A bond that matters

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‘How much ever you try to be tough and rude with me, I know what person you are inside, and that is why I will be there for you no matter what’ said Anay, in his father’s accent, explaining why he loves his dad.

This quote from him helped me believe what I had read on importance of fathers in children’s life by Dr. David Popenoe, a researcher and expert on fatherhood that – fathers are far more than second adults in the home, involved fathers are able to bring about positive benefits to their children that no other person can likely bring.

‘My daddy treated me like a tomboy, in fact he treated me like a son which made me more confident as a person’ said a friend. The conversation with her and a few more friends of the same age group (18-22) made me believe that more than anything; an involved father is a source of confidence in a child.

However, what one learns from his/her father is subjective. And as I talked to lot more people about their fathers I realized many also found fathers in people they don’t have a blood relation with, is this possible?

Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the US Department of Health clears this doubt as she explains that nothing effects fatherhood if a person is loving and caring enough. It is about the connection that one builds of care and love. This is also the reason why people find fathers in teachers, bosses and other men who they might not have a biological link with.

‘When I see the relationship my husband shares with our children I feel proud of the fact that they have someone to look up to. My experience as a daughter was bitter, somewhere I always knew the importance of fatherhood in that sense and I am glad he (her husband) shares a stronger one.’ said a lady, I met in the local train. She explained further on how fathers’ role in a family is stereotyped to be the earning one when his emotional presence for the children is more important.

It is difficult to be close to your fathers, especially in Indian context, this was one of my hypothesis when I began talking to people and realized it to be true. The whole stereotyped idea of father being the earning one and not necessarily be involved with children has been a root cause for the failure of bonds with children. There were many who have had beautiful bonds with their fathers right from the start and have credited all their success to that one relationship, but the ratio of these bonds were less to the rest.

Fatherhood in India has many more layers to be uncovered which many psychologists are working on. However, with my little effort to understand the issue, I have realized that ‘Childhood is a complete institution’ (Psychologist, Mc Quairre) is indeed true. And its high time we take parenting seriously.

 

3 P’s to Practice

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Two weeks into my last academic year in college, I realised I hadn’t learned something important – to put forth what I feel in my class, without the fear of being judged. I still didn’t have the guts to say what I felt, I wrote down things in my book but my lips didn’t manage to say it.

However, on the first day of the third week a miracle happened, I went for a walk on the beach alone, analysed whatever was happening and penned down how one can get over this and speak in class without fear. These are the 3P’s that I keep rewinding in my head when such a fear hits my head.

Process

One important thing which helped the fear to rule my mind was the loss of confidence I had in the opinion I had to put forth. In order to feel more confident about what needs to be said, it needs to churn well in my head. I read up and justified and convinced myself before saying it.

Proceed

It is an art to learn how to say it. I have heard this a million times, ‘Your point was right but the way you said was wrong’. This is something I am still working on, how to say what I feel in the most polite way possible. However, it is almost a month I have got over this fear to speak in class and have been doing well so far.

Peace

After saying what needs to be said it is essential to make peace with it. You can be wrong or right, once said, discussed and done the thought should be off the head. Keep mulling over the thought is not going to help in anyway irrespective of the point being right or wrong.

These 3P’s helped me overcome fear of speaking in class, but it also made me speak in other public gatherings with confidence.

Food Feelings

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The one thing I dislike is ‘food’, eating and the entire cycle of it. It has been made for a reason and I respect it. This is my confession, apologies to people who love food, kindly not be offended, but there is not a thing I like about food.

It was difficult to come in terms with this, accept this feeling as ‘normal’ because of the reactions I would receive. ‘This is the reason you are thin, all fat people should start hating food, problem solved’ or for worse would not react but just laugh it off.But my point of confessing this dislike for food doesn’t end here. It was ‘hate’ earlier especially sweets but I have come down to ‘dislike’, so there is improvement.

I came up with a broader solutions to this, for who ever feels or felt like me anytime in life or knows someone who feels this way. One is to explore food as anything else, history of it etc. Try to engage with it as an entity, research on that one taste you relish in my case spicy. Going deeper into this is to finding videos of making of these foods and trying it out.

The other thing that works best is surrounding yourself with food lovers. Trust me, this is the easiest task ever. Once you are around them, it helps to kind of create even for the slightest second, love for food, it helps to eat more.

 

 

Raghu Ram’s Journey Reviewed

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Book Name: Raghu: Rearview My Roadies Journey

Author: Raghu Ram

Publication: Rupa Publications

Pages: 290

Price: Rs. 195/-

The book Raghu: Rearview My Roadies Journey holds interest to people who have watched Raghu Ram on television. But has a message to all youngsters and adults alike. This autobiography takes you through the journey of Roadies from Raghu’s eyes and in the process unveils the real Raghu Ram to you. Each chapter effortlessly pictures an episode of his life and the book feels like a complete series of such episodes.

