Ragging Culture

Guest Post by wordssetmefreee

In the following case, do the people who ragged the student understand that what they did is inherently wrong (let alone understanding that it’s a crime)?

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/Student-Attempts-Suicide-Family-Cries-Ragging/2015/02/04/article2651563.ece

And yet another case where the parents think their son was ragged and tormented and consider his death suspicious (not an accident):

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/nujs-student-falls-to-death-parents-allege-foul-play/

In the above case, I wonder if the student shared with his parents that he was being tormented? If so, did they listen? Did they take it seriously? What specific actions were taken to curb the ragging/bullying?

Bullying is a universal problem. In the US, we deal with it in high school and the earlier part of undergraduate college. In India, we have the added problems of lack of recognition of bullying as a crime (both in homes and colleges) and improper (or lack of) law enforcement.

There is a third very important factor specific to our society – the hierarchical/power culture that pervades through many other abusive relationships (rich versus poor, elder vs younger members of family, groom’s parents vs bride’s parents in weddings and post-wedding life, upper caste vs lower caste, land owners vs farmers, upper class vs laborers, well connected vs man-on-the-street, politicians versus common man), and we can almost see this naturally extending to the campus arena – seniors versus juniors. Once again, respect is demanded for no logical reason. Respect is taken, not earned. Appeasement is seen as the only way to peace and being left alone. Fear is mistaken for respect and power drives the relationship.

I’ve known people who consider ragging as “part of life” or a “milestone in the journey to adulthood”. Some have referred to it as “character building” and a “rite of passage”; others consider it “harmless” and “fun” and for these, ragging seems to bring back nostalgic memories of their student years.

My cousin graduated from the Naval Engineering College at Lonavala about 15 years ago. The first summer he came home, he was unrecognizable. He was gaunt, bone thin, and developed a skin rash that could only be attributed to stress. During ragging he (along with others) was put through unbearable levels of physical pain and mental humiliation. He came close to quitting a few times but somehow pulled through.

But after he got married ( a few years later), when his wife asked him if the ragging at NEC was as bad as she had heard, he shrugged and replied, “It made a man out of me.”

Ragging, on the other hand, portrayed as amusing or hilarious in popular movies like 3 Idiots and Munna Bhai hasn’t helped either.

Ragging is a form of abuse, period. It can be emotional, verbal or physical. It involves repeated, possibly aggressive, humiliating, or manipulative behavior that is deliberately aimed at asserting power over another individual or group. It is harmful to the physical and emotional well being of students, something that any educational institution by its very definition, should be concerned about. In some cases, it can be violent and result in injury or death. Regardless of whether it is mild or severe, it should be treated as unacceptable.

Ragging, bullying, hazing – this destructive behavior goes by different names and takes on various forms around the world.

But it makes one wonder what goes on in these people’s minds? What are they thinking when they insult, humiliate, or harass someone? I’m on the PTA for my son’s high school and bullying is an ever-present concern at the meetings. We’ve had 2 incidents this year, one of them was milder (inappropriate language toward a gay student), but the other involved consistent, deliberate, and elaborately planned out harassment by a group of people toward one student (consistent because the victim remained silent for a longer period before complaining).

In general, education, awareness, strict law enforcement, and counseling definitely minimize/reduce the problem to some extent. There is no doubt in any student’s mind (at my son’s school) that bullying is wrong/unacceptable/illegal.

However there is another side to bullying, one that educational institutions have little control over – the student’s home environment. Despite the education and awareness that is routinely dispensed at the school in the form of talks, fliers, help lines, seminars, text alert systems, counseling, and assertiveness training, bullying still happens. Why? That’s because we don’t have complete control over the environment that creates bullies. How much of bullying happens because some children/youth grow up never learning that it is a serious crime? How many of them have heard it being referred to as something that is “part of life” or a “rite of passage”? Or things like “boys are by nature aggressive” or “boys don’t cry” or “conquer or be conquered”? How many of these children grow up being bullied by the adults who raise them?

