Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Thank You and an Appeal.

As mentioned in About Us note, we are delighted to have many readers. They are not only reading the issues, but also providing great comments. We are extremely thankful for them. Without your readership, we can not proceed further.We sincerely Thank You for this wonderful support.

We do have tremendous amount of stories to publish and we also have few readers sharing the stories. As you support us by reading the stories, we also commend your participation by sharing the stories. We want to have a wider participation of stories and issues from all over the world.

Thank You once again and hoping to gain more GOOD KARMA points.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Story 10 : What if you have an in-law who would not understand you ?

Humanity is to understand others and help in the right time. What i learned all the while is that the Humanity can only be Hoped and never can be Demanded. I am married for past 7 years and settled in California, USA. I have a daughter and son and i am a house wife by choice. I do not have any qualms about my husband but my mother-in-law makes my life pathetic. We have our daughter and son in a gap of 1 year and it is very very difficult to bring them up as they are half time with cold, fever and both needs the attention at the same time. My husband is a career oriented person and gave me the responsibility to raise kids. Well, i never have any issues at it.

In the past my mother-in-law had come here 3 times and stayed with us for 4 months in each visit. She has undergone the bypass surgery 10 years back and i understand that i have a responsibility to take care of my in-law. The first time when she came to USA to stay with us, i was very enthusiastically doing everything for her. I used to wake up in the morning 5.00am to do breakfast and i used to cook lunch too by 7.00am. My in-law likes to have everything ready as soon as she comes to the kitchen. She is not a kind of person who would help me in cooking too. She likes being taken care a LOT and PAMPERED to the greatest extent. I did everything she wanted during the first visit. I never complained and i always had thought that it is my basic responsibility. She somehow did not like me talking to my parents and brother and whenever i am on phone she used to call me for something or the other. For this too, i never complained as it is only few months she would stay. 

When I had my first daughter, i had to undergo C-Section and i was very positive that my in-law (she was here that time) would understand and help me a lot. But the things became painful this time. She expected me to take care of her in the same way i used to before. As i used to feed the baby all through the night, i used to sleep till 7.00am in the morning and that was not welcomed. My in-law says, "You don't need that rest. I had 4 kids and i never slept till 7.00am". The initial 2 weeks was kind of hell for me as i could not even walk properly due to stitches but she expects everything from me. She even used to tell my husband that, "I don't know whats happening to this age's women. They are turning too delicate. I never took as much rest as your wife". Certainly, my husband is in mid-way between me and his mother. 

# You don't cook many varieties. Your cooking is too bland. You don't cook nice. 
# My son works so hard. You are just at home and get tired by the end of day. I don't know whats happening to you.
# Cant you make at least 3 varieties for lunch. Is this what your mom taught you ?
# Now a days you are not taking care of me. Just because, i am not saying anything does not mean that you take advantage of me.
# I have taught all (english) letters to my kids by 2 years. You did not teach any thing. What are you doing the whole day.
# Can you come and massage me for 30 minutes (when i myself is having a high fever)
# You should do all things on auspicious days only. Don't you know about this ? But the reality is all the major decisions are taken by my husband and he does not listen to me. So, she rebukes me for my husbands action. (She is not ready to listen to me when i say, i did not take a decision or i was never asked.)
# She sees me that i am struggling with both the kids. For me the challenge is to take care of both the kids at the same time and giving attention. Both are mostly sick due to ear infections, fever, cold or influenzas. But for my in-law, this looks as though i am taking lot of rest and leisure. 
# In-law goes cranky at me that i am not feeding my kids properly and thats the reason kids are lean and sick. Come on, i am a mother and i am the one who is awake all the night when they are sick and am the one who cries. For sure, as a grand mother she will have interest. But excuse me, only after me.
# After going to India, she calls my husband and tells him that i don't care about her and i am not feeding my kids properly. She suggest him that i should do more variety food for my kids so that will eat. 

About are ONLY some of the things my in-law talks about. I would request, please and appeal to all in-laws not to do this to their daughter in-law. A in-law is also a daughter and daughter-in-law, please understand that. In the matter of past 3 years after kids, we never took even a single vacation. The idea is i am not trying to say that i did a great thing, but with this kind of attitude from in-law, you would loose interest in serving them and caring them. Now, i have a "careless" feeling and now i don't care whatever she thinks and whatever she does. I just see her as a old women whom i am serving with humanity. I do not have any love and i don't care what she does. I have taken this for 5 years and this is enough for me. 

Do you think i could have done better ? 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Story 9 : Old Age and Kids Abroad.

