Wednesday

What do you do when you are caught out?




I have been party to some of these below incidences myself and some I have been through with friends.

** You are driving at your pace, you realize the amber light soon will give way to Red and you speedup to avoid stoppage time. You shoot past the lights, the sneaky cops hiding behind the shade of a large tree whistle you to stop. You have to pull alongside the kerb

** Its past hours, and your general smartness leads you to go past the lights since you think no cops could be hanging out on duty at this hour! And to your bad luck you land squarely in the midst of a large force of cops who are on a naka band duty

** You get caught for shooting the lights. You are not carrying your driving license with you. And the cop is threatening to fine you

** You are sic of the log jam traffic and are weary. You want to get back home and unwind. So you decide to exit out of the flyover, at the next available mode. You cut from extreme right lane into the extreme left lane, causing ire amongst other fellow drivers and exiting out of a route which is only for incoming traffic. Wham! You get caught by the cops who have been awaiting the bakra.

** You go to the movies. You don’t believe in advance bookings. But you do believe in first day first shows. So you are willing to buy tickets in black. You are adept at even spotting the black marketer’s. But this time it happens to be umm an undercover cop.

** You have just had a super cool fun evening. Now you are on your way back home. A couple of drinks down, happy, music blasting you are singing along. Cruising on the highway, cops not only hail you down for speeding, but also want to do a breath analyzer on you.

** You park your car in a no parking area, thinking you can zip across and back without anyone picking you up. You wrap up your chores and on return find the car towed away.

** You go to the passport office which explicitly tells you no middle men allowed for paperwork- everything must be done by the person concerned. Yet given your unearthly work hours, you rely on a reliable passport agent, paying him lots of money to double quick your papers and you get picked up by the cops for wrong doing.

** The boards around specifically say ‘no smoking’, yet you will sneak into washrooms or behind trees and light up.

No point in guessing which of the above incidences was I personally involved in:)

The reason I was compelled to write this post is I am ashamed of the number of people I know personally in my world, who are willing to do wrong, bribe their way out brazenly. All in the excuse of lack of time! Or by saying crazy stupid lies.

These brazen acts are accomplished with such élan that they actually see no wrong doing in their act nomore. Which is a such a huge pity and morally so wrong!

When Bombay was attacked by terrorists - ever wondered exactly in the same measure as you bribe someone for smaller offenses - some terrorists bribed someone for their boats or for a job at the Taj, or for an entry into some classified areas!

Do we even realize what we are doing is criminal? It is an offense by law? In our brazen moneyed attitude let’s not forget that we indeed are ruled by laws.

When cops fail their duty, have you asked why ? Instead of talking about their low incomes and rationalizing their need to fill their pockets - have you ever asked yourself what if you stop your wily wicked ways of wrong doing first.

How difficult is it to stop at the lights? How difficult can it be to not drink and drive but instead take a cab back home? How difficult is it to advance book movie tickets? How difficult is it to carry your driving license on you?

How difficult is it to adhere by the law? Be a responsible citizen? If you want this city, nation or even this planet to be a safer place for your children, then you must stop these wrong doings. PLEASE.

School days



Material acquisition in those days meant pocket money to buy a pink candied ice-cream cone or 2 small samosas or a vada pao! We made rubber band guns to shoot paper in class, and often got caught in the act. We also made toys called “water pistols” with our water bottles for a water gun. The water pistol was initially an instrument used by an uncle in Delhi who had a large garden. There were no hoses in his garden for some reason, so he would take a long broom handle and fix a rag onto it and stick it tightly into a long galvanized pipe. He then dipped the pipe into a bucket of water and drew the handle back, vacuuming water into the pipe. Then he raised it and shot water a long distance to water his plants by shoving the broom handle back into the pipe.

We saw this as kids on our summer vacations and made our own water bottles the water guns to play with sometimes even by attaching straws to it so that we could shoot afar! After school we would spend hours shooting water at each other, till our respective parents would yell at us to get back home! We played many games together as there was not much television to watch or video games to play or the internet to isolate oneself. Lagori, marbles, iti danda, football, cricket, hop scotch…

We even played hockey with sticks and tin cans if the ball would get punctured by a passing by truck. We didn’t have sufficient money to go buy another ball and were happy playing with a make shift arrangement.

