Saturday, December 29, 2012

making small discoveries while being a tea drinker...

I seriously need a way to make a good cup of chai without boiling it on a gas stove.

Now you would say why not a gas stove. After all the whole world..ah okay..the whole of India... okay at least the whole of north India makes (read boils) chai on a gas stove. We like our chai boiled for a while with the ginger and masala in it and then we add some milk and boil again. Right?

I have tried making chai in microwave and in a kettle but these electronic equipment are good only for the green tea and the black tea. Brewing the tea if I say technically. Boiling the tea is still not something an electronic equipment would do. Not at all the milky masala tea. But wait, let me tell you why I am complaining. Wanting to have an alternate to this gas stove method at least.  I have had a few too many accidents while boiling my masala tea on the gas stove. It's a pain to make tea when you want a cuppa while working. It's okay when you are already in the kitchen, working on something and the tea is made on the sly. But I rarely feel like having a tea when in the kitchen. It is most required when I am neck deep in work and want a breather. It's a pain when you want it the most and you are working full swing on your desk. Now do you get my point?

There is more to it. I often go and fill required amount of water in the pan, add tea leaves and ginger etc and place it on the burner to boil. And then I am tempted to reply to that one mail or finish that one para I was writing. Time flies in such times and I peel myself off from this stupid chair when I smell something burning, or feel some smoke in the house. No smoke alarms yet, but it's a scary feeling. Every time I curse myself for being so forgetful, but to no avail. It has already happened a few times and my maid knows it so well. She would smile and start rubbing the pan with a steel wool scrubber again. I have changed two saucepans in the last six months.

And I made a few discoveries with these accidents. Serendipity.

The saucepan gets all sooty and the carbon sticks to the base if you have added sugar to the boiling water and it just turns to gray ash if you haven't added any sugar to the boiling water. Easier to clean it later. Although it is common sense that sugar will caramelise and become a sticky residue, I never had imagined seeing a perfect ash forming in my saucepan.

So people, don't add sugar to the boiling water when making tea my way. Or just keep standing there to enjoy the bubbling tea over the gas stove. Inhale some and make yourself a better tea drinker.

Please don't forget to tell me a way to boil/make tea without standing by the gas stove if you know. And please don't ask me why I am having more tea than usual these days ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my signs to stay positive, stay blessed ...

Woke up early after a long time. Working like a maniac, not sleeping properly and seeing ungrateful, unethical people around had left me feeling like a buzzing head. Just a buzzing head, not with ideas but a numbing buzz.

The husband had to leave early today, and I decided to water the parched garden after days of neglect. Some insects have made the plants sick, yellowing, falling leaves were picked and thrown away. Some insects were buried into the soil alive. Yes, I was ruthless to them.

The three musketeers, the Bulbul chicks greeted me with a child like chirp. Hopping here and there, this time I didn't feel like going to grab the camera and click, they were happy playing, the camera makes them conscious. They huddle together like this when they see a prying eye, aided by a lens.

I know the picture is not good, was clicked 2 weeks ago late in the evening. The chicks have grown bigger now, more confident and have started teasing us like the adults do with their acrobatics. The wee birds haven't learned acrobatics yet but teasing they know how to go about.

Then I saw something unexpected. I was so lost in my own stupid  world that could not smell these beautiful Parijaat (Prajakta or Shiuli flowers) quietly cascading down the shrubs in the garden, just behind the Lemon tree. Picked them up, came inside, dusted this earthen plate and placed it in the waiting tray of my morning cuppa. Before settling down lazily to have my Darjeeling, brewed for long 15 minutes.

It was then I decided to look for my phone, clicked a picture and thanks to a smart phone in my hands now, uploaded the picture on facebook. This Poetry was born within minutes, courtesy Suranga who writes Gappa and Strewn Ashes, apart from a few more blogs. I am overwhelmed at the positive signs thrown at me by the universe. Thank you Suranga , this poetry felt like someone ran her fingers through my hair and blessed me with a smile.

This was when last night I was thinking how easily I am able to detach from the people who have been mean to me. I get completely blank of emotions for a few such people however sensitive and empathetic I used to feel for them. Jut one thing I need to learn and practice. No one ever should be able to influence me with a mention of Mithi, I just tend to open my heart like a fool, not valuing my own real estate.

