Friday, November 11, 2011

Mixed Bag

Every time I look at my baby, I get all misty-eyed. And I keep thinking about this book I read sometime back called ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. I have reviewed the book here. When I read this book, the mother seemed to me a stubborn woman who just wanted to do anything (even unreasonable) to keep her daughter alive. She seemed a negative character. Today when I have a baby, I am able to understand her better. I am able to understand how devastating it can be for a parent to lose her child. My naïve self has often wondered (earlier), what difference does it make when somebody loses a child, if he has 2-3 other children. I can’t imagine now, how I ever thought like that. I am able to appreciate it a million times more that every child is unique (I know it sounds clichéd but then I have only now understood the true meaning of this oft-repeated phrase). 

My baby is 3 months old now and though I named him Dhruv, I am afraid, I hardly call him that. I (as well as my husband) keep calling him with hundred different names. Many times I consciously call him Dhruv, out of fear that later on he may not respond to his name at all, since we never called him that to begin with! But it is difficult to call a tiny baby with a name, it does not sound warm enough!

I am afraid I keep thinking about this topic more often now. Child Sexual Abuse is such a taboo topic, irrespective of the fact that it is so rampant. When you are a child, it can cause havoc in your life. When we were in school, we never talked about it. I had a few close friends while in school, yet we never talked about it. But after I moved out for further studies and started talking more with them as well as other friends, I discovered that in reality several children face abuse but keep it bottled up inside. Perhaps the awareness is more now. But even now I feel, this topic is not discussed enough, and dealt with even less.

If you have read Bitter Chocolate by Pinki Virani, you would know that the situation on CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) is alarming in India. If you ask me, I don’t care about this whole ‘India against Corruption’ thing. I care a million times more about CSA and Sexual Harrassment of Women. I don’t know why nobody does anything about it. I know many people who would put up ‘India Against Corruption’ badges and be unnecessarily voluble about how this is need of the hour, and then go on to bribe all and sundry. Why? Because nobody is watching? What about your conscience? Some argue that the magnitude is different! Well, it is only a matter of time and opportunity. If you are okay with the thought (and action), then you would be okay once you get the opportunity. Anyways, to each, his own. That’s not my point! We keep reading about CSA at an alarming frequency now. Good thing is it is coming out in the open now, much more than it ever did earlier; but what are we doing about it? 

At the cost of sounding undiplomatic, I wanted to have a boy. When you grow up as a girl, you know enough to not want all those challenges for your child. But it has dawned upon me that now I have a bigger responsibility. A girl, culturally and instinctively, is sensitized to dangers lurking around every corner; while boys are pretty reckless. They are neither cautioned well enough, nor sensitized to risks of abuse; and many times it is too late. I have been reading a lot on the internet and my conclusion is these days boys are at a greater risk. As a parent, I don’t know how not to be over-protective in these times and age.

Since my baby is small now (he hasn’t started even turning on his sides also and sleeps around 15 hours a day), so I have enough time on hand, most of which goes on internet surfing. I have got hooked to Facebook big time. I obviously don’t like updating every single step, like what, where and why do I eat, drink or do whatever, but I like reading latest articles. Since I am mostly homebound these days, so I do a lot of online shopping – home stuff and lots of books. I have blown too much money on books recently. I would write about it in my book blog. Besides, I love buying some quirky, fun stuff, much to my husband’s dismay (but he is too sweet to say anything against it. Of course, he makes fun of me about it but that’s okay).
Anyways, I have recently discovered the following which I am absolutely hooked to: The Caravan Magazine, Open Magazine and First Post. I have read some amazing articles on these websites. One of those was about how we need to focus more onour boys, and they were so bang on. Even I think the real problem is with our boys and their upbringing, not with the girls. Rather than teaching our girls to protect themselves and give a list of do's and don'ts; we need to teach our boys to respect women. Well, to some I sound like a feminist. But I am not. Very clearly, men and women have been made differently and are supposed to do different things but apart from that, as individuals, they deserve same respect and freedom to do whatever they want to do. So as a parent, this is a big responsibility too. I think, if I am able to give right kind of values and upbringing to my baby, rather than dwelling too much about sending him to the best schools and colleges of the world; he would be able to do well for himself. Perhaps, to begin with, every parent thinks so too, but because of peer pressure and societal norms, they get lost along the way!

My husband and I are completely opposites in a few things but so alike in the rest. Anyways, he is as much crazy about new technology and gadgets, as I am about books and reading; and I don’t touch his games, he never touches my books. Not that we don’t allow each other, we have mutual dislike for them. He is a kind of much sought after techno-guru who advises on which mobile to buy in his circle; pretty much what Rajeev Makhani does on TV, he does in his circle J So, we have the usual PS2, PS3, DSLR and now the Tablet. After much deliberation, we bought Samsung GalaxyTab 10.1 inches, this Diwali. We got it for 34K and it’s worth every penny. Okay, so we also got a 1 gm gold coin with this, so that took care of the Dhanteras tradition. It is also the reason, why I am pretty much always connected. It works like makkhan! I haven't stopped drooling since the time I have been using it. We have been thinking about buying this for a while but we decided to buy a DSLR first as our sweet bundle of joy was on his way and I love pictures. I take million pictures of him. Besides, we were also waiting for this 10 inches to get launched. 7” was way too small to use it as a laptop. I have just got used to typing on it but right now I am typing on my good old desktop, because of habit!

I have these conversations with myself all the time (since I have so much time on hand and there is a limit to blabbering to a 3 month old baby), so I have a million things to write about but some other time J

I would leave you with a common joke between my husband and I.

I: We don’t spend enough time just sitting and talking, you know. Earlier, in college, you would ask me even for 5 minutes. You have changed!!! (the oft-repeated phrase between people who get married after few years of courtship)

My Husband: No I haven’t changed. I still want to sit with you for 5 minutes