Thursday, August 30, 2007

the 'second' solution

this post is about the eternal debate that married people have about the pros and cons of having (or not having) a second kid. which basically means that you are forewarned not to attempt reading this during meal-times and definitely not if you are a queasy types when it comes to descriptions of bodily excretions of children!

let me share my personal experience. i remember when we had prasann, we never had any idea about a second kid. for us having prasann was a great fulfilment in itself. and we were both, as most single kid parents of the 21st century are wont to, kept on our toes trying to be ideal parents to our only child.

this meant a lot visits to the paediatrician, discussing diets, planning quality inputs, worrying about social interaction, the best play schools, et al. apart from his regular paediatrician visits, we used to regularly call a very senior paediatrician, dr. madhuriben sheth, (who is also a very dear family friend).

in fact whenever prasann was under the weather or passed stools which were not of the regular color or consistency we would promptly call madhuriben and ask her for her advise. most of the time her advise would mean just relaxing and waiting until the suspected affliction passed. and without fail she would also tell us that the solution to all the problems was to have a second child.

in fact we had thought that when we had a kid we would have effectively got rid of friends/family/acquaintance/strangers enquiring when we were planning a 'family'! we found out that having a child did not stop people asking us if and when we were planning an addition to the family!

eventually, we did have our second child - sunanda. and we realised soon enough, how true and sage madhuriben's advise was. and when we looked around we saw the stark difference between single-kid parents and the others with more than one kid. here's my laundry-list of the differences i could see (i'm sure you would agree/disagree depending on which side of the fence you are on) :

1. parents of multiple-kids seem to be more 'cool' about their kids.

2. they seem to be far more accepting of their kids' achievements or lack of them.

3. they seem to be far less aggressive about their kids vis-a-vis other parents, teachers, grand-parents, etc.

4. they seem to be of the view that the kids would largely take care of themselves and do not need to be guided and managed all the time.

5. they manage their careers/ hobbies/ other activities with far less guilt about leaving their kids at day-care centres or creches.

6. and they finally realise that their love for the kids doesn't get divided by the number of kids they have; instead it multiplies adequately to ensure that each kid feels loved and secure.

i do realise that this does seem to be a very biased view presented here. but this is how i honestly feel and what i have actually experienced. (and we haven't called madhuriben for a very long time!)

but i would love to hear views from the 'other' side too!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

photos don't lie!

we went on a weekend getaway trip to kashid on 18th & 19th aug. we were 5 families from golden square (click on the link to see the location on google maps) and we drove down in 3 cars. i.e. 10 adults and 9 kids.

all of us, as you can imagine, had a very good time. the kids largely took care of themselves. and all the adults, when they were not eating copious amounts of delicious food or lazing around as an obvious after-effect, got into the pool with the kids or played various games including cards, taboo, pictionary, etc.

you can catch the pics at the following link (some of the pics are scenic) -

(photos courtesy : murli nambiar)

but that's not the point of this posting. i am sure most of you would not be interested in poring through these pics. to be honest, i wouldn't if i were you!

have you noticed how we are eager to browse through an album or to look at photographs only if one of the following conditions are true?
1. there is our photograph(s) in that collection
2. there is a photograph(s) of our immediate family or people we love
3. there are photographs of people we know or are fond of
4. the photographs are of some well-known personality or have been clicked by a well-known personality
5. we have heard that the photographs are interesting/beautiful/artistic/whatever
(and our interest dramatically reduces in this order of listing!)

our interest in the photographs reflects our love for the subject in the photographs! and we are most interested in our own photographs/reflections; because we love ourselves the most!

like i said, photos don't lie!