On a mission to fortify myself against a few parasites and pests now. The changing weather must help. The Paarijaat brings me a new message.

I know I will be taken care of by the nature, giving me my signs when I need them the most.
Waking up early and stepping bare feet into the garden will be my effort.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012

Who needs a restaurant guide for the city?

In a printed form that is. May be some tourists who are not connected to the internet all the time or someone who actually wants it offline. The internet is there otherwise.

Zomato has quite a good online presence and this print version could have been a nice way to explore some of the possibilities around restaurants and fine dining establishments offline. But this print version in my hands has failed to deliver to a person who wants a place to eat in a certain locality, if searching on the internet is not an option. This is how I feel this guide fails...

There is no index to guide you through the localities
Many restaurants have been listed, all in alphabetic order. Who would know the names of restaurants without knowing the locality? 
There is an index in the contents list which enlists the restaurant categories. There are only three cuisine categories listed , Asian and Oriental, Italian and European and North Indian and Mughlai, broadly covering the cuisines and not specifically enlisting.  
All other categories go like Casual dining, Catching up, Legendary, Notables etc etc. A person new to the city wouldn't know how to find a place.

Okay there are a few categories which might make sense.  Beer in a Bar, Best wine list, Business and Travel, Late nighters etc.could make sense for someone who really wants the information.

There should be a folding map of the city dotted with the eateries around so the tourists would be benefited. I have needed such a food guide always when visiting a new city and I was looking at it from that point of view. It disappointed.

The index in the back pages could have been better categorised too. I didn't see many places I already know  listed in this restaurant guide. Every city has so many small restaurants serving local cuisine and that should find a mention too. I would prefer a separate section for local street food in such a guide. Only some Mughlai eateries are listed and that is not sufficient in my opinion.

This restaurant guide disappoints me absolutely. Hoping for a better compiled edition next year.

Zomato restaurant guide 2012 was reviewed for Blogadda under the sponsored book review program.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bobby Abraham, an artist par excellence...

Here is an artist who can connect with a pure soul instantly. And permeates that connection to you too when you see his portraits.

It was a painting and sculptures exhibition held at the Palm court, India habitat center. It was inaugurated yesterday (19th June) and will be up till 24th of June. Go take a look if you want a breather from the Delhi heat. Inauguration was done by the eminent artist Vijendra Sharma and the collection is curated by Radhe Shyam.

Invitation to this exhibition was a pleasure and I promptly landed up with my camera in tow. Summer heat of Delhi doesn't stop you from enjoying your love for art. Some soulful portraits, some sculptures and some mixed media by different artists was on display. You are going to read some more posts about a few of those art pieces in my next posts here. Those ones really touched me.

But the most intriguing pieces were the ones who just trapped your gaze as you entered the hall. As if those eyes were looking at you. The colors inviting you. The deep wrinkles about to tell a story and the knitted brows inquiring all about you.

These are the sadhus of Bobby Abraham. The honest wrinkles of time have made their faces like a mirror of life. Nothing to hide, nothing to camouflage. Pure simple human life dripping in each line. The soul crystal clear, the eyes deep. Those are not strokes of an artists brush, those are actually the strokes of life...

The hot colors would make you connect deeper with the sadhu's soul. Take my word.

Do you see those intriguing eyes? As if they have a direct connect with the other world and still know all about your world. Sneering at your 'trapped in mayajaal status'.... yet not calling you to theirs.

I felt like I met these souls and got enriched in my soul wisdom.

The gaze is still with me. Making me be in peace through my own ways. Energised me with with a new vision.

These are such larger than life paintings you would forget about he brush strokes and tonality. The depth and dimensions. The light or the shadows. Being all these perfect is what takes you to the soul.

If you are in Delhi, don't miss this opportunity to meet these sadhus of Bobby Abraham. They would welcome you and treat you well :-)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Containers, Bowls, Baskets whatever....

Clicked this picture yesterday thinking I'll post it on the blog and ask for suggestions. Suggestions for balancing this little container of coconut shell that I used for planting this beautiful Jade plant. I love little plants in cute little containers around the house. Wish I had more space for all my plants. Most of them are outdoors, a few twigs find their way into small cute containers now and then.

