Posts tagged ‘society’

Influences in life.

 

Ananth’s blogon influences set me thinking on how the persons around us impact our thinking and behaviour. His blog was on the conscious impact of few persons around him. I felt that the impact on the sub conscious mind by our environment is worth thinking of.

Last year I attended a marriage in Chennai. My aunt (father’s younger sister) exclaimed that “you look like my brother in your present attire” or something to that effect. Instinctively, I felt flattered. Why should I feel so? My father, from the time I remember, looked his age and some more. He was severely short sighted, though tall, was stooping, had very less teeth, dark complexioned, with a furious temper and highly rigid opinion on several aspects of life. His was a hard act to follow.  But still, some of his achievements and decisions make us still look up to him and any resemblance-genetic or otherwise- gives us a sense of inner glow. This however comes with some of the turns and twists life takes and compels us look into the mirror and admit reality at least to ourselves.

In Indian context, the first influence is our parents. The first English alphabets and nursery rhyme was taught to me by my mother whose formal education stopped at primary school. Forty six years back, we had come to Mumbai from a small village in Kerala. We had to adjust to a metro life in a hurry. Learning a foreign language and rhyme (twinkle twinkle little star…) was the first step. I have a sentimental belief that since this was the only subject my mother taught me, I was always good at it.

How did our parents express their love to us or to each other? How many of us remember our parents smiling with a shy love or laughing wickedly over an adult joke said privately to each other? Did they hold each other in their arms and dance the way we saw in the movies of 60s? May be so. Did they do it in our presence? Never.  How did this lack of physical or public expression of love (an Indian trait) impact us? Well, most of us – at least in South India- are uncomfortable with a physical expression of love- even of the platonic variety- in public and may be even in private.

What is the situation today? Very difficult to say.  My belief is that today’s youth are caught between the example set by their parents and the peer pressure. What is the right thing to do? I feel that some amount of display of positive emotions strengthens relationships and establishes some bonding.

Peer pressure or friends or lack of it is the next strongest influence in any life. How would lack of peer pressure or friends influence a person? Like many shy persons, I found it difficult to create an easy going friendship with the group in which I was studying or working (hai-bye relationship). I did exactly what I felt like doing. Some of it succeeded due to several factors- some within and some beyond my control.  But the difficulty in creating an easy going “life of the party” kind of relationship remains.

Peer pressure come most obviously in the “science or commerce” kind of decisions post schooling. Most of such decisions are based not on what the boy or girl wants to do in life post education and how attractive that avenue is. Some years back I had asked my cousin (who is a medical doctor (MBBS)) why is there a craze for medical admission when the returns are not commensurate with the efforts- at least in India. He said that it was due to lack of real understanding of the profession and its pressures. Last week’s news article said that the application for medical admission has fallen significantly while demand for engineering admission has surged.  One classic example is the number of engineers who joined for IT related courses even when it was apparent that many of the industry leaders are from different streams of engineering and such streams offered good long term prospects.

There is a big board I see on the way to office every day. It says “To the world you might be one person; to one person you might be the entire world. So drive carefully.” I feel this poignantly states our relationship with those we love very much- spouse, children, parents, siblings etc. Whenever we wear a new dress, after examining the image on the mirror, we go to our spouse and ask hesitantly ‘do I look handsome?’ A small smile of appreciation, a tart comment makes our day. I say to myself- I certainly look handsome in this shirt. I sometimes think that even Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi must be asking their family members about their appearance before stepping into public gaze. This is only a small example how our spouse and/or family members appreciation matters to each person.  Family support is a great strength of Indian way of life and gives an anchor for our life.

Do parents listen to their children?  Yes, they do; especially when children start growing up and express their opinions.  The external environment has changed and is changing so rapidly that only highly self opinionated parents will disregard the views emanating from their children. If we have to keep communication lines open with them, we have to listen, but not necessarily agree with them and provide an adult feedback. Does this influence us? Yes it does. How does it influence us? Not easy to say. But their love and appreciation of our achievements and forgiveness of our failings matters a lot to us- at least to me.