This article is contributed by one of the reader. This makes everyone to rethink what we do. 
If you are a regular reader of "The Hindu" newspaper, you would not have missed an interesting article titled "HOME ALONE" on the Open Page Section, on the 14th March 2010,and the series of "Letters to the Editor" published ,on the article, in the newspaper, from the 15th March 2010,till date.
The article narrates in graphic detail, how over-ambitious (avaricious?) parents (particularly parents not enjoying good health) left alone in India, with their son(s) /daughter(s) abroad are going through inexpressible agony and misery, with no one to look after them in their twilight years, when they need all the affection, attention and physical care.
The way some of the parents have expressed self-pity, for not having brought up their children, with proper values, makes a sad reading. In most cases, the blame lies with the parents, who want their children to play the :"sedulous ape" (as Jonathan Swift calls it),imitating their neighbours, friends and relatives, regardless of the real interests of the children. After having pushed them into the concrete, urban jungle and rat race  of the western world, for the lure of money, today, the aged parents are spending agonising days in India, with no one to really care for them.
Skype and Google talk no doubt keeps them in touch with their children abroad, but neither Skype can arrange an ambulance and rush them to an hospital when there is a medical emergency, nor Google talk can physically help them and take them to places of worship, music concert, religious discourse etc. Skype can neither prepare and serve the dishes the old parents want to taste nor read out to them daily newspapers, magazines and novels which they cannot read, due to poor eyesight.
The number of well-to-do senior citizens, who are getting into Old Age Homes in Chennai, has shown an alarming increase  in the last two years and the stories I heard from some of  them, when I interacted with them, as part of the " Reaching Out" service of some of the NGOs in Chennai, were tear-inviting. Some of them wept uncontrollably, narrating how ungrateful their children have become and how mercenary their entire attitude has changed, after they went abroad.
It is pathetic to see senior citizens, well-educated and who have retired from senior positions in Govt., or private company service, longing for someone to come and talk to them. Loneliness in old age is very painful and when I go and spend some time with them, just listening to their past life, my heart weeps for them. Many of these senior citizens are unable or unwilling to go and live with their children abroad due to cultural shock, climate changes, boredom of being locked up in the house all day, lack of company, discernible neglect by the children, their spouses and grand children, their way of life and other reasons. They have, therefore, no other alternative, but to spend their last few years, in solitude and soliloquy.
What a tragedy for the parents, who have given their best to their children!  One of the senior citizens (an old lady of 72 years) narrated to me, with tears in his eyes, how their only son on USA could not even come to India to perform the last rites of his father (the husband of the lady who narrated the incident),because his employers refused to grant him leave and told him that if he goes to India, he need not come back to his job. The lady said that she told his son not to come and the last rites were performed by the younger brother of her husband. That painful memory  is still haunting her. Her moist eyes keep haunting me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Temple Etiquette : Is it too hard to know ?

Recently we were in Livermore Temple after a 5 months duration. The serenity and sanctity of a temple attracts us more than anything else. We go to temple  spend an hour or so in meditation or prayer and we feel relaxed and calm. Now, this has became a debatable topic and i ask my self, "Do temples these days give you that calmness and tranquility ?". Its not the issue in only US or in India... but is a common problem everywhere.

In this post, i would like to request everyone to pay attention to the basic issues (related to common sense) when you visit a temple. 

Clothing/Dress sense
In the year 2010 we may not expect people to wear the traditional Saree (for Women) and Dhoti (for Men). But it is a great idea to cover most of the body. Women wearing modern cloths (skimpy) which reveal a lot seems to be a fashion but i quite not understand why to a TEMPLE ?. There are some, who argue that you came to Temple and you should have concentration to pray but the issue is we do not want to have distractions either. We want to preserve the Temple atmosphere by helping others. At least none of us have become a Saint, Saadhu or Rushi yet to over come some distractions. Unfortunately some people wear cloths which makes you think that they are on a run from a local pub. 

Of course this also applies to Men who wear night dress or sports wear to Temple thinking that it is fashion. Some even want to advocate their modern thinking by saying that "You should have Bhakthi in your mind and cloths does not matter". We look at them and say "poor souls".

Everyone is busy in life. Everyone has some or the other work in life. This does not mean that you keep on talking over the phone even when you are in a Temple. Yes, one can understand the "real urgent" issues but it seems to be incomprehensible to see people talk pleasurably over the phone as though Temple is the "public telephone booth". 

Be considerate that other visitors/devotees are getting disturbed by your long conversations.

Smart Phones
The proliferation of the smart phones made it possible for people to do real time updates and see other updates too. There seems to be an ever increasing "seductive act" of smart phone that people spend more time on the smart phone than with their Wife or Kids. Games, Social Networking, Office Mail, Personal Mail and News seems to be irresistible. People don't mind if something is relevant for them or not but they just want to follow it if "other" people do it.

The act of working on a smart phone is absolutely addictive but not in a Temple. Not when you are standing in the Line/Queue to visit god and then suddenly you hear a Facebook update. While there is no real law or rule that is written that avoid such kinds of acts but one should "at least consider the fact that they are in Temple". 

Social Networking
Temples have always been the place for people to meet and start an acquaintance. But the modern day temples are not really so huge that people can talk out side and come into the temples. People start talking or networking when they are walking around the temple (pradikshina) or they are in a Queue. You see people talking about the Java NullPointerException in their last deployment and how they got screamed by the Boss.

Yes, social networking is very important but please be considerate about your Temple surroundings.

Do you have any other concerns and do you feel this way too ?