“HOW PARENTING IMPACTS OUR LIFE”
A 20 year old girl recently came into limelight. She is a medical student and aspires to be a cardiac surgeon, a trained kuchipudi dancer and is also a poet. She gained some moving experiences in the dissection hall, the pressures of practicals and emotionally demanding clinical postings in the hospital wards. During her first posting in surgery, she came across a cancer patient who had come in with her four year old child. At 19 then, she revealed – “It was a serious case at an advance stage. I felt helpless as I realized you cannot cure, you can only assist. I called up my father to ask how he handles such cases.” Her father also being a surgeon told – “It is important to keep your emotions in check.”
It was a marvelous piece of advice by a father to a daughter who went on to become “Miss World 2017” out of 176 contestants from 126 countries of the world at Sanya in China on 18th November 1017. We are talking about Manushi Chhiller of Haryana India.
After the crowning glory, she kept her calm and said – “My parents have always been my pillar of support and having them here (at the event in China) by my side has only brought me more strength and joy.” To her surprise she spotted her parents in the audience just before her ‘master stroke’ reply to the final question. The question was – “Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?”
Her reply was simply awesome and won the hearts of the world. It is a tribute to motherhood as well. She said – “Since I am very close to my mother I think a mother deserves highest respect and when you talk about salary I don’t think it is always about cash but I feel it is the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life. All mothers sacrifice, so much for their kids. So the profession which deserves the highest salary, the highest respect and love, it should be of the Mother.”
It was a spontaneous response before a packed audience, and the world media. Her father who once told – It is important to keep your emotions in check, paid off.
It is the way everybody should look at the role of parents and get inspired. One of my friends who happen to be a corporate trainer and motivational speaker is blessed with a beautiful daughter. Still in primary standard, she epitomizes confidence of her age. She developed the fine art of public speaking at the age of just 7 years. She hold the mike in confidence, speaks clearly, cohesively with clarity of thought. What is more remarkable, she gives the gist of what she has spoken and expect from the audience from her talk. She is Tavleen of Delhi. I could find a spark in her budding attitude about to take strong wings. The credit certainly rests with her parents in giving shape to her talent.
Now coming to the challenges and ground realities that envelops the children and parents as well is something worth exploring. There is one upcoming actress Swara Bhasker who worked in ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ and ‘Anarkali of Aarah’ and soon to be released ‘Veere Di Wedding’. She is an alumnus of DU and JNU, bold and outspoken. In a Times Lit Fest held in New Delhi on 25th & 26th November 2017 at India Habitat Center, she spoke about how the film industry is evolving, the biggest adjustments in her journey from JNU to Bollywood, and why producers don’t address controversial topics. The theme of her session was ‘Being a woman in Bollywood’ and she started by saying that it is the same as being a woman in the world – in the male dominated working world. The parental guided mindsets of men need to get change. The producers who are again men dominated; weave a story around male character at large, be it romantic or valor. Consequently the problem with our films, especially the big commercial films, has been that the actors shoot for 200 days and actresses, because their role is smaller, shoot for 50 days. So if you have shot for 50 days, then you should get paid for 50 days and not for 200 days. “That is where the change has to begin, in the length of roles for women.” – She said. The stories are generally picked from real life and in real life it is the female whose influence is more pronounced and creative. “When I read a script, I don’t see if it is commercial, or an art film, or what the box office response will be, because that is not my area. I look at the role and I think how hard I will have to work.” – She added.
Realistic parenting gave her clear picture of life, the life style, the living style and the ground reality of life. She got her best award, when from the audience her school teacher Anjali Bannerjee got up to ask a question and hastened to add – “I am proud of you.” Swara introduced her Maths teacher to the audience first and then replied with a befitting salutation any teacher deserves, “Thank you Ma’am, it is an honor to have you here, your very presence is a blessing … the job of a teacher is to question, no matter where she stand ”
A woman by name Valsa was rescued by one young Vidya on 5th November 2017, found begging at Thiruvananthapuram Rly Station. She later turned out be a retired teacher of Malappuram Kerala and loudly depicts the game life plays on senior citizens.
Kerala is the state where for many years literacy rate is 100% and here was a teacher who taught maths for 33 years was found begging at Thiruvananthapuram Rly. Station. Vidya M. R. who is a Computer Assistant in State Secretariat noticed this lady in unwashed clothes, carefully plucking some fruits from a tree shrub. Curiosity brought her closer to her and wondered, she is not what she looks. Out of sympathy she brought some idli & vada for her to eat. Gaining her confidence she asked some question, and immensely got surprised to know her profile. She instantly took some photos of her and posted them in social media with her own contact number. Within no time she started receiving calls from all over the southern part of India and even abroad, from her students, identifying their maths teacher.
As she returned next day to tell her the response of people and their willingness to take care of her, she could not find her at the spot where she left her previous day. However on the fifth day, the ‘teacher turned beggar’ was picked by the Sub Collector of Thiruvananthapuram Ms. Diviya S. Iyer who escorted her to an Old Age Home ‘Sayahanam’ run by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. Her students wanted to take her, the Govt. wanted to take care of her but the dignified Valsa refused to oblige any one. She insisted to leave only with her son or husband. As per police investigation it was a case of abandoning. The police located her mother and sister on 15th November but Valsa could not recognize them as she left the house more than 40 years. She is 67 then.
Vidya did a great initiative in making an unknown known and reviving a human concern for the fellow beings. Her students have gone on to become NRIs & millionaires.
