Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Country Bumpkin

When shopping for datacard:

"So...errr... why should I go for 3G?"

"Speed madam, and clarity."

"And the schemes? It is for old people... To talk to their son abroad. Mail exchange and maybe photos."

"Easily madam, video chat means at least 1GB (or was that 1 MB?) so please go for this..."

My mother will freak looking at the rates, I know.
I looked at my husband. "You ask your parents," he shrugged and as I got out to call my dad - not my mom, note - he turned to the salesperson with his own doubts.

I quickly wrapped up the call with my dad as he had just one question: "I can scale it down later no?"

"Yes, yes," and I escaped.

I still can't decide if they should settle for 2G. Will they think 2G-200 crores?


To shop for a mobile for me next:

"What is there with Android?" my husband asked smartly. I can see all stars, and the milky way. Or is that Andromeda?

The problem in the throat? Adenoids dumbo.

I peep over his shoulder to look at the fancy mobiles that emerge. "You can video chat with me," my husband points out and I laugh sarcastically. Video fight more like.

3G, front(?) video camera, download applications (huh! what?), check mails...

"We will come back later, after I do a research," my husband tells me as he strides out of the store. Better you than me, I think.

All I wanted to ask was: Sound quality and battery life. Looks like those questions are outdated.

Also on: Automation; The Odd Woman Out

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Benign 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. - Kahlil Gibran.

A quote I fervently hold on to, and so am probably almost a negligent parent. I believe children have to find their way around in life as best as they can, and we can only provide them with a secure home to come back to.

So when my children have problems with their friends, I have a hands off policy - deal with it yourself, see what is it that you can do to make it better.

But when recently my daughter was denied entry into the house of the friend she is closest to, I was upset. Maybe because adults had intervened. The girl's grandparents passed an edict against my daughter, and this time, I knew she was not at fault as the incident had happened when I was around. I saw my daughter depressed that evening, and I felt a rock in my stomach. I tried not to get involved. But for three days she went to their house hoping to be let in and wasn't. I wanted to rage against the grandparents, call the mother and amicably resolve this, then decided against all of it.

Three days later, she wanted to bring this friend swimming with us, I frowned.

Before I could comment, the girl was here, and they made plans and she left to get ready.

My daughter came to me, visibly excited, her eyes shining, "Amma, do you think this girl and I are related? Like is she your father's brother's brother's brother's cousin's cousin's cousin or something like that?"

"Why?" I asked, already feeling stupid for getting emotionally attached to this issue.

"We fight, but... We spend the entire time togeter - except mornings. I feel we maybe related, we are very close."

I silently took the two swimming and watched the girl teach my daughter breast stroke. I realised for the nth time that though my daughter still preferred the shallow side in the pool, because of this girl, she dares go underwater and is less frightened of water.

The only thing I can say in my defense is, I kept my trap shut even when I was raring to blast out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Light a Candle...

Better to light a candle
Than curse the darkness.
Find a solution
Don't wallow in problems.
The night is darkest
Before day dawns.

There are hurdles
There are roadblocks.
You may be puzzled
And just stop.
Paralysed by the moment
Clueless and lost.

But in that mind
There resides,
A great store
Of pure white light.
Shuttering it up
You lose sight
Of what your great mind
Can do to fight
Adversities and uncertainties
That block the sight
Of the road that leads you
On journey of your life.

When bothered and plagued
By questions and fright.
Pause to breathe
And look inside.
No one else can help you
Like your strong mind.
Your greatest ally
Your greatest delight.

Why then fear
Why then fly
From problems and issues
That are but a blight.
Light a candle
Don't curse the night.

Other reads: The Smile; A Tiny Drop; Tearing Through the Blue

The Moment

The preparation for the exam takes longer than the actual exam. Sometimes we rehearse for months for a program, but the actual time we get on the stage to the time we get off - it seems to have flown before the blinking of the eye! Did we do this step? Did the one we always make a mistake in come out right? Why did the one we always got right go wrong?

This is so with everything. A much anticipated event, whether it ends happily or sadly, is never an end in itself. It leads to the next milestone. And all the importance it had when one was approaching it, vanishes the moment it is crossed, becoming a distant memory with time and sometimes completely forgotten.

To remember this when the next important milestone looms large, to put it in perspective and to know that life will go on regardless of whether we achieve or don't achieve this goal - that new goals will come up, that they will passby too?

To relish only the journey and not the destination... The secret to being content and happy?

Also related: Looking for Happiness; The Sound of Music

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The New Terror

When a child walks out of the house to go to school or to play, every parent will, consciously or unconsciously, worry about their safety. The dangers in the outside world are on the rise, and till they return, the anxiety runs high. Maybe it is latent because of habit and routine.

A five minute delay can have one looking at the clock.

An adult - especially a stranger - talking to the child can send alarm bells ringing.

Snacks offered by strangers - an absolute no-no.

Crossing the road alone? Wait, the child is not old enough.

Commuting by public transport? Hmmm... Maybe in a couple of years.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

How early do mothers, whose children become suicide bombers, decide that their children are old enough for the job? Are they there when the trainers tell the innocent children that they will not die, only those around will? Do they also believe in it?

Or do they die before sending their children?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Killing with Kindness

For some space, peace and silence. No solicitous enquiries, no being taken care of, no benign watching over.

And then walks in a friend, a relative, a neighbour, with good intentions, wanting to give you care, help you tide over the period.. They genuinely care. This is their moment to show they care. They think you need the care.

But do you? Are you ready for it? Even if you beg to be spared their kindness and they insist? Are you being ungrateful or the caregiver being a pest?

It seems like an ego trip for the care-giver, an opportunity to show off, or a way not to feel guilty that they did any less. And it seems as if your independence, your privacy is gone.

Can we thrust care down someone's throat just because they are down, out or we think they need it?

If we keep a distance, will they think us uncaring?

If we ignore their offer for care, are we a snob?

Is it just a perspective, yet another puzzle in human relationships that never fits?

Also on: Perspective
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