You all might have heard the Russel Peters joke where he threatens to call the child services and his dad gets better of him. Well, I have my version of it.
This happened when I was 11 years old. I heard a friend describe how she gets her mom to do whatever she wants. She said she would huff and puff and refuse to eat dinner and go and sit in her room. The mom usually came to her room with a plate of food in a little while and coaxed her to eat while agreeing to all her demands. I being the ‘Smart’ one decided to give it a try. After all it wouldn’t hurt – or so I thought.
I waited for an opportunity where my parents disagreed with something I wanted. I told my sister we would get what we wanted if she just acted along. At 9 pm, we huffed and puffed and we announced that we will not have our dinner and stormed off straight to our room. I should have realized something was wrong when my dad did not even raise an eyebrow and mom did not give any reaction. My friend had told me that she usually had to wait for 15 min. So we giggled away the first 15 minutes, in anticipation of the knock on the door. There was no knock on the door. We assumed that mom would take a little while longer as she had excellent patience.
1hr later, we are still waiting in our room. My sister is starting to get cranky and is giving me “this is all your fault” looks. So I went out to check what was taking my mom so long. The lights in the hall were off. My parents had gone off to sleep. I ran to the kitchen- all the utensils were empty. Mom had cleared the kitchen for the night. My ego prevented me from waking my mom and we thus went to sleep with grumbling stomach and next day we were greeted with wonderful smiling faces of our parents asking ” what happened to your anger? You had decided not to eat right?”
Its one of the most hilarious things that has happened to me. And that also was a lesson well learnt. No matter how smart I thought I was, my parents were one step ahead. It also taught me, tantrums would get me nowhere with my parents, Patience and Logical Reasoning would !
I walked on the beach…the shores washing my feet…
I walked a mile, along the shore…
The path that I walked, I wanted everyone to see….
My head held high, my footprints so deep…
I thought let me retrace, my achievements of the hour…
I turn around.. Alas!! The waves had washed away my dreams…
I stood in the rain, lamenting my fate…
tears from my eyes.. realization in my mind…
Everything I do, is insignificant after a time…
I should have aimed for contentment, when I had the chance..
Its too late now… To give up on what I have started..
Against the nature, I started walking..
I tread hard on the sand… My footprints deeper than ever..
This time though.. my walk shall be remembered..
All along, laughing behind my back – the rain and sea started what they’ve been doing for years..
“Don’t fight us my child, for we mean no harm…
We strive to erase not your achievements of the past..
The sorrows, the mistakes, the tears – aren’t achievements..
To give you a clean slate every time.. is what we desire ”
How do you react when some stranger tells you that you do not have the skills required to do something ?
This question refers to all those who have been told that they cannot do something.
We had been to a restaurant where they provided valet parking. When we came out after dinner, we noticed that one of my friend’s car was parked precariously close to a tree and somehow they had managed to keep another car across it at an haphazard angle. It was going to take lots of maneuvering to get the vehicle out of that spot. There was a buffer space of 10 inches max..ie.. 5 inches on either side.I should have taken a photograph but at that moment, it never occurred to me!
My friend wanted to get the car out of there. The minute he got into the driving seat of the car, a passing valet commented “With your driving skills, it is not possible to get the car out of there”. My friend just looked at him and started the car and within seconds, he had the car out of the parking spot. He got out of the vehicle, looked at the valet and smiled. We were amused watching the whole drama.He just looked at us and said “Nobody insults my driving skills. Nobody!!”
There are people who accept it if someone says that they cannot do something and don’t go forward with it. And then there are those who go ahead because someone has told them they cannot do it.
Two children of 8th Grade. Two different places. The same experience. They learn different lessons.
There was a state level science exam conducted at our school. And since there were no external monitors, the teachers were giving away the answers as well as the questions. I felt that it was wrong. I mean- don’t you think its cheating ? I refused to take down the answers and wrote down whatever I knew. I was feeling so happy and proud to have done the right thing. I raced home to tell my mom this. She heard me narrate the entire thing. She smiled and praised me for my honesty. But then she added ” So tomorrow when the results will be out, everyone you know would have scored more than you. The people who see these results will never know that the others had copied and you did not. You will be considered a poor performer. Do you think you did the right thing ?”
There was a state level science exam conducted at our school. And since there were no external monitors, the teachers in all classes except ours were giving away the answers as well as the questions. I felt that it was wrong. I mean-Shouldn’t everyone be treated the same way ? I believed that this was wrong. Our entire class was angry with the teacher. After the exam, the teacher addressed the rather grumpy class. She smiled and started : “I know you all are angry with me for not sharing the answers. But these exams will be forgotten after a while and what remains with us are the values that we take forward. The other students may score 90 and above, but believe me, even if you score 50, that will be worth more than the 90 scored by the others.”
Both the students walked off with a lesson. Which one learnt the right thing and which one learnt the wrong is just a matter of opinion. And just like everything else, Opinions vary .
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She: It is huge.
He : I know its big.. But I want you to take it. I know that you will manage fine.
She: But its too big…
He: ha ha.. size always matters baby.. bigger, the better… Just take it..
She: Are you sure I can..??