We can only look at the behaviors of bullies and find some common underlying issues. Numerous studies indicate that most bullies tend to exhibit the following traits:

  • lacking a sense of control over their own lives
  • anger that is not dealt with constructively and often misdirected
  • low self-esteem
  • may have witnessed violence or aggression at home
  • may have seen power being used unfairly at home
  • may have been bullied by others
  • lacking in empathy
  • lacking in remorse
  • may have experienced harsh, physical punishments at home
  • possibly exposed to only win-lose situations and have seldom seen win-win relationships
  • insufficient or inappropriate socialization during childhood

And then, there are the passive bullies, the ones who don’t initiate the bullying but quickly join in when someone else gets it going. They seem to exhibit the following traits:

  • herd mentality and lack of strong opinions
  • hungry/deprived for attention
  • low self esteem
  • looking for someone ‘superior’ to latch on to
  • tendency to exhibit hero worship and unquestioning loyalty
  • lack of identity and the need to belong

There is a third group that is worth looking at – people who witness bullying. By silently watching a crime, they are knowingly or unknowingly encouraging it. A study titled “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders” published on athealth.com concludes that “bystanders create the illusion that the bully has the support of the majority and this perception perpetuates a culture of bullying”. These people tend to –

  • not want to get involved and generally don’t take a stand on anything
  • may not connect the dots (if it’s him today, it could be me tomorrow)
  • may not see bullying as a crime and believe it is amusing
  • may be less empathetic
  • may not have been taught self-respect and individual rights in their home environment

What can colleges do to deal with ragging/bullying besides developing a strict code of law and enforcing it?

  • The first thing that comes to mind in terms of solutions is to have a zero tolerance policy or ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ against bullying behavior. But this does not necessarily solve the problem entirely. Bullies have a way of seeking out victims off campus or on social media, via smart phones or in cyber space.
  • It is therefore important for an educational institution to work on the bullying person (or persons) as an individual. Counseling may be needed for the person engaging in this behavior to see his actions as not only criminal but as genuinely wrong and hurtful to others. Counseling may also explore the underlying issues of the individual and find positive ways for him to relate to others and develop acceptable coping mechanisms for issues that cannot be easily resolved.
  • I don’t know if we have counselors at colleges and universities, or if they are trained to guide and support students in addressing their emotional health and development, but if we don’t, we should definitely work toward that goal.

A University of Albany study that examined the relationship between parental aggression toward children and the children’s behavior states that “Parents who may displace their anger, insecurity, or a persistent need to dominate and control upon their children in excessive ways have been proven to increase the likelihood that their own children will in turn become overly aggressive or controlling towards their peers.”

While we need laws against ragging/bullying and we need proper ways to enforce them, preventing bullying behavior primarily begins at home. We need to ask ourselves what we are teaching youngsters in our own homes.

On the communication front –

  • Are we using positive communication to resolve differences with our children and with each other (spouses)?
  • Is the communication style used by parents straightforward and assertive or is it manipulative/sarcastic? Words can often be used in punitive, damaging ways in the form of labeling, veiled threats, and ‘ harmless jokes’ that perpetuate stereotypes.
  • Are we listening to our children when they are angry with someone? Are we showing them ways to resolve their conflicts in acceptable, legal ways?
  • Are we able to handle our own anger at our own problems in a mature and responsible manner?
  • In conflict situations, are we addressing the problem or resorting to personal attacks?

On developing trust and self esteem –

  • Do we trust our children when they complain about abuse? Have we taught them how to stand up to any form of abuse – verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual? Do we take their reports of ragging seriously?
  • Are we helping build their self-esteem by recognizing their strengths and supporting them with their challenges?
  • Are we instilling confidence in them so that they don’t feel the need for approval and/or belonging from the wrong sources?
  • Are we allowing them to develop their own identity so that they don’t feel the need to put someone down to feel superior?

