Being a Parent to your Child!

It seems like ages have gone by and here I am once again returning back to something that I so love doing. It is not that I didn’t have ideas to deliberate upon or think upon. Neither was it a lack of love towards what I generally call my hobby, though for some it might be a matter of bread and butter.

It might sound a cliche that for the past couple of days had just flown by without me realizing that it had been a while before I have had the opportunity to log on to my blog and look at what’s going on in the same. How often have you guys have had the same kind of experience of time just running away and you trying to catch up with the speed with which it seems to outrun you on every occasion?

It is very much like a cat and mouse game, similar to what we have seen in Tom and Jerry, where we know what’s going to be the outcome of the chase, yet we end up indulging in the same, for the want of the very activity that seems to propel us forward every time we think about the same.priority4

Somehow, I have realized that it is nearly impossible to do everything in the world that you might want to do or accomplish in life. Thinking about the to-do list that you might have prepared for yourself might give you jitters and might even end up giving you high BP and lot of stress.

I guess that’s why the entire concept of priority came into being. By putting all the content that you might have gathered in your to-do list and re-organizing it into a priority list might help you become more focus at the same time, make sure that you put all your efforts and energy into that one particular aim that you happen to find at the top of your priority list, rather than wondering about how you will be able to accomplish the rest of the things mentioned in your to-do list.

And by slowly moving towards the other items taking each one at a time, having successfully accomplished the first, not only gives you more confidence and motivation but also helps you overcome the stress associated with the thought process which always leaves that 1% chance of what if I am unable to accomplish what I had initially set for?

Isn’t it always good to be working without too much pressure on your shoulders? Which brings us to a point where parents in today’s world are expecting a lot of things from their kids. I often see kids with big bags on their shoulders going to tuition and coaching right after their school and ending up getting exhausted, just because their parents want them to outperform their best friend’s son or daughter, giving very little importance to what the kid might be interested in doing.hitting child

I know it is easier said than done and every parent wants their kid to reach the top of the ladder, but the thing that needs to be deliberated upon and argued is whether the parents are adopting the right approach when they end up forcing their child to do something which he or she might be totally averse to.

The other day, parents of a 16 year old, happened to visit, thinking that I might be able to help them with their so called self-perceived problem that their child happened to be facing.

After the initial introduction, the parents started talking about what all their child was doing wrong and the bad habits that their child had developed over time.

You see, he doesn’t listen to us. He is always into video games. I don’t know what to do with him. He has lost all his focus. He doesn’t even understand how his future is shaping up. If he continues to do so, how will he able to get through IITs.”—–Parents 

After having spoken for another 10-15 minutes, they finally took a deep breath, waiting for me to give them the magic wand that they believed would change their child’s future.

I am glad that you are concerned about your child. Very few parents, in today’s busy World are concerned about their kids. Many a times, they are found busy enjoying with their respective colleagues and friends. But Mr. X, have you ever spoken to your child about what you think would be good for him? Have you ever tried to understand what all things he might be going through in his school or coaching? 

Have you ever talked to your son about what he might want to do with his life? Mr. X, these are things that we as parents tend to forget about. Remember the days, when you yourself was a kid and how you would do things that your parents wouldn’t approve off, at times even indulging in things like smoking or drinking. Now, since you have become parents, you have stopped thinking like what it is like to be a child.

I am sure, Mr. X, that you want the best for your child, but then have you ever thought about his ambitions and his aim in life, what he might want to become or what aspirations he might have for himself. Mr. X, I have seen kids go into depression and indulge in unwanted activities like doing drugs etc, just because they are not able to convince their own parents that they are different from other children and need their own space and time to develop and grow into productive individuals in society, just because they don’t trust their parents to understand what they have to offer to them. 

More often than not, it is we parents who end up on the wrong side of the table not being able to understand and give support to our son’s or daughter’s wishes and ambitions. I am not saying that they are right in whatever they might be thinking, but then isn’t it better to discuss with them why some things are good and why some are not. That’s where, you as a parent, have to chip in with your advice and opinions that you have gathered over a huge span of time and the kind of experience that you have gained over your lifetime. After all your hair have not grown grey just like that :). 

