Monday, October 29, 2018

Mommy Diaries - 9 : My Baby turns 7

This little child , whose birth has been the most prominent experience in my life ever and whose birth I can still remember like it happened just yesterday. Her eyes , that is her first feature that my eyes captured when she came out. She was like a tiny tadpole put onto my breast and wrapped in a white towel.

She is turning Seven. With what I started off , one of the not-so-good phases in my life during her birth , we are far away from it now. I feel blessed. Just to be able to see her grow up like this. And at this juncture , I now want time to stop. Please can time stop , so that my baby stops growing up so quickly ? A day gone will never come back and now is the time that I feel or realise it the most.

Dear Mahati,
You turn Seven today. I want to start off my telling you that I love you more than you love me and this will always be true. You will understand this when you become a mother yourself. You have become such a responsible person. You don’t hurt people intentionally , you are not rude , you are kind of organised ( I love this !! ). Yet you are strong , very strong to the extent that Mamma feels that you are stubborn. You only let people in when you feel the need to. You don’t feel the need to please people like me all the time. You are perfectly okay in your own space and that the most important thing that I am loving about you right now. You were not at all expressive in your initial years but that’s changing rapidly. Thankfully , now you talk to me about your day at school and you definitely let me know when something bothers you.

This year has been so amazing in so many ways. You entered Grade 1 , the first major step towards mainstream school with a school uniform and a schedule in class. You are doing well. Your dear teacher Vicky says that though initially you took your time to warm up to her and to the class in general , you are now very comfortable and convey your needs very clearly to her. I know how much you love your teacher.That’s awesome.

This year , you started off with phonetic sounds and started reading and writing and progressed throughout the year. You can now read little story books and of course you are the Mental Math Queen. I can’t wait for the International in December. Though you have always done very good at UCMAS , you are always scared and not very confident in your performances. We are working on it together , to build your confidence that whether you win or lose doesn’t matter , what matters is that you have fun in the process. You are more worried about winning and we are trying to slow you down to experiencing it and “just be” in the moment. I wrote this paragraph just so that you can read it later in life and look at how beautifully you have progressed ( yes I am damn sure you will ! ). Always remember , winning is never the goal. The goal is to do what you like and enjoy doing it.

Dadda is missing your birthday this year but the good thing is Ammamma , Tata and Vissu Mama are here to celebrate it with you. Madhuri atta sent eight gifts. Seven of them because this is your seventh birthday and the eighth one for entering your eighth year. You lucky chap , for receiving so much love from all quarters. So that’s why we decided and gave away half of the toys that you already have, making space for new ones.

Attaching some prominent pictures , which show you how much you have progressed in writing and expressing !! Happy Birthday to the apple of my eye !!

Her Swimming teacher moved back to Israel and this is what Mahati wrote for her

This picture is particularly close to my heart. I gave you a Rhino key chain which you had it on your school bag but the lost it. And for some known reasons, I was very upset and scold you for not being careful and then that evening , you have me this and hid in your room.

It says , "Mahati Sad , Mamma Mad and It was an Accident"

I am so sorry for not being more patient with you Mahati - From Amma

Love you more,

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Commonalities between Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi

This is my entry for an Essay Writing Competition ( word limit of 500 )conducted by India Club South Africa ( July 2018 ).

Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi need no introduction.

Despite being born in very normal families and biased circumstances, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi chose to be otherwise. Any person can continue the legacy of their ancestors, there is nothing great about it. But only people with iron-will can challenge the age-old existing ideologies and choose humanity and equality above everything else. Conflict is always life threatening and mind numbing. Being born in an era of conflicting times and still being able to maintain focus and have clarity on the path forward, is what has made them great leaders and visionaries.

Gandhiji was thrown out of a train at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa because he was dark-coloured, or rather let me put it this way, because he was not white. This incident played a very important role in re-enforcing what Gandhiji believed in and led him to fight against discrimination of Civil Rights in South Africa. And this later paved the way for his fight and struggle for an independent India, his motherland. Satyagraha was the philosophy adopted by Gandhiji in both South Africa and India. It means “peaceful resistance” or fighting for a cause in a peaceful manner.

Madiba fought against the racial discrimination against black people his whole life. He fought to bring in equality amongst people and supported free will and democracy. In a country like South Africa and at the times that he was born in when racial discrimination was at its peaks, just thinking about equality and free-will was such a costly dream. But he still made it come true! His speech at the Rivonia Trial, which was inspired by Castro’s “History will Absolve Me” was widely reported by the press despite censorship and moved people to no end.