On power play –

  • Are our children engaging in arguments with the sole purpose of ‘winning’ or are they engaging in discussions with the intent of learning?
  • Are we creating a democratic environment at home, with room for different ideas and viewpoints? Are children able to express disagreement without fear? Are they able to express disagreement without shouting or getting abusive with parents?
  • Are we refraining from using intimidation and aggression in the form of a loud voice, physical punishments, and threats?
  • Are we using our power as adults and parents wisely and fairly?
  • Are we showing respect to our children and earning their respect rather than expecting unquestioning obedience?

On values –

  • Are we respecting people of all cultures, communities, and backgrounds both in our words and actions? Or do we make casual racist remarks or put down people based on their caste, color, gender, orientation, or economic status? Do we subtly convey our hatred or mistrust for the ‘other’? (Children pick up on their parents’ prejudices even when they’re not overtly stated.)
  • Are we teaching them what constitutes a crime? Do our children understand that taking away someone else’s right to be educated in a safe, non-threatening environment is a crime?

The above strategies are helpful not only in preventing children from growing up to become bullies, but also in preventing them from becoming victims of bullies.

Again, it would not be entirely wrong to claim that the emotional well being of children is a low priority in traditional hierarchical families and expecting our existing parenting philosophy to change drastically is wishful thinking. However, cynicism is not the answer. I think identifying and defining the problem is the first step and a prerequisite to awareness building and finding solutions.

Bullying gives people a sense of power. It’s up to us to create and promote democratic environments (both at home and educational institutions) that don’t function on the power principle, and instead operate on awareness of individual rights, mutual respect and boundaries.

Please share your experiences with ragging and ideas on how we can change the culture of ragging.

Edited to add: A Boy’s Courage in the Face of Cowardly Bullying:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/autistic-teenager-beaten-up-by-bullies-makes-them-watch-20minute-video-about-autism-10368201.html

 

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Loving husbands who devote their days and nights to maintain peace in the family.

Anju wonders if this man fits into the label of a ‘Maa Ka Ladla’ or  a ‘Joru Ka Gulam’. ‘Few days back I visited a patient and I was amused at the way the patient was being pampered alternatively by the wife and the mother. It was like who will take more care of the man.’

Anju feels for this man, ‘how tiresome it must be for him to pamper both the egos, to make both of them feel important and let both feel that he cannot do without either of them’

***

I wonder if women face this problem.

Are women able to take better care of  themselves on their own? We know they don’t. They need as much care as everybody else does.

So why don’t women have their mothers (or fathers) and their spouse competing to take care of them? He is supposed to be ‘Budhape ka sahara‘ of one and ‘Pati Parmeshwar‘ of the other.

What makes two family members almost fight to take care of this adult, male member? Is it because they each feel they must win a closeness to him? Are they insecure? If yes, then what makes them so insecure? Does this insecurity benefit the man in some way? (I don’t think so.)

Has tradition taught women that their lives must revolve around their husbands/husband’s family? Is the rest of the population given the same values?

Has the same tradition made mothers feel that while some of their children learn to take care of themselves (female children), some of them (male children) need to mothered all their lives?

Married daughters are encouraged to develop a healthy relationship with their husbands, but married sons in India are expected to ‘balance‘, which includes things like making sure their wives are respectful, subservient, obedient to their family etc.

Do I sympathize with this man? I feel I sympathize with the situation and with the families involved.

Indian mothers still look for and ‘bring’ obedient and pliant daughters in law for themselves when they arrange marriages for their sons. Often compatibility and companionship between the couple are not considered as important, as the wife being obedient and respectful to the in laws. Sons who feel this is unfair are labeled Joru Ka Gulaam.

Traditionally the society is fine with sons spending most of their time with their friends, but traditionally the same sons are not encouraged to see their wives as their best friends. Some sons have no real relationship with their wives for many years (often never). The mother remains the friend and companion (or male friends do). This would still be fine, if the daughter in law also had the option of maintaining a relationship with her own parents and old friends – this generally does not happen. She must make her husband and in laws her world, but she must accept that she is not their world.