He: Don’t worry.. I am there and will be there if you don’t like it. Now don’t argue, don’t think and just take it please..
She : Ok.. If you say so..
He: So.. How is it ?
She : You were right.. Bigger the better…
He : Told you so…
She: Oh.. I am in love with it.. This is just so amazing…
Don’t know what you were thinking but She now owns a Samsung Galaxy Note..
He said his mom did not entertain the idea of adoption.
She reminded him that they did not stay with his parents.
He said that he would never go against his mom.
She reminded him that theirs was a love marriage and that his mom had not entertained it initially.
He said he would have difficulty in loving a child that was not his own blood.
She reminded him that they had gone over this earlier and that he was replaying the same cards again just to stop the process.
He asked her to choose between him and the unknown child.
She bowed down her head and gave in to the man whom she loved.
I was supposed to start my 2nd grade the next day. The Father had told me that I would be getting new parents that day. I had packed my bags, worn my Sunday best clothes and had my Barbie ready to go. I remember waiting.. the longest wait of my life… And then there was a phone call….. It was a day that I wish I could forget…!!
Do you remember how close you were holding me when we entered the house together for the first time?
It took me a while in the hall before I could move to your bedroom.
You were so loving and caring that you even took care of my cleanliness and hygiene for me.
I have no idea what happened to change this way of lifestyle.
I was thrown out of your room and into your kitchen.
You threw rotten eggs, tomatoes and everything else at me. I bore it all with silence.
Is it my fault that you stopped taking care of me? Is it my fault that you turned your concentration to other things in your life ? Maybe staying silent was my fault.
I stood there silently, accepting every sad- bad thing that came my way. Under your uncaring eyes- I grew filthy , discolored and began to reek of unholy odor. I still did my duties well…
How unfaithful you are… I know you are going to throw me out, just like all the dirt that I have been carrying over the years.
I heard you tell your husband yesterday “Honey. Remind me to buy a new dustbin. This one has become old and dirty”
Like many others, I too came to the USA with the great American dream. As in India, I share my Account Details with anyone who owes me money. 3 months later, I used an online site to transfer some money to India and all they wanted was my Acct Number, Name and the Routing Number (Which is unique to a bank). They did not ask for passwords or any other details. This lack of security seemed odd, so a colleague and I walked to the nearest Bank and spoke to their representative. We thought he would assure us that our accounts were safe. Instead, he told us the exact opposite.
He said that anyone with our Account Number, Name and Routing Number* can transfer money out of our accounts.
a. Every time you gave someone a check, you gave them your name, account number and routing number on a piece of paper.
b. Every time you signs up for auto pay using any site, your name, account number and routing number are being stored in a database with access to many.
The solution to this risk:
1.Maintain a Savings Account to hold most of your money.
Cons: No debit cards and a limit of 3 transactions per month.
2.Maintain 2 Checking Accounts.
Pros: Split your salary in such a way, that the account through which you do online transactions, gets at least 250$ a month through direct deposit from the employer and the rest goes to the new checking account.
Cons: Your employer should have the ‘split the salary’ option.
3.Always use the legitimate Bank Website to set up automatic Bill Payments.
If there have been unauthorized fund transfers from your account, please approach your bank and file a claim at the earliest.
* Routing Numbers are Unique to the Bank and hence very easy to find out.
1. Go on a weekend. Almost all the parking spots are free of cost. All museums and places of interest are free throughout the year.
2. Make a list of Must Visit Places and set yourself a time limit for visiting each place and stick to it. Most of the places can easily rob you of 4-5 hours of precious time. Know that no one can see all that DC has to offer in a single trip. DC can be very crowded so be ready to improvise on the plans. And no matter how much you plan, you will still be late. Accept it and the tour will be a lot easier.
3. Take one of those Trolley Tours. Do not get down at White House early in the day. Get to the white house only at around 3 or 4 in the evening as this place is quite crowded and getting back into the trolley buses can be a pain.
4. For the months of June and July: Do not take any Trolley Service to Arlington. Arlington Cemetery has very reasonable parking rates. Plan to reach there at 4:30pm to 5:00pm. Walk or take a bus to the ‘Tomb of Unknown Soldier’ Watch the Change of Guard. Proceed to Arlington House. From there, visit and pay homage at the JFK Burial Site. Visit the Women’s memorial. You should comfortably be able to take in all these sights by 7:30pm. Drive to the Marine Corps Memorial.
5. DC has a lot of food trucks and places to eat. It has something for everyone. So unless you have hard and fast rules about what you would eat and what you won’t, DC has a lot to offer on the plate.
6. Save the Lincoln Memorial , Washington Memorial and a stroll around the Basin for the evening when the crowds are thin and weather pleasant.
Lunch Hour at the Food Court. As usual, we were busy with the day’s chatter. Halfway through a friend got up to get a glass of water. And it was at that exact minute that I recollected that he had asked me to remind him about a meeting.
I called out loudly to him: “Aren’t you getting LATE”
The next thing I know, everyone around stopped what they were doing and looked at me. I did not understand what was happening till all my friends burst out laughing.
The way I pronounce the words had made ‘LATE’ sound ‘LAID’.