kelly-sikkema-IDxYqReAT6E-unsplash

Girls Are Not “Just Princesses!”

This women’s day I declare,  “My daughter is not a princess!”
When I say this I mean it. “A warrior queen (maybe) but not a princess.”
She is a normal child who is treated fairly, as any child should be.

In a world that is working diligently towards gender equality most parents proudly declare they are bringing up their daughters as “princesses”. I hugely respect this sentiment and the change in collective psych of society. But first a question I request an honest answer to.

When your princess grows up and makes her own decisions about the things that really matter, would you let her? They may be decisions that you might not agree with. Will you give her the right to her own life? Would you not second guess her?

You see “Princesses” just don’t get a cushioned upbringing they are also supposed to own their lives. Sometimes, I feel there is a serious overlap in parenting with the idea of gender equality. Many a times the pendulum seems to have swung to the other extreme, when the idea is balance. As parents it is our duty to rectify the mistakes of the past and empower our girls but for that they need not be treated as royalty.

What should stand true is the fact  “Boys rights are no less than girls but they are NOT MORE too.
Equal rights are simply  “EQUAL”.

BE TRUE:

What I think really works is being truthful about how things stand when it comes to gender equality. Giving our girls a tailor made existence is not really preparing them for the world that awaits. My daughter is pulled up for her mistakes, now that she is old enough to see right from wrong. She gets scolded and is taught to behave.

We try to incorporate in her upbringing her responsibilities with a very clear understanding of her rights. The rights she can and should exercise. One thing I want her to be very clear on is the fact that she can be as “difficult” a woman as she sees fit. She needs to have a voice and a shrill and loud one when needed, even at the risk of being termed as “difficult” by social standards.

Being self dependent plays a major role in bringing up a woman ready to face the world. A “princess” who can always stand for her self respect. I can’t even begin to tell you how many parents take pride in the fact their “princesses” are not required to do any work at home. It leaves me speechless! Since when has fending for oneself become a thing to be looked down upon? Nor should it be gender specific.

Teach your kids to work, they will thank you for it one day. There is a world out there that can be very unforgiving. Being just princesses helps no one!

 

HAVE INTEGRITY:

Many situations in life have us women reeling with the unfairness meted out. How do you choose what to do or how to act when faced with an unjust situation? The answer is never loose your integrity. To pacify societal norms do not stand with any form of injustice.

I teach my daughter to defend herself I also try to instill in her the importance of standing up for other women. It is weak women who pull each other down. Compromising on ones values can never guarantee any long term happiness.

Also, girls need to learn to differentiate between any form of abuse and real affection. Many a times people disguise abuse, major or minor, as love. They need to recognize what is not accepted behaviour and put their foot down. Be true to yourself. Say NO if you want, stand your ground.

Women are expected to make relationships work when it is actually a two way street. People instill such a fear in girls of being single. I would never want my daughter to keep investing in an unhappy relationship.mSingle or hitched, integrity first. Make decisions that you can live with.


FREEDOM ABOVE ALL:

Freedom above all because “Real empowerment is the ability to choose.”
I would not give up my freedom for any form of privileges.

Your girls wants to lead their lives as princesses or as normal working women, giver them the right to choose. Be her guiding light not the chains that hold her back in the name of love or parenting.

No one can want her happiness more than a parent still let her fall. Give your princess the resilience to get up, dust herself and continue but do not be the hand that steadies her every time she stumbles. Do not doubt her strength and decisions.

Any kind of love without freedom is a hollow attempt at narrowing the gender gap.

Discuss your girl’s choices with her but do not undermine her choices because of her gender.

I would leave you with my thoughts on this topic with a confession.

Yes, my daughter rules our hearts. She sometimes even lords over us. She has the temper of a tempest, for someone so small. Still I stand by my claim she is not a princess, just a little girl who is loved very much.

Do share your views on how to bring up our girls stronger.

