I tucked little Aarnav in bed and swiftly made my way out of his room. Just as I was about to close the door behind me I thought I heard someone murmur. I was sure that it wasnt Aarnav because he cannot speak whole sentences yet. So who was it?I stepped back to the room and held my mobile phone’s torch in the direction of the sound. I couldn’t believe my eyes….All the toys of Aarnav had climbed down from the toy basket, apparently they were off for a night walk. I was pretty amused at this sight and decided to stay out of their way just to see what they were up to.A motor biker was pretty upset because Aarnav had tried to pull him away from the bike and when he didnt budge Aarnav got angry and threw him away. He said, “Such small fella he is and he hurled me? Like me??? I banged straight on the sofa, thank God I was wearing a helmet!” 😡Other toys continued. “Oh yes, I agree. The other day this little monster wanted me to dance. And he put in the battery cells wrong. Where will I get energy to dance, tell me! I couldnt. So he got bored of me and dumped me back to the basket. Huh..” Complained the dancing elephant. 🐘Other toys also more or less supported the motor biker and the dancing elephant. I sighed! So my Aarnav was a “little monster” in the eyes of toys. Hmmm… after all he treated them like that!My thoughts were broken by a sweet melodious voice. It was a baby doll. She said, “Hey guys, no.. he is not a little monster, he is so cute. I totally crush on him…. ❤” Someone else continued, “I agree. He is a sweet little kid. He plays so well with me. He takes me everywhere he goes. I am his favourite! 😎” It was the rainbow stacker taking pride in himself.Just then my phone beeped and all the toys ran back to their basket. I felt a strong urge to rub eyes and slowly I could see the sun shining through the balcony of my window. Oh! So it was a dream….! I had had a toy dream… I rushed to Aarnav’s room to check if even a bit of it could be true and I saw all the toys neatly placed in the basket. So, dream it was!But on a serious note, have you ever imagined what the toys would have to say? Sometimes I dont like how Aarnav uses his toys and I constantly keep telling him not to throw them. I try to include him when I am gathering his toys at the end of the day so that he understands that they should be placed neatly in their basket and starts caring for them. I try to mend the toys that he breaks like sticking them back with a fevicol or doing some or the other jugad so that he knows that broken toys are not completely useless. I rotate his toys so his curiosity and love for a particular toy never dies. Nevertheless, Aarnav some times doesn’t care about his toys. He is still small, but I have made a promise to myself that I will raise my kid to care for his toys and other belongings.
Most of us perhaps must be aware of this childhood memory – Got a tiny lash under your eye, put in on hand, make a wish and blow. That’s how we as ignorant and innocent children made infinite wishes and believed them to come true some day!
Sometimes I wish-
I could be a child again,
I could fly into the sky,
I could reach the stars,
I could slide on a rainbow,
I could be friends with the birds,
I could wander fearlessly around the earth,
My grown up child could be a toddler again,
The 24 hour day could be longer again,
Sometimes I just wish…
With the flick of the wand, I could reverse the damage caused by the pollution, or I could stop rapes and killings, or could just live a day with the lost loved ones who passed away without bidding me bye…
Sometimes I just wish…
I could reach a destination by skipping the travel time,
I had a decoder that tells me what’s going inside my child’s mind,
I wish I had a baby girl – though this wish was struck off at the time of the birth of my second son when my gynaecologist jokingly told me that she will take my boy because I blamed her for the birth of a male child!
Wishes! Wishes! Wishes! Our wishes are endless. We never stop being demanding and continue to wish something or the other in life. That’s human nature!
We have possible wishes which we dream of coming true and there’s nothing wrong in that. It’s alright to wish and live in the hope of coming true. But, apart from just wishing, keep trying and praying. Who knows someday, sometime your wish may get answered!
And I sincerely wish that all your wishes come true. Keep the faith.
