Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Or is it because we are such an insensitive society that there are eyewitness to the atrocities committed on her?
The inhuman witnesses who turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the atrocities being committed on a woman are also to blame that Nayana is no more.
It pains me to think of her husband and family who have to live knowing how badly she died. Of her friends and colleagues who will miss a smiling face in their company. Of other women who travel to and from work after sunset.
Of course the offenders are to blame, but shouldn’t we the people be ready to take part responsibility for the society we have in some way shaped? We who look only in front like we have blinkers and ignore the screaming from the neighbours house-night after night, and we who overlook the Std IX kid we have seen smoking behind the building, we the uncles and aunties who disregard or even cover up the bullying child in the family as a person who is strengthening the younger ones to face the real world, We friends who don’t tell on our good friend’s cheating spouse and we the people who see a man beating a woman on the road.
And we the very people who know something is amiss in a car where a woman is being violently violated.
It doesn’t require an education for us to differentiate between right and wrong. It only requires a conscience. And that is where we are lacking, maybe that is where we have failed. Completely.
But, all is not lost. These terrible deaths have at least made us sit up and think. We could save another Nayana, if we all vow to change just a tiny bit.
I have made that change and told the parents of the 18 year old rash rider that he needs to wear a helmet and requires a strong warning. I have also encouraged my rickshawalla kaka not to spit on the road and I am trying to keep my husband’s temper from flying from behind the wheel.
What have you done? If you haven’t, start now. If you have, do some more. Immediately. Please.
A huge black car came in reverse and parked just behind the bus stop. Intending to board a bus that would come from behind the car, I had both eyes in that direction. Audaciously, the driver would blink his lights at my every glance. It continued and I disregarded it for over 15 mins. Finally he chose to drive away. Only to go ahead, close to Little Italy and wait. Now I was really irritated. I had two choices –ignore or react. I chose to ignore.
But the thoughts that rushed through my head were plenty. What if he had got down and tried to push me in? Or if he had “friends” along. I wouldn’t have been able to do much. And I doubt anybody would have come to my rescue. So I did -the next best thing-I took down his number – and called my husband who unfortunately wasn’t in the city. For a second I considered hopping into a rickshaw and going my way but then realised that would be plain stupid.
Theres a slightly lonely stretch before my home which in the event of “friends” would be dangerous. And hell if he did chose to follow me, id have lead him straight home.
Obviously waiting and going by bus would have been a better option. Thank god good sense prevailed.
In a little while he pulled his sorry ass big black car away. But there will be a time and day when im at the same place at the same time. I hope hes not going to get blatant, coz this time, I’m armed. You see, my safety is my responsibility and I take myself seriously, many a time.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I already know the answer- BECAUSE HE IS A CHILD.
The story to this recurring enlightenment goes thus:
Children are not allowed in hospitals. “Ok, so we will wait out,” I told Arin as I lead him away from the elevator towards the door so we could stand outside and he would have plenty of distractions to occupy himself.
“But I want to go. I want to go inside mamma,” he said. I told him children are not allowed so we will wait for Dada to get back. Also that I was not going because only big people were allowed.
So he howled and he began to kick the steps, found out that hurt so tried the railing and that hurt as well…smartly he moved to little plant patch and began kicking up dirt . All this mind you with tears streaming down his face and his voice rising higher and higher. Naturally, people around were staring at the bad mom who was not letting the little darling do what he wanted…If only they knew…
I had to get him away from the wet mud kicking activity so I tried very hard to pick him up-unsuccessfully-and settled instead on walking him six steps away. Of course he was howling louder. I asked him to keep quiet, shushd him, made him stand (coz he wouldn’t sit) and he kicked me and hit me.
I held his hands. I wouldn’t lose my temper, I reminded myself and called Kunal to come down asap.
Then I moved him six steps further and he howled louder and longer so I lost it I whacked him, hard.
That should have shut him up? No way. It added to the tempo. Hmmm… Time to summon all my strength and pick him up and struggle ahead.
The stares were penetrating more than before. The looks were getting angrier or more piteous. But what was I to do?
Got it! “Will you have chocolate?”
“No. I want to go in,” wahhhhh…continued Arin.
Huh. I had had absolutely enough. I called Kunal, “Come now. I am upto my gills. Can’t take more.” He of course said very calmly, buy him a juice or something….Hello? Preservatives, emulsifiers, added colours blah blah?
With Arin’s arm under mine, I marched all three feet something of him bawling like he was being whipped to the ice cream stall. “Will you have ice cream?”
