Wednesday, 23 March 2016
I have been named the 'worst mother of the lane' in a poll conducted by my sons' friends- some 12 boys ( including V and N) who are Cricket/Soccer buddies throughout the year but enemies during Holi time! For the past one week, I am the only one howling on top of my voice to teach these boys how to play a safer and more fun a Holi. My lectures have borne some good fruits as these kids do not target salesmen, vegetable vendors, old people, dogs among other in the 'list' that I have strictly warned them against.
Every evening when V and N came complaining to me that why was theirs the only Mum who would stand outside and monitor how Holi is being 'enjoyed' in the neighborhood, I would think hard if I was doing anything wrong? Not till I saw the 7 sec clip that came on their school's Whatsapp group- a 13 year old falling off the first floor balcony because he wanted to throw the water balloon as far as he could. Those kids were also indulging in a gang war of sorts- like all kids do I think but every year the gadgets that they can use see an upgrade- thanks to Chinese supplying them tools where they can fill and knot balloons on their own (means they don't need parents like we did) or colors which are called Gulal but just never come off and itch the eyes a great deal.
Anyway, I sat down my boys last evening as they returned home bruised and hurt. While running away from balloons, younger one fell on a parked bicycle and older one got hit in the face with a taller guys pichkaari (you have to see the size of this sprinkler to believe it. Its taller than Burj Khalifa)
I have told them how they can help me have a good festival by doing the following 4 things and I hope all our children understand the true meaning of this fun festival. It sort of worked on mine- hope it does for you too.
This is what my note reads to them:
1) H- Have Fun- Yes. I am not a bad Mum. I have been your age and I have played several Holis with friends. I have some very good memories and I insist that you have them too. Have fun, no doubt but fun will be fun only when everyone is safe. Fun will be fun when you are enjoying with your friends and not having a war with them. Fun is fun when you have not harmed yourself and can still play Cricket after Holi is over.
2) O- Observe- See how your Papa plays Holi. He takes care that he is not aggressive- both in behavior and language. He never forces anyone to play with him. Also observe all the rowdies around you. If they are playing using water from the drain or by throwing eggs inside the houses- That's not Holi. Because its not fun- its stupidity. Being stupid is not fun. Being fun is fun. Observe your elders and observe who is bad. Take care of yourself by doing this.
3) L- Let others have fun- You cannot harm anyone permanently. You cannot stay silent if someone else is running on the road dangerously. You cannot throw a balloon on someone who doesn't want to play holi with you. Respect everyone. If they ask you to 'please don't dirty me with this color'- show respect boys and just wish them a Happy Holi. If something makes you happy but others unhappy- its not the true spirit of Holi.
4) I- Initiate: After reading all this you will argue- 'Its Holi Ma. We cant have rules'. You can because you must. If no one else agrees to be safe and respectful, both of you take initiative. Be nice boys. People will follow. Even if they don't, you keep being nice.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
I woke up today to my three boys singing in unison: Happy Woman's Day To Youuuuu!!
Understandable. I am the woman that binds them three and if they will not wish me first thing on such an 'important' day, their lunch/dinner may suffer. Also, all four of us knew in our hearts that today was a day after many many days, when neither of us woke up ill.
Thanks to the Reservation agitation by our beloved Jat friends and their ire on the canal that supplies clean water in my tap, the boys got severe stomach infection due to all the impurities we had been consuming. As I was tending to one son and their father, my older son was ensuring my peace of mind is not restored by falling twice and getting bruises all over his body.
So basically, today as I surveyed the heads and injuries of my three dependents, I allowed them school and office- result of which was the Woman's Day singing wish :)
As they all got away to their respective work places, I sat down reading the incessant wishes on my Whatsapp and Facebook timeline. As usual, they meant nothing to me as the concept of celebrating one day in the name of us woman and humiliating us for all the rest- nah, I am not too convinced.
Did you just think that by using 'humiliating' I went a little overboard? No ways. Papers are filled with crap against this gender and I am not wasting any more of your time mulling over it.
Instead, I am going to be selfish and demand something today. If you really mean all the messages you forwarded to all the women in your life- try and ensure this demand gets fulfilled.
Taking inspiration from my Jat brothers, I demand Reservation too. Reservation for mothers. Mothers who are never anything else once they are, well, mothers. When I became one, this world made me make some very difficult choices. But they were my choices and I want no compensation for them. Though I can do with some Reservation in the minds of all those people who think- My life is easy.
So give me a 5% reservation in your life. Respect the choices I made. I made them all because of my children and trust me, if a mother doesn't make those choices- it will be tough to run a society. This mother could be your wife, sister, friend or your own mother but look around and find that one woman who doesn't seem like the old one you knew. Consider the changes in her life after her children. Help her with her choices. Make life easier for her by giving her this Reservation.
Because in our country, all those burning cities for reservation are doing so because they were born a certain way. I was not born a mother. I chose to become one, And it did alter my entire life. I have the supreme power to raise a good or a bad child. I thus have an effect on everyone's collective future! Find the women around you who are going through their lives as mothers. Ask them if they need something to simplify things around them. That will make her day.