The true meaning of the Lenten Season
As the Lent season commences, let
us all understand that it is time to love, to repent and to believe.

When we talk of love, what we need
to understand is that our love should pour out to the needy, the downtrodden.
And what do we repent for? This is the time to introspect and repent for the
hardness of our heart, our indifference to all that is going on around us. And
then believe. Believe in the beauty of nature, believe in our weakness and our
strengths and reach out to people less fortunate than us.
This Lent, let us understand that
it is not just a period of fasting and prayer. Rather let us understand the
real meaning of it. Let us hear the prayer of others, who are calling out to
us. If we close our ears to others’ prayers, we can’t expect to have God’s ears
open to us.

Let us not consider this season as
“Let’s see, I guess if I do without this, then I can have that. But by having
that, I’d have to do without something else. I wonder if I did without that, if
I could have this, but only after a certain time”. If this is our attitude, the
cross that we drew today is just another dust on our forehead.

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Bedtime Rituals I have gone through bringing up my daughters
Bringing up three
daughters and getting them into adult and adolescent ages, I have gone through
many a bedtime rituals, some nasty, some boring, some lively and some really
funny.
Now that my pretty
princesses have grown up, the eldest one just venturing into adulthood, a
couple of years back, the middle one, making her foray into it in a few years
from now and the youngest one craving to join the bandwagon of her elder
sisters, as I look back into those bed time rituals were a daily night affair,
for one after the other, there are a lot of nostalgic moments worth
reminiscing.
The bed time rituals
were certainly aimed at giving my angels a good night’s rest, be it reading
aloud their favorite stories, singing 
their favorite lullaby again and again till my throat parched, or
getting up half sleepy just to check their diapers. After all these efforts,
what used to bring the smile on my face is to see my babies sleeping peacefully
and waking up happy in the morning longing to be lifted and hugged by dad.
However, as we would
assume, these bed time rituals never ended when my kids started growing up.
Yeah, sure the lullaby was gone, the story books were put aside, the daily
drill to the bathroom for their pee, the changing of the diapers were done away
with, but the rituals continued in a modified way.
As my daughters
started creeping into their school years, funnier things started happening.
Almost at bedtime, my youngest princess would ask for a little more time of her
favorite TV show. It would start off as a demand, and then converts into a
begging, so that she gets a little more of her Cartoon Network or the Pogo
show. Honestly, these cartoon shows are as addictive that as a Dad, I feel like
sometimes sitting and watching it with her, and so it used to be more and more
difficult for me to put my foot down to these demands.

My eldest angel had
another unique bed time demand that I had to cater to, a part of which she has
carried over to her present adult age too. Moments after I would have helped
her to have her teeth brushed, she would call out to me that she’s starving.
This was a demand, which as Dad I could never neglect, though knowing very well
that she was faking her hunger. Quick chilling a glass of milk for her favorite chocolate milkshake and a couple of gracious spoon servings of the hershley syrup along with the milkshake would be
what she would be content with but what she would ensure in all this bargain
was that she got another half an hour to stay awake.

My middle daughter
was a bit more civilized on this aspect though she too had her decent share of
the bed time ritual antics. Though not intended to trouble us hard, she would
also try to indulge in some stalling tactics, be it telling me to press her
legs for a while or pat her on her back to put her to sleep, such tactics which
I always found hard to sidestep.

Of all these bed time
rituals, which I involved and engaged in almost ritualistically, the
satisfaction and thrill it used to give me as a Dad was that I always felt that
my daughters thrived on these meaningful rituals with their loving Dad that
marked the end of their day, something which I could see in their eyes as they
felt that through these they sought my guidance and guarantee that they are
safe and secure to get the rest that they needed.

When I look into the
eyes of my three pretty princesses today and look back to the days when they
were growing up holding on to my hands, all these bed time rituals, more than
what it did to put them off to bed on time every single night, made me carve
out from my otherwise busy and mundane routine, some quiet moments with my
daughters which enabled me to connect to them and build up the intimacy that I
share with them even to this day.
As I share my bed
time rituals and escapades with my daughters, one thing that comes to my mind
for a peaceful sleep of my toddlers was the proper diaper to see that they
sleep peacefully throughout the night. And when we talk of diapers, which other
name can come to our mind than Pampers, which has almost become a synonym for
diapers.

The new Pampers Baby
Dry Pants is a wonderful product much different from the normal diapers which
promises dryness on the inside too whereas the other diapers focus only on
keeping dry on the outside. This wonderful innovation ensures that the baby’s
sleep is not disturbed by a wet diaper and so our baby sleeps peacefully and
wakes up happy.

Check out more on
this product by visiting their site at http://www.rewardme.in/tag/Pampers.

This blog is written
for IndiBlogger for their Bedtime Rituals Happy Hours activity.

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Do we need to be obsessed with ritualism?
I have always said and maintained
that our birth is an accident. It is the accident of being born into a
particular family, to particular parents, following a particular faith.

On the basis of our accidental
birth, we are made to adopt a faith and taught rituals to follow to which we
start becoming obsessed.

We get so obsessed with ritualism
that we start imposing it on our children and our family too. Surely, we may be
doing it unknowingly, honestly assuming that we are trying to evoke and teach
the importance of devotion in them, generally our children, but what we don’t
realise is that we are forcing them to adopt the rituals almost blindly.

What we don’t realise while we do
this is that we are making them addicted to the ritualism, rather than making
them understand the real meaning of the faith that we want them to learn. We
are making our children fear the consequences of not performing a ritual,
rather than explaining them the real reason behind it. What we fail to
understand is that by doing so, our children would never be able to fathom the
real purpose of these rituals but would blindly follow them.

I have been confronted by many
hard core fundamentalists that they find reasoning in forcing their children to
compulsorily follow rituals. Though not really convinced by their
fundamentalist reasoning, the only good thing that I can think of by forcing
children to follow rituals is that we at least ensure that these rituals are
safely transmitted over the generations. It would give the parents the false
pride that what has been taught to them to blindly follow by their parents have
been handed over by them to their children to be transferred to their next
generations.

 What I would want to tell these people is that
by doing so, they are just transmitting hollow shells of well dramatized and choreographed
stage performances, one performance after another, without any meaning attached
to them and consequently absolutely no understanding of what it really means.

Why can’t we make our children
real devotees of a faith, a faith of love and brotherhood, rather than forcing
them to follow rituals?

Let us understand that if we are a devotee we would
go to a church, a temple or a mosque depending upon the faith we adopt, but if
we just go to a church, a temple or a mosque, it does not make us a devotee.

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