Piya Mukherjee Kalra, a product management executive by profession, an avid blogger, people watcher, storyteller and a mom to two young children. Her stories and posts are about things that she observes in the course of her day to day life, anecdotes and life lessons learnt by watching people around her. Real stories about real people which often includes her two children. Parenthood, she believes, has been a great teacher and she is still learning. Always hungry for stories, she write and maintains a blog about real life experiences – www.chatoveracuppa.com
As she opens the door for the maid in the morning, she notices the woman has a new bruise and a blackened eye. She makes her warm compresses and gives her a painkiller. The maid returns the gesture by steeping two hot cups of tea. They drink the tea together in silence. No questions are asked. The maid had also not questioned the bruises on the face of her employer two weeks back…
The colleague who misbehaves on a conference call and constantly demeans someone's ideas, the neighbour who talks in an offensive tone every time you meet her, the person who breaks into a queue and gets abusive when others complain about it or even a family member in your own home who is always disrespectful to others -- they all were infants once. They were all polite and well-behaved at one point of time.
A few days ago I was invited by my son's preschool to talk about Diwali and share the essence of the festival in a classroom in San Francisco that has children of different origins and nationalities. I wanted to read out a book on Diwali and do some festive activity with the children in the classroom. So my search began and it led me to an illustrated book called <em>The Diwali Gift.</em>.
I often hear parents complaining about their children's non-interest and non-adherence to their culture and rituals. But what if we just raised our kids surrounded by our rituals and traditions without imposing them on the younger generation? How about we allow them to be mere observers? Let me give you a glimpse of what happens at my home.
I am someone who observes Karva Chauth out of choice. I don't do it for the longevity of my husband's life either. I instead pray for the longevity of the beautiful life that we have created together. I have never put henna on my hands nor have I dressed up like a bride on the day of the fast. I do not see the man through the sieve when the moon comes up. Looking him in the eye under a moonlit night is far more romantic.
Food allergies are life altering and could be life threatening too. It is not just another "fad" or a "trend". Being sensitive to certain foods is very different than having an allergic reaction to something. I spent a night in the emergency ward of a hospital recently with my two-year-old doubled over with unbearable pain, all the skin on his inflamed body covered in monstrous blisters.
My friend wanted to ride a Yezdi or an Enfield simply because she wanted to prove that she could do what the other gender could. This attitude went beyond her bike aspirations. It reflected in every decision she made during our high school years together. I would try to reason with her but it did little to help. There was a sense of competition with boys and a point to be proven.
I had picked my blue beaded sandals to wear that day. As I was waiting outside my daughter's art class, I felt a little nudge on my feet. I looked down to find two tiny little shoes trying to fit into the curve on the sides of my sandal. I said to the little boy who seemed fascinated by my sandals, "Hi there, I think you like my sandals."
A victim becomes a social outcast and is often disowned by her own family, her own parents. But here the parents stood by her, fought for her even after her death and would have still been by her side today if she were alive. They did not feel shamed for what was done to their daughter. Instead they stood strong, spoke for her and fought for the cause.
If I offered something in the temple with my left hand, either the priest would refuse it or give me a stern look. Ma would prompt me to use my other hand. Every time that happened I secretly cursed the priest. Left-handedness was considered to be some sort of disability. Many would look at me and remark, "Oh! She uses her wrong hand." I could never figure what was so wrong about it.