Raising my Indian Daughter Differently

What You Must Know About PARENTING AT 40

What You Must Know About PARENTING AT 40

There may be many beautiful things that happen in a woman’s life but having kids transcends everything else.

Now  a weird question. What is the age difference between you and your kids? Not a commonly asked question. Why this question?

My younger one is seven years old and I’m pushing 40.

Generally it is not an issue until you are tested against the energy of  a toddler, when all you want is a five minute breather.

This subject is not meant to disrespect people who decide to have kids at a later age. It is a simple heart-to-heart about challenges faced as a middle-aged parent to young kids.

It is about those of us, who often wonder after a stormy tantrum session with their kid(s) “How am I going to handle this any further?”

EVERY COIN HAS TWO SIDES:

When I was in my mid-twenties and a few of my cousins had their first child right after marriage, I was so skeptical of their decision.

What about living your own life? Don’t you want to see the world and live with just each other for a while?

These were just some of the questions I had asked then. Now I kind of get the point.

At that age, they took  parenting as another adventure. They answered their children’s unceasing questions with energy to spare. One they lived with their kids. Now they have kids who are ready to fly the coop, while the parents still have quite a few adventures left in them.

How freeing it is with kids who can be responsible for themselves to an extent. I imagine all the self harming activities my kids might indulge in while I’m not hovering over them.

I would not claim that lesser age gap means better understanding but much more compatible energy levels. Younger parents might have a better connection level. When you grow up while raising your kids communication lines are more open.

THE OTHER SIDE:

My kids are at an age where I mean the world to them. I want to bask in the glory of this till their focus shifts, which is inevitable and would happen in due time but till then I’m the sun of this solar system. A sun so bummed at times that wants to just switch off and take a  break!

Being a nearly middle-aged parent, I might have life somewhat figured but a child’s curiosity still stops me in my tracks. I see many things in a new light while explaining to my kids.

After playing “war” a few times (too many) I have to sit and tell them how their and my energy levels work. How I prefer to pick my battles and don’t want to fight all “wars”.

Despite these little issues, at this point in life parents are better prepared financially and get to spend more time with their kids.

I wouldn’t have had the luxury of this choice a few years back.

Middle-aged parents have a better understanding of things that can go wrong and how to find solutions. Not every teenage mistake would seem like a disaster. We now know that life goes on. On the flip side, we parent from a more confident place which might  be a hindrance at times. We might be more rigid in putting our points across as it is not easy watching the kids repeat our mistakes.

Being so much more aware of things that can go wrong makes us apprehensive parents.

“I know much better, I have been there” can be one of the worst parenting approaches at any age.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME:

Better than anything what works is being in the moment and having loads of patience. I might not like a messy situation but with some restraint I have learned to deal with these.

There may be different activities that the kids and we enjoy but as a family we find some middle ground. Some weekends we watch “Frozen” or “Avengers” with them, another weekend the kids agree to a quite stay at home.

Although I’m involved in all the aspects of my kids life, I still make it a point to have my own me time . It helps me get my equilibrium back after those tumultuous days. Also, it is important that kids learn to be independent. They should be taught to do the work that they can manage at their respective ages.

Don’t feel guilty for making your child help you with the housework or picking up after themselves. There may be times when we want to be left alone, yet keep conversation with your kids going. No matter what the issue, never stop communicating with them.

Parenting at any age can be stressful because we don’t want to slip up. We hope to make zero mistakes and expect to stay on top of the game.

I suggest, stop over-analyzing yourself.

We are all that our kids would ever need and love. So we must stop comparing with others’ parenting styles. Do let us know what works for you and what would you suggest towards being a better middle-aged parent.

Protect Earth: Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

Protect Earth: Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

Talking to children about plastic pollution is paramount. This below statement just about sums up the plight of our planet.

“For small and immediate gains never loose the wisdom to foresee future loses.”

