Friday, November 10, 2017

What are you doing?

I am always excited to travel even to a known destination and if it is a place that I haven't visited before gives me a double thrill. Getting on a train to get the right seat has always been an enticing experience for me. As soon as the train arrived, like a child, I wait for the coach to stop in front of me. If my allotted coach is far away I always make sure to walk to that distance to get inside rather than boarding any other coach. It was one such eventful journey I boarded the train. I got a right seat to sit down and read the lovely book which I was waiting to read with no disturbance. Train journeys meant for reading good books. I opened the book which I was dying to read for a long time. The initial pages were interesting and I was flowing with the life of the personality in the book. While I was reading the book, I was distracted by a lovely little child who was sitting on the other side of the aisle with her mother. As I was reading, I was also fascinated to watch their life story. As per my observations then and there the child was clinging to her mother and was in a mood to explore like any other child.

From the beginning of the journey,  I saw the mother was hooked to her smartphone than spending time with her child. She was browsing the phone by not giving any rest and relaxation to the phone. Her child was very adorable and she didn't even bother to ask for the phone nor in a position to disturb her. The child was in her own mood to talk something by herself and spent the rest of the time by watching the neighbors. To continue with the smartphone usage the mother continued to order chickpeas, biscuits, snacks, tea, and coffee whenever anyone comes to the compartment to sell their product. All the snacks have been gently passed on to her daughter and the mother conveniently spent her time on the phone. I was surprised to see the little girl having that much amount of patience. 

Few hours passed, the mother became so much tired of watching Whatsapp and she slept. The girl after having all the snacks and playing by herself all alone has got bored. While her mother was sleeping, she was sneaking from her seat and wanted to socialize with everybody in the compartment. She stood in her seat and told me "Don't wake up my mother. I am going to play" and she was walking down in the train coach. After some time  I asked her, "Why are you going outside. Please stay in your seat". Hearing those words her mother woke up and asked her to stay in the same seat with her. Just because I noticed the incident, the mother spent some more time with her and she continued going back to her mobile. 

The whole incident bothered me a lot. The smartphone captured most of us inside the four corners of the screen and made everyone as prisoners. None of us are spared from the evil devil. Only a few conscious human souls know the limitation of using it in the right way and at the right time. Train journeys are worth to remember and it's even worth when you are alone traveling with only your daughter or son. Because you have got the undivided time to spend a lot with your children. At home, mothers are always multitasking the work at most of the times. In a travel, there is nothing to take care except your family, belongings and the memories. Travelling itself is a wonderful phenomenon. There is always a lot to learn every time you travel whatever the mode of the transport. During the course of travel, be kind to your eyes, your family and look everything around you. Make memories and learn something and more importantly spend time with your family. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Swap

I was traveling to Madurai for a conference. Our group had few adults with a lot of children. Everyone got a seat scattered in different coaches. Since we wanted all the children seated together, few adults went hunting for adjacent seats together by pleading and pleasing grown-ups.  None of them were in a mood to adjust to their nearby seats. I wondered the tolerance level of people even after explaining the situation about children. This attitude requires a serious thought provoking for all of us. We didn't ask families to separate and sit, either we asked a couple itself to move to the next place or singletons to move. But none of them heard our voice. They wanted to sit and not willing to move as that was the seat they occupied in the first hand. You may ask, they paid money and got tickets, so it belongs to them. Of course, Yes,  I don't deny that. All we said is the same comfort can be shifted to the other seat. Not even a single leg could move and offer a seat for the children. 

I am writing this because I am the victim of this incident.  When I get denied something which I strongly crave for any human being will be disappointed. That's the normal human psychology. We are also travelers in many occasions in trains. Imagine how would you react when someone asks for a seat-swap? Do you get angry or will you be considerate enough to consider the situation? The reply is totally ours and we are the ones to choose the best. Also, we can't-do that for each and every individual. It depends on the situation and the necessity. I am talking only during the times of necessity. A little bit of flexibility and tolerance level for the fellow travelers can help them and in turn that can mold us into better individuals for ourselves. Indeed these tiny qualities in life can help us sort many problems in the family. If there is a tiff between husband and wife it always matters to who makes it up first and rush towards harmony. This quality brings a better relationship in lending a helping hand to a friend who is struggling to find that one last code to finish the project. This little tolerance level can help a mother wait patiently until the tantrums from the child get over. 

So a seat swap for someone is not just a swap but it defines you, your character, your patience, your tolerance level with all the fellow passengers of this world. To co-exist in this planet with everyone, it is great to be a flexible passenger thereby bringing peace and harmony to the society and the world. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Who are you?

          A few days back I received a call from my friend. I realized the call was not a casual talk like the other days. She was fuming in frustration and agony. After the cajoling and listening to all her confused talk, she felt like opening up and talking. It seems they had a wedding ceremony in the family for one of the close cousins. It was the time of excitement and joy for the whole family and my friend was also looking forward to the same. As like any other family, the relatives gathered well in advance to celebrate the occasion. Since everyone cannot stay in one house all of them spread evenly in many houses and one of them was my friend’s house. 
      
