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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

'Do not go alone,'........

Do not go alone..............
 A warning in our time when we were young and that too when we were in a joint family! True we were always together as that was  all the outing we had , getting vegetables, buying dresses, going to the tailor, visiting the nearby temples, watching a  movie in theatres , getting chappals, etc etc., 
I remember either in pairs or alone we had travelled(?) from Tambaram to Anna nagar, Sastri Nagar, no mobile phone to track us, no insecure life, no phone calls but elders at home were quite comfortable with us and we were also quite obedient as we had no distraction and hence no deviation.

Later when my youngest sister's time came ( age difference 6 years), a lot of freedom -parents and elders liberal with restrictions and rules helped her and her age group cousins a lot, I do not say we did not have but suddenly we could see a sea change in the upbringing by the same parents, whether going out, taking up a job, clothes ..Many of them kept  travelling alone  nationally and internationally .

 I just could not digest the fact that my father who was very strict in his views that ladies should not ride even bicycles allowed Viji to ride  a Scooty in a matter of just  8 - 9 years of my marriage , the world has changed so much!  

When I had to join my parents at Tirunelveli in 1969 Malini ( 4 years younger to me, I was 15 years then ) and self were escorted by periappa's peon Ranganathan till Tirunelveli .
The first train journey without any one escorting us - by my younger sister Sudha and self ,was in 1976 from Madras to Coimbatore day time train, we had my mother's cousin, Swami mama and his father waiting to catch us  standing at the two exit points , both of us -we could spot mama and he did so at the same time... Imagine how difficult for the present gen to believe this, a lot of communication was thro 'phone or letters! 
Maximum we travelled alone was within the Madras city!

Two decades back I started my first journey by air which was a luxury those days.... Since I was with my family I had no fear of not knowing anything ... Later when I traveled with Anjana my daughter, I gathered courage ...she is experienced by that time... Of late when I have to travel alone to Baroda by air, I get butterflies flutter   till I board the plane, after sitting, I feel ashamed of my unknown  fear- a fear but nothing do with death or crash...  a fear of missing the flight... I just can't express.. 

Last time when I had to switch the flight at Bombay, I hardly had enough time and literally had to shove the co passengers to make way for me... A matter of 30 minutes to get off and board and always alert to wait for the announcements or keep looking at the display for the gate and the spite all the signage

But later in life, I had  observed that many times  my daughter had to go alone from Anand to Bangalore and changing from Borivili to Airport in Bombay, my son travelling on his own with a break of journey at Bombay..which  had its risk of danger but had its own rewards too. They could be independent and take decisions , and gave them an exposure in life. Exposure gives a lot of confidence and boldness to take decisions. 
Now even train journey has become unsafe whether you travel alone or in groups .

We never stopped our  children going alone, playing in rains and the only condition was to inform us of their plan where they would be which friend's house to make sure we are the responsible parents. No regrets.From early childhood they were brought up in a safe environment and were never afraid of darkness or theft.

They had the privilege of  playing till midnight in summer, come home when they liked during holidays , inside the safe campus with their friends. 

They are quite comfortable why we are also -to loneliness .. at one point of time we all had to be left to loneliness even it was for a week or so sometimes to months...

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