I SURELY DIDN’T INTEND TO…

There are many times in life when we do something that we don’t intend to. Why do we do something without an intention? Because all the negative feelings like hatred, anger, frustration, guilt etc. do not work with Intention. These feelings only know destruction and even though these can motivate you for a short while, eventually they will make you do things that you do not intend to do. 

Like for my 6-year-old son, there is a “Bad Devil” and “Good Angel” inside him. The bad devil often gets very powerful and makes him a bad boy. Good Angel on the other hand does the exact opposite. When he throws tantrums and misbehaves, it is his bad devil that makes him to do so. 

Isn’t it true for all of us? Bad Devil making us do things that we definitely never wanted to do. 

The way I hit my pup

When my dog was a little puppy only a month old, she was teething and obviously would chew on every item in the household that she could reach. It was newspapers, footwears, furniture, wires etc. One day when I came back from the office, as usual, she started climbing over me licking me all over. I have always loved being welcomed back home this way. But as I enter the house playing with her, I notice in the corner of the hall – my brand new (really expensive) footwears in tatters. My anger grows so badly within seconds, that I hit her with all my might. Poor thing, she fell down and had no clue why this unannounced attack came on her. 

Pups are much like human babies. They cannot connect why grownups are feeling in a certain way if we don’t make it obvious for them. I didn’t do that. I scared the hell out of her, she hid beneath the bed and stayed there for a while. I looked at my broken footwear which was now beyond repair. After about 5 mins, I felt terribly guilty. I called her out, but she took her time to trust me again. And I am pretty sure that I saw tears in her eyes and she was even trembling. That day I swore to myself, that I will never ever hit her this way. She is such a precious little being for me and she doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. 

How many of us intend to be the best parents in the world but end up abusing our kids or pets because of the frustrations of our lives? 

The way I said mean things to my husband

Soon after marriage, I realized that handling a married relationship is in no way easy. It was great to be my husband’s girlfriend, but being his wife was a totally different ball game. Till this realization came, our worlds kept clashing and the difference in expectations made me do and say a lot of mean things to my husband. It didn’t mean that I didn’t love him, it just meant that my “Bad Devil” came in more than desired and made life very difficult for me. It made me do and say things that I never intended to. 

And after every argument, I would text him – “I am really sorry. I didn’t mean to say that…” 

One day he asked me, why you say things that you don’t mean. How do I know that you really don’t mean them? I didn’t have an answer but I apologized. But his asking me a question so direct, made me realize what I was doing. 

Always to remember – “The spoken words can never be taken back” 

I just gave two examples here. But there are innumerable incidents in different relationships where I have done things that are against my actual intention and regretted them. 

How do I control my “Bad Devil” so that I don’t do things that I don’t intend?

A lot of things. Some common examples are –

  1. I try to keep an attitude of gratitude. 
  2. I meditate.
  3. I say prayers either as affirmations, mantras or other things
  4. I ensure that I don’t take any action when I am in a negative state of mind.
  5. I ensure that I keep my mouth shut when I am angry.
  6. I take time-outs when I see my “Bad Devil” rising.
  7. I try to keep my intentions for each day very clear.

We human beings are blessed because we can use our intentions to move in the direction that we want to. Sometimes our negative emotions serve as a deterrent to our intentions, we need to keep them at bay if we intend to grow and evolve to better versions of ourselves. 

I Truly Believe In Love

When I was in college (graduation 3rd year), I read two books as a part of our syllabus – The Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Both are great works. Human relations, follies, expectations, insecurities, vulnerabilities – mainstay of these works. Me being a romantic to the core person was swept off my feet by beautiful portrayal of Elizabeth and Darcy – the protagonists of “Pride & Prejudice”. Elizabeth, a strongly opinionated, free spirited , well read, beautiful and a charismatic girl. Her beauty was not only what was obvious but her refusal to let herself to be treated as doormat added to her aura. Despite of not having grand fortune and unfortunately quite a few annoying pompous characters in her family she never let herself to act or sound vulnerable. Meekness or submission wasn’t her. She represented grace. On the other hand Mr.Darcy was rich by leaps and bounds. Was as opinionated as his female counterpart was but the natural flair of talking easily to people wasn’t his forte. His stoic silence made him look haughty. His reserved nature was often mistaken for being too proud to mingle. But as the story proceeds the layers over his character get unveiled, making him a desirable life partner for every girl. Ok, I will be honest with you all – I really wished to have a Darcy in my life – handsome, even more handsomely rich and to enhance every other quality that he possessed – sensible & madly in love with a person to go to any extent.

