Sunday, September 22, 2013

Myths & Matters: 8. Children must be disciplined & controlled

The Myth - Moment of Truth:

I have recently seen a popular Tamil movie “Santosh Subramanyam” which is about the feeling of young Santosh who goes through under the disciplinary regimental father Subramanyam. Subramanyam always wanted to take all decisions on behalf of his son Santosh right from the day he has born till he was 24 years old. Santosh never shows any reaction as a dissident child till he falls in love with a girl of his choice ‘Hasini’. Being an obedient son he is in a dilemma to announce his decision to marry her without the consent of his family, father in particular. He musters courage one day and tells his family about his affair and asks their permission for Hasini to live along them for a week to study and approve her as a member in their family. Subramanyam reluctantly agrees to this suggestion although he was upset about his son’s choice of his partner without his permission.

As you would have rightly guessed Mr. Subramanyam ensures that Hasini was rejected although all other members of the family liked her. The story goes like this and at the end Santosh breaks down and tells his father all his life’s experience with him where he was suffocating by his choices of all his needs right from the dress he was asked to wear, the food he was forced to eat, the schools & course he hated to study and so on. I was on tears when I heard the last punch dialogue Santosh spoke saying, “Dad! I hated all the non-living things you forcibly gave me such as the shirt I did not want to wear, the food I did not like to eat and the job I did not want to do. All those things could not speak to me saying I did not like them; they cannot because they have no life – similarly I also could not tell you that I did not like all that you have forced on me out of my love and respect for you”. Mr. Subramanyam realizes his entire attitude towards his son and realizes that ‘He was living through his son to fulfill all that he has missed and ended up ruining a youngster’s life’.
We as parents recognize the fact that the baby needs someone to make the choices what milk to drink, what napkin to wear etc. But unfortunately we end up doing this all through the life of the child without recognizing the fact they have their own choices to make. As the child grows even before the teen age it wishes to make choices on as many items as possible. We as parents in the name of discipline want to control them as a tyrant and make them to hate us. From our standpoint we feel that we are loving them and doing all for their good; but on the contrary we snatch away the freedom from our children to make choice.

What Matters?

Paradigm Shift-1: Don’t snatch the Decision Making skills

One of the qualities of Leaders is ‘Decision Making’ which is vital for occupying leadership positions. The children who grow in an ambience where all decisions on even mundane matters took by their parents loose their ability to make decisions. Parents who are autocratic and never give freedom for their offsprings to take decision often get stuck in their career.

Paradigm Shift-2: Don’t be a Control freak 

Among the various modern psychology models FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Behaviors  is one of the popular relationship skills models. The researcher says ‘One has to have balance in the tendency to control others and getting control by them’. For some unknown reasons we always wanted to control others but never want others to control us. This imbalance shows that one has an adjustment issues and often end up as abrasive character. Mr. Subramanyam character in the movie I sighted above is a maniac for controlling everyone in the context of ‘feeling he is doing something good for them’. Please try and find out whether our loved ones are feeling suffocated by our over nurturing.  Try and enjoy being controlled by your children as you grow.

Paradigm Shift-3: Self-discipline is the best

There was a research done few years back which shows that the children of both parents employed are better in academic performance as well as in taking responsibilities. It also applies to children grown in hostel who are self-made than the children pampered by their parents. The reason was they were accustomed to take care of themselves right from very young ages as their parents were away. Loosen your controls then you will find children start blossoming.

Paradigm- Shift-4: You wanted freedom when you were young!

When we were young we felt suffocated by our parents controls as they were thrusting all their decision on us pertaining to all aspects of our life. But when we have become parents we do the same thing upon our children, which we hated. Is it not a double standard? Please follow what Jesus said, “Do unto others whatever you want them do unto you”.

Paradigm- Shift-5: Children grown with freedom are better leaders!

Human being’s self-esteem is the function of what they think about themselves. The sense of accomplishment is the key for self-respect, which stems from the individuals achieving something on their own. When we were young, our parents enjoyed their freedom to control us, which lead to a syndrome what Wayne Dyer calls it as “Approval seeking”. For every little thing we were looking for approval from our parents and when it was not validated we felt devastated. One of my seniors in his forties used to ask his father’s approval for everything he wanted to do – silly things like what pills to take when he was suffering from headache. His colleagues used to ridicule him saying he won't even go to toilet without his parent’s permission. Develop your children by letting them to take decision and tolerate even if they are wrong some times. What is important is they are learning to take decision on their own or else they will be followers throughout their life.

