Sunday, July 31, 2016

Does It Matter?

A question that needs to be asked…by each Parent!

Mrs Dubey,
You are requested to come and see me immediately regarding your daughter’s progress.

Read the note of her eight year old Grishma’s tuition teacher. Her heart started beating fast at the thought of a meeting with her ward’s teacher. God knows what she will get to know about her child. She looked at her tiny girl playing in the balcony terrace with her dolls. She was making a doll house for them. She called her out. “Grishu, darling tell me how are your studies going on?” Grishma made a sombre face and nodded and went back to her doll house.

She sighed and looked around her house. There were some utensils lying in the sink. She needed to sort out her wardrobe, she had to send her girl’s uniform for ironing...she had dinner to cook! Her endless chores stared at her and her husband had yet to return from his out station trip. She got little help in her house chores except the top servant who was regularly irregular.

Irritated at her own state of affairs, she picked up her cell phone to distract herself for a while. There was regular round of selfie updates and usual posts on various happenings. She came upon her regular card reader’s updates and stopped. She meant to send her a message to do a live reading for her on various occasions and had somehow prevaricated…today she just felt a tad bit too low and on an impulse she decided she would send that message she meant to.

She came on that page and wrote a short heart felt write up on all that was pulling her down. She knew they  were not colossal problems yet they were pressing her down just the same. She could talk to her friends and she had but they would come up with answers that were not so satisfactory.

"Oh! Keep a cook." ( Her husband was okay with that but her daughter felt food should be cooked by mumma only!)

"Children are lazy" (She knew her little one was a diligent worker . She was anything but lazy)

"Keep a full time servant for day work and she will take care of your child too!"( Expensive option and untrustworthy)

So, she wrote to her hoping that she will have to wait for a long time and maybe will get the  positive dope of  usual spiritual stuff.

To her surprise her cell vibrated and there was a short message that there will be a blog and a live update on her query. There was assurance no names will be taken! Her mood lifted and she felt good at having a response this fast. It made her feel so…wanted. 

Nothing more was asked of her ,only that an update but no names will be taken and she had seen her previous updates she knew the advice will be to the point and yet anonymous!

Rest of the day was spent on daily chores and the regular getting through. She decided to meet the teacher the following day. She kept checking the cell phone as she knew that the blog could be up any time and she wanted to be the first one to read and see it.
Next day went in a rush of morning tiffins and stuff. She felt so out of control of everything. The tiffin she made had brought a wrinkle from her child. She had spilled milk on the kitchen table and  it needed heavy cleaning. By the time she finished all of that and frustrated and flustered she picked up her cell phone. To her delight, she saw the blog and live update. The voice was firm but clear and…humphhhhh…what an advice she had dished out!

Take it easy…everything need not be in your control all the time…Next time ask
How much does this matter? Can this be really as monumental as it seems? In the long run of life how essential is this? Can I have an alternative to this?

She was promising that things will change once you begin asking these gentle questions to yourself whenever you are stressed.

She felt happy that someone had taken the time to dwell on her situation and do a live update and even blog on it. She read it dutifully, sent in her thank you message and decided to let it pass. She will keep this knowledge to herself. No one needs to know her little experiment with Card reading. 

She looked at the Card that showed a Dolphin jumping smoothly into the waters…for her to be able to glide like that it must require some amount of trust on the natural forces to take their own course. 

As humans however we were not Dolphins and we could not dive in and out of water and live life. Well, we had to…do things…like go and have that uncomfortable meet with the tuition teacher and hear what she has to say.

She collected her Grishma and decided to go meet the teacher when she was on her way home. She  can leave her to the class thereafter and get on with life. She cannot take it easy as suggested , but the words kept going around  her mind.

She was ushered in the cabin of the class teacher where the petite woman came in with an air of importance, I have so many important things to do!

"Good afternoon Mrs. Dubey I am glad you came."

"Yes ma’am tell me how is Grishma doing?"

"Oh she is OK…but in Maths she keeps making silly mistakes which I think are so expensive!” She continued putting papers in front of her of all the class tests she had taken.

“History- she lost one mark in Fill in the blanks and Geography, she could have done better in Diagrams….but what worries me…" she chewed on her lip.

Mrs. Dubey waited with a sense of foreboding at the verdict about to come in.
“She just cannot memorize the last paragraph of the English poem. I am so sure she will get 48/50 as this poem is going to come for two marks…”

Just then her cell rang and she excused herself …leaving Mrs.Dubey with her Child’s predicament.

And the words “Take it easy…ask how important this is in the long run?”

And she stopped…for that moment to do just that…typically she would have apologised and called out Grishma and asked her to do better, work harder…would have promised to the teacher to look into the matter seriously…would have fired herself for not paying attention!

But today in that moment she decided to ask…How important it is if the child did not really mug up the two paragraphs? What if she got one mark less in Math…She looked closely at the papers and almost admired the neat work and lovely handwriting.

Maybe the teacher from her standpoint had to ensure full marks and pull up students to do better. She was a mother…Does she need to buy that philosophy?

Her teacher was back from probably another round of feedback to some other parent over the phone. She looked at Mrs. Dubey anticipating defensive outrage or assurance.
Mrs Dubey decided to give None! She simply asked “Can I take Grishma with me early, we have to go out.” The teacher looked a little taken aback. But she nodded and called for Grishma. The girl looked sheepish, tired and a little scared.

God!!! What impact this meeting was having on this little soul? She was shrinking expecting a scolding or lecture from both the ladies. She wanted to hug her girl and tell her the infamous Philosophy the Cards had given her “Take It Easy My Child” As an adult she had lost this ability to step back and assess her situation in a different light. She had become a robot in just giving automatic and expected reactions to various situations , without really giving it a thought to how it is shaping us …how it is making us go in a one way zone to stress!

She had to admit to herself that she would automatically pass this same responses to her girl as she grows up. Were the two marks so important that her daughter should cringe and think that she is unimportant?

She decided she will change her outlook and first she had to relax her angel. She came home and instead of asking her to go get her homework sheets she suggested that they sit at the terrace on the swing with a milkshake. Grishma looked surprised and relaxed a bit. All the way she was expecting reprimands.

"Grishu your teacher said you are not able to learn a poem para..."

"Yes mom I am  trying…came the earnest rejoinder…"

“How would you feel if you get 48/50 instead of 50/50 ?”

Grishma shrunk but something in her mom’s relaxed posture or wide Grin made her bewildered…she kept silent…

“ What will happpeeennn…Volcano will erupt?...oh Grishuuuu…its ok darling…chill sweetheart…I know you think I will shout but…let us just say…it is ok…if you like…lose few marks…but I do not want you to lose this charming smile and furrow your brow…we will work but we will take it easy…hmmm???”

We will take it easy mom…yes…I love you…

Grishma launched herself into her mom’s lap and kissed her on the cheeks...milkshake of rose reeking…and shaking the Swing…

That evening they talked about so many things and studied a bit …Grishma seemed so happy at the change…she slept with a smile and a promise she will try harder…too which she said…

No sweetiepie…Take it easy…

Before sleeping ,she send another smiley round of thank you to this unknown person who had added quality and a formula to no stress…

No long winding philosophies …a simple perspective!

Cards had helped her look at life a bit differently and that was a positive dope…

Tomorrow will be another day with the challenges more or less the same…but she will say  “Take it easy…how monumental is it? Is there a different way?

There always is!!!

                                                              -by Sonnal Pardiwala

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