When Virtual becomes Real

The internet has made life easy and complex at the same time. I would like to share my experience with you.

Last year in one of those terrible moods, one day on the net, I was desperate to do something mom would not like. I logged on the computer and went on a chat room of a strange website. This was not the first time. I had chatted earlier but today my rebellious mood was responsible for my adventure.

There was someone called ‘Soul friend’ in that room. My hesitant “Hi” was met with an enthusiastic “Hello darling!”

The conversation took turns and changed tracks. We continued to talk every-day for about a month. I became comfortable by this time and exchanged our email IDs.

One day, he suddenly started asking me personal details. Not being very extrovert on this subject, I immediately tried to change the topic. He became lurid and cheap. I switched off the computer thanking God that this was all virtual and not real.

Next day, I discovered my email account overflowing with his mails. Deleting the email account was not an option as the guy had my phone numbers, my address and other details. I realised I was in for a big trouble.

I decided to confide with my dad. That night my parents patiently listened to my story. The worry on their faces made me cry. Dad consoled me. He and Mom were happy that I shared this ordeal. The next day I surrendered my mobile phone number and got a new one The Email ID was deleted.

We could not change a house it was difficult. However, dad got in touch with a friend who is in the police. I was not allowed to go alone. Life was very difficult when I wanted to hang out with friends.

For about ten months, I felt he was following me. Even in the house I was never left alone. Last month, Dad was transferred to another city, and we were happy to relocate.

This was a lesson, well learnt. Now I am more careful of not disclosing my personal details. I am aware that the Internet is not a safe place for anyone. Chat rooms are the places where these characters hang to trap the innocent. Please have faith in your parents and do listen when they tell you to be on guard. The conversation channels with parents should always remain open.

This is a real experience of a sixteen-year-old daughter of a family friend. This incidence emphasises the need of having a supportive relationship with kids. The need of the times is to be a patient, understanding and non-judging parent.

This post is written as part of the Women’s Web – eKavach This Digi-Parenting Life!’ campaign.

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November Tales

November Tales

 The cool winds of November have started embracing us. Schools are ready for the winters and the uniforms have changed.

It is amazing to watch the sunlight changing direction to enter the dining room. We are blessed with a house which gets ample sunlight in the winters which recedes after the winter scholastic to remain just outside. Every year we watch it with great interest. Many delightful hours are spent in the afternoon sun on the terrace singing, talking, writing reading and studying.

Yesterday, I took out the winter clothing. As I kept everything on the bed to sort out, my daughter was fascinated to see all her stuff.

This year she has grown taller and many sweaters would have to be discarded. Observing the heap I found many moments of certain days entangled in the soft woollens. Here was a lovely pink cardigan with white beads she often wore for parties consecutively for three years.

A bunch of winter caps sit on the edge of the bed as if trying to run away. She picked the red one to try, which was a tight fit. She unhappily puts it. away in the discarded heap. The yellow cap with a Mickey Mouse was fine but had a big brown stain.

“Mama the stain did not go away even after a year! “

I smile and look at the cap which had accompanied us on many Sunday trips to so many places. In fact, the image of her small head bobbing in this favourite yellow cap is so etched in my mind that I am sure I will remember it even when she is grown up.

The bed is covered with a melange of colours and soft fabrics. Dried neem leaves fall off from folds. There are silks, a light pink khadi silk one which was a gift from a friend from college looks beautiful! I remember the first time I wore this sari for a college function. We were not well versed in the art of draping a sari in those days, and I had put many pins to add to the ‘safety’. Today even without one I manage effortlessly.

How you change with times is an amazing realisation. We all journey unknowingly through the train of time which passes through tunnels, meadows valleys…and we are on the move literally and figuratively as well.

I glanced at my daughter; she was busy trying out a jacket which had outgrown her.

“Mama I am tall and grown up. I cannot fit into this anymore” she happily chirped. A child is always in a hurry to grow up.

A smile touches my lips as I recognize an ephemeral moment fluttering around on invisible wings of mindfulness. Days walk and years fly.  I will remember this moment captured exactly as it is in my heart. Happy to have the awareness of conscious mindfulness to recognize these moments when they visit.

Whoever said life transformation is a big deal? Not at all! It is hidden in these profound moments where ever they find us. By being receptive and open to welcome these moments into our life for all of these will make their way to the treasure trove of memories. It is not the big adventures that make life worth but some precious moments of serene joy of everyday life. The day I discovered this simply profound truth, life became a series of joyous adventure.

There are days when I am too busy with work and playing house house. There are days when I encounter people with extreme negativity. On some when I just want to sit and do nothing but a million tasks are calling me. At such time I take a deep breath and say ‘This is what is’. I put a ten-minute alarm on the mobile to do just the thing at hand. So if am chopping an onion it gets all my attention, if I am sorting papers my mind is the paper. If I am writing I just write until the alarm.

At the end of the day there are a lot many things, which loom around on the orbit of urgency like planets gone wild, I hear all the family members who jostle for my attention but within this chaos, there is calmness. I recall that story, which has 200 words, or the neat drawer, the dal tadka I made for the evening dinner, those two pages the book I managed to read, the small Chrysanthemum bud which was dancing in the afternoon sun. I know I have achieved a lot with a reason to smile happily, because I just count what really needs to be counted and don’t feel the need for accounting.