might is right

10:30 pm, as usual Cy and I had over indulged in the delicious homemade food ,graciously and lovingly prepared by mum. Now groaning and moaning we thought we’ll step out for pan (digestive betel leaf loaded with some sweet stuff).

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We drove down to our favourite pan shop ,a hole in the wall actually, enjoying a peaceful drive, in the quiet bylanes of bandra. As we turned towards home, a big fancy car turned in ahead of us , and suddenly the peace was shattered. There was a jeep behind us frantically trying to overtake us. We wondered what the fuss was all about before realising, that the baby ahead of us,had been seperated from it’s care taker(unknowingly)by us. For those who didn’t understand, the car in front had a self proclaimed VIP who feels constantly in threat for his life, and therefore has a Z security (maximum security rating), which gives him the right to a jeep and a bunch of rowdy security personnel armed with automatic weapons, who think it’s their birthright to stop ordinary citizens in their step, to allow for their VIP to pass , for every little leaf that shakes is percieved as a threat to his self proclaimed highness.

So here we were, in the dark of the night,in a  narrow 1 car lane, mr. paranoia in a big fancy car (traveling fast because, he has to, he is important), ahead of two pan chewing indivduals in a smaller fancy car (traveling slow because we don’t need to rush we’re ordinary people), followed by 1 jeep with now hyper paranoid guards swerving left and right trying to overtake. Cy and i looked at eachother and  with a twinkle in our eyes and a smile on our lips, both thinking alike. We would not give them way. We have every right ot be on that road, and drive at our pace. So we trundled along, taking off the pressure of the accelarator, while the pressure on the bowels of the guards began to grow.

They whistled, they honked, but it all fell on deaf ears, while we enjoyed Andrea Bocelli croon in our car. When we reached the end of the lane we knew, this play would end they would soon reunite with their boss safe and sound, in his bullet and bomb proof personalised 2 crore car, as they drove past, they couldn’t help break into a smile as we laughed in their faces at their inability to overtake in the tiny lane. We watched relieved faces, guns clutched in preparedness disappear into the distance, ahead of us.

This is not an unusual sight and is a daily occurance, from businessman to politicians, to movie stars, we see this entourage follow. While i have no problem with their personal fear, and the need to protect themselves with sometimes private isreali  security, i wonder the reason for this fear for their lives.

Many leaders, in all fields roam around freely, then why are these people so scared? Unless of course they have given, someone somewhere reason enough to want to destroy them.

Many lives have been lost in ambulances while traffic is halted for hours to allow dignitries to pass, in convoys of sometimes, 30 vehicles. Only recently some functions where cancelled on a 2 day notice due to the arrival and landing of VVIP helicopters in the vicinity,causing great inconvenience to party hosts as well as venue owners. We’ve heard of many innocents being at the receiving end of the wrath of security guards, who take the law into their hands, in fact attack unlawfully.

might is right

Today again we hear of a young man who lost his life due to the apathy shown to the common man.

One can run and hide from repercussions of wrong doings, but it would be impossible to hide from a conscience that lies within. The blood of this young man today and all those who have died in the past similarly, is on the hand’s of the all the system makers of such rules. Ironically, this young man might’ve even voted his angel of death to power.

Cy and i had a laugh that evening, but this is really no laughing matter, and the common man the true VIP’s needs, need to be addressed , for true might rests in their hands, and there is no digestive that  can come to the  aid of the loss of one , so as to  be written off as collateral damage !! 

Wheatish

You’ve heard of black,you’ve heard of white, you’ve probably heard of yellow skin too but ‘wheatish’, I bet that’s one you haven’t heard of .

I remember this term being used for me as a kid, specially as my sister  has light skin the comparison of ‘beauty’ was constant. From growing up as a person believing brown skin is not pretty with the constant feedback from most Indians, the first time  I began to  realise and appreciate my skin colour was when a stranger in Italy asked me where I got my tan. And although we didn’t speak the same language she did manage to convey the ‘colour’ was very nice. 

‘Wheatish’,I think back now , what a ridiculous term!

Indians unfortunately have a complex to anything white and will bend over backwards to oblige a white person. I have witnessed this in shops where all the salesmen suddenly wanted to sell to one white customer and the rest of us were left to fend for ourselves and ,in our school where we had a Dutch student for 1 year, she probably never had such a big fan following in her life before or after our school. This would never have happened to a dark skinned student even if she was a foreigner. 

I remember when one of my friends told me what a great guy my husband is and ‘so fair and good looking’ too. Cy and I still laugh about how an approval was based on his skin color.

We are a nation obsessed by fairness. In India fair=good looking. A car could’ve driven over you face and smashed in all your features but if you are fair, you will pass the test. The evidence of this is in the sale of fairness creams, the marriage ads in the matrimonial column, where a only a fair bride is invited to apply. A trend I have noticed over the last 40 years. 

