Thursday, November 24, 2016

A lie that destroyed every tie


She woke up horrified, picked up his phone while he was sleeping and quickly saw his messages. She started trembling with anger , with fear, with disbelieve. "How could this happen to me?" she murmured. She ran to the washroom and started crying uncontrollably. She felt sick, she hated him, she hated herself. She hated her life.

Sheena and Gautam were married to each other for 10 years now. They met each other in college and the cupid played its role. Soon after college, once they were comfortably earning enough to start a family; they tied the knot. It was a fairy tale love story where everything seemed so perfect. They were professionally reaching highs and were very happy with each other. For others theirs was a perfect love story and everyone considered them to be the perfect couple.

Sheena was bold and beautiful who loved talking her heart out. Gautam on the other hand was a quiet person who was social but took time to mingle. Always surrounded by friends, they had fun and ensured their lives were fulfilling enough in midst of all the running around and stress in the office.
There were times when they fought but it was a thumb rule for the couple to clear it up before going to bed every time.

With passing days, the relationship started to feel the stretch of time.Professional responsibilities increased leading to huge pressure at work and less time at home. Intensity of fights started increasing and slightest of disagreements would turn into huge fights. Sheena didn't know what was happening. Gautam never bothered to think about it. But conflicts led to crying, shouting, blaming each other, but finally patching up. Yes, the string attached between had began to weaken.

Gautam went on to become more busy with work to keep himself away from everyday fights. Sheena also started to concentrate on work and other hobbies to be busy and to calm herself. During this time, Gautam started talking about a colleague of his with whom he was working in his current project. As a habit he used to talk everything about his office with Sheena and many times during his talks these days he would talk about Ramya his new colleague. Sheena took it normally initially and ignored. Ramya was married and had a very loving husband Manoj. Gautam and Sheena many times met Ramya and Manoj outside office and at their respective homes for dinners and parties together. Although it was a friendship but something about Ramya's behaviour always disturbed Sheena and hence she confessed this in front of Gautam that how she felt Ramya to be artificial and selfish. Gautam ignored and just termed this as jealousy as Ramya was a female friend of his. Gautam pulled Sheena's legs for being a typical jealous wife and said Ramya was a good friend that's all.

Sheena thought she was overreacting and never expressed herself even if she disliked something between Gautam and Ramya. With time Gautam and Ramya became more close and the way Gautam always spoke about Ramya in all his topics irked Sheena to the core but she refused to express her feelings because Gautam would take it in a wrong way. But somewhere within herself she knew something was not right. Often in the night these days whenever she would wake up, she found Gautam awake and doing something on his phone. On being questioned he would say he was unable to sleep so he started playing game. Many times Gautam would hide the phone the moment Sheena would move, thinking she would see and comment on him for being awake so late in the night.

This disturbed Sheena, she had all sorts of thoughts in her mind. She decided to ask him if he and Ramya were more than friends to which Gautam reacted a bit rudely and they had a big fight. Gautam thought Sheena was overreacting and Sheena thought Gautam behaved unreasonably. But they decided to keep such fights aside and continue their relationship. Sheena was hurt, and always tried not to think much about this topic but she was unable to. She just knew that something wasn't right. She probably trusted Gautam but she was sure that Ramya's intentions were not right. Sheena didn't like her almost from their first day of interaction, yet she couldn't make Gautam understand her feelings probably because he never wanted to understand.

One night as always she woke up and saw Gautam still with his phone, she decided to stalk him and check what was it that he was hiding. That night when she ensured Gautam had dozed off, she quickly picked up his phone and scanned through all his messages only to feel the numbness in her hands and feet. She became lifeless for a while. His phone was full with messages from this girl whose number he saved as Bliss in his phone. There were messages which said she missed him, messages which said she loved him, messages where she expressed how happy she was to have him in his life, messages where she said she wanted to hold him and walk, messages which said she wanted to kiss him. Good Morning and Good night messages were shared. Everyday's activities were shared of when they reached office, when they would meet again, when they reached home. She quietly kept the phone and tried to calm herself up but she just couldn't. She just couldn't stop crying while Gautam was calmly sleeping.