Mr. X, isn’t it better to develop that faith and trust in your child towards you that no matter what happens to him, you will always be there to provide him with that unconditional support that he so deserves for being your child. Think of the times, when you craved for a son, and when he is there with you, you are not appreciating to the fullest the fact that you have been bestowed with a gift that you had so craved for. 

Mr. X, be gentle with him. Discuss his problems like a friend without being too judgmental about his opinions and views, even though they might be wrong. Listen to what he has to say to you, and if you think that there is something wrong in his thought process, then try to tell him things that you think are right at the same time giving reasons and concrete examples on why you think it as the right opinion or point of view in an extremely polite and gentle manner. 

I am sure, Mr. X, that this will go a long way in you developing a rapport with him, just like you have always wished for and your efforts will certainly pay off sometime in the near future.parent-child-relationship

We chatted for some more time, after which, the parents took my leave. Though I had spoken my heart out and had tried convincing them of the virtues of being an understanding parent, I wonder when that time would come when all the parents in this world would begin to accept their child in the manner he or she is, without making any comparison with the kid-next-door, without worrying about whether the kid will be successful in keeping the family’s flag flying high, without expecting too much from him or her and loving him or her unconditionally for what he or she is.

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The No. 1 Aunty!

I have had the fortune of knowing this wonderful lady for years now. Her husband was my father’s colleague (now retired) and they used to reside right in front of our government alloted house.

Whenever I used to meet her in a social gathering or at either of our homes, she would go on talking about how well her son and daughter were performing in their respective classes and were rewarded for the same by their schools. It seemed as if there were no better kids than hers on this planet Earth.

When it came to her husband, she was not much behind with citation of circumstances when her husband was able to pull off a great feat and was able to restore the dignity of the government department. It seemed that the department was performing well only because of the efforts that her husband was putting in.parents1

Pretentious, as it might sound, all her hopes and aspirations were hooked on to her children and husband. I guess, our mother’s generation belonged to an era wherein they were supposed to derive happiness and satisfaction from their husband’s and children’s success.

Courtesy her efforts, her son qualified the JEE examination and went on to study engineering from IIT Kanpur, which she used to refer to as the No. 1 institute for engineering in India and this time around she had the rankings to boost her claim. If this was not enough, right after completing his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, he went on to do a PhD from MIT, which is again considered to be one of the best (though for her it was always THE BEST).

Her daughter was not much behind and she went a step further to do an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, which again the aunty claimed to be not only best in India but also the best amongst all colleges offering the MBA course whether it be in India or abroad.numero uno

The lady, was in true senses, a replica of the numero uno. I am sure she must have derived great pleasure from boasting about her children and husband. I am sure, that must have been the aim of her life. But yesterday, when I met her again, after a long time, she looked very old and dull. As if the exuberence and confidence, that she once used to reflect, was taken away from her and she looked a pale reflection of her true self, the self which I had associated with her.

She could barely walk without the support of her stick which she held in her right hand. At first, she had difficulty in recognizing who I was. It was only after she was sure about the sanctity of the person walking alongside her that she began talking to me in a frank tone.

How have you been, Kush? I met your mother a couple of days back.”—Aunty started the conversation.

Aunty, I am doing fine. How is everything with bhaiya and didi? How is uncle doing? Haven’t met him since ages.”—I joined in.

You know, Kush! Uncle and I have gone old now. We just want to see our kids doing well. It just reminded me that my son have just switched jobs in US. I don’t remember the name of the company. I am sure you might be knowing it. It is the best private sector company in the entire World.”—-As she spoke, I could see it in her eyes, the confidence and joy of being No. 1 was back.

Of course aunty! Both bhaiya and didi have always been there, right at the top.” I smiled back as I took her leave to head back home.

