Monthly Archives: December 2016

Feminism – The Facts and the Misconceptions

// This article has been published by the reputed media/news company YKA (Youth Ki Awaaz). It is available at below link:

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2016/12/feminism-the-facts-and-the-misconceptions/

This article has been published by Women’s Web and is available at below link:

https://www.womensweb.in/2017/01/what-feminism-is-not/

This article has been published by Bharat Moms and is available at below link:

http://bharatmoms.com/blog/feminism-the-facts-and-the-misconceptions/

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed with my sleeping baby on my lap, I read a news article about an eminent cricketer whose family got his newly-wed bride’s name changed post marriage. I glanced at the comments section of the post curious to know how the masses had reacted to this news item. Expectedly, while some people expressed their disapproval of such an act enforcing a change of identity on the woman, others had no qualms about it as they perceived it to be her choice. I would refrain from getting into my take on this particular issue as the intent of writing this article is something else. In the same comments section, someone had posted a joke – “Feminists be like why Nelson Mandela and not Neldaughter Womandela?” This was supposed to be funny because there were more than 500 likes on this comment and possibly a few years back I would have had a good laugh reading it too.  No more! Far from making me laugh, the “joke” actually made me feel disappointed, piqued and helpless, all at the same time. Such jokes send across the message that feminists fuss over non-issues and fight for trivial matters.  This was not the first time I had come across such a bizarre comment about feminists and feminism. It is so common to see memes, sneering comments and ridiculing jokes all over social media which condone feminists or which mock feminism. This happens because a significant percentage of people have absolutely no idea about the feminist movement and what feminism really stands for. “Oh now the feminists will come and start their sermon”, “Oh the feminazis are hypocrites” , “If someone touches any lady, it is rape but if a lady sleeps with many men it is modern feminism. Haha” – these are the exact comments on any post that is remotely related to a woman issue and if you have come across them too, you probably already know that it’s actually much worse. It’s heart-breaking to see the constant use of “FemiNazi” in a derogatory manner by people to take a jibe at feminists. It is so frustrating at times that I wonder why it is that hard for people to understand the simple concept of equal rights! But then, reality is that it isn’t really straightforward because our minds are steeped in patriarchy and most of us have internalized sexism to an extent that we cannot see the obvious many a time. It is something that has trickled down from many generations ago and therefore, we cannot expect it to change so soon.

It’s a Yes to Mess Baby!

//This article was first published by mycity4kids at below link and is sponsored by Dettol

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/its-a-yes-to-mess-baby

The thing that I love the most about motherhood is that I get to relive my childhood with my daughter. The heart-melting innocence, the naughty yet chaste charm, the curiosity to explore the world around and the crazy, funny pranks – I thoroughly enjoy it all. My baby gives me a glimpse of what my childhood could have been like and very often I find myself thinking – “Maybe I did that too!”. Every moment we spend together is special and ties a knot more into this beautiful bond we share. Now that I am a mom, my mother takes pleasure in narrating interesting incidents and hilarious anecdotes from my childhood. Her stories and my memories tell me that I was given complete freedom to learn, discover and savour every bit of the growing years. I realize how important it is to have uninhibited fun to make the most of these golden moments. But, then it is also vital to be careful about the safety of children so that they can be unshackled and undaunted. The motherhood instinct in us invariably wants to protect our child from any kind of infections and injuries. But, for that we don’t need to stop letting kids be. As a mother, I always do my own research so that I can make informed choices and take care of my child’s well-being and immunity whilst giving her a carefree and uncurbed upbringing.

Since birth, my baby loves being outdoors. One of the few things she learnt to say when she started talking was “Baahar le ja” which means “Take me out”. I always look forward to my time outside with her, be it just at the park in our society or a long trip away from home. That is the time when I unwind too and we create beautiful reminiscences. I follow some simple hacks which help us be outdoor ready and I am sharing it hoping that this helps other parents too.

Vitamin ‘M’ – Nutrition of the mind and soul

// This article was chosen among the special mentions for the month of December 2016 by mycity4kids and is available at below link:

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/vitamin-m-nutrition-of-the-mind-and-soul

This article was published by Youth Ki Awaaz on the occasion of World Health Day and is available at below link:

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/04/role-of-parenting-in-raising-mentally-healthy-individuals/

This article has been published by Women’s Web and is available at below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2016/12/raising-a-happy-kid-tips-for-parents/

Converse with any parent or read posts on parenting forums, and you will find that all parents have a unanimous goal – “to raise a happy and healthy child”! But, I have often reflected on this to comprehend what we really imply when we use the term “happy child”. Through discussions with fellow parents I realized that quite a significant number of us interpret a “happy child” to be one who is not a “cry baby” and who, for the most part, is cheerful, smiling whatever be the situation.  However, is that a reasonable, realistic and healthy expectation? While it may break our heart or at times exasperate us to see our children cry, sulk or express anger, fact of the matter is that life is about experiencing the varied emotions it is speckled with. I personally believe that more than a happy child, it is important to raise a mentally healthy child – one who faces all kinds of feelings head on and learns to deal with them, instead of running away from the inner turmoil; one who acknowledges that life is not always happy-happy or hunky dory, and that it is fine to feel sad and low in spirits some times. I am guilty of having used the phrase “cry baby” in the past but I am glad I have come to recognize that we need to stop mocking someone who cries more than the “standards” defined by us. It is uncalled for and can actually lead to suppressing of emotions by the child leading to pretense to avoid being teased or ridiculed.

When we talk about or think in relation to our child’s health, we tend to largely concentrate on the physical health of the child. But then, what about the nutrition of the mind and soul? Somewhere, starting from the milestone madness to the rat race as the kids grow, are we unconsciously missing out on focusing on our child’s mental health?  This happens all the more in a country like ours where we are still quite nascent in our knowledge of mental health and the importance that we lay on it; where the grim state of affairs in this area is evident by way of our acceptance of mental health issues. People suffering from depression or other mental issues are ostracized or looked down upon. Anyone visiting a counselor or seeking professional treatment is labelled as “mad” due to which many cases are left untreated for the fear of social stigma. This is a dangerous situation to be in as it can lead to suicides and a numerous other grave crimes. Depression, the most prevailing form of mental illness, is estimated to exist in 3 of every 100 in urban areas like Mumbai. As per WHO statistics, the average suicide rate in India is 10.9 for every 100,000 people. While the absence of open dialogue around mental health is a key hurdle, experts say this also adds to the problem of less resources and doctors available in this domain.