The next morning was usual for Gautam, but Sheena was fighting a tornado within herself. Finally she confronted Gautam but to her surprise he denied having anyone in his life. He quickly deleted his messages and kept arguing that there was no one other than her in his life. After 5 days of fights, arguments, and proofs Sheena gave, Gautam confronted that it was Ramya who used to message him but he didn't have anything from his side. He said Ramya expressed herself and said she did this to every friend she met.  Gautam agreed and thought Ramya might be telling the truth. Sheena said she wouldn't accept these things and would want him to end this here right away. Gautam took his phone and messaged Ramya not to message him ever again.  Ramya agreed without any questions.

Ramya though hurt thought she could probably give her marriage a second chance. That night Sheena and Gautam spoke about everything under the sky, about their differences which were growing and discussed what went wrong between them that Gautam couldn't come and discuss about all these things. Gautam said he loves only Sheena and he couldn't think his life without her by his side. Sheena believed Gautam and they hugged each other and slept that night.

Back to Present:

She woke up horrified, picked up his phone while he was sleeping and quickly saw his messages. She started trembling with anger , with fear, with disbelieve. "How could this happen to me?" she murmured. She ran to the washroom and started crying uncontrollably. She felt sick, she hated him, she hated herself. She hated her life.  She just saw Gautam had written to Ramya "Darling do not worry, sleep well... My earlier messages were just to calm Sheena as she was very upset. We will meet and talk tomorrow.' Probably he forgot to erase that message after sending it to Ramya or probably he thought Sheena wouldn't check his phone again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do intuitions Lie?

Your heart knows what your mind cannot explain. Have you ever noticed this? Sometimes I guess it's important for us to listen to what our intuition says but often we can't hear it clearly as our head wouldn't shut up shouting. I believe in talking to god while praying  and always thought god is talking back to me with intuition. I do not think I am a very religious person but I have always felt a strong connection with the supreme power which has guided me throughout my life. I sometimes understood the signs and sometimes ignored but have always felt the presence of the guidance.

While walking the path that was laid for me in life, I wouldn't say I was always right and never made any mistakes but I can say this for sure that I never regretted trusting my instincts. I found my instincts never lied to me. Many times I chose not to listen to the voice within me that probably didn't have many words. Many times I chose to ignore the few signs that I got. Many times I couldn't explain with words what I could decipher what was being communicated to me by my intuition. Many times I was helpless and had to go with the flow.

But one thing which I realized was that if something isn't feeling right then probably it isn't.. Just Listen to the inner voice coz I guess your intuition would be the most honest and loyal friend that you can ever have. Probably an intelligent person would use his/her intelligence to prove his intuitions right but sometimes it just doesn't register in our minds even if deep down you know the truth. Probably intuition always tells us what we need to understand but we humans are tuned to always listen and know what we want to know and listten. May be that's one main reason we never think much about what we do, what we feel, what we listen and sometimes what we see. Logically it might take years of experience for the mind to sort out things which the intuition can intelligently convey to the soul and our part is to trust it and probably the reason will follow with time.

I am no expert in this but I have felt the power of my intuitions and have understood that sometimes I do not need to justify or explain my feelings to anyone, I should just follow my intuition. I guess it's the thing with everyone. We just need to connect to our inner selves to find out our next course of actions. Probably the one who listens to his/her intuition can easily connect to one's soul. Your soul is the representation of you, your thinking, your knowledge, of your existence, and he who can connect to the soul can never lead a life in disaster coz the soul connects us to the supreme power. The power which is there to connect us to the roots.. connect us to ourselves.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Growing up with a Kid all over again.. A guide for parenting..

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Being a kid or a teen is not for lightweights – it’s tough out there! There are important things that need to be done, that only they can do. The nature of these jobs depends on the developmental stage they are at. 
Even as adults, we can be prone to tantrums, tears and wanting to give the world (or particular people in it) an almighty spray sometimes. For the most part, we can hang to the dramatics and anything that might land us in trouble, but even with all of our experience, our fully developed brains, and our capacity to see around corners, it’s hard some days. Imagine what it’s like for our kids.
Understanding what our kids are wrestling with and the developmental goals they are working towards will make their more ‘frustrating’ behaviours easier to deal with. Things will run smoother if we can give them the space and support they need to do whatever it is they need to. Of course, none of this means the total surrendering of boundaries around what’s okay and what isn’t in terms of behaviour. What it means is responding with greater wisdom, clarity and with more appropriate consequences. Life just gets easier for everyone when we are able to take things less personally.
Here are some important developmental stages and the difficult behaviour that might come with them. You’ll often find that their behaviour, though unruly and baffling at times, is completely normal and a sign that your child is flourishing and making his or her way through childhood or adolescence exactly as they are meant to.  
The ages of the stages are just a guide. When checking to see whether your kids are on track, read the stages around the actual age of your child. The progression through the stages is more important than the age at which this happens. As long as kids are moving through the stages, it doesn’t matter if they get there slower than other kids. 