We as human beings, are capable to comprehend so many things happening around us. Still, we are unable to understand many of the things. It is not that our mind is not so developed or is childish. It might be the case with some of us but we are at least capable to understand the basic things. But I don’t understand a few things. These are:
- People don’t pay heed to generic things: I remember ever since I started to read science books during my school days, we were taught to SAVE WATER. We also took oath on various occasions to save water and make the optimum use. But do we actually do that? On railway stations, hotels, and at somebody’s house we waste water by thinking, it is not going from my pocket. A similar thing goes with electricity and food. People hardly understand it is going from our own earth
- People not giving seats to elderly people: Like other people, I have been using public transport for going to my office and to come back to my place ever since I came to Bangalore. Almost every day, I find people, who would shamelessly sit on the seats and would feel no need to let the senior citizen sit. Moreover, some men will even remain seated on ladies’ seat stating that they are sitting with their family on the seat. I don’t understand why do people talk about social norms and not follow them in their real life.
- People treating animals badly: Humans are no doubt the most powerful creation of the Almighty. He gave brains to humans and many other qualities. Still, we don’t use our brains when it comes to treating animals. There are some people who won’t bother if a dog is sleeping on the footpath. They will intentionally ride their bike over the limbs or the tail of the dog thinking that how does it matter? Really? Would you like being treated the same way?
- People thinking garbage pickers to be dirty: It is an irony that we dump garbage here and there on roads in the open and we consider ourselves to be clean. On the other hand, those who clean garbage and take it to dump somewhere far from the population are considered to be dirty and unhygienic.
Well, there are so many other things that people don’t understand or they choose to ‘not understand’. Whatever it is, the above are the things that I personally don’t understand.
I would be happy if someone could help me to understand these things.
Lifestyle and I had conflicts ever since I was born.
Ever since my childhood being little introspective and determined in a variable way, I ensured to be little more intentional in my every step ahead. My lifestyle choices have always amused me, surprised me, shocked me, bored me as well as condemned me as well as other people in my life in many ways.
Being brought up in a typical Keralite family, I was kind of bound to be more like a Keralite had followed most of the things from my mothers’ footsteps. I had to be invariably the same after a couple of mistakes and challenges I took up to blend in various other lifestyles.
My Conflicts with the Girl inside me
I always wanted to be boyish, but again my features never did justice to my thoughts. My thoughts just remained in my deeds but not in my appearance. To some extent, I believed that being a boy was far better because they had the best reward in life – FREEDOM. I used to hate wearing typical girl shoes and pink dresses. It did not give me the comfort to be more girlish in some way.
Again in the coming years, I realised being a girl was a blessing indeed. It is not about the Freedom, but being a Girl mattered me. (I kind of turned semi-Feminist).
My Conflicts in adapting to dressing style
Any time of the day, all I wanted to wear is a Tshirt and pants, but again here my consciousness being little heavy built failed me here. My dressing style was never acceptable to anyone in the family. When they want me to be a typical Kerala style -Salwar-Clad girl, I wanted to escape from all these barriers.
My Conflicts with my routines
Like every other youngster, I too had a lousy lifestyle- sometimes oversleeping, sometimes overworking and much more. And after numerous trials and errors, the curtain fell over it, when motherhood took over my life. I changed myself to craft a beautiful and convenient lifestyle for my children. Something to blend in the lives around me. It actually worked out giving me sufficient time to manage my own things too, which I felt was a better way to live happily.
As I went abroad too, my customized style never left me. It had become a kind of sheath I used to cover my insecurities. My Lifestyle became a burden to my mind gradually.
My Conflicts led me to be a target at every instance, as it had become a vulnerability in me. The more I had disputes in me the challenges just doubled.
It wasn’t easy to fix a lifestyle that suited me. Off and on I get so motivated and carried away – and all I do is try to blend in. It never worked in my favour.
Until when I realised. It was better to be Just ME.
The Road to No Regrets
Living by persuasion, without being approved is quite hard. It came in as a late realisation that it is easy to choose what actually suits me and which actually befits me. When I realised, it all came perfectly well to me.
I realised that whatever outside influence comes to my mind, it should never bother me. All I have to do is just be who I am, rather than stop becoming what others want me to be.