During summer holidays we’d go to a nearby park for a fast jog and then hang out together as a big group of friends to chatter. And plan the evening. Which would be once again meeting together and playing some sport

Sundays would be special as it was no kitchen day, mums day off- so after a late heavy breakfast we’d either troop out for a late lunch or a brunch to some special restaurants. Eating out over wkends was a ritual. A day to spoil and appreciate mum:)

Given mum was such a fabulous cook- we always had people over for dinners and lunches too. Good food was hence a key feature of our childhood years. All meals were family oriented and only on wkends eating between meals was ok.

There were no supermarkets in those days or at-least I cannot remember any such, as everything was bought in general stores. This was a joy for us as we could go to the store and buy a chocolate or candy bar or even a Pepsi cola sipper.

Ice, precious ice would be bought off from a handcart man who would bring huge slabs of ice- and we’d enjoy the thrill of him breaking a part portion for our purchase especially when he’d be breaking the large slab and shards of ice would get sprinkled on us as he went about breaking the ice:)

Annual picnics from school was always a big affair –bus loads of us drive to some park or safari, see nature or technology and automation from close quarters. The day would be spent in much excitement as the thrill would be to sit next to ones best friend in class during the bus ride and make small talk, I cant even remember what we would speak about Annual days at school would be equally fun when we had to doll up, I personally hated all the fuss little girls would make about dressing up, glancing in the mirror to admire bla bla

But not a day would go by if we didn’t get to meet our building friends, hang out and play together in the building quadrangle till late evening. Given we were a mixed bunch of boys and girls of all ages we would play chor police and find the most amazing places to hide –on top of the milk booth or inside a tree or under a parked car! We’d also play Badminton, throw ball, walking together to the library to get story books, reading our horoscopes daily from the newspapers, quarreling and making up, running back home about sunset just before Dad would get back from office - to have our evening baths, get readied for the night, some studies and then dinner together as a family.

Family was a real blessing. Spoilt by granparents, adored by parents, and loved by neighbours and friends. We as a family were a lot closer than most of our friends/neighbors as we lived in a nuclear avatar. Other families in our building had many more people living together. We as children always were treated right by our parents, were paid the right attention, were corrected and appreciated all the time. My sister got to wear more hand-me-downs compared to me, as she was younger. I can’t remember her ever complaining about these hand me downs- ever. I was the spilt brat, looking for choices all the way. It was also a big deal to have new rain shoes –gum boots or belly’s. So year on year we’d debate and finally settle on belly’s; because the only time I said I wanted gumboots I had water squishing around inside my boots all day and I made so much noise walking around that I was fed up of the huge embarrassment. The thing is I couldn’t remove those large gumboots from my feet because of a vacuum that got created and only upon reaching home after school did Hari, our help, put all his might in tearing the shoes from my feet, finally some relief!

Chores were a part of our everyday life, we had to complete our share of daily workload- our parents were most conscientious of ensuring that none of us brother or sisters ever felt unequal to the other so we were all meant to do all jobs always without bias. From cleaning, to zipping downstairs to buy bread or a magazine from the news stand , to making tea etc

Childhood was about innocence and life, of robust laughter and camaraderie, of fair and just, of winning and losing, of bruised knees and tears and above all a can do spirit that never knew doubts and fear. :)

Friday

This is Life



Look at all the things going around in our world - floods, sickness, earthquakes, depression, recession, loss of jobs, losing a home or a loved one, fights, battles, wars, hijacks, politics, corruption; the list is endless

Unfortunately, no one hands out any instruction book on how to deal with life.

In our growing years we were expecting life to be one big party. And once we got our act together as an adult, what a surprise! A few years after reaching adulthood and having to deal with the real world, one comes to the realization that life is difficult. Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.

Regardless of age, if we foolishly expect living to become easier down the road, forget it. Irrespective of how talented or how rich or how old one maybe if truth be told, everyone experiences stress and pain to a certain degree. Mistakes and setbacks add up to success. Then success leads to failure. This is life. Life doesn’t allow us to remain still. We have to keep moving and adapting and changing and in the process have to learn to love life.

Life teaches us to cope. If we consider our-self fortunate or less fortunate as the case may be it also helps us to realize nothing is as grim as it first appears. Today's crisis makes tomorrow's interesting story. What we call experience.


