My take on life,Education,Marriages,Parenthood, Language Teaching,Soft Skills Training,Movies,Travel and Defense Studies.
Columist in Meghalaya Gaurdian- an Indian daily, contributor in Fauji India monthly magazine and www.budingstar.com
Last week we saw a lot
of violent action leading to deaths of warriors and terrorists, both in the
line of their duties. Feelings of Grief could be experienced by all. In
addition, we also saw people asking for revenge. “KHOON KA BADLA KHOON SE
LENGE!”(Revenge of the deaths of the fallen heroes will be taken) Sentiments of
similar kind were echoed by people of different cities on television channels.
At the same time, some
channels were also showing the scene at the Suicide Bomber’s house. His parents
and relatives clearly denied of being in touch from past few years. But, the
grief was visible here too. They could not shed a tear with pride of having
lost their son to a valid cause. Alas! They would not have dreamt of such a
death for their son, for sure.
For many mothers in
J&K, life is not normal as they struggle between being Half-widows and Full
(time) mothers to their sons and daughters. If luckily, fathers or other male
relatives are alive, it is still difficult to not take sides if you want to
earn your daily livelihood. So the only option left is to send your children
away from home or education and then jobs. But this is not the option for all.
Due to their nature of work, emotional ties to birthplace or mere ignorance;
many Kashmiris are not so keen to migrate to any other state. So, how do you
engage your school-going children when the schools are closed down for long duration due to some or the other reasons? You let them go around surfing the
internet; lashing out their anger on Face book/Tweeter or YouTube and earning
Or you have much better
options such as to make them:
What is that?
You let them move around
in “school uniforms” and resort to (to start with) stone-pelting which gets
them paid a decent amount on a daily basis and there is full guarantee of them returning
home alive. Because the Indian Armed
Forces still respect and restore the Human Rights even in areas of conflict.
What is much better than this, send them to get brainwashed in Fundamentalist
camps and become SUICIDE BOMBERS. The priests claim this way one would attain
complete peace for the whole community. What is more fruitful than being of use
to your community and GOD!
SONS WITH GUNS
Mothers, Fathers, Responsible
Parents! Please listen and help to stop this intentional murders and bloodshed
through our own children. History has a lot of examples where the more
developed and affluent countries have used slaves or hired soldiers to win
their battles in harsh terrains. Outsourcing of armies has been a common
feature of wars in the past. With changing times, the variety of soldiers
outsourced is also changing. There are recent evidences of using CHILDREN as
young as 14 years old as SOLDIERS in areas of conflict. The advantages of
doing so is definitely because their productivity is for a longer duration,
there are less economic burdens in training and rearing up children as soldiers
for short durations. There are less liabilities for the rulers if their
soldiers are not their own and as young as 14 years old.
AFTERMATH OF CONFLICTS
But imagine, what happens to these children IF
they survive the conflict? Imagine how they live with a completely stolen childhood!
Definitely there will be no will to live in society; neither will the society
accept them. And with no social skills will it be easy to learn normal academic
skills or get a normal job to do rest of your life? They will definitely be
addicted to heavy sedatives, stimulants or drugs. And even if you try to
rehabilitate them, the scars of the bloodshed/violence they have experienced
will lead to PTSD or Depression or other mental diseases.
Think and tell me: Is it
really worth having such SONS WITH GUNS, parents? I am reminded of an old poem
describing a mother’s strong resolve to not cry over her beloved’s death in war
only because of her love for her young son. But I can’t imagine what would be
her feelings on finding out the same young one to grow up to be blown up as a
SUICIDE BOMBER for a wasted cause!
I ask all parents of
such SONS WITH GUNS: Was this sacrifice worth it?
they brought her warrior dead:
nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
'She must weep or she will die.'…………….
Yet she neither spoke nor moved…………..
she neither moved nor wept.
a nurse of ninety years,
his child upon her knee—
Like summer tempest came her tears—
Come February and we see
a lot of Award functions taking place in Hollywood. And Award functions mean
introducing new style quotients and attitudes displayed through strong
statements in recipients' speeches. One such speech caught my attention from a
recent Award ceremony. The rebellious Pop Star PINK told a short conversation
she had with her six year old daughter while she was driving her to school. The
young lady asked her mother "Am I beautiful?" Obviously, early in the
morning, the celebrity mother didn't know where this was coming from. So she
asked her what made her ask this question and the young one replied
"Everyone says I look like a boy with long hair. I ain't pretty!" Pink did not say anything then, but after school, she gave the girl a Power
point Presentation about many androgynous artistes and their works, such as
Freddy Mercury, Elton John, George Michael, and Lady Gaga and so on. And in the
end she also told about herself. She said that often people criticized her
too about her not –so –feminine looks and her short boyish hair and clothes.