So this coconut shell broke into two unequal halves. The bigger half had the hole which is naturally there for the coconut seed to sprout. I filled soil into the bigger half, planted the Jade in it and placed it into the smaller half so the water that drips from the main container is held by the smaller one. Now the problem was to balance the round bottomed natural container that it was. I placed an old glass bowl under it and kept it in a ceramic wide bowl which is again placed inside a cane basket. Yes, keep counting how many containers and baskets are there :-)

The problem is, I have way too many containers, pots, fruit bowls and baskets for a small home I live in. So I end up placing them one inside the other like this.

The suggestion that I wanted for this coconut container, how do I balance it on a plain surface? Any other ideas than the glass bowl. It does not just look right for a natural container.

Incidentally, this picture was clicked yesterday, that was a Thursday and today I see Bikram's post on containers, the theme for the current Thursday challenge. I wanted to post this picture immediately. And here it is.

Your suggestion is welcome....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Devotion of Suspect X , a review...


I had never ever read a Japanese author and that is a shame because the Japanese culture has always been fascinating for me. A few travelogues and stories about japan written by Indian authors is all I remember reading here and there. So when this book was up for review on Blogadda, I was curious about it.

Reading the introduction, I knew it was a suspense thriller and must be little to do about Japanese culture. I picked up the book for review because it had been a long time I read some thriller. This is the kind of novel that would revoke your interest back to thrillers if you have lost it.

The story begins rather slow, giving a glimpse of a river side population of homeless and struggling people. A Maths teacher Ishigami is walking to work crossing these areas watching a few characters whom he meets on the way. This part of the story moves slow and you might think you wouldn't be able to get a hang of this book.

Hold on to a few more pages and a mystery would unfold and you would get hooked.

Here is a lady Yasuko, living with her daughter, working in a Bento shop and living a peaceful life. She has worked in a bar earlier and has been abused in the past as a wife of a drunkard. She has managed to get a divorce and get away from her ex husband so she can live a decent and undisturbed life with her daughter. She joins a couple who have opened this Bento shop to get her daughter a decent upbringing.

It is a story of how a woman whose ex husband appears one fine day and demands money deceptively, to which she has to give in. The ex husband then goes on to pass lewd remarks on the daughter and in a whirlwind of dramatic events the ex husband is killed.

The novel revolves around solving the mystery of this killing. I wouldn't spoil your suspense by further revealing the story. Read the book if you want to see a puzzle being unfold.

The translation of this book is excellent and you don't realise while reading that this novel was written in some other language.

At 350 INR, and a gripping reading ensured, the novel is a good pick. Authored by Keigo Higashino and translated by Alexander O.Smith with Eley J.Alexander.

This book was sent to me by Blogadda under the book review program. You can also get a book to review by signing up here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A new bird spotted : Indian black Ibis...

Yesterday I decided to go for a morning walk cum bird watch walk with my friend Sukanya Dutta. She is an avid birder too and we started with our camera in hands at around 7 AM.

IARI campus at Pusa institute is a green place with huge old trees and a trained staff to maintain trees and the fauna around. We spotted many bird boxes hung over the trees for House Sparrows. But sadly there were no sparrows in sight, though we see few in our vicinity. The boxes were inhabited by Common Mynahs.

There is a favorite spot of mine in this campus, a huge Arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna) where we hear a loud noise always in the morning hours. To this date we used to think they were Vultures as the birds looked huge and their cry was harsh and reminded of Vultures. We could see the long necks and huge black birds to confirm our knowledge. The long straight beak was never noticed by the myopic eyes as we (me and my husband) never wore spectacles for morning walks. We have marginally myopic eyes by the way, which doesn't affect normal activities but to see a bird perched on a really tall tree is something else.

So I was wearing my spectacles, and we stopped as usual near the Arjuna tree to see the 'vultures'.

Sukanya is a popular Science writer with NISCAIR and has written 16 books including science fiction and children's books. She has been in this area for the last two decades and has always heard about the 'vultures' roosting in IARI. Yesterday this information was proven wrong.

So as we were looking at them, with bespectacled eyes, I told her these are not vultures for sure as the beaks are just too long. But she was backed by a two decade old knowledge and denied initially. And then I spotted the red head with the slightly powerful lens of my camera (18-105 mm). She was sure then that these were not vultures and kept wondering what could it be. It was a first time spotting of this bird for her as well.