“No. I want to go inside..waaaaaaaaahhhhh”
I bought a Vanilla cup and assured the salesman that the child was absolutely ok. “Its white ice cream. Open your mouth.”
And so the licks began. And everything was quiet. I wished very hard I had given him a proper licking to make him stop instead…
This was a bribe.
Corruption begins at home.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Every weekend’s a whirlwind of lunches at home, one dinner at a friend’s place and the resurgent urge to make up for the lost sleep and energy of the week gone by. Naturally, the soothing afternoon siesta is topmost on the mind. Hmmm…life’s settled into much of a routine.
The trouble you see begins when on one of these afternoons he just refuses to sleep. After three stories, a couple of rhymes and the favourite Oh Susana, he announces, “I’m not going to sleep mamma. Play with me.” Very sure of every word that comes out of the sweet little brain, Arin grins or conveys straight faced.
Uff! I hit my head mentally, and, physically when the night before’s been especially long.
He wakes up around six, often times before 6 am. Wouldn’t sleep be a natural need for any three-and-a-half-year-old around 1 pm post a heavy lunch and perhaps a bath, then?
While he rubs the sleep straight out of the system with his beautiful little fingers, I sweat over the afternoon and evening looming large. Kunal manages his forty winks through it all. Football, cricket and colouring later we settle down to milk. “TV. I wont have milk without it,” he declares. Why? Coz Dada dear has taught him that to give something, you have to get something. And milk in this kids parlance is obviously not a hot or cold favourite.
Lets not get into how much or how the milk went down the gullet and skip straight to the next bit. I point out after the milk that he’s not going for football with Dada because he’s not slept. “Ok. Let’s go down to play with my cycle mamma,” he decides. With a cycle under his control – without brakes – the evening happily flies by.
Of course it’s a TV dinner at 7 pm. And the bundle of energy finally falls asleep by 8 pm. The day’s done. I’m bushed. And ready to call it a night. Now if only the older boy would eat his veggies on time, not watch angry movies and talk, I could be in bed by ten, snoring.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
For those uninitiated in the world of aqua sports, swimming is a refreshing, addictive, fun exercise. You get to splash in water, wear itsybitsy clothes and you don’t have to give a damn to who is exercising along with you. Aunties and uncles, grandpas, bachche, college kids whoever are all doing their own thing. Yes they may check you out, but if you’re good or dedicated, you get respect.
I can now do a hugely improved version of the freestyle. My legs manage to kick as they should, my arms take care of their bit most of the time. As for the breathing…it’s like a breath of very fresh air. I can breathe and kick and swim as I should, about 95 per cent of the time.
It took me two loooong months but in the meanwhile, I’v managed the backstroke, strengthened my breaststroke.
A huge deal it is, let me assure you, this freestyle business. It all looks easy and smooth. But get into the water and you will experience how tricky it is to keep the air in them lungs. One hand-other-hand-ten kicks while this happens breathe one side. One hand-other-hand-ten kicks while this happens and breathe from the other side…whewwwwww.
So I cheat. I don’t count the kicks, only the hands and breaths. And when I’m reaaalllly tired, I don’t roll the shoulder as I should. Instead, I semi lift the neck while I look one side and take a nice deep breath. Works ok, except that mam sees me whenever I cheat. And we are the only two who know my secret in the pool. But shes a sweety, she won’t tell a soul who can’t figure it out for himself/herself.
Till then, I’m the cool pool aunty. What more could I want? Oh yes a flat stomach. Maybe sometime later…
Thursday, April 2, 2009
What then am I learning? Freestyle. Why that? Coz over the last ten years, I’ve seen all those slim and healthy people on tv and all they seem to be swimming is free style.
My poor breaststroke pales in comparison, I’ve convinced myself.
Ten swims later, I’m not even half a leg there. Stamina =10/100, breathing and swimming=3/100, breaststroke=75/100. Where does that leave freestyle?
You see, Vinaya my teacher demonstrated how I should rest my pretty head on one hand and kick while keeping the other hand straight by my side when I roll over for air. At other times, the head stays underwater and the bubbles come out of the nose.
Problem 1: The nose, better than Cleo’s, is small. How much can I breathe in?
Problem 2: When the head comes up, how does one rest on one side and breathe in without water rushing into the mouth?
Problem 3: It works on neither hand. I can kick but I can’t kick-roll-breathe.
Problem 4; We haven’t even reached the hands yet!
Problem 5: I feel like such an ass.
That said, I can glide pretty well, and I’m learning to dive-not off the boards-just from the side of the pool. But it’s a good start!