As I was heading back, there was this big smile on my face and I wondered:”Some things do not and should never change.” 🙂

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एक माँ की व्यथा

It is said that a true writer is able to put himself or herself in others’ shoes and is able to feel the emotions that the person might be going through. This is the first time I am taking this liberty to venture out into doing the above. And what better place to start then being someone because of whom, today I am here writing this very blog. This one is dedicated to all the mothers who are away from their sons and want just one thing from life and that is to see their sons come back to them.It is titled एक माँ की व्यथा.

कभी कभी आप को खुद नहीं पता होता कि ज़िन्दगी आपको किस तरफ लिए जा रही है. सात साल पहले की बात है, हवाई अड्डे पर खड़े हुए अपने बेटे को दूर जाते देख, मुझे इस बात का बिलकुल भी अंदाजा नहीं था कि जिस बेटे को मैंने २५ साल से पाल पोस कर इतने नाजों से बड़ा किया, उससे मिलना तो दूर बात करना भी मुश्किल होने वाला था.

विदेश जाने का निर्णय स्वयं मेरे बेटे का ही था. ना चाहते हुए भी मुझे उसके विदेश जाने के पीछे छिपे उसके उद्देश्य के समक्ष झुकना ही पड़ा. मुझे पता था की वो विदेश क्यों जाना चाहता है. अक्सर ऐसा होता है की एक इस्त्री अपने पति और अपने बेटे के बीच में दब कर रह जाती है. तब वो सही और गलत के बीच फैसला नहीं करना चाहती. मेरे साथ भी कुछ ऐसा ही हुआ था.

मेरे पति एक इमानदार सरकारी अफसर थे. अपने कार्यकाल में उन्होंने कोई गलत कार्य करके पैसे कमाने का प्रयास नहीं किया था. यूँ तो उनकी इमानदारी के चर्चे हर जगह थे, परन्तु इस इमानदारी से हमारे घर की स्थिति कुछ ज्यादा अच्छी नहीं रहती थी. कहने को तो हमारे पास जीवन में वो सभी आवश्यक सुविधाएँ थी जिनसे जीवन आराम से चल पाता, परन्तु एक माँ के नाते मैं ये जानती थी कि मेरे बेटे को वो सारी चीज़ें मैं उपलब्ध नहीं करा पाती हूँ जिनकी उसको चाह थी. मुझे पता था कि आस पास के बच्चों को आधुनिक खिलौनों के साथ खेलता देख कर  मेरे बेटे में भी उन सभी चीज़ों को पाने कि इच्छा होती थी.

कभी ये कहके कि पापा तुम्हारे लिए जल्द ही वो खिलौने लायेंगे तो कभी उसे दूसरे और सस्ते खिलौने दिलाकर मैं उससे ज्यादा खुद को सांत्वना देती और उस रात अपने बेटे कि इच्छाओं को पूरा ना कर पाने के कारण जी भर के रोती. अपने पति के उसूलों के सामने एक माँ को अपनी हार स्वीकार करने के अलावा कोई और रास्ता नहीं होता था.

मुझे पता था कि मेरा बेटा अपने बच्चों को इस आभाव में नहीं पालना चाहता था. वो अपने बीवी बच्चों को वो सारे सुख देना चाहता था जो शायद उसको अपने जीवन में नहीं मिले. अच्छी बात ये थी कि वो किन्ही गलत कार्यों का सहारा लेकर नहीं करना चाहता था. परन्तु इसके लिए उसको लगता था कि उसका विदेश जाना अनिवार्य है. ऐसा भी नहीं था कि वो अपने माँ-बाप के प्रति अपने कर्तव्यों का पालन नहीं करना चाहता था. वो चाहता था कि वो अपने पूरे परिवार को विदेश में बुला ले और वही बस जाये.

लेकिन यहाँ भी एक माँ को अपने पति और बच्चे के बीच में चुनाव करना पड़ता. जहाँ एक ओर मेरे पति भारत में ही बसना चाहते थे वही दूसरी ओर मैं दोनों के साथ अपना जीवन व्यतीत करना चाहती थी, चाहे वो भारत हो या विदेश, मुझे इस बात से कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता था. एक बार मैंने हिम्मत कर अपने पति से भी इस विषय में बात करनी चाही.