Wish you a great life ahead. Many more myths to follow.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Myths & Matters:7 - Parents must choose the life partner for their children

Moment of Truth

I don’t know from which part of the World you may be reading this post and see the relevance of this topic for you. If you are from the West you may wonder why I have chosen this topic and if you are from India you may like to read on. Even if you are from the West would you still like to read further out of curiosity of this topic? Why not as you may get to know how human values are funny & different at different parts of the World. One of the myths that troubles parents these days is the belief that they only should arrange their children’s marriage. Due to this reason they are always anxious once the children reaches the teens to figure out whether their children is in relationship with someone. They are very watchful when they talk too long in their cellphone or too often noise of SMS receipt heard or when they lock up in their room and hooked on to the Internet. Strangely even parents who selected their partner on their own expect this option. Let us explore how to deal this “peace killer”. To do that we need to go little deeper to understand what is marriage and its social needs in the first instance.

The concept and purpose of marriage is different at different part of the world – in the West it is a companionship for the ‘time being’ and in the East it is a lifetime mutual commitment – living for each other as Rajneesh once said, “Marriage is the union of two souls”. Depending upon the paradigm the issue will take different level of importance in our life. Once when I was travelling in the UK someone asked me ‘How old is your marriage?’ for which I answered “25 years”. He was astonished and screamed, “How the hell are you living with the same woman for a quarter century?” The Western mind could not comprehend that one could live with the same person for such as long period. I remember a nice joke “Marriage is the costliest way of getting your laundry done”. Another interesting statement by Mark Twain “I feel lonely in the absence of my wife but feel suffocated in her presence!” These are from the West as you could see the way in which they portray the marriage.

In each country the laws are made around the belief; for example legalizing gay marriage in the West, which India would never do! It does not mean that there is no gay in any other country! In the so-called developed countries when the children reaches 16 they are eligible for motorcar license and to choose their partner. For all practical purposes they are “Adults” as the parents have to let-go off their offsprings at that point in time. The parents of those countries may be happy about this situation, as they have no responsibilities for their children. I have heard from many of these parents saying, “We have sacrificed our life for them so far and it is time to enjoy our holidays henceforth” They may be convincing them saying, “Birds drive away their little ones once they learn to fly and take care of themselves!” Human mind always find a way of escaping from realities. Animals come handy to refer at these circumstances; we say animals do ‘this’ or ‘that’. We also say sometimes ‘we are not animals’ – it depends upon the circumstances. USA is a land of freedom and all laws are formulated to protect the individual rights to choose but India is a conservative society got mixed up with its own traditional values and the Western influence due to colonial rule. We are neither here nor there. I like the concept ABCD – ‘American Born Confused Desi’ portrayed in one of the Hindi films.

Vast majority of Indian grown parents migrated to US wants to return back to India when their child is 11 years old particularly more so if it is a daughter as they feel they may lose control on their child and it may become astray. They are forced to let go the glamour of the developed country for which they went there for the sake of their desire to control their child. The attraction the land of US provided all along vanishes suddenly when they reach this stage of parenting! Quite strangely they picked up everything of ‘American’ – fast food, American accent, etiquette and other values but why not letting go off of their children as well? The so-called “India – the dirty country where their children could not use the toilet when they came for vacation has suddenly become a heaven?”

The reality is that they don’t want to let go off of their string of control attached to the children proving the old adage “Children never grow in the eyes of their parents” We want them dependent on us for ever. In fact the conflict between parents and child starts when they reach their teens as Rajneesh once said, “If your child refuses to obey you please check their birthday – you may find they have reached thirteen”. Why the child in the first instance asserts itself suddenly? What is the psychology? Parents suppress all emotions of the child ever since it has born and feel they are powerful till the child says ‘No’ to them. That is the moment of truth in which they realize that they have no power over them. For some unknown reason we want to control others while we hate to be controlled!

