Far but Never Apart
We all know how sensitive a mother’s heart is and how protective she is towards her children. A mother needs a real big heart to let her children live apart from her.
The evergreen Sneh Rana is no new name in Nepal. She is a perfect definition of beauty with brain. It is hard to believe that this teenager looking beauty actually has kids who too have crossed their teenage. Yes, Sneh is blessed with daughter Sunaina RL Rana, 27 and a son Parakram SJB Rana, 23. Sunaina is a yoga teacher at ‘Isha Foundation’ Sadhguru in Coimbatore in South India, and Parakram is a Fashion Stylist and Blogger. They shared with us the inside out of their relationship that can be termed, ‘Far but Never Apart.’
Having a child leave home to go to a boarding school or a university is regarded as a measure of success, a sign that you have prepared it for the world. But the downsides are often not acknowledged. The pain of separation of a child from a mother can go far beyond simply missing a son or a daughter after the child is gone. Some parents feel a very real sense of grief and loss. Relating this we asked Sneh Rana, what was it like to send her kids to a boarding school.
Sneh: “I sent them to a boarding school when they were very young, around 8 – 9 years old. It was very difficult for me as they were still small and they were used to being with us and the family. They went to boarding school in India. It was difficult for them and me to part with them, but the culture in our family has always been to go to boarding schools. But now I am used to staying away from them. It has helped them a lot to be more independent.”
As they say: “Back on its golden hinges the gate of memory swings, and my heart goes into the garden and walks with the olden things.” Yes, childhood memories are either the fondest ones or the ones that you dread the most to remember. They carve your soul; they mould you being. Their force has an impact greater than other memories. Sneh too might have some memories of her kids, so I went on and asked her to share the fondest memory of their childhood that is close to her heart.
Sneh: “I know that there are so many memories, but there has been a big gap (smiles). They used to send me letters, those very sweet letters, from their school. The letters used to have cartoon faces with tears rolling down, saying ‘I hate school, and want to come back. My heart is broken.” Parakram used to write very dramatic letters with arrows breaking the heart and all. I still have those letters with me. So these are really cute things that I have saved. And birthday parties were also great fun because both of them would take place during their holidays. They would be home from their boarding and I would make an effort to get them the cake that they desired. Also they used to make a lot of plays casting all the helpers at the house. They would make the whole family sit and perform in front of them.”
With the cutting of the umbilical cord, physical attachment to our mothers ends and emotional attachment begins. We all share a special bond with our mother. A mother–children relationship is a special relationship that has a huge effect in the way that the child will turn out. So we asked this trio how is their relationship with each other.
Sneh: “We are more like friends because I had my kids very early when I was very young. So I grew up with them. I think I am very open to what they tell me, and I am open to their secrets. I am more like a friend to them, and of course I am like a mom too.”
Parakram: “She is a good mixture of a mother and a friend.”
Sunaina: “We can confide to her anything as she is not going to judge us and she is not going to enforce us.She is very open to whatever we share with her, and even in terms of what we pursue in our lives. At the same time we have been brought up with a lot of morals, values, and good upbringing.”
Sunaina and Parakram stay apart from their parents because of their career. Since these two children have always stayed apart since their boarding days, they hardly get time to spend with each other. But whenever they are back home, they make sure that they spend some quality time with their parents. Read on to know what they do when they are together.
Sunaina: “We went to Tatopani a few years ago and it was quite interesting because the place was like very rural. There were only two hotels I guess, and the roads were really rugged. It was a proper trekking. We all went for bungee jumping too but we did not do that our cousins did that instead. In addition, these, we have travelled abroad. We went to the United States, and Europe together. All these were during our vacations, sometimes in Nepal and sometimes abroad. We used to keep alternating.”
Parakram: “When you say together, it is not just four of us, as we have such a big joint family. It is 20 – 30 of us. We do this rafting adventure every year at Brigades Ben in the Trishuli River when it is the season.”
Sneh: “We went on cruise in Greece. It was really nice. We saw all these little islands like Mykonos, Santorini, and ship dock. We also saw a little bit of Turkey. And of course, in the United States, we went to Las Vegas where Parakram took us on a very scary stratosphere ride, which was indeed very adventurous.
Every parent want their children to do well in studies and have better grades. Let us find out how Sunaina and Parakram fared in their studies in school days.
Sneh: “Markswise they were similar but Sunaina was a naughty girl - teachers used to have a hard time - and Parakram was a good boy. So there used to be a huge contrast. But Sunaina did very well in her 12th Grade which led her to a very good college i.e. St. Xavier’s in Mumbai, which is very difficult to get through unless you do well. And she was also in the national hockey team whereas Parakram was very good in theater and plays. Sunaina was very good in sports, while Parakram was more into creative fields. I think my husband is very much into sports so she got his genes, and I am very creative so he probably got my genes.
We have known for a long time that a mother can even come in front of a bullet to save her child’s life. I mean, why would she not? After all the pain she has endured for nine long months to nurture the child in her womb. Relating to this, I asked Sneh how protective is she towards her kids. Here is her response:
Sneh: “I am extremely protective. I mean no one can even say a word against them if they are not in the wrong. I am actually like a mother hen who really protects her chicks. But they take criticism. I scold them if they are wrong, and they also tell me when I am doing something wrong. And I accept that.
Are you planning to send your kids to a boarding school? Do you also worry that your child may find it difficult to adjust to the new environment? No worries, here Sneh shares with us the pros and cons of sending children to a boarding school.
Sneh: Well, the pros of sending your children to a boarding school are that the children learn to be independent, become confident, and are able to mix around with different kinds of people. They are also able to adjust to any place. And the cons are they miss out on being with the family especially during functions and festivals, and they miss out on much of the family life. But now I feel that because they have been on their own since childhood, they can take care of themselves even when they are living alone in Mumbai and South India.