Summers with Cousins!

One thing from my childhood that I wish to preserve and pass on to my son is the experience of those long lazy summery holidays at that beautiful family street with all those heterogeneous cousins. [I call it a family street because it houses about 5 closely related families.]  And here is why.

cousins

I attribute a lot of what I am today to those lovely holidays with those 20 odd cousins of ours. It is funny to recollect that we tried to do everything together to the extent of picking same hobby classes so as to maximize the common play time. I remember us being in a hurry to finish off our daily chores so as to assemble and start off our play routine.

We played, played and we improved our tenacity. We played so much that the rats in our stomachs’ escaped somewhere and we never felt hungry, so much that our eye lids forgot blinking let alone sleeping. We had to be reminded, pleaded and threatened to fill our stomachs and to catch that essential sleep. I think those long hours of uninterrupted engagement did help me while I slogged at the B-school J

We played, played and we innovated. Yes, we played cards so much and we innovated many variants. We learned to work around the limitations as we played paint ball with curry leaf seeds. We adapted to the circumstances – if it rained, we had paper boat competitions, if it was sunny we played shadow games, if there was a power cut we played hide-and-seek.

We played, played and we learnt group dynamics. Quite a bit of heterogeneous group we had which included kids of both the genders, across age groups from different geographical regions. While pitching our favorite game we learned to negotiate. We experienced all about team players, doers, leaders, extraverts, introverts and of course free-riders and even better we learned tactics to deal with each. We even learned to play by our strengths (choosing the artist / actor wisely) when we played games like Pictionary / Dumb-charades.

We played, played and we became tolerant. We had our share of differences, fights – both physical and emotional. We tried to deal with them through all possible mechanisms. I remember one incident where we even appointed a couple of aunts to act as arbitrators to settle our disputes. The important point here being we amicably settled our disputes and moved forward. Till date this experience comes in handy while dealing with people professionally and personally (read with husband ;)).

Today all of us did so well in our lives that our success has carried us farther away and the only place we meet now-a-days is on Watsapp. Today as one more of our cousins gave birth to a lovely baby girl I am reminded of our childhood fantasies that we would stick together when we grow up and admit our kids in the same school. Ironically, thanks to our busy schedules, my son has hardly met a quarter of my cousin’s kids leave alone growing up together.

So if I had one wish to be granted for my son, I wish he had those wonderfully fulfilling summer holidays with cousins / friends instead of those gadgets / television sets. Thank you guys for being part of my life!

This blog post is written for the #BachpanWithFlinto blogger contest.

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Get help to get liked

Pleasures of giving

Pleasures of giving

My conservative upbringing made me a very hesitant being while seeking help. I always ruled out all the possible alternatives before having to ask someone something. But when it comes to helping others, I never waited to be asked. I would do what I could within my limited resources.

Recently I came across Ben Franklin effect which left me ponder over my behavior so far. We often believe that we help those we like and / or those of whom we assume will reciprocate. But, this phenomena says once you help someone you justify your own action (is this what is called pleasure of giving?) and start liking the receiver of the help. It even goes a little further and says, once you help someone, the probability of helping them again goes up further. John Jekher and David Landy’s research re-emphasizes the same.

Maa musings here
– Is this the real reason for the infinite and selfless mothers’ love?
– Is this why we see some philanthropists get addicted to philanthropy?
– Shouldn’t I actually be going around seeking help instead of trying to help?
– What do I teach my son, to help or to extract help?

Atleast one thing is clear, next time I need help I should seek it with no two thoughts!

May you be on both sides!

May you be on both sides!

My inspiration

Getting lost in our own self!

WordPress suggests an introductory post as a kick off blog post!

So here is mine.

As a child (ie as far into the childhood as i can recollect), I have always been a dreamer. I remember my infinite gazings out of the class room window and my friends / teachers finally resorting to violent methods like throwing a piece of chalk after unsuccessful attempts to distract me. Some other times I was caught so involved in a movie that my mouth was wide open and my sister would insert a dry fruit and I would still not chew it. Till date i am being taunted for it.

What kept me so deeply occupied is something I still muse about. It is probably the way a human brain is wired with connected thoughts.

I watch a tree out of the window, zoom on into a branch, then to a bird on it. I rubble my brain to recollect where I saw a similar bird. I am immediately deported to the last summer holidays and the grany’s garden with a similar bird along side. I am then reminded of being accompanied by my cousins in watching the same bird hatching its eggs. Then on to the in-numerous games we played, the fights, arguments we had over trivia. And onto what I could have done differently to avoid such a trifle. so on and so forth.

Often I had to be shook out of this chain of thoughts else I could go on staring at the true and continue my world tour. Today as I watch my 3 yr old son (lets call him lil D gazing out of the door and not responding to me, I am reminded of those good old musings.

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I sit back and wonder now, I could have built volumes had I drafted my thoughts! So here I am to muse aloud!