Friday, July 2, 2010

My Sins Against Gender Stereotypes.

IHM tagged me and this is the one tag which has became a cult of sorts..and if I don't join in I will be a minority and who wants to be that in this blog world. So here I plunge in, into the sinful world of gender stereotypes and tell you the ten different sins I have committed in the 'she' world.

Here are my ten:
  1. My earliest memories of time spent with my father is of us playing cricket with a cousin brother. And I was good at it.
  2. Amma used to call us (me and my sister) her two boys, as all the banking, bills and all errands of the house was taken care by us both. The fact that there were no guys at home helped.
  3. I have been to the police station twice, to complain about a theft in our house and once got furious with the policemen for not taking sufficient interest in our case.
  4. We both (my sister and me) had to constantly travel from home to work place and always got back late. My mother was quite nervous but we both managed well, travelling in trains and then autos to reach home by 9pm, to be with our mother and then leave early at 6am the next morning.
  5. I have loads of men friends as I have women friends and love talking politics and debating issues.
  6. I love buying things but cannot spend time over shopping.
  7. I love books and love cars and driving.  Have done a couple (or more) of test drives. 
  8. I am not frightened of creatures, cockroaches, lizards etc. But I love animals, dogs are a weakness. 
  9. I hate chocolates.
  10. I love beer.
But having said that, I still cry over movies, emotional scenes, when my kids do well and almost any silly matter and I love cooking, I can embroider, am not good at mechanics...
So I cannot be called a full-fledged sinner but an aspiring one!

For the uninitiated and there must be none for sure, the tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve blogging friends or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years.
And I am cursed as all the blogger friends I know have been tagged already.
So see me in blue pants from tomorrow, Yippee!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can the cane

A cousin was talking about how a couple in Canada lost the custody of their two teenagers, when it was found that one of the two kids had a small wound on her leg, supposedly from a scissor that fell down. The scissor wound was not inflicted by the parents but the school suspected the parents, because of a callous comment the kid made, which was something to this effect, “my mother will kill me; if she knew that I had played with the scissor, so I did not tell her”. A casual comment which set the school into action and the kids are now with foster parents. Shocking and sad, you would say.
That was in Canada.

Picture this scene, in India, where the parents complained about the rising fees, and the students of Vishal Bharti School, Paschim Vihar, were made to sit on the floor of the school in the December winter.
Harsh punishment from the schools for revolting against their systems.
You can find more such ruthless acts here, all from authorities who are supposedly the caretakers of our children.


So what is the right way? What is the median?

Are we being far more lenient on our kids and reacting to absurd logics? Is corporal punishment the way to go? Where do we draw the line and be a guide to our kids, bring in the sense of responsibility, instil the right values, let them see the right and wrong with that occasional tap and a few raps on the hands and bottoms, more verbal (read loud) debates to emphasise a point? Or do we, as parents, just let them be, let them learn from mistakes, grope their way around in this bad world and learn the lesson the hard way?

No, I am not for corporal punishment. But having said that, I have had a few chalks thrown at me, a few raps with the scale, but these acts were never to victimise me. And never ever did it border on bullying.
So where do I draw the line? Where do we, as parents, get up and protest?

The school who sent the girls to foster parents said that there were other ways than caning to bring an erring kid to task.
Most counsellors are unanimous when they say a child must never be punished the first time they make a mistake. If the mistake is repeated, an alternative form of deterrent has to be found—from barring them from watching a favourite programme on television or not being allowed to play in the evening and in schools staying in after class or standing at the corner of the class.
Here is what a counselor, felt about it. She said that there is no knowing just how much is acceptable when it comes to corporal punishment.
She said: "There is no such thing as this much is enough. (Hitting a child once) could be enough to scar or hurt a child."
Having worked with youths aged between 11 and 17, who are often beyond parental control, she believes more in getting the children to reflect on their actions.
"Caning is not going to solve the problem. The more you cane, the more the child loses his/ her fear of it. The wounds eventually heal but the scar it has caused may not go away," she said.

I may not be the best mother around, nor am I a bad one though I still have loads to learn. I want them disciplined for sure, but will not tolerate any corporal punishment.
But when she is in the wrong, I want her disciplined, in a way that makes her aware of her wrong deed, not by inflicting wounds on her personality or her physical self.