Life can be relatively difficult or relatively easy. What matters is how we react to our environment. Whenever life gets overwhelming, I subject myself to this mind-altering question: "Yea, life is tough - but then again, compared to what?” Seriously we don’t even have to go that far…even if we look around our neighborhood… we will realize we are so blessed- our life is way better.

So the lesson for myself is that life can be tough, sometimes it is harder than one thought it could be. Sure sometimes life broke my heart and made me cry for days. This is the real life. In real life we DO get to make our choices and we CAN become the person we dream of being. Even if not everyone we love will get to see the final result of all our hard work. It's a big lesson, and a hard one to learn, but it's well worth it.

All told, life is a learning process and the school of hard knocks is a great teacher. Pleasure and comfort don't build character - adversity does! Would I change my life and wish it to be otherwise? I am blessed:)

Monday

THE Ganpati festival: Colourful India








The festival of Ganpati is not just part of my dna because I live in maximum city but also an integral part of my growing years as a child. The city that never sleeps saw us kids become decisive, become an unbreakable group of friends, saw us become a great team ready to enhance each others strengths and play down weaknesses, saw us play like a team over the years with ever growing aspirations to increase our collections for the next years Ganpati so that we could bring an even larger idol than before.

In the first year ever of beginning this tradition of bringing Lord Ganesha into our building we went about collecting any and every donation that came our way -rupees 20 or 10 and occasional 50/- to collect enough funds from all the apartment owners in our building. Over the next few years even the neighboring buildings had started contributing seeing our intent, enthusiasm and success. We would put money together so that we could get a Ganesh Idol for our building and for the next 11 days it would be a non stop party for us. We would be dealing with cash all along and no ways did ever a single rupee get embezzled. That was the sincerity with which we’d deploy all our resources. Over the years our collections multiplied big time and we’d carry forward our balance to start the next year with enough funds. What pride and joy!

We would anticipate this festival in advance by months- all excited and equally nervous about the things we would do differently that year. And come the day of bringing home Ganpati Bappa we would all hire a large truck (sponsored by Dad initially) put on the band bajaa and slowly inch our way into the market area to buy the sweetest idol available on sale for ourselves within our collections. That day was special because Ganpatiji was arriving home. This was even bigger than Diwali for us. Emotionally speaking.

The next 11 days would roll seamlessly forward, merging night into day and day into night. We’d have collected enough funds to have a variety of different entertainment shows on every single night over the next 11 nights. We would be screening movies and have hundreds of people (including passer bys who would stop dead in their tracks and spend the next 3 hours watching the movie!), we were never allowed to go out of the home past 10pm (our bedtime) so we’d sneak to our balcony and watch the entire movie from upstairs. Wide awake, hating the fact we were not downstairs, agog at the crowd turnout and so proud that we had put it together with our own ideas, dreams and money

For prashad every night, the parents of us kids would do special prashad every day and that saw the owners of the building bonding. Which apartment was contributing prashad today tomo etc - some adults who had fought amongst themselves also would put aside their differences to be pleasant to each other during this time. This festival truly brought our building folks and neighbors closer.
Event management also included dandiya night, musical chairs, rangoli competition, singing, dumb charades, housie and such where the idea was to keep ourselves entertained. Very unconsciously we kept everybody else in the bargain entertained too:)

As a result our building Ganpati would have the largest public draw too. And this was never done by design- it was always our own imaginations leading us to do things we as kids enjoyed- turns out adults too enjoyed the same things :)- so we were the runaway success team of our locality

These 11 days would zip by so quickly that when the immersion day would arrive, we all hated that day. We’d have tears in our eyes seeing our sweety Ganeshji being immersed in the water, we’d cry all the way back in the truck watching other revelers with giant Ganpatis - yet to perform their immersions – looking so very happy. We would be morose, not utter a single word right thru the journey back home.

Once we got back to our building we’d all go to our respective homes and our parents would try to draw us into conversation or be extra nice to us knowing we were feeling sad, and anything done or said could trigger our tears again. We were not hungry or thirsty no more, we would simply slink into our rooms, pick up our respective story books to read and try and drown out reality to slip into the dream world of the past 11 days. Faintly in the background we would hear the music coming from the streets constantly reminding us of the many more Ganeshjis that were heading towards the beaches and the sea and that would crash our little hearts even deeper.

This festival is and can never be about caste, color or religion it is about bonding, purity and belief.

