Parents Café Blog

From simple every parenting joys to major relationships pangs, from unforgettable anecdotes to big life lessons learnt, there is a lot that can be shared here. Read on as our members share their thoughts.

Growing up with my son

There are so many stories I can write about this.

I think the child in you comes to the forefront once you have your own child. I have enjoyed having my nephews and nieces stay with me. We have had the midnight parties, the messy kitchens and the works. I learnt from my aunt…the mess can be cleared but the memories one collects at such times are really precious. Over the years I totally agree with this. Thank you Eileen for the lovely memories I have... Read More

1. Badges and Pins:

Aditya went through the phase of collecting coins, stamps and quite a few other collectibles. Somewhere down the line he started collecting lapel pins and badges. The very first one was a “Goofy” badge. Over the years the collection grew and I became quite shameless in walking up to people and asking for a badge they were having. Prabhakar and Aditya would disown me at such times. But I do have some nice once that they have got for me. Of course, today Aditya claims that I have hijacked the collection and I know that I am growing it for him…today we have 450 badges (albeit there are some duplicates). My friends happily contribute whenever they are globetrotting. Most of them have a story and some are very special. Once I took this collection to my workplace where unusual hobbies were being discussed. The postman who came to my cabin with the post saw it and wanted to know about it. He had two badges commemorating 150 years Karnataka Postal Department and 50 years of NFPTE. He promptly added them to the collection saying that they would be safer with the collection.

2. Reading – it’s a habit not a hobby:

It was around 1988. We were in Mumbai, living in this lovely apartment in Chembur overlooking the play-group section of St Anthony’s School. A lovely Gulmohur tree with branches spread into our balcony. The school children would be in the playground for most of the time, playing or singing nursery rhymes. Aditya spent most of his morning time in the balcony watching the children. He soon learnt the nursery rhymes. He would have his food during their lunch break. Sundays and holidays were tough days when the school was closed. Around this time the audio books came into existence. I guess they were the I-pads of that time. The first one Aditya got was the Jungle Book. He soon mastered the art of turning pages in time with the audio cassette. Appa was very upset that we were leaving him with the cassette player rather than reading aloud to him. So, in addition to the device I would make an attempt to read him a story before going to bed. I would be dead tired and though they were small books like Bambi, Dumbo I would be half asleep reading it to him, with him objecting to the mistakes I made while reading. We came to longer stories and I learnt the trick of skipping paras. Soon Aditya was reading by himself and we started arguments about the parts I skipped. It wasn’t long before the roles reversed and I had Aditya reading aloud to us while Prabhakar and I finished the kitchen work. This was enjoyable and lasted for years. I read all the books he was reading while growing up. We would fight over any new book purchased. Today his reading has gone way beyond mine. We still have a few read-aloud sessions whenever possible. With three people reading…we do not have a budget for books.

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More education: his and ours

After listening to a mother lamenting about her son who had scored 95% instead of the usual 98% for a long time, Vara and I were upset with the 65% Aditya and Parikshit had come with. The tirade started, the two boys managed to look a little ashamed but one could feel the smirks. When both of us paused for breath, out came the answer “he joined the school when we were in the fifth and now all of us are in the eighth. He has not gone ahead of us and we have had more fun”. It was a perfect bolti bandh.... Read More

Prabhakar and I were quite sure that we wanted Aditya to go to a hostel. This was discussed quite often. Aditya even asked “Dad, if I get admission in Bangalore then?” Pat was the reply…”We will go out of Bangalore”. I did not realize how we had hammered into him till, when a friend asked him as to what he was getting for his eighteenth birthday and the answer was “two suitcases”.

His choice of getting into hotel management and that too in the kitchen surprised us. Both of us being in the tech field were open to ideas and new avenues but this seemed a little too farfetched. When we asked him the reason. “One field where Dad and you can’t pick up the phone and ask someone to help me out”. How true! Today he is a bread baker, thoroughly enjoying his job and we are proud of him.

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Move beyond mobiles please!

I am convinced that mobiles are the worst invention ever, especially in India. They make islands out of people. People are tempted to break rules. In a country like ours where law and order are just two words, mobiles have created chaos. I think people are not able to drive/walk unless they are either looking at their mobiles or are talking to someone. I am unable to understand the urgency in communicating with someone while you are on the road. The era before mobiles made one stop, think and then act. These days everyone feels the need to react instantly. The person in front is inconsequential compared to the call that comes in. Face to face conversations are becoming rare... Read More

At least the earlier mobiles were just phones, then came the cameras. The selfies, the photos, the sharing… People do not realize the amount of memory wasted in sharing and forwards. Copies and copies are saved on the servers around the world. Where is the time to think about this? Add the social media and the apps to this…there is a bubbling cauldron. I feel technologically challenged and would rather not go into it. There are only two instances when I was thankful to this technology. The first one was when my husband and I were having a coffee at a restaurant, there were 12-15 youngsters sitting at the next table. Obviously together. But each one was busy on his/her mobile. I was just mentioning to my husband about the lack of face to face communication when we realized that they were speech and hearing impaired and were communicating through the mobiles. The other one purely selfish. I collect lapel pins and badges. It’s been great to show people a picture of it on the mobile and ask for a badge they have shamelessly. Most of the times I have got the badge.

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