O objects Opulence!

Opulence signifies abundance or excess. Not necessary of wealth.
These are the times of opulence. These days, everyone I know, is living a life of opulence. Too many clothes, no closet space and yet, nothing to wear. Too many shoes, and yet nothing comfortable. Too much to eat, and still hungry for more. You might say I am rich and have a friend circle of rich friends. But as much as I hate to burst your bubble, the truth is that yours truly is not richie rich by any standard measure.

The mantra that we live by these days is ” when in doubt, buy”. We shop all the time. Without rhyme or reason. We feel bored and we go shopping. We are depressed and we go shopping. In urban lingo, it is also referred to as “retail therapy”. I am sure this term was coined by a sales executive to comdition people into believing that the therapy part actually works. A lot of my friends swear by it.  But really, when it comes to real happiness, there’s nothing like an emotional and pysical stress free zone. Anyway, I digress. So the point is we buy stuff all the time. Stuff we don’t need, stuff we don’t have space for and sometimes, stuff, we don’t even have the money for. Long live the credit card!

Remember the times when we were bought new dresses only twice a year? It used to be a big event in our lives. We valued things and money so much more. Children these days are born into a life of opulence. An overflowing closet, loads of toys, gadgets, food. I feel we are denying them that happiness which we experienced. Would they ever know what it feels like to earn a rupee or a tenner for keeping the room and cupboards clean? The joy of receing the dress on turning an year older. The value of hard earned money which we knew because we were happy if we got to celebrate our birthdays with a cake. Children these days demand nothing short of themed birthday parties with matching return gifts to boot. And parents, well, who can deny a child’s wish?

Quite contrary to the theory, I find this compulsive shopping a waste of time, energy and money. I don’t want to buy stuff, then buy more cupboards to store it and then a bigger house to keep it all. I’d better keep the extra money with me and help someone in need. But I am considered quite a miser by friends and family for feeling and behaving that way. But trust me, I am as happier as anyone would be with all her loved ones and friends and family. And I have to go through the lows of my life all by myself. Shopping doesn’t solve anything. If at all it does anything, it adds to space woes and credit limit. And devalues everything.  At the cost of the environment.

 

N is Number 1

These are the times of rat race. Everyone is running to achieve the number 1 spot in their respective fields. Cricketers, film stars, businessmen, the common man, housewives and even children are not spared from it. From kindergarten starts the mad rush to always be numero uno in studies, sports and extra curricular activities. In fact, kids start the rat race as young as infants. Baby shows are quite popular these days and children are made to pose, preen and what not to “win”. I know the world is competitive and all that. And you have got to be the best to survive here yada yada. 

But I have a different theory regarding the Number 1 , especially in the case of young children. And this came about as a result of the introspection of my own life. I was a Number 1 child in my days 😛

I always stood first in the class, participated in debates and elocutions and also played sports. I was considered an intelligent student. Or may be I even was. But that’s not the point. The same happened in college. I was the batch topper, excelled my subjects and participated in cultural as well as technical fests. In fact I was always made fun of as the “topper” girl. And like with all classes, through school and college, we had these average children who the teachers always scolded and said they would not make anything of themselves in their life. 
Now, after more than 10 years of passing school and 7 years of graduation (engineering), I work for an MNC and earn peanuts. While so many of those average kids have gone on to do their masters and doctorates and are earning quite well. Most of them are living abroad while some of the most notorious ones have joined the Indian Army.  The best example here would be of my husband. When I met him first after finishing college, I had a job offer with an IT major while he was still figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. He was appearing for exams and giving interviews, and not getting much success. And for what it’s worth, he now works for an MNC too and earns more than me. Not that I am complaining though 😉
A couple of years back, it used to puzzle me. Where did I lag behind? What did I do wrong? And slowly I saw a pattern. Most of the people who were average had minimum or no expectations from family and teachers. And so they went about school or college with being number 2 or 10 or 20. They had less or no fear of failure because, much of it, in fact, was expected of them. But people like us, the Number 1s had a reputation to uphold. We couldn’t fail. And so went on with school and college being the number 1s, but we burned ourselves out.  That burden of expectations and praise took a toll on the likes of us. It did far more bad than good to us. 
And so, I know that when my little one grows up, I will encourage her to study, participate everywhere she can but being number 1? Never. At least that’s not a point I am going to push. If it happens, good. If she can maintain it, even better. But I now know what’s best. And I couldn’t have agreed more with this dialouge from the movie Three Idiots, “bacche, kabil bano kabil. Kamyabi to saali jhak maar ke peechey aayegi”
It basically translates to this

