Sunday, March 29, 2009

To my dear anonymous friend

You can read my previous post "Marriages Are Made In Heaven?" . This is one of the many responses I received:

Anonymous said :

I wanna register a protest...and an amplified one at it. Yeh to aisa ho gaya ki ulta chor kotwal ko daate...hehe. get in a defensive mode mad...listen first...there are different perspectives..what u present is a valid perspective..but applicable for a qquarter cases only. Time changes faster than we think it is. We hav been in nasik for major part of our lives...ask them who hav seen pune n mumbai...u talk abt saree n every day clothing...what is everyday clothing?...tight jeans n flimsy tops...worn to catch attention of unsuspecting thought but true isnt it? if she feels it convienient to come in her everday dresses in front of elders...i say she is already wasted..not a marriage material at all....n the worst part is the tea which is in the tray she holds is probably made by her mother...coz she knows not how to make it good....coz she never made it..she never had to..many a times when her dad returned home frm office she was probably enjoyin wid her friends in some pub..insted of being at home n makin him a cup of a days they want a scooty , may be a car, a clothes....armani purses...expensive shoes..little did they take into consideration..tht when their mother was of their age..she wud have travelled in a bus.worn a saree...chappal...n on many rainy days..used an umpteen times repaired umbrella..n she thinks shes uncomfortable in a saree?? meet the modern girl...for whom "o baba" has turned into "a pappa"...for whom..the best guy is the guy wid lots of money...for whom...equality is her unconditional consideration by the guy..regardless of her worth...for whom if she is to be presented before the elders is an insult to her womanhood...she feared...understandably so..coz she knew she lacks...if not then y the fear.
..what i present here is the other half off the prespective...the metro perspective...thts y sumtimes i think nasik is better..coz still in nasik there must be hundreds of mads in the makin...wat say?

My dear anonymous friend.

1) If you have a protest which is valid according to you, why did you post it as anonymous.?

2) I said comfortable clothing: its sad that all you can think of is "tight jeans n flimsy tops". Look around you, a majority of the girls still find salwar kammez comfortable. Too much bolywood can skew up your imagination like that. The Maharashtrian traditional wear is actually a nau-vari saree which resembles a harem pant (three-forth). Are you trying to tell me that our grandmothers dressed provocatively?
I quote from my post "she would have agreed to wear a salwar kameez."
AND the ones wearing jeans wear them with comfy tops that are not clingy.
What do you mean by "worn to catch attention of unsuspecting thought but true isnt it?..." so you want to say that some mentally sick guys dont have cheap thoughts when they look at girls dressed in salwar kameez? Let me give you some statistics, a majority of sex crimes are commited against girls who are in salwar kameezes and even in sarees. Dont believe me? Check for yourself. But why will you, you are busy blaming all these heinous crimes on the dressing sense of the "modern wasted girl".

3) Why do you assume that a girl wearing jeans cant really make tea!.....amazing assumption!

"She was holding a plate full of snacks that she had prepared all afternoon. "

Every Woman joining Police academy and military wears pants and jeans - respectable Dr.Kiran Bedi wears pants! -She is one woman every Indian should be proud of! And believe me, I am sure she can even make a cup of tea!

4) Mobiles , scooty, good bags, Armani stuff.....don't guys need it n use all those things ? I think those are the necessities of the day. I don't think you are suggesting discrimination are you?

5) So you say gals should not wear jeans, but guys can, gals should not go to pub, but guys can? Its an individual choice about what one wants to do and how one wants to carry onself in society and its really sad if girls have to live their lives according to the whims and dictates of a regressing and prejudiced society.

A girl is wasted if she doesn't know how to make tea? But a guy who thinks that the girl is wasted because she cant make tea is alright?

6) Why do you think that gals are always searching for wealthy guys?
with the kind of salaries these days, believe me, a guy's wealth doesn't even count.

7) Please don't insult the word "womanhood". If you think being suppressed, not raising a voice against injustice and living all life under the constant 'supervision' of the male fraternity is 'womanhood', then you are sadly mistaken my friend. The 'modern woman' is a working mother, she is a strong personality who is not afraid to ask what she needs and claim what is rightfully hers. She will not take injustice lying down. She dresses in jeans but her roots and values are firmly imbibed into her very soul. She looks after her family, travels in worse-than-death conditions to work and doesn't utter a word of protest all because she knows that this is the price of freedom.