Double standards don’t make for happy families or a just and fair society.

What do men need liberation from?

1. Men need liberation from being family breadwinners or ATM cards. All responsibilities should be shared by all adult family members.

If there is a family business, the son must (and the pressure increases if he is the first male child) join it, no matter how unsuited or how unwilling.

2. Men should be able to pursue their dreams.

I know of one talented man who wanted to be a theater artist, and still hopes to – some day when his family is settled. Men need liberation from a system that expects them to  – marry, ensure their spouse is dutiful,and have sons to carry on the family name …and the same responsibilities.

3. Men need liberation from being ‘protectors’ of women. Boys as little as four are taught to take care of all the women in the family. We might think it’s no big deal, it prepares them for taking over future responsibilities – but it is a burden, and I think every child has a right to stay a child while he is a child.

Girls who do not have brothers manage perfectly fine, women who do not have sons or husbands learn to ‘protect’ themselves. I think families should make an effort to encourage girls to take care of themselves, so their brothers – sometimes years younger – are not forced to be their ‘protectors’.

4. Another responsibility a lot of Indian boys have is of escorting the women in the family. Thousands of women travel to work and at all hours on their own, but many thousand more from all backgrounds are always accompanied by some male relative. It is a waste of time for the male relative. I think our society should realise that they have more to do in life than following (or leading) female relatives who can easily learn to move on their own.

I know of this woman who had an opportunity to sing at a Radio Station (in 1970s) but since her brother couldn’t accompany her there everyday, she had to miss her dream opportunity. The woman was 25 then. Why couldn’t she be shown how she could commute on her own, instead of forcing an unwilling and bored sibling to accompany her?

5. In many families men are also the family chauffeurs. Women – same generation, age and educational qualifications wait for male members to drive them wherever they have to go. This when thousands of women all over the world drive their own cars.

Shouldn’t a man know that if he needs to be driven somewhere, he can rely on a female member with the same ease she finds him reliable. Driving and cooking are important skills for all men and women.

6. In conservative families men are expected to know whether their adult spouse and siblings  are appropriately (modestly) dressed.  They also must guide them about where they can or can’t go (apart from driving them till there). This is seen as a part of ‘protect the women in the family’ responsibility. Once again, why not make every adult member take responsibility for themselves?

Even if the dependent female members initially dislike it, eventually everybody benefits from this.

7. And then unlike girls who are encouraged to get married and move on with their own family life (sometimes against their wishes, but that’s a different topic) – men are under immense pressure that their spouse, probably chosen by the family elders,  is taught to be  dutiful and respectful to their family.

Most parents are less selfish when looking for a life partner for their daughter. Dowry  and social standing worries apart, they try to make sure they find someone who would care for the girl. The rules often change when it comes to sons.  The family elders rarely look for a partner for the son, they generally look for a daughter in law for themselves.

Here the men often have little say in who they marry. Their life partner is chosen for her dowry, her height, her skin colour, her marks in Class X, her sister’s character and the number of male children in her family. And even after all this, if he falls in love with the wife, he is made to feel like he is abandoning the family. Daughters face no such problems, they can rave about how wonderful they think their husband is, the entire family looks indulgently, even proudly that a daughter from their family is so well settled. If she misses him, she is teased affectionately.

(This often makes a married daughter lie about any problems she might be facing, but that’s another blog post.) The happily married daughter is seen as an asset to the family name and honor,  but not a happily married son. A married son’s opinion – if he disagrees is seen with suspicion because it might be tinged with his wife’s opinion, but a happily-married-daughter’s opinion is valued. Her spouse – unlike a son’s spouse, is an important family member. (Maybe the most important family member).

And the son dare not object to this bias because that is seen as the worst betrayal a son can ever show.

Now with equal property rights and equal responsibilities – this does seem unfair.

8. Being able to do jobs that are ‘reserved for women’ – like cooking or cleaning. The first ones to protest are women, mothers who have seen nothing better, and then wives who have been taught this is not a man’s job.