Infants & Babies (0-12 months)

  • Everything will go in the mouth – hands, feet, food, toys, shoes – you name it.
  • If they are crying, there is something they need – a sleep, a cuddle, food, changing. They don’t yet have the words to communicate, but crying is a spectacularly effective way for baby humans to get big humans to move mountains for them. One of the beautiful things about babies is that they will never ask for more than they need.
  • Wary of strangers and might get upset when familiar people aren’t close by.
  • Babies will stare. They love faces and will stare at faces in real life, in books and in mirrors. Oh to be at an age where staring at other people is socially acceptable – and cute.
The support they need.
Babies have an important job to do – they need to learn whether or not they can trust the world and the people in it. For their part, they will work hard to give you the opportunities to show them how safe and secure they are. They might not have much of a vocabulary but they are masterful little communicators when it comes to letting you know when something isn’t quite right. Be consistently attentive to their needs so they can feel the world as a safe and secure one for them. Feed them when they are hungry, comfort them when they are scared, cuddle them when they need to be with you.  This will form the foundation for their exploration of the world, their independence, their confidence and self-esteem and their  relationships.

12-24 months

  • Will become more interactive.
  • No understanding of intentionality – they see, they do without thinking about why or what it means. For example, when they bite, it is not to hurt, when they grab toys from other kids it’s not to cause upset, it’s to … well, everyone knows that things are for grabbing, right. Or eating.
  • Will follow their curiosity and will pull things down or apart to see what happens. Ditto with throwing anything onto the floor.
  • Not developmentally able to share.
  • Might seem bossy and selfish, but keep in mind that anything they are interested in or considers to be theirs will be seen as an extension of themselves. Of course nobody else is entitled to take it!  
  • Beginning to understand possession, and developing a strong sense of self. 
  • Two of their favourite words to say, ‘Mine!’ and ‘No!’
  • Two of their least favourite words to hear, ‘Mine!’ and ‘No!’
  • Will often wake during the night.
  • Towards the end of this stage, they may become more defiant as they start to experiment with their independence. May tantrum because they become frustrated by their lack of words and their lack of ability to communicate.
  • Tantrums will also be driven by their experience of big emotions (frustration, anger, sadness, shame) that they don’t have the words for.
  • Will be more likely to play alongside other kids, rather than with them.
The support they need.
  • Their attention span is still fairly short, so use distraction to direct them away from what you don’t want them to be doing.
  • When you give them a new rule or direction, it’s likely that the old one will be forgotten. Sometimes you will love their short attention span. Sometimes you won’t. 
  • Be positive when you see them doing the right thing.
  • Start letting them know the things that aren’t okay.
  • Ignore the small stuff. There’s so much to learn so it’s best not to overload them. Let them get used to the important things first.
  • Your child will be starting to understand what you are asking but for the sake of your own sweet sanity, let go of the expectation that they will do as you ask. Keep asking and guiding, but don’t take it personally if it doesn’t happen straight up. Or at all.
  • Be kind and gentle when correcting. They are doing their very best with what they have. If you ask for too much you might end up with a more anxious or more defiant or less confident three year old.  
  • Help them put words to what they are feeling, ‘It’s upsetting when you have to pack your toys away and you want to keep playing isn’t it.’

3 years old.     

