One of Yuvanz school holiday project was to analyze poems given in particular themes and come up with mood boards. The theme of his poems were Poverty and one of it was on Hunger specifically and the other set in Mumbai.
Whilst I was helping him with logistics as he was putting together his project, a lot of reflections crossed my mind:
- There is so much out there happening around me and I am not anywhere in that zone.
- Hunger is the World’s biggest epidemic
- The divide is very huge – social, economical and political
- Why hunger?
- Am I being truly grateful for what I have been provided for and what I am able to provide for?
- What can I do? Am I doing my part being a responsible human being?
Why Hunger? It reminded me of this famous thought-school, ‘Consuming only what exactly you need is indirectly making it available to the needy!’ This I think is a powerful thought, which needs action. Starts from within!
I am grateful that this served as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with Yuvan. Yuvan questioned whether it is the respective government’s responsibility to ensure no one goes hungry as much as possible? He seemed quite taken aback with the whole issue of Hunger for Food and Poverty.
I was thinking: Has he been so sheltered?
It was interesting when he mentioned hunger drives people to be desperate. He continued that hunger can also be related in terms of hunger for success, money etc. not just hunger. ‘Desperate’ for food could lead to stealing or begging; The other worldly hungers leads to cheating, power struggles and a huge impact on undermining values.
This thought process from him literally gave me a shock in both ways, though very insightful!
I told him, yes I completely agree. But there are so many millions in the World who go hungry every day for food, with no basic necessities like shelter and clothing too. We spoke about the Dabbawalas and the ‘Share the dabba’ initiative in Mumbai. Looking at what transpires and the humble lives they live and impact they create in so many people’s lives as well to come up with initiative to feed those in need is a point in reflection by itself! It was also point of reflection for me on food wastage and sharing!
One of his image was the World famous one by Kevin Carter and that brought out subjects like famine, depression and suicide – talking about Kevin Carter’s death.
Millions in the pocket would do nothing if there is no heart to share and care!
Being consciously grateful is the way of life! Be Kind, Love, Live and Let Live!
Food always brings Nostalgia, isn’t it?
Recently I have been noticing that lot of emotions are connected to food and intertwined with relationships! For example, people who cooked for you, people who served your cravings right and the people whom you always eat with… and the list goes on!
Even “Let’s meet for a coffee… or breakfast” is always associated with people. If I think, one doesn’t share a meal-time or a coffee-time unless that person significantly is a part of your life!
I always associate food with my emotions, happy, sad, homesick (Yes! you read that right… Homesick is a feeling for me!).
When I am happy, I would treat myself with a brownie or when I tell myself “Well, you deserve a brownie for all the hard work and the result you have achieved”, when I am down and homesick, I typically make very Coimbatorean home cooked meals and eat with the right combination – Brown Upma with Yoghurt/Banana; Rasam with Scrambled Eggs; Tamarind rice with home made potato chips and the list goes on!
There are certain recipes when I eat, I get reminded of my Mom’s kitchen and eating at home in India – Poori and Potato Masala; Idli and Chicken Gravy!
There are days that I land in Coimbatore and crave for something and my bestie would drive me to the odd but favourite places where we eat Grilled Chicken, a completely Vegan restraurant where we indulge in early morning Hot Pongal and Vadai, a Dessert Haunt for Rasagulla and not to forget our favourite street food vendor who sells North Indian Chats.
One of the best New Year Eve was spent driving around the city and having Idli and Dosai from Kaiyaenthi Bhavan and a mid night Coffee at Cafe Day!
Even in SG, there are only a specific set of people with whom I meet for Breakfast or had gone out for lunch with. Yuvan and me bond over food too, be it home-cooked or eating out his favourite Thai or the very Singaporean Satay and Chicken Rice!
I love taking my Mom out whenever I am back home, I cherish are the evening outs with my cousin A, my brother and Yuvan eating out or bonding over lunch/dinner at either one of the home’s.
So looking at it Food and my Relationships are so intertwined and completely emotional for me! Its meaningful!
Though I don’t give religion an importance, I do believe in the existence of Almighty and his unique ways of communication…
I, as a person not only trust my intuitions but also believe in the messages that reach me indirectly… Be it the ones I accidentally bump on the web or the conversations I tend to have with people from unexpected quarters, I just know certain messages are sent to me by HIM..
