Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can't Really Name This One.

Reading the post by Smitha today, on parenting in a balanced way, sent my mind on a long thoughtful journey. It started with what her post said about parenting, thinking of it in terms of me as the parent, to me being parented, and how everything eventually turned out. To quote, Smitha says ,
I did not want to be a pushy mother, but at the same time, did not want to ‘not push her enough’, if you know what I mean.
And that is where I agree with her the most, and yet suddenly seemed to have found a different line of thought altogether on that, after contemplating on what I read in that post. Sometimes contemplation, actually helps me find words to my thoughts, to actually articulate my abstract thoughts and concepts more concretely.

Parenting is a difficult task, to put it mildly. It needs balance, focus, alertness, and mostly great strength to stick to my guns, in the toughest times. I am nowhere near being the perfect parent, I am too aware of my flaws and shortcomings to claim that. But somewhere along the line I have also come to realise, there is no fixed definition of the perfect parent either, because each child is different, and comes with different needs, likes and dislikes. What makes someone a perfect parent to their child, might make me a nightmare to mine and vice versa. I believe as long as the basic emotions and principles are in place, one is usually on the right track. Coming back to the point of it all, what defines pushing, too much, too little or just right? What is needed by a child, what is not, and where do we draw the line? Its not easy to decide, and its not for any book(or website) to tell.

As a child I was pushed too much, the GP, not at all. We both turned out averagely OK, but I think, I spent most of my initial years, doing things that did not genuinely interest me, nor did I have a true aptitude for it. Case in point being sports. I was quite a fanatic as a child. I stayed up late nights during the football world cups, went crazy during cricket matches, and pretty much scheduled everything around the tennis Grand Slams. And today, I don't even know all of the Indian cricket team. No one pushed me to love sports, but just living in a household that lived and breathed it, I took it in, I left the house, and suddenly sports interested me, not one little bit. This is not to say, that parenting has no part to play, it is to say, that the likes, dislikes, passions of parents will definitely influence their child, maybe even for life, but somethings just remain till they remain under the direct influence of the parents. Eventually, we all move on, to or with things that really and truly interest us. Or maybe its just me.

Its just recently that a very dear friend of mine, who is a life coach, did my personality analysis, without a charge, while it is infact a part of her professional services, and we discovered, that my personality type happens to be one of the rarest. Which either means I am extra special(I am sticking with that one), or I am a nut case. Well actually neither, it just means I am who I am. I loved bits of the description about the personality type, and it made so so much sense to me. Let me digress, and share this. It said , 'You are not so much party-poopers, as you are pooped by the party'. Can't even begin to describe how true that rings for me. I love people, friends, and all, and yet a huge group of people in a social scenario scares me. I am great with people I connect with, and they just cannot believe that I am not so great with general social interactions, but I just am not. Oh! that analysis, and the description of my personality type, just made me realise I am not such an oddball after all. When I was sitting and discussing this with the lady who did the analysis, she herself one of the not-so-common-types, said, 'It really makes a lot of sense doesn't it, and it makes us realise, we are not aliens, in this race of people, just different.' How true. But coming back to the parenting aspect of it, what would have been good parenting for a person like me? Could what's described in the books work for someone like me?

The point being what to do we encourage, in our children, where do we push, and where do we stop, and where do we just let them be. Its a very tough, very difficult choice, and I think it gets even more difficult when we have more than one child. It would be so so so tough to recognise the separate needs of multiple kids, and treat them according to their own sensibilities. But here again, I contradict my own beliefs.

I believe every individual has their own aptitude, and there is that something special for everyone of us. And it is foolish to generalise that. Because we need all kinds for the world to live and continue. the soldiers are needed as much as the doctors, the musicians are needed as much as the engineers, and it is but foolish if we prefer one over the other, and force the choice, or direct our children in that direction. And when we impose nothing on our children, we let them find their own way, find what is their true calling. I believe the most important ingredients in bringing up a child, are
  • an environment with abundant and unconditional love.
  • teaching through conduct of vales and principles that make a good person.
  • and imparting them with the desire to look beyond the mundane, and expect more than money and material things from this life.
This is not to say, I encourage my child to not study the day before a school math test, because he does not feel like it, and I feel that his true calling lies in poetry and not math. But this is to say, that I hope I do not impose my own likes or dislikes on him, in anyway that will diminish or superimpose his own. But then are also those children who thrive in a world full of rules, discipline and routine, what if my child needs just that and I fail to provide that to him. God! parenting is such a difficult job, there just can never be any clear cut, set rules for it. It is for each of us to find the style that best suits our child and us, and that itself is a difficult task, and then to later stick to that path even harder.

I might be an oddity, but I have no big dreams for the BB, atleast not yet. I have no visions of him being a great scientist/astronaut/ player/author/actor/poet or anything at all. I just hope that he is happy, all his life. And hopefully he will find the path that leads him to his own happiness. I hope I can as a parent equip him with the tools he requires to find that. I am more likely to be the parent who does not push the child at all, rather than the ones who push too much. And that is primarily because, I want my child to find his own way, and also because I was pushed way too much, as child myself, and that makes me feel like I lost so so many precious years, following a dream that was not mine, and could never had made me happy, years that were the best time to concentrate on gaining skills or an education to equip me to follow the path my heart leads me to.