Remember ‘Salaam Namaste’?

9. Being able to enjoy looking good without being labeled.

Something as simple as being able  to grow their hair. Why is it that most offices have no problem with women in long hair but feel men with long hair mean lack of discipline?

Men also have restriction on the colours they can wear, although most Indian men don’t care for colour stereotypes.

10. Freedom to show they are sensitive. Feelings like jealousy, frustration, fear, nervousness or insecurity are not be reserved for women, but men are expected to never show these feelings.

11. Paternity leave. And the freedom to show they are more than sperm donors. I know of men who made great parents, and their children would have benefited from some more time with them. Men should have the freedom and facilities to choose to be full time parents.

I am sure there are more. And just like equal rights for women are good for the entire society, equality for men is also good for the entire society.

Related post: International Men’s Day.

Joru Ka Gulaam Contest:Last chance!

Voting begins on 14th October, so if you haven’t submitted an entry redefining the term ‘Joru Ka Gulaam’ yet, here’s your chance!

Polling was postponed because I had to take a break.

So go  ahead!  Grab this second chance and submit your entries by October 14, 2009.

CONTEST ONE

Redefine the term ‘Joru Ka Gulaam‘. For more information and for submissions CLICK HERE NOW !!

CONTEST TWO

We are also looking for a BADGE for the JKG Award! Email your creations to – indianhomemaker[at]gmail.com by Oct 14th. If our JKG Judge feels he‘d be proud to display your creation on his sidebar – you win!! Need more information? CLICK HERE NOW !!

Do keep in mind that, “In India it takes a lot of guts for a man to take a stand against customs that oppress women. It’s worst if he is fighting in support of his wife (Joru)! All such acts of courage and love are rewarded by labeling him a JKG = Joru Ka Gulam. Literal meaning: ‘Slave of Wife’

Losers and Stalkers

Cilla’s brilliant collection of ‘loser songs’ reminded me of this one, I call it a Stalker’s Song.

Tum mujhko na chahogi to ko baat naheen, tum kisi aur ko chahogee to mushkil hogee..”

It’s an old song, but we have many subtler, modern versions today.

[Roughly translated, this guy says, “If you do not want me it’s alright, but if you like another (man) there will be problem.

Now if we are not together, we are not apart either; You haven’t accepted me, but you haven’t turned me down either

I can live with the thought that you are not mine, so long as you do not belong to another man.

If you do not appreciate my heart, it’s okay; but if you appreciate another man’s heart, there will be problem...”]

Songs like this one are not about infidelity or a broken heart after a breakup. These songs object to a lack of interest  shown by the girl the singer chooses, as in…

“Can I do fraindsheep with you?”

“No.”

“Fine then I will have to throw acid on your face.”


Ever wondered why did he think she can’t turn him down?   “It is a normal human tendency to feel sad when rejected by anybody. But, where is this sense of entitlement and anger coming from? Why this feeling that she must like me, I am too good to be rejected, I cannot possibly be turned down?Read in Apu’s thought provoking post ‘That Huge Sense of Entitlement‘… (Cross Posted at ‘No Gender Inequality‘)

How is a dog your best friend?

[Edited to add: This 55er is easier to understand if you realise how amazing is a… A DOG”S VOCABULARY...]

8:30 PM.

Son’s engrossed in IPL. I ask, “Aren’t you hungry?”

Thump goes an eager tail.

Nobody asked you!

Looks away sheepishly.

There’s…

Ears perk up.

“…daal and bhindi.”

Ears look bored.

Bhindi?!! Can’t we order Pizza, Ma?”

Tail’s all ears!

Two legs slide back, two stretch in-front…

Time to get up and lend support.

55 WORDS FICTION

A literary ;) work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:

Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)

A setting, One or more characters, Some conflict, and A resolution.

(Not limited to moral of the story)

He ain’t my best friend!! 🙄

Here’s another cricket fan I know, he also forgets his dinner when it comes to the IPL…Vote for him, and support him 🙂

2d81cgi

No Education For The Fashion Conscious?