The conversations are the ones that really amaze me because there are definite messages sent subtly in situations that I really needed not few cents worth but a 100 dollar note instead to bring some sanity within me… Offcourse there are fair share of people who spread negativity but I have learned (still learning) to not be affected by them and not impulsively react to it too…
The experience I had a few days ago is one such but way out of the box experience that I literally cried after..
I was engulfed with thoughts about Yuvanz marks, (after his little chat over the phone that he realised and understood how he has lost some marks and how he shouldn’t have). I was thinking on the lines of what should I do to get those marks lost ‘cos of whatver reasons it may be, am I doing it right, should I plan even better and does he realise that I love him above all and other truck loads more of a very driven and anxious Mummy, when I called for a cab to pick Y, drop him off in a class and then proceed to run my errands…
The cabbie was a very calm composed guy who started making small chat, though my lips smiled I was super occupied and was not in a mood to make any comparision…He offered whether he could turn on some music and sing along… And then he said THIS, ‘I want you to feel the happiness when you go out of taxi…’ And the the conversation wandered and he said THIS, without me sharing my concerns nor showing any signs at all… ‘Now-a-days parents compare for no reason and stress themselves, they compare among the kids, even though the kid might have worked hard and scored better marks they say either why you lost the remaining marks or why you lost more than your earlier exam or why you lost more than the guy who scored the first mark… this is unnecessary as down the line the 10 or so marks lost doesn’t matter at all.. It’s how they progress from primary to secondary and to uni and then hold on to a job and in the process how they become a better person and human being is more important…Parents must feel the joy in the fullness and encourage them… In this process all you need to be watchful is the friends they make, the habits they pick and how to guide them…’
What a message just sent to me as if someone is talking to me on behalf? He also added, ‘Don’t Worry.. you are going to be alright so as your son…’ Also he did find out whether I do this picking and dropping often how I pace it and what is my rationale…
As we picked up Yuvan, the cabbie stuck up a quick conversation and then told him, ‘Do you know that you mom loves you soo much and she does little things to bond with you.. I know you love your mom too..’ Yuvan blushed…
The messenger not only answered my insecurities he also was the messenger to Yuvan to let him know I love him… What an experience it was..I just cant explain more:-) Its a feeling I will never be able to express…
He reassured me more after we dropped off Yuvan and finally when I alighted I had to accept and tell him , with a glaze in my eyes.. And all he spoke was just answering my thoughts that has been bugging me… I said, ‘Uncle, I am not sure whether you belive in messengers from God, I do… and you are my biggest messneger in the recent months.. I cant explain at this moment what I have been through in the last 30 mins…But I really feel thankful and I am your cab ride has given me happiness’
What less can I tell him? Is this what we call Serendipity as my friend J said?
After this episode, I am thinking a lot more clearer, calmer and it all seems to make some sense… I am much more less anxious and defintely reviewed the way I look at things.. This is one of my biggest mesages and lessons.. I am thankful to GOD who reminds me in my tougher times that he is there for me in many ways…and when I am unsure he reassures me like this… I am glad I am watched over with Love:-)
is what I call my time in kitchen mostly, ‘cos it really makes me feel good… that’s probably the only time my brain works ‘just’ on the task and nothing less nor more. I like cooking and I love trying new recipes… But I have to admit that I do have phases where I go completely uninspired or have no mood to cook too.
But if I am in a bad mood, or I think I want my own space, the first thing I do is cook up a storm in the kitchen… I also make efforts to wok Yuvan’z favourites in the kitchen with lots of camouflaging to include the necessary greens and what not! And I always keep my fingers for Yuvan’s thumbs up or comments… He he.. he is a real foodie, just like me…
Some soulful cooking in the last month or so, has been a therapy for me…
Click here to find out what’s been cooking in my kitchen in the last month or so…
could happen in different circumstances.. for example – when you are forced to live in an environment where majority of the population speak a language which you don’t or when you happen to have a friend’s circle who speak a different language as a majority, or in a typical Indian home setting, where you are forced to learn a new language in school for various reasons..