 

 

L & M – Love Marriage

In a country where the legal age to drive is 18, the legal age for girls to get married is 16 and the legal age for drinking between 18-25, the right to get married to a groom of your own choice is almost non existent. That means, you can own a vehicle, put yours and othets’ lives at risk, get married to  a total stranger and have consensual sex and even drink alcohol which might jeopardize your health, but to marry someone of your choice, especially of a different caste is still taboo.

If you live in the villages of Harayana or U.P. you might as well forget the right to live if you decide to marry someone you love. Please someone tell them there is absolutely no honour in “honour killing”. Like I said, it’s just not allowed. In the cities, it’s a little better. You can thank your stars that you won’t be killed in cold blood, but might be made to feel as such for all the coming years of your life. Even though he/she might fit in like a glove in the family, they would still be the odd one out. Like a cotton ball in a mansion of satins. Always different, standing out and “lower” quality.

Everybody’s moving ahead with the times. Everyone owns a mobile phone, iPad, laptop, colour TVs et al. But this is still one area where the people esp the parents of this country need to grow up. If everything else in your life if 3G, why not this? Why do you think that societal acceptance is more important than your child’s happiness? And seriously, in this age of “breaking news”, nothing is really worth more than an eyebrow raise. And seriously, every marriage has it’s pros and cons. Why single a type out?

Being different and standing out and against is all good and revolutionary on papers, but, in reality, it feels a lot less heroic and mostly full of bad shit. Did you have a love marriage?

K calls Karma

I was really confused between Kids and Karma for writing my letter K. I started to write about Karma, when I had a brain wave that Kids would be the more suitable topic. So, at quarter to 12, I am typing away furiously trying to finish my post soon so that I could catch some precious 40 winks as my little one snored peacefully beside me.

For the uninitiated, Karma refers to our doing. According to Hindu religion, it is our Karma that decides our birth death cycle. What we do, comes back to us. Karma is our mirror.

But what do you know? I wrote the entire post. And while saving, accidentally closed the window. It said I would loose unsaved data. In a manner of familiarity, I said Yes. And what do you know? I had to come back and write about Karma. Interesting? Ironic?
I wonder what I had done to deserve this 😉

Also, since I was writing about kids, my favorite kid these days is my own 😉 No points for guessing that one. Leaving you all with a picture of my princess. Hope it makes your day 🙂 and sets my karma straight!

J is Judgmental!

There is a famous saying “We all occupy the same universe, but live in different worlds”. I don’t think I have ever heard truer words. How much ever similar we think we are with a person, in reality, we are worlds apart. We are all a result of our history, the environment our parents gave us to grow up in, and finally the consequences of our own actions. I can vouch for the fact as I have a twin sister, and we have a vast difference in the manner of thinking, speech, actions and even choices.

As a result of what we are, we all have our set of morals we live our life by. But when we encounter something that falls outside of our moral boundary, we immediately start judging that person over his/her choices. If someone wears makeup, she is fake. If someone does not, she is so plain! If someone likes to dress up, she is a show off. If someone does not dress up, she needs to get a stylist! We judge people over career choices, love life, caste and even skin color! We have this feeling of superiority over everyone else. And let’s be fair, we all have been there done that. Not once, not twice but many times over.

But when we judge a person and his choices, it tells us more about our own self and our thinking rather than the person being judged. So the next time, you are about to jump the gun, wait and think what kind of person you want to be in your own conscience. And leave that person to explore his possibilities in his own world. In our universe.