Monday, October 8, 2007

The Little Mite's Path to Progress...and Some Problems that still remain

The baby has started speaking in sentences proving the long standing belief wrong that boys talk later than girls. " Dadubal, boon kotaigelo, boloto?" (grandpa can you tell me where the ball went?) asks he scarcely able to accommodate so many words in that little mouth of his. " Thamma, o thamma, auto kole balata jaa" (grandma, lets go out in an auto) says he, reducing the MIL into putty in his tiny hands. that " Didda opore dekh pakhhi" (Didi look up there its a bird), says he pointing up at the ledge of our neighbour's house where is pigeon is sitting, which makes my daughter rush to me and report this remarkable feat.
My daughter at this age used to entertain the presswali sitting below our balcony and an assorted number of her friends with songs that her grandmomhad taught her. This little one is not so social but that does not mean that he cannot communicate with his family.
Both the brother and sister, however dislayed one strange similarity, they can sleep while breast feeding and they enjoy doing so, so much so that they will get up every half hour to enjoy their addiction to the great discomfiture of their mother. Please all mothers who chance to visit this site can you give me a suggestion will help me wean my child without making him cry? I weaned my daughter with the help of an uncle of mine who is a pro in such matters. The child was 2 and a half at that time and I told her that the source of her addiction had turned sour due to frequent use, then I smeared it with a very potent liver tonic. When she tried to test whether I was telling the truth she got such a bad taste in her mouth that she never tried it again. Now the little one is not old enough to buy this cause and effect theory, so I need a different strategy, otherwise I will have to carry on this way till he is 2 and a half!

Happy Days are Here Again!

Well the Mr has been back for a while but the real thing that is making me wild with excitement is our forthcoming trip to Mumbai and Tarkarli! I am really looking forward to some days of carefree existance with my brother and sister in law and our nephew. The children will also enjoy some relaxed moments with their uncle and aunt and big brother. Of course we will throw their routine totally out of gear but they enjoy being swept about by our stormy visits from time to time. We will spend the pujas with them this time. I was tired of our Delhi puja routine inspite of the fact that my parents will be here (as is their routine for the past few years). As for our short trip to Tarkarli from Mumbai-I can't wait to hit the beach! In my enthusiasm I dragged the whole family off to Sarojini nagar to buy a dress (those slinky chiffon numbers), and flowery beach sandals. Well everyone else also bought something or the other for themselves so its ok.
It will be the little one's first encounter with the sea. I saw the sea quite late in life, I was in class X when we went to Puri. Thereafter there was the wonderful experience of Goa. After marrige I went to the Marina beach in Chennai and the Kovalam beach in Kerala and also Kanya Kumari. Then we had a rollicking trip to Alibagh. After my daughter was born, we went to Diu and we also had a wonderful family trip to Goa with a Juhu beach thrown in for good measure still later. Now we are off to Tarkarli, the Tahiti of India. The whole extended family will not be able to make it but we are determined to have a good time none the less.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Birthdays Galore

This is the time of the year that my brother and I and two of my cousins and a brother in law have their birthdays. My borther and I are both Scorpio. My grandmother did not know her birthday except that she said she was born in the month of Kartik according to the Bengali calender which is roughly October-November and seeing her stubborn and very scorpio personality I am sure she was one. Thus I have lived my young and immpressionable years with three out of five people in the house being very scorpio and my poor mother had to suffer all three of us and was none the better for it. I had decided that I definitely do not want scorpio children. I ofcourse have to fight a raging battle with my strong willed sagittarius baby but I can see myself winning in my overpowering scorpio ways. My husband is Piscean and most of the time has to eat his words for one small slip that he might have made! My little one is aquarius and is suitably under my spell so I have managed to be one up with my family in the power game!
Yesterday I met an old neighbourhood acquaintance, a mom who now has two kids like me. she said she was actually trying for a scorpio baby and her elder one is November born. The reason she cites was that all the scorpios in her family circle are well settled and successful in life. She had no idea that she knows me, another scorpio, a jobless mother of two getting by with the pocket money provided by the husband, having no career inspite of being 36 years of age. Not at all successful by today's standards.
As I stare 37 in the face what do I have to show for myself, two children and a submitted PhD awaiting the viva examination, ah well, one cannot have everything, at one point I was not sure that I would get into MA class, now I have a MA, BEd, MPhil, and an about to be PhD quite something I guess but no use until I get a job.Till that day I can vent myself in this blog and count my blessings and overlook the hurdles.
If I had my way I would like to lead a life like Annie's ( she is where its at, visiting the remotest village writing about real people, travelling throughout the country. All I can do is feel sorry for a starving child, an exploited woman, people killed in a stampede, etc she can actually go there reach out to the people and face the truth, looking it in the eye. I envy her courage and her opportunities at the same time I pray fervently for her well being, she is living my dream.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gandhi and Gandhigiri