We had tried everything from nail-polish remover to Kerosene oil to fade the henna from my daughter’s  palms in 1999, she was in class III then, and her Delhi school forbade Henna on hands. We had just come back from a wedding and I understood that the school had its rules, if I did not like them I could take her out of the school.

She had seen another girl  being told not to come ‘dressed like a bride‘ and being made to sit on the floor. The eight year olds had discussed that God was going to punish the teacher who did this. (Is that what the rule aimed at?)

Now even though nobody noticed her henna, she was terrified for days. All I could do was give her a letter requesting the henna be excused, to be shown if someone checked her.

I have no idea how these students benefited from not applying henna. Clean hair, sparkling uniforms, shining shoes, confident smiles, a love of learning, and also a love for the school were what I valued. I would have added henna application as a fun-filled extra curricular activity.

My son has a mark on his forehead, so when he was young, I got him a haircut that covered it. He has gorgeous, straight, silky, shining hair, and a mushroom cut was most convenient and neat, kept his ears, neck, and eyes clear in hot and humid Delhi summers, but then we moved to Kerala and a school didn’t agree with kids being made ‘fashion conscious‘. He was in class III. His parents were fine with his looking like one of his favorite Westlife boys. The school wasn’t.

An older boy’s parents were ‘called to school’ because his mother allowed him to colour his hair.  Again I wonder if students do not have a life outside the school. Was it really that important? How does one be an all-rounder but not wonder how they might look with ear studs or coloured hair? Should the parents have a say in this?  How does long hair in boys mean lack of discipline?

We could leave our hair loose in my school, (meaning we could get away with taking off the hair bands and slipping them into our skirt pockets), and some of my friends who plaited their hair all through the school years complain that now they find hair left open very uncomfortable after all the years of two tight plaits.

Many schools have switched to traditional salwaar kurta for girls, but continue western wear for boys. How do they explain this bias to the students? They don’t think they need to explain. Is this discipline or authoritarianism ? How does this help with discipline? I know girls who resent this and have much more to say than the girls in class three mentioned above.

I consider grooming as important as being able to speak on stage, being good at sports or being polite. A lot of people look at taking care of oneself as the opposite of being ‘simple’. I feel well groomed (not necessarily good looking) people have an edge over those who aren’t. And grooming requires discipline too.

What schools seem to disapprove of is ‘fashion’  and a desire to look attractive. But why do we look down upon any desire to look one’s best?

So I was pleasantly surprised to read this morning on the front page of ‘The Times of India’,  ‘Supreme Court Raps school for beard issue’.

“…a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi expressed its deep anguish at such ridiculous rules framed by schools.

Agreeing with Salim’s counsel senior advocate B A Khan, the Bench said: “How on earth could a school disentitle a student from pursuing studies just because he has kept a beard?” 
“Then there will be no end to such prima facie ridiculous rules. Tomorrow the school authorities would say they would not allow entry to students who are not fair in complexion,” wondered the Bench.

What I liked even better…

“These days it is a fashion for youngsters to sport an earring. Can these boys be denied admission to a school,” the Bench asked before issuing notice to the principal of the convent school and directing it to allow Salim to continue with his studies there.

Note: Personally I would be most irritated if my 17-year-old coloured his hair or kept a beard, but then why should I decide how the rest of the world chooses to look? And what has acquiring basic education got to do with neat beards, washed and coloured hair, or ear studs in ears that have been scrubbed from behind?

Better than mothers?

Sindhu’s post ‘My Dear MIL‘ reminded me of this father in law…

I had not seen men criticise their daughters in law before, so I was taken aback when he started, “I tell my wife in our times our mothers used to control so many daughters in law and you can’t control one? …Our daughter in law can’t look after our grandson, so we keep him with us, our second grandson is with her …she wants the first one to stay with her as well, she says they have better schools there… We have good schools in our side also…” (And lots more)

It made no sense. I wasn’t sure this man cared about the child or the mother, he just wanted to keep the child. That ‘wanting’ was enough for him. Maybe keeping the child was the best way to control the daughter in law ? (That’s the word he used).

