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.


Friday, August 11, 2017

How to encourage children

A few months ago, my younger son drew a piece of art and handed over to me. He said to me to send his drawing to the Young world to publish the same. I sometimes forget to do that. So he reminded me every now and then to complete the work. Finally one fine day, I sent the artwork through email and I almost forgot the same. Every week he used to check every edition of the young world. He was disappointed to see his art work not being published in the young world. A few weeks later, gradually he lost interest in doing art work and he completely quit the process. If I ask him to start anything new, he would give me hundred different excuses to escape from the request. 

Weeks passed, months passed and one fine day his school correspondent pinged me in WhatsApp indicating that his artwork has been published in the Young World. My son was excited to the core. He never thought it will be out in the world. It was like a miracle and a dream coming true for him. He asked me to show the newspaper to him. He was holding the newspaper and staring at his artwork for zillion seconds. He did not want to come out of the scene so soon. After few weeks, we could see another art work from him getting published in the Young World. This time he was really happy. No words to describe his ecstasy and the feeling. 

A couple of days later, I can see my son sitting on his study table and started doing artwork on his own. Nobody insisted him to do the work. The huge encouragement he got by seeing his name in the newspaper did all the trick. Every time he would like to see his name and his work in the magazine. It is quite natural for any human being and it is a good addiction. We often have so many dreams and goals for our children. However, if we can direct them to pursue in the right direction everything is achievable.

 Every goal of the parent is possible by channelizing their thoughts in the right manner. I don't mean to say we should force them to achieve something. They don't know what is good and what is not. For example, in my case, I was asking him to spend a little time in the art which was not happening for a long time until his work got published. I won't say I forced him towards the target. But there is a way to make them get there. Similar way we think that our children should be great readers, thinkers, and develop their creative analysis. These are great goals. Making them achievable is all in our hands. We need to figure out only the right way to get there. 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stop

My husband asked me to review one of the documents on his desktop. While editing the same, I accidentally opened my husband's Facebook account. I know what you are thinking. I did it without him noticing me. So I was saved. I was browsing through the page. A video with many shares grabbed my attention. I opened the link and saw the video. At the end of the video, I was disturbed. It showed few people going and thrashing a 12 or 13-year-old boy until he collapses. Even though several videos of this kind is going on in the social media, this particularly disturbed me so much. After the video, I asked myself two questions. Where is the humanity? What are we leading to our younger generation?If a child does something wrong, there are zillion ways to correct it with a human touch. There is no way a child can be changed by beating him or her. 

The aggressive nature of the human mind is caused by building layers of painful memories inflicted from a young age. When a child is growing, it is our responsibility to show them the correct way of preventive measures. If we consider spanking the child as the right method of punishing the child, he or she will grow with a negative attitude towards people. That eventually leads to a spoiled child in the society at the later point of life. If we don't create holistic individuals for the society, there is no credit for our existence in the world. The creator of the universe created all of us to lead a peaceful life. 

I understand, there is so much going on in the world. Even in the middle of a crisis, if we can maintain our credibility and integrity, chances are high that our children will follow our footpath. As a society, if we collectively take a stand to not forward such violent or useless videos in Whatsapp or Facebook, we are at least doing a better role than others. However, if there is an incident to be reported to the government, it can be sent to the concerned person rather than promoting in social media. As children are having the access to smartphones, their minds can be easily corrupted with the spoiled videos. They may end up with the perception that the world outside is dangerous. There may be few who are scared to try anything new even in their friend's circle and there may be few who transform into daredevils. 

There is no percentage of benefit in forwarding such videos or information. It will induce hatred for a particular section of the society without a proper analysis. Before forwarding a video or audio to anyone, please check whether it will be of any benefit to the other person or anyone surrounding them. If not, please stop from your end itself. By doing so, you are evolving as a socially responsible person. We need this kind of messiahs in large number as the number of users using the internet is growing every day. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hold On

"Amma, I stood among the top 3 list of the 100-meter race" the voice swelled with pride when my 11-year-old entered the home. I was surprised and excited. I have no words to say. Despite they were made to sit in the hot sun for long hours, many children proved their mettle right during the recent sports heat conducted by the school. Even though he says me often, that he is considered one of the best runners in the class, I acknowledge it slightly and move on. We don't indulge in that discussion for hours. However, this time when he conveyed the news everything felt different. I didn't expect this to happen in our life at all.

I remember vividly what happened when he was young. I used to take him to the play ground often. I invariably tried in all the ages, may be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 years. He would run back home leaving all the friends behind. He didn't show even a single percent interest towards physical activity. I used to contemplate like a worried mother. How do I make his interest towards the ground? What would be the right attempt? Many questions were moving around in my mind, but nothing was fixed in concrete and I dropped the idea finally. 

In the recent past before a year ago, I joined him in a tennis coaching class. Before playing tennis, they are supposed to do a lot of warm ups including running for some time. He was going to the classes consistently by force and at a point, he was a self-starter by himself. The magic happened there and he was falling in love with the workout. It took years of patience and consistent effort. 

The victory made me think that nothing is impossible. A boy whom I thought will never get to the ground and do running or anything in life gradually developed an interest for the same and excelling in the same become unimaginable. If you have started a business and nothing is working out at the present, hold on, you will see the magic within some time. If you are a mother, who is worried about the future of your child, hold on, you will see the magic after some years. If you are working in an IT sector, but not happy about the achievement for this year, hold on, you will see the magic in the coming year. All this can happen, only when you are consistent and work towards the right path. When your mind peeps out to you and says, "Hey, it's enough, I am done with it,", stop that inner voice and say, "Hold on, there is a magic brewing in God's factory".