April 1, 2015

Week 0

When the idea was thrown up by T, I never thought she would be so adamant and staunch in following through with it.
A month at my parent's place for the summer
But she did, and she has surprised me and much more than me, B! She started off by December on how she wants to go when school closes, and we just kept telling her that we have to wait for the summer vacations. My parents also helped in making her understand that the next time they visit will be to take her along for her summer break.

B has been shocked at her independence and clear focus on what she wants. And he in fact doubted whether she understood what it means to be away from both of us. This being the first time she is away from both of us.

Makes us wonder if it is the age in which where she does not miss us, as long as being cared for and happy?

Or, is it the effect of day care and independence of thought and action which I have been persistently pushing?

With the awe and concern expressed by many, I am at the stage wherein I am left questioning why she does not miss us, but then I give myself one clench of my fist and tell myself, she is independent and does what she wants and needs, and I should be happy and thrilled about that.

I know there are certain attraction factors which are keeping her busy and if I think about it, it is truly very early to say how she will be through the month ahead, or how she will be at the end of the one month at my parent's place. In fact, I am happy she is creating some happy memories and associations for her summer vacations. I was speaking with some of my friends, and they were very supportive of how it is wonderful that I am doing this for her, and truly helping her enjoy her vacations rather than having her cooped up at day care or at home with nothing new to do and look forward to.

So at this point, I am looking at another week or two to pass and then decide how she is going to be ... but a part of me tells me she will be happy and well settled :)

March 17, 2015

Cockroaches

The word itself gives me the creeps.

And, here there is a whole new research and use which is thought out for them. I always knew they are hardy and are known to survive in the most unearthy conditions and terrains, but a use for cockroaches... I am not sure I can ever be a part of such a research team. Maybe it is good that I decided to not go the biology route, who knows what anthropod I would have to hold squirming in my hand!

This article brought me to that time during my summer vacations in India, in the midst of the monsoons, where we have all the creepies inside the house, and most often inside the bathroom. And this being the time when I was around 9 - 10 years of age, I was petrified of going into the bathroom to relieve myself, in fear of a flying assault.

And, I know there are many who would not even know of the flying breed of cockroaches, but trust me, they exist. And they do not fly about, rather sprint more is what I would call it, than fly. But since their flight is so short and they do not really know how to manage their flight, its very often that they will come and brush against you or even worse, land on you! And once, just once if they latter has happened, I don't know many who would not have the kind of fear and creeps about this insect.

 Anyhow, I remember this one incident wherein, there was a flying cockroach which had escaped from the usual recess in the bathroom, and entered the bedroom. And, this had to happen only around 9 pm, when there was no way of finding this insect, or creating a overdose of insect killer in the air and leaving the room for a few hours. It was time to get to bed. That one night, with temperatures in Trivandrum being scorching in the summer months, still had be covered from head to toe, with the cover tucked in from all sides, and yet unable to sleep. The next day morning, I woke up with a fever thanks to the extra layers and heat which I had subjected myself to.

Would I do something different today?

I doubt it. 
I still am petrified of cockroaches.
But, being a mother, I am usually the one now responsible for the extermintaion procedures at home
And during those few minutes, I know how my heart thumps and hand become clammy.

Some fears just reside.

January 28, 2015

Book Review: Rebirth by Jahnavi Barua

Rebirth by Jahnavi Barua was shortlisted for the Man Booker 2011, and this on the cover of the book, alongside the woman on the cover, drew me to go ahead and pick up this one.

Every woman who has been pregnant will say that during those months, you fret and worry about how what you are doing affects the small life within, and how you would like to do the very best in your ability to ensure that life is unharmed in every which way. This story revolves around a woman, who is pregnant after many years and trying. And after all these years, her husband chooses to leave her, because of not having a child, or because of the 7 year itch, it is unknown. But he does come bounding back on knowing about the child.

And does a child set everything straight?
Do the mistakes made get washed away with the arrival of a child?
Or is it that what is expected for the want of a family for the child?

It is a book which flows so beautifully, the prose keeps you engrossed to the extend that you are transported to the Brahmaputra in Assam, and the fountain in the park at Richmond Town, Bangalore. The imagery which the author portrays is vivid and most importantly, it reached me. There are some detailed accounts of North east cultures/ rituals / and lifestyle. It is a region of India which holds  lot of surprises and secrets. Many would say there is so much about every region which might be new, but there is really something about the North east and its limited connectivity, which only adds to the charm which is otherwise too, immense.

The book moves across the 9 months the woman interacts, cares and changes herself to her changed life, all in anticipation of her child. It is a very short read, but it leaves you with a calm and peaceful feeling, though it does not really close the plot or give too many answers.

January 12, 2015

Book review: Disappearing Daughters, The Tragedy of Female Foeticide by Gita Aravamudan

The first 5 pages of this book, give you so many numbers, statistics to be more specific and you are left gaping at the words, wondering how and when the world will change.

Mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, everyone of them has played a part in ensuring the many girls in India do not learn how to crawl, sit up, stand, walk or speak. The means which they employ, it seems like they have studied to ensure the best practices and have optimized on the success ratios.

As a reader moves through the book, the primary thought that comes is, "Who is the true perpetrator of this crime?"


The father who wants a boy to take forward his family name?

The mother who wants a boy for a better standing with her in-laws?

The doctor who wants to earn that extra money in spite of doing what is illegal?

Each of them play a role in systematically eliminating the female fetuses across many districts, cities and regions. This is a practice which has infiltrated across strata and the methods might vary, and the complexity of processes, but the end out come is always the same - A Girl Dies.

Before I started reading this book, I had an image wherein the women were helpless, crying and were being forced into it. But, after reading Disappearing Daughters, I view the world through a different outlook. There is nobody who is not involved, but circumstances, or pressure is not always the reason. Many a times, those involved, do not see it as anything wrong, and many ethnic races view it as a tradition.

How does one reduce this atrocity or make people understand? 
By giving a positive reward to those who keep their girl child?

I am not sure.

But, neither is the government, or the many NGOs who are working in this field. There is a fair bit which education can change, and there is another large chunk which will be changed by society and the expectations set by it, and only by this!

But, all said and done, it is such a shame that one gender has been picked and picked repeatedly over these many years.

Is it a time for things to reverse? That would mean revenge.
I do not think that would be sustainable either.

The way ahead is for a change, a change from everything what everyone knows as of now.
New rules, and  new thoughts.

But, again, how long would that last!?