Listen… 

It’s so easy to talk the talk

For once try and walk the walk.. 

Wear their shoes and you will see

Neither failure nor success comes for free …

Your journey has taught you much no doubt 

But do listen to what their story is about …

Life is made of years of sacrifice 

And experiences have made them wise …
When you talk about yourself it’s nice

But at times it’s good to be quiet and absorb the site …

Silence does not make you any less of a person 

Silence can be a value and an appreciation reason..

(c) Bijal Mehta 

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Life as We Don’t (want to) Know It…

Life as We Don’t (want to) Know It…

So today yet again in one of the forwarded messages came the piece written by #mrsfunnybones #twinklekhanna on “Drifting Kites”. Though a fairly old one and one that I have read several times, it makes me feel equally gullible  each time I read it.

Some messages have an uncanny way of appearing when you are at your most vulnerable. As I read the post #driftingkites yet again.. several thoughts ran through my mind.

The post beautifully brings out how parents many times miss or entirely fail to encourage communication with their children, but on the other side I  could not help but think of children who do not talk or communicate even though parents may want to, may be also encouraging them to.

I see examples of all sorts around me..  And many times in my own self too.  As a parent I feel I am forward thinking,  I am open but am I really communicating or signalling that to my heart beat – my son? Children are dependent on us for everything. Not just finances..  Frankly..  They at the age that my little one is don’t even realize that how hard it is and how much planning is required for bringing kids up.  Neither did we when we were that age, but today times are different. Youngsters today “need” guidance a lot more than our days and “want” it a lot less than we did as children.

Parents give their children more time, more attention and think a lot for their future from the day they know they are expecting parents to be. In cultures like ours,  this continues till they graduate college and many times even after.  We worry about them, wait for their phone call,  feel upset if we don’t hear from them for a day even though we know they are genuinely busy.

That’s because as parents on one side we hope , think and believe that we are making them independent (rightfully so)  and on another we secretly fear them moving away.

Then of course there are examples of children and youngsters who want  time from their parents. As a teacher and a mentor I hear young boys and girls craving for time from extremely busy parents. The parents, whether rightfully or not I don’t know, believe it’s for the better future of their child that they are doing all the professional running around. What really amazes me then are the subconscious and translucent walls that are built which show only a part of the picture.  Children feel strayed as parents have no time for them and by the time parents realize and want to communicate with them,  children have developed a life and lifestyle of their own where they find solace in people, pleasure and places beyond the family.

“If there is anything you truly wish to give your children.. Give them your time.. Not your possessiveness.. Give them your attention.. Not (only) Money because that will be left behind after you for them anyway”

Life and it’s mirages… Life as we “don’t” want to” know it…

(c)  Bijal Mehta

Thank you Teacher …

It was in those days when my father had shifted to a foreign land in hope for a better career for him and a better life for all of us. My brother and I along with our mom joined him once he was able to accommodate us financially. Along came the decision to get admission in a new school in a new country. Until we were at Ahmedabad, we were in Gujarati medium throughout and suddenly a transition to foreign faces , foreign land , unknown languages both the local language at Thailand viz. Thai and though an official language for communication at India, still foreign for us , English. It was a culture shock for us and going to school was a daily nightmare for me. The usual teasing, slow acceptance amongst classmates and difficulty to understand academics followed. It is there that I was  introduced to our chemistry teacher Mr. Felix Nathan. His way of explaining, simplifying concepts whether of the subject or of childhood problems at school and with friends amazed me. My interest in the subject naturally grew and so did my fondness for Felix sir. I began to work the hardest for chemistry and always scored the maximum. In one of such class tests, I scored 19.5 on 20 as I had forgotten to label one item in a diagram. With pure childish immaturity, I went to the staffroom and argued saying I had “forgotten” to label the diagram but “deserved” the 0.5 since I “knew the answer in my mind”. He asked me a simple question, “Bijli (thats his nick name for me) if it was someone else in your place, do you think she should get the marks too?” midst the tears I said “No Sir” and left the staffroom with a lesson for a lifetime that learning and being fair is more important than marks. All through my school years, there were many such small but important incidences, caring gestures and life lessons with Mr. Felix, not only for me but for many of us.

