….and he gave me broad smile. The Viva went very well after that.
My office colleagues started with Nibedita but I was rechristened as ‘Nibbo’ or ‘Nibey’ soon. My bosses preferred to call me with last name only. However, while handling overseas client calls it was a mammoth task to tell my name to them and ninety percent of time I had to spell it with phonetic sounds. So, it would sound somewhat like:
I login into a conference call which is spread across various geographic locations of world.
Hi, this is Nibedita Bose from India, site ABC, Operations.
I am sorry, who is there from India??
This is Nibedita….N as in Nancy, I as in India, B as in Bravo, E as in Echo, D as in Delta, I as in India, T as is Tango and A as in Alpha…..and yeah the last name is B as in Bravo, O as in Oscar, S as in Sierra and E as in Echo……..Hmpffff!!! (I always ensured after this to check whether the person on other side was still alive or not!!!)
Another fact with my name is that, I had retained my maiden surname. But, there were many instances when people assumed my last name to be my hubby’s surname. When we applied for my daughter’s birth certificate it came with my name as ‘Nibedita Ghosh’ instead of ‘Bose’, when asked they said that they thought we have mistakenly filled up the form with different surname, so corrected it!!
Many of my office colleagues congratulated me through SmS, after my daughter’s birth. Few of the messages were like: Congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Bose! I didn’t know how to pass on those congratulations to nonexistent Mr. Bose though!
Till now, I have faced so many goof ups about my last name that now a day, I keep my marriage certificate handy for any kind of paperwork involved in Banks or any other offices.
When it was time to christen my daughter, we raked internet to search for a contemporary but easy to pronounce name….the only criteria my in- laws requested that if it can have somewhat related to God. After an extensive search and rejecting almost hundreds of names, we pinned it down to ‘Ishaani’, hoping that it is not easily twisted as my name was.
So, what is your Name’s story?
P.S: After my Teen years, I started liking my name and I love it absolutely now :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

M = Myths


Few days back I observed a bunch of little girls playing /chatting in our housing complex lawn. Suddenly while getting up one girl's forehead brushed with another's head......the first girl was about to leave when the second girl called her back. "we need to collide our heads once again otherwise we would get horns (Seeng)on our head!!!!". 

This was funny but even I used to believe it as a kid!! So, what all I can recollect from my memory here are few myths which I believed to core as a kid. I am still not sure how I learnt these myths because my 'Thama' (grand mom) was way too progressive to believe in these lines and my mom also never taught me about them...might be possible from school mates I got these ideas!!

(Disclaimer: All the myths & remedies mentioned below are folklore ...believe them or implement them at your own risk.This post is meant for humor only, and not to offend anyone's religious or spiritual beliefs & sentiments)

Myth 1: One time head/fore head collision can result in eruption of horns from your forehead.
Remedy: Collide it again...Yes I am serious, we used to do this deliberately!

Myth 2: Do not pluck leaves or flowers after sun-set...or for that matter Do not touch the tree/plant at all.'Bhoot(Ghost)' will not spare you...mind it!!!
Remedy: Even if you have done this unknowingly just pray to the 'Tree GOD' for forgiveness. Now, I realize this must have been spread across in earlier days in villages to avoid people from inhaling Carbon di-oxide which plants release after sunset. And like any other custom it just got downloaded in present times without any logic.

Myth 3: If someone is sitting or lying do not cross over them. It stops their height growth. (Considering my vertically challenged figure, I am damn sure that the crowd which gathers for 'Kumbh Mela' at my hometown must have crossed over me while I was sitting!!!)
Remedy: Cross again but this time from opposite side!

Myth 4: Do not touch feet if anyone is sleeping or lying...it symbolical to touching feet of a dead body!!
Remedy: I do not know...but yes this one was followed in my family and we used to get lot scolding if done.

Myth 5: If you happen to touch any stuff related to studies ( books, pens, pencils, eraser....) with your feet or for that matter if any of these fall to ground , you would surely get a blot in your academic career!!
Remedy: Pick it up touch it with you forehead and kiss it. I follow this still today as was told once as kid that actually Goddess Saraswati ( Goddess of learning & education) resides in all these items.

Myth 6: Snakes do come out and start dancing (not like Chikni Chameli but just swaying their hood!!!) if that particular 'Been' (musical instrument) is played. The credit of this belief goes to movie 'Nagina' where Sridevi who was actually a 'Nagin'(snake) danced like inebriated person every time the tune was played.
Remedy: Run away from that place where this tune is played!!

Myth 7: If you see a funeral procession, always put palm of your hand to your head till the time it is not out of sight. I am not sure what happens if we fail to follow this one.
Remedy: I don't know.

Myth 8: Never throw any discarded stuff from you body like used bandage/cotton, bunch of you hair unattended outside. Might be this was a way to teach hygiene actually.
Remedy: Spit on it and then throw ( Huh...here goes hygiene out of window!!!)

Myth 9:Do not touch anyone with broom, especially small kids. They lose weight and become thin.
Remedy: Not sure, but just don't do it. I am sure this must have been said for hygiene reasons. (Also, seeing my over-weight body structure, it clearly means, I should get broom- beating everyday two times, like some medicine dosage!!)

This is what I can remember for now...would surely add on if can recollect more!! But honestly, feeling very nice as I walk through my childhood days in my mind while writing this post.

So, What myths you all know or follow....write about it...it is fun!