Friday, November 28, 2008

Back home

Sometimes Tejas flies into a rage over some issue. Very soon his eyes become small bowls filled to the brim and his face contorts. He raises his hands, makes a gesture of hitting, yells in a weak voice and we know that he's inches away from breaking down and wailing. He stands there, helpless, unable to articulate his anger against an adult world which doesn't understand his viewpoint and just wants to beat his rebellion into submission. Anyone would want to cuddle him, wipe away his tears, console him but that would only fuel his rage. So we stay silent, allow him to express himself, allow him to shout, to wail, to throw things in rage, let his feelings out....

Soon there are disagreeing voices around. Others in the family enter the scene and try to sort things out the way they're usually done. They try to admonish him. Or try to cajole him which pushes him further. And with the admonish, his helpless anger gives way to sorrow and he breaks down. We pick him up, soothe him and divert his attention. The others who'd entered the scene now go back to their worlds.

I remember moments in my childhood wherein I'd feel such anger that I wanted to rip the world apart. And then I'd feel terribly helpless, impotent, subdued. Now I see the same pattern repeating with my son. I hate to see him face the frustration of going through the same loop. I hate to see him encounter the same people whom I'd wanted to beat into a pulp, decades ago.

His helplessness is mine too. How can I explain to others around here that a two year old kid has a very subtle self-respect and it's not okay to trample on it? That it's not okay to put him down in any way, make him feel small, humiliated? How I wish I could always give him all the space he needs. And how I wish the others who matter also think the way I do.


  1. the muse just vanished!! my empathy

    spaces - thinking about it, redefining it thought it was all that was needed in life a year ago, but now space is when others are around me, esp my ppl, the ones I love and those who love me

    media - I have started hating them for streamlining my thoughts in the directions they want. it seems they help us think, I hate to think with another's help in matters that really matter, so I have forgotten to feel... I watch HT only for EQ, the best place to catch up on all the stories of the soaps I have missed

    Mumbai- still remember sitting and gazing at the Taj a couple of months back, walking down CST to get feel of its history for hours, my friend was sweet not to show any grimace.

    that's a cute photo of the father and the son, I have a thing for men with thick moush since childhood, a typical south indian trait, I guess :p....

    tc, Ash

  2. Now I have a grandaughter, I am more aware of the treasure of seeing a small person growing. I always assumed that my children understood everything I said, even as small babies. And if they didnt understand the words, then they could feel my emotions and thoughts. And I treated them with the respect that I would give an adult.

    They are lovely girls - and it is good to see the little one having space to be her own person at even a few months old.

    How fortunate our family has been.

  3. lovely to see a picture of the two of you.

    There was a picture that you had on your page ages ago of a woman and a young boy, looking through a car window. I met that photographer the other day, Steve McCurry. The man radiates a strange positivity!:-)

  4. Val....Nice to see you here. You must be enjoying your retirement days--just glanced through your kyoto diary, will read them a bit more leisurely.

    Yes, kids need their own space and fortunate are those who grow up in such an environment. Your children(and grandchild)seem to be a few of those lucky ones. Many a time the parents, with all their good intentions, stiffle this space and constantly override a kid's freedom and self-esteem. May be they themselves have been victims of such control, long ago, and it takes an effort to recognise this and stop handing it down to the small ones.

    Jen...that was an awesome photo and it's amazing to hear that you met that person. I have an artist friend who looks as if he's a misfit but he's just brilliant and an amazing person :-)

    Ash...Thankyou for the comments. How're you? No updates on your blog for quite some time ;-)