You kid is a liar? Congratulations!!

So you have just caught your kid lying to you again and you are getting worried about it. Images of your little one growing into a criminal or worse than that, a politician, flash immediately before your eyes. After all honesty is one of those essential qualities that we want our young ones to imbibe and grow up to be virtuous and morally upright individuals. All these years we have been told that we must not lie. The fear of getting a long nose to the terror of being gobbled by a wolf were just few of the consequences of telling lies. But guess what? “Don’t fret parents”, is what researchers say. Lying apparently implies a higher IQ! WHaattt?? Yes! Studies have pointed out that lying activates that part of the brain that deals with high level thinking and reasoning which forms the biggest component of high level intelligence. Seriously? I just wasted all those years trying to be a good human being and now they say that it actually implies I may be dumb!

Little kids apparently try their hand at lying, from an age as young as 2 years. According to the developmental psychologist Michael Lewis, who conducted a  study to find out that kids actually discover the art of lying at an age as young as 2. In one experiment, children were asked not to peek at a toy hidden behind them while the researcher moved out of the room on the basis of some fake excuse. Minutes later when the researcher returned and asked the child whether he or she peeked, it was found that majority of the children had a quick glance at the toy within seconds of being left alone. And a significant number of these kids actually denied doing any such thing. Nearly 20% of the 2 year olds lied, nearly 50 % of the three year olds, and a whopping 90% lied by the time they reach the age of 4. 12 years was also observed to be the most deceitful age.

Lying can be compared to an art that needs to be mastered. Apparently children don’t take much time to master this art and are pretty good at lying. According to another study, when a group of people which involved, teachers, police officers and judges , were shown the footage of children who were either lying or telling the truth about some mischief committed by them, with the aim of spotting the liars. Surprisingly not one of them which included even the children’s parents could spot the lies consistently.

And there is more to it. The greater the ability of the child to be able to cover up his lie, the more intelligent he is. One would wonder, why is it that some kids start lying at an earlier age than their peers. A simple answer to that would be that, they are smarter. These young liars not only boast of a higher IQ but are also more socially adept and well-adjusted, indicating greater social skills as well.

So what do you do when your child lies? Clap your hands in delight and congratulate them! Well please don’t do that. While you can secretly take delight in the quick wittedness of your little one, he must be taught the importance of telling the truth and the repercussions of telling lies. Instead of getting annoyed you can actually transform it into a teachable moment.

Pic Courtesy-lifehacker.com

 

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The Dark & Ugly South Indian

Recently when I heard about the comment made by a politician, something along the lines of, “If we are racist, why would we have the entire  south, Tamil, Kerala, Karnataka & Andhra,why do we live with them? We have black people around us” ,I burst out laughing. As a South Indian I should have ideally been offended but I found the absurdity of his comment hilarious.

According to me the only thing that’s common among all the Indians is our skin color. We are all typically brown skinned with different gradations. While as a country we are referred to as India, it is a known fact that the South & North of India are almost like two different continents. The colossal cultural, linguistic & gastronomical variations between the two halves have often instigated varied grades of hostility towards each other.

As a south Indian who has spent a huge chunk of her life in the Northern part of India, I have had the opportunity to hear some classic stereotypical comments. They don’t mean to humiliate you, but at times their mere ignorance and sometimes their compliments also seem like a masked jibe at your background. Some common ones are

You are a South Indian? How come you don’t have an accent?

As an Indian, we all have an accent. Whether you are a Malyalee, Kannadiga, Bihari, Kashmiri or Oriya, our English is inherently laced with traces of our native language. We just can’t shirk off that reality. While we make fun of those who have a pronounced mother tongue influence, when you go out of the country, the Indian accent, regardless of which sate you are from, sounds unusual to the western ear. Indian accents are varied and what makes us sound different is that our English is syllable-timed rather than stress-timed and we use pitch differently (e.g. emphasis is descending rather than ascending as in English).

So think before you gloat.

Arrey woh toh Madrasi hai!

All south Indians are collectively known as Madrasis to the average north Indian.. This scenario has improved to a certain extent, thanks to certain social media initiatives and other campaigns and of course geography taught at school (wasn’t it always taught?). Any south Indian, who is not a Madrasi, is guaranteed to be offended if addressed as one. Your crime is as grave as if you refer to a Punjabi as a Bihari or a Mahrashtrian as a Gujarati.

When you feel all South Indians are Hindus.

Generally y when you speak to South Indians, you tend to grill them about the various temples belonging to the Southern part of the country. Pilgrimage spots like Tirupati, Sabrimala, Shirdi etc are the most popular destinations for several of our friends hailing from the North of India. While every south Indian is aware of them, they may be a bit clueless about the darshan timings and so on if they have never visited these places or are not Hindus

You eat beef??? Omg!!

Yeah that’s right. There are several times when people look at you in disbelief and then in disgust when they come to know you eat beef. You end up feeling a tad bit embarrassed and ashamed about your choice of food.  While beef is being banned rampantly in most of the states, there is a state called Kerala in which Hindus, Christians & Muslims enjoy this delicacy. It’s a personal choice after all and everyone has the right to eat what they want.

