PsychGoddess showed up fresh in the morning, and the Sunday was worth it all. We started the day off with some dosa, coffee and loads of life. Scotch was the most excited of the lot though. Having spent so many months with only me, she was all out of bounds for another company.
Adopt, Don’t shop
Since the trip to Bhor, I was in awe of PsychGoddess and her perspectives on life. That awe transformed into respect, and one of a different level, when I found out that her son was an adopted child. H and I have had conversations about adoption in the past; it’s been a decider for me on a number of prospectives. But they’ve typically sounded wishful thinking, and something that we’d have to battle against the world to see it through. Talking to her about it made it seem very relatable; doable of sorts.
It’s clearly a big decision to choose to give life to a child that has been abandoned. But a few things she said will stay with me if I get to that point of having to make that decision.
- It’s not your right to have a child, especially to adopt one. It’s the child’s right to have a decent life. And that always trumps every other justification you might have in your head.
- If you’re a married couple adopting, each of you has to decide for yourself, if you, as an individual, wants to have a child.
- Every child reacts differently to the knowledge of her adopted status. Know your child enough before having that conversation. And even then, anything might happen. Be there.
- Do not overcompensate for the status of the child. At the end of the day he’s your son. And he needs to realize that being adopted doesn’t give him extra goodies than any other child around.
- Be open and speak about it in the house. The more hushed the conversations are, the more the child feels different.
- Leave no opportunity to remind the child that she is loved and wanted in the family. It is all that matters.
It’s always refreshing to hear PsychGoddess’ perspective on marriage. It changes you, she says, and warns me to be prepared for even the most sensitive men to give up their views when in this institution. It’s very uplifting to hear men, and boys, like SPD and GardenMan talk about the status of women, and to see them empathize with the lopsided role of women in the society. But to imagine that all this would change when they get married makes it seem like the soul sucking institution that I’m imagining it to be.
I believe more in the idea of spending time together, living through the good and the ugly. None of the pain and the joy would be changed by the fact that you’re legally bound by marriage or not. Not being married, but living together somehow puts you on an even scale. Societal expectations from the roles of the man and the woman no longer seem to apply. And it seems less stressful to explain why the man stays at home to cook or why the woman wears pants all day.
And if marriage seems like a logical celebration to the past, the time that you’ve spent together, then by all means – do get married.
Finding Ram in Kabir
A great perspective that PsychGoddeas introduced me to this time around is the Kabir Project. What started off as a project to find Kabir, as the opposite of finding Ram, ended in a beautiful collection of hymns and poems that seem to talk about life more than religion.
She signed us up for a Kabir singing workshop today and I was excited to try out something I’d normally never do. We reached the studio, Shoonya, early enough to soak in the beauty of how the terrace had been transformed into a positive living space. Mental note made for future terrace spaces.
When the event started, a group of 28 very different people got talking and singing about Kabir. The group was led by Vipul Rikhi, who worked as a translator at the Kabir Project. The song for the day was called ‘Haalo ri mori sajni’ and it deserves a post of its own. The workshop was well conducted, and we spent enough time talking about the lyrics, and listening to him sing it that a number of the participants were singing the song like naturals at the end of the 3 hours.
What caught me off guard was the silence that I felt inside me when the whole group finished singing the song one last time. We’d talked about detachment and the palace of colors, had laughed at each other’s singing voices, and had held each other’s hands through the stress of singing in smaller groups. But in the end, as we all sang together, I felt a strange attachment with the idea of the group while still feeling extremely detached from it.
Oh! And Vipul was super hot with his salt and pepper and the beard. ❤
“Singing or not, I’m happy that she is here. She made me a special batch of upma, anf I had it with a side of amma’s mango pickle. She even bought me fresh dates for dessert. It’s only weird she left it all on the kitchen counter, and it was a little tough reaching them all. But I managed.
Can we keep her, please?” Scotch