Whose fault is it?

Twenty second school shooting in twenty weeks of two thousand eighteen… Casualties, injured, children, teachers, law enforcement officers… I have children in high school and middle school and I am terrified like many other parents. It’s like living under a threat all the time and I feel helpless. I pray that no parent has to get that call with news of potential danger to their child. As parents we hold dreams and hopes for our children; for the baby we brought into this world. The thought of their future takes a permanent place in our minds, the day they are born. And today I feel so bad for the parents who had to forgo of their dreams and hopes. My heart cried when I heard a mother telling her daughter “run, baby and I will come get you”… What a devastating moment..!

Whose fault is it?

Is it the child? The teenager who reaches that darkest corner of his or her mind that the only way he sees out is to kill another. He goes to the extent of ruining his own life while taking the life of others. An extreme form of depression? Is the child born with depression? I don’t believe so. His circumstances lead him to take extreme steps.

So, is it the parents? When their child does this henious crime, do the parents wake up from their personal issues? Do the parents have issues or are they people like you and me? I am forced to think that the parents neglect about their child’s activities or child’s life in general isolates the young mind. I am surprised that how can a parent not know what’s happening in their child’s life. They don’t have to pry into each and everything, but don’t you always maintain that virtual umbilical cord even after it’s cut?

So is it the peril of abundance of resources? Are we paying the price of technology with innocent lives? Today we can search anything on the internet. The internet flows more easily than water. Anyone can find anything in that dark jungle. With nobody to restrict you or even tell you right from wrong, are you misled ?

So what is the school teaching you? In India we have classrooms or homerooms even in high school. There is a class teacher or homeroom teacher when you are in your teens. The teacher knows you and keeps that door open for you. You have the same set of friends. What I see different here is each child has his or her own schedule. After grade 6, you are on your own. You are given so much Independence and the importance laid on your Independence kills the, “I will watch over you” syndrome that we carried while in school. There were fifty girls in my class and I knew all of them by name. We knew each other’s parents. There was a bond. Here kids see each other maybe at clubs or in common classes. Aren’t they to young at 13 to be given this enhanced level of Independence?

So then is it the laws of gun control? Maybe it is. How is the seller going to know if the buyer is responsible enough with guns? In the first place, if you are not a law protection officer why do you need a gun? I have never understood this.

So is it everything? It is. It is the parents, the education system, the laws, the technology that empowers, enables and pushes the teenager to that dark corner where nobody should go. I believe nobody wake up one day, picks up a gun and shoots people, especially not teenagers. There is an underlying reason that has had a snowball effect over the years.

Parents, please involve yourself in your children’s life. You don’t have to poke your nose into everything, but be aware of their thoughts. Talk to them, understand them, teach them the good virtues. If you have guns, lock them up, store them safely. It could destroy your family and many others like yours.

The best thing we can give our children is our time…!

With prayers…

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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… !

Sunday musings…

Is there one person in this whole wide world who knows you inside out? Maybe not. Actually it is not maybe, it is definitely no. And the only person who knows you entirely is you. All the acquaintances we make have a piece of us. As we meet new people, they take a slice of us. It is almost never the complete picture. We become a combination of what they take from us and their presumption of us. The less they perceive, stronger will that relationship be.

In a lifetime we meet so many people, most just look at the cake and walk away. They may admire the structure (pun intended), some the color, yet a few like the icing. It is only when you and the other person have a genuine interest that you share a piece. You slice and dice yourself and give a portion to every person you hold dear to you.

We are a piecemeal of many such relationships.

If you think of it, it is impossible to give the entire cake to any one person. For one, each one is carrying their own cake and second, there are just so many relationships. In the end we are all this infinite set diagrams partially intersecting with other sets, every day. Math applies in such weird ways, one would think!

We float in this infinite space with these innumerable intersecting sets all the time. These intersections build up those blocks of expectations. Some of them are so high, that they make the intersection very heavy. You are something to someone all the time. So then when are you, YOU? When are you just that single circle, with no strings attached, floating in space, and the stars shining down on you. Very rarely, for most people. There are those stolen moments from your own life, when you can put down the weight, walk around in your circle, floating under the sky.

Our social system is so pathetically morose that it bombards us with this constant need to intersect. We are taught from when we are born about relationships, expectations, bond and all such crap. Are we ever taught to carve out our own path?

My friend brought in an interesting perspective recently. She said, why should I tell me son to do anything about working, marrying, and all that circus? Let him decide what he wants to do. If he doesn’t get married, he doesn’t. Big deal. It is his life and he has complete authority over it. Well, this is one of the reasons why, she is my best friend.