Yuvan, for not the above reasons, but since our choice school that we thought will be a right fit for him and as well liked in SG, the second language or the compulsory Mother Tongue had to be Hindi and not Tamil if not for the other two national languages at that point. We made a decision as we liked the school in particular and thought/convinced oursleves, ‘Oh.. let him learn Hindi, it will be useful for him too’
Though I was aware of the strength and vastness of the MT syllabus, I was not prepared to go through the stress of not able to help as much as I would like to, me being me.. But we coped and are coping with help…But whenever we had to cope under difficult circumstances, I had doubted myself about the choice we made, what he is going through and whether he will pick up the language as a skill or just be like me without the speaking skill of that new language as he didn’t seem to be interested to communicate with Eash in the language…
I have even been advised by many that if he doesnt speak socially its not worth it as well as whethere were we really sure its something that would help him etc…Well parenting advisees and questions all over… even from unexpected quarters…
But, as I always believe, God really shows me the way in his own ways of communications whenever I have felt under the weather or unsure in all matters big and small (Thats why I belive in my intutions more and that’s good and bad I say…) It was the second time in this week, as I was home, sick, I noticed him speak Hindi fluently over the phone. The first time was to his friend S, started off with casual one sentencer and then he shifted back to English. But the second time was when I really felt good… It happenned when he had to return a call to his friend and his granny picked the call (I knew she can only speak Hindi well) and he immediately changed to Hindi and made a good conversation for about 3 -4 mins, which was so heartening to me. Thankful and grateful to the LORD again for the assurances that keeps me going!
It was a definitely a reassurance that he has picked up the inportant skill and uses it when needed…It’s a parenting moment too as I woe to travel with Yuvan throughout… Love you Yuvan…
Sometimes moments like these give me the happinness and something to smile about especially when as my brain works overtime in search of sanity!
decision making acknowledged by the parents may be something every child wants probably.. Frankly, I never had that kind of a childhood. As parents, we are trying our very best to give that to Yuvan, but we also have to accept it drives us crazy at times!!
Its was quite a day with me feeling not so great the whole day and Yuvan came home with lots of school work to finish! It turned out to be a day where we just had to listen to his feelings and rationale! He told me today, ‘Yes I have the ability but I have no interest in carnatic vocal!, so interest should be first then ability!’ Bow! Bow!
So at the end of today, we finally listened to him and his thoughts and let him quit his vocal music lessons so he could pursue only what he is passionate about (outside academics) i.e floorball and cricket.
The eyeopener was earlier when he went for an audition he did tell the interviewer he hates singing though he was singing throughout the day, because in his mind is etched singing is carnatic music…
Today, after our collective agreement on his vocal music lessobs, he still kept singing lots of songs (‘one day my father told me…’) through the evening, making one thing very clear, ‘he loves singing, he has the potential but he is not made for carnatic music!’, but he still has the love and flair for singing! If we have not agreed for this quit now, may be he would have lost this joy of music in general.. Though my mind still says, ‘Its good to learn an art and music is soo good for the brain..’, I have accepted that we need to let Yuvan follow his heart!
And he was in a good mood, singing as he was doing his homework and I was relieved in a way too (I guess we have done something right)! I can sense he felt liberated!
So we did also somthing impulsive though impulsiveness is not always good but sometimes yes and it brings great happiness to the moment.. We decided to savour our favourite chicken rice and satay at a nearby hawker centre.. Then took a train ride to grab some mcflurry mud pie, on a school night…
I am thankful for today’s blessings! Looking forward to a happy tomorrow!
I have been plagued my mixed and some unexplainable thoughts these two days and have also had some guilt rides…
Yuvan may not know/realise the one hour or so grocery shopping with him today, where he entertained me with his funny and silly jokes and his stories about his badminton camp; the whole 10 mins of him engrossed in a cococola game while I sent him away to find his cereal, his little (recently increasing) ‘growing up’ pranks and the ever insistent carrying of grocery bags, has done a world of good to me after being disturbed by ‘donot know how to explain thoughts’ over the past two days! But… I know through these little acts God has reaasured me! What a feeling!! Finally, a sense of relief!!
Recently, I have started to inculcate in me the habit of looking back and being thankful for every little thing I HAVE! And I am starting to realise very slowly, steadily and more confidently… Today, I am thankful for this reassurance and these little acts of kindness showered on me which really and definitely has made a difference!