A phenomenon worth headlines is that many young people are moving back in with their parents due to the current economic conditions.

These youngsters returning to empty nests are called the Boomerangers. I like that term.

Our son boomeranged after he started making a living on his own on four occasions. We were delighted on all the four. He is now a permanent fixture and I am very happy with that situation.

I however have a peculiar situation in my home and this post is to ask my readers to suggest a term to describe another phenomenon.

My then 92 year old father permanently moved in with me 2+ years ago. What should I call him? My friend who visited last week suggested Prodigal Father. Does not appeal to me though in some ways it is logical. I am looking for a generic term that we can apply to any parent moving in with a child. Who knows, I may become one in my doddering old age.

Tiger Mom – Indian Version

When I wrote my post Children following the hue and cry about Amy Chua’s book, little did I expect that it will resonate in a big way in India’s press.

The cartoon above leads readers to a very interesting article in the Crest edition of the Times Of India. Please do read to get an idea of the impact parents have on children in today’s India.

That cartoon says it all, doesn’t it?


I cannot read any newspaper without some comment on Amy Chua now. My own take on pushing our children or not is well known to my readers.

I just want to revive a memory.

Your children are not your children,

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you.

And though they are with you,

they do not belong to you.

Who they become has less to do with who you are,

than who they are.

You may give them your love,

but not your thoughts or values.

By your example, you show a way that is yours,

as they search for theirs.

You are the bow from which your children,

as living arrows, are sent forth.

The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and he bends you with His might,


His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending, in the Archer’s hand,

be steadfastly true to yourself.

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so too does

He love the bow that is strong and stable.”

– Omar Khayyam

Lies – II

I draw the attention of my readers to my earlier post on Lies and from there to the two links given to Nick’s blog on the same subject.

Now, I draw the attention of my readers to this article in the New York Times – “Lying children will grow up to be successful citizens.”

I am glad that I do not have grand children. How about the others with children and grand children? Does this make sense?

The Empty Nest Syndrome.

“Kids aren’t ruining parents’ lives,” Dr. Gorchoff said. “It’s just that they’re making it more difficult to have enjoyable interactions together.”

I came across this fascinating article which caught my eye because we went through the empty nest syndrome on three separate occasions and came out of them fairly intact. We were told on all three occasions that we were particularly impacted because we have only one child.

Let me explain.

Firstly, in India, children living with parents and grand parents is still quite prevalent and family ties are very strong. This is changing rapidly, but for our generation, this is still so.

When our son Ranjan was growing up, I was in an employment where, every few years, I was getting transferred on promotions to newer locations. This was impacting Ranjan’s studies quite a bit and when in 1983, when he was just twelve years old, we decided to send him to a boarding school, it was a very difficult decision to make but take it we had to. The timings of the transfers did not particularly accommodate school term timings and this was the primary reason for our decision.

Off he went to boarding school, and for the next three years, my wife Urmeela and I were left to manage on our own. During those days, I was also traveling quite a bit and Urmeela had to be alone at home for about three weeks on average per month.

In 1987, luckily, we were transferred to a city when academic timings coincided, and Ranjan joined us for the next eight years. He completed his college education and post graduation while staying at home. Subsequently, he also got employment where we lived. It was a boon for Urmeela as I was still traveling to the same extent.

In 1995, when I retired for the first time, Ranjan got a job offer in another city that was just too good and he left home again. Since I was at home, it was not too bad for Urmeela and we had a quiet retired life for a few months. I was pulled out of retirement by a local industrial house with an offer that I could not refuse and so for the next thirty months, it was back to corporate life. I completed that assignment and went back into retirement. In the meanwhile, Ranjan returned to our hometown after just over an year’s working as his employer had to shut down due to some family problems of the promoter of the company. Since then, he has been living in our home town, with a few long stretches of overseas postings.

Ranjan got married in 2001 and he and his lovely bride made their home with us. Till 2005, they lived with us when they decided to separate and both took separate residences. Ranjan moved out again and was living as a bachelor for about a year and a half till he decided that the infrastructure in his parents’ home was better than what he had experienced all alone by himself. He is now back with us.

We have thus experienced the empty nest syndrome on three separate occasions and Urmeela has experienced the worst of it because, she was left alone for long stretches of time when neither Ranjan nor I was at home.

The article revived memories of those days, and I can vouch for one thing that the article does not pay sufficient attention to. Whenever the nest was empty, Urmeela and I found it possible to relate to each other in a completely different way than when Ranjan was with us or when he and Leena, his wife were with us. That relating has brought us very close to each other and I sincerely doubt that such closeness would have been possible without the empty nest situations that we experienced.

The article is more relevant to Western readers, but parts of it are relevant to us too. I know that many of my readers are parents with children away from home and it is for this reason that I have thought it prudent to post this article.

How does the article impress you?