  • Will experiment with independence. May lead to tantrums.
  • Will want increased control. May lead to tantrums.
  • Will become frustrated when disappointed. May lead to tantrums.
  • May see an increase in tantrums.
  • Will flip between wanting to be independent (‘I do it!’, or ‘by myself’) and wanting to be treated like a little person (‘carry me’ or ‘you do it’). 
  • Will form a special attachment to the word ‘no’ and will practice it often. Even when they might mean ‘yes’. (Ahhhh toddlers! Fortunately, evolution has given them a profound capacity for cuteness while they are sleeping. This is important for those catastrophic events, such as when you miss the notification that sandwiches are now to be served as little triangles, not little squares as was previously deemed acceptable. If this happens, just go with it – you’ll need your energy for when they realise you haven’t bought the toothpaste with Elsa on the tube.)
  • Might stutter or stammer.
  • Will start to assert control over their environment by wanting to plan activities, do things by themselves, try challenging things.
  • Might keep calling you back when they are put to bed.
  • Might develop sudden fears and phobias.
  • May confuse real and make believe, so may have one or a collection of imaginary friends.
  • Still won’t understand sharing and will often assert ownership, ‘Mine!’.
  • Might show jealousy when parent gives attention to other children.
The support they need.
  • Write this down, ‘It won’t be like this forever’. Now stick it on your mirror where you’ll see it every day.
  • Let them know when they do something well. They want to know that you’re happy with them and that they’re doing okay.
  • Be gentle when they get it wrong. Your child wants to do the right thing but has things to do and places to be along the way. Don’t come down hard on mistakes – they’re still figuring it all out and they have a way to go. Treat mistakes as opportunities to teach them something valuable.
  • Don’t have too many rules and be consistent with ones that you have. Too many rules and consequences that are all over the place will only confuse them and will set the monkey on your back. If you teach them that sometimes they can get away with it, they’re going to keep going. You’d worry if they didn’t.
  • Use ‘no’ gently and in moderation. You want to encourage their exploration and experimentation with the world and their place in it. Guide them, but don’t take away their initiative. And don’t give them any more reason than they have to use it at you.
  • Give them the freedom and space to play and encourage their experimentation with physical and imaginative play. Support their efforts to initiate play so they can feel their own capacity to influence their environment.
  • Encourage decision making but limit choices (‘Would you like to have a bath first or choose your pyjamas first? Would you like to wear the red shirt or the yellow shirt today? Would you prefer corn or avocado with your dinner?’ And then, maybe when they’re bigger … ‘Would you prefer to make me a tea or a coffee?’ Oh let’s just indulge the glorious possibility of it all for a moment.)
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself to recharge. The battles will be easier when you’re replenished.
  • Have bedtime rituals. Bedtime at this age can be exhausting for everyone. Have a ritual and let it be lovely for both of you – a story, a cuddle, a spray of lavender around the room, a kiss, and the words, ‘Love you. Night Gorgeous Boy,’ – or something.

4 years old. 

  • Will start to be critical and will define the world in simple terms. Things and people will be right or wrong, good or bad, nice or not nice.
  • They will start to realise the power of their words and will sometimes use them to get their way or to control others. Their command of language will still be loose, so they will often back up what they are saying with actions (hitting, pushing, grabbing) or non-verbals (tone, volume, facial expressions, posture/stance).
  • Will become competitive.
  • Will still blur reality and fantasy sometimes. Might tell lies, extravagant stories, or have imaginary friend/s.
  • Still building their sense of self and experimenting with independence, so might be stubborn, defiant and bossy.
  • Will do all sorts of things to avoid bedtime.
  • Might have bad dreams.
  • Might develop a fear of the dark or become anxious thought of being separated from parent or caregiver.
  • Will start to enjoy playing with other kids rather than simply alongside them.
  • Will test their limits with you but will still be keen to please and help you out when they can.
The support they need.
  • When you set rules, talk to them about why the rules are important. They are curious and developing their ideas about how the world works. It doesn’t mean they’ll ‘get it’ straight away, or that they’ll comply. 
  • Keep your requests simple.
  • They desperately want to make you happy. Let them know whenever you see good behaviour.
  • Don’t argue with a four year old. Just don’t. They’ll out-do you any day and if they don’t have the words or a sound argument, they’ll just keep asking ‘why’.
  • When it comes to less-than-impressive behaviour, ask what happened but don’t ask why they did it. Asking ‘Why did you do that?’ will just encourage a lie because the boundary between fantasy and reality in the world of a four year old is very – very – loose.
  • When they do something wrong, apply gentle consequences but explain why the behaviour is wrong and that you know they can do better next time. They need to know you believe in them – they will do as you do.
  • Be consistent. If you don’t think it’s always important to enforce a rule, your child will, understandably, think it’s not won’t always important to follow it.
  • Encourage their independence but remember they are still young. Let them be little people when they are stressed or tired.
  • Give them lots of kisses and cuddles, even though they are ‘big people now.’

Five years old.

