Dew Drops

Reflections from the River of Life


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Theory of Relatives

“The laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels.”

…said Albert Einstein in his Theory of Relativity.

I always wanted to do a B.Sc. (Physics) but for my PCB score which dropped by a few points. Thanks to my excessive love for this favourite subject – Chemistry, if not for the viva scores I would have flunked in it. The organic and inorganic chemistry lectures were no less than a death sentence. I died every time carbon molecules attached themselves to other molecules, especially hydrogen. And a whiff of sulphuric acid in the lab made me throw up every single chemistry lesson I had learned till then. To add to it was the brutality subjected by Kidwai Sir’s shayari (poetry)Wah! Wah! The entire class would applaud while I sat there looking for clues on where I was and what was going around.

But Physics. It was that one subject which made me want to attend school. The experiments, the various results and their interpretations. They fascinated me. And Einstein was my secret love till the day I saw his picture hanging on the walls of Physics Lab. Heart broke. Love died a thousand deaths. But I pledged to devise one of my own theory in this lifetime. And I did it.

Albert_Einstein_HeadAlbert Einstein (Picture courtesy: Wikipedia)

Theory of Relatives

The love from your relatives is directly proportional to your success, your assets and your bank balance. The second part of this theory states that their support (read interference) is indirectly proportional to your need. Of course, we cannot generalize. There are exceptions. But majority falls into this category.

DISCLAIMER: My theory is a work of ingenuity and fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. ;-)

Relatives lend a helping hand when you least need it. They poke their nose in your everyday affairs as if to taste and check salt in a dish. Offering unsolicited advice is their strength. Turning the simplest of situations into a complex war is their Sun Tzu art. If you ever make a mistake of helping once, you are taken for granted for a lifetime!

You don’t score a CGPA 10? They sulk more than you and your parents. You opt for Fine Arts instead of Engineering or Medical? They are the ones who get worried about your future. You marry out of caste and become an outcast. Thanks to them. They are capable of results that your actions can’t afford to bring. Your father’s blood pressure increases not because you chose your partner. But because of your relatives beating chests and wailing at the top of their voice as if the world has come to an end.

“What? You allow your daughter to wear shorts. This is not our sanskaar (culture).”

“Dance classes? He should focus on his studies. Only that can get him good dahej (dowry) in the marriage market.”

“19-year old Chintu has a mobile? Baba re baba, you are ruining his life. Mark my words, he’ll marry without your permission.

“Your bahu (daughter-in-law) doesn’t wear a ghunghat (veil) on her head? She doesn’t even touch your feet first thing in the morning? Ghor kalyug! Your old age is bound to be spent in a vridhashram (old-age home).”

“Six months into marriage and Dolly hasn’t conceived yet? Her in-laws will send her back for sure. Everyone expects a waaris (heir).”

Relatives. Most family feuds are fuelled by these God-sent angels. They have different rules for you and their own families. Who cares if you don’t take them seriously! They will still continue to “care” for you.

As the Danish proverb goes,

Relatives are the worst friends, said the fox as the dogs took after him.

Thank God we can choose our friends!

And when Robert Downey Jr said, “Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the F you were gonna do anyway.” he must be thinking of relatives only!

Jokes apart, life wouldn’t have been fun without them.


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Mothers must share their experiences. We all must.

Why should we share our thoughts and experiences? 

We must share because we tend to learn better from another person’s life lessons. And we also get to see a particular situation from different perspectives.

One hot June afternoon, as I lay on the tile floor cuddled with my girls telling them stories from their childhood and mine, my phoned beeped. A message in my chat box. Nothing special about it…right?

It was special. It was from someone I had been friends with through Facebook for over two years. But we had never interacted previously. A few likes here and there on photos and status updates.

What was common between us? We were both mothers. 

She told me that one of my old posts on our life with Dad working in a different country stayed with her. And then she asked if I could help her in understanding her older child’s psyche as they were in a similar situation. We chatted for a few minutes. But as I shared my childhood experience, why I was not close to my mother and what troubled me, she immediately related it with her recent experiences. She said she’ll take corrective measures immediately to help her older child. And I was happy that sharing my experiences might have helped her take control at the right time.
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Children are innocent. Soft like clay. You can mould them the way you want in the first few years. But everything depends on the way they perceive your actions. So give logical explanations to support your actions. Understand they will.

When Dad left for the Mid-East, I was five and my sister was just over a year-old. Mom was working as a teacher in the same school that I attended.  We had three of our relatives staying with us to “help her” take care of us. Mom was the best. But she had lots of responsibilities as a mother of two, a teacher, a single parent and the additional burden of having people at home. And this left her with not much time to express her love. 
I was the older child but not old enough to understand her situation. I had suddenly been deprived of my Hero. My Dad. And like every child, I wanted to take refuge in Mom and her cuddles. I would go up to her every now and then to smother her with kisses and if she was in the midst of cooking, washing or nursing, she would either scold, ignore, postpone or show irritation. I would feel hurt. At night I seldom got to sleep with Mom because of my aunt who wouldn’t let me sleep next to her. They thought I might kick the little baby. I would lean over to kiss Mom a good night and she would push me away. Not because she loved me any less, but because she was worried that I might hurt my little sis.

I was staying physically with my mom but in my mind I had wandered away from her. Far far away. To me she was someone who gave me instructions and I had to follow. Almost like a hostel warden. She did cuddle with me occasionally but by then I was least interested. The bridge was already built. And I was at the far end of it. Poor Mom didn’t even know that her child wasn’t the same anymore. Imagine how all those years could have been saved had I told her about my feelings right then or if she had spoken to me at length. Now when I share it with her she feels bad, so I don’t. 

These were small instances for big people, but for that five-year old, it meant a lot. I wanted to write it all to Dad, but I was scared of hurting Mom when she reads the letters. So I didn’t. Now I think I should have. I should have shared it all with someone, so my mother could get a hint of what I was going through. I regret this and so I share every possible thing that I learn from my parenting experience or others with as many as possible. Sharing is caring. And you never know who finds help in your experiences. So share you must. 

I try and express my love for the girls as much as possible. But I am sure they will have their own set of complaints against me. Every generation has its own book of complaints and regrets. All we can do is to do our best. 

So read, share and act, I will. Will you?

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