The news channels have been bringing gruesome images to our drawing rooms. Birds , fishes and all kinds of other creatures dying due to plastic pollution.

What is interesting, these living beings are suffering due to our callous attitude.

The bane of our existence “Plastic”.

Plastic was invented and it revolutionized the human world. It won’t break like glass. Lasts longer than paper. Cheaper than metal, so on and so forth.

Here is where we got dealt a bad hand, for the present profits we jeopardized our whole future.

Like most of the human inventions this one is also backfiring and in a major way.

We are getting choked to the brim in plastic and now reeling in the after effects.This thing that takes at least 400 years to decompose is everywhere.

Even in the remotest of places where you might not find a human being some form of plastic can be found flapping in the wind.

Before we place all the blame on plastic let me tell you it is not the plastic that is the culprit, it’s us. Human beings.

Let’s introspect, we invented this thing put it to some really good uses while at the same time for small profits, let it get out of hand and turn into an uncontrollable situation.

Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

What we can do:

The time to act on this is now. The onus lies with each and every one of us. Along with raising kids to understand the world we have to teach them to understand the environment too.

Talking to children about plastic pollution starts here.

Learn the value of “Planet First”.

The earth is the most important thing they will inherit, rest all is replaceable. While teaching them we have to incorporate it in our lives too, make it second nature to think about our planet first.

There is so much that needs to be rectified environmentally but we can start at the basics. While plastic has all encompassed our lives not all of it is bad. What is slowly choking the planet to death is the waste that is being generated by us through single use plastic.

Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

At the basic level what should be done? Here are some small steps that we can even make our kids a part of.

Stop buying :

The first thing on this list is plastic straws and cups followed by any other form of single use plastic. Look around us even single pieces of fruit are wrapped in plastic. These bits of plastic get thrown away and more often then not end up in landfills. The trick is just don’t buy the items that come in these pretty packagings. Not only is it economical it also helps curb plastic waste generation. Buy sustainable and reusable straws and cups. Carry own water bottles. Sometimes if it is inevitable to use plastic items then recycle.

No wastage:

Again the same solution that is purse friendly too, don’t buy. We need to curb the mindless consumerism. Our kids don’t use half of what we buy them. Look around at the toys that are forgotten the minute they are unpacked, mostly plastic. Stationery that is filled up in boxes waiting to be acknowledged, again mostly plastic. These things get thrown out once they have completed their duration of being useless. New things are bought and it is an endless cycle. Break it. Go through what the kids have, rediscover and use it. Educate them about the significance of buying less for a healthier planet.

Share:

Whatever is surplus share it. Donate toys, stationery, books.

One persons waste might be another’s treasure. Use things well, most things have a life and when put to optimum use save some money too.

Still whatever you might not need and are sure you will only end up hoarding donate it. It can be difficult to let go of things after paying money for but if you don’t use it for a few months chances are you will not use it. Think of it as a service to your planet.

Recycle:

The most important thing that we need to incorporate in our lives. Recycle everything that can be recycled. Don’t throw plastic waste mindlessly anywhere. Talking to children about plastic pollution starts with talking about recycling.

Upgrading phones or computers recycle the old ones. All the electronic stores provide the option to recycle.

It might be a bit of a stretch to locate that recycling bin for recycling of everyday use plastic, but it is pertinent that we do that.

According to stats only a very small percentage of plastic is recycled leading to disastrous consequences. Talk to children about how every piece of plastic is harming the planet and what needs to be done. Educate them and help them identify the areas in life where plastic waste can be reduced. Every small effort counts.

The crucial time to act was yesterday and there is so much that can be done, these are just some baby steps. We as a planet are already walking thin ice and heading towards imminent ruin.

Us adults need to wake up to the damage that has been done all the while instilling in the next generation an appreciation of a sustainable lifestyle. Our planet deserves better than being choked to death with plastic.

Learn more ways to protect earth by helping kids nurture their little gardens.

