This and That

October 24, 2011

Visit to Boodom 2011

Filed under: Alt St. Johann, family, kids, travelogue — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 11:04 pm

Had a wonderful time in Zurich with Ashu, Antu, Boo and Boo’s Hd. Ashu was thrilled since my visit was a surprise to her. Antu was not very thrilled. She took time to warm up to me or she teased me, only she knows. Antu declared, she doesn’t like me with a smile. And she kept repeating till the last day with a naughty smile. Every time I told her I liked her, her answer was, “Perimma kku enna pidikkum, enakku perimma pudikkadhu(Perimma likes me, but I don’t like perimma)”. Although on the last day, she had her bags packed and was ready to leave with me to OOOYES(US) leaving her amma/appa/akka. Stay at Boo’s house was a welcome change of pace in the midst of my week day work trips to Germany. We did squeeze in hikes, dinners during the weekend. We went to a super tasty Italian restaurant with family and a girls night out to Movie restaurant where I had a fake birthday celebration since the birthday girl didn’t show up.
Over the weekend, we went for a 4 hour hike at Alt St.Johann. The kids were such a sport walking without complaining. Here are some pictures. Isn’t it such a fun idea to have kids-friendly trails? Only Swiss can think of these wonderful ideas!!

Hiking trip

 
 
 
 
 
 
     
     
 
 
 
     

Also took a walk in the woods with the Ashu and Boo. It was a beautiful morning.

Walk in the woods

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April 27, 2011

A Husband’s perspective on CSA

Filed under: emotions, kids, Rant — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 9:58 am

This is a guest post by Yaadayaada’s husband! This post is not moderated or seen by yaadayaada as yet!!

This one is for you yaada yaada!! I will always love and support you.

I have been reading some of the blogs posted as a part of CSA Awareness month. So I thought I will write my first blog as a means
of expressing my support and solidarity for this cause and also as the smallest possible thing I can give my wife yaadayaada who
has been a victim of this.

As a kid I have been completely impervious and fortunately away from such monstrosity!! These people who dare do such acts of
depravity are not human beings. Even animals do not stoop down to such levels. So there is no place in the living world for such
creatures!

Unfortunately I am not as tolerant and I can’t turn a blind eye to this. So I often argue with yaadayaada that she should confront
the person who dared to abuse her! But I respect her decision and her argument that it should be the abuser who should be
ashamed and feel bad about it.

I am the kind of person who sees a lot of things in black and white. I know the real world is not that way. But I still feel that it will
give me a closure if I can confront such horrible people. Granted they most likely will not face it or accept it. But if I feel it gives me
a closure, I will not hesitate to do this. This does not work for every person who is abused and they will have to deal with it the way
they feel right.

I dont want to talk about what we can do to prevent it, as I feel there are lots of people here who have given multiple opinions on
that matter and I completely agree with all of them. I don’t think I can add anything more in this aspect.

All I want to say is, I cannot describe the feeling of disgust I have for such folks! I have always felt so damn helpless when we
(yaadayaada and I) talk about this topic. I feel that we can never come to conclusion on what can be done to prevent or to confront
people who do this (especially when the people who do such things are in your trusted circle). I would treat them (left to me) no
different than a person who would have been a stranger in this case. All I can do is to listen to her(yaadayaada) and feel bad and
sorry for the fact that she had to go through it.

So husbands or spouses, please be supportive to all folks who have been victims and give them their space so that they can deal
with it the way they feel best. This is the least that we can do for our loved ones.

Always, be on the lookout for suspicious activity even if it is not your own child or kid. Hopefully we can at least make such devils think
that they are alway being watched. If it was left to me I will create a bulletin board and put the photographs of every such monster
and publish it for the world to see and criticize. This applies to friends and family as well, not just strangers who do this. In my
opinion, if a person can stoop down to such level, they cease to be friend or a family to me. I don’t even want to be unknowingly
talking and socializing with them.

My heart felt sympathies to all those who had to go through this. I cannot even begin to describe my feelings against such lowly
souls of the society! If there is anything at all I can do to help this awareness spread I will be more than happy to give a helping
hand.

Thanks to whoever started this and to all the folks who have taken the time to write their opinions on this topic.
Vijay

April 25, 2011

CSAA – What it means to me?

Filed under: emotions, kids — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 8:59 pm


A bunch of questions come to my mind as soon as I came to know about CSAA blogathon. Some of the questions were directed to me and some of them stemmed from my mind. So I am going to start listing the questions with my answers.