I don't know, if I have made any sense at all in this post, but it was more of a clearing up my own thoughts and trying to articulate, those that I feel but cannot express in words. I believe truly that each individual has that something special in them, and each one will follow their heart, and true calling. And I believe that every parent should, let their child/ren find what makes them tick, and to the best of their ability nurture their child to follow that, no matter how similar or different it is from their own. And that is also because I don't believe any child is born with the natural instinct to kill, hurt or do other evil acts, those are always and but always ones that they learn from the people around them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why Do You Want It?

Money, that what I am talking about here. Do you want money for the sake of money, or for the comforts or security or whatever else it can afford you? Different people want it for different reasons, and those reasons float around aplenty, and vary greatly too. Some cannot hold onto it for too long, its gone as soon as it reaches them, others, value it more than their own life, and keep it stowed away safely, pinching every penny that's spent. Some have less than what they need, some have way too much. And there are a very very fortunate few I believe who have just as much as they need.

Whatever it is, there are few who escape the charm of money. Is money evil, like a few people claim it is, like the ones who renounce all the charms of the world and go on to attain enlightenment? I don't think so, money like friction, I believe is a necessary evil. We need it, to live in the world, and yet its easy to fall for its charms and lust for it. I was similarly talking about the Internet, with a lovely philosophical friend of mine recently. She does not use the Internet much, except for the essential needs,(much unlike an addict like me) and is wary of how it can be quite a deep dark hole. And while talking to her, I realised, the Internet, is to us what we make of it. For me, its a way to stay in touch with friends, mainly, sometimes pick up bits of information, reading a few blogs, and ofcourse, using Google when I am stuck with pretty much anything. And it was while talking to her, that I realised it myself, and told her, that e-mails, and social networking websites are such an easy and wonderful way to be a part of the ongoings of the life of my friends, who live in time zones, which are almost the exact reverse of my own, and phone conversations or even skype calls, are pretty much impossible to schedule. To me the Internet is a friend, a boon. But then I digress.

So what about money? Just like the Internet, I think it is what we perceive it to be, how and why we want it. I fear developing too much of an affection for money, one where, I want money just for the sake of it being money. I fear becoming a miser, developing a love for money, I fear becoming a slave to it, like I see so many around me are. No there is no denying that I do need money, enough to keep my family and me happy, and definitely that requires more than just basic food, and clothes. But I want to draw the line at that, and not let it engulf my being. It scares me, when I see people like that, completely enamoured by money,people who want it, and love it so much, they have become a slave to it. I hope I always have enough, sense and wits about me, not to fall prey to the entrapment of money in that way. I hope I always, have a bit to spare for the one who needs it more than me, enough to provide for food, shelter, clothing and security for the three of us and not much more, because that may just make me want some more. Somehow, when I think of what I want, its never the money, but some thing that I fancy, a trip, or a meal or something like that but never money itself. There is very little I have ever saved and kept away, I know its not a very responsible thing to do, as a mother, but somehow I don't think I have the mind set to do it. My extravagance has toned down considerably over the years, once the initial rush of having my own money subsided. I in no way discount, they security a huge bank balance affords the owner, but somehow, the idea of having money for the sake of money, just does not make sense to me. Isn't that the cause of all the financial inequalities in the world today?

Tell me, do you fancy money? Why do you fancy it, what does it mean to you? Is it a subtle sense of comfort or the prime motive of your existence? What does money mean to you?

Friday, December 3, 2010


Had to share it here, before I forget all about it. The GP met an interesting personality at his new workplace. the experience is his, but it was too 'special' to not mention here, for a few laughs!

An Indian man, who has been in Australia for over six years now, is working in the same office, as the GP. They were attending a meeting together, which included lunch and drinks. In a room full of people, during lunch, he asks the GP, about his detailed whereabouts, which city in India, what language and more. He then, once again in loud tones, enquires about the GP's visa status, how he came to Australia and more, and people I am just keeping it short here, but believe me, it was an in depth public interrogation, which also included queries about his current pay package, perks and more. The GP managed to escape, and was talking to the others, with a drink in his hand, when Mr.'I-am-from-India', turns up again. And this is what I think was the highlight, that had me burst out laughing, when the GP narrated it to me, but I can only imagine how mortifying it might have been for him at that point.

Him -(Pointing at the glass in the GP's hand and loudly) You drink alcohol?
GP - (nods quietly)
Him - Oh! But people from India don't usually drink alcohol. X,Y* and myself, we don't drink alcohol.

(*X & Y are 2 men from India, unknown to the GP who work in the same office.)

I don't know how the GP escaped that. I think he must have been quite red-faced!

