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Saath samunder paar

To start with some times I forget we don’t live in India, I mean we eat the same food, watch the same stuff on TV, move around with the same people we would with in India. Having so many families in the same building it always felt like that. We celebrate some festivals with much more favor too. But then again it is a lot different here.

Firstly, the schools, the curriculum and the teaching methods are totally different. For us, some how, fun and education can never be mixed. However, here anything you teach a child, you have to make it fun. Whether it’s your daily studies or even some thing like swimming. When my 2nd grade kids learns directions she says “never eat soggy waffles”(North East South West). They use rhythm and songs for lots of stuff and not just for the little kids. And they do lots of hands on experiments and crafts to teach concepts. 
My daughter in second grade I was talking about even  writes poems, opinions and other stuff and am surprised, I always remember copying stuff and writing them again and again at this age. The other day she told me she did a book review! Yeah, it’s just a Dr suezz book, but that’s the stuff she reads, so it still surprises me. These kids, from kindergarten itself they try to write stuff, even if it is just a sentence and they draw a lot too. I had to go on google to see what illustrating a poem means, I dint know it before.

One more very interesting thing we are trying to adapt back home is sports, they are considered very important here. I have seen this difference in my daughter who though always loved dance, probably the only physical activity she loved, she has started to love sports and other forms of exercise too.

One more thing I love as a mom here is that any where and every where we go,  some entertainment for kids is arranged for sure. We as a family like to go to the mall. I love it for the obvious reasons and my kids love the awesome play area there. While I just love IKEA so much, I love it also bcoz there is a Smaland (supervised play area) for kids while I check out every thing peacefully there. 

But obviously, every thing is not hunky dory. The kids miss on being with their grand parents and the rest of the extended family, specially, the parties and functions. The grand parents also miss watching and pampering their grand children. However, technology helps a lot. But on the flip side, is the quality time we get here with the kids. In India my husband would take more than 2 hrs just to get back from office to home and even when he is back I couldn’t expect him to laugh and play with kids, he would be so tired by then. Contrary to that, we have lot of time as a family here.

But staying in a place with a whole set of a different values from what we grew up, sometimes makes it is very difficult for us parents to raise our kids here. Once, when I asked my kid to do some chore for me, she expected me to not only say thank you, but also give her some pennies. I was at once taken a back by the idea of giving her money for helping me. I mean it sounded different, though I already knew it is done to encourage kids to help and appreciate them for their effort. I was actually in total confusion whether to change my idea or hers. As a matter of fact both the are not wrong, but which to choose sometimes becomes the question.
When it comes to choosing, for an educated and capable mother the most difficult decision is to choose between work and staying at home. Unlike India, here the whole system is in a way do accommodate both busy full time working parents. So the whole infrastructure welcomes you to work satisfactorily and  taking care of the kids devotedly. Though however, the visa status may not always welcome you to work😉😜. 

This day that day

I am fortunate enough to have two beautiful daughters, my older one is in second  grade but my little one is with me the whole time, oh I forgot to mention she does go to a preschool twice a week and for three hours. (Her teacher tells me even three days per week will be exhausting for the children!)

Now, I want to talk about our daily routine.  So, Some times our days go this way: my little darling watches TV the whole day. She keeps asking me for something to eat (i observed these days she likes to keep munching some thing while she watches tv for long). She then gets bored of what she is watching and wants some thing else and keeps switching the programs. 

In the mean time I watch my IPad while doing household chores. I watch programs  like Koffee with karan or some Anupama chopra show and take  double the time to do my chores.  Since I don’t want to be disturbed watching what ever I am and you know am ‘busy working’ I just get her what ever she wants and do what ever pleases her. 

Then it’s time for me get my older daughter, and the little one does not want to come coz she wants to watch the same thing she has been watching for hours and already got so bored but still can’t part with it. She is all cranky and fights with her big sister once she is back. All this leads to a very irritated mood that carries forward to the end of the day. And then I complain to my husband about how this girl has become so trouble some, she has been watching tv all day still she is bored and bugs me so much.

Now ,other than the Anupama Varma shows I also watch mommy shows and Tara sharma is my favorite. And I watch an episode about technology and it effects me a little…. 

So, this day starts a bit differently. I try to involve my little one in my chores. Here, she is amused by every thing, washing dishes is funny for her and she loves when she hears the sputtering sounds in the kitchen. She can’t resist touching the flour. She loves cleaning the floor too. She also asks me weird questions, when am done with dishes and trying to clean the sink she says, mom do you wash that too, with such cute innocence.

 And am amused with her funny remarks. My blue washing liquid is like Elsa (frozen) and any thing green is a dinosaur. We laugh and have fun. Am not reminded of my regular programs and she does not miss her TV. We entertain each other. I know some times it is exausting, yes, my whole kitchen gets messy, sometimes it’s flour on the floor and sometimes water on the carpet (something my husband is so upset about) but it’s still ok and much better than she watching play doh and surprise egg vedios. As while playing she is touching things with her own hands and experiencing them rather than just imagining.  

She learns so much, she abviously keeps asking me questions like where do tomatoes come from and why should I put salt in every thing. She also counts with me and reasons with me. And watching me in the kitchen develops much more interest in eating her food. But I learn a lot too. Communicating with her like this teaches me so much about her, other than just talking to her about not touching some thing or why she should eat some thing. She sometimes tells me things that happen in her school, some thing she never likes to talk about other wise how much ever I try.

