WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE?

“Life is a book – read it!

Life is a journey – go through it!

Life is a feeling – experience it!

Life is a theory – prove it!

Life is an examination – pass it!”

This is the crap I used to write / practice in the initial days of learning Ms Word of Ms Office package (basic computer knowledge for everyone 😁) and used to feel so great about myself 🤣🤣. And seriously show it to the trainer in the disguise of getting my learnings checked – Look at the hidden writer in me, how philosophical I am (now I am realizing what a fool I was🤣). Well that was back in 2004-05, I was just 19 then. Now you know my age 😉. Old enough to understand what life is about? May be 😊.

It is a struggle for sure that is designed to check your temperament. The magnitude of struggle differ from person to person; situation to situation; day to day.

Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy – macro struggles (countries / economies are in constant face offs with these issues).

Anger, greed, lust, materialistic attachments – struggles of every soul.

But I am not educated enough to discuss anything so deep, serious and profound. So why not open up about our struggles that are no less serious than these 😁.

My biggest struggles: I am sure the list might seem and sound funny but definitely not easy to fight and even sure that all of us without any exception have such interesting struggles:

  • I struggle to keep my eyes wide open from the moment I enter any vehicle be it car, auto rickshaw, train, bus – just name it. This is the reason I refrain from sitting next to my husband in our car because as they say if you sleep sitting next to the driver you will surely rub off your yawning spirit on to him and driving needs utmost concentration.
  • I struggle to keep my diet on track. My taste buds accustomed to Dilli style spicy food (for Delhites its never Delhi but Dilli) salads and health drinks are too bland and boring. And sweet tooth is only aggravating my fight to keep a check on calories intake. But the only solace in this battle is that I am not alone 😉. There’s an entire army of food lovers who are finding it difficult to switch to alternative choices 😁.
  • I struggle to strictly stick to the list of “To Do Things” in a day. Yes, you call it Procrastination and I chose to term it laziness. Being blunt might give enough impetus to fight it😁.
  • I struggle to call a spade A Spade and that got me into soup lot many times.
  • Keeping things and forgetting them and worrying about the things ensuing.

That was just a glimpse into my mundane yet not trivial struggles. We all have such struggles that are laughed off, ridiculed but they have their own place in making our lives interesting, give us few memories. Won’t you agree? If yes open up about your “Struggles”.

LIFE IS A SERIES OF BABY STEPS; AT THE END OF EACH STEP THERE IS AN EXAMINATION

The whole world was surprised when a a non-English movie won the Oscars a a few weeks back. The next morning every major newspaper applauded the movie, It was an epic moment for Koreans to celebrate ‘Parasite’ bagging not just the best film award but the best direction as well. Curiosity arose in me as to what might have been the plot of that movie which impressed the Oscar panel so much. Being a non-English movie it is difficult to create that impact crossing the language barrier. After a little wait, I did watch the movie. It was not my first Korean movie, yet my first of this kind of genre. Parasite depicts that part of life which most of us think is very normal in our day to day life, but the director Bong Joon-ho’s take on it made it a spectacularly woven story. I am not going to spoil the fun for you if you have not watched it yet, but I would certainly love to tell you that the movie is very impactful in many ways. I kept thinking about the movie for a couple more days. 

The best dialogue I loved was, “you know what kind of plan never fails? No plan at all. No plan. You know why? If you make a plan, life never works out that way”. That is very very true. We always think we have planned well, ahead in time and are ready for challenges. At the exact time, life throws an unexpected twist. We might feel helpless and are lacking the strength to fight through it. It is life’s way of telling us, “Get up and keep going”. 

Three years ago, I went through the worst time in terms of health. Something was wrong, I could not see properly, I had balance issues, I couldn’t walk and doctors had no clue what was going on. I was struggling at work because of health. I remember one of the conversations I had with Chiradeep back then, “Dada, I don’t know anything else but to write software. If my eyesight doesn’t recover, I don’t think I can earn for living. My life was all going good a month ago and now I don’t know how my future would be like. The only thing I can think of doing is to continue writing using a speech to text converter, and have you as my editor“. Chiradeep and I had a good laugh over that. A month later, the doctors said my brain pressure is high and they have to do a procedure to check if there was any infection. 