8) Whats with what we call our fathers? I call my father Baba . I can call him anything that doesn't even make any difference. He is proud of me and I am proud of him.

9) You came as anonymous, but disclosed the place where I am from. I am from Nashik but I belong to a village remote in Madhya Pradesh, technically I am a village girl (a proud owner of a lipstick, a branded purse, many jeans, and many tops) . I can cook, make tea, wash clothes and even save peoples lives. I am a 'modern woman' and a very proud one at that. I respect my elders and love my parents and at the same time I claim the right to live my life the way I want to. Its not necessary that every woman who claims to be 'modern' goes pubbing or gets drunk.No. It just means that she lives free of bonds. She has her own thoughts and opinions. Her parents have been broad-minded enough to trust their daughter with her life. They have instilled values and good thoughts into her head, and they know that she will never let them down. They are proud of their daughter and thats the whole thing. Nothing else.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marriages are made in heaven???

She was holding a plate full of snacks that she had prepared all afternoon. There were 5-6 of them - she was too nervous to count exactly . She had taken careful steps - as she entered the drawing room with head down and tray in hand - as she was told previously. Everything made her conscious - her saree, their gazes, she was not used to wearing a saree yet . Her heart was pounding harder than a sledgehammer. How she wished to run up to her own room, free herself out of the saree, wear her everyday clothes and relax!! Given a choice she would never have worn the saree , she would have agreed to wear a salwar kameez. Why was she going through the drill mechanically? She was told to; it was about time she got married.....

This is not a scene from some big banner family movie. Look around you, ask yourself- all of us have been a part of (or the main feature of) this meeting . The meeting that starts off a looooong sequele of several meetings, which probably leads to either rejection or several ceremonies, one major ceremony and sometimes " happily ever after..."

It all starts with some elderlies in the society coming together and sharing a number of photos of eligibles. It reminds me of the cool WWE or Cricket star collections kids carry in their pockets- with achievements and all written behind the snap. Snaps are excanged, then looks are excanged, then words are excanged n finally come the rings followed by kisses or "Kabul hai" or garlands!

The fact that amazes me the most is that Indians are so positive and how they always hope for "New n Improved" ! For starters, the eligible spinsters wish for a Ranbir Kapoor look-alike (these days) , with the intellect of a scientist , an income of Tatas /Birlas but muscles like Arnold!!! I say girls open your eyes and look around! I think Indian scientists should stop clonning something like dolly and start cloning a man with all the above requirements! Make a gene bhelpuri! Ask a girl and she will tell you the fantastic details of what might comprise her dream guy.

The bachelors are one step ahead. And their "I am looking for " list is hilarious! If I were the curator of the LOUVRE, I would have displayed some of these manuscripts ! Even if the guy is darker than charcoal , he wants nothing less than a "fair n lovely" ! He wants a combo of "Sunder Sushil Gharelu " who also earns ! Tell me guys, if a girl works 10 hours a day in the office, travels in the scorching heat and dusty weather, how will she still glow like you dream girl Karina or Katrina? And complexion is a genetic trait, so you can get a made to order gal by genetic engineering.

And thats not all, then there are the moms of bachelors and dads of spinsters! Both entities will scrutinise "subjects of interests" from head to toe. They count their toes and fingers and check for any scars or signs of "ugliness" - a point the other party is deliberately trying to hide. How easily people forget that they are not perfect either! The way they try to "win " the best bride (or groom for that matter) - something they can show off later, digusts me in some cases.

And then comes the religious match making process which consists of kundalis, the opinion of some religious head for caste- creed- religion matching. So what if its the 21st century? If blood groups need to be matched, toh yeh toh zindagi bhar ke saath ka saval hai bhai!

Then comes the grand finale! After much ado the match is "arranged" and at the wedding we overhear the in-laws saying lawfully . "Marriages are made in heaven".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I wonder

