Tag Archive | children

Ruminations of the motherly types

As we stand waiting for the car to pick the son up for school; there is a bunch of boys. Some 15 of them, all school going. Their school is about 300 metres away. I can hear the assembly in progress but these boys…..they are yet to reach school. Before that they have more important chores to finish.

Like pulling each others legs. Like pulling stuff from the dustbin and throwing it on the road and most important, getting the first smoke of the day. Young boys some as young as 11 or 12 look at me and draw a puff in. And I become desperate. They pass a cigarette to a boy who is maybe 9 or ten and I can hear my blood boil.The  mom and teacher in me wants to go right ahead and give them a tight slap. One which will keep ringing in their ears for days together. But today is not the place. I have two young children with me. I have to look after their safety first.

My anger shifts to the cold store fellow. ‘How dare he sells cigarettes to juveniles?’. But then I understand him. He is an Indian. what can he do against the locals. He must be worried about the safety of his staff and his shop. So he has put this sign on the front’ no sale of cigarettes to juveniles’and has done his bit.

I think of going to the school and talking with the administration but I don’t think they will be able to do much. I remember once the school timings were extended because the portions could not be completed as they had had too many holidays during the academic year. Some boys had created havoc. Security forces had to be brought in but to no avail. The boys just climbed the high fence and ran away. From the next day extended hours were for those who were ready to attend.

Yes, it is a government school. For these reasons only parents now opt for private schools. But not all can opt for private schools. Private schools may or may not have local boards. Which means the kids will have to go for British boards which means they will need extra tuition which means additional expenses.

And it is not that the government schools are not equipped. They are. They have the best infrastructure possible. Also the best facilitator. But what lacks is the environment and the lack of dedicated students. One rotten egg spoils the rest. Or in this case some spoilt brats spoiling others who in turn spoil some more and so on.

Both as a mother and a teacher I keep an eye on ‘my children’ constantly seeing that they don’t fall into bad association. But it is so tough particularly in this age with our dependence on gadgets.

In my class mobiles are banned except to attend calls from the parents who knowing me generally give a  miss call to inform that they have come to pick them up.I am strict but I stay with them for just about 2 hours and what after that.

When I see young kids spoiling their life, I get a dull ache in my heart, how do I make them understand, how can we nourish their lives.

I wonder…………

 

Mourning

My son asked me yesterday, ‘Amma what did you want to be when you were young’ (By his standards I am ancient). I thought for a while. I had never achieved my ambition. Or rather the goals I had set for myself were not for me. So some goals I ditched and some others ditched me. But there was one goal which I had always wanted and I became- that of being a mother.

‘To be your mother’, I said.

It is a different matter that he didn’t accept my goal because according to him, ‘Everyone becomes a papa or a mamma’. But then what do I tell him.

So we switch on the Television and see that the news channels are full of Peshawar attack and though I do not want him to see such news but I can’t stop myself from following what has happened.

‘What has happened Amma’, he asks

I explain.

He contemplates and then says, ‘Amma you always take care of all the children even if there is some child on the road. And you say that they are someones children and everyones responsibility. Then why did this uncles kill. Aren’t these children there children too.

What do I say?

That we have become demons

That we lack sensitivity.

That nothing matters except achievement of our aims.

That revenge is the end all.

I don’t say anything.

I just hug him

Who knows if I get to hug him tomorrow or not………….

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A silent prayer for all the parents who lost their children

A New Beginning

Reblogging an old story for the benefit of new readers

Searching Self

Mrs.Iyer heaved a sigh. The room was bare but still looked small. ‘But enough for me’, she thought,, ‘After all what else does an old woman want’. There was a small bedroom where she had put her cot, a wardrobe and a small mirror on the wall. The drawing room was entirely bare. ’Hmm I will put a mattress in this corner with some bright cushions and a spread it will look cosy’, she thought.

She had quit her son’s home or rather her husband’s home and come to this one hall bedroom kitchen housing board house. It had been a 25th wedding anniversary gift from her husband. Maybe he had the foresight to know that she would have to leave her son’s family and live on her own, she thought. Why was life so difficult she thought? You raise kids with so much difficulty only to be dumped by…

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To be or not to be…

I often wonder if 16-17 is the right age to select a stream or a career. The reason being my own dismal career graph. As soon as I had started working I had realised that I was not made for it.

Yes, there are many who have clear ideas as to what to do and when and luckily their plans do fall into place but what about others. They just have to carry on or if some are lucky enough they change tracks.

But then success is relative. For some success is a fat balance in the bank, for some it is the satisfaction and for some listening to the inner calling. Who am I judge, to each his own.

