Friday, June 24, 2016

Silent Kindness


So we are at the end of seven weeks of kindness. Focusing on kindness and being kind all these weeks had been a kind of spiritual experience. Doing something kind for someone and not telling them or letting them know, is another heat-warming experience. And when that person realizes what you have done for them, their expression on their faces is no less rewarding. I am really glad that I chose to take up this challenge.

After my last week's reflection post, a brother tagged me in a post on FB that said, 
 
"Overloaded doses on kindness has led to the world we encounter, a tight slap straight onto the cheek can save the planet in more ways than imaginable. Just make sure you have enough muscles/authority/power/lobby."

His remark made me reflect on my behaviour. For me, my world is my family on both sides. What would be the consequences if I lash out at people around me at home when I am angry/annoyed/upset with them? What would be their reactions? Would they still like to talk to me or start to avoid having any kind of conversations with me? Would a tight slap (literally or figuratively) save my world or hurl it towards bitterness? I know, in many situations, it is the stern word that works and not kind ones. But I believe the stern word would work effectively only if the concerned party holds you in respect (triggered by kindness and humanity) instead of spite or fear (triggered by muscles/authority/power/lobby).

What do you think?


I am taking part in the first ever Kindness Challenge (2016) hosted by Nikki from The Richness Of A Simple Life.

The weekly prompts:
Week 1: Start you day with kindness
Week 2: Observe kindness around you
Week 3: Focus your energy on being kind to others
Week 4: Focus on doing something kind for someone
Week 5: End your day thinking about kindness
Week 6: Think about someone that inspires you to be better, kinder, gentler
Week 7: Do something kind for someone and keep it to yourself

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Fart Thing


I am sure that since childhood, you have seen men farting unabashedly. They might be the men in your family, friends, male co-passengers in public transport or random men. They are mostly excused for their demeanor and seldom rebuked for it. In case of men, farting is as natural as speaking. After-all farting is absolutely a man thing, isn't it! Farts are discussed, analyzed, reviewed and even nicknamed. But what about women?

As a kid, I actually believed that women don't break wind (a better word for fart, now that I am talking about women); that it is a phenomenon applicable only to men. Then I slowly grew up. I observed that women who broke wind in the presence of other women were ridiculed and made fun of. Breaking wind in the presence of men is still an unknown phenomenon. So I learned that women are not supposed to break wind in front of anybody. Another social dogma.

I have no brothers of my own and have grown up with only one male in the house, my father. And he farts all the time. I share my marital home with five males and one female. So farting is usual business here too. But I have never seen (heard, felt, smelled, whatever) any female relative or friend, or any acquaintance for that matter breaking wind openly; except for the sudden bouts of foul smell in the women's compartment in the metro sometimes. But I do know women who burp ferociously. So it makes me wonder if women have learned to channelize their flatulence upwards instead.


In our societies worldwide, behavioural as well as habitual aspects are categorized as masculine or feminine. Snoring, sweating, burping, farting, smoking, drinking (in most cultures) or swearing/cursing are an absolute no-no for women. Which cultured lady does all of these? But they are perfectly okay for men though. On the other hand, tears, physical weakness, fear, gentleness, caring nature, household chores are considered unmanly. In fact not smoking or drinking is considered unmanly.

Fart/Breaking wind is defined as "a reflex that expels intestinal gas through the anus" (Noun) or "expel intestinal gas through the anus" (Verb). So, it is a natural phenomenon for all human beings. The only difference is that while a man does it outrageously and openly, a woman has gained more control over it and wait for moments when she is alone or in a crowd where she will not be heard or pointed out.


I was recently reading an article where a woman was sharing how her husband rebukes her if she accidentally breaks wind in his presence, while he did that all the time. Readers remarked that her husband is ridiculous, arguing that couples who fart in front of each other and laugh about it are not pretending about anything and have healthier relationships. There are other articles where it is said that women who fart unabashedly are real women and that they are not oppressed by social norms.