Tuesday

Coffee place to hang out: The Kala Ghoda Café




The thing with someone like me who does not like tea and cannot stomach the smell of tea, the only addiction for caffeine is fulfilled by coffee. And yea am very fussy about this beverage. More than ever before as I know my coffee beans rather well.

Sunday morning after ages we decided to break routine and go out for breakfast. A place that serves good hot waffles and crepes and fruit juice and cereal and coffee and the works…voila- we were at Kala Ghoda Café!

Without warning the sun gave way to hard rains just as we parked- so by the time we made the short distance dash inside the café we were nicely soaked! Shrugged off the rain like Pooch with a vigorous shake of the head and body, the warmth of bakes and the wafting aromas of coffee beckoned for a good tummy treat.

Launching into the menu one realizes there isn’t a lot of choice for breakfast- in-fact meager range to chose from - we ordered all of them listed items on the menu! Have to say each dish from the homey eggs in 3 different styles to the warm waffles and the cornflakes t the brilliant coffee and the delectable chocolate were yum!

A small cozy bare minimum place that strangely beckons you to return-and I of course have returned oft enough – it’s a place where one can just be – as Farhad, the owner of the café said. A place where you can play board games with your friends, or simply curl up in a corner with a book, or hide behind your mac air or simply gaze into nothingness.

Anytime one needs a place to introspect, retrospect, prospect or inspect head straight to KGC. This is a place that winds its way to your heart, makes you feel energized, nudges you to relax - my earnest love affair with this cutsey place has begun:)

Thursday

Indian Media



Being laid up in bed with a bad back is no fun - take it from me. You would have thought TV would be good time pass at least. Heck no! It pains me to see mediocrity thrive on tv. What is the overt difference when you watch NDTV Good times and Travel and Living? Both channels are top quality - one macro and global, the other more niche. Both appeal to the Indian mindset. My daily fix however are the sports and the news channels.

How are the news channels any different? The reason I say channels is because my print consumption is minimal (its either the internet or the tv) – print has too many facets of paid news today that it has lost its credibility with me!. So are our news channels balanced in their point of view, responsible and truly deserving of the fourth estate status?

I think our media is at best biased, sensationalism driven, and skewed towards the political affiliations they carry! Especially dangerous for the young minds in the nation who tend to easily get swayed by the ra-ra they hear on TV

But as I say this I am going to get a little contradictory too and say our media, despite many flaws, display many strengths too. Its perhaps the same need for viewership that keeps them ra-ra-ing about themselves as much equally for subjects that resonate with viewers: Racism, Politics between India and Pak, S Tharoor and his girlfriend, Ipl and Politics and the bid drama, model commits suicide, some celeb’s marriage etc etc

The even bigger advantages to my mind of our media is that they keep the corrupt politicians in check – not just the politicians also the bureaucrats, policymakers, educationalists, goons, dons etc etc. All our Polity is completely dictated in its moves by the mood on TV as a litmus test. Depending on how much attention an issue receives in the media dictates next steps very often.

In this clamour for trp’s and the din created by many channels are we forgetting the poor? The sick and ill? The old? The uneducated? Don’t they form a large portion of our universe? Who will give them a voice? Not our Polity! Not the voting system. Not the haves and the rich! So who? The only one that can indeed elevate them to a level of dignity is the fourth estate –our media - but barring an odd tv network group, is anyone else even interested in addressing these people or their plight or solutions to uplift them?

Our media is powerful. To influence opinions, swing moods, sway sentiments. But are they balanced in their reporting? I’d have to admit it’s a 50:50. Lots gets said and done in the heat of the moment but unfortunately there isn’t enough sustaining power! Some TV channels even mirror the unparliamentarian embarrassing squabbling, outshouting, yelling, accusing behaviour on TV making each of us realize what a undignified, unruly, uncouth lot we are! While some talk shows pretend to be intellectually driven other channels openly show favoritism and jaundiced personal views to either throw a panelist out of a debate by openly scorning him or slant the debate

If at times talk shows don’t end up becoming a platform for a blame game then the next attempt is to pre judge and hold people accountable before the law runs its course! O pls don’t take this to mean I am complaining- I love the 9pm Arnab News hour for its theatrics as much as I love the NDTV Big Fight – both offer popcorn entertainment and I’ll be lucky if at times I go away feeling and wishing the debate had continued a wee bit longer!

