Is Kalki the only hope?

Borrowed the title from the above article. I read this article a while ago and it remained with me awhile some more. While the author of the article wrote it mainly in the political context, I do ruminate on the title on a more philosophical note.
Looking around me, I do find insensitivity among people increasing. People like to cut the road short (pun intended) to wherever they want to reach. Take the road manners for instance. Yes, you need to have some manners while on road. People simply have no regard for the others while driving. Err..please excuse the "L-boards" , including me. They do not know what they do. Let us also leave out the cabbies and the auto-rickshaws. These categories behave as though they belong to a different planet with a separate set of rules. Actually a set of no rules. That still leaves us with a humungous section who are in neither category.

People waiting to take a right at a signal, need to wait on the extreme right lane. Simple? Not really. You wait patiently at a signal to go straight, only to get frustrated as a jerk comes from the extreme left and blocks your way. The signal turns green to move ahead but you can't, since the right signal is off and the jerk that wants to go right won't budge. You lose your chance to move and have to wait for the next round. Tell me, how fair is this? Rinse, repeat when it's your turn to take a turn left at a signal. Changing lanes without adequate warning is becoming quite the norm. Using the correct indicators well in advance for the benefit of vehicles behind you seems to a rule that is practiced only in the utopian world. Road rage is a term is that gaining popularity with such "I-don't-care" attitude.Why am I not surprised?!

Parking problems in Bangalore need no elaboration. Yet, there are wedding halls mushrooming on the road-side without adequate in-house parking arrangement. Come any wedding and the already narrow roads become narrower with parked cars of the attendees. We don't care, seems to be the attitude. And, I also hear, people park intentionally on the roads outside swanky malls to evade the measly parking charge!!! You enter a mall and your wallet is immediately lighter by a few thousands and here people want to save on the 20-30 rupees. Where's the sense??

Among other senses that are absent, civic sense tops the chart. We used to be taught moral science in schools during our days. In my opinion, civic sense needs to be taught at home when the child is in Kindergarten. Is the lesson being skipped or is it conveniently forgotten when one grows older is a million-dollar question. Adults who don't have the sense need to be pulled up and embarrassed in public (now, I don't mean stripping or things like that ;-)). But they ought to feel ashamed of littering, spitting and misusing public property.

Will levying a fine to penalize the errant ensure a better-behaved society or will it lead to a vicious cycle of fine-evasion and corruption? How can we build a sense of ownership in people so that they feel as responsible towards society as towards one's home? I really hope Kalki is not the only hope.

The pursuit

Searching for the elusive cheer
she sets out on a travel lone
walking past a gurgling brook
that beckons her to stop and look

"Ah! am afraid, I need to go
for life is short and my wish afar"

Little birds twitter along
merry butterflies singing a song
"there's some sweet nectar just across
do care to have some when you pass"

"Ah! am afraid, I need to go
for life is short and my wish afar"

Friendly breeze and fragrant roses
cajole and tempt to stop her
but she rushes on in her pace
to find her Joy that is yonder

All at last she cares to pause
just to see whence she's come
and lo! shines the sight below
a land with beauty aglow

"oh! what a fool have I been
in hurrying past all that was my dream"

Realization dawns at last on her
that, which eluded was always there
What a pity! she'd missed the fun
in blindly seeking her destination

About R and of being a parent

What is it with boys and cars?? R just cannot get enough of cars. Even when he was as young as one and a half yr old, he'd recognize the kind of vehicle (a car, truck, bike or auto) that would pass by below with the kind of noise they generated. The passion for cars has only grown over time and now he can recognize more than a dozen car brands along with the name of the manufacturer and the model. Though, it was me who lead him through the various models at our parking lot, the little student has gone ahead of the teacher. While I still need to look at the model label at the back for certain cars, R, seems to know it from the symbol and the shape of the car! A learning experience for me too, I'd say. 

If earlier, R spent a good deal of time watching the nursery rhymes and ABCs on the computer, now he is pouring it all out as a constant background score. The Wheel on the bus goes round and round is currently the hot favourite and my nerves are under immense pressure with the constant chime of the rhyme at all times of the day. This is besides the 'whats' and 'whys' that are thrown in for good measure.

Resisting for everything and anything has become second nature to R. Looks like it is a part and parcel of the tantrum age. From getting his teeth brushed to bathing to wearing his diaper to even getting ready for play, everything has become a matter of tug-of-war. His favourite word has shifted from "maatain" (No) to "vaendam" (No or don't want). Ask him anything and pat comes this reply. It can be fit into any phrase, any situation. It can sound completely meaningless and out of sync in certain situations. For instance, if he doesn't understand your question or doesn't want to answer, he'd just say "Vaendam". At other times, it simply becomes a chant like "amma vaendam/ appa vaendam/school vaendam/ etc etc".

He's growing up because he is no longer our baby who welcomes kisses and hugs anytime and every time. He's begun to assert himself even in this. I cannot cuddle, kiss or just hold him tight and close without his wish. He'll simply pull out of my embrace and say kisshi vaendam (no kisses) or konja vaendam (don't cuddle). Hmph!
Some amount of aggression (with us parents) is emerging too as is evident when he uses more of his hands and arms to convey his displeasure or discontent. Although he is still careful and reticent with kids outside of his "known circle", he was in particular bossy and boisterous with his cousin (my niece), when she was here. Is it a way of communication or a way to show that he considers you close enough? Either way, we are trying to deal with this behaviour.