You speak Malyalee?

People can be so vague about their own country. I am a Malyalee who speaks Malayalam.  People from Karnataka are called Kannadigas and they speak Kannada. People from Tamil Nadu are Tamilians who speak Tamil and last but not the least people from Andhra Pradesh speak Telugu.

I hope the confusion is cleared once and for all.

We North Indians are Aryans & South Indians are Dravidian s

The first time I heard about this now discredited theory I was dumbfounded. Apparently the Aryans are supposed to be Gods with fair complexion & were well built who pushed the dark complexioned, short statured Rakshasas to the southern part of India. There are still several people who quote this theory.

South Indians are not good looking

I have heard some crazy comments like, when you visit the South India, you never see any good looking people.” Wahan sundar logon ka akal hai”! Now wait a minute. Just pause a moment before you make such statements. Some of the most beautiful women like Aishwarya Rai, Hema Mailini, and Rekha belong to this Rakshas dominated part of the country.

South Indians eat only Idly, Dosa & Rice

Guys please get your facts straight. While we all love our Idly & Dosa, we also prepare several other dishes. Each state in the South has a cuisine exclusive to it. W e also eat dishes like Avial, appam & stew, pulihora, Bisi Bele bath, pachadi etc.

You are from Kochi? Isn’t that in China?

 When I heard this comment I thought it was a joke. But apparently the person who asked this question looked quite puzzled. This person apparently was neither well versed with national nor international geography. Yes, Kochi is a city, in Japan not in china. And yes even our own India has a Kochi which is found in the state of Kerala.

Why do South Indians have so much hair on their body?

Well all I can say is, have you seen Anil Kapoor? He is not a South Indian. SO that pretty much answers your question!

South Indians eat in such a disgusting manner

Yes we eat with our hands and we love eating our food that way. While it gives a sense of satisfaction, it is a fact that eating with your hands also aids in digestion and has numerous other benefits.

In most of our metro cities, there is a cosmopolitan crowd which comprise of people belonging to different parts of the country coexisting peacefully. But the surprising part is in spite of this there are still people who try to disturb this harmony by passing derogatory statements. It’s time we all moved on, and behave like proud citizens of a nation whose diversity adds to the rich tapestry of this country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PMS(Pre- menstrual syndrome) Makes me Bipolar

4d7a7-bhoolbhulaiyaa
The moment I woke up I could feel it. I just don’t know why, but I hated this morning. I stumble to the kitchen to get my fix of coffee. As I am making it, my husband saunters in casually, looking all chirpy with a big smile on his face. I get irked seeing that smile on his face, again I don’t know why? As he wishes me a loud good morning, I wonder grumpily, what is so good about this morning? Aahaa! He comments, someone is up early today. That’s it, the Manjulika in me came alive! Fortunately I didn’t lapse into any Bengali .But all my drowsiness had vanished, I was livid and my eyes were gleaming wildly. I snapped at him with a ferocity that was unnecessary, Oh ho! Is it so? And how do you think your coffee appears magically every morning, some people are just so ungrateful. My husband’s smile vanishes instantly. His antenna has caught on to the tone of my voice. His mind screamed Danger! Danger with red lights blinking crazily. He looks at me and says, I didn’t mean it that way darling, I was just kidding. But there was no stopping me now. I tried blinking back the tears that had welled up in my eyes threatening to spill over if he said one more word. The effort made my throat hurt. Then he says are your periods about to start? The moment those words are uttered, my tears just overrule my thoughts and stream down my face. I tell him, we know each other for so many years and yet you still don’t know my dates. Why don’t you put a reminder on your phone? What sort of a husband are you? As I continue with my rant, my husband looks at me helplessly, mutters something under his breath and then rushes off to get ready, saying he is getting late. Now I am pissed off big time. The tears are now streaming down my face with full vengeance and I think why did I even get married? This man does not even try to console me and make me feel better. The whole day I revel in self-pity and tears. My husband tries calling me while at work which I don’t bother to answer. In the evening I decide to treat myself. After a long hot water shower, I make some French fries topped with loads of cheese and gobble it all up. When my husband returns from work I feel more favorably inclined towards him. I welcome him with a hug and a wet kiss on his forehead. He looks at me surprised and then tousles my hair and asks are you OK now? I say yes and proceed to fix dinner. My husband changes and settles down in front of the TV to watch his favorite show. As I am making dinner I feel irritated again. I think in my mind, why can’t he come and talk to me instead of watching TV. After all he was so mean to me in the morning and yet I was so nice to him when he came back. I feel tears spring back in my eyes again. As my husband sits at the table, I place the plate in front of him with a thud. He looks a bit startled and on seeing my teary eyed face he looks at me baffled? He says, I thought we were fine, then why are you crying again? I sniff and say nothing and walk off in a huff. He follows me and speaks to me in a soft loving voice which melts me a little. He says gussa mat ho baby and hugs me. I sniffle and cuddle up against him. We both then have dinner and engage in small talk. I observe my husband being cautious while talking, not breaching any topic that can activate the Manjulika in me. While he is on tenterhooks for the next three days, I struggle with my mood swings and cramps.
The above mentioned scene is a classic example of how most of us are during our periods, in varied degrees of course. While I have an extremely supportive husband, I know of several people who are not as lucky as me. Many Indian men have an extremely twisted and regressive approach to the menstrual cycle of a woman. In several households even now, a woman is considered impure and not allowed to step into the kitchen during her periods. The time has come now to change that. Enough of talking about it in hushed voices and hiding our sanitary napkins in black polythene covers. After all having periods is a sign of fertility and womanhood. Most woman experience some form of discomfort during these few days. It can range from mild to severe abdominal cramps to fatigue to mood swings. I know of several women who are unable to even get up from their beds due to the excruciating pain they experience during their periods. While we spend the entire month trying to make things comfortable for our family. I think the least that can be done by any husband is to put in a little extra effort during those 3-4 days every month. They don’t have to do anything spectacular. Things like giving a hand with the daily chores, getting food that she craves for(chocolates, ice creams, fried food etc), a hot water bag, painkillers or just a nice back massage are some of the small gestures that every husband can do. A bit of pampering and attention never does any harm and can make a lady feel so much better. So ladies, if your husbands refuse to do so, just take a break and pamper yourselves. You deserve it!
“This blogathon is supported by the Maya App, used by 6.5 million women worldwide to take charge of their periods and health.”