Lastly religion, religious beliefs, practices, rituals and the whole baggage that comes with it. These are so intensely personal that they are hard to pin down or express in a logical or coherent manner. It matters to us hugely. Even lack of belief in all these things matters hugely.  Here again the dominating influence is our parents. We observe them and then decide consciously or unconsciously as to what we should do.

I have not touched up on the influence of our life in service as that deserves another blog.

So who influenced you? Why don’t you look at your parent and start wondering how they have influenced you?

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June 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm 1 comment

Addiction: Contagiously unique: Dying to get Offline, but alas!

  

ADDICTIONS: Dying to get Offline, but Alas!

ADDICTIONS: Dying to get Offline, but Alas!

 “Greatness adds to the Good & evil begets evil, as simple as that”

 One 12 year old kid, who was supposed to enjoy his summer vacations by going out or playing till he drops in the heat, was having a horrible day yesterday, because his mother was not allowing him to play the Xbox (which he was playing for more than few hours already).

 He came to me angry with his mom and asked, ‘I am getting bored. I don’t want to go out and play. Can you tell mom to allow me to play on my Xbox so that I can have some fun.’

 I guess, this is what has become when I look around me, except for those very few who are still fortunate, under control and in touch with the real world.

 That’s when it struck me.

 I too have been addicted. I realized that I have become utterly obsessed to the cyber world like millions across the world. Today I am just one among the million less fortunate getting strangled to the today’s ipv4 syndrome – The Internet.

 This virtual platform engineered by those who started it as an information sharing platform has gone manifold through inventions & contributions by great pioneers like Al Gore, Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Robert Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Lawrence G. Roberts, Radia Perlman and few others.

 

But why do I quote the first line that “greatness adds…..”

 

I realized the missing link around that could hold me grounded and keep me engrossed in life that is real.

 Today, as I scan across my little self-centered murky world, I find all those around fixated to something that is not just contagious, but uniquely contagious, in the sense that, it drives oneself to catch their novel form of addiction on their own.

 Surrounded by those either addicted to the till death do us apart yearning for money or those with a deflective state of philosophical bent through religious dose of daily booze or those obsessed with zero value adding life skills of traditional education or the amazingly exasperating bunch of hardcore shopaholics who have today led me to succumb & snail myself into a smaller world owing to sheer utter boredom.

 I feel suffocated when I end up nowhere but yet ‘find myself’ in a Mall every other day or worst diluting my already troubled fitness regime sitting in a restaurant that is definitely not helping me regain my good old self.

 Why? ‘coz today I am tired of again and again planning a spontaneous tour to a better place or at least a real world around and unfortunately cannot also find,  ‘who can take on ideas to connect to the real world’ & initiate an adventurous outing may be?

I keep trying to reinvent by being innovative and planning to reach out to the outer and real world and sadly find myself in a restaurant or compulsorily on the almost only way to stay connected with each other today – Telephone or even worst in a bar or a again a mall.

The value addition per se seems to be missing at every stage as addiction has caught up with specific religious routines of not thinking beyond the monotonously small world around.

 With so much of information explosion, I am today finding the spontaneity missing around me so much that I chose to get addicted to a virtual world with just a couple of hardware and loads of unnecessary junk from all across the globe.

 As I drift towards spending shockingly gifted long & empty weekends addicted to the virtual galleria, the more I realize the emptiness of adventure and spark with zest and energy around.

 The more I update myself on Web3.0 today, the more I feel sorry for the world of tomorrow that ‘might’ be a part of these uniquely contagious addiction syndromes over a period of time.

 Now that I have done some keying in for the day, let me get back to Orkut or Facebook where I can meet real people, ahem!

 Can’t believe, I am actually dying to get offline!

 What say?

 Let me know your views

 Ananth V – ‘(Still Online)’

Image Source: AnanthV

May 31, 2009 at 11:50 am 8 comments

Life, Teenage and beyond: “When I was 21….. It was a very good year”: Missing 21

 

When I was 21

When I was 21

 Another ‘good’ year,  or is it?

A stressful month, painful week, draining last few days…. has finally brought me to a not so energetic weekend.

Duh!

It’s 6am IST on a Saturday and I am awake writing a blog…. So take a wild guess!