Talking of dealing with parenting issues, one thing that bothers me is the way our (cannot generalize but I can talk for myself) parenting techniques reflect our behavioural pattern or temperament. I am a person who is innately reserved and withdraws when confronted with a more dominant or strong personality. Although now, after some conscious effort put in, I've been able to curb my innate tendencies, to be assertive and positive in my approach while dealing with people. But the inherent nature to hold myself back or to be unable to be myself in new surroundings is in some ways being trickled into R's upbringing. This happens more when I am myself at a place where the mother is a mere acquaintance and not a close friend of mine. I feel it is unfair on R and it will confuse him further on the right and wrong way of behaving. The saying, Might is right, cannot be more true for Gen Y and my heart fears for kids who are by nature a little soft and tolerant of others' misbehaviour. Our parents taught us to show restraint even when hit but to impart the same lesson to our kids seems like a crime. They also need to know that it is OK to retaliate in self-defense. And, how then to impart this education without it back-firing?

Random ramblings

A shift from a set schedule to another one can be tough. It is like toppling the apple cart to fit in oranges and lemons and create the beautiful stack again. Yes, although the cart seems just enough for apples, the oranges and lemon have to somehow fit in too. And, one needs to be organized and skillful enough to have the cart look as neat as before. Well, if were a fruit seller, I'd have got a bigger cart instead of making my life difficult by trying to fit more into less. But of course these are just metaphorical and am only referring to the mortal me and the 24 hrs that are allotted to a single day and night cycle in our lives.

Struggling with re-organizing a house that has been recently pest-controlled, dealing with the time-shifts in my schedule due to R's school and a sudden bout of nasty cold and cough has left me with very less inclination to write when there is some time that is not ear-marked for other routine stuff. I just want to crash and zone out into dreamland. I am of course reading your posts sporadically and also try to leave a comment when I read a post. The urge in me to write even so much must mean that am really keen to maintain my presence here.

I want to do an update on R. He seems to be growing up so fast. He says some darn-est at times that leave us either stunned for words or giggling uncontrollably. When you are suffering from a dis-ease, all you can feel is life moving very fast around you while you are grappling to close your fist on the happenings. Bangalore too is weathering a bad phase, it seems. The rain Gods have turned up their noses at us Bangaloreans this year. The dark clouds loom and entice us with the hope of some respite in terms of weather and the much necessary underground water but then tease us into disappointment by disappearing to the bright blue sky a few moments later. In this, the city and I seem to be in some kind of symphony, both waiting to get into familiar conditions.

Posts out of randomness are becoming my thing now. But, of course, I seek to be excused. Writing, although a recent find in my list of hobbies, has grown to be a dear one. I haven't given my other skills as much time and love as I've to this one. To let this slip away into oblivion seems like letting a plant die after tending to it with much care and obsession. But, I attract  the infamous writer's block too very often even as I post regularly, so the upset routine has only thickened the block. So, if there is only randomness and nonsense for sometime here, do bear with me. I shall be back. In better shape and form.

Of new beginnings and some updates

Howdy people!
Its been a while since I updated this space. I was caught up with a lot of things and hardly found the time or energy to write something. Hope, I was missed :-)

First things first, R has started Montessori since last week and he has taken to the place like a fish to water. I had expected some protest from his end and had braced myself accordingly but it seems he has not inherited my genes in this matter. He went in with the teacher on the first day without as much as a backward glance at me! Whereas, I, his mother, used to cry buckets at the mention of school even in class one and two. Sheesh! Don't tell him this, OK? It is tough for any parent to wait outside listening to the apple of their eyes wailing helplessly. Passing even half an hour might seem like a mountain to move. I am just grateful that the journey has been easier for me so far. To the extent that on the second day itself his teacher handed over to me an activity sheet that he worked on (random crayon artwork by the little master along with a few legible, clear sketches by the teacher ) that had a couple of smiley stickers from the teacher as a mark of encouragement. He was kept back for an hour from the second day on itself. Touchwood!

I am driving R to and back from school. I don't exactly enjoy it, I tell you. While going, it is the peak rush hour and am juggling (poorly) with the mad traffic and the near constant driving instructions/advice/reproaches from the hubby who accompanies me. The return journey is relatively easier as the traffic decreases to a considerable extent, and he somehow, trusts me to handle it on my own. Of course, trust or no trust, there is no choice- both for him and me. Driving for me is just a necessary life-skill and not an enjoyable experience, yet. Since I haven't been driving regularly, am still rusty and get panic attacks, so all this driving seems much like an ordeal. But the husband is determined to polish off the dust and he is not taking any excuses from me! :-0 My other grouse is that I have to wait out the entire one hour that R spends at school, outside the school waiting for him since the duration is too short for me to get back home and to school in time to pick him up. The prime time when I generally feast on blogs is gone thus. The school will increase the timings to the full duration only gradually.

Anyone who wanted to understand Murphy's law, just had to be at my residence last fortnight. Unfortunately, it was my own folks who were at my place then. From major water crises to intrusions from pests in the house to a leaking tap due to negligence, and even a Bharat Bandh, all that could have gone wrong had aligned themselves to make an (im)perfect setting! Even our car was away for an unexpectedly long duration at the service station during this time. Bad karma is all I can say! Although we survived the odds, I couldn't help cursing the sense of timing of the outside forces. The silver lining was of course the kid's world where such mishaps do not derail life and happiness. The niece and R had a whale of a time and it was a treat to see them have such undiluted and pure pleasure from just being with one another, living and enjoying in the moment.

On a  happier note, I finally met up with my oldest blog pals- Aparna (Adventures in Mommyland) and Aparna (Life as a mom)! The former had an official meeting at Bangalore, so the three of us grabbed this opportunity and met up for lunch at the 100ft Boutique restaurant sans our kids. As expected we had loads to talk and catch up on. Time was a constraint due to other personal commitments and we were loath to end the wonderful conversation combined with some lovely food. Looking forward to more such meets in future!

So, that's what has kept me busy. Will catch up soon on reading and commenting on your blogs too.