Are We A Generation of Anxious Parents?

Goofing in Lonavala


Indian Bloggers

My daughter was sick last week. She missed school almost the whole week. Missing school means missing out on lessons and falling behind your studies, a whole lot of homework and catch-up when you get back to school and a whole lot of worry for the parents and children. This seems like a pretty common scenario. Right? In fact, as the weather changes up, kids and falling sick by the dozen and class attendance levels are falling. I noticed a very curious trend in her school WhatsApp group. You know the one meant to discuss projects, lost and found, test preparation, holidays etc. etc. That group was literally flooded by requests from parents asking others to share what was done in school. Fair enough, engaged parents would like to know. But what surprised me was that the topical lists soon transformed to photos of note books and text books! Sympathetic parents, knowing the trauma the fellow parents are going through, would click picture after picture of class work and home work and share on the group. My first thought at such interactions was:

Stop!!! The children are only six years old. So what if they missed a few school days. Let them be!!!

 

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5 Lessons I Learnt From NaNoWriMo

Writing


Indian Bloggers

This year, I did not complete the NaNoWriMo. At the beginning of November, I was so so sure that I would nail it this year. I had a story line with the plot twists and turns, characters straight in my head  and even the book cover down.

In the first three days, I did more then 5k words… then…. came travel, injuries, sickness and distractions… all of these stood their ground in blocking my way and kept me away from completing it. On 30th November, I knew I could not complete it and gave up. I was heart broken. The impact of this failure was so much that I fell sick. Physically sick. I spent the day lying up curled in my bed and was throwing up every few minutes. No, it was not a good place to be in.

Not knowing what was bothering me and attributing it to bad posture and unhealthy eating, I went off to work the next day. It was a long, mad and satisfying day at work. The morning after, I was sick again and wondering why. I realised that my eating was erratic, my posture was consistently bad but that is something I have dealt with before. What kept bothering me this time is the constant nagging thought at the back of my head that I did not complete my draft this year. Was my falling sick a sign self inflicted misery at a metaphysical level?

I do not know. What I do know is that the story I wrote last year is half crap. The manuscript lies discarded and the characters do not speak to me anymore. This year, I wanted quality too. May be that is what I did wrong. Maybe I am not meant to write a novel in 30 days. Maybe this is what it means to fail. Once I was done wallowing in this misery I told myself that I have yet to find the writing style that is best suited to me. I am experimenting to see that works for me and what does not. There is nothing wrong in failing at something if you are able to bounce back and give it another shot. There is nothing wrong in not being successful in your attempt if you learn fom each attempt and do things differently. That is what I plan to do. Here is what I have learnt from attempting the NaNoWriMo in 2015 and 2016

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Don’t Ask if You Don’t Want To Know

Picture this. It is 8.50 am and you have just entered office for a 9.00 am meeting. Before heading into the meeting room, you want to pop into the pantry for a quick cup of coffee. You have a long day ahead of you and already thoughts about your meeting and the long to-do list later and swirling about in your head. At the pantry you meet a colleague. As a knee jerk reaction, you say, “Good Morning. How are you?” and then move on to fill that coffee mug.

Have you done this? If yes, take a pause. Take a pause and think.

Now if your colleague, in an equally knee jerk reaction style responds, “I am fine. How are you?” and proceeds to get their own fill of coffee, nothing is lost really. However if they looked at you with a pained expression and said, “Not good. My dog died last night” would you have gone and given them a hug. Or if they exclaimed with sparkling eyes, “I am great. My band landed a gig at the local cafe for this weekend!” would you have shook hands and wished them all the best? Some may have, but many would have not. In most cases, this is what happens. You asked a question. Immediately, without waiting for a response, you move on. Physically, you move on to the next task so you are not looking at your colleague when they answer. Mentally you move on to the next big thing that needs doing. In the scenario above, you have gone back to the meeting slides or the to-do list and probably you do not even hear what your colleague has said.

This is not an uncommon scenario. At work, I have seen this happen at least thrice a week. Sometimes I am the one who the question is directed to, and at others, I am the one asking the question. For about a month now, I have been keenly observing this kind of interaction and getting increasingly irritated by it. Why do we ask this question if we do not care to know the answer?