But yes, I had few other realizations of f late about people and life. They don’t change, they won’t change…. Either we learn to adapt or we learn to let go.

I usually have been habituated to working with a big team professionally and have an extremely choosy few friends. And it’s true what they say. Our friends teach us more than anyone else of things that could be played and done right to socialize. I have been lucky and in awe of few such friends of mine to whom I might not have mentioned this to, but have helped me a lot to gain control of myself and my social life over these years.

Today I understood when Sinatra started by singing when I was 21 as I missed being 21 a lot, when it was a very good year … remember!

 Those who probably knew me two years back, if they wind up discussing with someone who knows me not from yesteryears, would sense they are discussing of different individuals. I changed… for some reason, i changed. Became more calm, more patient and more socially acceptable and human.

So today, I fall flat and confused when I am questioned for being too calm and non-aggressive and on the other when I know how hard I have worked for it.

So what am I to do? Where am I to go from here….

I come from a middle class orthodox family, valuing teachings of the great more than life. I do not obviously abide by those at the same level but I respect the learning’s in every form of practicality in life today.

The quotes and learning from the holy books of Gita, Ramayana, Bible and great leaders and my personal influencers like Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda have shared their wisdom across the globe. When I read through them, I feel so shallow in my life of doings.

I have always found peace when I was able to lend a helping hand to someone really needy, be it education, physical help or bringing smile through words of humor. I have lost all that today in the rat race of life.

Recently I received a letter where I have been nominated for Rashtriya Gaurav award (I thank them for my nomination) for my contribution to various NGO’s over the years, but strangely I did not fill up my nomination, because there is so much more to do…… so much of void to be filled, my work has not even begun.

I am not trying to preach like the great influencers, trust me I do not have that audacity anymore. I am merely like a candle in front of the mighty sun, running confused and with chaos on what is to be done more, better and positive…..

The great words from Gods and legends have taught me to just keep pursuing my work and not bother.  But today the days and weeks seemed to be either hooked up on monotonous ideas which itself cracks the point of having ideas or no learning and loads of zero value addition routine tasks or chasing god forsaken numbers or planning them and with nothing coming in return from any of these that could be worth valuing; “TIME” seems to ask me, are these days even going to be worth remembering?

The answer I get is a simple no!

So today I ask my friends who have either massively or in any other way, impacted a positive way of life in me, how do they do it? …

To name a few: Anand P (A humble guy & a master & wizard on traditional High quality education), Amit R (Very helping & his PR skills are better than SRK’s), Ajay K (The most modest, sincere & humble being) who have been my very close friends since decades and of course there are many others who have added and impacted at some level or the other as excellent friends: Beta, Chinki, Kishore, Prakash, Bala, Hari bhai, Sagar, Chintan, Akshay, Prasad, Deva, Mani, Chini, Ankur, Venky and there are those whom I can’t mention owing to uncanny reasons…..

or do they too miss being 21….. Come on fellas, give me your comments…

 

Quotes from Holy books and some of my personal great influencers:

 “There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts.” 

” Karmani ave adhikars te: –you have the power to act only; ma phalesu kadachana:–you do not have the power to influence the result; ma karmaphal hetur bhoo: –therefore you must act without the anticipation of the result; ma sangostu akramani: –without succumbing to inaction; ” 

“Anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet ”

“I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them” 

“I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness”

 

Image Source: AnanthV

May 16, 2009 at 8:40 am 5 comments

Stay foolish… Stay in!

The Corporate Apple

The Corporate Apple

 

 

“As you dream about your passion and work towards you goal,

You make yourself calm and play through your role

You find your name and follow the set game

Be a pawn and monotonously do the same

Stay putt as you search to get things par

Work hard and say pressure & time no bar

Realizing slowly the messed up cobs

Goes away the smile, you see around those sobs

Raced ahead off all, you look behind those in lag

They are still behind, but are holding the Chequered flag”

As the new FY begins, with so many things set in motion, the corporate gets set for the New Year’s game.

 You see all around faces that have forgotten to give honest smile for the fear that it might be mistaken for a mockery. Those affected by the Depression / downturn of economy (Corporate / otherwise) have their genuine worries and those who are not affected, want to get a slice of the “Scary Pie”. Sad it sounds!