I grew up watching my cousins wearing beautiful dresses and spending lavishly. I couldn’t do so as my parents didn’t have enough to allow me to spend beyond the genuine needs. All I could do was look at my cousins and take a sigh. I knew the financial condition of my parents and, therefore, I didn’t ask for more. But I always wanted to have what my cousins and my friends owned. I wanted those pretty sandals, dresses, and what not!
As an ordinary girl, I too used to get fascinated by the lifestyle of the celebrities. I followed some of them to an extent my pocket could allow. I used to see how those celebrities followed a lifestyle to look elegant and presentable and it did influence me. I used to follow their eating and speaking style so that I too could look elegant. Gradually, I felt like being choked up. The influence of someone’s lifestyle was choking me. Maybe because for me, their lifestyle was hard to accept. For a moment, it did feel like fascinating but eventually, I decided to give up and follow my own lifestyle.
Leave about celebrities, even when I went to my village I saw girls of my age and younger to me wearing salwar-kameez. Honestly, I consider this to be one of the most-beautiful attire a girl can ever have. Influenced by those girls, I decided to quit my trousers and tees. Trust me, I couldn’t take the salwar-kameez for a long time. It was all about a week or two. I guess this happened because I personally never felt the urge to wear salwar-kameez all the time. I started to feel as if I am locked up in a dark room. I guess this happened because I was never used to living like them.
It is not only about clothes. When you follow a lifestyle, many things count in it. The food you eat, your sleeping schedule, your way of speaking, weekend plans, and much more. And it is completely okay if you are having a different lifestyle. Most of my friends go on a trip or go to some pubs on weekends. I, on the other end, love spending time with my books, answering Quora questions, and reading blogs. For me, going to parties and shopping seems way too boring and time-consuming. This amazes my friends and they wonder if I ever enjoy? Trust me, I enjoy a lot because I have my own life and a way of living. And I love it. It is not necessary that everyone will have a similar lifestyle.
Unless our soul is not convinced to follow a lifestyle, not just for the sake of following but because we love it, we can’t go a long way with that lifestyle. Lifestyle is not just a matter of a day or two. It is all about our comfort, upbringing, and the environment we live in. Today, I earn on my own but not as much as my friends do. With the money I get, I can buy whatever clothes I want or eat whatever I want but I can’t. I am more influenced by my lifestyle I have been following so far. But if you think the other person is having a better lifestyle then you must know it is not easy to step into one’s shoes. The best thing is to accept your individuality and live accordingly.
Geographic location, family background, socioeconomic status, culture, people and individual personality patterns give shape to our lifestyles. There are certain commonalities in the lifestyle of the human race. But, the ways of living out those lifestyles often varies. For example, all humans eat to live and all wear clothes to be socially presentable. However, who eats what and who wears which type of clothes may differ even between houses on the same lane.
And so, we all have our lifestyles. As adults, we either choose to maintain the lifestyle that we are brought up in or we opt to change that lifestyle radically because of certain thought processes or influences in our lives. Many of us decide to tinker with our foundational lifestyle and imbibe a few features of a new lifestyle and find a middle path to retain the old and imbibe the new. Whatever said and done, we all have certain unique lifestyles.
For a little more than twenty years of my life, I grew up in a city that defined my lifestyle with its mannerisms. Later as I moved to the national capital, I found myself blending in with the capital city’s lifestyle all the while holding on to the mannerisms I grew up with. Close to nine years of my stay in the national capital helped me discover myself and be me. That was something I didn’t get to do in the initial years of my life. Presently, my job has brought me to a semi-rural place with its share of challenges. The transition needed a huge lifestyle shift because since the last four generations no one in my family has lived anywhere close to a rural habitation. To live and work in such a set up requires lifestyle changes.
We, humans, are shaped with such personality traits that help us to adapt to our surroundings on most occasions (though the extent to which we adapt varies from person to person). That’s how we thrive.
But, then some aren’t able to cope with lifestyle changes. There was this family I know who moved to New Zealand from India, on getting more promising work opportunities. Their children were quite small at that time. However, they had to return to India in a year’s time as their little daughter wasn’t able to acquaint herself with the new place and the lifestyle changes.