This is nothing but a miracle, where a teacher is found abandoned, found mentally derailed for want of care and love. And out of nowhere receives abundant love, care and attention from her student children. It is rightly said a lotus blooms in a slush only. Various social organizations have come forward to help her. Her husband is identified who is a businessman by name Somsharma Das and only son Soorya who is mechanic in southern railways. It was her luck that she got recognised and hopefully may soon come to terms with life, with dignity.
Be it be the parents of Manushi; Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar & Dr. Neelam Chhillar, or of little Tavleen; Supreet Arora & Kulvinder Kaur, or of Swara; Chitrapu Uday Bhaskar & Ira Bhaskar or the one of Ms Vidya all are engaged in setting high level of bench marks for a purposeful parenting. There is an epic story of one Shravan Kumar, who as a young child etched his name to immortality. His reference comes in the religious book of Hindus, the Ramayana.
At the time when King Dashratha was reigning Ayodhya a boy was born to a poor Brahmin family of Shantvan and Gyanwanti. Both were highly pious and god loving. But due to a curse of a sage they turned blind. The boy was named Shravan Kumar. He was the only son of his parents. Shravan proved to be a dutiful son and used to take great care of his parents – cooking their food, washing their clothes and fulfilling all their needs.
One day her mother called him and expressed their common desire to go for pilgrimage, but reluctantly also discussed their physical limitations and bleak possibility of undertaking the journey, as they thought they are already a burden to their son. Before his parents could say more he interrupted them – “Please, don’t say such words again I am only doing my duty because parents are next to God for their children. It is due to you I have born in this beautiful world.” His parent’s heart overflowed with love and affection for their son. They blessed him and said, “We are proud of having a son like you but we are very unfortunate that we are blind. Like all other people of our age we wanted to pilgrimage for the purification of our soul and pray for your long life and happiness. We are getting physically weak and have no strength to travel. We must have committed some sins in previous life, hence suffering now.”
“Dear parents, please don’t make yourself feel so lowly. Whatever god has given, please accept it as His will. What if you are blind, I will take you to all the places of pilgrimage,” said Shravan assuring his parents. Accordingly he prepared a palanquin and made his parents sit on either side to carry them on his shoulders. His neighbours came to see the device and were highly impressed and were full of praise for him. Shravan proceeded for the pilgrimage. Wherever he moved, he would explain every detail of the surrounding, shrines and environment. After a long stretch of continuous journey they reached the bank of river Sarayu. Hearing the sound of flowing river, her mother requested Shravan to take some rest and bring some water for them to drink. Shravan took a urn and proceeded to bring water for them.
Per chance King Dashrath was also out in nearby jungles to hunt. He had the unique ability to hit the target by simply sensing the direction of the sound, no matter the distance or its visibility. A unique scenario was about to get unfolded. There was a group grappling with all the problems and on the hand a blessed one with special powers. As soon as Shravan dipped his urn in the water, a bubbling sound echoed. Dashrath who was all committed to shoot, released the arrow in the direction of the sound. Unknowingly he made Shravan a victim of his expertise, thinking that some animal is drinking water. He rushed towards the cry of a human being. On seeing a young boy badly hit by his powerful arrow, he deeply regretted. But it was too late to retract the action. Shravan told his part of the story and requested the king to take care of his blind parents sitting nearby, awaiting for water. King Dashrath asked for forgiveness, but it was of no use as Shravan succumbed to the fatal injury.
The king collected the broken pieces of pitcher and collected whatever water it could contain and reached the place where Shravan’s parents were sitting. He offered water to them but they got suspicious that all is not well. They got an intuition that the carrier of the water was not their son. “Shravan my son, why are you so late? We have been waiting for you impatiently. We heard a loud cry coming from the river side. Your mother became very anxious.” said Shantvan and caught hold of stranger’s hand. A mere touch confirmed their suspicion. Dashrath disclosed his identity and told them all that happened and that he shot their son by mistake. The couple got shocked and filled with grief.
King Dashrath with folded hands said, “Please forgive me for my action and punish me in whatever way you like, but please have some water.” Crying bitterly, Shravan’s old parents said to the king, “We are old and incapacitated. We can’t move. How can we punish you? We will die here fasting, but before we die we lay a curse on you. Just as we die for the loss of our son, you will also die one day like us due to the separation from your son.” Saying this the Brahmin Couple breathed their last before the king. King Dashrath who was childless at that time could not really realized the grief of aged parents.
Years rolled by and Dashrath too met his end the same way on the separation of his two sons Rama and Lakshman and Rama’s wife Sita.
The moral of the above stories speak about the role of parents in shaping the future of the children. The great mythological story of Shravan Kumar has influenced the character of children towards their parents. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, when he was a child, was also greatly influenced by the devotion of Shravan Kumar after he saw a picture of Shravan carrying his parents on his shoulders. Shravan’s love and devotion for his parents stands as a notable example for every child to follow. Parents are next to God, as we see from the character of Shravan. Where Shravan died is named ‘Sarvan’ (now in Unnao Distt. of U.P.). The spot from where Dashrath shot his arrow came to be known as ‘Sarwara’ and place where Shravan’s parents died is called ‘Samadha’. Villagers from Sarvan and adjoining places visit the spot every Monday to offer prayers to Shravan, who is revered as a dutiful son.
What we see in Manushi Chhillar, Tavleen Arora, Swara Bhaskar, and Vidya as radiant stars to the dotting parents, their parenting standard and ultimately as role models to humanity. These daughters of the 21st Century are growing to show the true role of parents in shaping their future and of humanity.