Black and White

Isn’t it incredible that Indians are such racists? Well, maybe not so unbelievable since an entire country was convinced  that they are inferior just because of their skin color and were conquered for so long by the British .

And still there is a LOT that needs to change even now. I find it absolutely infuriating when I hear comments from our generation’s educated people about each other’s skin colour. And I find it especially painful when I see kids making fun of each other’s colors. While I was in Gurgaon, I overheard a 10 or 11 year old boy persistently bugging a slightly duskier girl (who was an American Citizen) about how come she is so dark when she is from the US. “Are you sure you are American? You look like an African..Hahaha “. The girl just rolled her eyes and said “You are such a racist!”. I mean, forget the fact that this boy has no clue about the hundred other ethnicities present in the US, but he was making fun of his friend because of her color. Ugh. The “credit” goes completely to the shallow parents who have shown this young boy that people are defined by their color and not any other “deeper” aspect. Children on their own will never pass judgement on anyone. They accept everyone equally with big hearts. The comments they hear at home mould them to be the kind of person they are.

I have seen that the north and south of India are equally color obsessed. While they look at a fair person in the south like some angel descended from heaven, the dark person in north is looked down upon  – “Why are you roaming around in the sun? Madrasi jaise lagoge”. Tamil movie industry is full of women from the north of India solely because of their skin color! There was a neighbour when we were in Haryana who was very “sympathetic” towards me because apparently my new born baby was dark. How can you judge a new born baby? India is strange – for a country with majority of the population with dark skin, people openly stare in awe at the white-skinned foreigners and openly heckle those with dark skin. Isn’t it pathetic that there have been so many cases of racist attacks of African students by Indians? What are we teaching our kids?

My own mother was brought up in a household where she was constantly taunted for being so dark esp since my grandmother was “fair”. She grew up using tubes and tubes of “Fair and Lovely” and still uses them religiously! And the constant criticism she faced makes her notice the “color” of a person before she looks at anything else. I have grown up hearing her describing people as “fair” or “dark”. Maybe that is why I am doubly sensitive about this topic !

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It really irks me when anyone brings up color in their conversation. People feeling sorry for themselves because they are dark..People feeling proud of their “white” skin. What is in a color?? and What have you done to get your skin color ? It is something you are born with. How does that define you or change who you are as a person? And why give so much importance to it. Do you feel inferior if your nose has spots on it? Do you feel superior if your eyes have long lashes? Do you feel bad about your ears being pointy? Do you judge someone for having short nails? Then why the obsession with color and fairness creams and whitening lotions!

It is not easy to rise up above biases and even harder to bring up your child to be accepting of all. It has to be a conscious decision on your part to not comment on someone’s color / weight etc especially in front of your children. When you point out a dark lady and say “She is so black that you cant see her in the dark..Hahaha”  or when you point at some fair lady saying ” Wow look how fair that lady is! I wish I had that complexion”, you are saying that their color is of utmost importance and that being dark won’t cut it. There has to be a shift in the way you describe people. Once you control your temptation to make fun of others, you can see a visible change in how your child behaves with people of all colors and sizes. Because if your kids become  racists, it will be your fault.

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What will Baby M become when she grows up?

It is funny how we keep looking for clues to see what profession my two year old daughter will choose so many years later. Being “cool” “new-age” parents, we don’t want her to become an engineer or something common like that..:D..So clinging to this silly hope we keep scouring for signs of her choosing a really cool profession. Here are some clues that we keep trying to infer 🙂

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-> Baby M has always walked on her toes..She does that even now. AND her idea of dancing is to just turn round n round n round…so what is my baby going to be for sure ?? A Ballet Dancer , Yayy..