She later confirmed, it was the Indian black Ibis.

This is how I clicked the first picture as in the past too I had always saw them sitting in the nests mostly in pairs. So naturally the camera was pointed towards a nest...

Long beaks evident...

And then one of them stooped his head. It was red. Red signal for us to look out for identifying the species.

And then I spotted a few loners...see the beak...

And the red head...

It raises it's head...

Moves the neck...fluffed up to scare us may be. Birds are always aware someone is watching.

And then smoothing the fluffy neck....if our goose bumps were so easy to hide :-)

Another one looking like an Ostrich...

This one showing it's red head....

And this one guarding the nest while the female is incubating the eggs ...

I noticed the nests looked as if tied with a light colored rope or something, to the branch it was located. See the light bands below the nest marked on the branch...

I was amazed how the birds could have done it. It was later when Sukanya called me up within an hour of returning for the walk, with excitement that she has searched and found what species it is. And when I reminded how the nests looks tied up with a rope she told it could be the bird droppings which trickles down. She knows better.

It was unbelievable though, as those bands looked so uniform... Later when I cropped my pictures, it was confirmed these markings were actually bird droppings.... See the next picture...

The liquid droppings have trickled down on the sloping branch...

See the next , where the bird sitting in the nest is watchful of us, the male on guard looks lazy and the dropping markings are clear...but looking like the branch has been wrapped with light colored rope or something....

Look at the markings more clearly...from below the tree we couldn't have imagined these were bird droppings. looked exactly like someone has tired up the nests for support..

The male guard has started preening...bored of his job of a watch guard ...

But he checks out the nest in between....

Another nest, another female sitting pretty ...

These two are looking like they lost something...

I was calling them redheads all this while...It was only later that we knew the name thanks to the enthusiasm of Sukanya Dutta. I was having my cup of tea when she was searching the internet frantically...No wonder she is a scientist...

Look at the dropping markings again...

This bird made our day.

And this was not all we spotted yesterday. We found a nesting heaven for Yellow footed green pigeons. There were a few dozens of them perched on almost every branch of a Causuarina jungle of sorts...

A Drongo, a few Brown headed Barbets and a couple of Woodpeckers, some Grey Hornbills and many more.

It was a great walk indeed.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Disciplining ourselves, knowing more..bird stories....

 We do a few things out of habit. Like I used to when I would just break a leftover roti into pieces and keep it into the bird feeder. The usuial Bajra and other millets were kept on a regular basis too, the leftover breads were also put into the same feeder. Last year I even used to make some corn bread only for the birds and the squirrels around. I will not be doing it again.

After reading this information at the NBRI botanical garden I would never keep any cooked food in my bird feeders.

Also, there is a misconception that the birds need water only during the summer months. They do need water in the winters too and I watch them drinking water in my bird baths all round the year.

It's just that they take a dip into the bird bath more often during the summers. It's a treat watching them have a bath, and then preen for a long time as if straightening their dresses. I wish I had a bigger bird bath that looked great in the garden as well. A stone bird bath I saw once had a price tag of more than ten thousand bucks.

Nevertheless , there have been some power meetings in my rock garden , some romances have bloomed and there have been some more exciting times too...

You have to watch the space for an hour and you would see a constant traffic being diverted to this side...

The jungle Babblers are abundant and I have witnessed many of them coming together to the bird feeders and bird baths, taking care of the young ones and making them learn flying. They are a noisy lot and since they are always in a group of seven or even more , hence called Seven Sisters, the noise becomes annoying sometimes.

I have seen all in the family getting together and making a young chick learn flying. And when I watch them they all point their beak at me and shout at me to go away. That's a sight.

I have also seen a lame Babbler who used to stay aloof from the pack of seven and was a little grumpy all the time. But not a bit scared or low spirited. He/she had probably learnt living alone.

 I once saw the family scare away a crow who was wandering around to steal the eggs. Surprisingly, a Red crested Bulbul was helping them too. That was the first time I witnessed inter-species cooperation in birds. The crow had no choice when about a dozen birds were hawking at him. Literally.

A new story was witnessed just a few days ago. When a couple of Jungle Babbler chicks were drinking water and the mother came. Both of them started saying something aloud to the mother. See how the mother is listening carefully. How the body language is so clear...

