A Child’s Note to Parents

Dear Parents,

Soon you would be having conference regarding my performance in school. As you listen, please remember that what my teacher might be describing may not be the complete truth. So, do not get uptight if you hear any blemish. I hope you will accept me as I am as long as I am trying.

Remember that all children do not walk or speak at the same age, nor do they learn math, reading or science at the same rate. Please do not compare me to my brothers, sisters, cousins or friends. I am unique to this world. Be realistic in setting my goals. Challenge me but do not push me beyond my abilities. Please let me be a child first before labelling me as a success or a failure.

The conference would be a picture of me at school. I am very different at home. In school, I have to deal with around 25-50 kids my age, I sometimes respond in a different manner. My teacher knows me at school, You know me at home. The real ‘Me’ is somewhere in between.

When these images blend with sufficient understanding, acceptance and love, I hope you’ll see a unique individual who can make you proud and bring happiness to our family.

Love you,

Your Kid

(We received this touching leaflet from my Son’s school before a conference. I could not help sharing. Do share this post, it is worth the effort. Because sometimes we adults are incapable of seeing a child’s point of view.)


Images courtesy Google

I am your parent!

In the US, kids are treated like little Gods! Every passers by will greet or nod at your child… some would come over and compliment your kid. They are petted, hugged and encouraged for even the smallest effort like murmuring a soft ‘Thank You’.

Teachers are kind, neighbours are sweet. Your kids are little Kings and Queens surrounded by doting courtiers. And then there is the dreaded emergency number 911, which stops you from dealing harshly with your child even though he or she has been very, very naughty.

I really appreciate it and am very happy when my kids get attention. But sometimes, I do not know how to handle so much sweetness at home. When kids’ behaviour start going out of hand, my Indian roots compel me to go sour.

Back in India, life includes bitterness too for kids. Parents scream, teachers yell and relatives chide while a kid is expected to take it all in a stride.

Grown ups have plan for your studies, career, marriage and a child listens it out respectfully. 

I have been through all this in my growing up days. My parents have done everything to stop me from taking bad decisions, I have fought back too, yelling – “It’s my life”!  But at this point of time, I am grateful to them for I got stopped from taking some crucial bad decisions… just in time.

I agree that parents do not know everything but they do know something based on their varied experiences of life and people. If parents remain diplomatically sweet, they are not doing their duty. To put your foot down, to even cross the line to make your kid see sense is not a bad thing. 


In India, some parents still use all the four upayas mentioned by the great Chanakya (philosopher, teacher, economist of ancient India) to get things done. 

1) Sama – Appealing to reason or sense

2) Dama – Offering or bribery

3) Danda – Punishment

4) Bheda – Diplomacy

While I do not agree with taking extreme measures and psychologically damaging a child to get things done, I do agree that a child needs a little bitterness for his own betterment. Just like a clay pot needs the right pressure to get moulded beautifully.

So, parents do not feel guilty if you have punished your kid for some wrong doing. If it is for their good then harsh words are thousand times better than sweet talk.

Images courtesy Google

5 Dirty Secrets of Mothers!

Yo mothers! I know all your dirty little secrets since I am a mother too. We lead a life that demands constant activity, sacrifice and 24×7 caregiving. Our everyday battles involve commotions, screams, tantrums and hullabaloo over silliest of things. 

So if we have some dirty secrets, we need to be excused! Shouldn’t we?

1) If the baby is sleeping near our closet, we often wear anything from unwashed nightgowns to hubby’s worn out t-shirt after bathing rather than taking the risk of waking the baby up.

2) We excel in eating messy leftovers of kids. This saves food and our energy. After all, eating is important for us not the style.

3) The rule is – never put your hand in a mother’s handbag! You may get revolted on touching used wipes, toffee wrappers and spilt juices on the inside. It is full if tidbits which is there just for satisfaction sake. 

4) Another rule is – watch when you borrow a mother’s phone! It may be battered, greasy or simply discoloured. It often is smeared with  cooking oil, baby food and spices. Most of the time, it becomes non functional and gets reduced to being the favourite toy of the baby.

5) We may have uncountable clothes in our closet but our complaints about ‘nothing to wear’ is justified! One quarter of our clothes are stained with baby poop, food or oil, other clothes are either too big or too small due to changes in our bodies within a span of few years. Some clothes are not ironed and others are simply not washed.


Mothers do many circus acts and perform shortcuts too to multitask. Often, a day seems too small to finish our chores. We need to be celebrated even if we look sloppy, unwashed with messy hair as long as we are bringing up a healthy family. Shouldn’t we!

So, three cheers for all of us! We may be chubby, messy, greasy and at times, overwhelmed and saucy but we are doing the noblest of noble jobs. Please accept our slovenliness for some time and applaud us!