There is a saying that goes roughly like this 'laachaari ka naam Mahatma Gandhi' (helplessness thy name is you know what), there is a school of thought that believes that Gandhian principles have no value in these very violent and aggresive days. True if a mugger slams you in a deserted place you will not try toreason with him or put forward the other cheek so to say. You can either fight back or use your feet and run! In fact this is the problem with Gandhian strategies, they take time and organisation. In the face of direct and immediate life threatening attacks one must rely ultimately on one's own physical strength or capacity to retreat quickly. However the value of Gandhi's political strategy can be understood only in its proper context i.e. the atmosphere of repressive colonial rule. Gandhi is the only leader who could bring the Hindus and Muslims together in a mass movement in the 1920s. Furthermore, he was the only person who devised a strategy to bring out the women as an important player in his satyagraha. He is often accused of calling off a movement at its height just because he did not like the way it was going. But no one asked the rank and file to obey his command, so why did they? If everyone was keen on continuing the movement then they could have defied him, but none did. Why? This man had great charisma and appeal. But the charisma and appeal and hold over the people had faded by the time of independence, his efforts were unable to stop the bloodbath of the partition. In fact a group of people accuse him of all sorts of shortcomings.
Yes, Gandhi's political philosophy is not flawless, he himself said that the truth may change and it did in the August of 1942 when he said 'Do or Die' and did nothing to arrest the violence that followed. I think we are being too harsh on the man by lifting his satyagraha out of its context and trying to blindly apply it to all situations. Come on guys use your brains, apply it wisely, see what it actually means, as Gandhi had once said, if the principle of an eye for an eye is applied indiscriminately then it would render the whole world blind, (or something to that effect). We try to pick some points out of the philosophy and apply it to any situation and expect it to work and when it does not we throw up our hands and say that Gandhi is redundant or he was no great shakes in the first place! This lifting up and throwing down of personalities is the norm in the highly strung public psyche. His teachings need interpretation and understanding as was revealed in the film on Gandhigiri and it can be applied in several situation as was shown in the film. All that is needed is for us to use our grey cells.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blogworld's Pros and the World of Would bes

DaShiv is famous in the Blogworld so much so that the moment he lands up in New York there are parties galore and lots of blogging friends to meet and make much of him. The significant part is that he does not have a blog of his own! He gets by by posting comments and beautiful photos on other people's blogs!!!He is a pro at commenting on blogs and I am the shakey novice trying to get people to read my blog and vote for something that irritates me no end and hoping for moral support from others and failing miserably. Today I will go on a vote appeal in the blog world and see whether people respond.
I read in the papers today that there is a blogger who has got tremendous support from others who think in the same manner when she wrote about her objection to the use of unnecessary quotation marks!
Aah well some people have exemplary communication skills and technical skills, to reach out to people and trmendous luck too to find others who think just as you do, I am sadly lacking in all these areas. Lets see what kind of response I can get by reaching out to the blogs I visit.The world of would bes is a bleak one for now but we still plod on.