When one of our’s is attacked racially in a foreign country we cry foul and yet with the recent attacks on the African students, in our own country some of our ministers have made  generalized statements as to the illegal activities undertaken by all the kids.(should’nt he have condemned the acts instead of generalizing ?) It’s so sad and shameful when I hear the foreign kids say they feel unsafe and are generally treated shabbily due to their race. Which many did on the news channels.

When in college I remember my own college mates passing degrading remarks when dark skinned students passed by, in Hindi no less,so they wouldn’t be clobbered by their bigger sized prey. I always thought this so pathetic ,to be mean to another just for their skin color. Once one tall,well built, student (who obviously knew some Hindi)turned around and asked ‘kya bola?, ‘ the bullies were hoping the ground would swallow them by the looks on their faces. That was one punch I would’ve been happy to see . He didn’t deliver, I’m sure because he is a guest in our country and decided against it.

We speak of being highly cultured but what happens to all that culture when we divide and further divide on class and race? Our culture teaches us ‘atithi devo bhava ‘ (guests are like god) and yet when they are black we don’t like them?! Hypocrisy to the hilt! 

As a kid my father always said to us ‘only if you accept your own mistake can you improve on it’. 

After hearing of the Tanzanian students attack and more so of the rickshaw driver spitting on one students face instead to returning his change, the fact that racism is deeply rooted in us is a fact we need to accept,IF ,we intend to change our attitude and tap into the humane side of our culture where we learn to accept all as our equal and respect everyone for their worth as a fellow human! 

  
It’s high time we peeled the fairness mask off our brown faces and made a few corrections in our mindsets. 

in reverse order

School’s out FINALLY, we’re done, no more mocks,pre-mocks, pre pre-mocks, pre pre pre-mocks, it’s over, finished, fin!

and true to my stingy nature (like my kids say “cheap”), i couldn’t help assess it all. So many years of studying, what did we gain and what did we lose?

The most glaring part of education in today’s times other than the ridiculous importance of getting a 90%+ score by every student is the need to take PRIVATE TUITIONS.

Nearly every child ends up studying with a private tutor in practically every subject, which makes me wonder what the kids actually learn at school?

(A typical schedule of many an indian child is, 8am-2pm schools hours, 4-7 pm tuitons)

Most parents are dissatisfied with teaching quality at school and if one has to really think about it, we spend DOUBLE THE MONEY,TIME AND EFFORT pursuing the same things(studies), while certain crucial aspects of growth, and learning are almost disregarded(extra curriculars). 

So back to assessing; schools years aged 3-16

ages 3-10 (when mind and body are in learning mode):learn to read and write by play,art and fun methods.

bags-main
no more back breaking bags, please!!

ages 10 onwards (peak years of growth physically and mentally): read and write, absolutely minimum or no more play!

galli cricket
let’s build their backs . . .

At 16 most kids should be pursuing and enjoying a sport or two,because within a few more years they will start working and the sporting years will be behind them,but Indian education system and the lack of space allows for none of that.  The few kids that actually do end up playing and enjoying sports and games  are thanks to their parents efforts or of the privileged few who can afford to be a part of a gymkhana or a club.

Many schools are denied or do not get accreditation because they lack infrastructure (play ground). I do understand the lack of space is a REAL problem, how do we combat that ?

The fact is that a SCHOOL building itself can be the answer to our real estate problems.

Why not convert our schools into play grounds ?

NO i don’t mean ditch the studies altogether, simply introduce a curriculum with books and all, but teaching and studies should be pursued by tutors privately. Then why go to school?

To give exams and pursue sports.

Being a hot country indoor sport is necessary. Dance, art, science- practicals, board games, and organised sport is what can taught in our schools. From Archery to ballet, skating to basketball can be taught in the existing infrastructure.

What this will do, is give every child the opportunity to play a sport /game irrespective of the capacity to join a gym, and giving parents the flexibility to pay for private tuitions based on their pockets and abilities.

Why sport is important ?

Other than boosting physical and mental health, discipline,unity,brotherhood, team-work, leadership, compassion, dealing with cheats, strategising,learning to deal with loss, learning humility in winning, are all attributes learnt through sport and games.

I do understand my concept might sound bizarre and crazy , but then again,breaking the mould is never easy, maybe just maybe, it is time we looked at things differently, and chased after true wealth. The rest will follow!

worldcup
HEALTH IS WEALTH

 

 

 

 

 

i got mail

Everyday i get a regular bunch of trash worthy mail, i just glance at the headings mark as read and move to trash.But last week i got one that caught my eye and i thought i must read, it was an email from none other than God Himself.

earth-sunlight

Phew!, i was glad i didn’t trash it, i share the excerpts of the holy mail with you;

Subject: A MINUTE WITH GOD
GOD: With what is going on in the world these days Heaven could end up a
ghost town?
 