We perform hundreds of activities in a day, some are repeated like a ritual,some are new, some are intentional, some are last- moment -activities-to save -the-day and some are reactions to someone else's activities (lets not forget Newton's third law).
Most of us follow Newton's Third law quite religiously or should I say its just a reaction to people's reactions to prevent more reactions? Here's an example .....or two. While passing through a jungle in the Kingdom of Far Far away, Puss-in-boots is attacked unexpectedly by two huge guards... he gives the most adorable look of a poor little kitty. As a reaction to which, the guards' hearts melt n they lower their weapons and BAMM thats when Puss (in boots) attacks (so well that the guards can never react again ). When Frodo feels a Nazgul approaching and unexpectedly(dumb ass) removes the ring out , Nazgul plunges his sword in Frodo's heart (oopps) what can Frodo do next..... Call Strider and wear the ring (just to see the weird look on all the Nazguls' faces).
The last moment activities and the 'reactions' are bolts of surprises which vary individually, according to time, persons concerned and some entities like the teacher, the boss, luck, God, the Devil,the girl /guy next door and some other unnecessary institutes like the government, political parties, social get the picture right?Usually, when my phone stops to work after the last call which consumed every last penny and the people whom I had told to call me coz I am out of money are already tired... that is the correct time to go and refill! Or when they give you the last warning before stopping your electricity and its winter and you certainly dont wish to come home and find the rooms colder than the tallest dungeon of the farthest mountain in which Fiona was locked up and the only warmth provided was by the beautifully dangerous (deadly combo) dragoness who emits fire when angered!( God save the Donkey).

And so are the intentional activities which depend on all the above and the person's nature.I am also considering the intentional activities of a devil who keeps on playing pranks on people or troubling people just for the heck of it. Take my word for it, its fun sometimes. :D
Now the new activities are HATKE from what we do (duhh!) Suddenly, out of the blue a prince decides to take a detour in the jungle and ends up dancing with the fairest maiden he had ever seen ! On the other hand our fairest maiden (Snow white - if you havent guessed it by now) - disregarding the warnings of the fairy godmothers talks to him (n the cartoon makers have to make a duet) - "Forbidden Fruit" .
But I am interested in the daily rituals that we perform unceasingly.... imagine C3PO as you read .... programmed by young Anikan Skywalker to help Mamma perform daily chores. (He ends up doing pretty much the same thing through all the 6 parts . Its like his part was mechanically written to perform the same thing inspite of the supposed progress in the gadget world around). But who programmed us to do the same day in and day out? Our brain is such a wonderful machine with unending powers (proof- you are reading my post), capacities (proof - I am writing this) and control over our body and parts of the brain itself that its astounding how we perform a thousand activities repeatedly throughout our lives! We learn to speak words which we actually remember till the end( not considering Alzheimer's patients or amnesic patients ). Who taught us to breathe? ... we pretty much started it on our own at once and will go on breathing till we live. Somehow we opened our eyes to see the light , who told us to do so? Somehow when we saw our face in the mirror for the 1st time , we identified ourselves! Some how we knew when we saw tears for the first time - that someone is sad! How we connect all those things together when we experience them for the first time is astonishing! There are hypothesis for all the above things but the conclusions are far from reached. Ever wondered from where did the first man and woman on earth learn all those things? How they learned to interact with each other, how they learned the "mechanical ways of the humankind"?
Astonishing I tell you! The mysteries of Mother Nature are unending and miraculous......

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shopping (ad)ventures of Jerry the young

He had gathered all the necessities with lightening speed,
salt, pepper, cheese, parsley,onions -the finest indeed!
after choosing the garnishing he felt like a pro,
to read the instructions on the pack of spaghetti- he raised up one eye- brow,
with a chocolate he rewarded himself as well begun is half done!
and added a pack of potato chips, well, just for fun!

After his first victory, our conqueror pushed his cart further,
with brave glances from side to side he glided past young n elder,
his eyes, so well trained now found sugar next to the alley of mineral water,
no mistake could be afforded now -he searched for the best pack , not a better.
sugar was taken care of and then our brave young Jerry ,
strode for the conquest on vinegar, sauce and curry!

Then our young explorer came across the alley of milk and milk products,
oh, how his blood boiled at the sight of his enemy,but ,but, but,
-just then the great warrior remembered MAMA's wise words!
he decided to do the right thing and our " just one" with his eyes shut
picked up a can of milk and two of strawberry-flavoured yogurt and curds.
Oh boy!his heart leaped with joy when he saw the board of bread and bakery product!!!

After the addition of the best biscuits, breads and sweetest cup-cakes -
he proudly eyed his possessions in the shopping cart n after a few deep breaths
our warrior relaxed and decided to check his "things -to-buy" list
...........after a moment or two came a smile of content,up went his triumphant fist!
and off went his swift cart till the queue for the counter
where soon he was to be pronounced the malls "Dear Costumer"


After his first ever conquest in the shopping world,
Sir "Dear Costumer" Jerry -the young left for his new dorm room at once!
to conquer the highs and lows, the plus and minus, the half done and completely burned,
the plain and bland of the kitchen and utensil world.