I know I can’t completely aviod our screen time filled days and I don’t expect to do that either. I rather wish for a balance where she learns switching back to the real world form lazily sitting and more often laying on the couch and imagining herself as one of those characters and literally doing nothing and munching some unhealthy snacks(even better). But kids learn through example, so first I have to learn not to respond to my phone every time it beeps. And to treat an important email from my kids school and a forwarded joke on watsapp differently.

India’s Daughter should be banned. I have reasons…

So let me come straight to the point, I think the documentary should be banned because it is worse than a lot of things we have been watching through the years:

Firstly, those prime time crime shows which inform us about the various crimes in such an interesting way, u know, like wait and watch after the break to see what happens next.. Break ke Baad. They are almost like little crash courses on how to do various crimes. They are aired just for the sadistic pleasure of certain people who want to see this thing last before bed. Definitely India’s Daughter is worse than this.

Then, those rape scenes in our Indian movies especially South Indian, especially in the nineties, which were just added for titilation and were an alternative to the today’s item numbers. And the solution for it was most interesting , the girl marries the rapist and the act becomes……sacred, you know. So we have to agree the documentary is worse than this for sure.

Also, those daily soaps where we can learn how an Indian ‘bahu’ has to behave how she has lead her life. These soaps that air every day trying to impose the same thing every day, are surely better than the documentary.

Let’s see, those songs which are so pleasing and nice. They describe woman in such a beautiful way, a woman comparing herself to various delicacies and all.  And also those songs where a boy keeps chasing the girl, against her wish but then at the end of the song she accepts the guy. So this is better than india’s daughter.

So let’s conclude we have been watching lot of stuff and sadly showing these things to our kids too, but now when somebody tries to show us the reality it is banned……

Let’s not stop discussing this and make those little changes in our own lives to make this world a better place.

Amir khan an innocent child or perfectionist?

‘Perfectionist is the term you are reminded when you think of Amir…. But in most of his interviews you may also get a feeling that he is child like innocent.

But this child quality may be something that makes him a perfectionist, because he will not give up, unless he is satisfied. This may be because he does not pay attention to people around him who may be irritated or frustrated and also the fact that others may not think that the point he is making is not very important or it is way too important meddle with.

He has a dialougue in tare zameen par where he says most scientists were considered fools before they were recognized as genius because they were different and this uniqueness makes them think differently. Exactly like him where his innocence lets him be the perfectionist he is.

And we also see a characteristic of him, he is ready to take suggestion from any one, if it is good enough and he also says he can watch a movie just like an audience being completely engrossed in it, he has the ability to detach him self.

Gandhi: the next Ram

‘God was only a man in a different day and age’, may be this is true. Lord Ram was a king who ruled the entire India or so it is believed. Ram is now worshiped as he showed the righteous way of life, he was the ideal king and the ideal son. Now I wonder if the generations to come will worship Gandhi, (Father of the Nation) as God. He leaded India in its fight for freedom through non-violence. He lived a life of simplicity. Though he could easily become a political leader, he stayed away from politics and remained a true leader. So may be there will be temples constructed with Gandhi as a God in the years to come.

culture difference: is it a crime?

All of us are proud of our own cultures and that is the way it should be. But  when we are in our own place among our own people we take lot of things for granted. Once we step out of our comfort zone, we realize how different our cultures can be and how much the divergence would actually effect us.

The way we grow up in India is very different when compared to a lot of other countries. Parents here are very protective,  not just when their children are little kids but their attitude some times does not change at all. Parents usually take the most important decisions relating to the lives of their children some times against the wishes of the children itself. And they insist it is for their own good. Here in India, parents not only fund the entire education of their children and would invest and set up their business if needed, they would also keep earning as much as possible to build assets for their future generations.

So the bond between the parents and the kids is very deep, natural and intense.  For the large part of their lives, parents take care of their kids and expect the same from their kids once they are old enough. So when our relationships are so intense the way we would deal with them would also be different.

Spanking a child may seem like a crime to the Governments of other Nations but for us it a part of disciplining our children. It does not mean that we would beat them up and put them to some kind of torture, but yes we do spank them often and that does not mean we do not love them. While certain aspects of other country’s culture could appear to be crimes to us Indians.  For instance, an average Indian would not dream of letting their infants sleep in another room. So it is some times very important to take the culture aspect of different people when difficult decisions are made. Also, am sure the kids of the poor parents who have been imprisoned are not any better after being separated from their parents.

So lets hope that such complicated issues are dealt with a little more sensitivity at least in the future

 

Woman of Today: Ads vs Soaps

While I was watching an ad of an Air conditioner, I realised that lots of ads these days potray woman as strong headed and individualistic. The equations of women with their husbands are very interesting. Men tend to think twice in these ads before they open their mouth in front of their wives, whether it is the Sun Direct ad of a pregnant woman wanting to watch a scene in sholay or the ad of a lady going for a hair cut. While on the other hand, our soap operas are exactly where they were from ages. Though I dont actually watch them watching the advertisements of the soaps are well enough to know about them.