But that did not make her change her appearance, style or attitude. She still continued
to be herself and create wonderful music that everyone loved. So what was
important was to feel beautiful from inside. One need not change oneself to
suit others but one needs to continue being what one believes in. Pink could explain all
this to her daughter as she could talk and raise her doubts. But many times, this
imitation to please others starts at an early age in children. Children observe
their parents and their reactions very closely. Once they understand what kind
of behaviour is rewarded with positive reinforcements, they try to repeat the
same. Similar is the case with their attitudes. Children’s attitude depends on
the parents’ responses in their early lives.
Do physical appearances
matter in case of parents’ love and affection towards their children? Or is parental
love not affected by the child’s physical features such as complexion, skin
types and so on? All of us have heard about the famous story of Akbar and
Birbal where the Emperor asks Birbal the question as to who is the most
beautiful child in the world and Birbal proves through their tour to the slums
of the Agra city that this is the most difficult question to answer as every
mother feels her child to be the most beautiful child in the world.
But, honestly speaking, there
are always exceptions to all universal rules. So in this case too, many times, parents
do feel that their own child is not beautiful, good-looking or presentable. And
it is then that the thought is reflected through one’s actions subconsciously
in daily encounters with the children. Some parents can’t stop their angst and
even compare and appreciate other children in front of their own children for
their physical looks/features. Children being great observers pick these hints
through their parents’ actions and start feeling low about their physical appearances.
At times there can be a rebellious reaction too from the children. Children may
want to prove their worth and seek attention of the parents through all kinds
of destructive/loud/violent acts.
So, does that mean we as parents
keep pampering our children over their looks? Do we keep telling them again and
again that they are beautiful? At the cost of making them feel superior to
others? No. The first thing that we need to understand although there are
certain common milestones of development in children every child is UNIQUE. No two children can be similar in all
respects; while one may be born with immaculate physical features, for the other
child you may have to take some efforts to make him/her look good. But in both
the cases, it is important that you respect their individuality and their
differences. Never compare them and try to make them similar because they are
not Robot like machines. Their minds are programmed for thinking and learning differently.
Similarly their features are made to look different.
Children will feel comfortable
about their physical appearances if you make them feel so. You need to cuddle
them, hug them, love them and especially listen to them peacefully whenever you
can. Comfortable physical spaces make it easier for children to accept their
personalities. And loving physical
actions such as hugging, kissing, patting, handshakes make children feel secure,
comforted and loved. You need to think from the perspective of a 3 year old or
a 5 year old child for whom YOU are the world. S/he sees your image in every
other human being in the world.
So, if you want them to
become strong personalities when they grow up, you need to start with making
them respect their body and say: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and nothing more.
Crying and Babies go hand-in –hand.
In fact, the very sign of life in a new born baby is supposed to the loud cry.
As babies grow into infants, crying starts to signify their needs such as
hunger, thirst, discomfort or so on. So if they need another feed or they are
wet and need a nappy/diaper change; they will cry to seek their mother’s
attention. Sometimes, when they are left to sleep alone for a long time in the
crib and do not feel the warmth of their mother’s body they start crying. As
toddlers when they grow up and experience physical pain when they fall down or
get hurt they start crying.
Mothers or parents in general apply
two kinds of approaches to handle crying in children: the primitive cry-it out approach or the crying-in-arms approach. While the
cry-it-out approach has existed predominantly in Western countries, it refers
to letting the baby cry-it-out loud for a long time before it settles down. The
crying-in –arms approach is considered to be more recent and similar to the
attachment approach followed by modern parents. Let’s take a look at both the
approaches one by one and the advantages they have.
The term "cry it
out" refers to the practice of leaving babies in their cribs
without picking them up, and letting them cry themselves to sleep. Babies
who are left to cry it out alone may fail to develop a basic sense of trust or
an understanding of themselves as a causal agent, possibly leading to feelings
of powerlessness, low self-esteem, and chronic anxiety later in life. The
cry-it-out approach undermines the very basis of secure attachment, which
requires prompt responsiveness and sensitive attunement during the first year
Parents living in big houses moved cradles and cribs
to a separate room. With the infants sleeping alone in another room, it was
easy for parents to follow the cry-it-out advice, even if it went against their
gut instincts. The decline in breastfeeding further contributed to the
separation of mothers and infants. With bottle-feeding from birth on, the last
remaining link to the mother's body was removed, resulting in the detached
methods of child-rearing that were predominant in Western civilizations during
the 20th century.
On the other hand, in the
crying-in-arms approach, the first thing parents do when the baby cries is they
look for all possible needs. When all immediate needs are filled and the baby
is still crying, even though the mother is holding her lovingly in her arms, a
helpful response is to continue holding her while trying to relax. They
understand that this is not the time to continue searching frantically for one
remedy after another to stop the crying. Instead, take your baby to a
peaceful room and hold her calmly in a position that is comfortable for both of
you. Look into her eyes and talk to her gently and reassuringly while
expressing the deep love you have for her. Try to surrender to her need to
release stress through crying, and listen respectfully to what she is
Your baby will probably welcome the
opportunity to have a good cry.The
success of the crying-in-arms approach lies in correctly interpreting your
baby's cues. Obviously, you don't want to overlook legitimate needs by
assuming that your baby "just needs to have a good cry." For some
crying there is no immediate remedy and it is not your fault. Once you begin to
view crying in this way, you will learn to read your babies' cues more
accurately, to recognize the need for stress-release crying, and to relax when
it occurs. This approach can even help prevent child abuse as it always creates
a feeling of trust and confidence in each other. It boosts the self-esteem of
the child and reduces the feeling of insecurity.