When I was young my mother used to tell us that she got married when she was nine years old as on those days child marriage was not illegal. She bore her first child when she just attained her puberty at 13 and delivered 14 babies till her menopausal. She said once, “I used to have one baby in my hand and another in my stomach!”. My father was a doctor and professor in maternity who managed all deliveries of babies at home – no medical expenses!! In addition to perennial pregnancy the torture she went through by her tyrant in-laws was far worse than apartheid of South Africa. Compared to the previous century women of India who were asked to jump in the fire of their husband’s cremation, my mother was in a better place! Atrocity over woman in this country was unexplainable on those days and no better these days as well. I am deeply thinking why on those days child marriage was rampant? Parents wanted to choose the life partner of their child and were afraid that if the child has reached the adulthood it would be difficult to force their choice. This old paradigm still lingers in the modern parents mind due to which they feel that they are wiser to choose the life partner for their children.

I know many family relationships between parents and children have broken forever due to the reason their son or daughter has married someone without their consent.  More than anything else his or her children married someone from other caste although may be the same religion. Whatever could be the reason the end result was suffering for both the parties on this context. The problem is due to European adulteration in India due to colonial rule for centuries – we have mixed up with our native values and western mindset. This blog is not to advice the younger generation to choose arranged marriage or vice versa; but to reeducate the parents to deal with these situations without loosing their peace in their life.

What Matters? 

Here is a story: One atheist wanted to prove that he is smarter than the evolved Masters. He kept on going to each master and asked them, “Will you explain the entire Doha in the shortest time possible? – I will stand on one leg as long as possible till it pains and stand on two legs; that is all the time you have to explain the entire Doha” Most of the masters gave up saying “Doha is made up of several volumes and you idiot; how anyone can explain all that in such a short time?” The atheist was happy that he won and went on testing all masters. Finally one of the masters said, “Beta I don’t need that long a time to explain the essence of Doha”. The guy was shocked and thought the master is pulling a fast one and asked him to go ahead. The master said, “The Doha says ‘Treat everyone as you would expect them to treat you’ – rest all the commentary” 

What relevance this story has anything do with our context? When we were young we had certain expectations from our parents but when we become parents we change our rule towards our children and impose many rules, which is impediments to their development. The parent child relationship is the result of certain way we relate to our children – the following paradigms would give you some insights:

Paradigm-1: Be wise to distinguish what cannot be controlled

Many parents are deeply attached to their children right form their toddler stage and continue to remain that way even when they are grown as adults. They believe that their children would do everything with their consent and get devastated when they come to know that their children have already chosen their life partner and decided to marry them. Sri. Ravishankar once said, “Expectation reduces the joy of life”; it is extremely important to note what level of expectations to set particularly with our children. Bagwan Lord Krishna says in Gita, “We must live life like the lotus flower which has born, grows and dies in water but never makes contacts with it – similarly human beings must learn to develop a detached attachment with everything & relationship in their life!”. It may sound philosophical and impractical to adopt but remember philosophy is not an empty bragging but a practical wisdom to avoid miseries of life. As the children grow please develop a mindset to let go to their choices.

Paradigm-2: Why Children settles scores with parents?
Unconsciously parents tend to control their children right from they have born and this repressed emotions develop an animosity in the sub-conscious minds of their children. The volcano simmers waiting to explode which happens when they reach their teen age. They start doing everything that their parents would not like. The only way we can avoid is by stopping the domination over our children. It is difficult as we are so used to control our child and changing our style requires constant practice. In fact selecting a partner which parents wont like is also a manifestation of suppressed anger.

Paradigm-3: Create a credential with your child

Parents are the primary source of inspiration for their children as is proved by many offspring of artists. We find almost all cine actors’ sons become actors and music composer’s sons become composers. It is a big responsibility on the parts of the parents to develop credentials with their children, which is important for them to feel that they will be better off with the guidance of the parents. Many parents are not setting a good example to their children and hence they are not role modeling them. If you want your children to seek your advice you will have prove to them that you are a source of resource for them. Many children seek their parents help to select their partners these days which is the result of their assessment of their parents as they feel that they will look at all angles than them.

