Saturday, February 27, 2010

Time to move on

Many of you are aware of my other blog 'Fruit of my labour' which is about Aadu's Heart Surgery and the entire journey to date.
This blog as you know is not complete; it remains stuck on the day of the surgery. While I was writing this part I was crying bucket full of tears; and I had thought I had healed and gotten over the entire episode....but Noooooooooooo.....The memories are still very raw, the emotions are gushing out, and I am not able to go on and do justice to the blog that I had started with the hope that some day it will help some mother like me who is looking for answers, looking for someone else's experience to tide over her own troubled times....

I think I have been quite selfish in just paying attention to my feelings; I strayed away from the goal that I had set for the blog and for myself.

But all this is about to change; and all thanks to the email that came to me out of the blue.
The email came from a grandfather who wanted to know more about the hospital where Aadu was operated coz his grand-daughter was diagnosed with the same thing as Aadu.
He had stumbled upon my blog 'Fruit of my labour' while searching the Internet for information on the Hospital.
How lucky I am that this man decided to drop me an email !! I felt as though the purpose why the blog was put up in the first place was being met....and in that I got my inspiration to go on.

So people wish me luck as I once again begin my journey to complete the blog.
There will be tears, but they will not stop me this time; there will be emotions but I will have friends around to get me over them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For my Valentine - straight from my heart !!

ye ishq nibha dena tum
guzarish ye karte hai

jaaneman jaaneman
jaaneman jaaneman
ek naam tumhara le kar
hum jeete hain marte hain
ye ishq nibha dena tum
guzarish ye karte hai

jaaneman jaaneman

tum khush ho to
hum bhi yoon khush rehte hain
tum rootho to
hum khud se roothe rehte hain
ye jaan lo bus tum se hi
hum apni khabar rakhte hain
tum bhool na jaana is ko
guzarish ye karte hain

jaaneman jaaneman

jitna bhi hum
tum ko chaahe kam lagta hai
ye ishq isliye hi to
pal pal badhta hai
tum se he is jeevan ka
hum saara bharam rakhte hain
tum tod na dena is ko
guzarish ye karte hain

jaaneman jaaneman
jaaneman jaaneman

Wish you a very happy love filled Valentine's Day !! So glad, happy, thankful to have you in my life to love and cherish.

Love you more n more with each passing day !!

-Your Neel

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Magic of outdoors

A few days back Neelum and I were having a conversation about how our children and children of this generation have very little contact with nature. They don't touch natural materials and don't do any messy play. Neither do they play outdoors for long periods of time.

Their playgrounds are on a level surface and made up of artificial material. This prevents serious injuries when they fall but it also,Neelum very rightly pointed out, prevents them from experiencing the slopes of natural landforms and the joy of walking on grass barefoot. Neelum recommended a book called "Toxic Childhood" which describes the nature deprived childhoods of our children. I also read a similar book called "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv and I am really glad that I read it. The author here gives a very appropriate name for this phenomenon and he calls it the "nature deficit disorder". He says that children learn many things from nature and outdoor play. They learn about seasons,day and night,pond life,plants etc. and they also refine their gross motor skills by running and hopping and fine motor skills through activities such as picking up stones.

Indoor entertainment cannot match or substitute for outdoor fun for children!I discovered it yesterday when I made a totally unplanned visit to the East Coast beach with the kids.I went even though my daughter came back from school at four in the afternoon and even though I had a lot of housework to do. After going there,Ibnat started playing immediately while Nayaz took a while to warm up to the sand and the sun. What happened next ....well,you all can guess....was sheer fun. The kids had a rollicking good time!

I can't help compare this to their indoor playground experience last Saturday.The playground was beautiful with ball pools and everything but the fun they had there was nothing compared to what they were experiencing in the beach. For Nayaz,the sand play molds became cars which were travelling in a hot desert.Ibnat drew a mermaid on the sand and collected shells and stones.Outdoor play stimulates the senses and encourages imaginative play.

Even though the afternoon was hot & sunny,I am glad that I took them outdoors.Usually it is just the condo playground that they experience. While it is better than staying indoors and watching TV, I think once in a while the kids need to be in big open spaces under the sky.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why my son has no toy guns....

My maid (bless her) has to clear up my son's toy room after the hurricane has passed over it, toppling over everything possible, toys strewn all over, paints, papers, clay, books....everything is on the floor !!
Why I told you this is because this will prove to you that she has the access and thus knows all that Aadu has in there.

So, a few days back she asked me.

Maid: Madam, why Aaditya has no toy guns?

Me: Taking a deep-deep breath in preparation of the long-ish explanation that was going to come out of my mouth !!
Mangala (her name) today the world has more guns than we possibly can handle, small children who should be in school and safe in their homes are given guns to kill other people and in most cases it is their own country people.
You remember when you and I were growing up (she is the same age as me)....did we ever hear of terrorists? Did we hear of people being killed without reason or for no fault?
We did hear of wars, but it is brave soldiers that fight a war; and a soldier holds great responsibility when he is holding a gun in his hands for he has to keep up his country's honor and name. Whereas these days a terrorist can come and shoot you and me right where we are.
Imagine when we did not grow up knowing what a terrorist is...Aadu's generation is facing it right ahead of them. Our generation is battling the Gun with more find peace and to make the world a better place for our children.
Why then should I place a gun in my son's hand? I don't want to show him how easy it is to hurt someone else. One son kills another mother's son. In the end it is mothers who are left behind crying their hearts out for having to bury their sons....
I want my son to think of other things right now, I know he has to face the reality of a gun yielding world as he grows up, but till then I hope to have taught my son what it is to solve a conflict with peaceful dialogue, and that it is OK to disagree, and that we can still be friends even if we disagree over certain issue....

