The popular “meel ka paththar”. They were such an essential part of travel until huge green mile markers- just a variation of the former, or, the Google Maps happened. Although you do spot these milestones on roadsides even today, forsaken and abandoned.

Years ago, when highways hadn’t really taken over in India, I would always be on a look out for milestones. I never had the patience to sit through long journeys and was constantly asking an elder how much more time would it take to reach the destination. I understand it must have been so bugging because after patiently responding to me umpteen times, I was asked to look for milestones.


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I think I also took these milestones a little too personally. You know how the word spills over to that important stage of development in your life. And the amusing part is that I was always in a hurry to reach my personal milestones. Honestly speaking, I think we have some pre-conceived ideas and we grow up with them. We prepare a kind of checklist.

School. Check

College. Check

PG. Check

Job. Check

Marriage. Check

Children. Check

Own a house. Check

It’s like a “not so fancy” bucket list. Anyway, there was another place where I spotted these milestones. On the birth cards of my children.

Four months…Roll over

Six months…Sit without support

Four to eight months…teething

My son was pretty fast to reach his milestones. From teething to walking and talking, he was earlier than scheduled. On the contrary, my daughter was a little slow. And this became worrisome when even after ten months there were no signs of teething. Impatient for milestones, as I had always been, I started frequenting the pediatrician.

She was about to turn one in a fortnight and it was really getting on to be too much. This time when I reached the clinic, I was seething.

‘I don’t think you are taking this seriously enough. The child doesn’t have even one tooth in her mouth!’ I told the doctor.

He understood the underlying worry in my tone. He smiled and answered, ‘Ma’am have you ever seen a four or five-year-old without teeth? Aa jayenge. (They will come in time)’

…And they did. On her first birthday, I spotted a little white pearl ready to sprout. This episode turned my “milestone fixation” upside down. Now, if she wasn’t learning numbers fast enough, I knew what to tell myself.

There is another thing that I learnt about milestones. Their heads are of different colours, depending on whether you spot them on highways or country roads. In short, they depend on your journey.

Made me think. Ultimately, the routes we choose are different. So are the destinations. How then, can our milestones be the same!


This post is a part of #Blogchatter’s AtoZ Challenge 2019. My other posts in the series may be read here.



27 thoughts on “Milestones”

  1. Not once before I cared to explore that side of such an important aspect in life. Your presentation with a twist is indeed what gets etched in my mind and would be definitely used in future discussions and debates. Love the way you relate logic, concepts and personal experiences which is indeed not easy. Very well written!

  2. True, everyone has a different route and a different destination. Sometimes even life made us change the roads, which may take a little longer to reach the milestone. We just need to learn to enjoy the journey and celebrate those milestones. Loved the analogy!

  3. So true ! What a lovely metaphor. Isn’t it fascinating how watching our children grow changes our perspective on life, making it so much richer and fuller. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    When we were young we used to play a card game that I had cut out in a magazine and stuck to pieces of cardboard. They were different features to find along the way : a fire station, a water tower, a railroad crossing, a hospital, a railway bridge, a tunnel etc… We also had a card game, families, called Landmarks of the World with the foremost sites, natural and man-made, over several continents : Eiffel Tower, Paris; Table Mountain, Cape Town; Grand Canyon, Arizona; Christ Statue, Rio; Mount Fuji, Japan; Taj Mahal; Ayers Rock, Australia; Iguazu Falls, Arg.Brazil.Uruguay; Niagara Falls; Victoria Falls, Africa; Mount Kilimanjaro; Windsor Castle; St Peter’s , Rome; the Pyramids etc… So my ambition was to see them all in my lifetime ! They fueled my imagination and made me a geography curio. I had a head start as a child, and have kept adding ….but I still have some way to go. I have never been to India or Asia ! And the more I see, the more the list grows…turning it from milestones to a bucket list indeed !

    1. O wow Susan. What great memories. Have you been to most of these places? Must be so lovely to travel so much. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Loved the analogy, Sonia. My niece turned one last month, and hasn’t started walking yet. Hasn’t even started crawling or sitting up on her own. So, as you can guess, it is bothering quite a few “well wishers”, who can’t think of anything else to talk about. Sighhhh!
    I suppose anything that’s different tends to scare us, doesn’t it?
    Find my M post @ Benefits Of Being Mindful | 5 Ways To Boost Happiness With the Practice of Mindfulness

  5. Such a lovely metaphor all through this post 🙂
    I agree with you – we need to remember that milestones mustn’t be written in stone; they vary across people. Loved reading this very genuine and heartfelt piece.

  6. Beautiful. We often attach undue importance to these milestones. My son started walking a little late based on the expected duration to achieve this milestone. People around freaked me out by continously asking me if he had started walking. Beyond a point, I have stopped bothering about such unnecessary things in life.

  7. So rightly said….we become so fixated about these milestones that we burden ourselves with worries. Life can be simple but we just complicate it for no reason…. A beautiful piece. Grt going

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