1. Am I a CSAA survivor?
* Yes I am.
2. How do Ideal with it? How has it changed me?
* Tell my self almost every day that it is not my fault. I shouldn’t feel bad for a sec since the person who should feel bad is the abuser and not me. I tell myself that I refuse to feel bad since I am not the one to blame. My parents, guardians, the abusers are to be blamed. Not me. Is it easy? No. But I try my level best not to be a victim. I watch my nieces, friend’s kids like a hawk when they are around adults. Don’t trust any adult. Well, don’t blame me for that. Blame my abuser.
3. As a non-parent and a CSA survivor, what is my advice to parents/guardians?
* Be aware. Don’t take CSA lightly. Don’t trust blindly. Please talk to your children about what is safe and what is not. Make sure you make the other parents around you aware of CSA.
* As children who grew up in India, most of us have endured, the groping, staring, flashed, pinched, spanked while in buses,bicycles, streets, etc. They do have an impact in a child’s life, but that is nothing compared to being abused by a trusted friend, uncle, parent, grandparent etc.
* Public sexual abuse – it is easier for a parent to take actions. It can be prevented or handled by escorting the kids, talking to them about public safety, empowering them to be vocal about it when they are being abused in public and also equip them with pepper spray, safety pins and the likes. (As much as it sounds harsh, believe me when I say, safety pins work like a magic in public space.) I say it is easier to handle because it is easier for a human being to attack a stranger much easily than a known devil. Take blogging for example. How many of us are taunted by anonymous trolls?
* Abuse by someone in trusted circle – it is a different beast. It is very confusing even for adults, leave alone the children. Let us first see if we can prevent it. Very difficult to prevent since it is typically someone the parents trust and tell the children that they can trust them. If it is a parent who is abusing, it gets even more complicated. Can a woman be an abuser? Much to the shock of most of us, Yes they can be, although a smaller percentage. It is very difficult to prevent unless you live in a bubble with your children with an assumption you, yourself is not an abuser. So now that preventing is almost out of the question, let us see what we can do? Being aware. Empowering our children to yell, shout, scream, the second they feel uncomfortable. Keeping the communication channel open with our children. Always being very supportive to our children. Never dismiss any of their concerns regarding this issue. Make sure they understand that it is not their fault. Listen, listen, listen!
4. What would like to say to the survivors?
* Hang in there! It is not your fault. It never will be. Take one day at a time. And again, you are not at fault.
5. For everyone else, who wants to give you their 2 cents
* Each person’s experience is different, unless you have gone through what I have, please keep your opinions and suggestions to yourself. You have no right to tell me what to do, how to react. Each person deals with it differently. As long as that person is not harming anyone else, it is the right way for them. So if you have listening ears listen, be supportive and move on. Just because I am a victim, don’t expect me to be a crusader, CSAA advocate. I will do what I want, when I want. If I want to live a normal life and live in denial, that is my choice.
6. What frustrates me the most?
* Parents who are not aware
* Parents who don’t listen to their children
* We have laws to protect animals, but no laws to protect our children from this menace. How shameful! I am not saying if we pass the law, it will prevent this completely, but even if it scares even one abuser away, it is well worth passing it

February 25, 2011

RIP Anant Pai!

Filed under: kids, memories — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 6:37 am

Anant Pai passed away today. Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle won’t be the same without him, but they would carry his name for generations! Who can ever forget Ramu and Shamu, the mischievous twins. His books were the one that got me into reading English books! My cousin was a hoarder of his books and sis & I used to lose ourselves in those books every summer. Mr.Pai played and still plays a big part in getting children interested in mythology, history. We have a living proof, Utbt‘s Chula has been devouring husband’s large Amar Chitra Katha collection for the past few weeks like there is no tomorrow! Thank you and RIP Mr.Pai!

May 26, 2010

Kids… Do I have to say more?

Filed under: kids — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 2:42 pm

Meija’s birthday was fast approaching. And here is how the conversation went.

Me: What do you want for your bday?

M: Butterfly gift!

Me: What is that?

M: A Butterfly necklace!

Me: Huh!

M: Yes Aunty! A Butterfly necklace. Only 1 butterfly in the middle and white beads on the sides.

Me: Huh!

M: Not one of those long chains like my mom has. It should be like this. (She shows that it should be like a choker.)

Me: OK! I will see if I can find it! Do you need anything else?

M: Nope! Only a butterfly necklace.

(Chula tries to help me)

C: Look! You could go and check out Michael’s! You might find something there!

(While all this is happening, utbt is rolling with laughter, asking me “Idhu unakku thevaiya? why do you need to ask her? Nalla venum unakku!”)

So YY goes looking for butterfly necklace. YY’s mother in law hunts in T Nagar, Pondy Bazaar and finds nothing.

Finally on the day of her bday, I suddenly remember Chula’s suggestion and go to Michael’s. And found white beads, some butterfly beads, elastic band. And after a few minutes of stringing them all together, Voila!

Chula and Meija very impressed. And a very content YY (Even though Meija was more impressed with the silver color purse in which I packed the necklace)!

May 12, 2010

Kids say the darnest thing!

I lift up Chula (from utbt) and dances. Then huffing and puffing the following conversation happens.

Me: Hey Chula! You are getting heavier girl! You are a 5 year old! Very soon, you will be old and strong enough to lift me.

Chula: Yeah! When I am 64!

Me: 64?

Chula: How old will you be, yy aunty, when I am 64?

Me (cursing herself for getting herself caught in this situation) : Well around 100 years old.

Chula: No Silly! You will be dead!

Me: ………………………………

Idhu enakku thevaiya? (Do I need this?)

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