​औरत तेरी यही कहानी

औरत तेरी यही कहानी, 

हर रिश्ता माँगे कुरबानी,

दिल का दर्द सहे छुप छुप के,

आँसु पोंछ अपने आँचल से,  

कहे, ‘ कुछ नही, था वो पानी’
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

भावुक होकर युं पल भर में,

मिटा दे अपनी ही ज़िदगानी,

माँ बाप के घर की रोशनी,

ससुराल में जलती जाती,

मिटा के अपनी खुशियाँ सारी,

दूजों की झोली भरती जाती,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

बन कली जो खिली इक बगिया में,

बन फूल हर कदम कुचली जाती,

राजकुमारी जैसे जीती बचपन में,

पल भर में बन जाती दासी,

दुख से भरी हो जिसकी जीवनी,

खुशियाँ दर दर वो बिखराती,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

पँछि बन उड़ने की चाहत, 

खुला आकाश छूने की ख्वाहिश,

काश जी सकती अपने सपने,

कटे न होते तेरे ये पर,

बन पतंग हवाओं से बतियाती,

गर डोर तेरी न काटी जाती,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

बस पिंजरे में सिसकी भरती,

सहना सब पर कहना न कुछ,

न थकना, न हताश होना,

न मुस्कान का कम होना,

दुखोंमें अपने सुख को ढूंढना,

दिल की गागर में सागर होना,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

न माँ, न मायका अपना,

ससुराल भी पराया होता,

पति के चरणों के धूल की भांति,

क्या कभी तू भी समझी जाती,

किस कोने में घर है तेरा,

ये जग तो पल भर का डेरा,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

ना तेरी हाँ समझी जाती,

चुप्पी तेरी सहमती जताती,

आखिर में तेरी बारी आती,

मान नही, अभिमान नही,

तेरा कभी सम्मान नही,

बस मर्यादा में फंस जाती,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

दुख की कलम से लिखी जाती,

दर्द भरी स्याहि से,

आँसुओं के पन्ने में समाती,

जो चाहे वो कभी न पाती,

अपने मन की कह न पाती,

बस चुपचाप ही सहती जाती,
औरत तेरी यही कहानी,

सहनशीलता की निशानी,

चुप्पी तोड़, अब कह दे सब कुछ,

आँसु पोंछ कर हँस दे अब बस,

और नही, अब और नही,

दुख भरी ये दास्तान और नही,

खुशियों की कलम से लिख दे अब,

सुख परिपूर्ण इक नई कहानी।
औरत तेरी यही कहानी, 

हर रिश्ता माँगे कुरबानी,

दिल का दर्द सहे छुप छुप के,

आँसु पोंछ अपने आँचल से,  

कहे, ‘ कुछ नही, था वो पानी’।

The Last Wish

A fictional short story
Nandita had been visiting an old age home regularly for quite a while now. It was established by her great grandmother she was very fond of that place. Every weekend she would inquire about their requirements and take it along with her. She would spend a few hours with the elderly and had befriended a few residents also.
They were also very fond of her. It was a great bond that they had developed over a period of time. The elderly people living there never complained about any member of their family or children for leaving them there. They were very satisfied and at peace with themselves.
In every visit, Nandita would get a lot of love and was showered by their blessings which was very overwhelming for her. She often wondered if there was anything she could do for them.
A resident called Asha aunty was especially fond of her. She would often make her sit near her and talk to her. She treated her like her daughter. She would always give her biscuits, fruits or whatever snacks she had with her. Nandita always asked her if there was anything that she needed or anything that she could do for her. But the kind old lady would always politely refuse. She was very much content with whatever she had.
One weekend, Nandita went as usual to meet her. Asha aunty was sitting with her friends Veena and Savita aunty. She was very happy. She greeted her in her usual loving manner.
“What’s the matter aunty? You look very happy today?” asked Nandita.
“I received a phone call from my sister yesterday. Her grandson is getting married. She has invited me for the wedding.” Replied Asha aunty.
“All my family members will be there to attend the wedding. It has been quite a while that I have met all of them.” She continued.
“Wow! That’s great! So, what are your plans?” asked Nandita.
“I will be leaving on Thursday by train. The wedding is on Sunday in Amritsar. But there is a problem. I don’t have a bag to carry my belongings. My old bag is torn. Veena and Savita also don’t have one either.” Said Asha aunty.
“Oh! Don’t worry aunty. My husband deals in travel bags. I have a few lying in my car. I will get one for you.” Nandita said excitedly.
“Oh, no! I can’t take anything from you. You are like my daughter.” She replied.
“If I am like your daughter then you will have to take it from me.” Nandita insisted.
She immediately went out to bring the bag. Asha aunty was very reluctant but took it after a lot of persuasions from her.
Nandita left feeling very happy that day. She was very excited that at last she could do something for her. She was also very happy that Asha aunty would be going to meet her family and friends. The entire week she spent thinking about her.
She went to the old age home the next weekend earlier than usual. She was very eager to know whether Asha aunty had gone to Amritsar or not. The old age home looked unusually quiet. Everybody looked sad and spoke in low tone. It made her feel very uncomfortable.
She went straight to Asha aunty’s room. It was locked from outside. She knocked at Veena auntie’s door. She was called in by her.
“Aunty, has Asha aunty left for Amritsar? When will she be back?” inquired Nandita.“Asha has left all of us for good. She will never be back. She expired early Thursday morning.” Veena aunty replied wiping her tears. Nandita was shocked. She stood speechless. Her thoughts ran back to their last meeting. She was to leave for Amritsar on Thursday morning. She was so happy that she would be able to meet all her family members. She did leave on Thursday morning but for where? She went to Asha aunty’s room and opened it.

