When BODY takes over mind and soul

Women have so much worry about. With their period, should come a manual on how to deal with focus on their bodies. Like it is not enough that every month the body goes through a million hormonal changes leading to PMS, bloating, the dreaded pimples, the aches, nausea, to name a few, and then years down the line she conceives. A beautiful journey indeed, but let’s not forget the amount of hormonal stress the body undergoes again, which ends up with excruciating labour pain and when the child is born, the woman also gets a new birth. Well, how a woman survives that amount of pain always intrigues me! No, it does not end there. Then comes lactation where an entire different set of hormones take over. And then another one comes up when the lactation stops. Oh BTW, this is repeated when the woman has further babies. Now, now… let us come to menopause. This one is the mother of all. Calcium level drops, hair fall, chances of joint pains are high, hot flushes, skin issues, allergies… sighh!

During all these years, the one thing she keeps listening to time and again is: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Like advertisements, there is a hidden agenda… you know the message written in the ant size font. It goes something like this: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY…every one is watching you.

The woman must lose weight, watch her stretch marks, her diet, her hair, wax, bleach, colour her hair, go for botox, upliftments, reduce/increase her breasts, weight train, watch the bulges, the sags, the tyres, the handles. My my!
And then an article comes like this one. When I saw the heading of the article, I said to myself, “Atlast an article which could help women to choose the correct swimwear, especially for the typical Indian body. Well, the article read: FEEL CONFIDENT IN SWIMWEAR. I wasn’t surprised when I was disappointed. For one, the pictures adorning the article are no way the common Indian woman looks like. Second, women who look like that definitely are confident wearing swimwear.
Probably the reason why most of the women who do not go for swimming (though they would love to) do so because they are not comfortable in swimwear and also the market does not render to this sector as much as they should. When I went for swim wear shopping, it was a headache. The choices were less, there were no interesting colours, they had to cover the right places, yet look nice. After 3 days, I finally got what I liked, but I wish they had come in better colours. Coming back to the article, it went on and on about everything but the fact that even the not so prim figures too need swimwear. I wish they had put up pictures of ‘real’ women, if you know what I mean. 
I don’t know what kind of rat race are we in.  Good looking bodies have become such an obsession that it is taking away the pleasures of being a woman. For God’s sake, we are much more than just a vagina, breasts and a flat belly!

Probably, we can start with our daughters. We can begin the journey by telling them that taking care of our body is not equal to having perfect figures and be able to wear flaunting clothes. It is just a minuscule part of a big picture.

I remember as teenager, I would get skeptical while checking my weight. If my weight went even a gram more than 48 kgs, I would freak out. One day, after getting ready for college, I kept checking whether my buttocks were looking fine. My dad observed and asked what I was doing. I said, “I feel I have put on weight here.” My dad, without blinking an eye lid said, “You will need that fat to bear babies healthily, when the right time comes. Go to college. You are looking perfect.” I was zapped. How could he say that me!? I wondered. But today, I am glad he said that to me that day.

Recently, I saw a young girl adorning a T-Shirt in a mall. The T-shirt read: MY FACE IS ABOVE. 
That one said it all for me. 🙂

Can we stop for a while and fall in love with our body all over again? 

The same-sex battle reigns.

Chitrangada Singh got divorced and it became a national best selling news item. It must be something huge, otherwise why would it appear in the first page of Bangalore Times and many other cities. And let’s not forget the ‘proof’: a copy of her divorce notification. How else can Indian household’s run without having a complete purview on Chitrangada Singh’s personal life? Errr…who is Chitrangada?

And then our good old Rani gets married to her long time partner Adi. Indians woke up to the BIG news! Everyone wants to know why she ran away to Italy to get married, and why everyone was not prior informed? Hell, how could you do that, Rani?!

I am beyond bemused.

2 women…their lives…and we just cannot let them be. I may not know the statistics, but I know women are talking about them the most. I wonder why?

We ourselves don’t want to be judged, but judge others we will. It runs in our blood. (Words of a random sexist)
What is the point wanting to become an almost-man kind of a super woman when we cannot have basic courtesy of respecting the life of another woman?

Closer home, a young girl’s two marriages get broken. Hell breaks loose as every other woman points fingers at her saying something is wrong with her. How else can her marriage break two times? And no, she is no celebrity. She is a just girl next door, like you and me. It does not matter that in a social gathering, the women kept talking about how women should speak up and stand for themselves and how support groups should be formed for weaker women.

Charity begins at home and so does progress for women. No, we do not need support groups. We do not need women’s liberation. There…I said it!

Why would I want to be like a man? Why would I want to be shoulder-to-shoulder with a man? Does a man want to equalise with a woman? LOL…I guess they are way practical for that. If man and woman had to be equal then why
did nature in first place create 2 genders?

Rather, let’s aim at a woman’s heart being equal to another woman’s. Let’s be civil and warm.

All we need to do is mind our own business. Just listen when a woman wants to be heard. Help if you want, participate if you, walk out if you don’t. Is it that tough?

Oh but, she is celebrity. She is such a whore, a rich bitch! The girl next door. Oh, she definitely has issues. The girl who wears short clothes, she is definitely sleeping around. The mother who parties and dresses well, she is eating her husband’s pockets off. The SAHM, she is just not career oriented. The woman who wears a bindi, she is a such a behenji. The woman who wears a mangalsutra and a toe ring, she is such a ancient aunty who has never heard of modernism.

And I … well I am perfect. Ain’t I? 

Let the kids be…It’s HOLIDAYS!