  • Will understand the importance of rules but might divert from the rules when playing. Rules tend to be ‘flexible’ – for them at least.
  • May accuse others of cheating if they don’t win a game.
  • Will start to show empathy and an understanding that other people might have points of view that are different to their own. 
  • Will be able to share but might still find it difficult, especially when it comes to their special things.
  • Might be afraid of failure, criticism and spooky things like ghosts or monsters.
  • Attention span will start to increase which will impact on the type of discussions you are able to have with them.
  • Might come across as being an ‘expert’ on everything. 
  • Will enjoy joking around and will start to develop ‘potty’ humour.
  • Will be looking to make their own decisions, particularly around what to wear and what to eat.
  • If starting at school, might be moodier, more sensitive or more tired than usual. It’s exhausting having to sit still and concentrate for long periods.
The support they need.
  • Encourage anything that will get your child moving, particularly if it is in a group or a team with others. This will help your child to develop important skills like taking turns, getting along with others, working together, negotiating, compromising, and winning or losing graciously.
  • Set aside time each day to play with your child or spend one on one time together. This will give your child the opportunity to let you into their world, which will always be one of the best places to be. From here you can get a feel for what is going on in their beautifully flourishing minds.
  • Start to expand your child’s emotional literacy by naming and discussing feelings.
  • Connect rewards to responsibilities. ‘How about you help me clear the table and then you can have dessert?’
  • Continue to keep rules simple and try not to have too many.

Six years old.

  • It’s pretty likely that they will know a lot more than you. Just ask them.
  • May start tantruming again.
  • Can start to test the limits but will still want to please you and help out.
  • Will seek praise for their school work and for the good things they do.
  • Will seek to master new skills and to feel competent.
  • Might worry about being away from you.
The support they need.
  • Encourage their efforts and acknowledge when they have worked hard.
  • Encourage effort over outcome to help them develop a growth mindset and a strong self-belief in their capacity to achieve.
  • Ensure they get the support they need if they are struggling at school. 
  • Avoid overpraise or meaningless praise and let them know that they are special, but so are other people.

Seven years old.

  • Might tend towards complaining, usually about their parents or the rules, but also about friends and other kids.
  • Will feel misunderstood by many.
  • Can be dramatic about school, friends or life in general.
  • Will try to use words to talk about how they are feeling but may become frustrated and angry when they are upset.
  • Will be becoming more aware of what other people think.
The support they need.
  • Listen and validate what they are feeling and know that you don’t need to fix their problems.
  • Discuss how they might solve the things that are causing them trouble. Give them space and encouragement to come up with their own ideas.
  • Don’t be drawn into the dramatics.
  • Don’t immediately think that things are a mess because they are saying they are.
  • Jump on the positive.

Eight years old.

  • Will want you to think the way they do and will have little tolerance for your difference of opinion.
  • Will be very sensitive to what you think of them.
  • Will often fight with the mother.
  • There won’t be a lot of grey. Things will be black or white, right or wrong, good or bad.
  • This tendency to think in absolutes might cause a little trouble with friendships. Take comfort in knowing that yours won’t be the only small person struggling with this. They’ll be okay – this is the part where they learn about friendships and how to get along with people. 
The support they need.
  • When you’re praising their good behaviour, be clear about what it is they have done.
  • Avoid arguing whenever you can. With their black and white thinking, an argument will just mean that someone is right (them) and someone is wrong (you). Instead, ask them to explain their point of view and encourage them to see things from different angles. 
  • Spend plenty of time together to cement the relationship for the pull away that is coming at adolescence.

Nine years old.

  • Friends will start to be more important than parents, and this will continue through adolescence.
  • What their friends think will start to become more and more important.
  • Will narrow the friendship field by having closer friendships, but less of them.
  • Will share jokes and secrets with friends.
  • Will push against rules and directions and may disrespect you.
  • Will be able to be loving and silly but will also develop the capacity to be selfish, argumentative and abrasive.
What to do.
  • Provide them with opportunities for independence and to make their own decisions.
  • Avoid being too bossy or directive.
  • Encourage them to start thinking about things from another point of view, ‘What would so-and-so say about that?’ ‘How do you think she felt when that happened?’

Ten to eleven years old.

