Chaitra 26, 2046 (April 8, 1990). If I asked, does the date remind you of something? Most young people will respond with a 'no'. Some older people might remember as something did happen but not exactly sure what it is. It is possible its importance is masked by so many other important incidents that took place in Nepal, since then. For me, it is special.
Everyone is talking about coronavirus. It is now a pandemic, with schools closed, and the country under lockdown. People are wearing masks. Now their household has hand sanitizer bottles. On top, you instructed everyone to wash their hands every half hour. Even the phone company set the phone's caller ring back tone to play information related to coronavirus. Under such circumstances, your children have heard about coronavirus.
Due to the threat of coronavirus pandemic, all academic instructions, including schools, colleges, and universities have been shut down. This presents parents with the challenge of entertaining and educating their children during this forced break. I am sure not all children will be excited at the thought of learning during this time, but that situation is going to change soon. The euphoria of a break will soon wear off, and then children will feel pretty empty because the schools will remain closed for at least a few more weeks. Let us not think about more time than that at the moment.
I have been reading newspapers and come across the following headlines: People asked not to make movements outside the home except when it is absolutely essential, gatherings of more than 25 persons at party venues, temples, mosques, monasteries and other public places banned, cinema halls, cultural centers, stadiums, gyms, health clubs, museums, swimming pools, entertainment spaces, dance bars and clubs to remain shut till April 30, regular classes and examinations of academic institutions suspended till April 12.
I sometimes stay up past bedtime to watch a cricket match. Recently I was watching one, and there was a promotional advertisement. The punch line of the commercial, during Champion’s League football match, was sonamanahhai, you can’t sleep. The message jolted me back to reality, and I suddenly realized it was way past my bedtime. I shut the TV and went to sleep, assuring myself I could always catch the highlight of the game the next day on TV.
Now that you have finally survived long days of pregnancy, and painful childbirth, you are officially parents. You find out, your baby has already received the first dose of vaccine. Babies typically receive the first dose of the Hepatitis b vaccine at birth. Congratulation, you are now ready to experience your baby’s eventful first year. Be prepared to face the challenge of sleepless nights, diaper changing, and regulating feeding times.
A few years ago, during an interaction with school children, I noticed a few children behaving differently. I thought they were just shy, but there was one hyperactive child. I asked the teacher’s permission to interact closely with the child. I suspected learning disabilities in the child. Initially, they were reluctant to acknowledge it, but later, they agreed with me. This is just one example.
The morning started as usual, but by the time I finished my first cup of tea, it turned out to be rather interesting. As I was surfing through the news portals, I came across a report that Apple would soon come up with a single device to charge all its products. The news was all about wireless charging. Upon sharing this news with my family, the conversation automatically diverted to a discussion on the advancement of science through the years. This reminded me of my conversation with my eldest son some years ago. I remember him telling me about one of his friends’ success with the wireless charging technology.
In this era of ‘me too’ and ‘acid attacks’, we are hearing more men and boys making the same type of mistakes again and again. Under such circumstances, I think it is time we asked ourselves: Where did we go wrong while raising our boys? Are we still influenced by our patriarchal society’s male preference? Frankly speaking, I don’t have the answers to these questions, but male preference is gradually decreasing.
My readers might be thinking, ‘why am I talking about this topic?’ The other day I was talking to some young parents about their experience of dealing with pregnancy. I was surprised to find out that most of them had played no role during their wife’s pregnancy. They had their parents and other extended family helping out during the whole period and of course after the child was born. Although they showed ‘I don’t care’ attitude, I am pretty sure they were equally excited. It’s just in our culture men feel awkward showing their emotions in public. After all, they are men and emotions are for the weaker being like a woman.
I know you all are wondering, ‘what is the connection between anxiety disorder, youth, and meditation?’ There is a relation between all three of the above. The other day I had an opportunity to interact with some National college students regarding their struggle with anxiety. It was an opportunity for me to understand their struggles and the causes of their anxiety.
In Nepal, we follow plenty of superstitions without even thinking twice. We have them engrained so well in our day to day affairs that we act first and then think about them. The other day during dinner I asked for a green chilly. My grandson brought one to me and put it in a plate, though I had my hand out. Traditionally chilly is not put directly in someone’s hand. He also believed putting a chilly directly into someone’s hand invites fighting. Later I thought about it and had a good laugh. I don’t think he even considered it for a bit, because it had become a habit where certain things are done spontaneously. The above incident reminded me of another instance from a long time ago.
Parents please don’t make a face just yet. This is a very important topic. When I start to talk for the rights of people with disability, I often get asked if someone in my family has some form of disability because I do not have any disability. Without my glasses, I would be one. Let us face it. Challenges to a person’s health can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time. Just remember those people impacted by the earthquake. They were abled people before. Now within a very short time they have become people with disability. Their lives have changed.
It’s already time for school and your teenager is still not ready to wake up. You tried multiple times to wake him/her up without success. It’s been a constant struggle ever since your child became a teenager. You expected with age your child would change his/her behavior. It changed, but for the worse. He/she started sleeping more. You are frustrated.