I think the Media folks are very astute. They have their fingers on the pulse of us viewing audiences. They know our need for exciting reporting (read entertainment) and they tailor to it. If we challenge them for more authentic, more right brained reporting - we will indeed receive it because we have the talent and the caliber of people who can deliver it. The point also is do we want good stuff? Are we ready and hankering for it? Or are we merely fence sitters who just like the rest of the nation love nit picking?:)

Wednesday

Do you care beyond YOU?



When was the last time you took it slow and easy? Sure, we have things to do, not much help, so many priorities, so little time, run here, do that, get there so on and so forth - but if we drive any faster will we have really busted the traffic and got to our destination by saving lots of time that would make a difference? If we honked incessantly would we have managed to clear the track to zip across and save lots of time to make a difference? If we had rolled down the window, abused all the wrong doings of the auto driver or the BEST bully or even the handcart guy would we have reached our designated place by saving time to make a difference?

Sure sometimes there are emergencies and those occasions may demand pace and hurriedness. But everyday doesn’t, you’ll agree? So if this hurry and speed isn’t about saving time, then why are we all in such a hurry? Everyday simply requires lot of patience, forgiving and a sense of humour-and life is not just bearable but pretty much satisfactory too.

I have now (more often than not) learnt to drive and soak in the multitude things on the track- watch the peanut seller on a traffic jammed highway sell moongfalli to the many cab and autowallahs but never approach my car, I have watched young brats selling paperbacks by mischievously pointing to ‘Ways to slim in 30days’ , have watched the palm trees gently sway against the billboards under the dull street lights and at times at night have tried to unravel if it is part of the billboard design or a real tree in its natural landscape casting its shadow on the resort ad on the billboard; When I consciously slow down to turn into the road that leads me home (despite it being wide like an airport tarmac) -I await the people crossing my path without honking once to allow them passage and in turn they hurriedly make way for me too- what a beautiful silent give and take takes place :) I then softly glide up to my gate where the 2 street dogs are always lazing – I roll down my window, look at them indulgently, have a telepathic conversation with them, allow them to slowly get on their paws - take their time to stretch and amble away from the car before I turn completely inside the drive way.

Well most days I do sincerely watch out for the passerby’s rather than speed past and spray them with rain water slush - there may be some days when some of the activities mentioned here get overlooked because of some nagging worry or frustration; but more often than not I try to remember to be patient, to be tolerant and more than anything else be appreciative of my haves versus those without:)

Like His Holiness the Dalai Lama says - We need to try and solve problems in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, in a spirit of reconciliation and compromise. I try to do my bit. Do you? Who did you watch out for today? Did you smile today?:)

Sunday

Things I dislike about cricket


Things I dislike about cricket now that the World cup football is behind me

1. Footballers play in the thick of heavy rainfall and snowfall-why is it that a cricketer on the pretense of bad light can walk away half day?! Their fat salaries are paid by the people who have braved the rains and even sacrificed their earnings to come watch the game- so play you cricketers, complaint less!

2. I tend to dislike cricket as it is governed by administrators! Those handful of cricketers who are part of the Admin are so lackluster that clearly their existence on the panel is to justify legitimacy. As if! Remember David Ogilvy said the consumer-(in this case the cricket fan) - is not a moron. She is your Fan! So pay attention to the sport and on getting too smart you risk losing your fans!

3. I understand sports give a huge fillip to a nation. People are awesome proud in Spain today am sure. But does cricket have to become ‘we the BCCI are the richest of them all’ or ‘Mere pass Sachin Tendulkar hai” What is this dumb superiority inferiority complex all about. It’s only a game people. Be proud by all means, be aware of the fragile line that can make us arrogant and disliked the world over

4. The football world cup was an intense one month affair. The Wimbledon or Olympics get done in 2 weeks - why does cricket feel like an epic played over episodes and weeks and months?! Lets see some good intense hi caliber games and close it early. That way our ‘dil will maangae more’!

5. Despite the late hour telecast I struggled to stay awake to watch the football matches, never did I miss a single game (barring the opening game that is) – and yet with the long drawn out cricket affair, despite us being a cricket hungry nation - we cannot make the games enticing enough? Cheer leaders don’t do it for us!