Strange, we now do not want to let go even of the sad and bad side of economy and want to be an honest part of it. Why?

It helps.

‘It helps to excuse for your downsizing which was already on the cards. It helps to clean up with those who should be a positive addition but in corporate games are not needed to be a part of the system. It helps to share nothing except your actual growth figures with your huge chunk of honest employees who would have poured in their heart and soul to contribute in any which way to their company and at the end, show them down (saying its downturn all around).’

 Integrity has been a gift to mock with today, as nothing seems to be in place except constant chaos. It’s sad to see those corporate biggies using excuses to pull down employee’s morale and trust and blame it on the market scenario with ease.

 The impact that such uncanny and negative traits seem to be setting across; their cascading effects will be seen in the coming years.

 Till then, all those in distress & chaos, those trying to grab that Sweet and forbidden Apple, for now, just hold on to your roots, stay Putt, stay calm and keep your shoes of integrity on…. ‘coz it will always take you par to your final goal……

 So may be for now stay foolish but Stay in!

May 13, 2009 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

TV Serials, Balika Vadhu & all of us

Balika.....

Balika.....

Sita (name changed) walked in yesterday when my house was full of guests. She swayed in with confidence and  disappeared into the kitchen. My guests turned to me and asked “who is that lady?” They were astonished when I said she was our maid servant. She carries a cell phone (with different caller tunes each week), dresses unlike a service providers of her ilk, oozes confidence externally. Her children go to a private school, attends tuition classes, study reasonably well. She moved to a larger hutment two years back. She has a bank account and some savings in post office.  She also has an insurance policy.

She is also a “Balika Vadhu”- that is married much before she saw her 18th year. This is in Mumbai and not Rajasthan Surely, these kind of things happen in backward States (BIMARU States), with under educated males lording over more uneducated population. No. I found to my dismay and that of my wife, that even in Mumbai arranged marriages at teenage is not uncommon.  Another instance I saw was of reasonably good looking school going girl, who was suddenly married off  even before reaching matriculation. The change post marriage was  saddening. A confident girl had become cowed down, frightened  and bewildered woman- post a last minute miscarriage.

I am not sure what I state above is the exception or rule as in both the cases the persons were related to each other. But what is clear is that what is shown in a very beautifully bedecked manner in the TV Serial Balika Vadhu telecast in Channel “Colors”, is not some remote event fictionalised for the entertainment of  city folks. It is a reality whose impact is seen and felt- latently or otherwise by all of us.

Why do such things happen? Don’t we all witness growing opportunity around us due to continuous economic growth- simultaneously with grinding poverty.  I believe that at least some portion of the poverty is due to missed opportunities. Let us take some examples.

First is literacy and education. Most states have some minimal schooling facility to give basic literacy. To reach beyond that, the economically and socially backward segment of the population needs initiative and efforts. This initiative is often missing. Female education is the backbone of any society. This is often missing. The difference in several human index parameters  between Kerala and Uttar Pradesh could be due to this factor.

I divide skills into physical and mental skills. It needs more efforts to earn living using physical skills. Moreover, to scale up the ladder, constant improvement of skills is required. My favourite example is carpenter. The skill needed in this profession is apparent. The wages paid for a skilled ‘karigar’ is known to all. But many of us would prefer to be unemployed rather than do such a work. This brings home the point that vocational education is important as education emphasising numerical and literary skills are not meant for all.

Next, the spreading urban lifestyle dictates the need for new types of service providers. Working couple do not have time to cook food. In urban locations it is common for a service provider to come two times a day and cook basic food needed for the family. The rate is based on number of Chapatis and corresponding vegetables and dal to be prepared.

Am I pointing out isolated instances which can at best help only a small portion of the Below Poverty Line population? Perhaps it may be so. But I still believe that there are enough opportunities in India (as compared to a developed country) if mental inhibitions existing at various levels are removed.

Then why do people take a comparative level of poverty for granted. My theory is that India has always been a poor country. The politicians and others have created a myth that India was a land of milk and honey plundered by invaders and lastly by the British.  The poverty of a farmer is glorified. The loss of dignity and suffering a subsistence farmer or a person with similar economic status is rarely mentioned correspondingly.