Paradigm-4: Religion & caste divide us – conspiracy of priest

The prophets visited this planet have attempted to transform the human beings to a better way of living and never proposed a religion to follow. They have transcended their ego and were not looking for the number of their followers. After the prophets departed from their human form their followers have vested interest for controlling the innocent people and created the religion to force them through dogmas & rituals. In essence I am of the view that the purpose of religion if any is to unite people and not for creating hatred. But it has divided people into million caste and sub-caste creating enormous animosity among us. The belief and rituals have become the main stream of life leaving the value aside. I may appear to you as an ‘Atheist’ or a rebel because I am challenging the forces that have created havoc for mankind; but think carefully what is important is human value and not the religion or caste. When your offspring chooses to marry someone from other caste or religion please see the character and values of their family and not their belief. I have witnessed many pairs co-exist together in harmony following their religion or embracing the other religion gracefully.   

Paradigm-5: Relationship is more important than our ego

Please remember your love towards your children and their happiness is of paramount importance and not your ego. When your children announce their decision to marry some one of their choices, don’t get hurt that they have ignored you and allow your ego to pop up. Swami Sukhbodananda says ‘EGO’ is ‘Edging God Out’ which means that once ego is present you have edged divine out of you. These states make you to retain your hurt feeling and prevent you from accepting your children’s decision and forgive them. When you retain the feeling of hurt ‘you are hurting yourself more than the others’. I know parents suffered high BP due to retention of feeling of hurt and became all right the moment they forgiven their offsprings.

Paradigm-6: Children select better partners sometimes

I know many cases where children selected a best partner, which parents themselves would not have selected. The choices made by their children might belong to other caste but they don’t see this as a barrier. I notice these parents gracefully accepted their children’s choice and performed their marriage and blessed them. Their religious practices may differ between two families but they learned to co-exist together.

Paradigm-7: Getting even with children destroys our health & peace

Our life has its own path and purpose and when we get even with our children for having chosen their own life partner, we get even with them through out our life. Once the relationship got strained between the parents and child both of them cannot live happily which affects their peace in many forms. When the peace is lost it starts eating us out leading to many physical disorders. One of the greatest wisdom I heard is “People don’t die due to what they eat; but due to what is eating them!” Remember to purge all your suppressed emotions and your health will become normal without any medication”

Paradigm-8: Be a facilitator – not a decision maker for children

Remember you are not the dictator of your family in particular to your children. In people management there is a concept called ‘Situational leadership’ which preaches that there is no one single way you can lead people. It depends upon their maturity levels. This applies to our children as well. As the children grows parents need to shift from highly directive behaviour to participative, collaborative and finally delegation style. If parents continue to behave like a dictator even as the children grow the problem starts. Learn situational leadership skills as your children grow.
Paradigm-9: Everyone wants ‘Freedom of choice’

All creations in this planet like freedom of choice. One of the greatest thinkers defined Maturity as, “The ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts & feelings of others”. When we go to the restaurant we try and impose the dishes we like the most to our family. Often we wonder how someone can like a dish, which we dislike the most and the colour we hate the most becomes the best choice of other. Remember, you need a large heart to let your loved one’s to make their choice.
Paradigm-10: ‘Let go’ of children

The most important philosophical fact is “We cannot possess anything in our life which includes your own children. In the ultimate analysis nothing matters”. I remember a statement in the old train coaches where I travelled reads as “Carry less luggage and make your travel pleasant”. This applies to the life as well – as we grow we need to learn to lessen our luggage, which is our expectations and attachments – If we don’t do this, our life journey will not be pleasant. Be wise to relinquish your greatest attachment with children learning from the less developed species – the birds & animals.

Let Love & harmony prevail in your family

Many more myths & matters to follow



Monday, September 9, 2013

Myths & Matters: 6.0 My child should come first in the class

The Myth:

Yet another myth that haunts the modern parents is expecting their little ones to be a genius and always ‘First in the class’ right from pre-school education. When we got our first baby girl Sashi my wife and me were eager to put her in one of the premium schools in the Kindergarten at the age of 3. The concept of sending children to school at the age of 3 in India just started in early 80’s. For getting the school application we were to stand in the queue right from the night before relieving each one in turn. It was a great experience leaving our daughter in the LKG class on the first day seeing the pretty little children sitting in a colorful baby chairs with uniform.