The greatest thing about both these human beings is that they believed in humanity above everything else. Both of them fought for independence and democracy. That no matter what colour your skin is, the colour of your blood is still red.

Despite intense provocation, they never answered racism with racism and violence with violence. They chose the opposite and they dared to be different. It takes a lot of courage to call a “spade” a “spade” and that is exactly what they did, their whole lives, leading by example.

South Africa has been the life-changing and a compelling reason for both of them to travel the path that they had chosen. And boy did they win in the end…….

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

My Child is growing up……….

So fast. And I really miss this baby and toddler Mahati. These days whenever she sleeps, I can’t help but sit beside her with emotions so strong that they are threatening to burst out of my eyes.
This nostalgic feeling of the peacefully sleeping daughter but at the same time , how much she has grown. She is not a baby or a toddler anymore and I really miss that phase of hers. That phase in my daughter’s life is gone forever and will never come back.

I can’t imagine this day would come when I would really put it into words and grieve the loss of that baby phase so much. I miss those cutie cutie pronunciation of the words , I miss that feeling when she slept on my lap when I sat cross legged in a lotus position. I miss that feeling whenever I picked her up and she would rest her legs on my tummy. I miss those moments so much that it actually hurts.

Why are we parents in such a hurry for the children to grow up ? These phases in her life are never going to come back. And just looking back the pictures and videos is just not enough.
Why couldn’t I just slow down a bit when she was small and enjoy things in a much more relaxed way? Why was I always in a hurry to get things done and get through the day ?
May be I could persuade the days to be a bit longer and the nights to be a bit shorter…………….. just may be !!!

She is a girl now , not a baby girl any more.

So I enjoy the feeling of co-sleeping much more, without any guilt now-a-days because no matter how much you try , your baby will still grow up and get her own room and sleep separately.
So I enjoy and look forward for her to come back from school and chat , because no matter how much I try , she is definitely going to grow up , study and leave the house for higher studies or for a job.
And I am reminding myself that there are only so many more days that she is going to ask for my help and my opinion , because there will definitely come that day when she doesn’t need them anymore.
Damn , there will come that one day when she will not need me any more………

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sanju - Some personal thoughts !

I wouldn't want to comment on Sanjay Dutt's real life and how well the film justifies his real life. I am not here to judge the correctness of whatever was portrayed from Sanjay Dutt's real life. I left all of that to the wind and just went to watch it as a film with a fictional story and to just enjoy the film as a film.

In the entire film , I only saw Sanjay Dutt and never once did I remember that Ranbir Kapoor was the one portraying it. I guess this is the biggest compliment that an actor can ever get. That the audience get involved into the character that is being portrayed so much that they forget the one portraying it. I cannot say anything further. Ranbir Kapoor is GOD. Period !

Raj Kumar Hirani's films are filled with emotions and there is never a dull moment. And this is what I like the most. This film definitely doesn't disappoint from an "entertainment" point of view and from a "human values" point if view. The relationship between the father and son is something that every parent must watch and learn. Because no parent is perfect and no child is perfect. It is ugly and messy , yet so fulfilling and satisfying. Parents have so many expectations from their children that it is but natural that children bear the brunt of it. And we cannot blame the parents because all they want, is to see their child succeed. I guess being the child of a successful father is so difficult. The weight of the expectations pulls you down so much and all you want is a normal childhood and to be a normal child.

It is so important for parents to let children be. And it is so important to acknowledge that we accept them for who they are and not what we want them to be.It is so important to tell a child that he is good enough. Otherwise , they spend their whole life trying to achieve something that might not satisfy their needs or happiness but makes them look good enough in their parents eyes or the society's eyes. This will destroy them.

There are so many such moments in the film which make you think hard and move you to the core.

Friendship is another aspect that is shown so beautifully.The character of Kamli was so refreshing to watch.His concern for the friend , his non-judgmental attitude and above all his selfless love for the other person just melts your heart away.We all need that one friend in our life who will never judge and who will never leave your side no matter what. No matter what life throws at you , it is friendship that makes it all bearable and do-able.

There are life lessons which are the biggest take-away from the film.
A parent who does anything and everything for the son. A son who always looks out for the image of the father. A friend who is indeed a friend in need. It is such a normal movie but still special in so many ways.

Having said that, I have to re-iterate that I definitely don't know what Sanjay Dutt did or did not do in his real-life or whether he deserves this benefit of doubt etc.

Go watch the movie for Ranbir Kapoor and Raj Kumar Hirani.