Images courtesy Google

Failure, struggle and a tiny thought!

  [Dear Ma’m,

Thank you for your participation in our Writing Competition.

The overwhelming response to our contest resulted in thousands of entries from amateur and professional authors alike. We’ve spent an enormous number of hours reviewing all the entries, and narrowing those thousands to double digits has been no easy task. 

Unfortunately, we’re sorry to inform you that your entry is no longer being considered for a prize.

We sincerely hope you will ‘try again’!]

When you receive a letter like the above, you are gripped with an enormous sense of failure. All that months of brainstorming, effort, struggle and persistence ends up in a huge cipher. And then tormenting questions start spinning your head – Am I not good enough? Where do I lack? Perhaps, my works should be thrown in a garbage can? Should I quit writing? They no longer appreciate works like mine… Thoughts like these go on and on as you go about your daily chores. The letter crashes your expectation and self worth in a moment!

At first, the words ‘try again’ in the rejection letter sounds downright condescending. It seems organisers are patting the back of a dejected child, who is on the verge of tears. You think – “Have I not tried enough? I neglected sleep, appetite and everything that mattered to create something unique. And my work is mundane for them, my creativity has no acceptance.” You feel your struggle came to naught. You believe you are a loser for this is not the first time you have been rejected.

And then, from a tiny corner of your mind, emerges a beloved and luminous thought angel. “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying your best.” You remember hearing your child chant that sentence just a couple of days back. It is from his favourite story book. Everytime he comes across this line, he demands an explanation. And you like a doting mother, explain it to him.

This thought chastises and shakes you to sit upright. You no longer look grumpy and slumped. You think – “Why did I forget the meaning of the line when it became relevant in real life? Is it one thing to lecture a child and another thing to incorporate in real life?

You smile pleasantly as you repeat to yourself – “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying my best”. 

One happy thought defeats dejection. The thought of quitting no longer plagues your mind. You know, you cannot let down your creativity. Winning or no winning, appreciation or no appreciation, applause or no applause… you will try to create like the everflowing murmuring  ‘Brook’ ( Alfred Lord Tennyson). “Men may come and men may go but I go on forever”. Victory is transient, creativity is not!

You once again gear up to take up another challenge… just for the heck of it. Who thinks about failure as long as you are creating! Indeed, life is not about winning, it is all about trying your best! The rejection letter is forgotten.

The strange dream house!

“The A&B Building was made entirely from driftwood.” My grandmother informed me, pulling me closer. “And it would crop out of nowhere overnight at any secluded area and lure innocent victims inside,” she informed. She warned me never to venture inside such buildings as strange things happened there.

I believed her every word but forgot the warning. I earnestly wished to enter that driftwood house so that I could see those ‘strange things’.

One day, as I was playing along the beach near my home, I saw the driftwood building materialise near the shore. My parents were talking so I just slipped away. I entered the inviting house.  And was I delighted? It was every child’s dream house. I played on and on and ate and ate….

After a while, when I missed home.  I looked for an exit and walked out of the house. To my horror, the world had changed and I had grown very old!

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click hereMFtS

When My Fears Came To Life

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I cannot avoid thinking of ghosts whenever my husband goes on work trips. It is crazy but my imagination works overtime to create ghosts in the closet, in the washing machine, in the playroom and most of all, in the creepy bathroom.

Yes, the feeling is not funny. The first day of my husband’s absence is worst. I don’t look at myself in the mirror at night because I think my reflection smiles crookedly at me. I avoid looking at my shadow out of the fear that it would act in a wayward manner.  I barely look at my painting of a girl whose smile otherwise benevolent decidedly turns sinister when I am alone. I keep my kids awake for as long as I could and when they fall asleep, I try to hold them closely causing them discomfort. Soon, they roll over away from ‘poor and scared’ me.

Soon, illusions totally take over my common sense. I see shadows lurking in the closet just ready to grab me. The sound of the dishwasher sounds ghastly to my ears and the distant sound of a vehicle approaching is eerie. And the worst of all is the fact that our Smart TV is so dumb that it switches on out of the blue…sometimes at the middle of the night, sending shivers down my spine. I chant mantras and the all-powerful ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ to find strength and peace from my imagination.

At times, I lie down sleepless in bed and think of the tenants before us. Had they died in this very apartment? Were they into voodoo and witchcraft? And then I would sleep fitfully and wake up scared and again go back to sleep, dreaming of the imaginary dead tenants. All this is laughable in broad daylight but they feel very real at those long scary nights.