           The joy, excitement and the celebration were in peak as the D-day arrived. The wedding ceremony went well. Everyone enjoyed the festivities and the spirit of the occasion. All the proceedings related to the event were coming close in the next day. Each and every family member was heading towards their hometown. People were coming back to the routine life. My friend was working in a corporate sector and she had to head back to the office.  However, there was this particular gentleman who did not move out from her house.

            He said to my friend that he has a pending activity in the town. Once it is over he will be going back to his home. My friend agreed to the same. So every day she has to make some extra effort to make a little special breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the guest. This was going for another few days. She thought he will head back after the work. All of his work was done and he was not in a mood to go back. He did not plan his journey to his home.

            He was staying in the house as like his own house. He occupied the best room in the house, ate good food and he didn’t even think getting something for the children. This really frustrated and annoyed her to the core as she was working and managing the entire house. Hence the reason she called me to vent out her frustration. 

Sometimes in life, we don’t even realize our deadlines. It is amazing to have great relationships. But that should not go overboard in any place. The more we intrude in others privacy we end up in others mode of mental agony and hatred. Wherever we go and stay however close the relationship is the best time period is for few days. We should not leave from any place having a cluster of ice in the host’s mind and heart. A relationship is a continuous process, never make it short by our negligence to adhere to the norms of life. We need to have adorable relationships with everyone, however, there is a boundary for everything. Make sure that we stay within the circle of good terms. Never be the subject of talking behind your back. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blue Whale

For quite some time, this phrase is common in the social media. Can you guess the famous phrase?. It is "Blue Whale" online game. No matter the age of children, everyone is aware of this term. Thanks to the social media for playing their part so well. Even though I have been reading the news regarding the same, one recent incident shocked me to the core.  It was a boy from a very rural background who attempted suicide and ended his life. I had an impression that the children from the urban city are only aware of this game. That incident destroyed my perception. It is clear that the excessive use of gadgets can bring you down and take your life too. Even though we are all proud that the internet has conquered the world, incidents like these make us realize when to use and not to use the internet. 

So, do we need to be bothered about the Blue whale game? Yes, if your child is using your mobile or laptop without your permission or supervision. One more Yes, if you don't know about your child's routine every day. As a parent, I believe you should have an understanding of the mental health of the child. When I say understanding the child, it doesn't mean that we should do micromanagement for each activity. For example, when the word "blue whale" is discussed so much at school, it is natural for anyone to attempt and see what is it all about by browsing in the google. It happened with my son too. He was browsing through the same, discussed the various steps and so on. Now, at this point, I can't be a rude mother and say, "Please stop talking about blue whale and there is a zillion thing to do for us". If I say this, I am suppressing his free voice and that lead to the desire of finding or digging the game a little further. 

Instead, if I involve in the healthy discussion of all about it, they understand the whole thing and drift away to normalcy.  Children who don't have a good reputation with the family members will indulge in this game. The children who are always subject to complaints from parents and teachers will have a low self-esteem and to have that attention craving, they divert and immerse into this kind of activities without knowing the impact.  As educators, parents and teachers if we can work together towards the holistic being of the child right from morning hugs before they leave to school, listening to them after they are back from school,  nourish them with healthy food, clearing or speaking about any taboo topics which they feel to discuss, a family dinner together and a warm goodnight hug before going to bed are all necessary for a holistic well-being. In addition to all this, please make sure that you activated the parental controls ON in your mobile or laptop. However, If the children are confident and outspoken, not only blue whale or red whale but any whale will not harm them from falling prey to anything in the world. 



Friday, September 15, 2017

Mr.X

     A few months back, my husband and I had a serious argument. Before you run into conclusion, I will narrate the story here. He came back home from the office one day night and started talking about the phone call he had with an 'X' person. He said, "Mr.X" is taking a long journey somewhere and I wished him. I think I am going to send him off at the airport. We both had a good conversation for a long time. As soon as he said, that he was talking with Mr.X for a long time, I got annoyed. I said," You can have enough time for someone but not for us."  But the fact is, I don't have a good impression for Mr.X because he fails in one quality(Speaking truth) which I consider the most in my life.  When I was defending and arguing with my husband, he interrupted in the middle of the conversation and said a profound statement which I admire till today. 

     He said, "What you see in that person is lack of one quality.  I do understand your point. But did you notice the other good things Mr.X has been doing till now? ". I took a step back and thought for myself. I stopped my fighting mode at this point. I relaxed and asked myself, did I ever think about that? Slowly, all those scenes in my life were coming to flash where Mr. X was involved. I took a moment to acknowledge my gratitude to that person to my husband. My husband continued, "not everyone is perfect in the world, there may be different attributes lacking in each and everyone. If you look at everything in the minuscule mode we can't develop great relationships". 