We Need to Teach Kids to Stay Connected to Family

We Need to Teach Kids to Stay Connected to Family

The Webster dictionary has many definitions for the word “family”. For me the one that held true for most of my life is “Family: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head”.

As a kid I was not comfortable being alone in the house for long periods. Though it mostly never came to that as there was always family around. Many a times I tried to get over this seemingly silly hang up but then consoled myself I don’t really need to as we had a full house.

Fast forward 30 years and I’m no longer the sacredly kid that I was. You see, now there is no way I can avoid being alone at home and even look forward to some alone time.

In a few sentences this is the evolution of Indian families over the years. This transition might be common across many cultures but few would have been as drastic as ours has been.

What does family mean to you? It does not matter how close you are to yours but we need to go that extra mile to give our kids that strong sense of family.

Families come in varied shapes and sizes. The most weird thing is, other peoples families always seems to be way better than your own, which is mostly not true.

For me a family is this group of people who always had time for each other with wholehearted dedication.

THEN:As the saying goes “It takes a village to bring up a child”.

This was most Indian families for you once. We grew up in a household conisiting of grandparents with a healthy sprinkling of aunts,uncles and cousins thrown in.

There were ready playmates those cousins your first friends. With no dearth of people ready to meddle in your life, you were never left alone. One persons problems were tackled by the whole clan.

Even with the over indulgence and continuous sense of being watched family was what you would return to at the end of the day.

New mothers never had to face the dilemma of how to do and what to do, there were always a hand to help. Every aspect of things had a listening ear. Overly patient grandparents with their own life experiences were a treasure trove of guidance.

Like everything this package came with its drawbacks: over interference, over indulgent kids difficult to discipline and not getting independent, to name a few.

NOW:The change in family dynamics over the years has left the family units some what fragmented.

 

Today’s Indian society is mostly nuclear families with busy parents and limited communication with the extended family. These families see much less conflict of interests leaving breathing space for each other.

Kids in this generation are more self-sufficient and open to change.

The Drawbacks: how to give kids strong roots along with the wings?

A sense of family and belonging that children learn from sharing their life and space with an extended family. Children growing up in nuclear families do not get exposure to that extra love and warmth.

What is really sad is Children completely missing the life experiences and stories from a whole generation.

HOW FAMILIES ARE BUILT:

Living together makes a family but strong roots need a deep rooted value system. How do we teach our kids the value of families? One of the foundation bricks that make a family strong is tolerance.

There will always be someone in a family who will think and act unconventional.

Everyone’s threshold of tolerance is bound to be different.

What might be a non-issue for one person might mean the world to the other.

Every person’s reaction to a similar situation might differ.

You might be a multitasking genius while some other can barely accomplish one thing at a time.

The basic comes down to each pillar of the family unit not being alike. What matters is love, tolerance and unconditional acceptance with a slight nudge in the right direction.

Children and especially teenagers should have the confidence that families don’t judge, they just help each other become happier and better version of themselves.

KEEPING IN TOUCH:

The bane of recent times is being busy. Everyone is juggling a million things, some doing a better job at it then the others. Being so occupied leaves us very little time and patience to keep in touch with even those who matter.

The simplest solution is make time. Remember those important dates of family members. Not all communication has to be long. Drop in simple messages or short calls.

Loosing touch with family is the main reason for widening gaps overtime. Distances might make the hearts fonder but will definitely leave relations strained.

Let your kids see you make those efforts. Don’t wait for the other to take the first step, go ahead and initiate communication  you won’t regret it.

Even in a deeply materialistic world giving someone your time is still precious.

FAMILIES GIVE ROOTS AND WINGS:

I believe my parents gave us siblings both roots and wings. We are not afraid to encounter the new while staying true to our beliefs.

This is what I look forward to passing on to my children. Children need strong roots so they can fly.

A big tree rooted in the ground can withstand any storm while weeds just float.

