Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Mom, are we Bengalis?"

Every evening, Ruhi and I spend some quality time together! She had come back late from a birthday party and after the regular run down on her asthma (she is going through a miserable attack that leaves her coughing and wheezing all day ) what she ate and what she didn't, the games and how she could not dance or run the conversation took another turn :

"Mom, are we Bengalis?"

"I don't think so Ruhi...why would you ask?"

"Hmm....some one at Sona's birthday party thought I was Bengali"

"Is that so? How come ?"

"She asked me my name and when I said it, she asked 'are you a Bengali?' Ruhi said smiling sheepishly

My heart was pounding harder than usual.."hmm...so what did you say?"

"I said I am a Punjabi" she said with a more sheepish smile and gave me a look that she has when she isn't sure. I stayed silent for more than a second till she asked "We are Punjabis, are we not Ma?"

"Your mom is from Punjab, but your father is ..."

"Oh I know it ! He is a Bengali !" she interrupts excitedly

"NO !!! He is from Uttar Pradesh..."

"Oh Ok"

I pondered if this was that moment I have been anticipating when I should introduce the concept of Religion, Caste, Creed etc. I felt unprepared...this wasn't something that I could delve into my mommy good sense for answers if she asked me a pertinent question. Specially since I noticed my husband look eagerly at me, waiting to hear the obvious explanation. I let the moment pass. Some other time, some other way.

Ruhi had moved on by then.

"Mom is 'senstitive' a bad word ?

'Sensitive you mean ?"

"yep, someone called me that...."

7 comments:

~nm said...

I think you handled it well by saying what you did. They need to be a bit older to grasp the religions with maturity and not be biased/prejudiced about religions.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I have a similar dilemma as you do. Except in my case, my methodist christian origin husband is a confirmed atheist. I am hindu who is verging on the agnostic.

Right now my daughter who is Ruhi's age is very clear on what I believe in. Its easier because of she sees a temple/idol/prayers on the occasional visit to a faraway temple. It is all tangible for her, Daddy's concepts are completly out of her realmn.

She thinks Hindi Films/bollywood/indian food at dinner/temples/wearing shiny desi clothes is all one big concept that mom believes in. That entire bundle is religion according to her.

There will be interesting conversations as they grow.

Balvinder Singh said...

On the occasion of the Republic Day of our country, i take this opportunity to present this award to my blogger friends who have made a difference by writing their frank opinions in their blogs as well, as in the comment columns of other blogs. These bloggers have not written any sensational or luscious stories to attract traffic to their blogs, but they have put down in prose as well, as verse, whatever they have felt strongly about, may it be about their personal lives or about a burning issue of the society. The sole purpose of their writing has been to make a difference. I wish that their ideas may fructify and bring a change in the society for better. I salute them all. Gurpreet please pick up your award from my blog.

Balvinder Singh said...

On the eve of the Republic Day of our country, i take this opportunity to present this award to my blogger friends who have made a difference by writing their frank opinions in their blogs as well, as in the comment columns of other blogs. These bloggers have not written any sensational or luscious stories to attract traffic to their blogs, but they have put down in prose as well, as verse, whatever they have felt strongly about, may it be about their personal lives or about a burning issue of the society. The sole purpose of their writing has been to make a difference. I wish that their ideas may fructify and bring a change in the society for better. I salute them all.

Gurpreet, you are invited to visit my blog to receive your award.

(by the way, i had posted this invitation yesterday as well. Where did it disappear)

How do we know said...

OMG! Just HOW did u keep your children away from concepts of religion for so long? I feel like saluting you! One of the first things most ppl teach their children is how to pray, and usually, its the religion that the child is born into, and then some more. You are awesome!

The blogger formerly known as Sansmerci said...

pls don teach ruhi religion... she's too cute and naive.. sigh!i jus wish there's no religion in the world by the time i have kids

the mad momma said...

let me know when you figure out the answer to that one!