Maid: Good answer Madam, I will call my son and ask him to not play with guns anymore. (She is Srilankan, so the reasoning resonated with her; she herself having seen plenty of mindless killing).

So there you go Mother's if we want to make a difference in the world, start with your own home. Remember that old saying 'The hands that rock the cradle rule the world' .....we really do have the power to make a difference as mothers.

Think about it, before giving in to your son's demands of games, toys that encourage killing and hurting someone. They really don't need those kind of games & toys. My experience tells me that if we look deep into their eyes and explain to them your reason of not buying 'that' game or toy, they do understand. If we start with a small 'No' in our home, slowly the peer pressure will also decrease. We have to teach our kids contentment with the stuff they have. As it is this is the generation that has unlimited toys due to a lot of socio-economic reasons.
This should also apply to what the child watches on TV. Please monitor what they watch, and choose what they can watch, do not give them the power over the remote control, if that happens it means there is only trouble ahead.

So Wake Up Mothers....and do your bit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some introductions....

A couple of friends have started blogging. I have to...have to...just have to share one blog with and the reclusive gentleman....some introductions need to be made.

Let me begin with a lady who I love to bits, she is also the co-author on this blog. Put your hands together for Malina !!
Malina and I have been friends since our MBA days and we have spent many hours in the canteen (and in class) and talked about all things under the Sun over cups of tea. Malina has started a wonderful new blog, This Adventure Called Motherhood where her basic principle is that 'It takes a village to raise a child' so she wishes to use her blog as a platform for Moms to exchange, debate, mull over ideas all related to bringing up kids !! Now is that not a great idea?? Do show your encouragement by visiting her blog and posting comments.

Second in line is a swimmer par excellence, a school buddy of mine.....put your hands together for Pramilla !!
She is the person with the most real, authentic one liners on her FB 'status' or 'what are you doing now' space. She is a mom to a very beautiful (takes after the mom) daughter Mira who is a preschooler. Prams feels she can write down her thoughts better than saying them....thus the blog. I love her Blog title Mother India !! That in itself showcases the oodles of creativity this gal possesses !!
Do encourage her people...

Lastly, this is one lady blogger who has moved me to tears, tears of sorrow at her pain and suffering, and tears of joy for her well being, and all the happy moments she shares with us. She is a beautiful, gorgeous lady with a even more beautiful soul...Ladies join me in clapping for Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson.
Stephanie is the survivor of an almost fatal plane crash. She blogs about her life and I have to tell you she has THE BEST husband in the whole her blog...and soon you will agree with me. Stephanie blogs at Nienie Dialogues.
This is a must visit and a must add-to-reader blog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The story of stuff - from raw material to trash

We are bombarded by a lot of go-green jargon these days. Some of us know what to make of it, some of us let it pass for there is little we understand of it or maybe there is little we think we can do about it.

I am one of those people who take the Environment, our Earth our Eco-systems our plant and animal like very seriously, and I believe that we are all connected. So if the Polar bears are facing a tough time, fighting for their existence...the same stuff that bothers him will bother us sooner or later.

How many of us think about things like 'raw material sourcing', 'point of origin', 'transportation costs', 'toxicity', 'carbon foot-print', 'recyclability', 'impact on environment', 'disposal' - when buying a new product?

I too did not, and still don't think about a few things when purchasing a new item. Why all these points are important and necessary for a cleaner greener Earth are very nicely demonstrated in the following clip. It is very informative and thought provoking. Show it to all members of your household, your maid included, share it with your co-workers.

From this clip I have gained immense knowledge and am going to be an 'awakened-informed-buyer' and not just a shopping-junkie driven by consumerism.
Here is what I have decided to do:
  1. Buy local goods - the thing may be made by a local company, but just check for the 'Made In..' tag. If that says the name of the country you reside in. That is buying local goods.
  2. Buying locally grown fruits, vegetables - I see the divide between local produce and foreign, procured produce very clearly in our super markets especially Village Grocer in Bangsar. There a locally produced pack of Strawberries costs around 6 RM whereas the same quantity of imported Strawberries costs more than twice !! Buying locally grown produce reduces the travel-transport costs of the goods, thus reducing the amount of fuel that was used up.
  3. Support local industry - buying clothes, shoes, handbags, school bags, books, handicrafts etc from the local community or city. This ensures employment of the local communities and stops a large number of them from migrating to the cities to get employed in large corporations and living in pitiful conditions.
  4. Point of purchase decision - when picking up an item think very carefully - is this item a NEED or a WANT. A 'Need' is something that satisfies your basic requirements of living like food, clothing etc; whereas a 'Want' is something that feels good to have, and is something that you can like without.
  5. Recyclability of the item - when buying cutlery for a picnic, buy paper plates rather than plastic ones, buy re-usable items like cloth-made shopping bags. Never get your food packed in a restaurant in Styrofoam items, carry your own metal-containers or then ask the hotel to pack in paper-based container.

This is what I can think of now....I will share more as and when I have light-bulb moments.
Do write in to share your green-ideas.