General Topic

She Who Knows No Bounds

Strong women aren’t simply born, they are forged through the challenges of life. With each challenge they develop mentally and emotionally. They move ahead with their head held high and a strength that cannot be denied. This was what I experienced over a weekend when I watched 2 women-centric films in the theatres.

First was a retelling of a famous story of a mother risking her life to get back to her infant son “Hirkani” and the other one a biopic “Saand ki Aankh” (Bulls Eye) based on the lives of Revolver Dadi’s (Shooter Granny’s) who took up shooting at the age of 60 and have won more than 30 National level shooting competitions.

There is not much of a difference between Hirkani and Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar other than the era they come from 17th Century and late 1990’s respectively. All 3 of them did great things in life.

How did the cry of her infant baby give Hirkani the courage to descend the impossibly steep Paschim Kada that too at night? Wasn’t she afraid? One wrong step a slip here and a slip there and she wouldn’t have lived to see the sunrise.

(Hirkani and the steep Paschim Kada)

The Tomar Dadi’s are not far behind when it comes to breaking the stereotypes. Coming from a regressive village setting where even lifting your veil was considered a crime. These Granny’s yielded guns as if they were on a war against all the patriarchs. It was a shame to watch their living conditions. They were literally baby producing machines for the men who knew nothing else other than to have sex and smoke pots of Hookah.

(Shooter Dadis Chandro and Prakashi Tomar)

Hirkani a resident of the Raigadwadi a small village at the base of the magnificent Raigad fort the second capital of Swarajya ruled by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj a ruler of the Maratha kingdom. A Milkmaid by profession she used to milk her cows and take the milk up the fort for the royalty. Everyday at sunset the canon at the main entrance of the fort used to fire signalling the closure of the gate. One fine day of “Kojagiri” when Hirkani’s husband was on a scout tour of the Janjira fort, her mother in law in the neighbouring village visiting a doctor, the baby all alone at home tended by a nanny who was supposed to leave in the evening, Hirkani missed the canon and was stuck on Raigad.

Chandro and Prakashi were also stuck albeit not on a fort but in the clutches of their ruthless good for nothing husbands. They had lost 60 years of their lives giving births, changing the used Hookah pots, cleaning cow dung, working in the fields, in the brick furnaces earning money all of which was usurped by the patriarchs. Such was the suffocation in their lives.

All hopes lost for the three, they did the unthinkable. Hirkani climbed down the Paschim Kada without any formal training, fought a child killer wolf in her quest to protect her baby. The Tomars took up shooting for their daughter and granddaughter who were afraid of the gun, the society and their own family.

These women have shown us that bravery and courage lies not in brute strength but in your will power. As the curtains closed I left the theatre with moist eyes. Is there a limit to the courage, perseverance, love of a woman? I asked myself. A voice answered “There are no bounds”

General Topic Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 2 (Dadi wouldn’t let me put ink on stickers)

Once I was bathing my toddler. My toddler was enjoying playing in water. Suddenly he asked, “Mamma where does this water go?” Tell me the story of this flowing water. He was pointing at the flowing water on the ground.(Story…not again pleaaaase… But did I really have any choice?? I had already resigned to my fate and continued…

Me: It goes down the drain.

Toddler: How?

Me: Through drainage pipes.

Toddler:Mamma, where drainage pipes go??

(Later in the evening I had to show him duct area where the drainage pipes were seen)

Me: They are connected to sewers beta.

Toddler: where are sewers?? I wanna see them..

Me: We cannot see sewers. They are under ground.

Toddler: Then what happens?

Me: Then the dirty used water is sent to water treatment plant.

Toddler: Then??

Me: Then it is sort of cleaned. Somethings are not good for our health. Such things are taken out of that water and such cleaned water is released in the river or ocean.

The bath was thankfully over.. otherwise he would have continued asking “then what happens Mamma?” What I would have told him further?? Come to think of it probably I would have continued with water cycle😂.What say??

Illustrations by: Amruta Kulkarni

He would pester us continually with “what will happen next??” It was so much so that sometime me and his Dadi used to call him crow. The pestilential bird who continues forever with his crowing and would not fly away how much so ever you try to shoo him away.

I am a working mother. His Dada and Dadi used to look after the kiddo. Sometimes they would tell him stories, sometimes they used play. Sometimes he used to watch TV along with them. One day I got back from office. The moment I stepped into the house my kiddo had a complaint about Dadi “Mamma, please tell Dadi. She wouldn’t let me put ink on stickers” “What??” “Dadi is not letting me put ink on the stickers.” Frankly speaking I didn’t understand even a word. But I was in a hurry as our dinner was waiting for us. I consoled him, “Don’t worry. I will speak to Dadi about it” He was pacified and ran away.

We had dinner, cleaned table and finished other cores. As I entered the bedroom, my Mother In Law (in current lingo MIL) followed me inside. She ensured that our kiddo was out of earshot playing with his father and asked me, “Where do you keep your sanitary napkins?” I was totally non-plussed by this opening question.

Me: I keep it in my cupboard Mother. Why what happened??

MIL: You shouldn’t leave such things in open in your cupboard.I was simply surprised. I was just not able to understand why my ever courteous MIL is asking me such questions all of a sudden. She had never bothered me with such questions Weever before in earlier 4 years.Watch this space to find out the secret of weird questions of my MIL and Dadi’s complaint by my kiddo. (TO BE CONTINUED)