And then the mother started scolding them it seems. Now see the body language of the chicks.

Wings still angry but the beak and face suggest they are listening...

After doing her job, the mother is proceeding to do other important things.

Inspecting around to see if the chicks are safe...

The chicks still thinking what the mother said and though they seem dissatisfied, they have to obey...

The mother has to have a drink of water before she leaves for other things to be done.

The chicks still looking dissatisfied,  reluctantly behaving themselves , following instructions.

It's such a beautiful thing to watch them bond. Till date I have seen these Babblers being the most family oriented birds. Probably that is the reason they always come in a group of seven or eight. Probably they are not siblings but the whole family together.

many pet birds are different as they seem to have picked up some human habits. Being away from the natural habitat doesn't allow us to see how they would behave normally.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The other world of dreams...

The blue of the sky
reflects in my heart
as if
you are looking into my eyes
from the world above....

I woke up drenched in sweat. In a winter's night.

Felt like someone was talking to me and it snapped within a fraction of second. I was not able to recollect what it was about. But it seemed very pleasant and comforting.

And slowly it started pouring into my head like a recollection of some snippets of real life.

This is something from the days when I was exasperated about Mithi's condition. It was frustrating to watch a angelic child in pain and distress and the feeling that I am of no use. Those were the days when my own health had started getting affected and I used to fear if something happens to me who would take care of my doll.

The times of the most intense disgust had awakened a resolve in me. I decided to pray for Mithi's departure from this painful world. It was a world full of pain and disability for her. It was better if she went to a better place. I started praying for her release from this excruciating pain. Difficult it was as it meant she wouldn't be with me. Still I did pray as there was no other way.

One or two days into these prayers when I started feeling guilty about it. After all I used to console her saying Mama loves her and will always be with her. All her world was her mama who kept talking to her the whole day and there was almost no exposure to the outside world. Her eyes used to keep looking for me and a hug , a kiss or just a pat sometimes would comfort her. Saying that mama loves Mithi was as common as breathing and probably the lifeline too for both of us. She got comforted and thus comforting me seeing the relieved face.

And here I was praying for something that would take her away from me, I wouldn't be with her always. The realisation struck me hard. The guilt was like a sharp knife piercing through me.

That was the day when I told her. I told her Mama is praying for her to be taken away by God, asking if she is happy with it. She nodded the way she used to, by drooping her eyelids. And with a faint smile. Her smiling muscles were impaired as well. But she had the most wonderful smile believe me.

The twitch of the corner of her lips, the smile that was, and the dimly lit twinkle that her eyes revealed into a fragmented smile, made me comfortable. I knew she wanted the same way and that she was convinced mama is wanting something good. She joined me in my prayer and we did every single prayer together thereafter.

God would take Mithi softly put into an Udankhatola (a flying playpen if translated in English) and make her body alright. She would walk there and play. And then we would meet there.

This became our daily prayer. Holding hands and saying this to each other when we were alone, lying in the bed. For almost a year.

And the prayers worked. Not only in relieving her of the pain, but doing it in a way that was the least bothersome and tormenting for me as well. The dreadful day was handled in the best possible way.

This dream had revealed something serious to me. The sweat soaked body was not distressed but relieved.

The trail of my awakened thoughts took me to the dreams that were a regular frequency till a few weeks back. I would see both of us in different places with Mithi being in the same condition. Myself carrying her delicately so her neck is in the right place and her limbs are dangling like they did in real life. These dreams were numerous, every time there will a similar kind of situation but different places and we as different people. Both of us always worried about her well being. I was always caressing or protecting her limbs or carrying her in my lap protectively.

There was this uncanny feeling that she was my daughter in every life that I had and this ailment was there every time. A disheartening thought. An excruciating feeling.

And then I stopped getting these dreams. Did this new dream come with a message?

I was still clueless and yet with a pleasant feeling of being with someone very comforting.

Drenched in sweat, as I splashed water on my face, the realisation occurred that those prayers might have relieved her from the suffering for always. I couldn't remember a thing from this dream but there was a feeling that I have been with her, she telling me how it worked. With a broader smile, a brighter face.

Was it a message for me from the other world?

A comforting message for sure.

