Monday, June 27, 2011

The Phoenix called India

A few hundren years ago, there was a land called India. It was marauded by the Arab invaders and by the invaders from the East. They did forced conversions, they took the weath away, they broke the idols and burnt the holy books. Over a period of time, they assimilated into the conquered culture , and both cultures changed for ever.

A few hundred years later, the same land was conquered by the British. These conquerers, however, took money back to their homeland, and never assimilated with the conquered culture. They left a very rich country very poor. And they ruled for at least 2 centuries. During this time, they literally bankrupted the land.

Exit the colonisers, and within 60 years, the country was right on top of the IT revolution. In a recessionary global economy, theirs was among the few economies still standing (though weakening progressively) .

What is it about India, that makes us a Phoenix? May this country always remain this way.. but what is it?

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Return of the Governess

In English novels of the  19th Century, we come across the lovely , essential person called the "Governess".

Her only job was to mind and educate the children, to be nice to them, and to take care of them while the mothers went about the harrowing task of partying and socialising et al. (no pun intended, it IS harrowing and a task)

Who can forget Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music?

Governesses were educated young women from the middle classes. Always, they were treated on par with the members of the family.

And then, sadly, somewhere along the way, we lost them. They reappeared as babysitters in the US and au par girls in Europe, but none of these quite qualifies as "Governess". And that, methinks is the loss of the parenting community - educated , bright young girls who want a house to live in, want to save some money to pay for their college, and also want to love children.

The girl who has been with us for the last 2 years, and is leaving us now, is a "Governess". She works around the house, but only when she wants to and as much as she wants to. She lives in a room of her own like a PG. She is educated upto Class 8, and her primary responsibility is the child.

When i am not at home, i can rest assured that the child will be taken care of like.. i would , and not like a maid would. I know that she is capable of playing jigsaw puzzles and building blocks and cricket and badminton with the child. She will read to him from his books. I know and trust that the child will be fed, and will be cleaned and will be put to sleep at the right time, even if the office is holding me back.

I know that she does not spit, or use foul language, and is conscious of how she and the baby are dressed.

Which brings me to the subject of the post - why shouldnt more girls who have cleared their 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, and are looking for jobs(even if it is to pay for their higher studies) , apply, not as maids , but as Governesses?

Why don't young bright girls who are in town for studies, take up, not PG, but Governess role, that they perform only after their college hours? This way, they get accomodation, they get a family to call their own, they are on par with the family, and they get a set of kids to love (and teach).

Perhaps an attitude change is needed on both sides of the table. More families should consider taking in educated governesses, and not treat them like "maids" or "paid staff" . And more young girls should consider this as a career option.

This will mean better care for our children, and of course, a better experience for young girls currently hankering after that "BPO job" that takes away all day and night and still doesnt pay.

What do you think?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

कुछ बातें..

कुछ बातें
इन्द्रधनुष सी
सतरंगी, खुशनुमा,
सात सपने ले कर आती,
सात सपने हम में जगाती

कुछ बातें
ज्यूँ मटमैले कपडे
धो कर, सुखा कर ,
तब भली लगें

कुछ बातें
कबीर के दोहे सी
छोटी, गहरी॥

कुछ बातें
कविता सी
पूरी भी,
अधूरी भी...