Years passed and it was the final day of school. All of us were getting our slam books filled by teachers and friends. Mr. Felix filled whole 08 pages for me upon request to write as much as he could. The last few lines read “Bijli, take a piece of charcoal in your palm, close the palm, open it and throw the charcoal away. What do you see? Your hand still has black on it. So is the case with friends and important life decisions. No matter how long or short a time friends stay with you , they will leave impressions on you, and a decision once taken, will have consequences for the future. So wherever you go in life, choose your friends carefully and take important decisions wisely”.

I am in the teaching profession today and carefully ensure that I am fair to all learners and yet able to keep a connect in a way that  a student is comfortable enough to discuss his problems with me but has enough respect to appreciate my decisions on academic matters. I may know a lot of people now, but the ones I call “friends” are carefully chosen pieces of precious diamonds (charcoal) that I take pride to hold in the palm of my heart.

Thank you Felix Sir, for the seeds of self confidence, humanity, accountability, care and respect that you have sown in me. Happy Teacher’s Day with love and fondest regards.

Dr. Bijal Mehta

Ahmedabad University

Word of the day – Dad

He always told her to stand up for what’s right. He ensured she is equipped enough to not let the gender biases of the world come in her way of living life to the fullest. He taught her to love and be loved back , to respect and be respected , to care and be cared for, to be fragile yet firm,  soft yet stern and gentle yet  zealous. He was and is her first hero for he prepared her to be as consummate as any person whether man or woman could be. He is Dad.
(C)Bijal Mehta

Word of the Day – Savings

This is what I came up with in 60 seconds for the #wordprompt on http://www.oneword.com

Word of the Day – Savings

All his savings were still intact.. life had been kind.
Reema was a successful woman, earning far more than him.
but all he wanted to do at this minute was to spend all the money he had on her getting better.. as fast as possible.

(c) Bijal Mehta

Contemplating a plot to develop this further. Would love to know your thoughts friends!

Candid Conversations..(1)

My little heart (MLH):  “Is this the IIM – A campus Mom?”

Me: “Yes, see how widespread it is? Me and my friends used to take long walks here late into the nights when we were in need of some fresh air after hours of non-stop studying.”

MLH: “Hmm. you were there for 03 months right?”

Me: “Yes, you remember that? You were so small then !”

MLH: “Now please don’t go for 03 months ok?”

Me: “I can’t promise you that. If there is a requirement, I may have to go. You must not feel sad.”

MLH goes quiet then says  “but I missed you.”

And that is sort of a moment of decision for me and I have to make a careful choice of words.

“Yes you missed me. I missed you too but we both survived didn’t we? You managed without me right? OK. tell me, who is the one person that you can absolutely not live without in this world?”

Innocent eyes look away and a tiny index finger points towards me. My throat chokes but I gently turn the finger towards his own chest as MLH looks on in surprise as I say..

“The only person you can’t live without in this world is YOU !.. Yes, my love is true..”

I do not know if this piece of advice is correct.. I do not know if it I am being honest as I say this because I know on my own that there are moments when I too  feel I simply can’t live without a certain someone… but then in those moments I am the only one who can bring myself back to reality.. back to the present..

I also think.. am I teaching my child to be selfish? Am I knowingly or unknowingly sowing the seeds of self-centeredness in his innocent mind? No, not really. I do not wish to make him self-seeking but certainly want him to be self-sufficient..

My thoughts still continue.. You may need the company , care and companionship of others to live bigger, to live better

But  above it all.. It’s true…

The only person you can’t live without in this world is YOU.

(c) Bijal Mehta

 

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