Have you ever been to the world of dreams?

All of us dream something or the else everyday but have you woke up after a dream feeling you were there physically? Lucid dreams.

It has been a regular thing with me, I used to have lucid dreams and would get disoriented when awake, sometimes confused and sometimes the memory of the dream would meld with real memories to make them one, un-distinguishable. Real.

I saw many incidents that were about to happen, layouts of the streets I had to inhabit and the feel of the house I was to shift. Many times in the past, I would get an idea of how the things would turn out in close future.

How dreams take you to another world. A real world, as if you are just in another city or in another compartment of the same train you are travelling. The visions are so real, the feelings tangible. I have witnessed many of my lucid dreams coming to reality. I would recall just the way I felt in the dream when I would experience the same feeling in reality, when the dream unfolds in cold realty.

Some times a restlessness that I felt in a particular dream would be experienced in real life and my mind would travel back to the same dream subconsciously...the memory of the restlessness would veer back to the dream eventually.

This time the dream was to comfort me.

It was like another puzzle unfolding and I am definitely feeling a lot better.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

about not being a feminist and still working for the cause...

It's wonderful sometimes how we are introduced to some friends. In the age of the internet the coincidences have taken a new meaning. It was by chance that my attention was drawn towards a facebook status update by Dhiren. He had shared about a group called The Purple Pact and the description said it is about Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. I clicked the like button and as I was checking the details I got a message in my inbox saying thanks for joining this group.

This girl was telling about how the group is targeted at conditions like Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and spine degeneration, I replied that i knew these terms as my daughter had scoliosis as one of her symptoms. I was in for a huge surprise when this girl said she knew Mithi and that she has been reading my blog and knew everything about me and Mithi. I was dumbstruck as she proceeded to tell me that she has been praying silently, never having the heart to comment on this blog. I was touched. And I was back into the vortex that keep awaiting for me to trip. I am thankful to all those who prayed silently.

This girl is Sagarika Chakraborty and she shared that it took her a lot of time to have the courage to come out in the open with this medical condition of hers. She asked me if I could contribute to this blog called Purple is The Color of The Season.

I immediately agreed.We talked about it in detail and I suggested a diet plan for her as well. Which proved beneficial of course. Then I wrote a post on the blog regarding dietary role in combating the symptoms.

A few days went by and I stumbled upon a status update again that said this girl had written a book. I pinged her immediately and she giggled in the fb lingo. And then she asked me to read the book as well. That was something I brushed off saying formal things as I was in no mood to read another book by a novice. Honestly.

It was then that I asked her what this book is about. It revealed it was about the women and their sufferings.

Another reason for me to not to go for a book like this. Not that I don't have a heart but I just didn't want any stressful reading as there is enough stress already to tackle. A discussion began as I wanted to know her views on her idea of feminism. She said she is not a feminist and that perked up my ears. Absolutely.

Someone who wrote about the sufferings of women and still is not a feminist is sure something I would approve of. I want an understanding of the social malaise and not a futile hullabaloo over a few issues. A deep understanding will be the right solution in long term and all the symptomatic reactions to immediate happenings would die down as soon as a new girl is raped on the streets. These are my reasons of not being a feminist. I just cannot pick up one cause and segregate it from all the other social issues. Evereything else is interconnected and works in totality.

Some more prodding by Sagarika's side, she wanted my opinion on the book. And I made up my mind to read. Not someone to be convinced so easily, I succumbed to have a look what a young mind had to say about gender issues.

The book is named A Calender Too Crowded. It mocks at the appointed dates for the betterment of women in general. Does so quite well.

I ordered the book and read the first story immediately. About a story a week was my target as I never want to get overwhelmed with poignant tales of misery. There is actually a lot of misery we all have witnessed and the stories in this book are something all of us have seen around. Sagarika is a gifted writer and you completely relate to the stories. We all have witnessed some or the other social malaise, inequality and suppression. Some religious rigidness thrown in for a good measure and the situation becomes even more glum.

A weekend travelling routine gave me another opportunity to read a few more stories. And some more time to ponder upon them.