It was their chemistry that kept me hooked. Left me happily teary eyed everytime I finished the book. I actually lost count of number of times I have read this book (haven’t yet counted the number of views I have paid to the series). It is no less than a fairy tale following the suit where poor girl meets rich boy, they get married and happily live ever after. It is more closer to the real lives where a union of two people isn’t devoid of involvement of families and friends. Superiority complex of affluent ones, misunderstandings – both of words & silence, expectations tied to engagements, pride invested in qualities (materialistic and otherwise) one possess, prejudiced opinions one forms of the other and how finally love finds it’s way – we do find such elements in and around our lives, isn’t it? That’s why this fiction stood the test of the time.

My Draw: To be honest, whether I read or watch this work of art, majorly it’s an escapism to the rosy world of romance I adore. I simply cherish love stories. It hand overs to me a sense of happiness. But over the years it apart from happiness it gave me one important lesson – Pride about something – good or bad, inadvertently nurses prejudice. Let’s forget about the book and it’s characters for a moment. Let’s take an example from what’s around us. A man regular in his prayers and social work feels proud of his desirable ways of life. When he sees another person who is not very invested in regular prayers and social work isn’t a part of his regular proceedings of life, the former one immediately forms a prejudice about the later one about how wrong he is without knowing him fully, without having an awareness of his portion of struggles in life. It is very much happening all around us. No denial. So if you let pride rest for long in your head get ready for an add on guest – Prejudice, period!

Moving on from this story, have you ever thought what would be life of Elizabeth and Darcy when they enter their 60s? When romance blooms completely into love. Well, not sure of them but I came across a Indian regional movie that exactly defines what love and companionship is. The movie’s name is Mithunam, which means a couple. It’s in Telugu. The entire movie is about an elderly couple – Appa Dasu & Buchi Lakshmi, whose children have settled in different parts of the world. In the entirety of the film you will see only these two characters. It might seem to be a reel showcasing their daily mundane activities but the depth needs a heart to let it sink.

The first thing what I noticed after I finished watching this movie is it isn’t some unrelated, non relatable celebrities that can give us couple goals. If companionship has to be understood look at our grandparents, look at our parents. My own in-laws are together for 42 years now. Have seen lows and highs together. Being together is what mattered. And probably for the first time on celluloid I have seen where it wasn’t about the rose flowers but about the fragrance it spreads. It isn’t about the attraction during youth but affection in the dusk of the age. Where hero and heroine aren’t the glamorous hot shots but someone more identifiable and relatable with us. Completely in love with this movie.

What Mithunam taught me?

Many beautiful aspects have subtly touched upon in this movie that can make a life meaningful and joyful.

  • companionship means understanding the unannounced pain, doing your part without being vocal about it. There was a particular scene where the wife comes to know how her husband has been helping her best friend over the years to get her son educated after her husband has departed. Never once did he let her know about her friend’s ordeals.
  • Work your bodies and rest your mind. Movie beautifully depicted the mantra for a happy and healthy life. From growing vegetables, doing chores to even unconventional jobs repairing slippers like cobblers do, this movie also speaks about dignity of labour and self reliance though in a very nuanced manner.
  • For the first time I heard the concept of attachment and detachment in this movie. Our love shouldn’t turn into constant worry or impediment – for us or others. Live life as it comes – this is what Appa Dasu taught me.
  • At the end when Appa Dasu dies, Buchi Lakshmi cries her heart out and says “thank you God”. Don’t get her wrong, she opens up as she talks to herself “I was constantly worried what would happen to this man if I leave this abode before him, he is like a child who can’t take care of himself. Now my worries are put to rest”. Is this not true love considering the fact that in India dying as a married woman (before her husband) is considered good.