Its only lately that I have realised that I enjoy teaching. To be with young minds, vibrating with their enthusiasm is something which gives me a lot of joy. And then I feel for all the lost time. Maybe if teaching had been my first choice, today I would have been a good position in some school or college. But no, I have discovered that I enjoy the most when I am amidst a limited set of people. Crowds make me claustrophobic. And then if the topic is to do with spirituality, there is nothing that is more satisfying.

We each have special talents and everything is destined to happen at a certain time. It is juista a matter of waiting for the right time with faith and confidence.

I am what I was meant to be. Thats all that matters.

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Indulged in some free writing. I know I promised a story….soon….very soon.

Tidbits

The year 2009 had been a tough year for me. It was a year when I was searching for myself amidst numerous issues.  At that moment there was a contest in a weekly local newspaper on Valentines Day and my entry was selected and published too. Wasn’t much actually, just some lines but it inspired me enough to revive my writing. My identity crisis was such that I hoped to search myself through my writings and thus Searching Self was born.

Events so happened that by 2010 I was very sure what I wanted and took necessary steps towards it. Yes, blogging does help to discover oneself. 🙂

A lot has been happening lately. I am trying to juggle between housework, keeping up with the kid, study and trying to take baby steps towards devotional service.  The first step I took was with teaching children. And I tell you it’s not an easy task. Adults forget mistakes, kids don’t but then children forgive easily, adults do not. It’s a journey which requires one to be a student first and then a teacher. Altogether it is a task which I have found to be very enjoyable because:

  • it is not a formal task
  • I can improvise looking at the mood of the children
  • most importantly  it’s only an hour in a week 😀

The interaction is wonderful. Children have such an open mind, there are ifs and buts but they absorb information like a sponge and they are always so eager. So one week can be just sit and hear, another can be a workshop or a skit, there are so many ways to learn.

 

Some tidbits;

LION

We are discussing about how Prahlad’s devotion had been disturbed by Hiranyakasipu and how Narasimha came to protect Prahlad. I was explaining the word Narasimha. Nara means man and Simha means lion when a small boy exclaims, ‘Mataji, lion is the king of the jungle’. And we all burst out laughing. 😛

MASK

We were rehearsing for Narasimha Chaturdasi. One day prior to the show the person enacting Narasimha wore the mask to be comfortable with it. After sometime we noticed that Prahlad is missing. The boy had been so afraid of the mask that he had hid behind the cupboards.

SECRETARY

Whenever I am supposed to take a class, my son stands by me, to supply th necessary papers, crayon, sketch penetc. He make sure that everyone sits and listens.

BYE-BYE

One of the girls proceeded to India for her studies. A girl of 8 or so, she was our star. If we forgot a word in any story or prayer we could just ask her and she would oblige. And so on her last day here one of the matajis asked her, ‘P will you remember us?’ And she truthfully replied, ‘I am not sure Mataji, because I will have so many new friends, so much to study, so many Maharaj to hear…. so I don’t know whether I will remember you or not.’ 😛

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I will be off-blogosphere for the next weeks so please excuse me if I am not able to comment on your posts.

Au revoir

Changing times

Each generation while raising the next feels that the times have changed, I feel the same every now and then.

While narrating the story of Hanuman leaping across the sea in search of Sita, I noticed the look of disbelief on the face of my son and realised that he is wondering why Hanuman had to do that whereas he can always take a plane. I had to explain to him that in those times there were no planes, nor were there mobile phones. It would have been so simple then isn’t it, Sri Ram could just pick up his mobile call Sita and ask, ‘Where are you?’

I remember when small putting a basket on the head and shouting ‘aloo pyaj le lo’, A playmate would then give me money and I would sell them aloo or pyaj. Tried to play the same game with him and he looked at me with a shocked expression. On my last visit to India, I showed him the roadside vendors and then he understood.

Similarly having never seen a postman / mail carrier, he doesn’t understand what a postman does. I guess on my next visit I have to show him what post means and what a postman does.

When we were small we used to start writing by writing on a slate with help of a chalk. Now slates seem to have disappeared, though I feel it was more eco-friendly. The amount of paper wasted in teaching a toddler to write is outrageous. Of course we can get a whiteboard. But I feel a child learns to grip, better with a chalk or a pencil than a pen.

My nephew once remarked that what was th need for learning multiplication tables when it can be so easily done on a computer or calculator. And my niece had once asked that how we had passed our time when we were younger if there was no TV.

So the younger generation is not able to conceive a life without television, mobiles or computers. They cannot understand that earlier kids used to walk down to school and that once upon a time parents were…..well parents and not friends to joke with or play with.

Times have indeed changed.