Friday, August 28, 2015

And that is a life time....

"If I do not have a kid, then I will get anyone." These were my thoughts when I tugged to the little fountain of the girl of our family friends.

All of my best friends had a brother or sister and my BFF had a little and cute sister. I felt alone, every Rakshabandhan, I would tie a "Rakhi" around my wrist and roam around.

I was a single child for the first six years of my life. It means no sharing, but somehow I never liked it. I wanted someone to share the joy and happiness. Someone, other than dolls and trees to talk. I wanted to teach, take care of a person other than these inanimate dolls.

At the same time my best friend unwittingly planted the idea that sisters are better than brothers as they never tease. I rushed to my mother and said I want a sister. My mother explained it is better to have a brother (she wanted variety in kids, and now I too want the same if and when I become a Mother).

The day came in, I got the news that there will be a little one soon. I rushed the next day to school and spread the word. I was elated and happy for the entire span of nine months. I went with my Mother for every check up. We lived in a place called Mahasamund and had to travel fifty six kilometres for a decent check up in Raipur. Mom's check up was a Family's day out and thanks to my father's and his family man persona, we never could complain of rarity when it came to spending time with family.

I was the responsible one, I would tag along with Maa. Stand in the line. I thought, why are they making my Mom stand?  I wanted to sneak into the chamber but the friendly doctor just smiled and kept me away.

Every week, actually every day I saw my mother change and take those syrups that have oranges on them. She used to feed me, while standing and that was a little weird because before she sat.

Then the day came, it was the first day of November, Diwali just went away 6 days back. My Mom was feeding me, she had to go to the hospital to get admitted. She was tensed, I was a quiet child but will not eat, sleep or do anything without my Maa. The worst, I will never throw tantrums, I may cry silently. My Grandmother reassured that every thing will go fine, but then it is Mother's heart that refuses to believe.

She was almost done feeding me, when she could not stand it anymore. My brother decided to come out just then. It was a Sunday, I was crying in my Father's lap for four hours and my father was crying more. It was a complex situation and it was no hospital, we never had a time for hospital so, it was a home birth with complications.

The time was fifteen past three in the afternoon, when i heard my brother cry.

I rushed into the room (my future room) to see a small, white, crumpled baby, he looked at me and puked. I thought he was, ugly but then he is family I have to love him.

Then after few minutes, the thought came "My brother is elder to me even after he came late as he is born in November and I, in December."

I cried a lot circling the matter. A few days after the next whim I threw was, my brother will not play with me and falls asleep every time he is in my lap. Somehow my mother calmed me down this time again.

He was very fond of my report cards and books. He tore the pages and gave out a smile. I pointed and said, he is deliberately doing it, look at his smile, my mother said how can a three month old do it deliberately. Well he sat independently as a four and half month old. He wet my report card and I swear I saw him smiling at me again. It was natural, from the moment he was born, he took it a serious business to drive me crazy.

Have you read the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb." My brother was my little lamb, everywhere I went he will go with me. I licked the cream out of cream biscuits and he did the same. I liquefied the last bit of my ice cream brick, he did the same. He played out only when I went out.

We changed towns when he was three and I was nine. By the time, he had adeptly made my every toy car out of order. I was his translator for Cartoon Network and Discovery Channel (I guess I owe my language comprehension skills to him)

He would drive people crazy with questions (even Mom and Dad). I answered him and that is why I know more than many. I had to keep up with the "Question Hurricane".

We never told on each other. Whatever, were the differences, we sort it out by fighting it like pros while Maa was having her noon siesta after lunch. Every odd day Maa will wake up to find us with disheveled hair and red cheeks. She would ask but we never told.

I went to college and the fights stopped. My brother still irritates me, but is is the most precious thing that I possess in life. I love when he is sarcastic with me. Maa says that my brother should limit insulting me but I never mind. (I want a son who is his exact copy)

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Discarded Soul

Why the world is shackled in beauty norms?
Vulture and Eagle both soar the skies
Then why is one ugly and another elegance defined?

The lane was dark and she could not find her way back home. No, she was not going back home. That was not home but an empty alliance of four walls and a roof. It was a conspiracy to bind her to a place where she, never belonged. She prayed that she losses her way tonight and goes somewhere else. She wanted to run away someday. the city throttled her breath and clipped her wings. The stares and jeering would never die down. She was claustrophobic and would stare longingly into the starry skies. It was as if the stars formed a web and even the open space of the entire universe could not free her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Understanding the world of Introverts Part 1

How often I wonder, I write stories and poetry but what value does it have for people who take the pain of reading me? What is the value addition? I agree it is my comfort zone but its time to put my foot and try other shoes. Fiction is often cloaked in layers (my fiction is superbly cloaked). It was my tool as an introvert. I used to express with fiction which were little codes to my heart.

However, the days of cloaking are gone long back. Someone, recently told me that I am very open as a person. I took it as a compliment, a cool compliment at that and when I thought later in the night, yes, I did open up.