I can go on about this feel good movie, but surely there’s more this movie can give us. Available on youtube with subtitles, give it a try! These two works have strengthened my idea and belief in love. I may not have Darcy, but surely I want to grow old with my man and lead a content life ☺️.

KNOW THE ART OF DETACHMENT

Have you ever left food on stove and forgot to turn off at the right time? I am sure not an alien situation. What happens then? Smoke all around, burnt food, burnt vessels, an uphill task of cleaning the mess and not to forget taunts / reprimands 😁. This is exactly close to what happens to us in life if we don’t know the art of detachment in our lives. Anxiety surrounds us as smoke, the vessel that is our body faces the burnt of such anxiety & related issues. Food that is a result of our anxiety & attachment driven actions are highly marred by negative emotions of greed, lust, anger, deception, lies and everything in that cadre. Food or lives, there’s no need to explain how people remember if it isn’t a right(eous) one. If we can’t turn off the fire in time or detach ourselves from the worldly pleasures and bonds then surely we will be charred.

What are the attachments we as human beings have?

* Materialistic Attachment

* Emotional Attachment

* Attachment with our fears

Let’s take on them one by one:

Materialistic Attachments: I will quote a simple example here. A person has a favourite coffee brand that he has been drinking over years as the first thing in the morning and anything else would leave him irritated throughout the day. Due to this reason he would plan his trips with coffee on his itinerary, even it means to going to someone else’s place. We can call it addiction or obsession but it is his attachment to that product that’s causing him this unnecessary trouble. This is an example where the repercussions might not impact others. But then as we move up the ladder (read more inclined towards accumulation) of materialistic attachments like that of money, land, gold etc. – our better sense is slowly replaced by seeds of greed, lust, deception. Why do you think why scams happen? Food for thought, isn’t it?

Emotional Attachment: A small story I would like to narrate from our epic Mahabharata – Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of Kuru Princes loved his son Ashwathama very much. His entire life he toiled to give a better life to his son and see him happy. His constant worry and misconception about Loving one’s kin even made him fight the righteous Pandavas. But the question is was his emotion truly can be defined as Love? No!! Love enables endurance, showing the right path by trending it even if it hurts for a while, love acts like a medicine that might taste horrendous but heals eventually. Let’s take a leaf from the present scenario. A mother punishing a young child for misbehaviour is surely love but the same mother trying to whitewash the same child’s image after few years if he / she picks up a wrong path is not love but emotional attachment.

Fear & Us: Our attachments feed our fear to say the least. If we don’t earn “enough”, if our kids don’t lead a certain patterned life, if we don’t fill in the already set norms of the society we will be ostracized. If we speak up the truth we will be mocked and we will end up sounding not relatable. We have to fit ourselves somehow in the places carved , even if it means denying our conscience. We don’t want to be robbed of our deemed valuables, we fear losing, we fear old age, we fear death, we fear estrangement from loved ones. This is our fear only that results in complications in our relationships feeding our egos. And in this run to the mill the only thing we don’t fear is “losing ourselves” and “sense”. Strange, isn’t it?

Where’s the liberty? Attachments impact us beyond a speck of doubt. But does this mean we take up asceticism right from the word go? Not possible as when born with this human abode we have a set of responsibilities towards our family and society. They need to be discharged with utmost care. But every once in a while we must care to answer “Who Am I?”, “What’s my purpose on this earth?”, “Is making merry the sole purpose of life?”. These questions to yourself will shed light on a new perspective of and towards life. That’s the illuminated path of righteousness where the almighty wants to see us shining in his light. Once that truth dawns upon us we will slowly try to distance ourselves from these attachments that shackled our souls. Our attachment shall be like a pearl of water on the lotus flower, it seems to be attached but never really stick together.

Practice Tip: All of us must practice silence, absolute silence!! No phone, no book but time with you. Start with 10 minutes a day. You will soon find the clutter that clogged our minds is getting decluttered. This silence is a teacher that teaches us we can be alone and don’t have to entertain “unnecessary” bonds. That will fill us with the ability to speak the truth and what is right the without fear of being judged. When fear leaves our hearts it is filled with joy.

