Wake up M!

M is our next door neighbour. A very chirpy and boisterous teenager, she’s focussed, diligent and speaks her mind. For strangers she might seem a little belligerent and edgy, but in reality she’s a very sweet girl with a charming personality. She’s doing very well academically and is also a great help to her mother at home.

You’re probably wondering why suddenly I’m going all out about her! If you’ve read my last post you know the unfortunate situation of my friend. M in all probability doesn’t know about it (I didn’t tell her and she doesn’t know I blog) and this might not even be an issue she’d give the slightest thought to. Sad, since I can see that in a way she’s heading towards running into many such instances and jerks not too long from now.

I was at their place yesterday. Her mother and I were having our regular share of gossip, leg-pulling, recipe-sharing etc over a cup of tea while A Jr was running around in their house tugging on curtains and kicking around M’s soft-toys. M is a Diploma student and is appearing for her vivas these days. She was just back from college and was very tired. Her vivas went well but she was still very upset. Worried, we asked her what happened. Here goes:

M: (to her Mom) My vivas went well but you know I cried a lot today. Can you see my eyes are still swollen?
M’s Mom: *surprised* Why did you cry when your viva went well??
M: *still upset and ready to cry* You know K na.. I’d promised him I’ll help him with this subject. I even taught him a little bit. Then yesterday I went out with another friend of mine, which K said he had no problem with, and today he was upset that I’m not paying enough attention to him. I tried to convince him but he was still angry.
M’s Mom: *not interested and slightly angry* What nonsense! Why can’t you just concentrate on yourself and your studies? Your exams are important or some silly boy with his silly problems? Sleep over it, ok.
M: *puppy-faced* Ya, but he’s my friend na..

After some time M made Maggi for herself and A Jr. Since it works wonders on their taste buds, both seemed to have mellowed a bit after gulping it down. Visibly in a better mood, M came to me.

M: You know Didi, whenever I wear this t-shirt (it had a monkey-cap) I don’t need to carry a handkerchief. I can wipe even my face with this cap! 😀
Me: *not pleased* Yikes! Why’d you do that? When you can carry a handkerchief on other days, why not with this t-shirt too?
M: I don’t carry one even on regular days. I use my friend’s handkerchief that he carries for me. In fact he says he has a whole stock of fresh ones at home, only for me! Cool na…

At this point, understandably, M’s Mom got annoyed. Everything, right from the extra pocket money spent on useless shopping ventures to books that were bought but never used, the wardrobe full of clothes and the new handkerchiefs that remained untouched, etc was thrown her way. Even the hygiene angle to using someone else’s personal belongings came up, but she remained unperturbed.

Her mother mumbled under her breath on how difficult it was getting to put a point across her and how she simply wouldn’t pay any heed to some well-meaning advice.

Both these instances unambiguously depicted one thing; the casualness with which one regards friendships these days. I don’t want to sound petty by saying that every time there’s some dark intent behind getting close to anyone. College kids are more prone to this than anyone else, since the rebellious and adventurous streak in them makes even the most thoughtful ones lose their judgement.

I haven’t spoken with M regarding this as yet, though I’d like to make her feel responsible for herself and her acts. She’s in the age where going wrong is the easiest thing that can happen to anyone. Like I said earlier, better to be on guard. Right? 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Wake up M!

  1. i agree with u and there is no harm in taking a little precaution.

    we come across statements – ‘why girls have to be careful?’ the thing is, it’s about being smart. it’s just like how we take precautions against theft. we don’t say this is my house, why should someone intrude?

    nice post, and yes, college kids are more prone to this.

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    1. Nowadays regularly there’s news on how girls got molested even when they went out with supposed friends. The meaning of friendship and what it entails has changed a lot over the years. Especially in metros. Yes, a little precautions is advisable, rather necessary.
      Thanks for your comment Deb 🙂

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    1. Alarming it is! College kids especially consider themselves all grown up while they are still gullible. Even after having very friendly relations with them one can still not know what they’re actually up to. It might be an individual thing too. Preparing ourselves for future rebellion sounds like a good idea though 🙂

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  2. Well…having been a person always at loggerheads with any kind of restrictions, I would not completely agree with this. As a teenager, if I was specifically told not to do something, I would invariable go ahead and do it just for the heck of it. Parents always feel a bit protective about their kids, I guess it’s a natural emotion. Their experience has taught them a few things, and they expect their children to learn from it. Usually, it’s a tough ask. In my opinion, young people these days are quite bright. And have sound judgement as well. They may need some guidance from seniors, family members on occasions when at crossroads, but not always. Young people should be encouraged to make their own decisions. Their confidence level with be immensely boosted when they find their parents trusting their decisions. They will feel more responsible. If there is a healthy relationship between the parents and the young adults, in almost all cases they will themselves approach their parents when faced with an issue they feel they are not capable of handling. This wouldn’t be the case in a restrictive environment when they would feel it more prudent to hide the details rather than get into an issue by discussing it.

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    1. Agree with you here. Though I didn’t mean to imply that parents can’t trust kids or they ought to decide stuff for them and not rely on their judgement. In fact, parents can’t completely help their kids even if they want, coz the problems and situations that kids face nowadays were even unheard of during their time and its tough to form an opinion or solution regarding them.
      Have been a bit of a rebel myself so I know restrictions are never welcome. I had a very open relationship with my parents and could discuss things with them. This doesn’t happen every time though. I don’t want kids to be leashed, only to be made accountable and responsible for themselves. Its for their own good after all. 🙂
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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  3. Aaah, having spent most of my schooling/college years in hostels I can’t agree more with you. Many young people end up in the wrong place at the wrong time because of the belief that ‘nothing will happen to them.’ In fact some parents don’t beieve in keeping their child informed so they can make conscious decisions. Then there are others who don’t see the pattern.

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    1. Exactly! When horrid things can happen everywhere in our vicinity how can we be confident that we’ll remain untouched? An open relationship with kids albeit with certain rules is very necessary. Certain lines need to be drawn. True the problems are not easily identifiable even for parents, but a little more conscious effort can definitely help.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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  4. Totally in agreement with you here, Varsh. A little caution never harmed anyone. This is a very impressionable age and if something goes wrong, it can lead to scars that stay a lifetime. I maintain that an open discussion about all relevant issues is the best way to go.

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    1. I did talk to her Mom about this. She’s a stickler for privacy and cleanliness and hates these things that M does too. The only way to make kids listen to us is by being friendly and open. Agreed.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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  5. Sometimes youngsters act out of the fear that they won’t be as special to someone for speaking up and setting boundaries. I feel the young man would like to share more than his hanky with the young lady. There is no harm in pointing out what your instinct and experience tells you about the consequences of the young woman’s actions and decisions. It isn’t a restriction. After you’ve told her, let her know it is her judgement call – her decision.

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    1. True. It is a delicate situation and every word needs to be chosen carefully. I did try to speak with her, not directly but through examples, on how horrific things happen when girls blindly trust even their well known friends.
      As you said, it is the attention showered on girls that makes them want to ignore the clear signs of warning. She’s a sensible girl. Hope she gets the point.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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