     After listening to him, I stopped arguing and went to the listening mode. Even though I did not agree with all his points, at least I understood that I should not speak ill of someone because of their one negative character trait. We all have many things to be changed or molded in a different level. How can I comment on someone when I have many things to improve at my disposal? In the relationships, if we look at the person only from our perspective, everything goes wrong and we may end up ruining that relationship later point in life. Instead, if we remove that one negative aspect of the person and relate to the other good qualities we will have a positive impression of the same person. One small dot acts as a cluster and covers all the goodness. Next time when we relate with a person don't try to oversize the negative aspect in abundance. This quality breaks the relationships at work place, personal life and with neighbors too. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Believe in Yourself

I like writing from a young age. I used to write letters to my friends during the summer vacation starting from grade 8. This writing habit gradually paved way to show an interest towards speaking and then eventually into Storytelling for children and adults. I like to narrate stories in English as it was comfortable for me from the beginning and I love the English language. During the course of my journey, there were several offers came to narrate stories in Tamil in various places. I denied all of them as I was not confident telling in Tamil. I thought it requires certain skills and good years of experience. I believed that to narrate anything in a language which I am not using much in the professional career requires much of confidence which I didn't possess at that moment. 

I was part of a life-changing course before few years. The course was completely in Tamil whereas I spoke and wrote in English. The people in the course thought that I didn't know Tamil. I was extremely fearful to talk in that language thinking that I may not convey the right idea and the message to the audience. It took me long years to come out of the shell. Before a few months back, one of my friends had asked me to host the launch of her Yoga class in Tamil. That was my first step towards anchoring in Tamil. I was relieved a little as the feedback was very positive. After a good break, again I had a hiccup towards starting anything in Tamil. 

It was when Doordarshan Podhigai approached me to do a program in Tamil along with other storytelling friends. Even though the proposal looked very attractive, I was hesitant to perform for a TV show.  I geared my mind with a conviction if not now, when am I going to break the shell. So I accepted the proposal and I started working on the script. It was a dream come a true moment when I went to the studio and did a show for them. Long hours of TV crew giving the instruction, the magnanimity of the studio thrilled me. But I decided to hold on,  become a little fearless and started narrating the story. Finally, the telecast was announced from Podhigai TV and the show was on the air on August 20 11 AM. I asked for the feedback from my friends and well-wishers. They all liked the program and some had written all the nuances of the program. 

So friends, in this world nothing is impossible. A few months back, I was a person who doesn't know how to narrate even few sentences in Tamil and here I am in a TV program. If you are aspiring for something extraordinary to happen, it is all possible. All you need to take that first step towards removing the clutches from your mind and start working towards the brighter picture. Once you visualize the final page, the universe will work along with you to conspire that dream. So, it is you who needs to decide, what you can and what you can't. If you have the magic words "I CAN" strongly carved in your mind, the rest is all possible. 



Monday, August 28, 2017

Change Maker


I was not at home during the last weekend. Both the days we went out for different sessions as a family. My mother and I talk during the weekday evenings. Since there was a delay in my regular calls, she tried to call me in one of the weekends. That was the weekend we were out all day. She tried calling me multiple times and did not succeed. My mobile was out of charge for long hours. After few attempts of failure, she got panicked. She called my sister to know my whereabouts. Since I had informed her about my sessions, she was able to update my mother on my status. Eventually, my mother was relieved from the thought clutches.You may be thinking on why I am stating this incident now. Is it necessary to make our parents aware of our schedule every day?  Do they need to press the panic button because we are not accessible through the phone? No, not necessary. But how can you avoid this situation? Since my regular calls took a break for two days, my mother couldn't understand the scenario.  If I would have been connecting her regularly in the previous days, she will not be panic for my absence. 

Recently a friend forwarded me a WhatsApp message. I wasn't able to read through the end. It seems a mother was left alone in a house while her children were at abroad earning their living. The hectic schedule of the children kept them away reaching their mother for months, not days. They didn't know the status of the mother for a very long time. Since the neighbors couldn't see the old lady for a very long time, they complained to the police. When the police came and opened the door, there was the real shocker of life. They can see the remains of the old lady in the sofa. She had died a long time ago with no one nearby her. 

I just wondered, are we running behind only the materialistic realms of life? Is human life least important for all? I understand everyone has a busy life these days. There is no question about it. In the busy schedule, how are we sequencing our priorities? We as parents do as much as we can to our children for their best livelihood in future. Are we teaching them the importance of human relationships from a young age? The children who know the value of life will eventually take care of their parents. It is their moral responsibility. We may think we shouldn't burden our children with the sense of responsibility. We should be healthy enough to take care of ourselves. 

Even though I agree for that, relationships and the life values play a great role in the lives of children. If they are sensitive towards their parents they will be sensitive towards other human beings too. Take a minute to realize and understand, how are we grooming our children to know the essentials of future. If you are doing the right steps as a parent, give a pat to yourself and if there is any correction to be done, take charge and be the change maker.