If he really thought she was a bad mother why did they ‘allow’ her to take care of the second grandson?

And what kind of  parents were these grandparents? They had taken unwritten custody of their child’s first born, against the mother’s wishes. They did not need to prove that they would raise him better, their word was enough.

Apart from the trauma to the mother, wasn’t this child going to wonder why he was brought up by his grandparents? Seeing the younger brother living with his parents might make him feel rejected by the parents.

The father had no opinion in all this, he should have spoken up for his wife.

The mother should have had the final word, but seemed to have no support from her parents, or her husband, so she was totally isolated. This is common.  Some family members have unlimited power over some other family members’ lives in our system.

I told him, even my grandmother, in her times, did not try to run her married children’s lives. I told him it was cases like this that gave all in-laws a bad name. I suggested they travel, play cards or listen to music, visit friends and let their children live their lives.

But I couldn’t tell him that I knew of their excellent track record in parenting, because I couldn’t look into future. His son was later thrown out of his job, he had a drinking problem. And his second son never settled in any career. Not surprising at all, seeing his attitude towards bringing up children. (Not that it matters. Even if they had brought up their sons brilliantly, they would still be wrong to interfere in their daughter in law’s life, and seriously wrong in taking a child away from a mother the way they did.)

Note: I have also blogged about a friend who was being coerced by her in-laws to give up her second daughter to her brother in law who had no kids.  She was unwilling and strong but made to feel ashamed of her ‘selfishness‘.

Five questions to choose a lifepartner ;)

A young blogger wants to know what to say to the girl his parents introduce him to… for five minutes with a tray of tea or orange juice.

Sandy says, “Well, the discussion can be both ways, wat to talk when u meet a potential spouse.”

The boy and the girl will have to decide if they have met “the one”, in that one, very brief meeting. If one has just enough time to ask five questions, what should those five questions be?

Would you ask about their interests? What books they read, what music they love, what kind of food they like to eat?

Their ambition, how important is their career to them?

What are their expectations from you, and from marriage?

What did you ask? Or what would you ask?

Five questions please!

Edited to add: And here’s a post by Unmana I found any young men (and even women) would benefit from, IN LAWS ADVISE WHAT HUSBANDS SHOULD DO.

What are little boys made of?

Do you agree with,

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.

Not sugar and spice and all that is nice?

What are little boys made up of?

Of two year olds running after a football …

Of balancing on a moving tricycle at three

(And three stitches to remember that …)

Of washing a remote controlled car …

Of emptying bottles of oil on skinny arms,

Of three dedicated push ups

And then another irresistible peek to check them (missing) bulging muscles

Of talcum powder on the floor

Of shirt unbuttoned like Shah Rukh Khan

Neckties without a shirt

Daddy’s leather belts worn on PJs

Of wardrobes emptied on the floor …

(and once hid an egg there in the hope that it will hatch)

Of a passion for gum boots,

With daddy’s socks

Of towels and dupatttas used as Superman’s cape

Of underwear worn on top of jeans

And of being allowed to go out to play like that …

Of letters to Santa and tooth fairies

Of jumping in the sea like ‘Bay Watch’ because Mamma thought she was drowning

Of missing the sound of Daddy clearing his throat …

Of West Life and Bryan

Of hours spent in front of the mirror to look like Bryan

Of Bryan’s hair style

Of favorite lyrics and Pokémon cartoons

In the last pages of all school notebooks

Of music classes bunked to play football

Of thinking they can drive at three

Of wanting to be daddy when they grow up

Of wanting to be rock stars tomorrow

Of wanting to be footballers today …

Of avoiding running over frogs and snails …
while cycling full speed
Of whooping and rolling on the floor
to the tune of
Of a puppy dogs wagging tail
Isn’t that what little boys are made up of …