Go ahead first simmer down and then switch off that stove, let your lives be filled with flavour of Joy. I am your company in this process 😊.

LITTLE STEPS CAN DO WONDERS

Gratitude is riches’, ‘be grateful with what you have ‘, is what I keep telling my children. We often fulfil our kids’ demands and they don’t realize the importance of resources. So, a couple of years back, I took my elder son along to one of the schools in my hometown, where one of the teachers, Ms. Gayatri, had started a social cause of teaching the underprivileged. 

We both used to teach in a private school, nevertheless, she was my senior and a very humble human being. Years later, she joined a government primary school, where she persuaded the children from poor families to join the school and study instead of begging and rag picking. It wasn’t an easy job to convince the parents, who thought their earning hands would be a loss for the families of those kids who went to school. Yet, she overcame the challenge. Apart from these children, there were also a lot who didn’t have any valid document to prove that they were living below the poverty line. So, she started teaching them too at her own expense. Not only academics, but she also takes care of their creative and physical development too. I was so impressed by her initiative that I donated a few storybooks for her library. I was touched by the love and respect that I got in her school by the little curious minds. I showed my son that even with little resources they were so happy and full of enthusiasm to learn. 

This year too, more than a week back, I was in my hometown and it was our younger son’s 5th birthday. To mark the occasion, we decided to gift some stationery to those children. Since the schools have been closed due to the pandemic, Gayatri Ma’am goes to their colony to teach them, using makeshift classrooms. Gathering all the stationery stuff in bags, I handed them to ma’am, who thanked me immensely. I told her that instead of thanking me, I should thank her for all her efforts and good deeds. 

One night, a couple of days back, I picked up my phone to check the sudden message beeps one after the other. It was Gayatri Ma’am.  As I opened my WhatsApp, I was overwhelmed to see the pictures and videos of the children with the stationary items I had given.  And that was not all. The children had sung birthday songs for my son and even made beautiful birthday cards. Ma’am told me that the kids were too happy with the stuff they got and it was visible in the photographs. Seeing their ear-to-ear smiles and eyes gleaming with joy, my eyes were moist. I couldn’t believe myself that with just a handful of stuff the children got, could make them so happy.

It was indeed an emotional moment for me and it also made me realize that our little steps can truly do wonders for someone. This was a moment and a small step that truly filled my heart with so much joy. Let’s explore and express as we began this new week writing on those small little things that fill our hearts with joy.

DEATH NOT THE END

Zindagi toh bewafa hai ek din thukraayegi,

Maut mehbooba hai, saathi leke jaayega”

These are the lyrics of an old hindi song that I have heard decades ago. It translates to “life is a betrayer, will leave us midway but death is a darling that will surely take us with it”. Profound, isn’t it? Death is the ultimate reality of life. That reminds me of a particular scene from a regional movie – a mother whose son died pleads her husband to do something and revive her son’s life. He agrees but asks her to do one thing “go and get some black sesame seeds from a house / family that haven’t witnessed any death“. She runs from door to door but receives only one answer “SORRY, We just mourned loss of someone”. She collapsed of fatigue but realized one thing Death Is Inevitable! Hence that realization granted her strength to send off the departed soul – detachment from the attachments.

But ironically death can only put an end to the life cycle but not to the LIFE itself. People depart but their presence lingers on, Memories is thy name.

My share of memories: My father left us in 2014. He battled cancer for almost two years. I was with him when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. I witnessed his pain, the pain inflicted by hunger, by numerous surgeries, by harsh chemotherapies. He lost his voice and was reduced to a bag of bones towards the end of his life. With energy drained out all he did was to watch us in silence and helplessness. I left him in care of my mother and brother as I had to leave for Brussels. Within few months I got a call that he wants to see me as he almost had a premonition about his departure. I couldn’t get tickets before the third day from that call. But it was too late, he breathed his last the very next day. For all the suffering he has undergone he passed off peacefully in his sleep. He longed to see me but unfortunately that didn’t happen, I couldn’t pay him the last visit. And that remorse still haunts. But he still visit me in my subconscious state of mind, my dreams and it seems nothing has happened, nothing has changed.