  • The tantrums of childhood will be calming down by now. Enjoy it because adolescence has heard that you’re relaxing and it’s on its way.
  • Might still argue about rules and the necessity and detail of them.
  • Will try to explain away misbehaviour  through excuses and justifications. They will fight hard to find the loophole in the rule.
  • Promises become important and they will remember EVERYTHING – except when it’s their turn to take out the rubbish.
What to do.
  • Don’t make promises you won’t be able to keep. Once they have something on you, they have you.
  • Avoid arguing with them whenever you can. They will often have an argument for everything. Hear what they have to say, make your decision, then pull out.
  • Let them push against you in safe ways – let them try different things, express their own opinions, and make their own decisions when appropriate.
  • Know where your boundaries are and be ready to implement consequences when they make a bad decision. Make the consequence about their behaviour, not about who they are.


  • Friends will be more important than family. You’re still important, but there’s something they have to do – find who they will be when they step into the world as a healthy, independent adult.  Just like you had to do at their age.
  • What their peers think of them will be a source of stress to them for a while, peaking for girls at age 13 and for boys at age 15. They might go to extra lengths to try to fit in with their peers. This might involve making silly decisions or putting themselves in risky situations. Breathe. It will end.
  • They will become more argumentative and will push against you more. This is perfectly in keeping with their adolescent adventure and their experimentation with independence.
  • May become more emotionally distant from you (don’t worry – they’ll come back but maybe not until they leave their teens).
  • Might not want to be seen in public with you – however cool you are.
  • Will experiment with their image, their identity, and the way they are in the world.
  • They might be impulsive and they might start taking risks. (For a full explanation of why they do this, see here.)
  • They will be more creative and will start to think about the world in really interesting, different ways.
  • They will act like your opinion of them doesn’t matter but it does – as much as ever.
  • They will often misread your emotional expressions – reading anger, hostility or disappointment when you feel nothing like any of that (See here to understand teenage emotional flare-ups).
  • Their sleep cycle will change. Their circadian rhythm will move them about three hours past where they were as kids. This means that they will fall asleep three hours past the time they used to and unless they are completely exhausted, it will be biologically very difficult for them to fall asleep earlier. They will need about 9-10 hours earlier so will need to sleep in for later.
  • Will want to make their own decisions about the things that affect them.
What to do.
  • Don’t be judgemental or critical – they need your love and connection more than ever. 
  • Understand that they need to find their independence from you. Give them the space to do this. Over time, their values will be likely to align with yours.
  • Know that your teen isn’t rejecting you, but is finding their own way in the world – it’s an important, healthy part of being an independent adult – even if it feels bad.
  • Let go of control and go for influence. The harder you fight to control them, the harder they will push against you. The truth is that when it comes to adolescence, we have no control – they will decide how much they involve you in their lives, how much they tell you, and how much influence you have. Make it easy for them to come to you when something happens or when they need guidance.
  • Give them information, but don’t lecture.
  • Don’t buy into arguments – ask them to state their case and talk to you about the pros and cons of what they want. By nature, teens will overstate the positives and underestimate the negatives. Encourage them to tell you some of the cons – nothing is ever black or white.
  • Be the calming force – breathe and wait for the wave to pass over you. It takes 90 seconds for an emotion to be triggered, to peak and to start to fade, provided you don’t do anything to give it oxygen.
  • Help them to plan ahead and see around corners, but without judgement.
  • Encourage their social connections and give them space to strengthen their relationships. An important part of their development is to decrease their independence on the family tribe and to do this. To do this, they will feel an increased need to strengthen their affiliation with a friendship tribe. Encourage and support this wherever you can.
  • Help them find safe ways to take risks such as sports – competitive and non-competitive.
  • Let them know you will always do whatever you can to collect them from any situation when they want to come home – regardless of the circumstances and how late or far away it might be.
  • Let nothing be off limits when it comes to what they can talk to you about.
  • Wherever possible, let them sleep in to catch up on sleep deficits.
  • Listen more than you talk.

And finally …

Know that along the way from infant to adult, there are some important things that need to be done. There are things to learn, mistakes to be made, boundaries to be pushed, independence to be found. It will be a beautiful, exhausting, baffling, sometimes terrifying, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes traumatic adventure for everyone. Be patient and don’t take their opportunities to learn and grow away from them by taking their mistakes and their less than ideal behaviour personally. Their greatest growth will come from the mistakes they make and the boundaries that they push up against. Even with the strongest supports in place, they are going to make mistakes – sometimes spectacular ones. Provided they have the support they need, their mistakes will be about their growth, not your parenting. 
For our part, it is important that we are there with love, nurturing and a steady hand to guide them and with boundaries for them to feel the edges of themselves against.  Growing up is a journey of learning, exploring and experimenting – for them and for us. 

