Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Of late, we have been having some concerns over Raghav's use of the iPad and had some long conversations with him on that, letting him know how we felt about some things and why we were feeling that way. He listened long and hard, agreed with many points raised and then decided to experiment with some rules, which he decided to make for himself, all on his own. We asked him to make rules that he could remember and follow on his own, without us having to remind him. He made a few and has diligently been following them for some days now.

Today, he was too excited to play something as soon as he woke up this morning, and was all set to get going with his plan for the day. And he forgot to set the timer on his iPad, which was one of the rules he had made. After a few hours into the game, when the charge dropped really low, he suddenly remembered that he had forgotten something and had broken a rule. He was angry and disappointed with himself, came and told me that and decided to punish himself by skipping lunch. He refused to listen to me about punishment and how I felt about it. And so he starved the whole day. We let him follow what he wanted to do.

A little while ago, he came up to me and beamed from ear to ear, telling me this:
"Amma, let's make it this way.....the day I break a rule which I made, let it be that that day none of the rules count.....but that doesn't mean I will break them everyday or often!" :)

This is the whole point of rules isn't it? ....They are meant to be followed and broken at will. :)
What if we had a common understanding about this?

Well I can say from experience how freeing it is to see rules this way! A dear friend and I have lots of 'spiritual' conversations over the state of traffic these days, where we exchange stories and complaints and frustrations. Simple, mundane things that can bring you some great insights into the art of living. :)

At the end of one of those conversations, he shared this idea with me - what if we saw traffic issues in this light?.....that at every traffic light, there will be some who will stop, and some who will not....well, I have been trying to see things this way for a while now, and I can tell you how peaceful and happy I feel inside when I drive on our crazy roads these days! :)
Do try it and see for yourself!

Rules are made to be followed and broken at will :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015


The other day, we were somewhere and my son wanted us to buy him something which he really wanted. And we did not because it was beyond our budget. We explained our stance to him. He was still very upset and angry. For a long time he did not want to see us or talk to us. Then later, on his own, he said that he was ready to talk about it.

I asked him how he was feeling, and he said that he was angry. He was angry that we hadn't got him what he wanted. I listened to him express his frustrations. We explained to him why we could not, and suggested other ways of planning for such things, so that both he and we were prepared. He agreed to make a list of things he wanted and then sit down with us to see what was possible, when etc. And then he told us this: "Why is it that you grown ups have so much freedom and not us children? Why can't we do what we want to? So many times I have seen grown ups not give their children freedom...." Of course, that was said in a moment of anger and frustration, but I felt that there was some truth in it.

Often we don't want to see the truth that is staring at us. We do (seemingly) have more freedom than they do, because we are often able to exercise control not only over our choices, but over their choices too, and we often attribute that to our belief and value systems.....but do we stop and question those and see for ourselves if we are holding on to them too tightly? Do we stop to see another point of view and the larger picture that is emerging, which often has nothing to do with our beliefs and choices really? These are questions I ask myself, and I don't know the answers to any of these, but I am learning to stay with these questions more and more and loosen the grip over my beliefs, a little at a time, being gentle with myself....simply because I do not know....

Two days ago, this whole thing about freedom came up again and we were talking about it on our way home. I shared with him how much freedom I think we gave him. He agreed. I then shared with him why I thought his father usually never said no to him and got him most things that he wanted. I told him how when he was a child, he was hardly ever given things that he wanted, hardly ever allowed to buy things he wanted, because his father could not afford it. I told him how I thought that was the reason why he wanted him to have what he asked for. And how I felt that that was okay, but that the world and Life do not work like that.....that you don't always get everything that you want, whenever you want...and that I felt it was important to understand that and be with that feeling of not having as much freedom. He agreed, and then said this: "Amma, I agree with you. I have to be able to hear a 'no'...I know I cannot get everything I want. I know that appa should not simply buy everything that I want. He must be able to say no. I will be okay finally to hear that, even if it may be tough at that time. I will tell him that when he comes back."

And I smiled and wondered as to who was teaching who about freedom :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Caterpillar

We found a caterpillar this morning while I was washing the cluster beans I had bought yesterday. Raghav wanted to make him a home and so moved him to a pot in our balcony, which houses the green chilli plants. :)
I am loving the running commentary that he has been giving me ever since :)
"I wonder if he will like the chilli plant....what if he eats the chilli by mistake because it is green, and finds out that it is too spicy?!"
"I love the way he moves in waves.....that is so cool to watch!"
"And he can suddenly be so still! I can't do that!"
"The nice thing about being a caterpillar is that you have so many legs....and when you want to explore around you, you can stand on a few legs, lift off your body from the floor without losing your balance and explore as much as you feel like!"
"I like the way he just burrowed into the soil....maybe he will make friends with the ants. I wonder how he will breathe underground?"

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I am a Non- non-vegetarian!

Raghav just got back after an evening out with his dad, who went to meet and have dinner with his friends.

R: Do you know what happened there?
Me: Tell me...
R: Some of them ordered fish and chicken!
Me: what happened? How did you feel?
R: Well, I was terrified! I mean I am completely non-non-vegetarian! I just wanted to get up and run away somewhere. But obviously I couldn't. So I hid myself under the table and held my nose.
Me: Ok. Did you tell appa that?
R: No. I couldn't. But actually, we should have just left. That is how I felt.
Me: What is it about fish and chicken that you don't like?
R: The smell.....but actually when it came, it didn't smell....and I got busy on my ipad and so I didn't even know, I guess.
Me: What is it about non-vegetarian food that makes you uncomfortable? That's what some people eat and like to eat no, just like we eat vegetarian food? That's what human beings have eaten since when they were cave men....right? If I tell you to stop eating some things that you like, would you be able to?
R: No, it will be difficult for me. Because I am addicted to that. But we don't need to eat that. We want to. Those days, that's all they could eat....animals and hunting......but now, we have so much many different foods to choose we can eat just vegetarian food.