What’s in a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

This one line encapsulates the true essence of love….Love transcends all barriers and bothering with something as trivial as a” name” can question one’s intention…. But as romantic as it sounds, in a country like India, fairytale romances often lead to nightmarish experiences when marriage comes into the picture. We belong to a nation where one’s name holds so much of importance. A name reveals it all, your religion, your caste, your gender of course and to some it’s even a status symbol….The utterance of a name can have a reverberating effect at times here.

I may sound like a hard core feminist, but the colossal implication of a name dawned on me after my marriage. A marriage in India is often marked by ways and means in which a girls past identity is often truncated in an organized and methodical manner .It may either be done outrightly or with such subtlety that the girl would not even realize it, but often end up as a dismal shadow of her former self

I have always loved my name, more so after I realized I was the only one in this whole world with my name. It was unique and it was mine. After 24 years of being known as Anjali Susan Paul….i was expected to change it post marriage! But this time I had another reason not to change my name….It was not my feminist bent of mind making me rebel…..It was the fact that in spite of being as different as chalk and cheese we were still tied in this beautiful bond of love which made our relationship unique….and our names were the biggest proof of this…..The moment I would change my name, this uniqueness would cease to exist to a large extent….

Nowadays there are many who opt not to change their name and also adopt the hyphenated version of their spouses name .Its again a completely personal decision which should be left entirely to the girl……….such that “What’s in a name” holds ground even in 21st century India……

 

 

INTOLERANCE

Intolerant! Phaw!!! Whoever said that about us Indians, needs to think again.According to me India is the epitome of tolerance….

I mean look at the Bihar elections, why do you think the party that won actually won?? Were they the best? No way! They were just slightly more tolerable than the opposing party, especially keeping in mind the current scenario in the nation.

That’s what we Indians are all about.We ,over the years have learn t to tolerate the mediocre kind, the vanilla kind, the ordinary kind….We never get the best because we are Oh so tolerant!

A guy leches at a girl,we tolerate it.The auto driver charges a bomb for a two kilometer ride, we tolerate it.The neighbor aunt’s incessant inquiry about your marital status,you tolerate it.You see people relieving themselves on the roads like its their private commode,you tolerate it. You see people parking in front of the “No parking”signboard , you tolerate it.You hear the drunk neighbor thrashing his wife, you tolerate it. You see your distant relative employ a young child to take care of their spoiled brats, you tolerate it.

I mean look at us, I think the thesaurus should include a new synonym for tolerance…India! So yeah, let’s get these intellectuals & writers to take back their awards.They have no idea what they are talking about.

 

 

GARBAGE!!

Aren’t we all familiar with this term? Especially being a citizen of India, we are privileged with the visual delights of garbage in every nook & corner.What, with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, people have taken to littering the streets with a greater vengeance.

But guess what, the definition of garbage is not uni-dimensional , its in fact multidimensional.You not only get to see garbage, you get to hear garbage as well. Most of the people, especially those with a political inclination suffer from verbal diarrhoea.They choose to churn out garbage through their mouths.There is no harm in having an opinion & you must have one! But I just wish people would stop dishing it out to others as if they are some pearls of wisdom….

You also get to read loads of garbage nowadays.Well, probably I write garbage too, but haven’t realized it yet.But people can write the most inane pieces of literature & be proud of it.

As  Indians we have the ability to even romanticise garbage. It became a trend to see celebrities & of course our very own Modiji taking the broom & sweeping the streets. My eyes almost welled up seeing this sight. But to tell you the truth, I think Harry Potter made better use of the broom. He at least managed to win a game of Quidditch on his broomstick.

But we Indians, can’t bear the thought of seeing others win & neither do we make an effort to win over our deficiencies. We just choose to keep rolling & reveling in our garbage forever!