I liked a particular story called When The Ganges Run Dry. This is something I have witnessed in my own family. Thank God my grandmother (daadi) was not like that but many of her next generation women were the same. As if the Ganges could clean all sins and you are free to go on polluting the river of your own worldly sins...this line is mine :-)

Another story about a prostitute who goes on to educate her daughter in a boarding school is very touching. Selling a Body to Gain a Mind. Questioning the conscience at the right points. Not making a noise.

And that is the thing I liked about this book.Questioning the conscience at the right points. Not making a noise. Not telling others to do what they need to. Just getting up and start walking. No one would stop when you start walking. I applaud when a young mind thinks like this.

Squatting on the societal norms and blaming others is passe. Make your calendar and start marking the days.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A change for sure. But how?

Looking at the mindset of policemen in our country It looks like they just have garbed themselves as the law keepers and haven't come out of the societal mold they were brought up in. I am sure there are fewer of them in the force. After all we have seen good cops too.

Still it is a sad situation. I am talking about those crooked minds in the police force.

They know they are the law keepers, they practice it in their own ways but probably find themselves fit for citing the skewed, cockeyed reasons behind a crime. A particular kind of crime most of the times. Crime against women.

Even more sadly, frustrating actually,  those reasons come from a deep rooted mindset they have grown up with, coming from the same rotting decaying society where the power and the influence decides who is fair. And the conventional wisdom is never to be questioned. Someone who defies the norm is considered to harbor 'the wrongs'. Those wrongs could be violation of body and freedom of some one too. If the victim has defied some norms, it is quite right for the powerful and influential to align the cause of the crime with the victim.

It is spectacularly easy when the one who defies the norms and becomes a victim is a woman. Aligning the cause of the crime with the victim.

Quite interestingly, the powerful and influential can defy the norms themselves according to their own convenience and that would not be liable to questioning.

These policemen of our times are just confirming to the old societal pattern.

Reasons are many.

There is no aptitude required to join any profession in our country. Anyone can join any profession mostly depending on the grades they secure during schooling and later how much influence they have in the recruitment circles. Networking to get the job.

Deep rooted malaise.

Then there are the parents who decide even before the child is born what profession he/she would follow. Many times generations after generations follow the footsteps of parents in joining Politics, Medicine, Engineering, Law, Sports, Business, Police force or Army/Navy/Air force. Ah yes, the three forces also look down upon each other. You are again expected to follow the tradition, in a proud way.

No wonder the Doctors end up being businessmen or shrewd politicians sometimes, Lawyers trade the truth and Policemen join hands with criminals or are found thinking/speaking/behaving like them.

No wonder.

Misplaced talent, mangled beliefs and minds frozen in the stone age can't do any better.

Now, a change is required. Actually an overhaul.

Oh that we all agree but how?  How is the change that is so crucial in recent times, would come?

Do punishments work?
Or bullying and blaming on national television or on social media?
Or bringing some systemic changes to uproot the evil.

While bullying and blaming the policeman or any professional who is incapable or is taking advantage of his/her power or position, is not going to work in this kind of situation. The reason is, such policeman have the belief system so ingrained in their minds that they would see the blaming as a dent on their ego and chances are, they would bounce back with enhanced energy levels. The law keeping would suffer and there will be an environment of rivalry between the change seekers and the resistant, reluctant, power hungry, corrupt minded policemen.

Punishments would work

If it is the kind that Ms Kiran Bedi suggested. The annual CR should include a column of gender sensitivity or communal sensitivity etc. If that column is marked negatively, the whole career of the insensitive policeman would suffer and they would all think twice before uttering something like that. Though the deep cleansing would still be required.

Some more ways to bring them to discipline should be looked for. Psychological, behavioral and motivational research can suggest some good measures.

Bringing the changes at systemic levels are so much required in all the professional fields. There should be an aptitude test before joining a profession and there should always be an induction training which includes sensitivity on all issues that affect law keeping in the case of police force. This aptitude test and induction training would help in teaching and medicine a lot too. And politics for sure.

Having said that, I am glad that some of the police officers are making such mistakes. Of blaming the victims and taking the crimes lightly, hence benefiting the criminals to a large extent.

I mean the mindset was always there, they were always reluctant to budge when a woman approached them for reporting a crime, it's only now that they have become vocal about their mindset. Thanks to the curious reporters who have been laughed at for huffing and puffing to find the right words at the scene or either war or elections till now. The spy cam journos have done the rest of the excavation to unearth the deepest folds of a mind of a typical policeman.