मुझे लगता है कि हमें भी विदेश चलना चाहिए. आखिर बेटे की ख़ुशी में ही तो हमारी ख़ुशी है”, मैंने अपने पति के समक्ष प्रस्ताव रक्खा.

इतने सालों से अपने पति को जानने के पश्चात भी तुम ऐसा कैसे पूछ सकती हो. मैं यहीं पे रहके अपना बचा हुआ जीवन व्यतीत करना चाहता हूँ. तुम्हारा बेटा ये क्यों नहीं समझता कि उसे यहाँ पे भी अच्छी नौकरी मिल सकती है. पता नहीं क्यों उसे विदेश का भूत सवार हो गया है,” मुझे पता था कि मेरी तरफ मेरे पति द्वारा कैसे कटु शब्द आने वाले हैं, फिर भी मैं एक बार प्रयास करना चाहती थी.

आपने कभी सोचा है कि आप का बेटा क्या चाहता है. आखिर उसकी भी तो ज़रूरते हैं. वो भी तो अपना जीवन अपने अनुसार व्यतीत करना चाहता है. हमें उसकी हिम्मत बढानी चाहिए. और यहाँ आप उसके लक्ष्य में बाधा बन्ने का सुझाव दे रहे हैं.” मैंने अपने पति को समझाना चाहा. 

मैं कहाँ बाधा बन रहा हूँ. मैं तो केवल इतना कह रहा हूँ कि मैं नहीं जाऊँगा. बाकी किसी को जाना है तो वो जा सकता है.” मेरे पति से मुझे ऐसे ही उत्तर की उम्मीद थी.

ना उसके बाद कभी मैंने अपने पति को समझाने का प्रयत्न किया और ना ही अपने बेटे को रोकने का. मुझे पता था कि वो नहीं रुकेगा और मैं उसे किसी प्रकार का दुःख नहीं पहुचाना चाहती थी. इसलिए उस दिन हवाई अड्डे पे मैंने उसे हसी ख़ुशी ख़ुशी विदा किया. बहुत प्रयास कर पाने पर भी मैं अपनी आँखों से उन बहती हुई आसूं कि लड़ियों को नहीं रोक पायी. मन ही मन में जहाँ एक ओर मैं अपने बेटे को दुआएं दे रही थी, वही दूसरी ओर उसके दूर चले जाने का आभास मुझे अत्यंत कमज़ोर बनाये जा रहा था.     Image

घर लौटने के बाद एक ऐसे खाली पन का एहसास हुआ, मानो मेरा जीवन व्यर्थ हो गया हो. उस रात अपने पति के सो जाने के पश्चात मैं अपने बेटे के कमरे में गयी. अभी तक इस सत्य को मैं मान नहीं पाई थी कि मेरा बेटा मुझसे दूर चला गया है. उसके तकिये को पकड़ के मैं फूट फूट कर रोने लगी और ईश्वर से एक ही मिन्नत करती रही कि वो मेरे बेटे को विदेश में खुश रक्खे, साथ ही साथ मन में ये भी चाह थी कि वो जल्द घर लौट आये.

थोड़ी देर वही बैठ के उन पलों के बारे में सोचती रही जब मैंने अपने बेटे को अपने हाथों में पहली बार लिया था. उसके छोटे छोटे हाथों ने जब मेरी पहली बार ऊँगली पकड़ी थी. जब मैंने उसे पहली बार चलना सिखाया था. पहली बार जब मैं उसे स्कूल छोड़ने गयी. पहली बार जब मैंने उसे खेल प्रतियोगता में जीतता देखा. वो दृश्य, जब मैं अपने बेटे को उसके कमरे में खाना लाके देती थी और उसके पढाई करते समय सर पे तेल रखती थी, मेरे आँखों के सामने मानो वास्तविक रूप में चलते दिखाई दिए.

