Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's day

I woke up this morning with a sweet kiss on my cheek and with a whisper in my ear “Happy Mother’s Day, mommy!" I flung my arms open and my daughter came rushing to give me a big giant hug (as she likes to say). She gave me a beautiful card very diligently created by her and she also brought me a gift that she had made herself. In preparation for this day, she had been working very hard making this beautiful flower vase for me.

She didn’t forget to mention her brother’s name on the card she brought as he is only 22 months old and obviously cannot contribute toward her efforts. She told me: “Thank you mommy for all that you do for keeping us safe, happy and healthy”. Wow, that made my day. My daughter likes to make her own card for people she likes. This is her way of making them feel special as she customizes it with her original words and real emotions. The card was made out of a piece of printing paper folded into two parts, nothing fancy about it. It's beauty was its sweetness of thoughts and simplicity of words. She decorated the cover with lilies and daffodils, my favorite flowers, she knew !

We all want to be the role models for our kids. We want a perfect life for them that we have envisioned for their future. We work hard for them to try to achieve those dreams. But sometimes aren’t we are missing to understand them? In an endeavor to achieve the goals we have set out for them, we sometimes push them beyond their threshold, to the point of denying them the simple pleasures of life, just because we expect them to keep up to our expectations! I was taking a moment to understand a few things. What is a perfect life? Is it about rushing from one activity to the other, solving quizzes and puzzles all the time, doing multiplication, division, and working on their vocabulary on the go? Well, that’s important too, no denying there, but spending some quality time with them, actually paying attention when listening to them, understanding their aspirations and desires and laughing with them at silly jokes would turn them into more confident people, an important ingredient for success in life. The problem is, there is only so much time available in this busy crazy life. It’s not like the olden times when there used to be lots of help around with the household activities, where there used to be separation of duties between men and women. With changing socio-economic scenario, the roles have been merged and boundaries eliminated. Everybody is equally busy. Sometimes, I feel guilty for getting mad at my kids for being naughty. It has nothing to do with them. It’s because we have to finish so much in the limited time, it’s because we are always rushing. The craziness of our lives make us forget that they are just kids but we expect them to grow up way before their age. We forget that “because I said so” doesn’t work anymore as they demand much more than that, and why not? After all whys and hows should always be answered with some sold reasoning, solid ground, a firm yet appealing answer for them to grow into a sensible and mature adults.

This morning I decided to ignore the imperfections termed childhood. After all I was showered with their love so much, it was my turn to do to something special for them. And surprisingly enough, the same naughtiness looked so sweet to me, I smiled every time my daughter tried to walk on her hands upside down knocking something down coming her way, and my son would bring his remote control car right into the kitchen and would make it go in a circle over and over and over again. Then he would want me to pick him up, and today, as I very gladly picked him up and ruffled his hair, he broke in to a laughter that looked blissful. He brought his face very close to me and said “mum mum”. That was a very special moment of my life, not because they didn’t say it before, but because I was paying much more attention to it, I was more involved with them and was enjoying every moment of it! I tried to be another kid with them not their rule making parent.

Kids can have the best friends in their parents if the parents tried to understand them and tried to be involved with them at their age level. Who says mothers and daughters can’t be best friends? I can see that I have already started taking advises from my daughter on so many things. We do things together, laugh and enjoy together, even make fun of each other sometimes. I can actually spot a glitter in her eyes when she sees me being her friend and confidante rather than just a mom. My son is at his best when I try to have a conversation with him which doesn’t mean anything at this stage, but the fact that I am looking into eyes very intently and nodding every time he tries to say something which doesn’t make any sense, makes him feel important and happy. Kids are very fragile and very emotional. They understand and absorb way beyond than they can express. All they need is a warm hug and a sweet kiss to ward off all their worries in life. They would never look for emotional security outside if they are assured of it at home!

It’s the most beautiful relationship on this earth! And I had the best Sunday with my kids today on Mother’s Day. The moments shared with them were more expensive than any Christian Dior fragrance or accessories, more elegant than a fancy dinner with valet parking, or more relaxing than any spa could have offered me!

A good mother is not someone who protects her kids from falling, its the one who teaches her kids that if they stumble upon, they need to get up and walk again, only with more powerful strides!

Happy Mother’s Day

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Networking, a necessary evil!

While we are going gung-ho drumming the beat of this new found Networking idea, I was wondering about the famous quote "man is a social animal” that Aristotle gave us about centuries ago. Man by nature cannot work in isolation, the reward for their hard work and attaining a prominence in their social stature are the recognition they thrive on. In recent times, the similar thought and philosophy has taken a totally new dimension called “Networking” as the new age mantra.

This so called new age mantra, however, that has emerged as a key technique in modern sociology for success in professional or interpersonal relationships dates its origin back to good old ancient days. During the time of our forefathers before the invention of media or internet people would naturally meet or connect with each other to get things done. Local groups and meetings were formed for exchanging views and ideas and to make sure that they are able to help each other out. However, over a period of time, this noble and need based theory turned into making only powerful and influential connections to meet their own selfish ends at the cost of plundering on someone else’s rights eventually taking a corrupt form in the society called favoritism and nepotism. Merit started taking a back seat. You just needed to suck up to somebody for your own purposes. The obvious losers were the ones who didn’t learn this art and just believed in doing the work honestly and diligently. In countries like India this phenomena has taken a corrupt form in the society. Without the right connections rather political connections, its hard to find your way through the maze. One is pushed back far behind in the queue even for the most genuine situations like getting treatments and finding a good doctor!You have to be a big shot and know some top bureaucrats to be able to get the best treatment possible. After all isn't their health more important than any common man on the street!

In recent times, when networking is so heavily propagated as the most effective alliance building solution in hopes of landing a job through referrals or connections, I sometimes tend to fear that it may end up turning into favoritism and become unfair to those who are not so socially active due to many reasons - especially women who are single moms or have small kids, or may be because of their own volition, but are working toward building on their skills and doing the quality work. They may end up getting lost despite being the most deserving candidate and may not find the right opportunity because they didn’t know the people inside. This is true in present scenario more so because it’s such a difficult time economically and people are desperate!

I am not against the idea of networking per se, I personally relish the different perspectives and enjoy getting involved in intellectually stimulating conversations. What bothers me is the fact that it has solely been propagated as a job finding solution in the present scenario. “Go out there, meet the right kind of people and become visible” renders it a negative connotation sometimes. If the ulterior motive behind joining any organization or meeting someone new is merely to find a job then the basic purpose of learning and growing doesn’t quite make sense. Merit shouldn’t go a total waste just because some people didn’t learn the art of sucking up to people. A post I read on linked-in  had some concerned writers wondering if it was ok to write something in the lighter mood or not so professional on their blog site or bio page, as potential employers may be looking!

The term “Networking” has a meaningful and broader horizon. Mentoring, helping each other out,trying to create more opportunities, growing and building on our strengths are some of them. Making it a personal marketing tool or rendering it a platform for merely landing a job makes it very limiting and constricting n scope. I personally like to get involved with communities and local chapters and volunteer for meaningful projects, but that’s because I like doing that. It's all about the nature and personality of people. Some people like to do things silently and some out loud.
Difference is; we don’t hear the silence and they go unappreciated!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aloha Maui!

That famous rock we saw in the opening scene of Jurassic park

Luau Show

Sky before sunrise @ 10,000 feet

View from Marriot Resort

The famous fountain @ Road to Hana