6. Yes trp’s and revenue models are a must for TV telecast- but does that mean you gotta shove ads in every square inch of time? ! Do you realize we watch tv for the matches and not for ads - worst nightmare is when you squeeze an ad just in the thick of a tension filled point in the match or overplay your dumb ads and we lose to see a wicket is lost or a massive shot is played.

7. I like Sidhu- even think he is funny at times. But do we need commentators that jabber jabber so much during commentary- can we not keep it focused- don’t tell me the obvious- I can see, remember I am watching and not hearing alone!

8. You have technology in cricket unlike football. Yet you fail miserably in taking fair decisions. Perhaps we need complete technology next in places of umpires who turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to all that is wrong and incorrect on the field?!

9. Ahh my pet peeve- the managers of cricket are unable to get the red or the pink or the yellow Test match ball manufactured yet! Always defective and cannot be seen right under the flood lights right?!:) I mean are we in the 21st century living cutting edge creative solutions or are we back in the stone ages? Move on or you will be left behind.

10. IPL is a good thing that has happened to cricket. The governing body pls read my lips. Don’t screw the game because you have personal axe’s to grind with each other. Keep your petty politics aside or play your politics before or after the matches not during!

11. And finally learn the art of ‘short is sweet’ While you may put up the IPL and win the hearts of the public don’t convert a speaking opportunity to make a speech on famedom and fiefdom please.

Wednesday

Discrimination


What is the cause of discrimination? Why are we discriminated against? Why do we discriminate ourselves?

At a very basic level I think it is about superiority versus inferiority, have versus have nots, black versus white- whenever there is a comparison and one comes away feeling more advantaged there is discrimination. Take some instances: speaking rudely with the maid or security guard, throwing attitude in a restaurant if the reserved table is not available on time leading to angry voices creating discomfort for other diners.

Of course discrimination is about prejudices. In the power equation it is these prejudices that lead to wielding influence. To suppress and oppress. To inflict physical or emotional hurt. Or simply be insensitive or unthinking. Think of the time when an aunt simply turns up at your doorstep without any prior call to check your convenience? She may be welcomed but the situation causes you to resent her unconsciously. Or think of a wedding reception queue for dinner, when some few willful brash people cut across the queue to fill their own plates. Or in a holy place when an obviously rich family gets a direct entry from the side gate into the sanctum sanctorum while others wait patiently for hours for their turn.

Look at instances from everyday lives – A young talented recruit is made to run around tasks because the boss is stamping with authority. Differences in work load, pay scales are manifestation of the same discrimination. One ‘follow’s a fair skin person more closely as good looks soften up senses, average to ugly looks bring on negative emotions. People often slip into their mother tongues despite being aware of others presence who may not understand the same language – this is done most consciously with an intent to seclude

It’s our bags of bias’s and conditioning since childhood that manifest itself as discrimination. O and not to forget the age old discrimination of man versus woman! Gender bias is the stiffest of them all. Ever seen how wannabe Romeos size up girls on the road or at a railway station? Is that discrimination or wat? Lets not hide behind words as lack of courtesy or upbringing because deep inside it is rooted in discrimination

The reason I started writing this piece is because I heard that a columnist in the Time magazine wrote something inflammatory /discriminatory against Indians (living in NJ) and omg all Indians are up in arms against that American journalist. It makes headlines on prime news hour on tv. Well, ahhemm does his wrong make us feel more superior? More vitriolic? Or do we hide behind his faults to shield our own guilt at being discriminatory ourselves? Under the same guise don’t we inflict more hurt and more biases of our own?

The more diverse world we live in today, the more should be the tolerance, humility and courtesies. The more should be a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. Ethnicity, age, gender, wealth have since long been used to advantage to oppress. Perhaps the real advantage will be if we could create common platforms, common values and common active advantages that benefit a larger group of communities than individuals. If we practice humane behaviour in our daily existence –if we treat others with the same respect we’d like to receive ourselves we will create awareness for inclusion, commitment, harmony and integration in the true meaning of the word. Practice it, preach it, encourage it- that is the way to un-condition our world and create better opportunities to live fulfilled lives.

Friday

Hindi should have been my forte…alas!



There are some words in Hindi which are simply rich, weighty, fat and meaningful. If one tries to explain the word- one runs the risk of losing the magic of that word

One such word that simply works its way to my soul is ‘Apnapan’- early on working on a brand of decorative wall finishes paint I realized the potential of this word which speaks volumes of emotions.