....Till date comes a thud or a clatter or a stream of overflowing water,
from the corners of the dorm kitchen and we see brave Jerry -swift as ever,
with a spatula in one hand and a pot in another.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


yet another day begins,
yet another night just ends,
yet another thought processed,
yet another tear to shed.

memories - a curse you are,
memories - why so sweet you are?
dwelling in my heart,
capturing every thought,
leaving a sweet smile that wont fade,
cutting my heart like a knife- two faced.

the more i wish to forget you-
the more they torment my heart
closer comes the time to part with you -
painful sweet memories cloud my heart!

memories- why memories you are?
memories -so stubborn you are!
cant you just vacate my heart ?
leave me to drift in the loneliness.......
let me be alone, till the time she departs.
Mad. 10-03-09

Saturday, March 7, 2009

8th March in the life of Radha...

Ram Ram! I am Radha- daughter of Kasiram, gram - Berkheda, District- Raisen .My papa and bai (my mother) both are fulltime workers on the fields of Hariram chachha.We have built a small hut on the field and my Amma(grandma) also lives with us. I am not sure about my exact age, but I think I am 15-16 years old. I have a younger brother- Samu, 9-10 yeras old.
They say today is "women's day" - I hope we have some program in the iskool ground like pandra agast when they give laddoo. What I will do today? Why, I will do all that I do everyday.....
Everyday I get up pretty early with Bai and Amma . Before sunrise we finish with our daily cleaning . I sweep and tidy the hut first, then the front area. Then I start the chulha (earthen stove ) partly with lakdi and kande (dried cowdung ). I learnt to ignite the chulha some 5-6 years ago - my Amma taught me! At first , I used to get irritated due to the smoke- my eyes burnt and it made me breathless - but now I am used to it.Once I start it , my Amma takes over - She cooks rotis while I wake Samu up . Then we all have tea with the milk Bai brings.
We get drinking water from the new tap in front of the government hospital- Samu accompanies me. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the hospital on foot from our house. With 2 pots and 2 cans we fetch the necessary amount in 2 rounds. If sometimes we need toffy(chocolates) - we sell the water at Rs.2 per pot and Rs.5 per can.
Amma in the meanwhile goes and tends to the babies - she bathes and massages them and gives them a daily sunbath in the early morning sun. Bai - she works a lot! She plants some vegetables in the khalihan (our small kitchen garden). Every morning she looks after the khalihan selects some vegetables for our household and some to sell. Then off she goes and sells those door to door.
Then Samu goes to iskool. I like his basta, he carries kapy -pen(book and pen) and silate(slate) in it.He also has a bag for iskool. That Chauhan aunty (bai works as a maid at her house) gave him. Papa says Samu must study till class 10 then he will also work in the fields. Chauhan aunty had asked Bai to educate me but papa says "no need, what will she do learning?" Sometimes I try to write like Samu.
Then I go collecting cowdung - in summers it is scanty. I have to be fast because other girls are also out there collecting it. Then I come back and make kande (dried cowdung cakes used as fuel). You just have to shape it like a disc and leave it to dry in the sun.
When the Sun is at the apex in the sky,Bai and papa return from the fields and we eat roti with sabji or dal . Then I clean up the utensils and accompany Bai to the houses where she works as a maid. I sweep and wipe the floor, she washes utensils and clothes. So it gets done faster and we can work at more places. I get to watch Tv at these places sometimes.
Then we go home before its dark. I dont like to go home these days. Our neighbour, Sita Bai comes over and keeps discussing my marriage with Amma and Bai. I overheard her saying yesterday that I am old enough to be married off and comparing me to her daughter (Geeta) who is married and a mother of 2 already. But Bai said, " We do not have enough money right now". Sita Bai said" People of our caste are getting concerned as to why Radha is still not married" They will get me married this year, they say. I hope whoever they get me married off to doesnt drink and beat me up. I have seen quite a few bruises on Geeta. Also, Kantas mother-in-law never lets her step out of the house except for Bhai- duuj when she gets to see her parents.
Today when i go to Chauhan auntys house, I will ask her about 'womens day'. I know about independence day - when India got independence from British Raj.
I wonder what womens day has freed women from.