And I feel great, I’m actually quiet excited about getting to the pool everyday! And Arin’s going to start swimming as well! Yahoo!
Maybe by the end of May, I shall be a chic swimmer, and look as cool as they look on tv!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Its not very different from the earlier one, just that its an incy wincy bit shorter than before. (Women, you’d understand that, men - it doesn’t matter anyway)
So I twirled and hummed and posed and smiled. And then I went upclose.
THERE it was, glaring at me, quite straight. But, three months is a long time, it had grown. I could deal with that. Then I flicked my hair and was shocked. I did a double take. Where there was one at my last haircut, there were now FOUR.
White hair…………… Time and white hair wait for no woman.
Face it…umm I was FACING it alright.
No choice…I realised.
I’m suddenly older…ufff!!!
Not a problem. I still had the haircut and I look pretty. Even with the tyres that I pretend to battle at times. Plus the brain does work well.
And so the day ended with a party that was already planned and it was the next day. Hair forgotten, I actually looked in the mirror, again. Yes yes, for those of you who know me, you’re wondering whatever happened that the mirror summoned! Wasn’t to preen, was to look for the fairest of them all…you see, search for the unseen unknown unheard of other(s) one had begun.
Friday, March 20, 2009
With concrete jungles marching all over, there is little space to view the moon and worse still, there few big Neem trees left. In a typical urban setup, everyone is after superfast growing delicate trees like Gulmohar, Peltoforum, Kashid, Jakaranda etc.
So why are we talking about the hardy Neem? With Gudipadwa celebrations just around the corner, unfortunately, a lot of Neem trees get lopped or cut, so that they can be mounted with the gudi. But, the neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a precious tree indeed. It can withstand drought situations, is recognised as a good insecticide, is not too choosy about the soil type it grows in and in the rural set up, is acknowledged as `nature’s dispensary.’
Our ancestors had recognized the medicinal importance of this tree. In the Padmapuran, this tree was identified as the one that gives longevity. Besides in Ayurveda, the Neem’s healing properties are also recognised by Unani medicine. Be it seeds, leaves, flowers, bark or gum, all parts of the neem are useful. It is also being looked at as a biofuel.
This year, a small attempt is being made by the Social Forestry department to give back to nature some Neem trees. Hence, about five lakh seedlings of Neem raised in various nurseries in our state will be kept on sale through 300 retail outlets covering all the districts and most of the talukas.
A research by the Gujrat University concluded that Neem is the best tree because the total value of Neem fruits, fodder, firewood and timber outweighs other tree species like Shami, Babul, Sissoo, Shirish etc. It is an excellent plant for agro- forestry.
So lets try and adopt a neem, nurture it and give a bit of nature back to nature.
So that our kids will not sing Chandoba chandoba ruslas ka, buildingchya mage laplas ka?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Smile that stays
A grin that goes on and on
Giggles (u will love them if u hear them)
Puns and jokes on the tip of my tongue
Spring in my step, face, actions, talk
Halo, of course around my head
The need to do 3 thousand things instead of usual 1500
Pondicherry, Gokarna, a coffee plantation, the need to travel and stay in Europe for at least a year in the head
A good book, music, sandwiches, pizza, butter chicken, cake and ice cream, lassi, milkshake, tv and the sofa
Somebody to pamper me – from the time I wake up till I fall asleep in the night
Thoughts going here and there
A good workout
My cellphone charged
Internet on my laptop working ‘properly’
Good friends in meeting distance
Hopefully, a day sometime
Kunal cooks breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner
Kunal looks after Arin all through the day
Kunal puts Arin to bed at 8 pm
Kunal takes me out to party – with friends
Some t/v/b52/w – depending on the company
To bed by 3 am
When arin wakes up at 6 am or whatever time, kunal takes him down quietly so that I can sleep till whenever. Neither creates a ruckus. I sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep
When? When? When?
An interesting day
Wake up after 7 am. Both boys eat whatever I cook, happily
We head out with friends to some place close by, yet far enough for the day.
Lots of laughter, good fun and happy food later, its time to come back. Enroute collect wildflowers, village madhun bhaaji and fruits. Grab a bite somewhere.
Reach home, Arins asleep. I’m in the land of nod by 9 pm…Hasn’t happened in a long time….should sometime soon.
Lack of sleep = Bad day
Sparkle less smile
Far away detached look
Eyebrows that say read between the lines
Pondicherry, gokarna, a coffee plantation, the need to travel and stay in Europe for at least a year in the head
Monday, March 9, 2009
This ones for you o wise ones who know not what my humble o’s stand for. Of course I’m not going to spoon feed you. What I am attempting to do, though is to bottle feed you. Here goes
O – O
Oo – oo
Ooo – ooo
Ummm ok u don’t get it… try this
Oh – oh…so?