-> She also has an obsession with spotting aeroplanes in the sky ever since she could say the word aeroplane. She has this uncanny ability to spot them far, near, right, left, hidden, in full view..any damn place they are flying in. Many times, Me and Atul keep searching for the aeroplane that she has spotted, but she has never been wrong. ..So Atul is quite confident she could have a bright future as an Air Traffic Controller 🙂

-> An Actress  is also not a bad option my little drama queen. I have seen her go to the mirror when she is crying and checking out herself sobbing away. She can do a very filmi sob on cue too. I have also seen M practise in front of the mirror  saying “Sorry ! I won’t do it again” over and over again..LOL . I know now how the apology comes even before she finishes her mischievous doings 🙂

-> M also has a real keen sense of audio, sight and smell . We might be whispering something in a room and she will come out of nowhere and ask very pertinent questions about the discussed gossip 😉 ! lol .. She can also smell what someone has eaten from a mile away.. Anyone eats chocolates and goes within a mile of her has to face her interrogation ..”What did you eat?” “Is it Chocolate” “I also want Chocolate”. I have decided she will make a fine Detective.

-> Ofcourse one thing that we think M will become for sure is a Manager. She loves to give instructions to all of us..So much so that , she will tell Atul how to drive a car. Very confidently she will keep her hands in front of her like she is driving and say” Like this, Papa..and  Go left, Papa” . Or If I am cleaning something, she will immediately come up and point at areas which I have to clean!

–> If all else fails, M can aim to become the Prime Minister of India in the future or atleast a diplomat. She is very politically correct. Whenever asked to choose who is better amongst two individuals, she will think hard and then say “Both are good”. For e.g “M, who is better ,Mamma or Pappa?”, She will take her time thinking and then ask “If is say Mamma will Pappa cry” (or vice versa) , and then finally say “Both are good” 😀

So there it is..our deciphering of clues. We are trying to figure out more clues everyday ..so hopefully I will update this post if I decipher more cool professions

my 2013 Blog in review

 

I am hoping that posting SOMETHING will magically erase the bloggers block that I have going..They say the only way from the bottom is up…so Herez to a better 2014!!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Love Marriage Vs the other boring kind

So I see that the debate continues. The promos on SONY tv for their new show Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage  (http://www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange) got me slightly rattled since arranged marriage seems to have gotten  the upper hand. The “arranged marriage” girl has the respect for her parents. She has the statistics to prove that love marriage is a farce.  Aarghhh..Let’s get it straight and not go into stereotypes. Its not true that the “love marriage” kinds don’t care for their parents and that the arranged marriage kinds are the respectful proper mummyji pappa-ji kinds.

Let me begin my “rebuttal”. I had a love marriage, the North-meets-South types, and yet my parents were happy about the match that I found. In fact, when I asked my mom if she felt bad that I selected my husband myself, she said “No. I am actually glad that you did. We were dreading the process of finding the “right” guy for you”. So if you are mature, think through about it and the families consent, then love marriages are the way to go. No disrespect meant to anyone. It just happened.

Another point that my humble opponent raised was that you know everything about the person you get married to with no surprises left. Trust me, even after 8 years of going out, getting married and living together was an entirely different package(and good ofcourse :D).  I do agree that arranged marriages have the nice “discover your partner” feel initially.. All those firsts, those new feelings, those palpitating hearts which the love marriage couple have already been through. But not to worry, there will be many exciting firsts for them too . After the initial honeymoon phase is over, the arranged marriages and love marriages look very very very similar.

And coming to divorce statistics, in most cases people in bad arranged marriages suffer because they think the families will be hurt, while people in love marriages have the courage to reverse their own decision. So booo to that!

The only “good” point about arranged marriages that I see is how both the families get along fabulously. (There are plenty of exceptions on this too I bet). But then in these days of nuclear families, how often does everyone in both families meet?  The immediate ones, in any case have adjusted to you and to your immediate family…the only barrier I see is the language one ..remove that and both parties will be partying together everyday !haha

Mommy’s Pet Or Daddy’s Angel?

You know the question “Who do you love more – Mommy or Daddy” which was asked when you were a kid? I never liked it much back then and I still get annoyed when I see people pit the Mom and Dad against each other!