Having grown up in Chennai where education is given the highest priority we as young parents meet always to discuss how our child is studying. I used to personally coach my daughter virtually ‘torturing’ her to get ‘ten out of ten’ marks in her ‘cycle test’ - the name given to the monthly test to instill competition among little innocent children. Like any other father I love my daughter so much and now regret for being a ‘tyrant’ as far as her studies are concerned. I recently read a quote, which reads as, “The hero who lives in the heart of the girl even after he disappears from the World is her father”. I am of the view that father always shows his softest side of his personality to his daughter except during academics. By our over anxiety as parents we create an aversion for studies by constantly nagging our children.

My wife and me used to stand in the main gate of the school along with many young parents to collect our daughter and also check out how much marks she got in the test. We used to see the other young parents scolding their little ones for missing quarter mark due to spelling mistakes! The mothers of those children got blood pressure at that young age due to their persistent anxiety about their children’s performance in the class. I am keeping track of many children who developed aversion to education due to their parents perennial nagging to score marks.

These days parent wants to love their children subject to they are scoring high marks! Alas! Where are we heading when we make love conditional? When children grow up everyone wants them to take science stream and score over 95% so that they can join engineering course and become ‘software engineers’. Alas what a mad paradigm to ruin the virgin intelligence of the children by measuring them by their marks in decimals? What could be the root cause of this syndrome? Let me give a different perspective.

What Matters?

Our children are our assets and the very reason we live in this planet; if you remove this purpose from the mundane parents they have no other purpose in their life. Education is one part of life as there are many dimensions to live our life completely with our loved ones. I agree that in countries like India there is always a gap between demand and supply. It is becoming more and more competitive to survive and ‘Mark culture’ is catching up. But who created it? It is we create the net and suffer blaming the system. A family is a unit of lovely relationship, which is the result of mutual recognition and love and let not children academic performance come on the way of this happiness. Please give a thought for the following perspectives.

Tip-1: Don’t magnify the role of education

Human beings have invented the system of education as one of the so-called civilization efforts. 200 Million years ago the GDP of the world was believed to be 0.1 billion US dollars which indicates that the human beings were living in the forest along with the animals and there was no concept of ‘value creation’ which lead to economy. Perhaps this era must have been the happiest period in human life as we were closer to nature and there were no heart attacks and diabetics. The nomads were keeping themselves alive by living together in a group and eating the animals of their choice. Later on the commencement of agriculture and industrial revolution lead to the complex system called ‘economy’ which lead to the requirement of many skills to survive more than merely hunting the animals. ‘Survival of the fittest’ theory by Darwin is more visible in the modern society.

As the civilization grew more and more complex skill sets were needed like engineering and information technology. Yet another development is gap between demand to supply creating chaos in the educational system bringing in tough competition and price one need to pay for getting a degree. Ultimately the so-called ‘Mark culture’, ‘Tutorials’ and ‘Capitation fee’ are haunting the mankind making them to pay heavy price for their children’s education. Parents have started searching for admission the moment the mother is pregnant! Today education is the best business to make money and least in quality and customer focus. Let us look at this social stigma with a different lens. Let us remember education is one part of life.

Tip-2: Education only polishes ones learning skills

Human beings come to this planet when they have born with a blank slate and get to know all the developments that have taken place in several centuries. As our life span is short, we have to gather all information, which will make us up to date in a shortest possible time and education is meant to do that. The basic education system does two things to human beings – one it provides information (mostly outdated) and other it sharpens our mind to learn and understand complex things. The later is more useful than the former. For example I studied mechanical engineering courses out which I could hardly apply anything in my professional career. Similarly all subjects such as history, geography, mathematics etc. hardly had any earthly use in my profession.

Tip-3: Poor academic performance is not the indicator of ability

It is very strange to know that many great geniuses like Einstein were school dropouts. When such great human being who’s IQ is over to 140+ while vast majority is around 100, it is strange to know they were rejected by academia? The only reason I could think of for their rejection from academia is they have gone far beyond the stupid educational system of mugging up and vomiting outdated information. They might have felt ‘Education is for birds’. Who knows your child may be the next Einstein in making and don’t judge him/her based on their marks. Bagwan Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Sankara never went to school but comprehended the entire Veda and wrote commentary. There is no connection between performance and academic degrees.