The first chapter helps even a non Roadie fan to understand the context of who Raghu is and makes one curious about his life. The way he is perceived is put forth clearly and is a perfect hook to continue reading.

The shift of point of view is swift in the second chapter where the mother is trying to understand and accept that she is going to have twins. How the family and surrounding react to it and help her in their own ways is a must read. The mind of a pregnant woman is captured perfectly in this chapter.

In the third chapter itself readers get a bite of a childhood reality of Raghu’s life. Childhood experience shapes the personality of people and this chapter makes you believe that. However there is a twist at the end of the chapter, making one curious to read the next page.

Many people wish to go back to their childhood wish to relive some moments but however Raghu says he would rather jump off a cliff, the reason to this is properly portrayed in the fourth & last chapter of his childhood. Each chapter’s end and the name of the next chapter are proper hooks to continue reading the next page.

The glimpse into the life of a Delhi teen is seen the fifth chapter. It is about drinks, guitar & obsession with MTV. It explains how Raghu developed his musical side which he never let go of.

There is always a reason to everything we strongly believe in. And why Raghu Ram feels that the education system is faulty, the sixth chapter is the reason. It is one of the horrible episodes of his life put in the simplest words relatable to every youngster.

Now the book takes you to the era when television was new, how things worked back then. With little idea of what the future held for him, Raghu did his first job at television with all his heart. Here the love for working for television grew stronger. This chapter gives very clear understanding of working of television around the 90s.

With lot of efforts, Raghu finally lands up his dream job in MTV. Small tasks to be done but does it with all his love. Till the ninth chapter the narrative explains how difficult working for television is yet Raghu loved doing it. Time lapses and Raghu realizes that he has become a workaholic which calls for change of events in the next chapter.

A major burnout occurs and Raghu no more is working. No job at all, gives up on everything and searches for something less stressful basically a job at a higher post now. With lot of struggle gets one with BBC which becomes a life changing experience and how, chapter 11 unfolds!

This chapter is probably the most cherished episode of Raghu’s life, one can make out with the way it is written. After all, love is found here and Raghu gets bald look. Both of which have interesting stories written in quite a novelist way where one can picture each happening in detail.

One step, two steps and then the next, that is how one climbs the ladder of life’s achievements. First job, few more jobs, then first job with MTV, later a total burn out, then a job with BBC & now with luck back to MTV. Finally in the 12th chapter we hear ‘Roadies’ and how it all begun. This chapter is worth a read in every way to understand how the master plan is already made and we are just pawns to Lord’s plan.

Raghu as the senior executive producer for the very first season of Roadies had a different role to play than he had in his last season of Roadies. This part is an interesting read and the making of Raghu as a person on-off screen begins here. The role of Rannvijay is still at bay but the crisp writing makes you crave for more.

From the 14th chapter onwards, the entire book has flashbacks, flash forwards and back to the present quite intelligently written. The meat of the second season of Roadies is served in this chapter; kindly take it with a pinch of salt. Also Raghu finds a younger brother here, read on to find out.

No show can be built by one person alone, a team makes it. The team that made Roadies what it became gets formed before Roadies 3. Yet, there is love-hate emotions from Raghu’s end for season 2 & 3 which is well spelled out throughout this chapter.

Can Raghu have a romantic side to him? This roller-coaster chapter which revolves around his marriage and Roadies 4 will give you the answer. Also, the shifts from flashback to present in this chapter are a bit abrupt than previous chapters but works well by the end.

The 17th chapter explains the entire working of Roadies as a show and is a must read for all those who feel Roadies is rigged. From forming of the crew, the tasks, the twists, the shoot and the edits everything has been put into words for layman to understand without making any bit of it sound boring.

You are put on a pedestal from one side & at the same time you are cursed on the other, both in equal proportion. How to ever deal such a situation, this episode that is this chapter of Raghu’s life will tell you. This part specifically is written to the point and in a crisp way. From this chapter on the writing depicts each emotion that he wishes to express, one of the qualities of a fine writer.

Have you ever worked at a stretch too much that you wished to just do nothing? Have you felt you are not giving yourself and your loved ones enough time? How does one deal with it? Read this chapter to know a few dos and donts of this situation.

After completing six seasons with a crew, losing track completely for a year and then coming back to the same job and trying to work with a new crew can be more difficult that it sounds on paper. However Roadies 8 was one of the best seasons and this chapter gives in all small to big detail of making of it. Flashbacks and flash forwards become mandatory by now in every chapter.

Everything or Nothing, what would you choose? This question was the theme and tag of the ninth season. Many small life lessons hid in the making of this season, this is also why and how autobiographies teach you things.

The first ever making of the tenth edition of a reality show unravels and all kinds of twist and turns occur in reality. Yet, the last season where Raghu is part of is aired and reaches the high he had once made it to. The question that what is Roadies and what does it mean to be a Roadie, only this last chapter can explain it to you.  Irrespective of your age, your perception of this man and his show, Raghu’s autobiography has something to take back for everyone.