A smile, a nod of the head or a simple Good Morning is enough to acknowledge colleagues. Why start small talk if none of the two are interested in carrying it on?   I just don’t get the need to ask these questions if you don’t care to know the answers. Ruchita, a friend of mine who is based out of London once told me that she was one of the few who would genuinely ask people all about their lives. She said she even knew the names of the dogs of her co workers. Perhaps that is what makes her a great story teller. I digress! Point is, it is okay to just greet people and move on with whatever you are doing. When you talk, have a real conversation. If you do not have the time or the inclination, don’t talk.

Don’t ask if you don’t want to know!

It’s Not That Simple on Voot

Its Not That Simple


Indian Bloggers

That title did not mean Voot is not simple, it is simply a new show on Voot titled.. It’s Not That Simple.

Marriages are not simple. Each marriage has it’s own learning curve, it’s own adjustments, contentment and discomfort. Now you throw unhappiness and an affair in the mix. What do you get? Well, It’s Not That Simple…

The show, as you saw in the trailer is a six part web series. I was invited to the media launch of the show last week and we saw the first episode. We saw Meera, an educated housewife who has put her child above her career. At this point in her life, she is in an unhappy marriage. The story is definitely intriguing and the production value is so good, it is almost like a film. Visually, the series looks great. I loved the camera work with the low angle shots, the fades. From the cast, I really liked Akshay Oberoi. Hopefully, we will see more of him in the rest of the episodes. The lady who takes the cake though – Swara Bhaskar portrays this with such effortlessness that you start to think this is her own life playing out on the screen. You can see the child-woman in there and you feel for her.

Its Not That Simple Swara Bhaskar

The writing must be applauded. Such real life scenes, dialogues and reactions! No over the top drama.

The show did make you question though, about choices – an unhappy marriage or the perfect affair? There are tonnes of books and movies about marital infidelity and so the subject of It’s No That Simple is nothing new. What is different though is that it is set in today’s times and talking about things you and I can relate to. It is non judgemental and does ask questions from a woman’s point of view. At the same time, it is not preachy or showing the men in a bad light. This is the kind of content I want to watch. Sadly, conventional TV does not give it me so I have downloaded the app Voot on my cell and am following the series there. In case you want to watch it online, here is the weblink to the series.

Have you checked it out yet? What do you think?

I am leaving you all with a few images from the launch event.

My Brother Bestest

My brother – has undoubtedly been my oldest friend. I realise this today as I look back several decades that somewhere along the line between mothering him, supporting him and fighting him… we became friends who could share everything with each other.

As kids, we used to play together and one of my earliest memories of us is telling him stories before we slept every night. From there to holding the mic as he sang for his bride-to-be, we have indeed come a long way.

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As teenagers, we were so different and even though there were very few things we both liked, the ones we did like, we enjoyed them together. As soon as we were old enough, we were watching movies together. I remember he convinced me to watch Matrix Reloaded first day first show – right in the middle of my exams! And boy, did we love watching movies together. From The Ring to X-Men to Harry Potter, it has all been more fun because of him. Here he is, doing a cute and goofy Wolverine impression.

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He was such a cute kid in school and my teachers knew him as Ankita’s brother. As he grew up, there came a time when a teacher called me Anshul’s sister! Can you imagine, that was a total role reversal… speaking of Anshul, (yea that is his name) I was the one who named him. My mom tells me this story that even before she became pregnant, I went around telling everyone that I will have a little brother and I will name him Anshul. I was all of 3 years then! The embarrassment aside, mom was also flabbergasted since we knew no one by the name Anshul. Good thing is they liked it and stuck to it.

He is super talented and though I have never admitted it to him, I know that he paints, writes and clicks better than I do. There, I have said it now and don’t think I will ever see the end of it now! Plus he is extremely musically gifted and I am completely challenged in that department. He is a largely self taught guitarist and was a part of his own band. They have done several gigs in Bangalore and I am super proud of that!

Today when I look back at all the memories, I am all warm and fuzzy inside. Me reading Harry Potter 1 and 2 to him when he was sick, him going to the mall at 7 am to pick the 6th and the 7th books for me and then letting me read them before him was so sweet of him. He has been totally supportive of me and yet he has practised live and let live. There have been times when we have not agreed with each other and have fought like all siblings do, but we have always come back to being friends.

And that I hope we always remain. I have had many good friends, a few very close friends and best friends who may have shared the spot, but this one has remained…