Helping women in getting the right foundation for their career growth

In this progressive world, it has become a  ritual to be a part of the race knowingly or unknowingly. Even if we intend to sit back for a while, we just end up finding ourselves few steps behind our counterparts. In this fast track life, women are constantly trying to juggle their personal and professional lives giving utmost priority to whatever is required at that point of time. We are doing well;  no doubt on that and these days the male partners have become quite aware of the said situation so mostly men are trying to help their partners in whatever way they can.

But there are situations which many women face that might force them to keep their careers at the back seat for a while and proceed in life even if they do not want that to happen. We can take examples like pregnancy or marriage in a different city, after delivery care for kids. There are many occasions in life where women have chosen family over their careers, sometimes wantedly but many times unwantedly. Even if few women have chosen their careers they have ensured they are doing justice to their families by being extra cautious and eventually have ignored their own well being and health. I agree, the decision to work or not to work is totally personal but if we decide to work isn't it fair to get the same kind of support a male counterpart would get?

My intention to write here is to bring to the notice of many what I have personally observed in the corporate world where men and women are working together. Yes we have come a long way from being a society which didn't allow women to work to a society which  allows and gives women equal rights to work. But is this enough or there are few more steps that we have never explored in giving women an equal and fair chance to compete with the world? Can we take out few moments to give a thoughtful view on are we giving women equal opportunities like men?

Yes statistically speaking,  when I google it says a shocking reality of the number of women leaders the world has today. So I don't see any point in giving numbers here as we can all Google and get the data handy. We all know, it is the truth that when it comes to positions at the top women are way beyond their male counterparts. Does it really mean women are not capable or does it mean that they have actually not got the podium to stand strong when they were in a position to chose between career and family. I may want to focus the discussion on why women ever have to stand in the path with bifurcations of career and family?

Just to take few examples, I have seen many times married women being denied a position and a male counterpart being selected only because the hiring manager thought it would be troublesome if the woman plans for a baby soon in future. I have heard HRs asking this question during interviews whether or not a woman is planning for a baby in the near future. I am sure men can raise their hands in agreement that they have never come across such questions during interviews. I have seen many girls denied leaves for marriage and eventually had to quit. I have seen many girls leaving their jobs only to go and get settled in a different place where her groom was and eventually struggling a lot to get a job in the new place due to many reasons.

I am not hear to discuss on whether or not these thoughts are right or wrong coz I have been a part of ample number of such discussions and have never seen any outcome. Rather have seen a lot of friends becoming foes because they didn't think it was wrong. So coming straight to the point, we know its business and so we would talk from the business point of view, also keeping in mind that corporate world has got some social responsibilities and how a corporate can actively contribute towards making the society more friendly for both the genders and of course the next generations.

1) Women are eligible for paid Maternity leave of 3/6 months which was defined for a good cause but may be 30% of the times a married woman is denied a position because she is eligible to avail it. Can the organizations come up with paternity leaves as well for more or less the same number of days? This will not only ensure to omit the fears of the recruiter but also help in father-child bonding. Speaking business, we can always have bench resources trained and qualified for the role of the person in leave and since it's a long process the backup can be planned well in advance.

2) After delivery many women are unable to join back because they do not have anyone to take care of the kids at home. Wouldn't it make sense if we can actively motivate such women and facilitate them to be a part of projects that can support working from home. This can be availed by women who really need it and this can also be planned well in advance. This ensures women can work without a break in the resume and can contribute to her family without hampering her career.

3) For few women the organization can arrange for some online trainings related to work or certification programs that would be helpful when women after maternity leave join back for contribution towards the business. Women can be at par with the newest technologies and terminologies and their new found knowledge can be used for the benefit of the organization.

4) There can be policies within organizations giving preferences to spouse hiring so that getting married in a different city ensures a smooth transitioning in jobs too.

5) The questions like family planning can then be directed towards both the genders in the interest of business, mandating selection based on interview results.

The above points or incidents may not be true all the time but we cannot deny the fact that these do not occur. By taking few steps towards helping women in strengthening their base we can bring about a small revolution. By just being there as help, I am sure a resource involved in training or some kind of work is always better than having a resource in sabbatical leave. This not only helps the company but also helps women and society in general.

This would ensure women who would have left their jobs at some point of time otherwise can continue their career without a break which will be helpful for them to grow to the next level. Leadership qualities and multi tasking can be nurtured in this manner which will surely be helpful as women grow up the ladder of success.