Have small family traditions, holiday celebrations. Talk to your kids about your own childhood, delve into your own background to give them the understanding that family is there to support them and not arrest their flight.

I’m positive I may never approve of all the life choices that my kids will make but i want them to know that whatever they encounter there is always family to count on.

There are friends and friends like family but there will be no one else like family .They accept you just the way you are.

They might judge you at times, drive you crazy and there are phases in life when you run away from them .

Family inundates you with emotional baggage but it is the anchor that ties down a ship to prevent it from going astray. Even when they might throw you to rough sea at times.

Today life is fraught with too much exposure and trying to overcome distances can be hard. So it becomes a task to make sure the familial bonds are strong enough to stand the tides of time and circumstances. But the first step is to ingrain in our kids the value of these family bonds and all else just follows.

Do you live in an extended family or a nuclear family?What steps do you take to make your kids understand the significance of family?

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Stay Connected to Family

The Accepted Culture Of "Body Shaming"

The Accepted Culture Of “Body Shaming”

I will begin by saying, I was very apprehensive talking about this topic “Body Shaming”.

We are a multicultural platform. Often we talk about how various issues are dealt across different cultures. I for one is always on the lookout for things that might be similar across all cultures. One that tops the charts is “body shaming”, so despite my hesitation here I am.

The “culture of body shaming” is one concept that is consistent across all “cultures”.

No disparity, trust me.

If you have a physical drawback in one culture then you have it across all the cultures and you will be duly reminded of it. This begins from the day you are born.

So were you a cute as a baby or not so much? See what i mean?

DO YOUR PARTICIPATE IN BODY SHAMING

It comes in so many forms and is mostly termed harmless, even wrapped as “constructive” criticism.

If any conversation or comment about your physical appearance belittles you, makes you question your worth or as a result of which you gradually lose confidence in yourself then it is “body shaming”.

This is a very difficult and somewhat sensitive subject, all the same talking about “body shaming” is tantamount for a healthy childhood. Surprisingly it affects kids and at very young age too.

A flippant remark about someones physical appearance can change the way kids look at people. The worth of a person gets associated with how they look and a tiny seed of body shaming is sown.

Granted we cannot watch what we say all the time but being a bit more careful before judging someone solely on their physical appearance can go a long way.

How can we deal with body shaming? Here are a few things I feel might help.

PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN A BODY

One morning in 1994 thousands of teenage girls across India waited with bated breath in front of their television screens as Sushmita Sen was crowned “Miss Universe”.

These pageants are supposed to be all about physical beauty but it also signified something dramatic, something more significant.

That moment is etched on so many minds as a declaration to the world “we girls of India have arrived, we can touch the sky”. For many teen eyes it was about what a girl can be and achieve in new day India.

Sadly, overtime it became all about physical beauty and even Sushmita Sen was not above body shaming.

The Miss Universe straightened her crown and proved to the world she is more than a beautiful body. An epitome of inner strenghth. A person who owns her decisions and grows with them.

Every strong person who can forge their own path and gets back up after each fall is a beautiful person. Beauty is as beauty does.

ENDORSE SELF LOVE

It’s so easy to count your physical flaws everyday for recreational purposes. But when your 6 year old tells you they don’t like their face it hits you hard.

It won’t matter how many times you tell them they are perfect as they are. It has to start with you.

Children imitate what they see including body shaming.

To endorse self love in our kids we need to endorse it ourselves. Love that not so perfect nose, flabby tummy, the skin that could have behaved better at ageing. Everything.

We need to learn “If i love my body no one has the right to tell me otherwise”.

Be warned Self love is very difficult. I have had near strangers remind me to be unhappy because of my body and how it looks “ugly”.

Their duty done, all in the name of promoting a healthy life, sprinkled with the holy knowledge that guarantees longevity. Only forgetting to mention “Also be very careful while crossing any roads, use zebra crossings, and you will live to eternity”.

Though only what is does is, add one more miserable person to the bandwagon of self haters with a few million more to go.

