Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tale of the Tiffin-Box


Whoever said ,'life comes a full circle', probably meant it for only the higher philosophical concepts like aging,maturing of human relationships and the like.However for me this has come true in a very mundane yet intersting routine way,in the form of a tiffin-box.

I remember when I was a school student myself tiffin meant food packed by mothers(mostly) to be shared with friends during lunch break in school.It hardly had any glamour attached to it,the boxes were mostly steel ,round ,rectangular or square,alien to paper tissues ,cling wrap and silver foil.They were independent of brands and the unwanted classism that comes with it.

The contents too were often not too fancy- a simple aloo parantha,poori-sabzi and simple toasties made in manual toasters.The essence was yes the cliched mom's love and the sharing with friends,the mischief of making unequal shares and avoiding politely a baigan bharta or karela sabzi.

Now I sit on the other side of the fence,a mom who has to plan and pack a nutritious and non-junk tiffin for my toddler as the school suggests.The humble tiffin -box is now colourful and branded,it has multiple compartments and fewer friends.The sharing depends on how haute your cuisine is and your popularity in class.

Mom's love is a little diluted in the stress to make a new recipe every day and the tale of the tiffin-box goes on,may its joys come back !

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

REMEMBER ME?


Just two weeks in a Montessori school for my daughter , and I am encountered with a common but often overlooked problem in Indian schools - bullying.We want to believe that all little kids are complete angels, incapable of inflecting harm on each other, but the unhappy reality is, they are.
I suppose because the behavior is typically associated with older kids, it is often overlooked during the younger years, when it's hard to tell the difference between normal social experimentation and emergent bullying behavior.Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school.
Bullying can cause an enormous amount of stress, fear, and anxiety in young kids. Sonee,my daughter luckily enough is the expressive types and tells me about it frankly but there can be kids who are being bullied but don't say much.Your young child may be being bullied if s/he:
  • is suddenly scared to go to preschool
  • complains of headaches or stomachaches for no reason
  • is clingy and whiny
  • comes home with unexplained injuries
  • is withdrawn or depressed
  • talks about one particular child doing mean things to him
  • has trouble concentrating
  • avoids eye contact when you ask him/her about school
Luckily for me in Sonee's case the bullying so far is only about some rough play and snatching belongings.I am no professional in this field but to begin with I am teaching her to stand tall, look the bully in the eye, tell an adult, and avoid being alone.Also I am reinforcing her to use a loud LEAVE ME ALONE,when its required.The teacher and the staff have been informed and asked to be more vigilant.
I hope I successfully enhance her confidence and teach her a lesson or two about socialization,because bullies will be everywhere in the real world.
I strongly believe whether our child is a bully or a target of bullying, the way we handle the incidents will have a long term effect on all of the parties involved.Here's a poem from a bullying victim ,which brings in all the optimism that is so peculiar of kids.


REMEMBER ME ?

REMEMBER ME?
I AM THE BOY WHO SOUGHT FRIENDSHIP;
THE BOY YOU TURNED AWAY.
I THE BOY WHO ASKED YOU
IF I TOO MIGHT PLAY.
I THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
WHEN YOUR PARTY WAS INSIDE,
I THE LONELY FIGURE
THAT WALKED AWAY AND CRIED.
I THE ONE WHO HUNG AROUND
A PUNCHBAG FOR YOUR GAMES.
SOMEONE YOU COULD KICK AND BEAT,
SOMEONE TO CALL NAMES.
BUT HOW STRANGE IS THE CHANGE
AFTER TIME HAS HURRIED BY,
FOUR YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THEN
NOW I’M NOT SO QUICK TO CRY.
I’M BIGGER AND I’M STRONGER,
I’VE GROWN A FOOT IN HEIGHT,
SUDDENLY
I’M POPULAR
AND
YOU’RE LEFT OUT THE LIGHT.
I COULD, IF I WANTED,
BE SO UNKIND TO YOU.
I WOULD ONLY HAVE TO SAY
AND THE OTHER BOYS WOULD DO.
BUT THE MEMORY OF MY PAIN
HOLDS BACK THE REVENGE
I’D PLANNED
AND INSTEAD, I FEEL MUCH STRONGER
BY OFFERING YOU MY HAND.

By
Ray Mather

Monday, July 25, 2011

Patriarchy

She bows before the sacred fire
family elders
and the priests

they bless
'putravati bhav"( may you bear a son !)
or 'saubhagyavati bhav'(may your husband live long !)


she looks down
at the scaterred flowers
the offerings to the gods
and asks

whom do they bless...
me or themselves?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cobweb

The squanderer is
just a cobweb in a corner

it is peculiar and
makes its presence felt
every day

it doesn't grow
doesn't change
but clings tightly
to my soul

my broom of determination
falls short of it
very often

This cobweb of pain
is here to stay.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

just ask

The regimented relationships
the straight-jacketed
rituals
who defines what
I make the rules
or they make me

the feeling that
what I just left behind
is lost forever
the imagination that
it might reappear just around the
next corner.


what should i hide
what do i seek
just ask?

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am proud...yet again !

In her tiny steps                                         
I had never imagined
the grace of a victorious queen

but thats how she walked into
that room full of strangers
with a smile unusual for
a clumsy toddler

her composed demeanour
floored my anxiety
almost instantly

it was time to learn
another lesson
in self-reliance,faith and trust

An unconventional
first day at school
sans any flare up or hitch

Priyamavada you didn't give me
a customary tale to tell
but who's complaining
you just gave me another day
when I am so proud of you !

Sunday, July 10, 2011

meeting friends

the house was abuzz
with friendly conversations
children's laughter
glasses and dishes tinkering


questions asked
some answered
some evaded
or simply diluted in jokes

meeting friends
is a special privilege
it stirs
memories,songs,
brings up cosmic truths
in the same sentence as
daily routines

meeting friends
is seeing a human mirror
being honest with you
showing the glow and the scars alike

meeting friends
is a special privilege....

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
}

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!