I know that I have shared this episode quite a lot of times on this platform. We as a family were prepared for this truth check of life. Though it was painful for us yet we found solace in the fact that he was liberated from his agony.

Shocking News: When someone in the family suffers with any kind of terminal illness, rest of the family is mentally prepared for the outcome though not leaving their optimistic approach. All they want is relief from the pain either ways. Even when people reach old age, their demise leave people mourning with grief, grappling with memories but as time moves, life moves on with the acceptance of the fact – it was supposed to be this way, the only unchanged truth of life!! But sometimes death knocking out life when it is not even expected to be anywhere round the corner. Two such instances I would like to share here:

  • A 35 years old daughter of one of my relative died last year due to covid. She had just delivered a baby girl and weakened immunity in after delivery phase made her contact covid. She was kept on ventilator as her lungs were too weak. And despite of every effort she couldn’t sustain. That was a shocker for us. A baby lost her mother and a mother lost her daughter. If this wasn’t heart wrenching enough that mother also lost her husband to cancer just an year ago.
  • In another incident few years ago, another relative lost her 25 years old son in a gruesome accident. He left home saying “I will be back soon mom” but few hours later what she received is a butchered body. The plight of that mother is something beyond my words could ever explain.

These were really very painful for those who were left behind. Prepared or caught off guard, we all get hit by this certainty. If emotional attachment is something that grips us as trauma then there are cases where the kith and kin are physically, economically dependent too. For instance in the above mentioned incident the lady who died due to corona had a new born baby and a ten years old boy. Such situations mark the loss with lot of vulnerabilities rocking the lives of survivors.

What can motivate to live, continue living? Shouldn’t we be paying the minimum respect to the creator and the ultimate truth of the cosmos “everything that is born will have an end”. Ok this is quite preachy and may sound really harsh. We can’t teach this to a grieving family. But then the responsibilities of a family or a position that might have dropped our shoulders before with fear act as catalyst to face, carry and continue. A mother has to fill in shoes of the departed husband for kids; son has to shoulder the responsibilities his father was discharging; successor in line has to take oath to serve just as his/her preceding person did; grandparents need to once again don the hats of parents. There’s a plethora of such examples. Because this is a token of respect and love to the one who just made an exit from this stage.

What about the vacuum created? As I mentioned it’s only we have to fill those materialistic spaces of responsibilities. And their memories in turn fill in the space in our hearts, can there be any denial to this?

A fact check: Forgetfulness is a bliss!! As we cope up with the loss of our loved ones and gear up ourselves to face the life and it’s struggles again the mill of the time keeps ticking. And passing through that we undeniably forget our trauma (not the person). Remembering the good times spent with the desceased in our good times, walking the path they showed us- isn’t this a perfect ode to them? Think over.

HEY! DON’T CALL ME AUNTY

What hurts a woman the most? The word “hurt” is making this an emotional saga and definitely, I am not in a mood to tell one. So let’s change it to ” Enrage”. Yes, that makes it powerful 😉. So what can enrage a woman and invite her ire almost at the drop of a hat? Call her a bad driver she can still pardon you. Call her a nagger, you still have chances to watch that football match with friends. Illogical, argumentative, gossip lover – you still have bleak chances of making it safe. But one thing that guarantees a woman’s “you are so dead” look is calling her Aunty!!!!!

(Picture Credit – Google Inc.)

