She is growing up…

AheadAs your child grows old, it’s becomes increasingly difficult to control them with simple commands. Their young minds question everything we speak and do. As parents, we should not stifle them by just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or saying ‘This is the way it is always done’.

Recently one evening, I told my daughter sternly not to go and eat into her grandfather’s bedroom when her grandmother was feeding her. She did not respond to my instruction. I then explained to her that crumbs would attract ants on the bed and cause discomfort to her grandmother and her aunt when they slept. I reminded her about Kutti Lala’s story. Sure enough, she did not ask her grandmother again about going to the bedroom.

When I think about this incident, I understand that explaining things to your child logically fares much better than citing tradition or just giving a command. The disadvantage is that when your explanation is challenged. For example, when my child grows and soon tells me that she would not drop any food and would like to eat in her bedroom, I have to give her another plausible explanation. But a challenge is still for the better. It checks for flaws in our rationale which we can then correct and become even better as a human being.

A recurring flaw in our rationale that will always be checked is how we think of our child. Parents always underestimate their child’s abilities by thinking they are still yet to grow up.


Slow and steady…

I am slowly reducing the number of clothes I own, especially office wear. I’m getting rid of the old ones mainly.

It seems like a good idea to keep an optimum balance of office clothes by having formal shirts in plain, light shades of colours, (no checks or stripes) so that I can easily match any dark blue/ black/ brown trouser, and a tie whenever I need to go out. So any new shirts I buy will be based on this idea.

When I discussed this idea with my wife, she said I was getting old!

Last week, wife surprised me with our balcony. She tidied the area and created a lot of room for having some potted plans. My daughter was excited and wanted to get some soil and seeds immediately.

My wife also cleaned up the study table and we got rid of one old study table. Our second room is already looking larger. This made me feel I was slower than her on reducing our stuff though I do all the reading on minimalism!

I’ve started to read ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahamsa Yogananda. My sister gifted me a hardbound edition for my birthday. My mother gave me the same book in paperback on 29th March 2002. Yesterday I thought if I got the same book from my family members, it must mean I didn’t get their message yet!

I just completed ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running‘ by Haruki Murakami, a short non-fiction book. I’ll post my review on the book shortly.

I’m trying to read more books. Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook the top 100 essential books to be read compiled by BBC and yours truly had read only 10 books. Apart from my low number, I realised that the number of books I read when I was in school was more than the number of books I read outside school.

 


Qutb Minar

I did this pen sketch some time in 2004 of the Qutb Minar. I did not capture the engravings on the tower due to ‘time constraints’.

Minaret amongst the ruins of the Red Citadel


The first time I saw the tower, it seemed like a pillar of serenity oblivious of the bustling crowds of Delhi.


Why I chose ‘Somewhere in the Middle’

I changed the title of my blog 2 or 3 times before I settled on ‘Somewhere in the Middle’.

I cannot even remember the earlier titles. ‘Somewhere in the Middle fits’ because firstly, my initials match the title. Somewhere iN the Middle. Secondly, I’m 30 years old now as I write this and consider this the middle of my life. Last of all, I am at this point where I have been reading alot, through books and blogs on investing to blogging to minimalism. So I am somewhere in the middle of all these and beginning to figure out what fits with me. I am learning, not totally a beginner and never an expert to continue on the journey of learning.


From Decluttering

My first post was on decluttering and I started with my office cabin.

Every year, we have an Ayudh pooja to thank the gods for the past year and for the future. The priest comes and annoints all the office spaces and equipments. This year it was held on October 16th 2010. Before the pooja, we all clean our working spaces, throw away unwanted piles of paper, keep the files in their proper place and so on.

Thanks to my decluttering earlier this year and maintaining it the same way, I didn’t have to even spend 30 minutes. All my other colleagues took 2 hours to clean up! Awesome feeling because I used to be the last one to clean up having most of the mess!!

 

 


Filtering

There are these moments in one’s life when you question the motions of the things that you do.

Going to work, exercising, being with your family and even fundamental things like eating and sleeping.

Because we take that for granted for so long we forget why we do it. Then one day we feel disillusioned that we are just going on with a routine.

Ask what it is that you love about it since you are already doing that.  Because then you remember or find that feature and you can do it even better.

I love my wife and daughter because with them I can be a clown. I love to be responsible for them.

I found a love for running alone because I could do it at my pace and I don’t force myself to do it everday if I don’t want to. I am not doing for reducing my weight any longer but just to be fit and soak the morning rays of the sun. It also makes me ignore my feelings of disgust about the roads and Marina beach being littered.

And if you can’t find it, give it a chance for however long you can do so until you can’t bear it any longer. Maybe you lost the love for it along the way and you can never go back to it.

That is the change. We filter what we really want as we grow and make the choices.


The Crowded Experience

Marg Marathon

I found out about a Marathon to be held on August 29th in the first week of August when I was running on Marina Beach and came across a group of people stretching under the instructions of a trainer. They used the sheets of the advertisement of the marathon when they had to lie down and stretch. There was a mix of people of all ages training.

I was eager to participate  but ever since a business trip to Mumbai in the second week of August, I have run only for 4 days. I felt my body was not fit enough to run the 21 km, half marathon and even doubted whether I could finish the 7-km run.

I finally registered on 28th August for the 7-km run and received a ‘Bib’ or the number. I was excited and nervous since this was my first time in a short long run since my school days.

D-day arrived and I didn’t plan in advance how to stick my number properly on my T-shirt. For first timers, I can give a tip. Pin all four corners of the bib on the Tshirt before you wear it. For persons who excessively sweat, it’s highly probable the bib comes off during the run.

I decided to walk to the starting point, which was around 2.5 – 3 km from my house. The walk was a good warm up and many people were walking towards the starting point of the marathon. I was quite surprised to see that thousands of people turn up for this event. With no organisers in sight, I followed the herd and reached the start point which was crowded with mainly talkative teenagers and kids and more solemn adults like me.

Kids jumped up and down or climbed on each other on the news that some of their favourite film stars were attending the flag off for the event.

I never actually heard the ‘Go’ and had to run along with crowd. A few guys tripped and fell on the road. After 2 kms, the crowd got thinner and there were the more serious runners. The casual runners were actually more intent on scrambling to the water points and collecting bottles of water, Gatorade or Nimbooz. I decided not to stop for a water point during the run. After all, a 7 km run was not such a big deal when I saw the number of people running.

Just as I never heard the ‘Go’, there was no definitive finish point but there was a stage on which the sponsors and celebrities stood for photo-ops and waiting for the final moments of the end of the half marathon.  I was happy that on the last 400 metres, I pushed myself hard to the finish near the stage.

On my walk back home, which was along the half marathon track, I cheered the half marathoners to complete their run.

What perturbed me was that people where throwing the bottles on the road after drinking from them. There was no feeling to keep the environment clean. Some teenagers even threw the bottles in the air which runners behind had to avoid. Worse still, the amateur/ pro athletes on the half marathon did the same, throwing their bottles on the road. What’s the point in having  a marathon that is held for a drive to donate to poor children when it destroys other values, of hygiene and compassion?

In the end it was a mixed experience. I was happy that I completed with the low level of preparation, sad about the littering, felt that the only respect was to be part of the 21 km run than a 7 km run and came away more determined to take part in the half marathon next year!!