Next, Indians are lazy and easily contented. What are our working hours as compared to USA ? The offices in USA start at dawn. Most persons are in office there  by 8 am or 8.30 am. The courts in USA start at 9 am. Most routine tasks get done in the expected way. Everything works as per a pre-determined plan. Our life is like the sporadic victories of our cricket team. One victory is enough to quench our thirst for a long time and forgive consecutive defeats.

How many reports have we seen about corruption in private sector? Are people aware that corruption exists in private sector in the same manner as in Government? So it is not that Government employees are corrupt, it is that corruption is in Indian blood- some are corruption positive and some negative.

So why do we see so much poverty? Why does  at least some portion of the economically weaker segment of the society spent money on alcoholic drinks (Sita’s husband is, in my view, an alcoholic  and earns less than Sita due to this additiction) and put in those efforts in improving skills? Why do we still read reports of oppression of Dalits in newspapers? I saw a report today which states that health workers do not touch Dalits. School children belonging to non Dalits have separate marked plates for food. If these are the issues which some portion of our population is concerned, then we deserve to see this poverty and misery.

Will it change? Hard to say…  Today’s world allows only survival of fittest. So would India grow or Pakistan grow? Obviously India as Pakistan is mired in issues irrelevant to their well being. Would India grow faster than China? Well, that deserves another blog.

Image Source: Ananthv

May 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm 1 comment

Bringing up children

Bringing up children: Part 1: The Journey Begins:
 

Bringing Up Children

Bringing Up Children

 

 

Every union should produce results. Progeny is one of the results of marriage- at least an expected result. Every newly married couple face overt or covert questions about their “plans”. Any delay beyond 3 years causes great consternation to the families of the couple first and then finally to the couple. All this creates a psychological need to have a child or children.

 

The initial clarity during the mating period of waiting for few years, settling in respective careers, purchase of dwelling etc. may have been achieved or could be in process. But now the need for a child becomes supreme. The conception takes place. I have a vague impression that women do have hesitation or some apprehensions about the entire pregnancy and delivery process. Most males disregard these apprehensions and the emotional and psychological coercion is enough for the women to cross this hurdle. The child arrives. Respective in laws troop in with broad smiles and a realisation of being grand parents.

 

Those who become grand parents before reaching the age of 60, mentally tell themselves that “we are like students who pass CA or IIT Entrance in first attempt while others who still troop to school with their children or run around for admissions to colleges are slow starters. But we are young grandparents. Old age associated with the status of being grandparents is not applicable to us”. Mothers are conferred an almost divine status in India.

 

One story I heard in justification of this status is something like this. One young student questioned placing mother first in the statement “Mata, pita, guru, deivam.”

 

The guru who was smart delayed the reply. After a few days, the guru asked the student to take a brick, tie it around his waist and go to the well and fetch water several times. The well was obviously at some distance. After the student got exhausted, the guru informed the student that a pregnant mother carries the child similarly for nine months and hence they get this status.

A typical Indian story which justifies the age old statement. Western civilisation has not placed such exalted status on parents. Probably they are seen as the medium thru which the life is created on the earth and the medium is like a vessel we use for cooking. The food is more important than the vessel. The mother now gets to see the life which was floating around in her belly. She is initially wonder struck. Then the awareness sinks in about her primary responsibility. Feeding a child at 12.30 am or 4 am is not something any human being can get excited about for weeks and months. The excitement of working as an executive in an air conditioned office is more palpable than cleaning a baby who will learn sanitary habits after some years. She wonders “God, why does any one say all this is exciting?”. The situation of Indians who have emigrated to middle east or USA etc. is even more difficult. These countries have strict laws for child care. Some countries insist on full time attendant till one year of age (this is what I understand).

The role of father at this stage is crucial. Few have any prior experience. They are forced to learn by trial and error. Many families erroneously do not educate their sons to be aware of basic domestic chores. So they land up in family life without any knowledge of the drudgery involved in maintaining a house in a nuclear family. I believe that it is at this stage the next foundation of family life is laid. Couple who work together (whether both are employed or only one is employed) and share responsibilities build a stronger edifice of their marriage.