Imagine this

A gentle touch of a finger, the tear wiped - a damn of tears swell to release

A leg resting gently against another – complete harmony

A glance of empathy amidst strangers - a connection

A gentle caring ear to unload without hesitation – unflinching support

A caring voice that soothes the demons away – an enveloping security

A slight nod of approval from the eyes – swelling of pride

A look of askance – replenished confidence

A spontaneous chatter – soul connection

Feel this apnapan in the many million reflections of life

Worth more than a 1000 words?:)




Monday

Whack the wrong

'sudarshanchakra'

This is my entry for 'wanna whack' contest at Blogadda.

Abuse of any nature is unacceptable – respect is the bare minimum requirement! And must be.

I am enraged when I see youngsters on the street bullying senile/old beggar people – why mistreat old people who are in such dire state and need help. Will our own parents not get old some day, wont these 13-14yr olds too? Why the need to strip another human so bare, why the need for such humiliation?

I get enraged when I see dogs (pets or strays) being mistreated- kicked, stoned, tail being pulled … at this point I don’t want to whack the offender- I want the dog to bite back! And the poor dog is too afraid of man to do any such thing- so whack whack!!

When people suck up to me, say smarmy things to covet favours from me, I absolutely feel like whacking those! Cmon guys grow up – ticket to fame and glory and prosperity comes with honesty and hard work! Not by smaarming up to people! Whack!

When I see people spitting paan laden splatter on the walls and streets and on the roads by shoving their heads out of their vehicle doors O god, whack! Whack! Whack! Must confess I use my blaring car horn (sometimes) and sometimes my vocal chords- to let them know my disapproval! And they immediately apologize but the deed is already done (and will be done again am sure!)

I am enraged when I see women/females being abused –either by the husband or by her own family! The husband is a wife beater (this is upper classes we are talking about) – her own family never comes to her rescue, instead pressurizes her to sort things and get him to love her again! She neither has the protection of her own family nor any shelter from an abusive husband! Here I want to whack the self centered family who cares more for their reputation in society than the dignity of their own daughter!

I been reading the announcement of this contest by Blogadda for many days now- I had no intentions of ever taking part in it! Till this morning when I saw an old man at Mahim Causeway being dragged by his shirt, laughed at by young boys who were barely 13-14 yrs old - something snapped in me, I pulled over, got out of the car, and seriously let the whack! happen. I pretended to call the police and played out the trumpet ring tone (used in IPL matches)- the boys scampered!

Things I miss much

Mums innocence

Mums eager enthusiasm of sharing and giving

Mums easy forgiveness

Mums cooking

Mums constant chatter and engaging endearing ways

Mums sulk and the ease with which she would come around

Mum as a favourite punching bag who never punched back

Mums vegetable shopping and me lugging those heavy bags behind her

The sneaky stops at the vada pao wala to eat the forbidden

Mums child like excitement for the same thing done the millionth time over

Mums partiality towards ghee and its generous pouring in our food

Mums healing touch when I was in pain

Mums all encompassing unconditional love

Love you, love you, love you and miss you lots Mum

Some thought starters for creating a better life story

1. Learn something new everyday
2. Don’t miss anything
3. Laugh at yourself, today
4. Read a poem
5. Write a poem
6. Go for a walk
7. Go camping
8. Travel on a budget
9. Play a game
10. Invent a game
11. Write 1,000 words about what you did
12. Write 1,000 words about what you want to do
13. Make a list & check it twice of things you want to do
14. Make plans to do one of the things on your list above
15. Eat something new
16. Help a stranger
17. Ask a stranger for help
18. Give someone gas money
19. Give someone a ride
20. Be thankful for what you have
21. Sacrifice a want for a need

There you have it, 21 ways to make our life story better which will in turn make us happier:)

Wednesday

Tigers Must Roar


The tiger entered India from Burma and gradually established haunts in Assam, Bengal, the foot-hills of the Himalayas, and the central and southern India. These gorgeous majestic felines are found in dense forest, valleys, caves, forested hills, and the banks of rivers and streams. In the Himalayas, tigers are found up to an altitude of 2400 to 2700 meters. Amazing!