Monday, August 20, 2007

i used to be a rolling stone!

no i don't mean i was part of the band... nor do i mean i was a fan. (i discovered the rolling stones only late in college.) as for the actual meaning of the phrase, well that came even later. (

when i was carefree, footloose, reckless and single, but not necessarily happier than i am today, i realised that i was a perfect specimen for the term 'a rolling stone'. and i took some kind of pride about this 'state of being'.

i could drift in and out and away from relationships with ease, i never got too close to people, i didn't need friends, but i could make new friends at every new place we moved to, etc.

and then i got married! and soon kids followed.

to say that life changed drastically would be an understatement :-)

i can unabashedly say today that i have never felt as attached to anybody in my whole life as i feel to my kids! you would assume that i should have felt tied down or claustrophobic or like having my wings clipped. on the contrary! i have never felt as complete, as free and as content in my life before.

i say to all of you people out there who are on the fence about marriage or about having kids after marriage - take a deep breath and jump aboard. you will never regret it!

some might say that you will not have any time to realise the blunder since you will be so busy running errands, making up more than making out, changing nappies, reading bed-time stories and all that.

but once you are in it you realise that these are all pegs which are driving you deeper into solid ground and at the same time, helping you soar into the sky, freer than the king of the eagles!

thank god for children! and thank god for the mothers who beget the children who in turn make you a truly complete man!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

chak de, india

just saw the movie 'chak de, india' ( over the weekend with the kids and some friends.

its a well-made movie. i predict it will do well and will be declared a 'hit'. which is amazing considering that, apart from srk (shahrukh khan - there is not a single known face, no songs or dances, no death-defying stunts, no fights with dastardly villains, etc. what makes it special is that the film presents the reality about our attitude towards sports, the bias towards cricket, our regional biases, etc.

its a movie with shades of 'lagaan' and has some good moments. its a good mix of patriotism, the victory of david over goliath, woman power, team-spirit, us vs them and all that!

at the end of the movie my son promptly declared that we should buy him a hockey stick! i think the movie will definitely help the cause of hockey in the country, at least for some more time.

all in all a good 'paisa vasool' film! highly recommended.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the power of 'cheee'

a lot has been said and written about how we use language, especially the written word, in a very limited fashion to express ourselves and our ideas. very often we find ourselves in situations where we are struggling to find the right word to aptly express what we are trying to say! and its during such 'frozen' moments that we fall back on some of our favourite words.

some of these words are unmentionable and unreproducible here in this blog since i believe this blog has a 'family' readership. but you will agree that these 'filler words' (you might even call them 'killer words') have an almost magical quality of morphing themselves into a myriad set of meanings; usually way beyond what the original utterer of the word ever intended for it.

lets take the very indian expression 'chee' which roughly translates into 'how disgusting!'. but this same word if pronounced as 'cheee' also translates into 'go on! i don't believe you/he/she/it/someone can be so disgusting!'.

here's a short list of the various possible connotations of the same 'sound expulsion' :
1. 'che' when said in a short irritated fashion expresses just that - extreme irritation.
2. 'chi' when expressed with a lot of sideways-head-shaking would typically denote self-loathing for having missed that god-given opportunity of making an easy buck or something along those lines.
3. 'shee' said with a lot of fluttering of the eyes would basically mean the universal statement 'i like it but i am obviously not going to let you know that, am i'?
4. 'chi chi chi' muttered multiple times under your breath with a lot of vigorous head-shaking would clearly mean you have just done something very sacrilegious.
5. 'oh shee' is what kids say when they want to be polite and not utter unmentionable words within earshot of the elders.
6. an exaggerated 'cheee' with a lot of eyebrow raising and nose-wrinkling might just be a group of friends just harmlessly pulling someone's leg in the group.
7. and then there are some who would not deign to utter such crude sounds but would rather utter a polished 'sheesh' making you wonder how they happened to be born on the wrong side of the english channel (and i don't mean the bbc here).

i could go on and on... but i think you get the general idea (and i don't want you going 'sheesh' over me!).

the problem with such words and expressions is that over time they become convenient crutches to lean on to when we don't get the right word in our daily conversations. and then over time we slowly start losing the agility of speech and start uttering a language which sounds vaguely like english but is wide off the mark!

do you know any other similar expressions that we use often? (but please remember this is a 'family' viewing/reading blog!) :-)