Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Between me and Ma!

“You better keep them away from those computers, iPads and iPhones. I just read an article in the newspapers today how they harm the delicate minds of kids. I am so thankful that none of these gadgets existed while I was raising you. Didn't you have a pleasurable childhood without these things? Why don’t you understand how bad they are? They’ll turn your otherwise smart kids into junkies. I am not going to tell you again. Do whatever you want. You are a mother now and it’s your obligation towards it that you raise your kids in the best possible way……,” Ma shrieked on the phone and before I could open my mouth to say something, she banged it.

This is not the first time she has called especially to lecture me about how I am spoiling my kids by allowing them the access of iPad and computer. While I understand and appreciate her heartfelt concerns, I expect her to realize that time has changed drastically since she brought me up and it’s important to be in pace to grow and nurture. I grew up in a different atmosphere. Although, I didn't have any gadgets to my fancy, there were a number of other activities/things that never made me look for anything else. I was growing up in the safe and secure zone without having to worry about the child molesters and perverts around. In vacations, I would roam around my entire colony freely without Ma having to worry about my safety. And those busy days full of outdoor activities never made me realise the absence of gadgets or even a computer at home.

Times have changed today. I freaking worry each day about the safe return of my kids back home from school. It really embarrasses me beyond your imagination when I ask my kids if anyone had touched them ‘badly’ during their stay out of the home. I die a guilt-death each day when I literally take names to bring out things like ‘Did Mr Cleaner touch you anywhere apart from your hand while helping you get in the bus????’

While I agree with Ma that the time kids spend on these gadgets should be limited, I am totally against not using them entirely. Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds and what’s the use if we don’t exploit it in our favour! There are some wonderful apps available that teach kids to solve Maths or Language puzzles in the friendliest ways that sometimes even we fail to. So, where’s the harm if they are learning something new along with some recreation? Yes, I do not allow downloading those car-crashing games or similar ones but I never stop them from indulging into something that has an educational or creative value linked to it.

I understand that Ma’s concerns are mostly because she isn't much aware about these apps and all she can relate an iPad or a computer to is games and more games. With due respect to her, I think I am going to spend a good part of my stay in her home, during upcoming vacations, explaining her how great the tool is. And she being a teacher herself, I am sure, will finally succumb to its heavens. Touché!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Love...too difficult to scout and too busy to note!

OK... I am going to start with the same old line....

It's been a long since I blogged…. :-)

Life suddenly seems to have become extremely busy and rather tedious. As usual, managing 5 yr old set of Twins pretty much occupies my patience, time, energy, efforts and more importantly my entire being. And to top it up, I am assigned with an extra task of hunting a new home that we soon plan to buy and move in. Although I love doing whatever it takes to fetch me that golden catch (the home of my dreams) it does keep me on my toes almost all the day. Consistent browsing of the property sites, listing out and then comparing various properties as per our prerequisites and budget and not to mention the innumerable phone calls to agents, brokers, builders to set up appointments for the visit, really has turned me into pretty much a nerd actually.

Amidst this entire hustle bustle, managing to find some me-time is actually a never ending challenge. Nurturing a hobby, taking a stroll by the park, going swimming, or even an elaborate and soothing shower are few among the many luxuries I really look forward to. Sometimes, although it may sound cliché, I wonder if it’s really that difficult to live a life I am currently living! How did our mothers and grandmothers survived more than one motherhoods without compromising much on their sanity, patience and an undying enthusiasm to manage their jobs, kids and the kitchen. So what, if they weren’t upset about their cushions not being up right and tight at all times, didn’t even notice that the toys (whatever little there were) were scattered around the house and remained pretty much the entire day and sometimes overnight, didn’t realise the importance of spending quality time with the kids reading stories or just having some meaningful conversations, didn’t feel the need to adjust those every (or most) evening visits to the park in an already busy schedule, didn’t bother about bringing in the variations in the menu each day, didn’t need to haggle around the house helps (mostly because there were none…) or worry about making some creative and exciting weekend plans! But hey! What the heck? All that mattered then was their husbands and in-laws being happy about the delicious meals that were being cooked, kids were gladly allowed to blow their noses in the ‘pallu’ of their sarees and most interestingly their willingness to live and operate out of the secure walls of the joint families more out of love and passion than compulsion. They certainly didn’t have to rely on some social gatherings like kitty parties to vent out their emotions and relieve their thoughts especially when there were other ladies in the house not just to share the mundane routine and day-to-day chores but also to share the feelings, joys, happiness and most significantly the sorrows!

Families have scattered. The concept of nuclear living has taken over the modern and so called sophisticated life. The thought of sharing the home with someone as close as your own in-laws feels and looks like a challenge. I guess some of the disadvantages of modernised and civilised living…! Well, I can’t expect myself to have a life that my grandmother did…I rather enjoy some perks that she didn't.

And in this busy and gutsy world, we have unknowingly let go some of the basic virtues of our being like the joy of giving, kindness, empathy, love! Just a day back, one of my Facebook friends wrote a wonderful note on Kindness. She is a great writer and I truly appreciate a certain sense in her writing that keeps her readers glued. She wrote about how little acts of kindness create a remarkable influence of our lives, in some or the other way. Her note made me wonder how much we have compromised to be in the space we are currently in. When my kids greet our neighbours in the lobby or in the lift, I feel so ridiculously proud of them. Such incidents compel me to value and respect the depth of relationship my parents and our then neighbours shared when me and my siblings spent the better part of our days at their home rushing to our own home only for those short lunch breaks which we would readily give up if opportunities struck.  When my daughter today gifted one of her most beloved, recently bought toy ball to her friend at the park just because she was moving abroad, I felt very thrilled about her generosity.  But what about those countless occasions when I, as a child, have done something similar and shared things that were dear to me, with my friends back then! No one even realised that it’s something worth noting. Yes, the world is, indeed, changing and whatever repercussions it may have on our lives, one thing for sure is that we have learnt to value the things that were once taken for granted. And I believe, that’s not too bad as it sounds.

And on that note, I am so glad that I could finally manage to do what I love doing the most. Blogging. If nothing else, it better be a hard kick on my butt to ensure that I find some time to do what I really enjoy.

Cheers to this boost and the weekend! Have fun and enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March, here you are!

And here it arises! I am referring to a brand new month that’s just begun today – March! 

In all conscience, I shouldn't be writing about it but I am really nervous about this month. It makes me edgy. It’s the amalgamation of two events; my kids annual day and my Pa’s death. Last year, on March 30th, when we were just getting ready to leave for kids annual day at their kindergarten, I received that awful call informing me about the demise of my father. I know it’s really injudicious of me to link the two episodes but can’t help; after all a mother and a daughter that I am!

Well, it’s my kids annual day this Tuesday, March 5th and I really, really plead that all goes well as they are truly enthusiastic about the event. March, please be decent to me this time! Just read it somewhere that March is the herald of spring, a month of promises and new beginnings. Amen! 

And for the rest of you, may you have a great month. Some of you may be busy preparing your own exams or helping your broods with theirs. All the best to you, whichever category you fall in!