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The Touches that matter – Educate your kids!

The warmth of the mother as she lovingly embraces you, the pat of an appreciative father, the hand-holding by siblings when you are going to the cross the road, the friendly hugs from friends during play and celebrations – all these are etched in mind forever. The friendly neighborhood uncle who used to touch you down there citing he was checking something, the cousin who used to kiss you citing teaching what people do and the teacher who fondled and pinched you inappropriately under the guise of punishing you – these touches too are etched in memory. The difference – while you yearn for more touch in the former set, you shudder and shrink inside when you think of the latter set.You withdraw more into a shell and start looking at a majority of touches as ‘bad’ and have trouble trusting individuals of a similar profile.

 

Recently, in one of my sessions, we explored the topic of the Good Touch and the Bad Touch. When the presentation and the short film were over you could see a lot of moist eyes in the audience.Parents and teachers nodded appreciatively in understanding the challenges and realising the need for educating their kids at home as well. You might recollect and shudder, how many times we have left our kids in the hands of strangers, in the hands of relatives and in the hands of doctors and maid servants. The Delaware paediatrician who was arrested on account of more than 1000+ counts of molestation and rape, the church dignitaries alleged of sodomising young boys, the #MeToo campaign that had so many real life accounts of relatives, family and strangers employing the bad touch should be grim reminders of how serious the issue is really and why is the education important.

 

 

I noticed one girl, probably a ninth grader, shedding tears as the movie went on. When asked in front of the audience, she remarked “I have a friend who underwent a traumatic experience of this nature, i totally feel for her”. The principal, students and the staff seemed to be happy at this answer and went on to other topics after consoling her. I, however, had my own doubts.

 

 

I met her after the session and called her aside. I asked her – “was it you or was it really a friend that you spoke about?”. She broke down again inconsolable and narrated her ordeal during her 4th and 5th grades when a neighbour used to call her over on one pretext or another and took advantage. She had never mentioned this to anyone else for fear of being punished by the friendly neighbour an impacting relations. When she used to see that her family members were very close to the person, she thought she may have been mistaken and he wouldn’t do anything bad as her parents wouldn’t have allowed it. After sometime, she realised the futility of thoughts and started staying away.

 

Now, she has isolated herself, rarely goes outside to play, hates mingling with new people and shudders at the very mention of that individual. Imagine, a girl who should be playing happily, making new friends, discussing exciting career options and seeing the world is now confined to the corners of her house just because of one man’s lechery. It is going to take a fair amount of counselling to get her out of her shell, and to set her life on the path to normalcy. But yes, we will achieve it.

 

 

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Walking the Talk! (#What are we teaching our kids)

 

Walking the talk!

An experience that i had recently really made me think on how corrupted the system is. Who said corruption is when money changes hands? For me corruption is also when you do not provide the necessary value to the work performed by others. At a school function recently, where i presided as the chief guest, the school founder and the other ‘dignitaries’ spoke at length about how they are paying attention to the kids and their needs. How money is spent is in the favour of the children and the progress that they are making. 

Is there really progress as per the investments made? If the system is really spending the amounts cited, why do we not see any significant progress and usually  such schools take a back seat when it comes to admissions?

You ask the kids what they want to become when they grow up – the answers were carpenter, cab driver, florist. It is not that these professions are wrong it is just that the vision of the kids is already so limited in terms of what is possible. If you aren’t teaching the kids to dream and achieve big, at least let us stop resorting them to mediocrity. Instead of talking about money and painting their image as helpless beneficiaries, the people in power can talk about how kids can aspire – attempt – achieve!

So what was the corruption i saw? The poor kids had spent close to a fortnight in coming up with the performances. All decked up in their special costumes, they were a wonderful sight and the performances that followed were truly awesome. The other chief guests, and the principal, however, thought it opportune to leave just after the initial performance. Was it some really an urgent meeting – certainly not, by the looks of tea/coffee consumed and the sound of laughter from the principal’s room. Even i was asked to join them, citing “Let the kids just do their performances, we will come back in the end when it is time for prizes”. I refused.

When the performances were going to be over, one of the coordinators went to call them, only to return with the reply “Make the kids repeat their performances, should be another hour. We will be back by then”. Appalled by the insensitivity demonstrated, we did what was right – went ahead with the prize & certificate distribution ceremony without  the ‘dignitaries’!

So, what are we teaching the kids?

Are we walking the talk? No!

 

 

 

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Let Children live the way we did!

This evening I saw placards in the hands of kids instead of crackers. The placards had the messages like ‘Save Earth’, ‘Don’t burst crackers’.

At this rate, the only childhood memory that kids will have is spending time on their phones and tablets!
Not fair – we, the grown-ups have ruined the earth for them and we expect them to take the so called ‘corrective steps’. Will all of us stop using our cars, will we stop using leather, will we stop consuming or working for these global brands that are polluting our ground waters – no, right!

 

Just one day in the year when we get to burst crackers, and it is a no-no citing ‘saving the earth’! What about the torture reaped on mother earth on the other 364 days!

 

Already mithai has been replaced by chocolates, motherly love by so called ‘Aaya’s’ love, lighting lamps replaced by switching on bulbs or candles, rituals replaced by lethargy.

 

So what is left to take away from them? What experiences are we leaving for our kids? We are literally snatching the essence of childhood from them!

Self Belief – The Utmost Vital Step

‘Self belief’ is the utmost vital step.
If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to believe in you?
If you want to achieve greatness, you first have to believe that you are capable of it. Know that there is no one else, but you, who can attain what you want to do.
As ‘God helps those, who help themselves’, so keep an optimistic approach towards life, try to find positivity in each & every situation and you will come out as a Winner!  🙂

Punjabi Punch!

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Day One of my Fitness training…

My South Indian trainer starts with some stretch and warm up exercises. 🏃🏻‍♀️🤸‍♀️

I might have looked really tired 🚶🏻‍♀️to him after all those squats and push-ups that he said, “now let’s get to some self-defence basics”

He very confidently outstretched his open palm like a policeman saying ‘Stop’. ✋️

And said, “punch this as hard as you can”!

I cautioned him about wearing a training glove, but he said – Nah! Not required!

The ‘punch’ line of the story (pun intended)- I punched him like a true Punjabi 👊🏻… he winced in pain and we have never spoken about self-defence as part of our fitness training again! 😝

Moral of the story – Never under-estimate the Power of a True Punjabi! 😂

#PunjabiPunch #2StatesFamilyFun #FamilyAnecdotes #FitnessGoals#LoveMyLife

Love to Travel!

Every time I view the Wonderful nature, I get amazed by its beauty!
Every time I admire something in the nature, I realize to protect it, is my responsibility!
Every time I open my arms and close my eyes, I feel something nice!
Every time I see Nature’s galore, I ponder there is so much to explore!

Travel Fun!

The route from Chennai to Bangalore via Vellore & Krishnagiri is a very scenic one.
Being the nature lover that I am, I was enjoying the beautiful scenic beauty around and going Wow, Wow!!! 😍

The only catch – I was driving! 😬

Appa who was sitting at the back, remarked – Alisha, eyes on the road please! While you are going wow wow, all we can go is Aiyo Aiyo! 😜

#2StatesFamilyFun!
#FamilyAnecdotes😂