**Important Note: Don’t try the above-mentioned stunts at home**

Imagine a 25 year old lady who just delivered a baby and haven’t shed the extra kilos gained during her pregnancy is called Aunty by some random odd 50+ old salesman at the shop counter. This is exactly what happened to someone really close to me, it was me only 😂😁. Standing just 5 feet 3 inches from the ground, weighing around 81kgs I seriously looked like a sack of potatoes. But in my head, I was no less than a Greek Goddess who has draped a beautiful saree. Having an illusionary parallel world is important it seems, at the end of the day a happy mind scores over a svelte figure. Though I was 25, the different changes my body has just experienced I looked older than I was. Kids in their late teens started calling me Aunty, vendors who were double or triple my age replaced the sophisticated “Madam” with “Didi” which means elder sister. Elder sister to a man who crossed six decades !!!! That was heartbreaking, demotivating to say the least 😁. I was not “ageing” but looked aged😱.

Blame it on pregnancy or hormones in play, gaining weight isn’t the only concern. A double date of pimples with wrinkles are so determined to make sure I am grounded well. 35 years of age (can we trend 10 years challenge again? Just asking 😁), my ageing process has been a roller coaster ride. Dresses that look fabulous on catalogues poke me with sarcasm in the trials and the mirror shouts “any flat tyre there, we have a spare here”. Then only the swollen under eye area shouted “we have carry bags too”. Acne scars in late thirties so adamant to leave lecture me freckled face is in. And I am like ” you no freckle but a damn pimple”.

Being Called Aunty is still ok: Since last year for god only knows reason hormonal imbalance has added another feather in my cap – excessive facial hair growth, especially the chin area. Slowly I have come terms with being called Aunty. I explained to myself – it’s ok sabka time aayega (no one is going to stop ageing). I might have aged a bit too early and fast. Let it sink. And I moved on in life until I realized what if people now start calling me Uncle due to the stubble I am growing😂😂. I would like to thank my mask here for masking my imperfections as well. That reminds of an incident that happened 18 years ago – a time when I was not introduced to the magic of Salon yet. A friend of mine made fun of how I am having a moustache, my kids would be confused whom to call papa. Now those ghosts haunt me again 😂. Damn these hormones😡😡.

Dr. Google consulted: The moment I realized my face has too many folds on its linen I consulted Dr. Google. I have been prescribed everything – from dripping egg to sticky honey; from colourful turmeric to plain white rice powder along with tomatoes, cucumber, potato and possibly everything under the sun used in the kitchen. Results were not visible but my face told me “idiot you missed the pan, leave me alone first get your eyes checked”. When you hit panic buttons you are eager to try everything with an anticipation of quick results. Acceptance of the fact that you are ageing is one thing and earnest efforts to make sure it isn’t visible is another ball game that everyone participates in. So did I. So what if I had to wipe the entire kitchen floor after my beauty treatment; so what if my 5 years old called me a monster and tucked in blanket; so what if the application literally impairs me from speaking or laughing to avoid more wrinkles and all I could do is mumble to add to the annoyance of others (read husband). Say no die is the mantra😂.

How to keep oneself motivated: To lose weight, to have that youthful look on face, to let the world guessing what your age could be one needs to have a disciplined regime and diet. Walking, cardio, lifting, protein diet, yoga – in short whatever our celebrities say they do to look flawless and carved. I charge up myself for such meticulous plan, determined to push few pounds and years back. Salads graced my plate until an ice cream enticed me towards it. One scoop, two scoop – and the drama begins.

Brain : what are you up to? This isn’t the plan.

Heart: how naïve you are dear brain! Let her eat and enjoy till she can. At the dusk of life this is not possible. Life is so short to curb oneself from little pleasures.

Brain: What about her plan to look like that celebrity?

Heart: Lol, celebrity has to stay in limelight, it’s business, showbiz, completely professional. We shouldn’t mix personal and professional things – I mean her personal with their profession. Does it make sense or not?

Brain: (gave up) ok then don’t complain later 😏.

And I savoured the third scoop!😁.

Moral of the story : I have come up terms with life. Aunty, Behen ji, Didi – no problem, I am sport for everything. Sab Moh Maya hai (everything is illusionary). Ageing is inevitable, for someone way too fast and early and for some a bit restrained, nonetheless it happens. What matters is health – physical and mental. And for everything else : Beauty is internal 😁❤️.

BEING THE LIGHT

A shout out to all those, who for even ONCE in their lifetime, has ever taken the initiative to lead, teach, guide…show the way ahead or simply be the light to a fellow HUMAN being – This post is dedicated to YOU.