I personally believe that farting in presence of other people is only a case of etiquette. If it is considered manner-less for women to fart in public, it should be true in the case of men too. If little girls are taught to control their farts till they are alone, little boys should be trained similarly (instead of being amused when they do that). But I also know this is not going to happen in ages. As long as we are alive, we have put up with men farting around us pathetically. And the only thing we can do is cover our noses or hold our breath.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Kindness Inspired


When we choose to look at and acknowledge kind people around us, it becomes possible to be inspired. There are many people around me that inspire me to be better, kinder and gentler. The most dear to me among them are the following:
  • My maternal grandfather: He is the most gentle and soft-spoken man I have known in my life. I have never seen him shouting at anyone and he is always kind in words and behaviour towards all. 
  • My maternal grandmother: She is ready to help people at the drop of the hat. She goes beyond the call to help relatives, friends and people who are less privileged than her. She never thinks twice about giving away her own stuff in order to fulfill someone else's needs.
  • My mother: She has taken after her father when it comes to being kind in behaviour, words and thoughts. Even when someone is being unkind to her face, she is not able to answer back with harshness.
  • My parents-on-law: They are ever ready to help people around them, be it relatives or mere acquaintances. In several cases, even before they are approached for help, they do it. They have been supporting several families in various ways in whatever way can over the years now.
  • My husband: He has taken after his parents and always stands with a 'happy to help' banner. But sometimes he really goes overboard in his kindness acts much to my as well as his parents' annoyance. He always tells me, "There is always a better way to say things", and practices the same.


I am taking part in the first ever Kindness Challenge (2016) hosted by Nikki from The Richness Of A Simple Life.

The weekly prompts:

Week 1: Start you day with kindness
Week 2: Observe kindness around you
Week 3: Focus your energy on being kind to others
Week 4: Focus on doing something kind for someone
Week 5: End your day thinking about kindness
Week 6: Think about someone that inspires you to be better, kinder, gentler
Week 7: Do something kind for someone and keep it to yourself

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gratitude For Kindness


Ramadan started earlier this week. So the challenge activity of appreciating kindness in our lives everyday was perfectly in sync with the spirit of the auspicious month.

In the past week, I appreciated and at the same time thanked the Almighty for the kindness surrounding me in various forms:
  • I am not being able to contribute towards the preparation of Iftaar (breaking fast at sunset) meal as I manage to reach home just in time for Iftaar. It is the kids (younger siblings) at home who are doing it as a team. I am not forgetting to appreciate or thank them for their efforts.
  • My regular auto-rickshaw agreed to pick me up from the office in the evenings as well and thanks to him, I am able to reach home in time for Iftaar. 
  • Loving and supporting families (maternal as well as marital)
  • Most caring husband
  • Good working environment
  • A brother-in-law getting me mango-shake and sister-in-law suggesting me to eat a banana at Sehri (early morning meal before starting fast at sunrise) 

Read my Ramadan posts, The Gift of Ramadan and Humbled By Fasting.
  


I am taking part in the first ever Kindness Challenge (2016) hosted by Nikki from The Richness Of A Simple Life.
 

The weekly prompts:
Week 1: Start you day with kindness
Week 2: Observe kindness around you
Week 3: Focus your energy on being kind to others
Week 4: Focus on doing something kind for someone
Week 5: End your day thinking about kindness
Week 6: Think about someone that inspires you to be better, kinder, gentler
Week 7: Do something kind for someone and keep it to yourself

Monday, June 6, 2016

Being Kind

With the rising temperatures in Delhi (maximum temperatures around 45 degrees Celsius), it is difficult to keep one's cool let alone be kind. I personally don't do good when I am in the kitchen and dripping with sweat in such extreme weather conditions. That is the worst time to have a sensible word with me. Nonetheless, I tried hard over the weekend to be calm and not to lose my cool.

 
In the past week, I was kind to others by:
  • Holding the elevator for a person who was rushing from a distance to get in.
  • Doing dirty laundry which was piled up by the boys over many days.
  • Doing a task myself which was assigned to someone else (but connected to me) as that person was having a really busy day.
  • Remembering to water the plants.
  • Not cursing my boss when I had to stay back in office for two and half hours due to a last moment task.
  • Complimenting a friend when she wore a dress different from her usual style.
  • Being courteous (Read more of it in "Being Courteous")
  • Not being harsh on the new maid who didn't report on the day she promised (or a couple of more days after that!)
  • Being polite to obnoxious co-passengers on the metro.  

I am taking part in the first ever Kindness Challenge (2016) hosted by Nikki from The Richness Of A Simple Life.
 

The weekly prompts:
Week 1: Start you day with kindness
Week 2: Observe kindness around you
Week 3: Focus your energy on being kind to others
Week 4: Focus on doing something kind for someone
Week 5: End your day thinking about kindness
Week 6: Think about someone that inspires you to be better, kinder, gentler
Week 7: Do something kind for someone and keep it to yourself