Sukhman: A Happy Heart

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During my recent trip to Sikkim, at a home stay in Nimachin, I met Sukhman. I feel each person we meet has a role to play in our life and Sukhman taught me few things I shall cherish forever.

I was panting when I first saw Sukhman, it was quite a climb up till the home stay. He fought with me to carry my bag, I refrained to give in. He was half my size but yet hopeful that I would ask his help, he walked besides me at my snail pace till I reached up. After I got fresh and was up for a walk with my camera he offered me few lichis stating they are healthy.

IMG_20160601_074051413A little later I was trying to capture few flowers when I took a candid photo of him. He was curious to know how did I do it, for the first time I taught camera basics to someone. With the little idea of camera, we together clicked some flower pictures. A little later just before we left he came to me and gave a blue bangle, said thank you and ran away.

He was in class 7, his parents lived somewhere near his school. Working here at the home stay helped him go to school though he missed his school the day we reached as we were a big number to manage.He had a girlfriend and all his future plans of a home, Scorpio were with her. Yet he was secretive about his real name, his family and his pay.

At that small age he managed to hide his struggle and make me smile with his little jokes, lichis and bangle. I would never come to know about his real story had he not opened up to one of my friends at the camp.

Every time I look at the bangle he gave me I ask my self when was the last time I stood besides someone for help? When was the last time I tried to not whine and tried to make someone else smile?

My idea of life

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Imagine you have failed your final year exam, there is no chance of a re-exam. Imagine you are wasting a year & money is already spent for further course admission. You have never failed before and this one time you did, you doomed your parent’s money big time. What would you do?

A. Cry, feel useless & later try to die.

B. Cry, feel useless yet later try to use the year in hand productively.

It is good if you chose option B but in any tiny part of your brain you considered option A then well sadly your idea of life is wrong.

 A college professor while explaining how to add conflicts in a script said ‘Tell me any great story which doesn’t have a struggle, there will be none. Stories of men become great because of the struggles and complications they face & ways in which they deal them.’

Exam failure is just an example life can throw many different googlies at you and one has to learn to deal with it. Escaping is never the solution, coping with difficulties and coming out stronger is part of living life.

A major chunk of suicide cases apart from farmers is of youngsters according to many online stats 2015.These young people apparently killed themselves because they were unable to cope with exam failures, pregnancy etc.

Such stats scare me; did no one tell them that life is not supposed to be a cake walk? Please, cry your problems out, speak up to someone and find a solution & remember always, you have no right to take your own life when you have no hand in getting it. If you have a will to solve and issue you will find a way, and taking your life is never the way out.

When you reach the point to kill yourself nothing makes sense, but one has to give the situation sometime, try to understand things better. Everyone has a different way of dealing difficult situations, reading a book, travelling, crying it out, talking to people etc,  I would suggest read & try this, may be life will look better to you!

Ideal Lunch @ Olympia Coffee House

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I sat on the chair near the window on first floor of the Olympia Restaurant opposite to Leopold Café at Colaba. I was there to grab a lunch with my college friends. This was another time we did not want to have our canteen food and dashed into a restaurant nearby.

As we entered, the man near the counter greeted us in Urdu. His beard black &thick which almost reached his chest scared me but his smile made for it. I smiled back at him as my friends greeted him back in the same language.

It was a Saturday afternoon. The place was almost full. My friends informed me that on Fridays this place is closed so crowd seemed a little more. Foreigners, middle aged people, another teen group like us were around. A typical crowd one shall find in South Bombay Restaurant.

The feel of the place is very authentic. The waiters, the man at the counter are all in the traditional Muslim clothes-long collar kurtas and loose pants. The walls are painted in olive green and reflect to the hanging lights. The stones near the window pane shine like pearls. The glasses and jug on the table give Olympia a classy edge. This place is also called ‘mughlai’ rightly so as it gives the ‘mughal’ era feel.

The food options here include all varieties of Chicken and Mutton one may think of. Beef, fish curry and crabs are also available. Vegan may get Biryani and Vegetarian Rice Plate, dry vegetables, chapattis and curries. The best part of Olympia is its pocket friendly prices. The Mutton and Chicken Biryani costs only Rs.120 a plate and half the price for half plate. All other dishes are also reasonable.

I could smell by now the chicken come by. Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani and Butter Chicken where the three orders we placed. The food came in within 10mintues of the order. I was shocked. I never got a chicken order so soon. The food looked tasty. The big chicken piece with a little lemon over it tasted heavenly! We all ate to our hearts content.

We did not have place for dessert but had to taste the well known ‘sheer-kurma’ the only dessert available here. Sweet taste of milk topped with dry-fruits tasted yum. Indeed Olympia is an ideal lunch any day for all.