So all you people, who truly belong to India(read, those who don't drink alcohol), please raise your hands here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The One Which Is Actually A Mail

I have been wanting to post, and mail about the move, to all my friends and readers. And I thought, since its basically the same stuff, I will just use it in both the places. Yes, I am now safely in Brisbane, in a serviced apartment, while the GP is off to his first day at work, at yet another new place. Strange how for 6 years he stayed with the same organisation, but has been changing his work place each year since the last three. Anyway, so I mailed, my friends in Melbourne about the move, and I am just representing the mail out here, to all of you. Will just link up the blog friend, here, who has been a total pillar in my existence in Melbourne.

Hi Melbourne!

How are you doing? Do you miss me? I miss you terribly, bad climatic conditions included. I am mailing it out to the whole lot of my Melbourne friends, so please excuse the lack of personal queries about your well being. But this is addressed to my very very dear friends, and I would love to know about how you are doing. (And i need updates on how the quit-smoking program is working out, from the ones on it!! STAY ON COURSE.)

Well, the last few days were quite crazy and hectic, what else is to be expected, when I am moving out of a city, with a kid in tow, and the move includes a couple of nights in a hotel, and then another month and a half in a serviced apartment... I just did not know how to pack, what to pack, and what to send with the packers! But anyways things got done, and on Wednesday, the 24th morning, once the packing was done, I headed off to my last shift at the WIRE phone-room.( I feel really sad, not going there today.... breaks my heart, with the reality of the fact, that I have actually ceased to be an active part, of what was the start of a wonderful journey for me, hopefully one that continues throughout my lifetime. I miss you WIRE, the work you enabled me to do, and the wonderful friends you gave me.) It was a great shift, infact one of my best there, and that is a lot due to the wonderful ladies I had working with me on that shift. :) Thursday was moving of the stuff, us shifting to the hotel and such... The hotel, people, was the one right next door, so made it easy to monitor the ongoings at home, while shifting our luggage there. That day the house, which had become home over the past 11 months, became bare, the carpet was cleaned, I scrubbed and cleaned every available surface, for the inspection, and my little boy, just hung around watching. I need to tell you how wonderful the BB been through all of it, very sporting, no tantrums, no craziness. At the end of the day however, after the carpet was cleaned, we had no place to even sit on, and that was when he asked me to get the bed from the truck. Moved into the hotel soon enough, and at night, he wanted to go home to the bed. I had not the heart to explain to him, that we were not without a home, and would be thus, for a while. He was uncomfortable bathing in the hotel room, but did it anyways without much fussing. and so on.

By Friday evening however, it felt like Melbourne was ready to throw us out. We did not find a decent place to eat at Lygon Street, not that we knew of too many nice ones anyway... but.... Just shows, its not always a great idea to try out new, unknown places. We were tiered to the bone, when we reached back at night... exhausted with the past few days of work, and exertion. I had barely slept 3-4 hours a night, the past few days. And so we decided to just crash on the bed, and sleep till as long as we could, since our flight to Brisbane was in the afternoon on Saturday. Left the packing and locking of suitcases to the morning. BIG MISTAKE! While deep in slumber, the room-phone rang. It was the reception calling to say the check-out time was 10:30 and it was infact 10:30 right then. Jumped out of the bed, packed as quickly as we could and left. Fortunately, managed to catch an earlier flight. Things went well from there on. The flight was nice, got our rent-a-car conveniently at the airport, and were in our current abode, within an hour and a half of landing. The weather was gorgeous. Bright and sunny, yet a nice cool breeze blowing. Wow! I loved it. I haven't any photos of the place yet, because I am yet to pull my camera out of the bag, so sorry about that. We are living just across the Brisbane river, and its simply gorgeous.:) The whole walk-way along the river, is so so beautiful.

My initial impression of this place is, that its more laid back than Melbourne. There are no Coles or other supermarkets, that are open 24X7, in fact the lady at the register, at the Coles Express we had been to, to get some milk and bread, asked us if we had come from Melbourne, since, the stores are open all day(and night) long there. People are well dressed, but not as well as those in Melbourne. We are looking for a house, ofcourse, may take a while to find one, that we love though. Its no help that we know absolutely no one in this city, and that makes me miss Melbourne, with the wonderful set of friends I had formed there, even more. You were the ones who guided me around the streets, the public transport, the shops and more. The ones, who showed me around, and were always there when I needed anything, even to just talk my heart out. The ones who helped me with understanding the culture, the people and the way of life, and taught me not to take things personally. The ones, who inspired me to develop a more charitable, altruistic outlook towards life, and helped me become a part of FOK(Friends Of Kolkata
). And the ones, who helped me understand myself better! I was really sad about leaving Melbourne, mainly because that meant leaving these wonderful friends behind, and also quitting WIRE, which means a lot to me. But then someone in the phone-room, said to me, 'Always remember Melbourne(and WIRE) for giving you direction.' and that is exactly how I wish to remember it, as my starting point. I will miss you, but then I am always just a mail or call away....and that means, I will never really lose my lovely friends.

Visit us soon, as soon as we get a place to live in, and settle down.
Hugs and Smiles,

PS - The house inspection went really well. The agent, thought we had hired professional cleaners for the job. :D Yes I think I may just be ready for trying out a new profession here! ;)