Sunday, November 25, 2007

Your child and God

When I was a child I grew up seeing my mother pour water to tulsi and pray in the morning, at sunset again light diya in front of god and tulsi and then recite prayers. Both my parents are not so very stict in following all the rituals but would everyday keep a particular time for prayers. Infact my father loved listening to Bhimsen Joshi, Suman Kalyanpur, Sudhir Phadke, Lata Mangeshkar records. Every now and then he would play these records in the night and all of us would switch off the lights and just listen to these melodious bhajans. We used to enjoy these times and would really feel at peace .We would also all sit together and join my mother when she used to sing bhajans in the evening.

Now I feel my children too need some anchor in life where they can hold onto God in their day to day life. So once they come back from play and after a wash we sit together and sing a few prayers. I want them to get into this habit so that what power gave me strenghth in times of distress they too will be strong in their faith and move forward in life.

As a mother I really feel in these times when our children are being brought up in such materialistic world what with so much of societal and peer pressure that they have to undergo I feel so very scared to think what they have to go through in future. every day close home they are exposed to such ghastly events taking place it becomes so difficult as a parent to explain why people are resorting to so much of violence, cheating etc. Even in their day to day life in very small ways they see injustice happening and they themselves resorting to telling lies,cheat and so on. As children they believe everything to be black and white. So it becomes difficult to explain certain things.

At these times I feel if they are given something to lean on to in times of distress maybe when they go to higher classes and have to face the pressure of studies, when they go to a hostel and away from their family,they would understand the power of prayer though right now they do it mechanically.

So although they are in that time of life where lifestyle is so fast and more leaning towards western culture let us give a better anchor to our childrenright from a young age . What say you?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Worth the sacrifice?

Last month when we visited Dubai during children's vacation, we got into a conversation with the cab driver who drove us from the airport when he came to know that we were from India. He told us that he hailed from a small village in Chennai. We got to know from him that he had been in Dubai for the past 20 years!

Well, 20 years is a long time, isn't it? He further told us that his family was back in his village and he gets to be with them once a year for a month. He said that it was very tough living without a family though at the same time he cannot afford having his family in Dubai as it is very expensive. His health is also not so good and he shares a small room with 6 others. He has been able to send his son to an engineering college. His wish is that once his son finishes college and finds a job, the very next moment he will just pack his bags and stay with his family finally.

This story sounds so familiar, doesn't it? But when you see a person in real narrating his life story it really hurts. I was wondering if his son would ask his father to come back so that he can make up for all those years that his father had missed seeing him grow up? Will this person get the reward of all the hard work and sacrifice that he has made at the prime of his life? Will he be able to find happiness at last during the latter part of his life when he needs a family to look after him? Or will it be the other way round? Will his son look after him? Will he think he cannot afford looking after his parents? I really prayed for his sake that he live a happily ever after life like in fairy tales.

That was also the time when I heard another story of an old man who had gone through a similar experience. He is a Doctor who got a posting in Saudi and lived there. The difference being as he was a Doctor, he had a good, comfortable accomodation. But other than that in all other aspects it was similar to the driver's life. He had to work hard, no family, visiting his family once a year,and providing them with all the luxury. I was shocked when he said that after working for a few years and they were in a comfortable position here in India he told his family that he had had enough of this life of living alone and he would like to come back and practice back in India. But his children and his wife refused saying that they cannot let him come back until they all settle down . What life partner and children I thought!!

His story did not end there. Once all the children were so called "Finally Settled" he came back, could spend only a couple of years with his wife before she passed away. Two of his sons settled abroad and the last son who was with him for sometime also finally left him to go and settle abroad and finally the old man is all alone without anyone beside him in his twilight years. What life?

These two incidents set me thinking ; is it worth all this sacrifice that as a parent one tends to make? Is this all that life holds in store? To what extent can parents sacrifice their happiness for the sake of their children? Should we expect help at all from chidren, atleast if not when we are healthy but when we are not well and need them not so much for financial support but for emotional support atleast?

Every other day we hear shocking stories of old people being dumped literally in the dustbin as you all must have read in the news papers.

There are also children looking after their parents well but of late one gets to hear only bizarre things.

So could you comment on this blog and share your opinion and try and answer the doubts that have arisen in my mind?