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.

 

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!

The day dreams turned into a nightmare!

 

They were very young then. D and M. They used to play in the evening together, sometimes in their homes, or in the park adjacent to thier house. They had their own world in which only the two of them, their brothers and sisters, their parents and their houses existed. No bad people or any evil that was associated with the outside world ever entered their world. They ran in the park or played on the swings on days when a cool breeze flew, and sat under the shade of a tree on days it was hot and humid or chatted on the terrace. They made fun of each other, discussed their funny/rude/intelligent classmates and shared their growing up stories. They were experiencing the most beautiful years of our life and they didn’t even know it. That was the beauty of it.
But it all changed in a single day. They both were playing in the park one day, and a guy came up to them. He must have been a college goer, was well dressed and came on a bicycle. He loitered around for some time, and then finding the park almost empty, approached them. He wanted to know some address that they didn’t know. They politely declined and started to move. He subtly blocked their ways and started talking about some inconsequential things. In the process, he touched them in all the places he shouldn’t have. They felt uncomfortable, but didn’t raise an alarm. After all, they were too young and ignorant. In their world, everyone was good and gave candies to kids. Not the goose bumps of the wrong kind. This went on for quite some time until one of them began to cry. He got afraid that they might raise an alarm. And somehow, they wriggled out of his grip and ran home. They recounted the entire incident, oblivious of the horrors that could have descended on them that day. The parents said their prayers to God, thankful of His mercy and everybody went back to sleep peacefully. But. Their daily park activity was stopped. They couldn’t go out and play because they were little girls, and apparently a nymphomaniac could be out there on the prowl.
Later, during their teenage years, they had their share of the butt slapping/pinching, molestation and lewd comments passed in buses, trains and market places. They shared these with each other, but what could they do? But there was an incident each in both of their lives that they didn’t share with each other. It had crossed the boundaries of the ‘normal’ indecent behavior meted out to young girls like them. They were so ashamed of themselves that they didn’t even share it with each other, let alone the parents or the siblings. They grew up scathed, scarred and abused for life. They thought that they would be considered ‘bad’ for having this brought upon themselves.

 

But a few weeks back, all of us were chatting about an incident that had happened with one of our friends and that led them to reveal ‘their incidents’ to each other after almost 12 years. They realized how ill informed they were. They didn’t even realize then that what had happened with them was a grave crime. They knew it was wrong, but didn’t know if everybody else would feel that way too. What if they didn’t believe them? What if, they stopped them from going to school/college/friends’ house just like the park incident? And they hadn’t heard these kinds of stories from anyone else too. That meant it was only them. And so, they buried those incidents deep down in their hearts and tried to believe that they were indeed wrong about it all.
Imagine if two best friends couldn’t reveal to each other a one-off incident like that, what do victims of years of child sexual abuse go through? You and I cannot even imagine it.
The reason for this post is today’s episode of

Satyamev Jayate

on

Child Sexual Abuse

. First I have to give it to

Aamir Khan

for taking up this topic that is somehow always brushed under the carpet. People turn cynical. After all who talks to young kids, aged 4-12 years about sex and what touch is a ‘right’ touch? That’s the problem of our society. They want to live in denial. They do not want to accept the fact that someday their kids could be a victim of this horrendous crime too. Because as long as it’s happening to someone else’s kid, they can always be judgmental and say, “Oh! You know it’s his/her mistake. He/She shouldn’t have gone there. It’s no place for kids.” Right! Park is not a place for kids too. The government spends the tax payers’ money on building and maintaining parks for imbecile, nut-head nymphos looking out for their next victim!

In today’s episode, Aamir talked to the

victims and survivors

 of years of abuse. It was mind numbing and very disturbing. But the best part of the show was where he took a

workshop

for kids aged 5-10 years. He informed them about the ‘danger’ parts of one’s body, and that except the parents and a doctor, nobody else had any business touching them. Even a doctor can examine the child in those sensitive areas Only when a parent is around. He explained it all in such a matter-of-fact way, using a chart and diagrams that it almost felt like he was teaching them the A-B-C. There was nothing wrong or disgusting about it.

 

Some parents feel that it is wrong to introduce these concepts to so young a child. But I think in the age and times that we live, it has become imperative that the right kind of information be passed on to young minds to save them a lifetime of nightmares and scars. And let them enjoy the most beautiful years of their life, armed with not only creative stories and dreams, but also the right information. Let them not be wronged at the hands of some frustrated distant relatives or friends. You brought them into this beautiful world and you owe them this – that the beauty of their world remains, until they grow enough to figure it out all themselves.