Can we really change the current norm of pressurizing our loved ones into forming intersections. Let them lead their way, let them live their life. Maybe that would increase the happiness quotient eventually. The number one killer of happiness, I believe, is expectations. These expectations stem out like mushrooms from relationships and people go crazy over it. Only if everyone lived with the feeling that, ‘I’m here for you if you need me’. Come to think of it, that is all, that’s required. There is no need of, you need to behave one way, you need to talk one way, you need to emote this way, you need to think this way… Give me a break! See where stress comes from, followed by depression and what not.

Why does any relationship “have to” be a certain way? The only true relationship (in its absolute sense) is that of a mother and child. Even in this one, when the mother thinks, “I will lead you for the first few years, then I will guide you, further on, for the most part, I’m here for you”. It is that simple.

So should you start easing out of the heavy ones? I don’t know. Maybe the trick is to make your circle strong. I don’t know…

If we keep it simple for the next generation, maybe the sets of the future will be lighter….

Day 3 : Life lessons – People in our lives

This is a quote by Mother Teresa and I totally believe it. There is a rhyme and reason for every person in your life. Even the sales guy who drops in once in a while selling things in their goody bag. Recently, when I was in a mental turmoil about my job, my friend, my family, my father, one late evening there was a knock on my door. When I peeped through the glass window, I saw a young lady standing there smiling with a stack of books in a hand. I opened the door and left the door half closed, half open because I didn’t know who this person was and it was pretty late. She told me, she was studying and selling books to help fund her education. Because it was a woman and because she mentioned education I decided to buy a book from her. I paid the money, got the book and out of nowhere she asked me, “is it okay with you if we pray together?” I was caught by surprise. Nobody has come to my door with this request. I said okay. She stood there outside my door on a dark night and prayed for me, my children, for my happiness. It could be a sales gimmick, that’s what you would think when you think from your head. But I tend to think from my heart in such situations and felt a strange calm after she left. I did not get the answers to my issues in life immediately but I got the assurance the God is seeing everything, He is watching over me and He will show me the way just before the turn.

She came to me with a purpose. She was a blessing.

I have been blessed many times over with the presence of women who have taught me “what not to be”. A certain member of my extended family thought it was her primary responsibility to domesticate me. I was Katherine the shrew she had to tame. At that time I was naive and took a big hit on my self confidence, self respect. But in a few years, He jumped in, held my hand and walked me away. Through the whole ordeal I learnt more about myself. The levels to which I could be downgraded, how I would fight such situations and come out a more confidant, self respecting woman. There were other women who through experiences taught me very well, to the comma and to the dot, what not to be. Those were exemplary life lessons.

Life teaches you everyday the purpose of each person and whether they are a blessing or lessons. God tactically places them in your life so that you can evolve into the person you truly are!

Blessed!

#metoo

I learnt about what #metoo means when I looked up a Malayalam actress’s post. She is a celebrity and can put it. Nobody would care because she is famous and not married. But what ties all women who have had a bad experience to narrate is that they know the feeling, the agony, the umpteen times they have tried to put it out of their system. But it stays like rotten fungus, etched in her memory. The bastard ( I have no lesser word for them) forgets it like eating breakfast that day. 

How many Indian women from middle class families would admit that they were at some point in their life sexually assaulted or abused or whatever crap one wants to call it, for fear of the reaction of their immediate families? Even if the woman has an open mind does her partner or family have an open mind to accept without contempt that the woman close to them went through a harrowing experience which they can’t even begin to imagine? Many men probably attach behavior patterns of the woman with this past experience as if she had a say in the act. She was probably less than ten years of age when she didn’t even recognize her body parts. She was probably a woman with dreams that were crushed because of the bastard’s whim. She was probably a woman who has sons the age of the bastard. There is no particular age that a woman is targeted which exponentially increases the horrendous crime. 

The basic question anyone can ask these bastards is – don’t you have a mother. There is no other way you could have been born and this act is an ultimate insult of her. There is a vast generation of men who are negatively impacted by pornography. They probably don’t have basic sex education or are deprived of sex itself that they launch what they see on the one they can land their hands on first. This is the only part where I don’t believe in karma. It was not her karma to be subject to such a heinous act. Everyone remembers the woman, nobody remembers the bastard. The best example is the Malayalam actor abduction case. Justice is delayed to a celebrity who has the connections so what will happen to a common man. At the mention of her name there will be more perverts who will say with lewd eyes – wasn’t she the one who was abducted and assaulted. There will be few who at the mention of the bastards name will say – wasn’t he the one who harmed the modesty of many women? Somehow he becomes the hero. There is a whole generation of men waiting to get their hands on the videotapes of the assault to satisfy their whatever..

