Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday My Darling Sister

I now very well know what I would have missed if you were not there in my life. I was longing for a small sister all my life and had even come to terms that I am not lucky enough to have that privilege, but then I had a dancing moment the moment I saw you, after spending thirteen years of my life alone, not having anybody to share the kind of bond that I have with you. You are not just my sister, but my daughter-cum-friend also, who gives hope to me and makes me smile at the very thought of her. My confidante, strength (weakness too). I wanted to flaunt you from the moment you came in my hands. My goodness, you were SO little. Forty days early, 1.8 Kgs, fragile and pink. Your earlobes were thin like onion peel and head circumference of a small doll. As a few days old baby, you would still have your waking up hours, stretching those tiny little arms and legs, looking inquisitively all around. Each of your milestones were celebrated with pictures and sweets. In that December-January Chandigarh near-zero-cold, you have crawled so much, running behind and away from us. Each day was a laughing riot at our home and neighborhood homes too. One of the best were your talking pre-school and early school years. Our cooked up genie stories. At 3, I must say, I was spell-bound by your imaginations and creativity.

You: Anna didi (Anjana, a neighbor), meri didi hai kya yaha?
Anjana: Nahi to
You: THHHAAAAAANNNNK GAAWWWDDDD! Mujhe do rupaye de do!
Anjana: Kyu?
You: Toffee

And as any other younger child in family, the different adoptive stories were told. And you were so innocent to accept each of the different versions also. As correctly said, what goes around comes around.

Sometime in early 2008.

You (on phone): Meenu, what's your blood group?
Me: B+
You: Mera pata hai kya hai?
Me: B+ hi hoga
You: O+. Papa ka bhi yehi hai.
Me: WOW. Sahi hai tu to universal donor hai. But tere ko dekh ke log bolenge, TU rehne de.
You: hmm. Tujhe pata hai mummy ka kya hai?
Me: B+
You: Nahi ji. A+. Mummmyyyyy, Meenu ko kaha se uthha ke laaye?
With each bullying, leg pulling, making each other jealous our bond has matured from good to better :). Your growing up years have been the best of my life as well. A tiny honey bunch that you are, a sport for all silly things we do and talk, small little gestures of belonging, sharing all possible feelings, laughing on anything and everything, cat fights , tantrums, property disputes including the aangan for kolams, amma-appa attention grabbing and their funny expressions and situations, fights for the sofa for best TV viewing and remote, I have fondly enjoyed all of them and deeply cherish them.

It is hard to believe that a baby who was not even the size of our arms has grown from a tantrum throwing sweetest toddler, cute child into a graceful, beautiful teenager now, who is confident, creative, fashionista, knows what she wants out of life, ambitious yet so mature and growing up to be a grounded young woman. I am so proud of you my dear. May your hard work leads to success that you deserve and I wish for contentment and peace in your heart. I love you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Parenting: My approach

 I asked a psycologist friend of mine, if there are any books on parenting which provide effective tips on positive parenting. She said, "If there was any such formula, wouldn't we be all in Utopia?" "Wonderful point of view", I said. She continued, "Each family is different, individual approaches are different and, there is nothing right or wrong in this topic. Loads of love, not just sealed in heart, it should be expressed liberally throughout their lives. It works with everybody you know. Isn't it? My personal tip for you is to list down the things that you would want out of your child when he grows up. Ensure that the list does NOT contain his professional aspirations which are very personal to him. And start leading that life yourself, he will learn all of it by following your example."
 "Start leading that life yourself" I realize is so important. Its so easy, because all of it comes naturally out of love, yet involves so much of thoughts and you end up in reacting the right way most of the times, in the times of stress or crisis. In case you don't, which too is inevitable, "there is always a next time" thought which helps you deal with the guilt in a better way.
 My list is not only expanding in intricacies of my own approach towards life, but also making me stop, think and enjoy each moment of it. Each stage is awesome and we tap on the most receptive moment of Ganesh and whatever he has learnt till now has been completely fun-filled and ofcourse, self-learning (sometimes the hard way, eg. you will slip and fall if you run on watery floor. Its so amusing to see him walking on the dry patches on wet floor of the veranda after rains). 
I very strongly believe that life teaches and we as parents or teachers are just facilitators. As Kahlil Gibran says,

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.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I wish Ganesh gets what I wish to have for myself too. Here goes the list:

  • 1.    There is no hurry, things come and go at their own pace, just live the moment. Equally, its important to start doing things early and not in the nth moment to avoid being late. Despite of that if you are, it is OK, certain things are not in our hands.
  • 2.    Aspirations and ambitions are for YOURSELF and not to prove or show off to the world. Challenge and compete with yourself, following others' examples is also extremely important. Having said that, life is not just about yourself or your family. You must have your social responsibilities clear. Be compassionate and empathatic. Only that gives immense satisfaction and hope for your life ahead.
  • 3.    Sports, puzzles, quizzes are extremely creative. They are a MUST.
  • 4.    Reading. The more words and strings of words you come across, you not only get ideas to express yourself much better but also get to see different perspectives which leads to have a better outlook towards life. And that my son, will pave path for you to be a better human being.
  • 5.    I want you to be a traveller and not a tourist. Feel and live in that place however short the trip is; unlike a tourist, enjoy local food, feel the difference of aroma in air and taste of water, be a part of the place and that includes paying tax for the country wherever you live. Remember, the way of lives may be different, and languages may be different, at the end of it, everybody goes through the same set of emotions. Appreciate all of it.
  • 6.    Express your gratitude to the Supreme for what you have. Build a relationship with Him, formal or informal.
  • 7.    Enjoy what nature has it for you. The resources are for your use and not misuse. Always take time to feel and enjoy the breeze, rains and fragrance of the flowers. And remember, heat and cold bring in their own kind of beauty to surroundings. Do your part to conserve the precious ecosystem.