Your body has only you to love it, improve it if possible but do not hate it. There are enough people doing it for you.

PROMOTE A BETTER OUTLOOK

My children need to learn that no persons body gives them the right to shame it. Nor does anybody has the right to do the same to them.

I highly commend those people who change their bodies for the better. What if some one is incapable of doing so? Don’t they deserve a happy judgement free existence?

As it is the world has too many broken people, no one needs to add to it.

There are people who were born with severe physical imperfections but have thrived and lived successful lives. It’s a person that rises above the odds not just a body.

“If you see a person struggling give them a hand, don’t pull them down further”. This might just be a statement but it has the potential to change the mindset of an entire generation.

So if you have ever been body shamed for height, weight, complexion, a disability or anything it’s time to put your foot down.

To all those whose sensibilities get offended by all of our “not-perfect” bodies, there is a simple science, please look away.

There are hordes of people whose intellect frustrates me or personality I might not like, but that does not give me the right to shame them.

No ones physical appearance makes them lesser human beings, neither do they deserve to be treated unfairly.

As we step into a new year, we all resolve to be better parents, friends or life partners. I also resolve to be a more tolerant and body confident person.

Have you also encountered body shaming? Do share your views on the subject.

My Baby – The Cute Little Evil Eye Magnet

I an Indian,  born and brought up in a small north Indian town named Roorkee. Ours is a land where both modern and traditional way of life manage to survive hand in hand. Here medicine, science, modern technology, old wives tales and superstition all keep jostling each other for space on the same platform.

I always believed that coming from a family where education is valued above all else, I had left the ‘knock-on-wood’ world far behind. I believed this ,that is, until I thought the word “baby” out aloud.

Let me tell you having a baby is just not simply conceiving a baby and carrying to term. It is also not only delivering the baby and then focusing on keeping your sanity while raising the child.

Yes, having a baby is all this and it is also dodging landmines of dangers lurking in every corner, waiting to attack. Dangers that are above and beyond the explainable logical world.

No matter how educated or modern an average Indian family is, the minute a (much awaited) baby knocks on their world, everything changes.

[bctt tweet=”Most modern Indian families turn to old wives talesthe minute things go wrong for their bundle of joy. ” username=”contactrwc”]

I learned that an Indian baby is apparently a ‘magnet’ for all the roving evil eyes in the world. The minute I broke the news of the pregnancy to both the would-be grandmothers, all the possible dangers in the land of the evil became real.

Out came the spools of black thread, packets of chili, and salts. The only way I was allowed to step out of the house was with various threads and amulets hanging around my neck(to ward off the evil EYE) and armed with onion and garlic(to ward off evil SPIRITS ). It was at this point that I realized that I it is not just the seen that you are battling with but also the unseen.

At this point if you try to appeal to the progressive men in the family, they simply nod and go back to their newspapers. Afterall, why take a chance and it’s just chili that is being burnt and salts being thrown and neither is frightfully expensive.

Giving Birth to My Cute Evil Eye Magnet

So, after dodging all the dangers and managing to stay alive, you give birth to the precious baby. This particular tiny person has a magnetic field so strong that every roving evil eye on the planet finds it’s way directly and sticks to it.

Indian grandmothers come fitted with special antennas that come out the minute the baby is out of the womb. In a world where thousands of babies are born every second, these antennas can pick up the exact number of times their precious little person has been cast upon with the evil eye.

Even before putting clothes on the baby we put a black dot on the baby’s face. This is a very “smart” dot, which stares right back at anyone trying to cast an evil eye on the baby and provides round the clock protection.

Next level of security are the black and red threads, these come with the tag ‘protecting-babies-since-eternity’.

Only once all the security measures are in place is the baby introduced to the world. As a new mother leaving the house with the baby meant carrying the essentials like onion, garlic and of course the baby bag, might need a diaper or something.

