Sunday, November 30, 2008

Disbelief !

How transient has life become! The atrocious killings in Bombay...
Why do people kill? When I get scared even to look at blood…how can they stand that much violence, shooting, sight of blood, fear…how can they do it...
Even causing a word of hurt haunts me for days together and then causing so much physical destruction…killing so many people…why?
When I see some programs on TV or watch some films, I cry when I see the beautiful feelings of love and sharing. When love can give so much joy, why resort to hatred? What does one get from it?
What must be going on in the minds of those people who were perhaps prepared to die knowing that there's no redemption from that act...they must have known full well that they couldn’t come out alive. How strong must be their convictions! How else do they get the nerve to do what they did?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Void

Did you ever get this feeling that you are there on the edge of this precipice....standing there and completely at a loss of where to go....
When a child, there’s so much to touch, to ask questions, to know, to explore everything waiting to be discovered...
Its then that we are told that that’s good or bad or dangerous. Slowly the curiosity is tempered, tamed ...the wild urges chastened and then I become one with you all and remain mute, immune and impotent to the beauty of the world around left with a feeling of ‘been there, seen that, what else?'
Where do I go from here? Life seems to have nothing to offer any more.

A Woman's Identity

Yesterday, the front door neighbor was at the door with a policeman.
Seeing the police from a distance itself is distasteful, and then having one at the front door even more.
The neighbor asked me to sign in for police verification for her 19 year old son for his passport renewal. I hesitated. The repercussion of vouching for this long-haired youngster…was I doing the right thing?
Setting out with all these negative feelings, I started signing the form.
The form asked for signature, name and address.
I signed and wrote my name. At this, the police says, “Mention W/O” (wife of).
I seethed internally and told him that I am this (my name) and refused to be known as W/O. I have my entity.
The only place where the woman is allowed her own identification is on her child's CBSE certificate...everywhere else it’s only the father/husband who is mentioned...
The Indian Govt. must change this format and let a woman be known for what she is and not by her husband/father's identity only.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The feeling of ummmmmm

How often does one get the feeling of ummmmm!?
This is the feeling I was left with by the end of the day today...
I left home at 12:30 pm after a short chat with son.
I went to the bank to pressurize the staff into getting me a locker.
Hope that gets done.
Bought vegetables at the following rates:
  • 1 Brinjal: Rs. 24/-
  • 100 gms Green chillies: Rs 5 (100 gms green chillies means around 12 of the bigger ones)
  • 2 radishes @ Rs 5 each
  • 1 small cauliflower @ Rs 10
Spent Rs 50 just to get one day's worth vegetables!
Came home and on an impulse went to see a out of the movie at 6 pm...went straight to 'Estelle' where I bought a Rs 4550 worth jewelery.
Already filled with glee, I went across to another jewelery shop, this time to order a new set...
As though I hadn't spent enough time and money, I made it to a good restaurant & had a leisurely dinner. Having skipped lunch I ate voraciously.
The self-pampering didn't end there. The next destination was the 'Paan Mahal' where I ordered for a Meetha Paan. This was served in a little transparent plastic box. The green triangle with its silver covering on it lying on a bed of rose petals...and when you take that into your mouth to savor those soft fragrant melting moments...that reinforced the ummmmmmmmmmmm feeling...

The three greatest maladies afflicting India

I was traveling back from work in the local train. And as I was minus my MP3, I was forced to connect with the world around me. Rarely would I bother to indulge in conversation with the minority community...but I did.
What I noticed...
The solidarity with another member of the same community & the quick bonding...
There was another lady who had got separated from her family and didn't even know which station she was supposed to get down at. This lady was anxious and found immediate solidarity with the family sitting beside me who not only sought to assuage her worry but also adjusted to give her place to sit.
I started conversing with the lady sitting beside me...I pointed out to the two children in front of her and asked her whether those two were her kids. She confirmed and also said that there are three other older children at home...'three mard bache'...she proclaims...5 children between the ages of 21 and 12!
I pointed to the girl asking her what she was studying. The reply was that she was married. When asked for age, the reply was she was 16!
I asked the daughter now, what had she studied. It seems she had not even done her tenth!
When asked why doesn't she continue her studies...there was no reply.
Here…in this small cross-section of India I found the three greatest maladies persisting in modern India:
1. Early Marriage of girls
2. No education
3. Enormous Population.

If this is how it goes does India progress?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Learning happenes anywhere

One of the days last week, I had to go to the office a little early in the morning. It was before 8 in the morning and as I drove, I took a U-Turn under the flyover. Just at the bend, I saw a road sweeper, pause his work, the wheel- barrow resting beside him, the long-handled broom leaning against it. He was sitting sprawled on the road reading the regional newspaper spread on the road.
A simple scene but it left me feeling deeply touched to see learning happening amidst the dust and dirt on the road. Even if it is a drop, it still makes the ocean richer by that drop…

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra has a special place in my heart. SKDAV College, where I did my Intermediate has (d?) Gayatri mantra as it's Assembly prayer.
When I used to chant it at home, my mom used to wonder how the girls are allowed to chant the mantra which is only supposed to be chanted by the boys post the thread ceremony...
Nevertheless, we chanted the mantra for the two years that we were there.
And I continued chanting for a long time in the way the Oriya Head girl used to chant in our college.
Years later, when I actually bought a cassette of Gayatri mantra, I realized that all the 'b' s were actually 'v's...
Never mind, I thought, God understands Oriya too!