The children watch and instinctively understand how their family lives and adapt accordingly. If the responsibilities get shifted to outside family members like in-laws or servants, then the pattern changes. We see distorted behaviour from the children.  Excessive tantrums, need to seek attention of one or both the parents whenever they are present, inability to mix or be comfortable in a large group are some of the visible external symptoms. I cannot claim any memory of my two children’s early years. It all seems to be a blur now. When I watch my grandson grow, I feel a twinge of regret at not noticing and storing these memories at least in the brain. Cameras were expensive then and so there are few photos of those times.

Now Picasa contains a few hundred or thousand photos of various antics of my grand son. Most mothers would tell you that the first three years of the child are difficult but rewarding. Creation of life and its growth is still one of the greatest wonder in this world. The efforts we put in these early years yield visible results.

The exuberance of the child, its curiosity in exploring the world around it, lack of any fear or knowledge of danger gives the greatest pleasure. One of the memorable photos of my grandson (when he was less than a year) is his smile when he turns around to look at me before trying to pluck the AC plug from the socket. Today’s world does not give any educated person the time or privilege to think on such things.

Success brings its own material rewards and satisfaction. It requires great courage to step aside from such a path to enjoy such pleasures. Children demand lot of emotional attention. Our city life drains out our quota of Emotional Quotient leaving little for our family. This is where the distance with children/family starts building up.

 

                                          

Bringing up Children – Part 2: When do children grow up?

Perhaps when they start asking questions about the life we lead. Children consciously or unconsciously imitate parents in the early stages. At some point they question us- do we have to pray everyday? Do we have to write homework at 7.30 every day?

Cant’ we have the toy or something else his or her friend has? Slowly we have to set the boundaries within which we have to live. How does a parent explain that they cannot afford a particular expense as it is beyond them? I remember such a situation when my daughter asked for legitimate expense and I could not afford it at that time. I do not think I gave a correct answer. There is always a debate between quality time and quantity time devoted to children. In a traditional family, the father went to office to make a living and mother looked after the hearth. So father’s time was quality time. Children’s bondage with father was perhaps limited due to the then prevailing environment. This is evident from some of the movies we see of the 60s and 70s in any Indian language.

Today, with both parents employed in many cases, the distance or closeness could be the same. My belief is that children react well to a relationship where the parents are capable of receiving the confidences of their children. They should trust their parents sufficiently enough to exchange their innermost fears and receive emotional and physical support.

This is more easily said than done. This requires a long period of communication at a seemingly equal level without losing the basic authority as parents. Today’s parents do assist in homework, projects, exams and other burdens of today’s schooling process. Do they gain their children’s confidence in this process is a moot point. I saw one TV Debate program on parent’s involvement in their children post school education- Science or commerce, engineering or medicine and so on.

The program had parents and children on opposite sides of the debate. The vehemence of the children on the negative influence of parents on compelling choice of the education stream was quite an eye opener. The education expert – a college principal- said that we should trust over children with the choice they make and not second guess them. They generally know what they want and we should guide them only when they start expressing their doubts or seek help.

My wife has an interesting view on how teenagers and young adults fall in love. She says that when the children lack emotional support or live in an emotional vacuum in the house, they seek an alternative outside the house. This is how love develops. In many cases, this seems to be true. I have seen children whose parents live in a different era and perhaps are not able to relate to their children’s emotional demands. Parents live in an orthodox yesterday era- where passbooks are reconciled on monthly basis, eating out should be out sheer necessity, new dresses are purchased for birthday,  Deepavali and school re-opening.

Marriage anniversary means visit to the nearby temple and then going to office. For children, Mcdonald is a fashion statement to be made, Coffee Day is THE PLACE to be seen wearing a jeans and latest tops with members of opposite sex. Spending a few hundred rupees on such an outing is normal. Would we have spent the equivalent of Rs 450 for our birthday party (what is party by the way?) say 35 years or 25 years back? I am told this is quite normal today. Cafe Coffee Day is the place for a small birth day party- the Cappucino costs not less than Rs. 30 or Rs. 35 per cup.