(If my elder one sees this, she will remind me about the pinch I gave her earlier this week, when she was sitting engrossed in the World Cup match, completely forgetting her test the next day, even after five (note that, see repetitive) shrill reminders from me.
This also brings to mind what my younger told me, when I was scolding her (rather loudly) for her lack of attention while doing her homework. She told me quite seriously and encouragingly, “Amma, you shout very well, you should become a teacher. You can do it.”)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

No, I am not humming the sexy song...but describing the weather in Doha. I should add it is boiling hot...and we are sweltering in the heat.
The office Air conditioners give up their futile attempt of bringing down the inside temperature, by noon they go off dejectedly and we complain, curse and sweat...
With the outside temperatures hitting 50 degress and climbing, my mind wanders to the construction workers - if there are any outside. I hope the Government jurisdiction passed recently in Qatar on time schedules at construction sites are being strictly followed, for who can venture out into sites and touch boiling hot steel rods or even stand on them?
It is said that though the governments takes action against contractors, there are some scrupulous contractors who in their hurry to make extra bucks, disregard the warning and allow labourers to continue with their work in this unbearable condition. So guys in the blogosphere, keep your eyes open (those in the Middle East) and let’s keep our vigil against these money mongers and get them booked.
On another note, imagine the conditions of gardens and our poor plants, fighting hard to keep their heads up in this blazing fire...
My plants are all withering, I water them with cool water thrice a day, but I know I am waging a losing battle. My plants have lost the will to fight, but I will keep trying.
This is how my garden looked a week back,

And this is how it is now...

and these are the badly suffering ones...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I wish

For a device that puts all my thoughts into words..
I was the tree outside my house, firm and strong against all adversities
I was the river photographed by my friend in the picture above, beautifully calm, safe in the cocoons’ of green to transport people in these valloms to their but never expecting anything in return...
I had a job that gives me two weeks off for every month I work...
I never had to think of money (I am forced to now)
My kids were well behaved...and not the naughty cranky character they sometimes change into (read most times)
I could relive my REC days... I want to learn and read a lot more than I did then...I want to hang on to the friends of those times...
I could read one book everyday
I could go to one beautiful location every month
I could drive into the horizon in my Honda, with music playing...
And come back in time for N's school bus
I could sleep with them (my girls) on each of my arms
I could come up with brilliant ideas at work...ideas that translate into pots of money that can be distributed equally among all my colleagues...
I could blog about interesting topics on a daily basis
I had Swaram's positivity, Nancy's popularity, Vimmu's clever tongue, Smitha's range, Umm’s talent to decipher strong issues...
On the other hand, NO, I want to be me...with my few blogs...and I would rather read their's than wish mine to be similar to theirs
I want to keep wishing...but am sure I will lose the few readers I have...
So I stop writing but keep wishing...

P.S: The picture is courtsey a journalist friend, Bonnie James, who clicks for passion.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two letters, One intent

The younger ones's card

The younger ones' note inside

The elder ones' letter

I was given two letters of appreciation for Mother’s day from my two. The younger one was so excited about it she gave it to me a day before the real Mother’s day. The elder one was so ashamed of the whole business of thanking her mother, she gave it to me the next day and she gave it to me nonchalantly, saying, “The teacher wanted us to do it, it is so boring...”
The younger one made a big show of it and gave me a hug too with the note.
The elder one watched me, as I read the letter, from behind the book she was supposedly reading...
I knew K (my elder) meant each word she wrote (I also pointed out the grammatical mistakes she made in it and piqued her further)...while the younger one didn’t understand what it was all about...
But the intent of both were clear, though the ways completely different.
That evening, I called my mother; we talked about everything but Mother’s Day...
If I wished her she would have said,”Who believes in Mother’s Day, we are from the older institution.”
I think I belong to that same institution where we don’t believe in displaying our love or concern... just go about loving our mothers the way we have been doing each day, every moment in our life...
So though I didn’t wish my mother, I am sure she understood ....

Sunday, May 9, 2010


This tag is so easy and fun...I picked it up from here...

If I were a month, I’d be May
If I were a day of the week, I’d be the Thursday, waiting for the weekend...
If I were a time of day, I’d be early morning
If I were a season, I’d be spring
If I were a planet, I’d be Earth
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a whale
If I were a direction, I’d be South...where my home town is
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a lounge (charukasera, for sure) by the bookshelf
If I were a liquid, I’d be wine
If I were a tree, I’d be the banyan tree near our temple
If I were a tool, I’d be the chisel
If I were an element (of what?), I’d be water
If I were a gemstone, I’d be a diamond.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a violin,
If I were a color, I’d be ocher.
If I were an emotion, I’d be love.
If I were a fruit, I’d be a jackfruit...
If I were a sound, I’d be the sound of rain...
If I were a car, I’d be a sports car
If I were food, I’d be a salad (healthy food, ha)
If I were a taste, I’d be spicy
If I were a scent, I’d be Poison
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be baby shoes
And if I were a bird, I’d be a lovebird...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This one's for you

What do you say to your partner after 15 years of being together?
That I appreciate you for understanding me much more than I understand myself...or thank you for the support, for being there when I am not, for trying to fill in my place at home when I am away on assignments...
Would it not be an insult to the word, Thank you, if it were to represent so many layers of gratitude?
Would it be hypocritical not to mention the fights, the arguments that helped strengthen the bond, would it be right to talk only of the few and sparing moments of love we have shared in this rush called life?
Would it be right to say that I expect this and a bit more in making this institution strong...
Or would it be just right to say, “I cannot think of a day without having you around in my life...”