Archive for April, 2012

Fun and Learn Holidays

During a long holidays trip in Pakur in Feb -Mar, Rimil and Zohra must have had a very different experience. From a urban middle class lifestyle, whose lifestyle works around when what programs are scheduled on digital TV, to one which was more rural based, with fewer electricity supply and the availability of channels.

The change was a very healthy one. Awakening at early hours to start filling water in buckets from the deep bored community handpump just outside our home in Pakur. There was construction work going on and the whole family contributed in filling water to feed to the house walls etc. Rimil, growing up .. felt energised with filling of each bucket, and used to proudly announce to the whole neighbours the number of buckets he filled.

Power cuts in Pakur are for scheduled hours every day – morning 7 to 8, then 10 to 12, then 4-5 and finally 7-8 in evening. These are accompanied with 2  minutes cut every hour. This has made the people very well cautious of the time when there will be no electricity, and life is adjusted accordingly. Coming from Ranchi, which has maximum 15 minutes cut in the whole day, Rimil got the experience of staying in a ‘small town’.

This experience of Rimil is something that I value will be productive in building his understandings of how different the lifestyles are in different townships depending on the availability of electricity power, water, television, games and market. It was based on this experience that he wrote about in his story submission for his school magazine, after he returned from his Winters trip to Amdanda village in Sahibganj.

What was in store for Zohra ? We bought a duck from the weekly Haat at Amrapara. I had to visit the Community Health Centre and Rimil had accompanied me. The Haat bazaar is a big one, and we  bought a duck for Rs 165, a bit cheaper than from town rate. We tied the legs and made it sit in the vegetable bag we had.

At home, Khushi was extremely excited to see it. We tied it in the central hall of the house and served it uncooked rice to eat. And in the evening when we slept we used to keep it in our bedroom, as we feared the cat would come and harm it.  This routine went for 7 days and we shot many photos with the duck. Khushi was always shy of it.. saying that it will bite.

On the day, when the duck was to be prepared, we kept it a little away from Khushi till we finally declared that the duck had died, and had to be cut, to be eaten. The meat was a lttle different from that of chicken. It was more hard, both flesh and bone, and I enjoyed eating every piece of it !

The last bit of news during these holidays were Rimil’s engagement in photo-shooting the Gulguliyas. Gulguliyas is another word for nomads and there is a gathering of approximately 50 families of them who come to stay for some months in Meena Bazar of Pakur. We went there on 4-5 days with our respective cameras and shot with our perspectives. I encouraged Rimil to focus on the children as they too were quite excited to see a young boy of their playing age to be shooting photos of theirs, and then showing them the results in his digital camera.

The photo-shooting experience that Rimil has been doing is also helping his life perspectives to develop ! And I need to put separate energies / time to help him in this.

Relationships and Child Birth

Today is Rimil’s Birthday. Forgotten ? Well, Rimil is my 8 year old son, who is helping me to understand my Fatherly / Motherly attitude. Every every man has it but very few show it in public.

The macho and manly cultures taught in our cultures makes men less and less soft, hiding feelings of love and weakness, and putting strength as the characteristic of man. Result is .. that men tend to have fewer and fewer communications with their children.

One discussion that took place between me and Rimil was 3-4 months back, when we were travelling in the city, in a mobike, and my wife was also with me along with my daughter, Zohra (Khushi). ‘Papa tell me, can a childbirth take place without a marriage?’ My reply .. Yes, if the boy and girl stay together alone for duration of time.. The girl can get pregnant, and that’s the reason many girls are not permitted to meet boys freely, and are forced to get married soon.. Child birth is preferred after a marriage ..

Well, that’s the point I suppose I went to. But in the  present age .. maybe some additional lines can be added after 3-4 years,.. that marriage as a concept is also changing.. and many couples are willing to live together, and bear child even without a marriage (!!).

Wanted to write more, but let’s post this first (I started it on 30th and today is 2nd)!

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