Under the giant tree

I’ve spent many a days

Under the giant tree

Far away from here

In my grandmother’s house

That tree holds my childhood

And memories treasured

The games we played

As innocent nine year olds

It’s branches have rings

From the rope of our swings

It’s shade will tell you stories

About the cool evenings we lay there

Under that tree, in those swings

I see my mother smiling at me

She is holding my brother close

Swaying in the wind, happily

Going higher each time

I am scared they’d get hurt

But she has spent many a days

Under the giant tree many years ago

As a nine year old

In my grandmother’s house.

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Identity

My older son is 13 years old and my younger one is 11. My friends have children around these ages. I know their children in close quarters. I have interacted with them and have heard about them from my friends. One distinct quality that stands out and takes me by surprise is their identity or their uniqueness. I see each child being their own person at such a young age. In my children, I clearly see their likes and dislikes. They have opinions, some pretty strong ones. Their choices and preferences are clear to them. They make an attempt to explain it to me. I can have a conversation with them, to understand their choices and the reasoning behind those choices. My friends tell me the same thing.

As I experience this, I reflect upon my years at this age. I don’t think I even had an opinion. Was I supposed to have one? I am not sure. I did what my parents said. If they told me to study, I did, if they told me it was time to eat, I ate, if they took me out, I went. I don’t intend to blow my trumpet about my obedience as a child, but I’m sure everyone in my generation, did the same thing.

We were aware of our surroundings, We knew about what was happening around us. We were more environment-centric than self-centric (in a good way). We did form our opinions, likes and dislikes, but that was after we stepped out of school, got into college, met people from diverse backgrounds. The tweens of today are already there.

A direct consequence of this self-awareness in children today, is that their obedience quotient may have taken a hit. It could be the empowerment they get at a very young age or could it be that my generation is at the cusp of the old and new? We are empowering them. When they feel empowered, they need a reason and rhyme for every action we ask them to undertake. In short, what we asked of our parents as 18 year olds, our children are asking of us at age 12.

My generation has to shed some concepts of parenting style that we imbibed from our parents. The basic virtues of honesty, respect, humility, integrity, etc is what we have to pass on. But at the same time, we should strike the balance of independence early on in their lives.

It is challenging. Oh hell, YES! Everyday! Most times I feel I am playing whac-a-mole or juggling more balls than I can handle. But each time its a learning. It’s not only children who grow up, we too grow as parents. Its that growth that we need to embrace. We should step out of our conventional concepts of parenting and be open to mend our methods according to new demands, without compromising on basic virtues. As parents, I believe we should nurture their uniqueness and let them bloom into the hybrid flower they were meant to be.

Another day, another lesson…!

 

 

My abode

She raises from the ground
It was flat
Just yesterday
They make the base
Then put her up
They cover her
Warm
On all sides
They cover her head
With something strong
To stay on
For years
They dress her up
In hues
I pick
Her trail is green
The blue sky over her head
It takes months
Until she is ready
For me
She embraces me
With her warmth
She is empty
Ready to be filled
With love
With memories
A million
There are sticks now
Sticking out of the ground
Until one day
She is to be
My abode
My home.

3 cats and a mouse

3 cats T, D and H wanted to catch a mouse K. T, D and H made elaborate plans on how they would catch the mouse. They ridiculed each other to no end. When D-day came, D and H realize that T has a better plan. D quickly seizes the opportunity and hatches plan B. D crawls to H with a token of friendship and plots a joint plan to catch mouse K. Now who gets K is yet to be seen.

The mouse’s fate is already decided. Either of the cats will catch hold of the house and gulp her down.

Then there are the people who watch this cat and mouse game like mutes.

T offers clothes to people to help him. D offers money. H offers money delivered at your door step.

Whom will you help? Maybe get the clothes from T, money from D and H and whom you actually help doesn’t matter. The mouse will anyways be caught and beaten to death.

Long live democracy! Long live the cats!

Nude models

I saw this feature on TimesNow about nude models. These are women who earn their living by posing nude for artists. Artists and students of art paint these women in nude to learn anatomy, muscle structure etc. The women who featured in the video talk about how they felt awkward initially but soon understood that nudity is in the eyes of the beholder. One woman says the body is going to be burnt or buried anyways so what difference does it make. Another woman has kept this from get children while she uses the money she earns from this to feed her children.

I was initially shocked when I saw the feature. This was my first reaction. As I progressed through the video I was amazed at the outlook of these women. They may not be educated in schools and colleges but they have wisdom. At the end of the day it’s the food you put on your family’s plate, the shelter you provide that matters.

I did have a question though. Would these artists have the women in their house pose nude for learning art? Probably not. I read a few comments beneath the feature and didn’t see this perspective. You can call me a feminist but why not the women in your house. I have no disrespect to these women. I respect every person who works without cheating another, to earn a livelihood. I even respect that strata of women who earn money for sex. I despise the P word used to categorize these women. Every person is where they are because that’s where they are meant to be. If they are meant to be elsewhere those paths will open for them.

Watching this video was an eye opener for me. I never know that people lived this way. These women have husbands who support them. Broad mindedness for sure doesn’t come with school education.

Respect to these women and partially to the men. Partially so because they can see art as art but at the same time have to seek art outside their homes.

Just a little more..

Just a little more
There
Two more steps
Higher
You are almost there
Maybe
Soon
You will get there
The wall gets higher
The years swing by
I try harder
To fill the gaps
Of
Inadequacies…
Until one day
When I wake up
Amidst strangers
Taken
To a strange place
There are no walls here
There are no locks
Everyone is seeking answers
Doing what they are told
They are fed
With positive energy
Or so they say
In negative rooms
Salad at other times
We draw
Doodles by the couch
With crayons
Pencils are forbidden here
We sit
We watch
We wait
We are told
We are complete
From within
He made us that way
We find our paths
Define the walls we wish to climb
They drill it in
In many different ways
Until one day
They set us free
Of our
Inadequacies… !