This big cat is one of the biggest and most fearsome predators in the world. The tiger resembles a cat in every respect except size. It has the same sleek body, heavily padded paws, stiff white whiskers and a rough tongue .It has the same sharp sense of sight, smell and hearing. It moves with the same stealthy tread, grace and cunning. Like the cat it loves to be alone, hunts at night and has grace that is unbeatable.

The recent ads on TV definitely will have you worried if you have your heart and mind in the right place. The tiger is a rapidly depleting population in our sanctuaries, on the verge of extinction.

We as a country have the distinction of harboring almost half of the world’s tiger population, but I wonder for how long we will retain this status. WWF claims that there are approx 1,411 big cats remaining alive that need to be protected on a crisis basis.

Facts suggest that action taken on the ground remains insufficient and marred by bureaucratic procrastination. We need to conserve our tiger’s guys.
If you are concerned about Tigers and wonder what u can do to help, go to http://www.saveourtigers.com/

Monday

Mumbai belongs to you?

My name is Khan, Bombay has space only for the Marathi manoos, The UP-Biharis saved Bombay during the 26/11 attacks...and what not make the headlines today. All of these why because everyone wants to stake claim to Bombay!

SRK is the Badshah of entertainment not for no reason! He truly entertains. He owns a cricket team not for no reason! He is an astute buisnesman too. So does he have a right to opine and chose what is best for him? Last I knew we were a Democracy and every individual rich or poor had a voice that could be used when required! Do Politicos have to interfere in every individuals life to grab headlines? I mean have they ever thought they if they spent all that unused energy for the development of Maharashtra or for the good of The people, helped them earn a living, they may earn more blessings and a robust following?

Why does Hindi cinema or Sports have to be mixed with Politics? It feels that our politicians have nothing credible to say, nothing substantial to report, so they pick up 'popular following' of the rich and famous and target them- cause it is much easier to have the Media shutterbugs follow them then with no effort!That's cheap guys!

Earn your credit! Bombay is not a small house or a land that you the politicians can grab and sit on and claim as yours! It is a big city in case you have forgotten, with many state/language speaking people residing in it. So don't tag the city! Leave it well alone.

Sunday

Haiti earthquake

Haiti earthquake left in its wake, death, disease,destruction.

Prayers and all help is what Haiti needs on an immediate basis.

I couldnt help but simultaneously think would the rest of the world have come to India's aid as they/we have reached out to Haiti's?

In India we have seem many many disasters, some that have impacted us directly (like the monsoon floods a couple of yrs ago in Bombay) some that have impacted our fellow Indians somewhere in some part of the nation

I have always felt that it is the strength of us as a people to take care of ourselves and help each other at the moment required that makes us a nation some different from others. We are resourceful. Helpful. In a quiet dignified manner.

During the monsoon floods which caused havoc with child and elderly alike, home and roads, school and traffic...individuals moved to action immediately, people forming human survival lines to reach those trapped in cars or on foot by rising waters; people volunteering food from their own humble tables to those stranded or unable to continue their journey.

During the train bombings, the poor, whose lean-to homes line the tracks, brought their blankets and coats to cover the wounded and to make slings to carry them to taxis. The many taxis waiting by the station door for fares, became ambulances carrying the wounded to nearby hospitals. Were it not for the TLC of these first responders and the other passengers on the train I am sure the number of lives lost would have been more.

In the earthquake and the tsunami, ALL Indian’s contributed resources for recovery, including money, clothes, food, and even family members to help eliminate the suffering of their fellow Indians.

Indians do for each other quietly and without show. Helping and giving have karmic power in an individual’s life, but are not done to get praise; are done because it is the right thing to do.

On the 15th of January India pledged $5,000,000 to assist in Haiti’s recovery….from one resilient people to another, the Indian Prime Minister sent India’s thoughtful support saying, “We have no doubt that the people of Haiti have the strength and resilience to overcome this natural disaster.”

The reason I penned my thoughts down on this disaster and the role Indians play at such times, was because India rarely ever gets recognized by its own people. We are too hard on ourselves. I think India has been beaten up so much by power hungry corrupt Indians within, or by insecure foreign nations who can sense the Giant nation's wakening - that we often don't get appreciated from the outside, nor do we pat ourselves on our back and say we are indeed the best.

Well done India:) Keep the silent and powerful spirit always alive:) Am so proud to belong to this nation!:)