When the clock strikes 4am, I find my peace and sleep like a baby with my kids. It is considered that 4 am is ‘Bramha Muhurat’ or the Godly hour. No ghost dares to disturb me and I feel so safe.

But this time, when my husband left, one of my fears almost came to life. It was late in the evening. All was dark and quiet. I was in the bathroom trying to avoid my reflection, when I heard my older one talking to someone in the living room. I also heard someone replying to him. The baby was asleep and there was no one around. My apartment was locked from inside. But he was distinctively having a conversation.

The answering voice sounded distorted and strange. Fear paralysed me and I felt as if I would faint any minute. I couldn’t call for help as my phone was in the living room. I thought all the horrors in my mind were coming to life. But I had to rescue my child from the spirit that was possessing him.

I mustered courage to move towards the living room. It was a rainy evening, the setting was perfect for a horror film. I could hear him clearly now, he was saying, “It is a dark, rainy evening”. The voice mimicked him, “It is a dark, rainy evening”. He laughed, the voice laughed. I almost cried.

I walked closer towards his room…the other voice sounded familiar. But since my logic had deserted me, I failed to recognise it. After a heroic effort on my part, I peeped into the room. And what a sight it was! I found him talking to the Talking Tom app on the iPad. I felt stupid but relief flooded over me.

He sensed my fear. He said, “Talk to Tom, Mumma. You will feel not be scared.” I said bravely, “Mumma is a strong girl, She is not scared”. And then, I looked at Talking Tom. I can tell you for sure that his grin looked very very evil.

But thankfully, my fears remained restricted to my over ripe imagination!

My Grand Uncle and the Mother Goddess

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One of my great grand uncles was a deeply spiritual man. A great devotee of The Goddess Kali, his life was one long prayer. Born in a royal family in Orissa (India), he had distanced himself from luxuries and riches of life from an early age.

His sole purpose in life was self realisation through invoking the Mother Goddess. She was the world to him. Early morning, he would make adorable garlands and perform elaborate ‘puja’ by decorating the idol of Mother Kali. His royal room resonated with mantras of the divine Mother. In the evenings, he would sing devotional songs to please the Mother. He would cry and beg Her to visit him once.

His siblings would often make fun of his ‘obsession’. Some people called him mad and all this worried his parents.

But one day, something happened that brought a huge impact on everyone in that palace. My grandmother often recounted this story to us and would end it with a message. I shall convey my grandmother’s message towards the end of this real life story.

One day, few of his friends thought of pulling a prank on him. It was a mean thing to do. But they thought that he needs to be jostled out of his devotional stupor. They paid money to a fierce looking dark Harijan(formerly known as untouchables) lady and asked her to dress up like Goddess Kali and materialise in front of my uncle. She was not to touch him.

It should be remembered that in olden days, caste system was rampant in India and touching a Harijan meant defiling one’s religion. They were not allowed inside the temples and lived in the outskirts of a town or village.

The dark lady was coerced into doing this and she relented. Adorned in red sari and overladen with jewellery, the lady hid herself in my uncle’s prayer room. She had painted her tongue red and looked quite intimidating. On the dusky evening, my uncle arrived for his evening ritual.

He did his customary Shashtang Pranam ( it means that eight limbs of the body, namely, two hands, two legs, two arms, chest and forehead, touch the ground while saluting. A form of complete surrender and letting go of the ego). And then he raised his head to see the lady sticking out her tongue in the form of Kali. For a moment, he just laid there too stunned to speak. It was a horrifying sight for a non-believer.

But he experienced an unspoken joy within him. He washed her feet with tears, took her hand and made her sit by him. He looked like a little baby enjoying the company of his dearest mother.

Meanwhile, the Harijan lady was too uncomfortable to speak. But seeing him in that state she was transformed. She actually felt like being his mother, his goddess Kali. She touched his head and cried out of affection for the pure soul.

His friends soon entered and shooed the lady away. But my uncle was in the state of bliss. They told him that he had been fooled. She was not Goddess Kali but a low class Harijan. He was defiled and needed to be purified by a priest. He just thanked them and said, “You don’t know. I am pure now. This is all my Mother’s doing.  She came to me in the form of that great lady”.

My grandmother said that great grand uncle immersed himself all the more deeply in prayers after this incident. People left him alone to his worship. His faith remained unshakeable till the end and some say that he achieved enlightenment.

My grandmother would sum up the story by telling us, “People had laughed at him for touching the feet of a Harijan lady, but they were fools. He was actually touching the feet of ‘his’ Mother Goddess. He had actually seen ‘his’ God. It was the integrity of his faith that mattered.”

People say and interpret things according to their own convenience and perspective but what matters the most to a person is his own faith. Faith really makes one do and achieve the unthinkable!