My name is God. Sometimes you hardly have time for me. I love you and
will always bless you. I am always with you. I need you to spend
30 seconds of your time with Me today.
 
Don’t pray, just praise. Today I want this message to go across the
world before midnight. Will you help

Me: (a bit offended, i spend time daily with you wonder how you’ve not noticed) but anyway, Thank you dear Lord, of course i will help.  (i am surprised He contacted me through my friend and needs my help with a “forward”)

GOD:Please do not delete it and I’ll help you with something that you are in
need of. Just dare Me!
A blessing is coming your way. Please drop everything and pass it
on.
Me:( i would’ve helped unconditionally, but would appreciate a  fulfilled wish too.)
 As for daring YOU, i wouldn’t dare now, would i?!
GOD: Why are prayers getting smaller, but bars and clubs are expanding? Why
is it so easy to worship a celebrity, but very difficult to engage
with God?

 Me: (more confused now), Lord, prayer halls are plenty and spacious too, bars are tiny and cramped, and Lord the worship of celebrity’s is quite confined to south India, the most of the world prays to You only.

GOD: Think about it, are you going to forward this or are you going to ignore
it because you think you will get laughed at? Forward this to all
your friends. God said if you deny me in front of your friends, I
will deny you on the day of judgment. When one door closes, God
opens two.
Me: Ok, ok (sounds threatening), although Lord , “i don’t usually do chain letters but considering this one is directly from You, i will”.
?: If God has opened doors for you, send this message to everyone.
Forward if God has been good to you! God has been very good to
me,  He has given me a wonderful family, great friends, great
health for most of my life and so much more!
THANK YOU LORD! AMEN!
This email
has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.www.avast.com
Me: (“Why is He suddenly speaking in 3rd and 1st person all at the same time?, i think to myself,), and i appreciate the fact that He checked for virus’ before mailing me, albeit through a friend, i thought i’d risk breaking this chain, and take it on one on one with Him,on my day of  true calling!
devil
And to the superstitious devils who believe in  chain mails, of the world ,and the one’s who don’t read but simply forward as  “good samaritans” please stop forwarding the B*!!S^#!, ‘cos that’s what it really is!!

veg, non-veg or Indian ?

14530341-Illustration-of-a-cartoon-chef-cook-character-holding-a-white-book-for-restaurant-menu-Stock-VectorLast week i decided to host a dinner party for a big bunch of friends, and of course FOOD is what everyone wanted to know about, “what will you be serving?”, was the question most asked.

I thought i’d keep it simple with 2 mains which would cater to the non-veg and the veg, and keep the rest of the starters vegetarian for convenience.

And so my planning began;

25 persons in all

15 non-veg 10 veg,simple, not really!!

Planning was under way, and RSVP is not something that people actually bother about in indian culture, so i called each one again. Here are some of the responses i got from the various guests:

‘Hi, i eat non-veg but only chicken i don’t like anything else’.

“I eat non-veg but not on saturday but i will eat post mid night as techincally it’s sunday and i love the food at your place.”

“I eat everything but without onion and garlic.”

“i don’t eat fish”.

“i don’t eat pork”.

“i don’t eat red meat, or prawns the rest is ok”.

“It’s my fast so i can eat only fruit or sago, can you make a little sago for me?”.

“I am veg but when i go out i eat non veg”.

“I am veg generally but will eat gravy from a non-veg dish”.

“I am strictly veg and please no eggs in the dessert for me”.

“I am veg but eggs in dessert is fine”.

“I am strictly non-veg no grass and leaves for me please”.

aaargghhhh!! needless to say planning was a nightmare, and as we munch through the leftovers of the 10 variations prepared enough to feed 40persons it’ll be awhile before i muster up the courage to throw another party!

nonveg-and-veg-symbols1

Dr. Who ?

I haven’t been able to write for the longest and i apologise to my three and a half followers, you know who you are, but being part of  a couple of social service groups has taken up a lot of my time recently and i haven’t felt that inspired to write much. Other than that i now have to watch my p’s and q’s cause the eye in the sky just empowered itself and has threatened to screw me if i so much as think of uttering anything i may see unfit, unfair, unjust  or unscrupulous. so while i  immunise myself to myworld around me, and that affecting me, i begin to focus on  matters that don’t.

Guess who was conferred upon with a doctorate recently(again), our very own sh sh shah rukh . so now he is d d d d doctor shah rukh, is it?

I wondered what he’s done to get this high honour , apparently it’s for philanthropy, global reach as an actor, altruism and humanitarianism.(don’t get me wrong i was a fan too, up until he hooked up with karan and got in touch with his feminine side, and turned into dr. boo hoo).