She saw the bag in a corner. It was filled with her clothes. She must have packed it well in advance. The bag was all that she had needed. It was the first and the last thing that she had asked from her. Her last wish was to meet her family members. If only her last wish could be fulfilled.

Correct but Don’t Criticise

As a parent, we always want our children to grow up with good values and become a responsible human being, but in our attempt, we tend to go overboard. We try to correct our children at every small instance and for every little mistake. At times, we start criticising our children without even thinking how it might affect them.
To correct them is not wrong but it should be done in a way that should not harm their self-esteem. We can always find out ways to correct their habits and behaviour but most importantly we need to correct our own ways of doing so.
Ten ways by which we can correct our children without criticising them are-
1. Choose your words-
Always be careful with the use of words. Be very thoughtful of what you speak. Try to speak to your child without blaming or criticising him. Instead of using harsh, critical words, try to use neutral words. For example, try saying, “the next time, do it this way.”
2. Say it one time, in one way-
Children get confused when we repeat what we said once in more than one way. Try to speak clearly and simply. Don’t repeat a thing again and again in different ways. The instruction should match the tone. Repetition will reduce its impact.
3. Code word-
We often tend to repeat what we once said many times. Children don’t like it. They start ignoring us when we repeat too much to correct them. Instead, we can try to use code words while reminding them of something. It will help as a reminder and the child will not feel bad also.
4. Give them some time-
It might happen that the child must be in the middle of following one instruction. Giving him another instruction before he has even finished the first one will give rise to irritation. Give him some time to finish the task in hand and then tell him another one.
5. One parent at a time-
Very often parents join hands while correcting the child at the same time. It makes the child feel insulted and defeated. Being lectured by both the parents at the same time will harm the self-esteem of the child. When one parent has chosen to correct the child over one thing, the other parent should not pick up the same issue for lecturing him.
6. Take turns-
For correcting the child, both the parents should not pick up the same issue. Instead, take turns. When one parent has already conveyed his or her message of correcting something, the other parent should not pick up the same issue. Parents should discuss among themselves and take turns while addressing issues with the child.
7. Create reminders-
If there is something the child has forgotten to do, don’t rush in to correct it immediately. Think of something that can help him in reminding the next time. For example, stick notes. Make small notes of chores and stick it at different places. The child will immediately notice and remember to do it the next time.
8. Choose your battles-
Sometimes, it is best to ignore small and petty things rather than making them turn into big battles every time. Remember, there might be big and real issues to deal with at some point or the other. So, sometime, it is better to stay quiet and wait for the right time to convey your feelings.
9. Appreciate the good things-
Always remember to acknowledge and appreciate the good things a child does. Even while correcting them, start by addressing something positive and good that they did. This way the child will not feel like a failure.
10. Give grace-
Remember, he is still a child. Keep in mind, that we are raising children. They still have a lot to learn and grow. They are learning the meaning of new words and the world around them.

Loneliness in Old Age- A Bigger Killer Than We Thought

Recently, an uncle in my neighborhood passed away. He lived with his wife. Their four daughters are married and well settled. Uncle and aunt both in their eighties, lived in their house independently. After the death of that uncle, aunt is now all alone. Sick, old and lonely.

It brought to me the sad and the most harsh reality of life – loneliness in Old age. When we were children, we were always surrounded by our protective parents, caring siblings and loving grand parents. When we grew older, we had our bunch of friends to chat and hang out with. We got married and have our husband and children standing by our side. But what when we grow old? Our family members will not be with us, our children will be independently settled. What we will be left with would be ‘us’- old, sick and lonely.

When I look around, I see many old couples living by themselves. There are many elderly whose partners are no more. The elderly in such cases are often surrounded by loneliness. Even doctors are now recognizing loneliness as a disease and consider it more deadly than obesity.

Mother Teresa once said, “the biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of being unwanted and deserted by everybody.” Doctors have also quantified the effects of loneliness disease, warning that lonely people are more likely to die prematurely as against those who do not suffer the feeling of isolation. ( Source : amp.theguardian.com)

Loneliness impairs immune system and boosts inflammation. It can lead to arthritis, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is a disease which is most rarely talked about.

So, how can we help our elderly from loneliness. Let’s help them reconnect. Years back, I had got fascinated with the idea that we should have daycare centers of children near to old age homes or places where elderly live alone. If we could have day-cares of children near the old age homes, it will have two way benefits – 1) the elderly will find the cheerful company of kids and will have something to look forward to. 2) children will be able to spend time with elders like their grandparents.

Another thing that we can do is to help the elderly reconnect. We can always take out time and visit them. Talk to them and make them feel important. Our love and respect is all that they ask for. Isn’t it? Help them reconnect and rebuild a social circle for them. Encourage them to meet and visit their friends and relatives. Plan a family gathering for them and let them be surrounded by their loved ones. Let them live once more, just the way they taught us when we were kids.

नारी है सम्मान की अधिकारी

नारी का करो सम्मान,

नारी है जीवन का आधार,

सुखद होगा तभी समाज,

जब पाएगी नारी समान अधिकार,

बन बेटी जब वो घर आए,

घर मे सुख शाँति लहराए,

खिलखिलाती प्यार फैलाए,

फिर भी अभिमान एक बेटा पाए,

लेकर बस्ता स्कूल वह जाए,

माँ बाप का सर गर्वित करवाए,

बने वकील, डाक्टर, अधिकारी,

सर्व सम्पन्न है आज की नारी,

बहु बने औऱ बने माँ जब,

त्याग की मूरत, ममता की सूरत,

घर बन जाए उसका सँसार,

फिर भी ना पाए अपना अधिकार,

नारी को गर मिले सम्मान,

पर्गति करे सारा समाज,

जो सुख शाँति घर मे आए,

वही सारे जग मे लहराए।