As the world knows babies tend to fall sick, but not every sneeze, cough or crying spell can be explained through science or medicine. It might be the doing of one of the well wishers secretly casting an evil eye, and being the strong magnet that the poor little kid is, results in getting sick.

After surviving the initial zombie, new mom phase, I felt I now have the hang of things. I decided to go back to my life and was sent packing with bags full of chili along with the other security measures and the grandmothers teary eyed blessings.

Once we kind of settled down some of our friends decided to come and visit the baby. It was a pleasant evening, with us showing off our little person, until the last guest left. That was the moment the baby started crying, so we changed, fed and walked the baby. The crying turned to screaming so we checked for any fever or discomfort.

Still after one hour of trying all we can the screaming would not stop and we were on the verge of panic. We decided to pack up and run to the grandmothers and never return without one of them. That is when an alternate solution hit me and I went running for the forgotten chili and salts. Once again the unexplained rescued us. Baby just calmed down.

I have been playing part time sorceress since, as and when needed, because why take a chance. I have been surviving my mom life with the help of Google, both the grand mothers and of course the additional security measures of divine help, all in that order.

So even though none of us would call ourselves superstitious people but when it comes to our kids, we walk a very fine line. Iphones in one hand and chili in the other, we keep battling parenting. We try to balance logic with the illogical, because why would anyone want to take a chance?

Shalini Tyagi is an Indian,born and brought up in India,currently living in Dubai. She is mother of two school going children and is a stay at home mom. An avid reader, she has recently forayed into blogging to bring to light her writing skills. She hosts her own website tyagishalinid.com.
,

5 Meaningful Hindi Movies to Watch This Summer

5 Meaningful Hindi Movies to Watch This Summer

How do you entertain yourself? Do you read books? You might be a lover of music or a photographer. There are scores of things that people indulge in to unwind , but one form of entertainment that majority of the world would agree on, The Movies.

Cinema revolutionised the way we entertain ourselves, being available in most of the known languages on this planet.

I’m a huge fan of English language films, to the extent where i can watch some of the movies on a loop. All the same we Indians love our cinema to the point of quitting all reason and immersing ourselves in the insanely colorful world of Hindi cinema.

The Indian film industry boasts of cinema in many regional languages. Hindi film industry, popularly known as bollywood, is on of the largest centres of film production in the world.

You can imagine the number of movies it churns out annually.

These are statistics, but anyone who is even slightly familiar with Indian films will agree how we have a flair for the dramatic.

We have a song for even the unlikeliest of situations and it doesn’t take much for us to dance.

We clap on all the adrenaline highs, go overboard, root for our actors even in the most illogical scenarios. Most of the time we like to keep things simple but a little complication is what keeps things spiced up.

Despite all the drama our films also have the knack to acknowledge the truth, say it unencumbered, however unpleasant it might be. We have taken on social stigmas and ventured into the uncomfortable to confront our own social thread.

Many say cinema is a reflection of it’s times and the society. Over the years our movies have changed, some have become those instruments of change in the mindset of people.

There is a treasure trove from the world of old hindi cinema, but it might take an in-depth understanding of the Indian culture, without which most of the meaning and essence will be lost.

Though Indian cinema has many note worthy movies in regional languages, but me being a hindi speaker cannot do justice to films from all languages.

So to share with you all the joy of Hindi films on this multicultural platform, I have compiled a short list of 5 Hindi films, from the recent times.

Some of these are underrated, some very popular, but all of these 5 films speak of some thing meaningful albeit in a slight dramatic way.

NIL BATTEY SANTA

Dated: 2016
The name of the movie means “Zero divided by zero”. Despite the odd name this films talks about a very important topic- Education.

Set in the capital city, it tells you the story of a single parent ,Chanda, who struggles to give her teenage daughter, Apu, a better life. Coming from a lower middle class background she understands that the key to a better life for her daughter is through education.