It is in such environment that love blossoms. If not love, at least rebellion against the ESTABLISHMENT. Long hair, awful looking half pants or three quarter pants, odd upper garments, skin hugging dresses which give quite the opposite message of the person’s character ( an otherwise timid person may look like today’s starlet in some youth oriented movie).  Is falling in love wrong ? (QSQT with Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla or Jane tu with Imran Khan to quote a more modern example).

No, love is a beautiful emotion without which life is not worth living. But falling in love at the age of 18 or 21 seems premature- especially in Indian context. Everything is a struggle here- unlike abroad. Choice of educational stream, admissions, quality of teaching, post graduate education, employment, choice of city or town or metro for employment, accommodation, transport- basic things in life which are taken for granted abroad, pose insurmountable problems for most young adults. Love seems to be a needless distraction in such an environment.

Take admission for engineering, Medicine or any other such professional courses as an example. Each State has got its own peculiarity. Every year there is some litigation to arrest or mar the admission process at the penultimate stage. There is some Government subsidy for such education, but there is something called private college also. In such an environment, the parent struggles to meet their children’s expectations, their own economic strength or lack of it and matching their children’s marks with that of the demands of the educational institution. In such a situation, when a parent hears about a love affair (of anyone else) then there is genuine astonishment on how does anyone get time or energy to get involved in such activities at such an young age.

Lastly, do children who have become full fledged adults (crossed the age of 25 in my belief) need or expect our influence or emotional help. I think yes. But this line is thin. We cannot aggressively intrude into their emotional territory (“don’t be pakao”), nor can we be in an indifferent stranger’s domain. We need to understand the turmoil going through their brain and heart and respond sensitively. We have ourselves passed thru this stage -perhaps without much parental support. So it is easier to assess their needs and probe gently –like a doctor examining an open or an internal wound. It is not easy as now they are a closed book written in a foreign language (or like prayers we recite in Sanskrit- we understand the meaning in a limited manner).

For eg. what do we tell a married son or daughter about the difficulties we face in a marriage? What do we tell about the screaming babies (see my earlier blog) and feeding them at 2 am in night and the support they can expect from their spouse? I often wonder about this. My feeling is that mothers are more forthright in these things and put the matter in a manner which would put their backs up. There would be grudging acceptance later.

I think it is a lifelong relationship. Children remain children for parents whatever be the age. When I used to come home late from office, my father, who was well into his 80s, would remain awake and pester my wife about when I would come. When I reached home, he would confirm that I have reached and then go to sleep. I could not then understand his anxiety. Today I understand it and want to tell him that I understand the deep love and affection that lay behind his non expressive demeanour. But for that I have to go to another world. Do you agree or disagree? Either way, do respond.

 

Image Courtesy: AnanthV

May 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm 3 comments

“Promoting Conspiracy, deceit and vengeance”

 

 

 

CLOUDED JUdgements

CLOUDED JUdgements

 

Yet another negative side of, Recession: It’s Not just about Jobs:

 

Over the years, calamities, terrorism, economic depression and such scores of slumps have brought about chaos, corruption and coldness among peers and groups.

 

This time, the global chillness of the yet oncoming and growing recession is already seen taking tolls on not just one’s pocket but majorly amongst lives of one another.

 

It’s a cat eating dog world today, it actually has been for long, but it’s very much out in the open now.

 

The world with advent of technology has shrunk into a global village today and with that so have the virtues and the sense of integrity in general.

 

I am not trying to sound philosophical at all, not even close….

 

Yet, this is what we can see all around us. With jobs being lost, with money being spent on everything that can have a negative impact on the society, with certain media sections and groups literally going ‘Media crazy’ for sponsors so much as they tweak the news, spoil the plots, anger the mob and even agitate the crowds at time just to get the ratings up without care and concern of its social implications at large.

 

The situation is only getting worsened.

 

The concern for the performer, the guidance to the one with high levels of integrity and loyalty is being reciprocated majorly with good old office politics.

 

Where are we heading to…….

 

Give in your comments………………………..

 

Post in your views

 

 

—–

Image Courtesy: IMAGE CLOUDED

April 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm 1 comment

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