Tip-4: Great Leaders are not from premium schools

More than 80% of the corporate CEOs in the US are not rank holders or from premium B-schools but they have built great institutions and are the highest paid in corporate management roles. In fact they are generalist and intelligently chosen not to become specialist or else they would get stuck in one of those managers positions! Leadership is a state of a being and does not come from academic performance. Please build your child as a leader and not as a ‘Bookworm”. For example my daughter Sashi (whom I tortured for ½ marks in her LKG) is the CEO of our organization SSA Group of companies and pursuing her executive MBA from INSEAD. She demonstrated her leadership in many different ways in her professional career and taking the company to great heights as a visionary.

Tip-5: Degree is a ‘passport’ but not ‘visa’

We as parents think that once our children get a degree they will reach the highest position in their organization. We forget degree is a ‘passport’ by which they may get a job but their growth is a function of what they contribute to their organization. How a person become a most preferred resource to any organization depends on many skills, which is not provided by the educational system but acquired by the individual through self-development. In fact ones ‘personality & stature’ is the visa for growth.

One of the hypothesis is ‘Academic performance will get higher positions’. I tested this hypothesis in my professional and consulting career in the last 45 years and found one fact; people with average academic performance occupy all top management positions. On the contrary most of the rank holders have got stuck in their middle management positions in their career more for want of leadership qualities. I have just completed my book (to be published by Tata McGraw Hill) on the topic of leadership for which I studied and interviewed many corporate leaders. I found them different from common man not in academic performance but in their personality and leadership skills. If one analyses this data you will find no evidence for the belief ‘Academic performance will help in growing in corporate ladder’. Hence the paranoia of parents in pushing their children to score marks on the belief that they will reach position is false and baseless.

Tip-6: Education to lead to humility

Our life span is so short we cannot even scratch the surface of the vast reservoir of knowledge. As Avvaiyar said ‘what we have learned is like a spec of a sand in the ocean of universe’ and feeling arrogant about our degrees is a sign of foolishness. Rajneesh once said “You cannot put your degree after your name as you don’t remember or applied anything you have studied” I agree with him and Swami Sukhbodananda calls PhD as ‘Permanent head damage’. Ironically education is supposed to make us wiser; instead blotted our ego. Two professors in IIT don’t talk to each as they feel that they have over specialized in their own subjects and in the process lost their ability to communicate with other human beings! Alas! Is it what education for? – To alienate from the fellow human beings and feel arrogant? In fact education is more to know our ignorance as one Vedic seer has said “More that I know, I come to know that I don’t know”

Tip-7: Intelligence is more valuable than Information

Let us understand the difference between ‘Intelligence’ and ‘Information’ through a simple example. A farmer in the village knows everything that will make the plants to grow and yield grains but cannot explain how like an agricultural scientist. The agricultural scientist knows much information, which he has collected during his academic pursuits but may not know about certain finer aspects of the plantation. In other words the farmer has pure intelligence and the scientist has more of information. Many a times I have noticed my wife giving simple solutions out of her intelligence, which I complicate with all my degrees. I wonder why it missed my mind? The important point to note is education is not intelligence as the later helps to achieve better outcome in life than the former. Your child may be very intelligent but may not perform in the academic pursuits – don’t ask me why but it is so as I explained the example many geniuses above. If you judge the child with its marks you may fail to see the genius in him/her. Nurture the intelligence, which is a gift to your child.

Tip-8: Don’t putdown your child by silly remarks

It is wrong to judge the intelligence of your child from the marks he/she scores as the whole education system is based on memory. I asked one of the old academicians about how the 35 marks became the pass mark. He answered that human beings must at least reproduce one third of what they memorized. It is ridiculous to judge based on only memory as one can reproduce without understanding anything. From this stupid educational system those who score high marks does not mean that they have understood the subject. Mathematics gave problem to many children not because it is abstract or difficult but due to the fact the parents often said, “You can’t understand mathematics” and programed the child’s sub-conscious mind and created repulsion towards this wonderful subject, which sharpened the logical mind of human beings.

In summary the little genius has infinite possibilities to manifest his / her intelligence as may be the Leonardo Vinci or Einstein who knows. Remember if your child is not so good in academics it means a genius is waiting to manifest – Nurture him/her. Who knows? He could be a CEO of large corporate.

Be a wise parent. God bless your Child.

Many more myths to follow



Mind the Mind! Essence of Spirituality

We learned physics, chemistry etc without asking who is the prophet or author of these sciences. We accepted them as gospel as it was taugh...