It is important to emphasize that the
crying-in-arms approach is totally different from the cry-it-out approach:
Your baby is with you at all times, so s/he will not experience any stress from
separation. If you feel that you cannot respond compassionately to your baby's
crying, try to find someone else to hold him rather than leaving him to cry
alone. Your baby will not cry indefinitely. After the crying has run its
course, your baby will probably fall asleep peacefully, or become calm and
need not to feel guilty about how others will judge them if they have some
crying babies. Because, some crying can mean purely medical symptoms such as
crying caused due to allergies or food sensitivities. It is definitely worth
checking into all possible causes for crying and searching for remedies.
However, if there is no medical reason for the crying, it is likely that your
baby simply needs to release stress.
Somebody has rightly said that the
Child is the Father of Man. Sometimes, it is our own children who unintentionally
help us to overcome our childhood fears and anxieties. It is in their eyes that
we can see the love and admiration for our real self. The world of show business has
again sparked some controversies because of two such children. Wade Robson and
James Safechuck are two such men/fathers who are now in their 30s and alleged that Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were seven and ten years old,
Although in earlier suits, these very men as young boys had
testified that the KING of POP was a great friend of theirs and did not
sexually abuse them. So what happened suddenly that made them go against their
own old statements? Probably, it was the very look in the eyes of their own
sons that made them realize that they needed to connect with other parents and
children who would have gone through similar horrifying experiences and would
have felt“ISOLATED” and shut off from
What is all this about?
describe, in abundantly articulate and deeply emotional detail, how the abuse
took place within the context of what appeared (to them) to be a relationship
of hypnotic warmth and trust.” – as quoted by Variety magazine
Director Dan Reed made a four –hour long documentary titled Leaving
Neverland depicting the interviews he took with two boys namely, Wade
Robson and James Safechuck who alleged that they were sexually abused by the
King of Pop when they were seven and ten years old; with their parents
knowledge. One cannot actually say it that plainly because the parents as well as the children were actually in awe of the mystical warmth and affection showered on them by the celebrity. It must have taken them many years and a lot of courage revisiting Horrible acts of faith from their childhood and distinguish between acts of good faith and acts of perversion.The documentary will be aired this spring on HBO and Channel Four in Great Britain. It has been shown in some Film Festivals too.
As the Director
of the documentary clearly states “If there's anything we've learned during this time
in our history, it's that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors' voices
need to be listened to. It took great courage for these two men to tell their
stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who
watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their
families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held
Are these TRUE LIES?
Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, faced multiple
allegations of child sex abuse during his lifetime. Robson testified during the singer’s famous 2005 trials that
Jackson never molested him but claims in Leaving Neverland he
only did so because he was scared of what would happen if he told the truth. Safechuck
gave similar evidence to police investigators when he was a boy but did not
testify at the 2005 trial. In addition to his
2005 acquittal the performer paid a US$15 million court settlement in 1994 over
allegations involving another child. Still the man was
and still is worshiped as the King of Pop.
What might have made the children realize the truth of their
relationship with the KING could have been the differential treatment they got
after the birth of his own children. It must have taken them a lot of effort to
realize that they were mere sex toys for the KING. Michael used their hobbies
and interests to lure them into doing all kinds of sexual activities with him.
It all started with hugging, fondling and went on to watching porn videos
together. These so-called young friends /lovers were then subjected to mutual
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
As is common in most sexual abuse cases, Michael kept the
secrecy with the same old pretext that if anyone of them shared their secret
acts of pleasure with the outsiders, then they would both get hurt. He would
have secret hiding places inside his house and commonly used rooms where he
would go on to sexually play with his “young lovers’ while there were other
parents/guests around. One allegation is that Jackson bought boys jewellery “in
exchange for sex acts”. One of the boys claims in the documentary that because
Jackson knew his love for diamonds he gifted him a golden ring with diamonds
studded in it as part of a mock marriage ceremony that they had on the Ranch. A
true Satan playing on the temptations of young ones.
What fans of Michael Jackson and his family members have failed
to understand about this documentary is that it is not at all about Michael or
tarnishing his image or doing some gold-digging from the family. Instead it is
an attempt to BREAK THE SILENCE surrounding a child sexual abuse case. The
perpetrator is dead. The victims have grown up and have moved on in their
lives. It is their will to raise awareness about the perversion and: Let the
survivors of sexual abuse know that they are not isolated.