Monday, May 25, 2015

Shades of adult morality

Yesterday as we sat for our customary tea break (exclusive mom-daughter time that both of us hate missing out on) my girl briefed me about her day at school. And at one point refused to tell me how much her best friend scored in her test paper, because she promised her not to disclose the numbers to anyone. Nobody! 

“I’m your mom,” I tried.


“How can you hide anything at all from me?”

“I promised her, I’ll not tell anyone. Nobody.” She stood her ground.

She had told me last week that her best friend wept after giving one of her papers. So it was a casual query to know if the girl managed okay numbers. But my child was not only adamant in not sharing her marks, but, upon insisting, asked me what I would gain by knowing her friend’s numbers.

A slap to my consciousness that was. I pondered why I insisted. No gain. Just vain. I withdrew with an ‘I love you kiss!

Later I got a call from one of the members of a NPO I’m associated with – a partnership that has been proving to be an eye-opener off late. Being a non-profit set-up, each penny is accounted for. Rightly so. And each half-a penny is haggled for, too, with communication skills unpeeling startling euphemisms for my untrained mind. Is it required to cut corners with lies? Aren’t there people around who would help you if you say it as it is? Is it that difficult to be morally conscious when working in a group?

There’s no right and wrong...that's the irony of morality! 

Now, that gets me to the mute game of passing the baton that happens every single day in the name of keeping the wolf off the doors. Each one at the workplace is over-loaded [that they sigh eight hours a day] with tasks, but none with responsibility! Each one is ever-ready for the war, up on their feet at all times to buck the baton, lest it rests on them. If only they utilized that energy to concentrate in executing their duties, the place would turn heaven on earth.

In fact, my heavenly haven has been intruded by well-meaning immoral characters, too, at times. Friends who’ve proclaimed they had my best interests in mind and fell apart when I didn’t heed to their suggestions on projects I took up. And would later learn they had haggled for the same work. A couple of them who invaded my life, sang my credentials and made me feel special only to distance themselves when they eventually realised I’m not ‘well-connected’. And yet others who closely monitor my social media accounts and call up only to check whenever a ‘who’s who’ comments and then I’m their best buddy… until, of course… 

Morality is colourless, odourless, tasteless... taking the shades, shape and smell of the bearer!

None of them are wrong. And that’s the irony of morality. There’s no right and wrong. No definitions, either. It’s only perceptions at best. A perception that becomes invincibly adulterated in adult lives that it becomes a mystery. Shaded in hues varied to define smartness and efficiency as deem the needs, morality is abused as naivety, foolishness and ineptness. Adults who stay loyal to it are either considered too simple to understand ways of the world or are considered too dangerous to be acquainted with. 

Morality is a responsibility that defines a character!

Yet, the same morality sits so beautifully within children keeping them buoyant. Morality is a responsibility that defines a character! It is colourless, odourless and tasteless taking the shades, shape and smell of the bearer. 

If only I knew where enroute in one’s way to adulthood, at which exact point, morality morphs into an insensitive, shameless sword of Damocles that thwarts relationships, I would then lay my life at the spot and protect my child and safeguard the treasure in her from being usurped.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Life must go on!

Courtesy: Hitavada

Recently when I changed my Whatsapp profile picture, one of my friends messaged: ‘U luk like Indian housewife.’

My mom’s damn sure of my dad and am crazily proud of my lineage and yes I'm a wife at home, I screamed into the mobile, when she pinged ‘let ur hair down, y clip it, u luk old…’ So I let her chuckle and replaced the picture with one where I sported sindhoor on my forehead.

Marriage has this uncanny nature of inadvertent compulsiveness. So for years I wore only pleated pants and skirts because I was made to believe that not all body parts of mine were matured in feminine proportion to hold form-fitting jeans. Until supermodels awakened me when they walked the ramp in my living room and I wondered aloud where their legs ended and hips began. For long I never wore leggings, too, for similar reasons after being made conscious of my disproportionate scrawny legs. Until our family friend, with well-rounded derriere in coloured capris, enrolled for Pilates classes for lean legs.

However, I’m yet to hold a mirror to women. I was diagnosed as having a weak core by a self-obsessed friend, who never tired advising me the importance of gym, pranayams in the balcony and eating greens. “Salads are my meals… I hardly cook…,” she drawled at my dining table helping herself to butter chicken and dal makhani, saying, ‘this is why I loouve coming to your place…slurp’!

Just this morning a self-obsessed cousin took me by my hair. “Gosh this is so not done what the hell was she thinking and you just let her do this even the grocery sachets give better shades omy I need to take you to my stylist ohno this is so dirty red…” when she paused to breathe, I replied, “I'm happy with my new hairdo.” With a shrug, she said, “Whatever, I was on my way to Mrs Kapur. Our new villa interiors I want it Feng Shui proof…”

We continue on our ride thus, even when the tectonic plates choose to pull the plugs from under our feet at its whim. Millions in Nepal and India today couldn’t be bothered of calories on their plates or if their nails are painted. They would only be grateful to be alive, to be breathing, to be holding their kids, yearning to be able to sleep without nightmares.

Feigning ignorance of the fragility of our existence, we forget to let live and all the same profess ‘life must go on'. Whoever coined the quote should have been chronically self-obsessed a person. Time to Google its origin!