Working at four menial jobs, including that of a domestic help to a lady doctor, she only dreams for her daughter. Struggling with Apu’s indifferent attitude for studies, she tries to find her some help.

Things take a dramatic turn when the daughter declares, she hopes to be nothing more than a household help.
Herself being a high school dropout, she takes the extreme step of enrolling in Apu’s class. Making an effort to finish her own studies and to impress on her the significance of education.

Despite it all being an uphill task, she overcomes her predicament and teaches her daughter the value of dreams.
A heart warming drama that speaks volumes in a subtle manner.
This movie tells you about ever persons right to dream and change their lives.

MARY KOM

Dated:2014

This film is a biographical sports film about the Indian female boxer, Mary Kom. The movie introduces you to a simple girl from the north-eastern state of Manipur. A girl who chances upon a pair of boxing gloves and dreams of becoming a boxer.

The narration takes us through the struggles of an aspiring female athlete in a male dominated sport. The world knows Mary Kom as the bronze medal winner at the 2012 Olympics, the trials and turbulences that she had to overcome are brought forth in the movie.

Finding love, success and achieving her dreams, her life comes a full circle after she gives birth to her twin sons and again sets to make a comeback.

The movie portrays her grit as an athlete and strength as a mother beautifully, when she competed in the AIBA Women’s world boxing championship in 2008,with one of her twins in surgery and coming out a winner.

For anyone who doubts a women’s strength, Mary Kom will say it all.

THE BLUE UMBRELLA

Dated:2005

An adaptation from the Ruskin Bond book , of the same name, I have included this one for it’s simplistic beautiful story.

This story is for the kids and adults alike.

Set in a small village in the hills of northern India, it is the tale of a little girl named Biniya. The girl happens to come about a Japanese umbrella and the plot unfolds from there.

It is a simple narration that tells you about greed, simplicity, forgiveness and acceptance. Even when the simplest of people can resort to immoral acts, a little girl teaches us that love and forgivness is what makes the world go round.

POSTER BOYS

Dated:2017

Before all you hindi speaking people question this choice hear me out.

Though it is one typical overboard, overdramatic hindi film but with very relevant and important social messages. This movie manages to raise a few topics that we as a nation need to deal with, like now.

Based on a real life incident where three men find their pictures, printed without consent, on a poster for a vasectomy campaign. Hence ensues a cycle of humiliation and denial of justice for these three men.

While the story talks about corruption at the heart of the system, it also deals with the significant issue of the girl child in India. The movie tackles the stigma attached to vasectomy for men, when population control is one the most pressing global issues.

RANG DE BASANTI

Dated:2006

The name means, Colour it Saffron or can be literally translated to “Paint the colours of spring”.

I saved this as the last on the list because there is so much i can say about this one. It is my personal view, this movie changed our perception of hindi cinema.

It brought about a revolution in the mindset of the youth.

The story revolves around a young British journalist who wants to make a documentary about Indian freedom fighters, based on handwritten accounts of her grandfather’s diary, who was a jailer in colonial India.

On travelling to India she comes across the “New India”. A generation diconnected with it’s past and unconcerned about the future. It takes a close hand to hand with corruption and a British journalist for these youngsters to realise they are equally responsible for their nation’s future.

This movie beautifully binds the past and present all the while questioning our choices for the future. After a long time we as a country re-learned to demand justice,stand up for it and take action.We acknowledged there is corruption rampant but now the onus lies with us to rectify the situation.

Cinema is an escape into the virtual, but what is being said through this medium reaches millions. People sit up and take notice, all the while getting entertained.

So, folks theses are a few Hindi movies to start with .Do let me know what you think of these.

5 Meaningful Hindi Movies to Watch This Summer

  Shalini is an Indian,currently living in Dubai. She is mother of two school going children and is a stay at home mom. She is an avid reader and has recently forayed into the world of writing. Apart from being a contributing writer to the book “ When you’re done expecting”, she hosts her own website tyagishalinid.com.