Surely this move doesn't ensure  increase in number of women leaders, that anyway depends on capability but it would definitely lay a foundation so that women do not lose the race due to constraints which are not in her hands. Utilizing the benefits for the betterment of self and the organization is solely the person's responsibility and yes those to take advantage of such policies and misuse the given opportunity should definitely be dealt with in a proper manner.

By building a system that doesn't differentiate between the genders, rather help in building a better society and better employees, the organizations would directly help in upliftment of women in general and make things equal in real sense.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Letter to Myself at my 30s to be read at my 50s

Hey Sohini,

Hope you are doing good today. You turn 50 today  and I am sure you must be thrilled to have completed half century :) 

How's life treating you beautiful lady? I hope when you would sit and read this letter on your 50th Birthday, the only thing that should come to your mind be thanks Sohini for planning at 30s because of that I am smiling at my 50s. 

Today I am sitting at Aricent, Bangalore Office and dreaming about a successful and happy future. I hope my deeds would reap the results and I would be enjoying a successful and happy life  as desired. I know its a long way to go and I know it might be a road full of thorns  as we sail thru life's boat. But I know myself, however tough the going gets I would not stop. I wouldn't stop dreaming and I wouldn't stop achieving. I know my self esteem is very tough and it will not give up at any point. And so I am sure I would have achieved the planned and seeing this letter I must be smiling with pride. Pride for self and pride for being who I am. Pride for being Sohini.

Aankhi should be 20 years old today and guess she would have figured out her life's goals. As far as I know her today she must be a sorted out crazy girl who knows what to expect from life. A bit short tempered yet level headed, my super duper cute lil angel must be the most beautiful girl around. So I hope she should have introduced me to her boyfriend who I feel is the cutest match for my sweetheart and her 18th birthday was probably her craziest Bday ever. I hope we enjoyed being drunk together for the first time. And was her prince charming there with us on that day? I hope I would have been successful as a mother and today she feels I am her best friend. I hope she loves me the same way as she did on 17th August 2016 when she was 3 years old and I was her lifeline. She would just look at me and kiss me and say "Mamma I love you. Ami tomake anek bhalobashi" and pat my cheeks :) 
My angel you are my life and I love you to the moon and back.

And what is this Old man doing over here? Ohoooo as always cribbing his heart away. "Parna koi tui? ki korchish? Bore korish na". Hahahaha
Has he become fat or these are his muscles which he started to build in 2016? Hope his eyes hold the same amount of love that I saw when we got married. Hope he has respects me for who I am and most importantly learnt to express it in a way I like it. Hope he too is Aankhi's best friend and teacher. Oh how wonderful it is to see the father daughter duo banging head to their fav rock music. How beautifully they have designed their collection of music and formed a music gallery at home. How beautifully Gairik  makes grilled chicken even today at our garden and how fantastically we enjoy being in the group with Puchka, Buli, Jhilli, Mandy, Rimpa, Amit. 

Wish Ma, Baba, Mummy are healthy and safe, Hope they enjoy being with us and with Aankhi and smile at all our achievements. Hope life has fulfilled all their wishes and most importantly has kept them healthy and working, Hope I still have the privilege to hear them speak to me.. see them everyday and laugh with them even now. 

I wish I am complete in every respect. 

Well I feel it's important to jot down 10 things that I would like to do from now on at my 30s that would ensure I have a smiling face at my 50s.

1. Exercise and exercise everyday without breaks and make myself fit. Try my level best to be free of diseases.

2. Travel. Travel so much that at my 50s I have 50 TB Hard disk full or memories.

3. Read. Reading to educate myself everyday and pass on my learnings to Aankhi. This will help in shaping her future and making her a bright kid/adult.

4. Learn music and musical instruments. To free myself from the dust that life lays on us.

5. Dance. Just dance to every bit of music. I want to be pro in at least 5 forms of dances 

6. Have a smiling relationship with Ma , Baba, Puchka, Gairik and Aankhi. I should smile to have their names in my mind. That would define my happiness.

7. Have at least 5 4 am call friends.

8. Save money to be independent at 50s and further till I live

9. Grow big in career and satisfy my hunger of being a successful career oriented person.

10. Have my own  house and sleep well every night. 

I hope I am content coz I am what I wanted myself to be and my family is what i dreamt off. :)