Thursday, December 18, 2008

TV time.

Television (often abbreviated to TV, T.V.; sometimes called , telly or the tube, bloob tube or boob tube, or idiot box in British English) is a widely used telecommunication system for broadcasting and receiving moving pictures and sound over a distance. Right? has more to it.

Not too long ago, or a couple of days ago to be very precise, I was one of those moms that would proudly proclaim that my kid watches no TV at all. Change is the only thing that is constant they say and so the status quo of my proclamation has changed over the couple of days. Since it can get pretty stressful to manage a two going on three, "curious George's cousin" toddler whole day, I caved in and switched on the TV and made my little girl sit before that dinosaur (in shocking purple and green) from some one's imagination. Barney craze caught with Aarti like a house on fire and ever since she started negotiating TV time with daily activities like eating, taking vitamins and finishing the fruit snack. "I'll eat if I can watch Barney" she would exercise her new fond negotiation skills to get to watch her new fond friend in purple and green and I give in now and then - just to cut the stress off of dealing with a toddler that has thrown herself on the floor wailing in an uncontrollable fit of tears. To my good fortune, she doesn't yet understand that after the 15-20 mt program is over, the telly could still entertain her if her mom picks up the remote and punches a few "on demand" buttons. Needless to say, I am worried. I definitely do not want her to glue herself to the telly watching Barney marathons back to back and the only way I can get her to not do that is by stopping all my things and read her Dr.Seuss for the n th time or play with moonsand along with her or worse yet, tell her the story of a little baby named Aarti in an infinite loop. I do all of the above just in a hope to keep her from getting addicted to TV or getting addicted to swapping her TV time for my peace of mind.

TV is bad for everyone, not just kids. I feel it is such a timewaster. Time killer, to be more accurate. Most housewives in India are addicted to those all-defying plots of the likes of Ekta kapoor that has lady villains dressed like drag queens weaving one conspiracy after the other. Actually, it is not completely their fault. I feel that there is something compelling about watching TV with special reference to soaps. I remember how I used to watch Jassi every day - with more devotion than I said my daily prayers. The Virgo in me does think that watching TV is a waste of time though... and I want the Capricorn growing up in the house to think the same. I want her to be more imaginative, invent her own toys and find her own ways to keep herself entertained. May be I started seeing why Monica thought I'd be an ambitious mom. Or am I just being sensible without actually being too pushy on the little one?

I can either substitute TV with me or me with the TV and I choose the latter. So I just should get a cup of chamomile tea, sniff some lavender, take a deep breath, relax and go on telling the story of a little girl name Aarti for the fifty sixth time without losing enthu or compromising on the animation till Aarti is out and about in a preschool :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008


A friend once told me, long before I had my little girl, that I'd be a very ambitious mother. I did not know why she would think that way since I was at the juncture where I was newly married and my only ambition in life was to cook two meals a day and find my way into my hubby's heart (probably thru his tummy. LOL - JK on that, since we courted a good number of years before we got hitched and I made sure that I found the way to his heart and settled there with a sleeping bag, reluctant to budge! Thankfully I am still there!)
Anyway, Ambition and I are not a good pair. I was more of a dreamer than an achiever. I remember how I dreamed about being an astronaut when my idea about ambition was still hazy. I was this little girl in primary school and everyone made a hue and cry about how a certain Mr.Rakesh Sharma sang "saare jahan se atcha hindusita hamara" when asked about how he thought the space looked! That is quiet corny if I think now after getting on to the wrong side of 30, but when you are not yet a decade old, you probably like such things! Like them enough to do them one day :-)
Then I dreamed of being like Komal G B singh, the English news reader on DD1. My mom somehow thought that I looked like her and I though she had such a cool diction, so somewhere in between resembling her and wanting to pronounce like her, I smuggled newspapers into the toilet and whispered the news out loud - trying to sound cool when mispronouncing words that were too hard to read, let alone comprehend. Thus, a loo bookworm was born. I suspect if this is a genetic thing since Aarti wants her Shiny Dinah book every time she makes a visit to the powder room. Isn't that cute? For some reason, my mom didn't think I was cute like I think Aarti is. Probably because you cease to be less and less cute as you age. And eleven and a newspaper in the toilet is a wrong picture - at least it was, to my mom who is modern enough by all standards. So I had to shun my dreams to be a news reader. Then of course, I dreamed of being a Doc... The inspiration? Tanvi Azmi in Life Line (again a soap on DD1)
That didn't last long since I figured that being a doctor has more to it than lounging around the hospital ward in a cool white coat and a stethoscope :-)) yeah, who would dissect all those worms and cockroaches? Not a faint hearted idiot like me. So that dream was shelved before it actually emerged a full fledged dream.
In between, I dreamed of writing poetry, ( I still dream of writing poetry and also prose, thanks to Mr. Arvind Adiga, the recent one to have taken home a Booker. I did dream about writing when Ms. Roy won, Ms. Lahari won too... so I still am stuck on that particular dream ) being a photographer, painter, journalist and teacher.
Anyway, it gets back to the where is ambition featured in all this evolution? I fail to see it. I am by far, the most non - ambitious person I'd ever had the pleasure of knowing. At the most I dream - Dream about losing weight, writing 1000 words each day, bringing home the Pulitzer or Booker, being an interior designer, a mural artist, opening a fusion restaurant,being a poet or a desi version of Martha Stewart, the domestic goddess. In fact, I was mighty inspired by her till she found herself in the middle of that stock fiasco.... But I still think she is a great role model:-)
I dunno if I will be an ambitious mom like Monica predicted I'd be. May be I will, may be I won't. I will surely let Aarti dream and decide the course of her own life. If she thinks being a nurse-practitioner better suits her than being a doc, or chooses to be a teacher instead of a prof, I'll let her be who she wants to be. I think the only thing I'd tell her is to be the best nurse or the best teacher she can be. I'll encourage her to dream and find her destiny. May be, she'll be a writer and bring home the Booker. I'll do just fine even if she doesn't become a book lover for that matter... it is her life.
But dreaming - it will come, like the urge to read "shiny Dinah" when in the restroom...after all inheritance is something. isn't it?