Management Funda By N. Raghuraman
Three days before we all got to know about UP’s Modi nagar sub-divisional magistrate Saumya Pandey’s commendable dedication to duty, who rejoined office a fortnight after she gave birth, her baby girl in tow.
We live in the world of social media.
Some saluted her commitment while some said otherwise like “you are an IAS officer while your child is not an IPS…she is just two weeks old….this is just a photo op.”
This incident took me 50 years behind when one of uncle had a love marriage against the wishes my grandmother. Remember at least we lower middle class were not comfortable with love marriages then. Hence the aunt who got married to him was looked after my mother for couple of months pre and post delivery.
My aunt was a self made person and a “jara Hatke” kind, like the Modi Nagar IAS officer, in all her actions. She joined work much before the mandatory maternity leave she got. She wanted to take the child to office on her first day of resuming work, but my mother refused to give permission. She looked after the baby for some days till proper arrangements were done.
During her stay in our house, I realised that such a strong person can succumb to love or to a mother figure (a sacrificing figure) who devoted herself to the welfare of the young mother and yet-to-born child.
Though as a child, I enjoyed their presence initially, slowly I got irritated because my mother’s attention got diverted from me. Many times, something I loved to eat went to that aunt. And slowly I realised that I was the loser from eateries to the attention of my mother. As the child was brought into my home from the hospital, the entire household was out of routine—Everything that was cooked got direct contact with the health of the aunt and the baby that is being fed by her.
When my mother realised that I was behaving differently with the newborn, she asked me “what you understand by sacrifice?” I said “you don’t get what you want.” Nodding her head she said “no, you are wrong. By sacrificing you don’t lose anything. In fact you just gave it to someone else and you get happiness by seeing the same happiness in that person’s face. It’s just like you burst all crackers in Diwali and we also feel happy. I will ask your father to drop you at grandmother’s house for two days and see how they ‘sacrifice’ something for you.”
In six hours I realised that grandmother was focusing on me more than my young uncles. I returned home the same night. My behaviour with that aunt and the new born instantly changed. I started falling in love with that 14-day-old child.
Later on it’s a different story that the same aunt came for her second child’s delivery to our home and after a few days she saw me responsible towards her first child who also accompanied her. My aunt later told my mother pointing out to me “this boy has completely changed—far more matured.” She didn’t know that I was changed because I got to know the meaning of “sacrifice” from my mother, who knew the art of parenting!
Funda is that sometimes, when you sacrifice something you don’t lose anything. You just gave it to someone else to enjoy.