There is a layer of rotten bastards living in today’s world. They should be dug out and killed to stop this menace. Everyone keeps shouting slogans about equality, more power to woman and all that bullshit, what every woman needs is her basic human right to exist as a human being without fear – even if she is a baby. The situation is so disgusting that the only place safe for a woman is in the womb as a foetus. Everything else is risky.

I am in support of the recent movement of educating our sons. Yes they are the ones who should be taught to respect a woman, every woman! 

Sex education is a serious thing and should be taught in schools so that children don’t have to find out what vagina means or what sex means hiding under blankets browsing books they sneaked or googling behind closed doors. It should be talked openly in homes so that they learn to think that sex is a natural phenomenon and not a taboo.

All this while it’s the women who have been fighting, when will the men come down to fight for and protect the women? Why don’t we have more men in the streets raising slogans about keeping her safe? It doesn’t mean women shouldn’t fight for their rights but if there is vast majority of men who believe that women should have their human rights why aren’t they trying to fight the minority of men who resort to such dastardly acts? Why are they opinionated in silos? Why can’t they conjure up forces to pressurize the governments to fastrack these cases, and ensure the bastards are gravely punished so that the next guy who wants to commit this crime thinks atleast for a second before doing it? 

Change still seems like a very distant dream. But I sincerely hope that there is hope. If we do our part today maybe there will be a better tomorrow.. 

With prayers…

“Apprehension” – a big word

I fear a lot of things. I don’t know if others are like this, because I cannot get into anyone else’s mind. I am not scared, but I fear. Scared I feel is a word of present or past tense. Fear is associated with the future. So what am I fearful of? Oh many things. Like, my kids will fall sick, I might have an accident, I may never become a successful writer, the curry I am cooking will go bad, my kids will be late to school (this is my every school day fear), I may become very poor one day, and so on and on and on.. Constantly feels like I am sitting on the tip of the iceberg and the ice will melt anytime, plunging me down into a deep canyon. Oh! and my biggest ever fear, one I have carried all my life, is associated with my father.

I have thought about, why do I fear all this? What is to happen, will happen. I know this, I mean yes, I know this for a fact. I accept it, but the apprehension of what ill may come constantly lingers on my mind. Although when the ill thing happens, I am the bravest person around. I can handle situations which are a real pain in the wrong places, extremely smoothly. There are many people who know me and will vouch this for a fact. But the anticipation or the wait just kills me. Does that sound like a paradox? No, I am not crazy. Am I waiting for something bad to happen or am I cautious about it? I think its mid way.

Maybe the word is apprehension. I remember taking a personality quiz in the 7th grade at Bishop Cottons, organized by Times of India. At the end of the long set of never-ending questions, a complete stranger looked at my answers and told me I was apprehensive about the future. Honestly, I had no idea what the word apprehension meant. It looked like a good word to play the find-simpler-words-from-a-long-word game.

Now I know. Did that stranger have a magic wand, or was I extremely truthful on that personality quiz. Whatever it was, it was damn good a quiz!

So yes, I am apprehensive – anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen. Are a lot of people like this? Sitting on the iceberg? I guess not, rather, I hope not. Its not a very nice place to be, with the tip poking at your bottom all the time, making you feel like you are walking on a stack of needles or shard glass all the time. In this phrase lies the truth “walking on shards of glass”. You can never cut yourself whilst walking on shards of glass!! Yes, I’ve done it (as part of a team building camp out from work), nothing happened. I reached the other end of the ground, tears running down my cheeks, exploding with happiness, that I had overcome my fear!

So much for apprehensions?

I have probably reached the mid point of my life, or maybe a little past mid point. There are moments (sometimes minutes) where I delve into life, its meaning, where we come from, where we are heading. In these lapses of self-digging, I realize that at this point in life, I am going through a churning, a reflection of sorts on yesterday, today and tomorrow. There is a crossover that is happening from youth to the next stage, where we start looking at things from a higher altitude. Not 360 degrees yet, maybe 180? Through this looking glass, the apprehensions become clearer, through this knowing, building defense mechanisms becomes easier, through these defense mechanisms, life becomes simpler!

Cheers to this wonderful, blessed yet convoluted creation called life!