Monday, 25 February 2013

Fifty-2 Weeks of 2013: What I didn't like about my Childhood

This week’s topic raised mixed feelings in me. I was glad to be thinking about my childhood again, not that I have forgotten it but having an excuse to explicitly think about it and relive all those moments was very welcome. At the same time it was a bit difficult because instead of the sweet and fun filled memories I have had to think hard about the things that I didn't like about my childhood.

I am sure like me almost everyone had things they hated when they were happening to them in their childhood. Like the cut off time for playing out with your friends, ration on the snacks you really liked (crisps, sweets & such), constant insistence from the parents to finish all the vegetables on the plate and oh yes the pressure of studies. But now that I am a mother myself, I realise that those things were necessary. I now know what my parents meant when they said “You don't know it now but you will understand when you have your own kids!” I have ended up reflecting that particular emotion with my daughter already!  Anyway, since I have to list down something that I didn't like about my childhood, I will try to do that instead of going off in a tangential direction.

I have had a pretty normal and happy childhood. Doting parents, great friends, plenty of opportunities to pursue my interests while maintaining the grades at school. So to actually come up with something I didn't like about the great time I had as a child, I have had to resort to comparing my childhood with today's children.

The one thing that I would have liked during my childhood is the kind of exposure kids have today. They are being introduced to all kinds of topics/subjects early one. They know a lot more about technology and what is happening around the world than what we knew. Kids aging from 4 onwards talk about a variety of subjects with confidence and most of the time have accurate knowledge about things. They can no longer be taken for a ride by the adults, they ask questions, they don't accept incomplete or fantastical explanations, they debate and counter question. I sometimes look at my daughter and think how I was completely oblivious of the events in the world when I was as old as she is now, whereas she is duly informed about everything interesting that is happening in the world.

So, there it is. Its nothing that I disliked from my childhood because whatever we lacked in terms of exposure we more than made up for it in terms of social contact. Today the children or rather their parents have to make a conscious effort to get them involved with other children, make them mingle with people, whereas for us it came very naturally.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Fifty – 2 Weeks of 2013 – Week 7

She was always apprehensive about the kind of life partner she would get. Will he be sensitive enough? Will he be loving & caring? And what about the sense of humour that she so wanted her man to have? What would happen if he was a very serious & no nonsense person who looked at life as a series of tasks that need to be completed right on time and with precision. She had come across such people and absolutely dreaded the possibility of having to spend her rest of the life with such a person. You see, she herself was a down to earth, happy go lucky kind of girl who wanted to enjoy every bit of life. She was some one who could smile or laugh in any situation. She always believed in the adage – If its not happy, its not the end!

So there she was, of a marriageable age, meeting prospective grooms every weekend and wondering whom she will end up with. Is it really possible to judge or know a person well enough in 2-3 meetings lasting for not more than 1-2 hrs each? Especially when you are surrounded by family members, who are stealing glances at you while pretending to talk about some socio political issue. But she went ahead with the process nevertheless, constantly thinking if this meeting would be the final one that chooses her life partner.

And then it happened one day. Another one of those normal alliance meetings, with things going almost exactly as they had for all the other previous meetings. But she felt that something had clicked and she found herself saying yes just as she was trying to convince herself not to be terrified at the thought of spending her entire life with a relative stranger.

But it turned out that all her fears were in vain. She was so comfortable with him that it didn't seem like she was with a stranger, even from day one of their marriage. He was almost everything that she hoped & wished for in her life partner. Almost, because no one can be perfect after all! He was sensitive, had a great sense of humour, understood her so well that she was amazed sometimes. Life with him was easy & simple. He was a simple person with simple tastes & likes.

He was so transparent that one look at his face could tell her exactly what was going on in his mind. So she always knew how he felt about things. This proved to be a handy tool because after all she could always adjust things if she knew it was something that bothered him. Little did she know that the same transparency would later become an annoying problem for her. Like yesterday when she asked him if he liked the Karela Bhaji (Bitter gourd Curry) and he smiled and said it was great but she knew he didn't like it one bit! Why couldn't she stay ignored and enjoy the fact that her husband liked everything she made?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Fifty-2 Weeks of 2013: People watching

Before my visit to Disneyland, Paris, I couldn't imagine people, I mean grown ups being crazy about something or someone. I had heard about people screaming out Pop star’s names and falling all over movie stars but never before had I seen the kind of excitement and anxiety I got to see in Disneyland. I was expecting the kids to go berserk and jumping around in excitement but what I saw was the adults equally looking forward to meeting the Disney characters. This snap was taken during the famous Disney parade where all the characters come out in colourful costumes and huge displays.



Even the dark looming clouds could not deter them from finding an ideal place and waiting there for hours to get a good view at the parade. We were among them too, along with people from all possible age groups, new born babies to senior people in their 80s or 90s! And the parade was every minute worth the wait and all the fuss! There is something about these characters that totally draws you to them and makes you feel like a young child again. It must be something to do with the fact that deep down we always have a child within us and would always prefer to be that child rather than the adults that we are!