Observations

When I went to watch Dear Zindagi, I had Pari in tow despite full knowledge of the fact that she would find the movie boring. But, at the back of my mind I know how much she enjoys our outings together and watching a movie featuring Shah Rukh Khan which also has a song (Love you Zindagi) that she loves inspired me to take her along.

As expected, there was nothing much in the movie to keep her entertained and all the while she was busy with her giant tub of popcorn.

However, today I chose to discuss the movie with her. All this while she had stood her ground that she quite liked the movie and I was very curious to know what exactly she liked because it was no way obvious during the time we were in the theatre.

I started with sharing insights on what all was shown in the movie, gently touching upon how Kaira (Alia’s character) was troubled in her life and was facing sleepless nights (I deliberately avoided going into the details of depression) and how she sought help.

All this while Pari was listening to me with full attention. Once I was done, she said;

“Mamma, I have seen you cry, get angry, spend sleepless nights and worry just like Alia did in the movie. All through the movie I was thinking how much everything Alia was going through resembled what you used to do.”

Needless to say, Pari now had my full attention and I was working hard at keeping my jaw from falling to the floor.

when-my-child-saw-my-mental-health-issues-in-a-movie-portrayal-that-my-parents-refused-toi-was-left-wondering-about-the-extent-of-my-healing-how-far-i-had-come-in-my-fight-against-depression

I gently probed, “And what else you observed?”

To which Pari replied, “Maybe if Shah Rukh Khan could come and talk to you like he did to Alia you too will run, sing and dance like Alia did in the movie.”

Oh well! Of course Shah Rukh Khan (or perhaps the psychologist that he played)paying a visit would heal anything (okay, almost anything) but this conversation left me wondering with a heap of unsettling thoughts.

Kids observe things far more than what we give them credit for and understand things we feel are beyond their know how. While I was touched by my child’s observation skills, what I was left wondering was, have I healed (from depression) the way I think I have?

And I just can’t shrug off the hurt I felt when what my 5-year-old could see, my parents refused to note despite having watched the movie sitting inches away from me. Or perhaps, they too noted but chose to continue living in denial that their daughter too needs/needed therapy to get rid of her emotional baggage.

Like many wise people have suggested, I will leave the extent of my healing be judged by my child because it is her who watches and experiences the person I am up close and first-hand.

The song on my mind: Ae zindagi gala laga le ~ Sadma 

Perspective

Last night around bedtime, Pari and I were sharing with each other how our day went. Among other things, she mentioned that her good friend Aditya* was talking to her other friend Ananya* in her (Pari’s ) presence about how good it was that their mothers went to the office every day. He mentioned how lucky he felt to have the house to himself while his parents were away.

This was when Pari took a 2-second break before continuing her narration. Aditya also mentioned how unfortunate Pari was to have her mom stay at home and do nothing.

I could feel an uneasy feeling fill my mind in anticipation of what lay ahead. I was half asleep at that point, but the night ahead didn’t look smooth. Neither was I confident if I will get a peaceful sleep with the way this conversation was moving ahead.

if-only-we-could-stop-to-think-if-only-we-could-stop-to-ask-what-else-could-this-mean-wed-be-amazed-by-the-many-perspectives-wed-get-for-what-we-thought-could-have-just-one-way-of-looking-at-it

In the recent years, while battling many challenges of being a single parent, I have learnt one thing. When my adult mind can’t figure out what to say next, I trust my child to help me. This is because in my opinion, though children lack experience they are noway short of perspectives or wisdom.

Did I just use wisdom with reference to a child?

Yes, I did.

There have been countless occasions when Pari has acted wisely and better poised than I have even at my age.

Anyway, I digress.

Armed with this belief, I asked Pari how did she react to this.

Pari: In a rather casual tone, without bothering to look my way said, “I told them the truth.”

Me: What truth?

Pari: I told them  “My mamma stays at home to take care of me. I love having her around and she lets me be me. I don’t want her to go to the office just so that I can do the mischief I want, because I do it anyway. And you two, dare not speak ill about my mother, else I’ll complain to the teacher.”

I was too overwhelmed by her reply to say anything. Pari was too sleepy to note what effect her words had on me and she slept 30 seconds later.

Tucking Pari in bed, I tried to reflect on what she had told me.

While I was grateful for the fact that my child had stood up to defend my case and how clear she was why her mother stays at home unlike mothers of her peers.

I couldn’t quite let go of this nagging thought if things will be just as easy or clear as they are now for my child to understand.

* Names changed to protect identity.

Putting things into perspective isn't always easy, especially when assessing life and relationships. Here's how I learnt from my daughter to shift my perspective to get a better understanding of the complete picture. #theerailivedin #quotes #quotestoliveby #lifelessons #perspective

The song on my mind: It’s only words ~ Boyzone

Baton Baton Mein

Around New Year when the chill of winters peaked, our family was down with high fever, running nose and cough. Though my parents and I recovered in 3 to 4 days, Pari who fell sick last, was still severely unwell and had to visit the pediatrician at the hospital.

During our brief interaction with the pediatrician, Pari picked up the word ‘Flu’ and asked me what it meant. Sometimes I get carried away forgetting that my child is a 4 year old and I went ahead to explain what ‘cold and flu’ meant, how they differed and what was their management in simple words.

Pari kept looking at me with eyes wide open, amazed by the variety of infectious microorganisms, grasping as much information she could.

A couple of days later, when her school reopened she told me that she had a fight with her class-mate Parv*. On gentle probing on what had caused the fight, this is what followed;

Me: What happened Pari?

Pari: Mumma Parv fought with me because of flu.

Me: Flu? Is he down with flu? what about it?

Pari: I explained to Parv all you had told me about flu and he said it was all wrong. I told him that my mumma taught me this and she can’t be wrong. But, he was adamant and we are no longer talking.

Me: *puzzled* What does Parv think flu means?

Pari: Udna

Me: What?

Pari: The poem we learnt today has a line, “The Robin flew”.

That’s when it dawned on me what had happened and I laughed for a long minute before explaining to Pari what was going on.

* Name changed to protect identity.

The song on my mind: Na bole tum, na maine kuch kaha ~ Baton Baton Mein