This way the malaise that was so deep rooted and yet unaccounted for is being unearthed and there is a talk on how to sensitize the police force. The criminals have always been acquitted (65% of rapists get acquitted by the courts on some or the other grounds) or benefited by the system somehow, to a large extent. The recent vocal behavior of some of the policemen, on or off the camera, has opened the lid off a rotten gutter.

Cleaning looks like an emergency measure now. The need to change is a priority now.

The process, the change, will not be an overnight miracle, but there should be some change in the aptitude and attitude of the law keepers.

I am hopeful.

This post is an entry for Stayfree women for change.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Caught in a wrong warp of time ?

I felt so guilty for saying no to a lady who ringed my bell just ten minutes back.
She asked me if I needed some pads, when I said no she asked if I needed some lipsticks. My voice raised a bit and I said no I do not want it. Please go.

And then my heart just sank. I saw the lady returning , she had a slight limp, the way arthritis makes older people walk. The lady was about fifty five I noticed. My immediate thought was why is she doing it? She could have done something better. In a better way probably. She is carrying a large bag on the shoulder one side and a hand held jhola in the other hand, probably lipsticks. Henna dyed hair and empty large eyes.
Voice was very polite. Beta pads chahiye?

A no and then a stronger no from this door...please aap jayiye...

I felt the sinking some more. A thought came she might be hired from someone to market these products. Or she might be buying these from some wholesale market and selling to meet ends. I was thinking why some people keep struggling this way while some others make money almost instantly. Why there seems to be no rhyme in such comparisons.

May be this is her time to learn more about the world.
Or there is a realisation she still is deprived of.
Or a reality she has been in denial of.

I just prayed for her to find a new way to reach where she wants to.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Solving the puzzles, one at a time....moving to a happier life...wishing you all the same...

Some mysteries and puzzles of life just bedazzle you with the intensity they come with, you feel blinded yet awakened somewhere deep within. Finding a clearer view of what just flashed before your eyes takes a longer time sometimes. And a life time sometimes. I so wish to adjust my eyes to this kind of dazzle as soon as I can do, the universe has it's own plans though.

Two years ago, when my prayers were answered and my angel was called back, I was just puzzled by the timing. Deep in my heart I knew it was designed by my angel herself. She did not want her mama to be lonely ever, even on the dreaded day, so she ensured she will be surrounded by some friend's good wishes on the day and the next few days every year. No matter who remembers and who doesn't, who chickens out to talk to a lowly voice, there will be some oblivious voices chirpily wishing and uplifting her mama's spirits ....year after year, right at the time when she needs it the most.

Her mama was puzzled, as it seemed like slipping into a dream or waking up from a dream suddenly. It was like we were holding water between our palms and it just trickled down when we woke up.

I used to a have a recurrent dream in my childhood days that Santa or someone similar has given me something precious and I am holding it into my palm. Tightly secured, fearing I would loose it as soon I loosened the grip. Every time I would suspect it was a dream and that my fists would be empty when I wake up, yet I would keep my fist tightly closed to protect my gift. And every single time I would find my fist empty when I woke up.

I had the same feeling just 5 days after Christmas that year...I was so possessive of her and she was gone in an instant and it felt like she slipped off my tight fist without my realising. Like I just woke up to a dream with empty hands, still feeling that touch on my skin.

Puzzled,baffled...flummoxed.....just about the timing. The result, the day and the final moment was very much in my awareness but this timing was puzzling me really. It is opening up to me now, block by block as I understand what it is that she wanted. She, my gift from God himself, wanted her mama to wish the world for a happy new year every year.

It just happened to me that I was feeling it hard to wish everyone on facebook or on my blogs or even through texting as I never want the wishes to be empty or fake. If it doesn't come from the heart it is not to be communicated for me. And it was not coming form the heart till now. I was even finding it tough to reply the wishes sent by dear friends. At the same time it came earlier than the last year on this occasion...... even though I am all alone at home this time, the husband being away for work.

And then I realised that it would now come naturally to me as it used to be...wishing everybody honestly , heartfelt wishes.

See me next year angel has done a miracle for me.

Her mama is growing rows of flowers and sending you all heartfelt wishes for the year to come.