I was always enamoured by these decorations, and somehow the people getting them were so awe inspiring. But over time i feel there has been a dilution,just as the word ‘awesome’ is used  even to  describe something trivial as the first time a baby uses his potty correctly these days. The actual essence of it is lost.

Ok ok maybe that’s a tad harsh, but honestly, let’s look at the basis here, philanthropy~ he isn’t the only one and there are many of us who do so with our money and time. Yours truly, has been so busy the past few weeks dedicating time to humanity (and charity begins at home, which makes all of us stay at homes candidates,our bank accounts will vouch for it too).

Global reach as an actor~ honestly, now, considering that over 1 billion of us are scattered all over the planet, how hard could that be.

Altruism~ i had to look this one up, “selfless help” (is there another kind?),  and kindness towards others

Humanitarianism~ kindness towards others.

I do not understand why one has to be conferred upon with a fancy degree for NoT being selfish and the last one, why isn’t the other human being err i mean human who is trying to be, err the one who is being a human,considered for this  high honour too? So what if he met with a slight accident, thats no reason to not doctorise him.

These doctorates are sometimes conferred upon repeatedly, how does that work, is he now dr. dr. so and so? And what if in time they mess up real bad and all that was glittering turned out not to be gold after all, is the title taken back?

Like our famous oh sorry now infamous dr., the black dog of the family, whose inherited ales,cocky tales and kingsize lifestyle, made him a doctor, eventually crash landing himself and the next generations into  a hangover  enough to last a few lifetimes.

Will he now be de-doctored?

Well, no one knows and i’m sure the gentry must debate this passionately over high tea and scones, with raised eyebrows and hushed tones!

All in all i’ve realised that while some decorations are genuine, many doctorates are simply branded decorations, seeking attention by the conferrers or the conferrees, and really are nothing to quack about!!

duck-nohash-e1403785837502

mama’s boy-cord extensions

so a few days ago our PM was teary eyed when he spoke fondly of his mother in a world famous interview. This natural emotion was spoken of by many media houses.

It’s so strange that when a person reaches a certain status in society,the fact that he is basically a human being is forgotten and that he too feels as much as every or anyone else.

and  yes, as he spoke of his mother who slaved it out for her young ones, he rightly mentioned so do so many mothers for all their children, why then do so many of these men in our society who hold their mothers in such high esteem not extend the same respect and love to their wives, or her parents, i wonder !?

Many men who proclaim the love for their mothers, completely fail to see their wives for the sacrifices she makes to change and adjust to her  new life with him. She changes the very name she was born with,leaves the security of her home and loved ones to build a new life with a man who may love her but revers only his mother. While the wife may try her best but the curry she prepares will never be the same as ‘mum’s’ and the house she runs is never run quite so perfectly as his mother can. At every step of the way she has to meet the imaginary bar set by the 2010_-_Mamas_Boy_b‘mama’s boy she married, while the mummy’s are happy enough to never cut the apron strings and have someone worship them (because their husbands don’t), the wives begin to pamper their little blue eyed boys. She knows her mother in law will never approve of the way she brings up the children, and that she has to find a fan in her son. This vicious cycle has been the bane of many a household over time. mamas-boy

I remember a friend whose main criteria when choosing a wife was that she would have to look after his mother. He blatantly said he would leave her if she didn’t get along with his mother. I felt like asking him to marry his mother instead, (as one can guess the mother wasn’t getting much attention from her own husband and 69044731306355ffd77922b98found solace in the son’s love, showering him with all her possessions, it worked out well for mother and son), needless to say his marriage eventually went south. I have known of men who choose to sleep at the foot of their mother’s bed until her dying day. Some ladies know all too well of their son’s promiscuous ways but when push comes to shove, blood is thicker than water and they support their sons. All situations are not so extreme and exist in varying degrees where wives and kids live a life of their own, supported by the father financially but living with the fact that granny is king.

Strangely enough, and it is rightly said that  “a woman is a woman’s enemy”, the

"Do I, mom?"
“Do I, mom?”

mother-and-wife-fight-over-husband

mother-in-law daughter-in-law battle will never see the end as up until mum’s can learn to let go of their grown up baby’s hands.

'My children always seem to move back - they like their home comforts.'
‘My children always seem to move back – they like their home comforts.’

Letting go of your child  can be a scary feeling, a feeling of vacuum, wherein the empty nester must now find something new to nurture.

In a land where women are accused of  provoking rape, daughters-in-law are burnt for dowry, where the birth of a baby girl is a reason of sadness, where bringing up a girl is considered a burden, a Mother is one who can turn this around.

family

A mother who teaches her son to respect and love the woman he chooses to be with, who let’s go of the grown son’s hand, only to hold his whole family in her heart, is a mother who will be raising not just her family but an entire society!!