Being a parent · Introspection

The dog and the pony show – Part 2

I recollect someone telling me about the phrase “the dog and the pony show” in context of business meetings. While it may not be the apt title for what I plan to write, still I think its a good indicative title. By the way, no need to search for part 1, as both 1 and 2 are covered in this blog only. Actually, before I could write part 1, I witnessed part 2 and hence the title πŸ™‚

Recently I had been to a family function at my native place. Many of my cousins could make it for the function as well. So it was a like the good old days when we all used to gather at my grandpa’s house for our summer vacation. A few of my cousins do have kids, who are more or less in the same age group as that of my daughter. Here starts the fun, my cousins, or let me call the “new parents” and the “new grandparents” (my uncles and aunts) were all ga-ga about their respective little ones.. how smart they are.. how intelligent they are.. how good is their grasping skills.. their growth.. and etc etc. I too was part of that “show-off” conversation.. however only for a short duration.

There is one great personality in Marathi literature and cinema – P. L. Deshpande, loving called as Pu.La. One of his short stories collection is around personalities of people he has met (or he has conceptualised) and in that there is one around bragging. He describes how different pet owners keep on praising their pets and show off how much they know and do things. Same is what was going on when we all were talking about our kids !!

I realised, nothing great I am doing by just bragging around. Rather, this show off business ruins childhood of kids. The seeds of competition, and rush to achieve more and more things in very less time and before others.. starts with all this.. Imagine the amount of pressure created on the kids who think they are under performers compared to other kids.. As a parent, I think that is not a correct type of conversation to entertain. Henceforth decided, to be careful as there is a thin line of difference between appreciation, motivation and bragging.. when it comes to talking about your own kids.

It was a wedding function, and Indian weddings are known for their grand scale. Family functions are one of those few opportunities where the females get a chance to wear (and show off) all the heavy jewelry and clothing. And then the gossip starts.. whose is better, whose is more expensive n blah blah.. Nothing different was expected here.

I still haven’t lost those extra kilos which I gained during pregnancy and so none of my fancy outfits of past fit me. I am not an enthusiastic person in this area, and so don’t have much stock available. Same goes for jewelry.In fact I borrowed from my sister. Given the summer heat, and the fact that I will have run around for my little one, I chose the simplest clothing.

Before I describe what happened next, let me mention another point, which probably will set the context more better. There is another famous personality, Sharad Upadhayay, who in one of his comedy plays has described personalities of different zodiac signs. According to that, Scorpions, are generally beautiful and neat and tidy. So even if they get up in morning to go and get milk, it will seem that they are going for wedding. In contrast, Aquarians, even if they have get ready for wedding, seems like they are going to market to get milk. One of the most beautiful females in the world, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, is a Scorpion, and needless to state, that I am Aquarian πŸ™‚

So I go to the wedding hall and find everyone, I mean, the fairer gender, all decked up in jewelry, designer dresses and suits and make up. I was actually odd man out (rather odd woman out). People who knew me, my aunts, cousins etc., kept on asking me why was I not well dressed (according to them) and some kind ones even offered me their extra jewelry. It was really tough for me to keep my head cool, and not get carried away.

Coming back to the dog and the pony show, in business context it is still understandable. The objective is over there to showcase the credentials and get more business. Why this showoff business in personal life??

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