Conversations with a teenager

I had a long and intense discussion with a 13 year old today….and came out impressed, with what our youth today represent. The young woman, and I call her that with intent, had strong views, was willing to argue and defend them, and was not intimidated by questions around them. If there was a rebellious streak, it was only to not be shaken in her beliefs. We need this youth, because they are the future which can change our present. And if the present is a repetition of our past, it is only because I or you, were not like these teenagers. We were too willing to accept everything told to us.

In this conversation, there were some key messages I tried to convey, which I am sharing with you. I think they are relevant to other teenage kids, and also to me and you:

1. Being an adult is about accepting that we will have to do things that we dont always like

2. We are making decisions everyday in our life, some big and some small. Find time to reflect back on these decisions and learn from them

3. We have to be making mistakes in our decision making. Identify those mistakes and learn from them. If you can’t find any mistakes, it only means that you aren’t taking decisions or you are not reflecting on them enough

4. If you want the freedom and independence of an adult, you have to learn to bear the cost and consequences of being an adult.

5. You need to ask yourself constantly….” when was the last time you did something for the first time”….and if you can’t remember, you need to go out and seek new experiences.

6. Learn to present your thoughts and arguments in written form. Most battles will not be won by arguing verbally, but by the written word. And learn to do this with precision, and with brevity.

7. Reach out and talk to people to understand other’s points of view, and to learn. Listen to know more, and not to argue your own point better. Have an opinion, but don’t let it limit your ability to listen

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New Year Party at the Zoo

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Mr Freeze Boogie Woogie

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A supper funny story

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Marriage …

Marriage …. What does this word really mean ? Apart from the meanings that would come top of mind, it also means “mixture” or “blend”. And that is, in its’ essence, what it truly is.

Two people, sometimes known, and sometimes unknown to each other, come together and commit to a life time together. You can do it in a court, a church, a temple, or around a fire; the underlying promise to each other is the same. One shall share and support each other. One shall be a mirror and a shoulder to each other. One shall provide, and care, and love, and have kids ( this is a very indian expectation of marriage!)…..aah ! We have so many expectations from marriage.

It seems all so perfect. A marriage is made in heaven, and is our path to redemption. If it initially does not turn out to be, than have a kid (as the parents would say), and redemption shall be attained !

But like life, it never is so perfect. There are times when spouses dont listen to each other, when instead of being a mirror, they become blank glass panes with nothing out there to see. When sharing is more like fighting. When kids are more the obstacle than the path to redemption. Marriage becomes a dull, browny, dirty mixture. Where the original colours are lost, and the resultant colour is even more distasteful.

But in marriage, like in life, we have to make adjustments, we have to manoeuvre. We have to be patient. We have to learn not to expect, to not get disappointed. We have to let go, of that part of ourselves, that we thought is our defining self. This can be a painful adjustment. We will shout out loud, life is so unfair ! Marriage is so unfair !

This mixture can smell so foul, feel so disgusting, that we feel like throwing it all away. But isnt this mixture just like life? You dont make it better by running away from it ? You dont change life by not living it !

When the mixture becomes dirty and muddy, you cant separate the colours to find their original beauty. You have to mix it even more, maybe add some more colour. To lighten a dark brown paint, try adding white, try adding a bit of red/yellow, maybe even a bit of blue.

To find that beauty in marriage, put in more colour. Put in a new colour. To take out more, you will have to put in more.

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My stories in the avataar of “Uncle Neeraj”

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Comedy Circus

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Lil Bo Peep goes to Mars

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Kids story – Lil Bo Peep goes to Neptune

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Kids stories – fun animal noises, dancing and merriment

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