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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My Interview with God
Hello and Good Morning everyone. 

Today I am honoured to have a dialogue with the most controversial character
ever in human history. A person in whose name, has been the most number of
divisions happened, in whose name the maximum number of wars have been fought,
in whose assumed honour has this world witnessed the maximum number of
killings.

Please welcome with a loud
applause, the omnipresent, the omnipotent, the God. And with the permission of
his Honour, may I start my question answer session with Him.



Question to God: Where do we seek
you?



God’s Answer: Why do you want to
go seeking me? Don’t you see me in the dog wagging its tail in happiness when
you enter your house, your little kid who comes running to hug you and clings
to you when you reach home after a tiring day, your wife who takes care of your
every needs without a sigh, your husband who struggles hard to give a better
life to you and the family, your parents who supported and encouraged you in
whatever you did, your friends who care for you and stands by you against all
odds. Do you still need to go seeking me?



Question to God: Are you really
the invincible, the strongest?



God’s Answer: How can I be only
the strongest? When I am there in each one of you, am I not there in the
weaklings too. I am there in the helpless old man on the streets who doesn’t
know where his next meal will come from, the destitute woman who is desperately
looking out for a little space to hide her modesty, the little urchin on the
road who wishes someone can adopt him and make his future. When I am there in
these helpless creatures, how can I be invincible? The truth is that I need you
as much as you need me.



Question to God: Why are so many
wars fought in your name? Why do people kill each other in your honour?



God’s Answer: You fight with each
other because you have cut me, divided me in many pieces, each one of you
trying to take your share of the pie. Have you ever realised, how much it would
have pained me when I was being cut into pieces, when you were mercilessly
tearing me apart. When you cut me, each one of you got their share that you
could lay your hands on. Now you feel that the other perhaps has a better share
than you, and so you fight with each other for the better share.



Question to God: Why do you have
so many names?



God’s Answer: I have never given
you any names to call me. It was you who started naming me as per your wish.
When a child is born, it doesn’t tell you what name it should be called. You
decide and start calling it by that name, then the family, the friends start
giving it further pet names and before the child realises, all these names get
stuck to it. I want to ask you something here. When a son is born, say in
India, the parents start lovingly calling him “Chintu” (meaning small or tiny
in English). As the child grows up to be an adult, wouldn’t he feel embarrassed
if you still continue to call him “tiny”. So do me, when you start referring me
by so many names. I would rather prefer just one name, short and simple, easy
to remember, “God”.



Question to God: What is your
religion?



God’s Answer: I have no clue what
you are talking about. What do you mean by this term? It’s nothing that I have
ever propagated. You starting cutting me to pieces; dividing me; it was you who
have given names to those pieces, and starting calling them religions. I am a
single one, how can I have all these religions?



Question to God: Do you really
reside in the churches, the temples and the mosques?



God’s Answer: I think that you
people never have taken me seriously. You have never understood fully what I
have always wanted to tell you. I had said in the reply to one of your earlier
questions that I am in each one of you. Then how can I reside in these
artificial structures. It is you who go seeking me at places that you have
created as my abode rather than searching for me inside you.



Question to God: Do you feel
happy when we come to meet you at these churches, the temples, the mosques?



God’s Answer: I feel happy when you
meet me anywhere, be it on the streets, in your home, inside you as well. When
you wake up every morning without having committed any sin the last day, and
look at yourself in the mirror, you are really looking at me.



Question to God: Do you really
want us to pray?



God’s Answer: Can I ask you, what
is the meaning of prayer? Is it not asking for favours? Can you not do it
yourself, help yourself and others and make a prayer. When you help others,
their prayers are answered and in turn when someone helps you, your prayers are
answered. I work through you; you are my hands and legs, my limbs, my body, my
soul. Honestly, I would be happier seeing you praying with your hands rather
than with your lips.



Question to God: Do you want us
to be God-fearing?



God’s Answer:  What is the benefit if you desist from doing
something out of fear? I shall give you an example of you driving a car. You
are tempted to jump a traffic signal but you don’t do it because you fear that
there would be a traffic cop round the corner. I am not really happy you having
done that. Now imagine that you never thought about the cop, but never jumped
the signal because you felt that you may hit someone coming from the other
direction that is following the traffic rules. I would be happy that you have
done that. You don’t have to fear, you have to love. If you really love me, and
understand that I live in another person as much as I live in you, you will
never harm that person. I would want you to be God-loving and not God-fearing.



Question to God: Do we need to
follow rituals?



God’s Answer: Oh! There are so
many of these, even I have lost count of it. All these rituals were created
ages ago by someone either to suit his requirement or to suit the circumstances
that prevailed at that time, whether for good or for bad. Situations and
circumstances have changed drastically since then, but we are still clinging on
to the rituals, the traditions. I would ask you to follow the right principles
that you believe in and not the rituals.



Question to God: Why are there so
many variations of your scriptures?



God’s Answer: My scriptures? I
had never written any autobiography. The scriptures that you are talking about
are just personal interpretations of my life, assumed by the people who have
written them. Each one of them has unfortunately assumed it in their own way
and so there are so many variations. Isn’t it a simple logic to understand,
that how is it that it is one life, one personality, so many variations.



Question to God: Why are your
scriptures so difficult to understand?



God’s Answer: You are again
misinterpreting what I say. I had clarified that these are not my scriptures.
So it not being mine, I have no control over its contents. The words, the
verses used are the personal words of the authors who probably wanted to keep
it complicated so that the common masses do not understand it fully ever and
keep flocking to them for their interpretations.



Question to God: Do you really
want us to understand you and speak to you through these interpreters?



God’s Answer: Why should I ever
make it difficult for you to understand me, to speak to me? I understand your
language; I speak the language that you speak. How can I want you to speak to
me only through these interpreters when I am one of you? I have not appointed
these people to convey my thoughts and words to you when I know that I can talk
to you directly. They are their own self-appointed agents.



Question to God: Why do you
change your attire, your looks for the people?



God’s Answer:  I have never ever changed my attire. It’s
your perception of how you look at me. You see me in the attire that you want
to see me, because it depends upon the spectacles that you are wearing. You see
me sometimes as crucified on a cross, you see me sometimes holding the weapon
to destroy the evil, you see me lying in the tomb, and it’s how you want to see
me. I have never changed and I never will.



Hey! God, I thought you were
there all throughout this session. But then, why can’t I see you now? Where
have you disappeared?



I hear God whispering in my ears,
“My Child, look inside you, look at the people next to you, look at nature, the
animals, the destitute, the aged, the orphans, the poor and the needy. And if
you still don’t see me, stop believing me”
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