The nightmare my mother doesn’t want to be in. She called up my father and started crying. “How can I take her to the hospital for the procedure alone?”. She was more scared of being alone there than my procedure. I can understand her situation. She never had been alone or handled things alone. The next day before the procedure, I told her, “Amma, listen to me. This is called a credit card, and this is the PIN number. In any emergency situation, don’t panic. You can use this card to pay for the bills. Don’t worry so much; nothing would happen. You just sit outside and wait. I would be back after the procedure”. She came back after the procedure to see me, as the doctor said I cannot walk. There was a sigh on her face. I bet she was worried about the results. My health took a good four months to recover, but during that time I have never given up. It was very slow and steady progress. 

In the above, my father had to take the exam of being a helpless father. I know he would have preferred to be with me, but he could not. My mother was worried about seeing her child suffering. I had no clue if I was even going to survive this. I wondered if I had cancer or even something worse than that. “Who would take care of my parents if something happens to me”, was the constant thought that bothered me. The situation is the same, but all our examinations were different. 

From then on, I did go through a lot of ups and downs both professionally and personally. Sometimes I even wonder I would have committed sins that are following me to torture me, Karma you know. Sometimes I think I am very lucky to have parents who support me in all walks of life. No matter what my decision is, they stand by my side. Without family, I would have been lost a long time ago. When I think of not having a family, I think of those orphans who live their life all alone without the feeling of family. Chiradeep always tells me, “Sona, human beings are social animals. To be alone is not how we are wired, so I can understand you find it very difficult some times” and he is right. A human being always needs at least another human being, who would care for them. As long as you have that one person in your life you would come out with flying colors in all the examinations life throws at you. That person can be anyone but should be the one who you can trust and who sees you as a part of his/her life. 

STOP… DON’T PUT THEM IN A PRESSURE COOKER…

Today it was my children’s open day. The day when the parents meet the teachers and get to see the answer sheets and report cards. Meeting the teachers was very pleasant experience. But it was meeting the other mothers later that got me thinking.

I met a mother and son duo. Mother was very anxious to know what is the percentage of marks scored by the topper in the class. Is it 94% or 96%? She was really upset that her child does not study and how she gets a headache and falls ill with stress whenever the kid’s exams are near. You know the boy had a Vice-Captain batch pinned on and his marks were 92%. I mean instead of praising his achievements his mother was ranting because he was not the topper.

Another boy scored a good percentage but they were waiting outside the principal’s cabin to meet and complain about the English Teacher and how because of the teacher her son’s marks were going down. There was so much stress on the boy’s face it was evident that he did not want to meet the principal but mother was adamant.

It’s not only in studies I have seen similar instances in sports also.

One of my friend’s children play golf at amateur level. Through her I have heard a lot of stories about how parents try to bribe the caddies to fiddle with the performance rating and bring their children on the top. Or how they berate their children in public if they don’t perform well on a particular day.

Why do we parents forget our own time as kids? Were we best in everything we did? Did we come up to our parents expectations? Or even if we thing we were toppers throughout our life, our child is a different individual living in different times. The kind of pressure on the children these days to perform is so tremendous. We parents try to live our own dreams through our children.

Recently there was a news headline on how a child of class 11 killed another child of class 4 just because he wanted to postpone or cancel the exams and open day. Can you imagine how desperate the boy was? He found killing someone more doable than facing an exam or his parents after the report card was given.

Most of us who are reading this article would think that yes this happens but not with me and my children. I don’t compare or pressurise my children. If you are thinking on those lines then maybe you are right but still I request you to look around. Sit down and communicate with your child. Let him or her know that whatever happens his parents are there by his side.

And do look out for warning signals. Today I saw one. My son scored very badly in his maths exam this time. The answer sheets were shown to the kids at school but he conveniently forgot to tell me the marks. Today in school when I saw his answer sheet it was a shocker for me. I was filled with rage. But then I realized that his low score did not hurt me that much. With a little more practice he can come up again. What pinched me was the fact that my son did not come and tell me his marks. Maybe it’s time for me to “Practice what I Preach”.

So guys keep learning new ideas, new tricks and keep checking whether you are on the right track. Happy Parenting…