While the whole world talks about Parents being the backbone to a growing individual – it is the ‘Mature-Adult-figure(s) in one’s life that create, mold, and transform the behavior, life, and social patterns of an individual. The paths leading to it are many; however, the goal remains constant

– A Good Human Being.

Parenting isn’t something which can be taught, it comes naturally with age, maturity and responsibility. And by parenting, I am not ONLY referring to the roles a ‘mother-and-father’ play n the life of a particular individual, BUT for each one of us, going about setting another onto the correct path.

With every young person, there is always a young-er person to guide and show the light to, in the same way, we have an older person for every adult – to learn from.

Let us stop for a minute and think – about the journey from being a child to looking after one – the positive changes, the open mindedness – and as we think back to the ‘good ol’ days’ we can’t help but say to ourselves;

“it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to embrace some of the simple pleasures rather than the indulging in today’s fast-pace, tech-driven world.”

Oh! What do Parents have to go through these days!

While we live in a world where there are researches being conducted on the different aspects of life – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that ‘parenting’ is right up there with being one of the most widely researched topics –  as to what are ‘good parenting techniques’. Whether they’ve set down a to-do list or added a few pointers that will work for the ‘millennium parent’ – one thing is guaranteed for sure – As role models we need to keep innovating and re-inventing ourselves every day, for children look up to their elders and copy them, modeling their lifestyles with what they see hear and witness from situations around them.

The responsibility of raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids can sometimes feel overwhelming, being constantly bombarded with expert advice and societal expectations, often missing out on the informal support that parents half a century ago received from neighbors’ and extended family. Of course, times have changed, and then along with time, people have changed too. We are after all living in an ever-changing world. Our parents and grandparents had different approaches to raising children than probably what we use nowadays. Their ways were not necessarily ‘bad’ but rather. I would say ‘different’ simply due to a rather different cultural and social scenario than what we face in today’s day and age.

While we can note down reasons as to how life has changed for the millennium parent;

  • Balancing family & career,
  • The competitive world in which a child is found in
  • The repercussions of a ‘NO’ answer on a child
  • The situation of Activity = Productivity

..what we fail to understand is, while a child needs all of the above – yes, he still is very much a child and needs to enjoy this phase without the pressure of expectations. As parents, sometimes we tend to over think and in turn overdo.

I am going to go a step further and say: The Explosion of information available, has made it extremely hard to parent kids nowadays. Child Psychology, yet another branch of study that is being researched a lot. So, if we think that our kids are blasted with tons of information, waiting to be grasped – parents are no less oblivious to what is out there, which even at the age we are at, the learning never stops, however different the subject may be.

As a parent however, I would want to ask myself the question:

Do I . . .

  • encourage an open communication between ‘us’?
  • build enough trust and safety between ‘us’?
  • help my child be trustworthy in relationships?
  • keep ‘us’ close even when there are conflicts?

Our parents and grandparents had excellent ‘parenting skills’ back in the day, and that’s how we turned out to be great – didn’t we? I’m sure we are doing the best we can – of course not necessarily in the same style. The perfect concoction of ‘a little of the old and a dash of the modern’ we are sure to make ‘parenting’ look good. 

A friend once asked me, How does it feel living with parents? A world traveler that she is, is often found to be living out of a suitcase, briefly perched at different locations across countries & continents. I didn’t have a ready made answer to give her – but I did remember saying something like “We take turns playing parent” and that is the beauty of living with the family, it isn’t necessarily about 1 or 2 persons holding down the fort, but for anyone who can, on any specific day show us the way.

While at the beginning I mentioned:

…anyone who has ever taken the initiative to lead, teach, guide…show the way ahead or simply be the light to a fellow HUMAN being – the ‘Mature-Adult-figure(s) in one’s life that create, mold, and transform the behavior, life, and social patterns of an individual. The paths leading to it are many; however, the goal ALWAYS remains constant

The Good Human being.

In the week ahead, we look forward to reading more about the same, and by that, I do not always mean the conventional way.