But some of the competitive spirit has started to rub off on me these day grr.Thanks To Atul ! I never used to get annoyed before when baby M stopped crying when she went to someone else, or if she became happier to see Atul. It is good that they like others too right? And the times when she did come to me and stop crying or when she misses me and cries for me, I used to find it adorable seeing Atul’s sad puppy face. I mean it was funny that Atul felt so hurt if she “liked me better” (if u want to call it that)! I had always been “secure” in the knowledge that she has no choice but to love me u know..I Mean, She was living inside me…I am the MOTHER..I spend all my time (almost:)) taking care of her. How can she possibly not like me?! 😛

But off late I have this urge to start running this race. Especially after seeing Atul gloat every time she DOES go to him happily! So sorry Atty boy, now I have become a serious contender to win the “I like Mommy Better” title. What makes this competition worse is Baby Girl Apparel! All of them proclaim “Daddy’s Sweetheart”, or “Daddy’s Little Darling” Or “Daddy’s whatever” with Mommy nowhere in the picture.

Sigh..I am bound to get slightly combative don’t you think? So nowadays when Atul is not able to control her crying at times and she becomes all cozy and quiet after coming to me, I blush on the inside with this misplaced sense of vanity. And when she jumps to her dad when he comes home and refuses to come to me, I have started feeling pangs of jealousy. I now console myself thinking that when she is hungry, sleepy, troubled etc etc only I can calm her down..She can go for her play time to Papa, but in times of real needs, she comes to Mamma 😀

Muhahahhaha  So, Game On Baby M’s Daddy? 😉

Dangerous rhymes

Now that am singing rhymes once again, I have started wondering why all these rhymes are so negative in nature not to mention the surprisingly common sad endings! It is actually ridiculous how many rhymes I could come up with  all of which suit this whole tragic ending business —

Let’s start with Rock a bye baby – So a baby is blissfully rocking in its cradle on a goddamn tree for some reason and then a wind blows and the bough breaks and the baby falls along with its cradle! Ouch..the poor little baby..and the careless parents who “rock” their babies on trees..tch tch..hmm but seriously this is a LULLABY you sing for the babies?!

Jack and Jill is not that far behind. A simple, menial task like fetching a pail of water brings about a series of unfortunate events. You have Jack falling down and breaking  his crown and Jill who doesn’t like to be left alone comes tumbling down after him. The poor souls..

Then you have Mr.Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall quite nonchalantly not having a clue as to whats going to happen next…..but as luck would have it he has a great fall.. And obviously there is no Happy ending here either ..cause a lot of people tried but in the end they “Couldn’t put Humpty together again”

Next on the list we have the “Three blind mice Seee how they run“. Not only are they physically handicapped (Blind!) but then their tails are mercilessly cut off by the farmer’s wife for no real fault of theirs. Could they have known who they were running after since they were already blind? What Cruelty I say! And why are children subjected to such torturous rhymes ? grr..

Oh and check this gruesome one out

“Piggy on the Railway Picking up stones;
Down came an engine, And broke Piggy’s bones.

‘Ah !’ said Piggy, “That’s not fair,”

“Oh !” said the engine driver, “I don’t care !”

I mean, seriously what is that about?! Why do kids have to know about these hit-and-run accidents and unapologetic drivers anyhow? hmmph.. sniff.. Sad Ending Again? Hell Yes! the poor little pigggyy..

Okay let’s continue on this quest – listen to this one about poor little ducks getting lost one by one ..

Five little ducks Went out one day,
Over the hills, And far away.
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack.”
But only four little ducks Came back, back, back”

And it goes on till all the ducks are lost!!

Come on, Lost Ducks, Dead Pigs, Fallen Babies/Jacks, Blind Mice having to deal with more cruelty — Where are the happy endings???

Oh and here is the kicker – Although this one doesn’t sound as menacing as the others,  its “meaning” is tragic enough. Our very own

Ringa Ringa Roses, Pocket full of Poises..Hushaaaa Bushaa ..WE all fall down”. It is supposed to be about how children all died  (All fell Down!) during the plague.Woah.. and yeah Husha bushaa (ahem that’s how I remember it)..is actually “ashes ashes” or whatever..Ugh That Is Ghastly!! Why can’t all rhymes be all twinkling and “starring”???!

Gosh you know what? I am feeling depressed after doing this exercise..my childhood suddenly seems violated ! I am glad that children lack the judgement to analyse the rhymes they sing .. Haha

Hmmm but maybe they were all so sombre to teach kids a lesson ..to serve as a warning or whatever…

So children what have we learnt today?