As a person who studied psychology and has been very empathetic from the very beginning, it is natural that I can dissect people's mind better than many. We live in a place, in a society where introverts are considered weird, dumb or if someone is kind enough then different. It may lead to major cases of bully and erosion of self confidence in a young person (teenager). Extroverts or Ambiverts are the cooler lots. 

The other day a lady came to my brother with her son's Smartphone, it was giving some trouble. My brother quietly took it and fixed the problem and returned it with a quiet smile. The lady said to my mother, "Your child is very quiet and calm." Trust me she had to hear it a zillion times thanks to both her kids. I mean, what do people expect us. You are elder to me, I do not know you that well, should I crack jokes and jump around you? 

Who does that?

My Mom used to get worried when people used to come to her and say that your children are so quite that they cannot do a thing in life. It used to bother her a little at the beginning but when we started doing OK in our lives she was not bothered.
Introverts have a small personal bubble but nonetheless are full of life
Let us move to introverts and what goes in their head:

  • Most of the introverts have as many words and cool ideas that an extrovert has it but they think a lot before saying it out.

  • If your child speaks less, it is probably that he or she listens more. They wait for a time to speak out and seldom interrupt others. You can distinguish them with their steady and clear construction of sentence. It is because they have processed it all in their head before speaking out.

  • Introverts have a world of their own and my think of distant future. Day dreaming is one of the favorite habit. Most of them will have a passion.

  • My brother has different passions all his life. There was time he was in flag designing and he created some two hundred fifty flags in a span of six months. 

  • It is evident that most of the times their brain will think more than others. It is a fact from the greatest saints to greatest dictators to the worst of humanity all talked less and observed more.

  • Introverts speak better in twos and remain silent in groups while just listening. They listen and patiently wait for their turn. They have a reply and opinion for everything they listen. It is no wonder most of the creative people talk less.

  • They will hesitate to say the first hello. "What if he or she does not recognize me?" is their line of thought. The second is, "Oh, I am in no mood of talks, let's avoid saying hi and move covertly."

  • You can never believe an introvert when he or she answers your "What's up in life?" with a "nothing much" they can have the most happening life, but do not want to consume energy by describing it. Well alternative, it can be true but you never know.

  • Most of them can be more perceptive than you think and can observe and dissect you while you never notice. They can be opinionated, you know this is what happens when you refer "the other you" constantly (kidding).

It is another misconception that an introvert child may be you know not very intelligent. I have been accused of being "slow" or "dumb" by people who have met me just once as a kid. Now every introvert may not be a thinker and many of them do not speak just out of hesitation. You need that extra dose of observation for introvert child:

  • He or she keeps engaged in one or the other thing. They are studying or doing something. Let them be themselves.

  • Your child was chirpy but has suddenly become an introvert. Check it then. It can be anything from a heart break to possible sexual assault. Talk to them, be patient and do not judge or be harsh if they have done a mistake.

  • No matter how introvert your child is, he or she will respond to you when you interact. Monitor the regular pattern and notice any dip in it.

  • Track the academic calendar of your child. He or she need not to top the class but should be consistent in behavior and academics. Meet the teacher and ask about the general behavior. A balanced introvert will get positive feedback from the teacher.

  • At times tension in the family makes a child withdrawn. Avoid fights in front of your child especially if he or she is introvert. Remember you are the only place to confide do not spoil it.

  • Introvert is not equal to innocent. Try and notice the body language minutely. Never assume, actually never assume about people. Whenever I assumed about someone my assumptions fell on their face.

  • If your child speaks less but throws fits and tantrums or goes in a rage spree, it is high time to consult a psychologist.

  • If your child has imaginary friends then monitor to what extent? As a child I used to create stories around my dolls and played with them. I taught them, had tea with them. However, when my brother came in that thing disappeared. I imagine a lot but then will prefer humans to play with. I never had any trouble playing with neighborhood kids. If the child prefers to be in imagination and has a tough time adjusting to others then it is of concern.

All in a day's play

  • Children, have a natural tendency to blend with each other. There will be times when you place two kids and the less spoken one will be intuitively playing without creating a scene. If the child starts crying or screaming without any provocation and generally keeps calm, it is time you should consult an expert.
Introversion is a boon but then at times people feel left out. They have ideas but do not express them. However, there are ways you can put introversion to your favour and win people. I will continue with this bit in my next part.

Well, there is always ways to improve. The topic is so vast that I am bound to miss out on some.

Tell me your experience with introversion and the problems we can discuss and solve.

Correct me where I may fumble and its the best compliment for me.

Do share your thoughts.

Image Credits: Canva and The internet
The Pic with "Datta Ghosh" belongs to the author. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Dark Light

When I breathed my last and my first
There was a pause and I took time to burn and unburn
Between the two ends does life dwindle and sway
Like a pendulum I travel between the dark and light
While living in the grey- a life half truth and half disguise.
Cloaks and shrouds cover but still innocence lies naked.
My soul lies bare but still guarded by the mist of facets.
The essence of body transpires and rises up to delude.
The soul peeks and moans while still tied.