Tag Archives: mother

A mom’s disbelief

I can scarcely believe
that my whiff of a girl
has actually managed to get
her head full of trigonometry,
and organic chemistry,
and bosons,
and what-not,
and is in college!!
 
No! Don’t tell me
that this young twit,
who would die of hunger
if she is not fed
from time to time
and needs to be put to sleep
and cannot wake up on her own
is in college!!
 
There is nothing common
between her and the boorish gangsters
who masquerade as kids
the ones that I see at the college gates
smoking and scratching.
Surely, she does not belong
to that rowdy world
just because she has managed
to get into college?
 
Time stood still for me, and for her,
since the day when I first saw her
look trustingly in my eyes.
It is hard to believe
that we need to catch up
with the missing years
just because she has managed
to get into college?
 
It all seemed like a doll’s game
when she sat with her fat books
and drank milk and cocoa.
Don’t say it is time for her to know,
that there are shades
other than pink, and that the world
is not really as it seems,
just because she is in college.
 
I will yet stop the clock
I will still be her cloak.
I know my role is not over
I know this frail fool
needs me still.
There is no need to panic
just because she has managed
to get into college!!
 
***
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The boy who wanted to see the world

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
O road, I have never been anywhere
I know no one outside this village –
You must have seen the whole world?
‘I don’t go anywhere,’ said the road,
‘I help people go. They see the world
And come back to tell wondrous stories
Of kings, princesses and fairies.’
  
O teacher, you are so learned,
I do not know as much as you –
You must have seen the whole world?
‘I don’t go anywhere,’ said the teacher,
‘I have so many children to teach;
But I am happy when I get the word
When they conquer the world.’
 
O mother, you are so wise,
There is nothing you don’t know –
You must have seen the whole world?
‘I don’t go anywhere,’ said the mother,
‘I don’t get the time. I am waiting for you
To go around the world and tell me of exploits
More wonderful than my stories.’
  
O father, you are so strong,
There is nothing you cannot do –
You must have seen the whole world?
‘I don’t go anywhere,’ said the father,
‘I plough the fields and reap the crops;
You go to the king and wish him when he is free
On behalf of your teacher, mother and me.’
 
***

The River

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The young mountain stream
Rushes about, playfully, noisily,
Skipping over the mountains
Mocking all restraint. It fights
The rocks, it makes its own way.
It is wild, natural, free and happy.
 
The mature maiden of the plains
Journeys through the cities,
The pilgrim towns, the villages.
Like a mother, it quenches the thirst,
It feeds, it nurtures, it nourishes.
 
It is when the river gets old,
And is to merge with the sea,
That it branches out all over, slowly,
As if to gather all the beauty of the land
Within itself. No one knows whether
It is sad or happy, when its journey ends.
 
***

Understanding the Indian child (A crash course)

The sad misunderstanding that the Norwegians had over the matter of Indian children shows that it is time the world is told the reality about Indian babies. Lest such misunderstandings persist, it is essential to let the world know about this life form, which, to the untrained eye, looks like a miniature homo sapiens. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

All ye foreigners, you have to admit that when you see Indian families at the airports, at the beaches, at the bazaars.. or at any other location for that matter, you are little puzzled at the behavior of the children. They don’t seem normal. But have any of you tried to understand what is different? Sheer lack of effort on the part of the non-Indian world has left them totally clueless over the existence of this sub-species, and its unique traits. I shall list the five basic features of an Indian baby, just to tickle your curiosity, that you might venture into this uncharted territory and explore the ‘last frontier’ of human behavior.

1.   Indian babies do not grow up. They are not programmed to grow up, in the sense of becoming sensible and an adult. They just transform into non-babies at exactly the time when they themselves get a baby of their own.

Understanding this trait is crucial, because without coming to grips with this simple fact, you cannot get ahead in your studies about Indian children.

Human beings are said to be the most successful species because they take care of their young for a long time. Now this duration is generally defined as 16 to 20 years. Somebody forgot to tell the Indians about this. And dependence here means physical, emotional and financial. It is a situation that Indian parents somehow do not find irksome or burdensome.

2.  Indian babies do not feed on their own. It is not the responsibility of an Indian child to try to survive. In fact he is determined to test the loyalty of his parents, by showing an extreme aversion to behave in a manner that would ensure his or her survival.

The Norwegian authorities thought the Indian mother was force feeding her child – and held it against her. What the silly fools did not realize was this – that it is the only way to put something into them. It is a meal-time ritual with Indian kids that they will run around, not wanting to eat, and the mother, often with the father in tow, would chase them and force feed them. (If it is a joint family, the rest of the family will watch approvingly.)

3.  Indian babies do not sleep alone. The only place an Indian baby will sleep in is between his parents. Kindly note – between, not with.

It is difficult to say whether this is an instinctive ploy to prevent competition in form of siblings from appearing in their lives (in which case it is a failed strategy), or it is sheer cussedness on their part, but the Indian child would wail his head off if placed at any position other than the one described.

Some of the especially wicked kinds – there is no other word for it – like mine, actually sleep after ensuring that both parents are fast asleep. In that sense the natural order is slightly in the reverse here – and no solution has been found for this disorder so far.

4.  Indian babies do not sit in the back seat of cars. And no Indian government has tried to force them to. The right place for the child in a car, the babies feel, is in front, next to the gear box. Here they can distract the driver to the maximum, have the thrill of being in the gravest of dangers, can pull at sundry levers and push at sundry other buttons. Once in a while they would pop their head out of the window also. Try to prevent that, or to tie them with a seat belt – and there would be full scale revolt (rebellion, if there are more than one of them together.) Even the police would side with them in case you complain.

5.  Indian babies do not want to get education. Formally or informally, or through any system of education.

Superficially this situation may look familiar to ye foreigners. But it is not. Here the resistance to education is of a different class altogether. Indian children are not benignly anti-learning – they actively work against any effort by authorities to make them understand anything. Just try to take them to a zoo, or a museum or get them a glossy book – and observe. The ‘auto-learning’ mode is absent. In the zoo they would behave as if they have come to their natural habitat, and would start behaving like animals. In the museum they would want to touch everything, only with the intention of being thrown out. And most would avoid a book like a plague – after forcing the parents to buy them the most expensive one.

Shrewd, they are, at avoiding understanding of anything that may be of use to them in life.

Now I would take some questions.

Why do the Indian parents tolerate them, someone asks? For one, they have been like that themselves, only a few weeks before their child was born, and so do not know any better. It is how the Indian children are, we feel, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

How do they adjust to the world when they grow up? Very well, thank you. Just like ye foreigners, our children, when they do grow up, forget their parents also, and in that sense are normal.

How to make the foreign governments understand? Why, there is only one way- leave the Indian children with them. But this must be done under controlled and supervised situations, for otherwise these governments may go mad – and endanger world peace.

Are the Indian children cute and cuddly? Only to the parents. The biological design of Indian children is such that they look cute and cuddly only to the immediate family. This is an inbuilt feature to prevent them from getting kidnapped.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating – all of you are welcome to eat… I mean, to understand the Indian child in all its glory. Do visit my home anytime you feel like it. It would be a welcome diversion.

***


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