यही सोचते सोचते मुझे पता भी नहीं चला कि मैं कब सो गयी. सुबह जब मेरी आँख खुली तो वास्तविकता एक बार फिर मेरे समक्ष थी. ज़िन्दगी फिर से उसी प्रकार चलानी थी. अपने पति को फिर एक बार दफ्तर के लिए रवाना करना था और घर के सारे कार्य पूरे करने थे.

दिन बीते और फिर साल. धीरे धीरे मैंने अपने मन को ये कहके मना लिया कि जल्द ही मेरा बेटा विदेश से पैसा कमा कर वापस आ जायेगा. मुझे अनेक लोगों ने, कुछ ने व्यंगपूर्वक तो कुछ ने सांत्वना देते हुए, ये कहा कि एक बार जो विदेश चला जाता है वो लौट के वापस नहीं आता. पर मेरा मन इस बात को मानने के लिए हरगिज़ तैयार नहीं था कि मेरा बेटा वापस नहीं आएगा. उन सभी लोगों को बिना कुछ कहे मैं ईश्वर से यही मानती कि वो मेरे पास वापस आ जाये.

शुरू शुरू में मेरे बेटे का फ़ोन रोज़ ही आ जाया करता था. धीरे धीरे वो भी अपने काम में इतना व्यस्त हो गया कि फ़ोन का आना रोज़ से हफ्ते में एक दिन हो गया और फिर हफ्ते से महीने में एक दिन. देखते ही देखते सात साल बीत गए. जहाँ एक ओर मुझे उसके वापस आने कि चाह रहती वहीँ दूसरी ओर मुझे लगता कि वो अकेला वहां कैसे अपना जीवन व्यतीत कर रहा होगा.

वैसे तो जीवन से कोई शिकायत नहीं है मेरी, बस एक ही अरदास है की मेरा बेटा जल्द ही वापस आ जाये जिससे मैं इस जीवन को त्यागने से पहले उसकी खुशियों में शामिल हो सकू.

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This time it’s not Life!

For the past couple of days, my to be better half has been complaining about me not being able to give her much time. On top of that, whenever I decide to crib something here, she says, that it’s on topics such as life and not wife, which if I were to write on, would in all probabilities make her happy ;).

Though, even the Gods wouldn’t dare to tread this path, today is a day where I take the liberty, of course at my own risk, to throw myself in this short but extremely significant journey, where I would try to discover the very significance of the word wife :D.

A man’s interaction with a woman starts the very moment he announces himself on the floor which we call World. Though, the woman in his life is not a wife, but this very interaction with his mother, is instrumental in framing his conception of a wife.

As a natural progression of cognitive development, he slowly but surely realizes what a wife can and would certainly do to him, or to put it differently, how a wife would be able to make that quintessential difference that he had been waiting/or not waiting for so long ;).

As Shahrukh Khan has famously said in one of his dialogues from his movie kuch kuch hota hai, a man indeed tends to bow down in front of the three most important women in his life, namely: devi ma, ma and biwi.

On getting married, a mumma’s boy is expected to become a biwi’s guy, if I can call it so :). He is supposed to cater to each and every need of his wife, and the onus of deciding whether the so called created need is indeed legitimate and logical, lies on none other than the person whose need is supposed to be catered to.

So far, it seems I have been talking about just one aspect of the word wife, and that too in not a very positive manner. But folks, I must tell you that there is another side to this story which truly deserves a lot of praise and respect.

A wife in all senses of the word is truly a homemaker. For if she was not there, a house would ever remain a house. She is the one who tries hard day-in-day-out to turn a house into a home.

She is the one who not only takes care of the husband, but also the entire family of her husband. And mind you, it’s not easy to come into a household, which is totally new to your expectations and give in your 100%.

Even after all the difficulties and cultural shocks, she makes sure that her husband is happy. Sometimes I wonder how can wives be so dedicated and selfless?

On second thoughts, instead of wondering how she is able to do so, I guess, I would be better off in bowing myself as Mr. Shahrukh Khan has apltly portrayed in his blockbuster, in front of the woman, who is truly, amongst the three very important ladies in the life of any mortal who happens to visit this planet Earth :).

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