Finally, the academic session has got over. Though I must say, the last year just flew by just like that. Kids are at home and so am I. The first feeling I got when I wrote the last sentence was that of being super-relaxed. I still get up at 5:30 am. Thanks to M, he convinced me to keep up my previous schedule of finishing off all my household chores by 8 am. So, be it. Here I am, blogging…and yes, I have had my breakfast too. I have now got time to read, write, listen to music, study (for my B.Ed exams next month) and watch good ol’ TV.

Now comes the I-am-scratching-my-brain-out part. KIDS + SUMMERS + HOLIDAYS = The Deadly Combination.

I am seeing every parent cribbing about it. Yours Truly included………………..till I thought otherwise.

Now, I am not much of a patient parent. I love my me-time and I am not a parent who can sit and do activities with my kids for a long time, if you know what I mean. The max I can do any such thing is for 15 minutes, after which my 33 year old brain asks me for a feed. Keeping this in mind, I think I have over-performed by going against the present times norms.

I CHOSE NOT TO SEND MY 3.5 yr old and 8 yr old TO A SUMMER CAMP. Why? Here it is:

1. Summer camps are highly over rated. Most of them do very basic activities and charge 2 – 3 K for about 20 days. Most of the times kids are sent to summer camps not for them, but for parents.
One, we do not know what to do with them. Ya, so whose problem is that?
Two, Kids get bored. True, but that is because we do not know what to do with them. Kids need direction. And we are unable to do so. Blame the weather, the heat, the holidays. So whose problem is that?
We could go on arguing or rather justifying how creative these ‘workshops’ or ‘camps’ are. But I would not agree. The rooms are cramped. There are atleast 15 – 20 children sitting in a room. Okay, maybe 10 in some cases. But at the end, it is a glorified version of a classroom session.

2. I want my kids to love being at home as much as being out. 
Now, this is something very personal to me. As a growing up kid, I never used to like being at home. My parents were hardly there during day time. As I grew, friends took over my life. They meant everything to me. But I had friends who used to love going back home. The reasons were as simple as sitting in front of the cooler and watch TV while sucking orange lollies with their family. Because, I never got to do that, I want to do it with my kids. I want our kids to enjoy simple pleasures of life at home. This is the foundation that we build as parents for our kids, for them to find reasons to come back home as an adult. I am talking from experience.

3. Desperation brings out the best in us. 
This may sound bitter, but it is truth as well. Children get bored. We hand over the i-Pads, our cellphones, X-box and the n number of gadgets in the market. While all this is not that bad, but I think it is taking over our lives, rather our children’s lives.
Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences  speaks about Naturalistic Intelligence which is very organic in children. They are born with it, and it gets eroded as modern technology and external methodologies gets kicked in. It is basically the type of intelligence which a child or an individual develops when he/she is in touch with nature (plants, animals, mud, trees, playing with natural objects). Studies show today’s generation is lacking in this intelligence.
On the first day of the holidays, A came up and said, “I am getting bored. What should I do in the holidays?”
I said, “Go, figure it out. You can do whatever you want.” His next question was, “But what do I want?”
I deliberately did not offer any advice. I wanted to drive him to the level of desperation. After 15 minutes of roaming around aimlessly (It pained my heart, yes), he disappeared into his room. N followed obviously. After about one hour, emerged something that A made using a simple circuit based pencil cap light. I should have taken a picture to share here…Hmfff! I was left wondering I would have paid money to a summer camp for that one hour! This is just one of the instances I have shared here. Many have followed since.

So, what do my kids do at home?

  • They both wake up by 7 am. 
  • They freshen up and drink milk by 7:45 am. 
  • A goes for cycling for half an hour, while N gets busy chit chatting with me while I complete my morning chores. She also ensures M gets ready on time shouting orders, “Papa, do faaaaast!”
  • 8:30 – 9 am: They watch TV. I am not anti-TV. but at no given time can they watch TV for more than half an hour at one go. During school days its just  1 hour TV for both during the day. Holidays are more relaxed. 2 hours does no harm. I regulate what they watch. Some channels are banned in my home. For instance, A watched an amazing documentary on global warming today on NatGeo. 
  • 9 am – 10 am: Breakfast and laze around. 
  • 10 am – 11 am: Water time. They are in the bathroom with water toys. You gotta see my 8 and 3 yr old playing squealing with delight! 
  • 11 am – 1 pm: Miscellaneous jobs. They help me the kitchen with whatever little work I have. They have to be in their room and figure out whatever they want to do with their time and toys. Some TV perhaps. Yesterday, we went grocery shopping. It could be a visit to my neighbour’s house. Sometimes kids’ friends drop in. 
  • 1 pm: Lunch together 
  • 1:30 – 4 pm: N sleeps for about 2 hours. I do my Reiki, watch TV ( I just love watching Taarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma, A watches with me), we read our respective books and take a nap of about an hour. 
  • 4pm – 5 pm: I cook dinner and the kids help me. They help me with washing the veggies, I am teaching A to differentiate between different pulses, cut tomatoes and the works. He is showing a lot of interest. They also water the plants and tend to them. 
  • 5 pm: Milk and outdoor play time. 
  • 7 pm -9 pm: Not a tough time to pass at all. M is back from work. Dinner, music, piano, chit chatting. 
Now, where is the time for a summer camp?
Accept it, kids are kids. They will get bored quickly. They have high metabolism, quick brain activity and active bodies. It is holiday time. Take them to different locations, help them explore, chill at home and teach them to enjoy doing NOTHING. They are anyway going to school, hobby classes, tuitions through the year. 
Let the kids be….It’s HOLIDAYS!