Don’t sit on walls..or u’ll fall

Don’t pick up stuff from railway lines..you’ll be run over

Don’t hang cradles from trees, and don’t put babies in them!?

Don’t wander away from your mommy

Don’t go up hills with girls to fetch water ?!?”

Very Good Children..Next Lesson Tomorrow 🙂

Can anyone think of more of these sad ending rhymes?? Will be interesting!!

😀 😀 😀

The World From Baby M’s View

So what does a baby’s world look like??.. Here is a sample of Baby M’s schedule
8:30 AM : Stretchhhhhhhhhhh…”Oh what a beautiful morning..I feel like singing baaaaaaaaabaaa vavavaavaa oooooh aaaaaaah And wait is that today’s newspaper ? I need to know what is going on in this world..and yes I shall read it my way 😛

She crushes the paper..Makes happy sounds..crushes it some more..rolls around with the paper wrapped around herself elated with the  crunchy sounds that it makes until I snatch them all away!! 🙂

9:00 AM :  It is time for daddy to leave so while checking out the traffic status on the terrace Baby M Sunbathes. Its then play time while Mommy does some household work stuff.

Yayyy Now that I am alone I can go for all the things that Mommy never lets me play with”  So M centipedes herself to the wipes and the tissue boxes, the telephone wires, the chairs and the chappals! Once she gets hold of the tissues or the wipes, she gleefully pulls out all the tissues..Am sure She must be thinking “Wheee Its so much fun to pull this white stuff…It just keeps coming out..Me Likeyyy” .  It is funny how we keep buying her toys and how she carelessly discards her toys when she spots any random thing at home like the remote, or the mobile or my plate or spoon or anything which isn’t a toy basically! 🙂

10:30 AM : Its the time for a batho…( To rhyme with disco :D) ..Massage and then bath for the baby..Thankfully Baby M loves to take bath and splashes around a lot.”Splash Splash..Water is the coolest thing on earth!“. She is also just coming to terms with “cause and effect” and hence loves to play with the mug and watch the water spill when she tumbles it over again and again and again!

11:15 AM : Hmmmm..”Zzzzzzzzzzzz Massage and Hot water Bath Make me veryy Sleeepppppyyy“.

1:00 PM : “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…My mommy left me alone..Waaaaaaaaaaaah..I think it is time to teach her a lesson by rolling to the edge of the bed..It looks like fun toooo“..

Ahem, but Mommy now keeps a watchful eye though 😀

1:30 PM : Messy Food Time Follows. Baby M loves to “wallow” in the Dal I try to feed her. She will go for the cup, put her hands in the dal and rub it all over herself, her face, her hair, my hands. She will grip the spoon really tightly and shake it up and down. Usually I just let go and get another spoon to feed her! Ofcourse Then she aims for the new spoon, hits it out of my hand with the dal flying around! Once the Mission:Feed Baby is done, the whole place looks yellow..Baby M’s head to toe covered with dal, the surrounding areas – yellow, floor – yellow , my clothes – yellow!! I wonder how much of it really goes in. Pheww…

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM : Masterchef Australia. “This food looks so much better than what Mommy gives me. Seriously ! Why does she watch it if she is not going to make it! ” Pout..

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM : Rock and Rolll babyyyy! Okay She doesn’t rock as much as she rolls 🙂 But boy does she roll !  She manages to get around the length and breadth of the living room by rolling around..I usually find her under the sofa, under mats, chairs, or in a corner trying again and again to roll even more . :)Haha..it is hilarious. She’ll interchange between sitting , lying down on her stomach and rolling atleast 10 times in 3 minutes! One minute I find her sitting next to her small chair, the next minute she is lying down under the chair and the next minute she is back up with the chair upside down  dragging it around and fiddling with the plastic cover on it!! Very “mechanic” like :)) lol

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Zzzzzz..Phew!! Baby M Tired after doing all that work , not to mention the rolling

After 7 PM : Papa is here..”Yayyy..Mommy is boring now, I need Papa to entertain me now”. She literally jumps out of my arms to go to her Dad! (Of course , Mommy doesn’t mind one bit! 😀)

Welll Anyhow..So don’t want to bore you with minute by minute details of what baby M does ..atleast all in one go :)..will let you in on more in the next post about her