Also, there are some who don’t wish to cope with lifestyle changes. There’s a friend’s vegetarian husband who was to travel to London for an official trip of a week. From the day he received the order, he fell sick with rising blood pressure (though he is an absolutely healthy man). His worry was how would he have his meals at a place that served non-vegetarian food! (He assumed there is no space for vegetarians in Western countries). Well, finally he ended up stuffing his suitcases with a lot of eatables so that he won’t have to eat a thing in London. Of course, he had a different story to tell on return!
The most demanding lifestyle change of all is brought about by marriage. No matter how well the couple know each other before marriage, staying under the same roof with a commitment for life is a different ball game altogether. It requires huge lifestyle adjustments. Sometime back I heard a person nearing sixty describe how his and his wife’s tastes are polar opposites in every matter. One needs the fan to run at full speed while the other barely needs the fan. One dislikes cold drinks while the other dislikes all hot drinks. He cited many other such instances. It was really amusing to hear him narrate. But, he concluded that in spite of all these differences they have loved each other all these years and have remained committed without any major argument between them. Well, I won’t call it ‘the perfect marriage’ as I have written in one of my previous articles that there aren’t any perfect couples and perfect marriages – only well-adjusted ones.
Lifestyles can be static – especially if people do not wish to let go of traditional generational mannerisms. But, lifestyles can be vibrantly dynamic as well, for people who are open to exploring and imbibing newness and variation.
It’s wise to be open to exploration, but instead of blindly aping on newness, it is prudent to adopt the lifestyle that is good and acceptable in the eyes of God.
It was a winter time when my beloved cousin sister hurried to the bathroom for taking bath and poured warm water on her body before mixing cold water in it… And guess what… She burnt her skin. Her mind was elsewhere…probably on a multitasking mode. As we know that there are tasks which don’t need our sole engrossment and our concentration can be divided. My sister knew that taking bath doesn’t need her soul engrossment though she forgot that her soul concentration was much needed before pouring down warm water on herself. She had a tough time managing her wounds though we had so much fun discussing her absentmindedness.
Guess what? I just called her up right now and we had a laugh talking about the same incident all over again.
Let’s move on to the next cases…
It was a morning time and my wife was screaming at me, asking me to store water in the buckets before the water runs out. And I was about to get inside the bathroom when my aunt called me. I received the phone and kept talking to her while filling the water in the first bucket. I was fine till the water came to the brink of the bucket. I bent down to lift the bucket keeping my phone between my left shoulder and head. The handle of that bucket was broken and I had to lift it by using both my hands. As soon as I lifted the heavy bucket full of water, my second wife, my beloved Nokia E63 slipped out of my embrace and ‘plop’ drowned in the deep sea water… Oops, I mean in the bucket full of water.
I quickly rescued her, took off her clothes, applied resuscitation but to no avail. She went into a lifetime comma. I had to divorce her and claimed an alimony of Rs.500 from the bakra (scapegoat) that I handed her to.
I had loved her so much and regretted multitasking at her cost…. 😛
Many times I have climbed to the 4th floor leaving my office flat which was on the 3rd floor while chatting on WhatsApp or talking to someone on the phone. Many times I have thrown the tablets into the dustbin instead of the torn wrappers while my mind is occupied with my work on the computer.
Found them funny? Did you have a good laugh? Good! I wanted it too… 😉
So to speak I am not at all good at multi-tasking. I usually give up on one while doing the other. And when I am asked to multitask, I shout back literally or show my displeasure. When my wife requires my attention while the TV is on, I ask her either to switch off the TV to talk or let me watch…do just one thing at a time.
Rajnandini, offered some good advice this week as she usually does every time and most importantly she talked about how multitasking adds heavy loads on our shoulders like – Reduced effectiveness, Lowered productivity and performance levels, Increased stress, Disorganised and cluttered mind, In many cases, more time spent than saved. Don’t you think we should get rid of those loads before getting into troubles, either with the funny ones or the serious ones? Keep thinking about it.
In the end, I am happy to close this week by bringing smiles to your faces.