Oh wow - nice
Oooooooooohhhhhhhh - Ooooooooooooooooooo
Oh my god – surprise- good/bad – face will convey the emotion
Oh its you – why didn’t I recognise the number and not answer or I’m thrilled…take your pick
Oh no - no
Ouch – don’t
Okkkkkk – I got it
Ooookkk – hmmm…
Only – isn’t it?
One – of course
Oblivious – to so much in the world around
Original – you do know that
Obnoxious – sometimes in behaviour
Outstanding – obviously me
Over and over and over again
Ooomphh – ahem ahem!
Ole - touche
Older - not yet wise enough
Oriented - towards action ;)
Oink – pig – yes that too
Onion – so many layers to unwrap – and so much sting
Friday, March 6, 2009
He decided I should have diamond earrings. Naturally I was surprised at the insistence. But having smartened up (yes I have, though its just a teeny bit), I agreed. Then he made the most horrid suggestion: That I should buy the earrings on my own and he would give me the money.
Why? To save him to trouble of visitng a jewellery store...the crowd that comes with it...and the very effort of having me ask him for a final opinion on whether the pretty flowers look better than the x factor two stone design or whether I should settle for the contemporary z ones. Men, stop nodding in understanding of his "situation."
Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of gifting the wife? Agreed they were going to be my choice and that they would be worn only by me. I didn’t like the idea. And I protested and he resisted. Till I won and we went to Shoppers Stop in search of jewellery. At the Carbon counter, I saw the earrings I wanted. And we bought them-last May-June sometime.
They sat prettily in my earlobes on and off. I got plenty of admiring and jealous looks from friends and strangers for them and I grew to love them more and more each day.
Then, I took them off the day I lost a diamond from my ring-my engagement ring! And put them in a zip lock bag along with my nosepins and put it away, safely, about a month ago.
I looked for them this morning and couldn't find them. I shuddered and I shivered and I wondered how I would tell the man of my "situation." The predicament deepened as I thought about the number of things I have misplaced...though thankfully, nothing as sentimentally important or as expensive.....Disaster, for sure...
I spent the whole day at work wondering where in the world they could be. My status msg on gchat said Perry Mason, this ones for you: My missing diamonds. I discussed it with boss, chatted with friends online and was generally upset. Inspite of so much thought, I managed to buy myself hugggge sunglasses that take me back to the 70's, and to shop for kitchen essentials. I picked the son up from daycare and believe you me in such spirits was I that when I came home, I completely forgot!
I opened my cupboard and stared at the mess inside. I shut the door, opened the door and hummed raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens...and thought-there's something I have to find....-and then it struck me...my earrings...ooooooo (another reason for the oooo's maybe penned later)... I peeped into the drawer that is their home and Lo and Behold! The bag and the earrings gleamed at me. Such a feeling's coming over me, there is wonder in most everything I see. Not a cloud in the sky got the sun in my eye (I have glares-for the sun, the mischevious glint of the diamonds...whatever) you're the nearest thing to heaven that I've seen...I was back to singing...
I sighed and smiled and sighed and smiled.
Friday, February 27, 2009
As an adult, things have changed. I can’t call on friends homes in the middle of the afternoon coz its not welcome. The creaking door makes me jump out of my skin. The reasons to dress up are parties, only. A good time is not about being on the ground, but playing the field. I scowl when I think of nightmares. I smile at the memories-of good times. I dream of the interesting hours to come. I scream coz it can’t be what it used to be.
My discovery each day is how my three-year-old sees life. And that is the most beautiful experience ever. Yet, I wonder what if things were another way and I could head out rafting, travelling, becoming a beach bum as and when I wanted. If I could sky dive and sunbathe and snorkel and bungee jump. Or read books and laze by the fireplace and listen to music with a whisky. But they wont be. Coz I'm an adult and have responsibilities. But my life is fun. I'm at that age when relationships are what adults call stable or mature. Commitment issues are not a problem-I'm already married. I love the man who along with my son make the world a good place to be in. And I have great friends. Just good friends included. Don’t smirk at the quote.
I want to be a butterfly, sometimes. So I can look pretty. I want to be a pig at times so I can roll in mud. I want to be a tigress on the prowl, an elephant to easily get my way, a hippo to just wallow in a pool all day, a dog so I can bitch (legally), a penguin so I don’t fell bad about being fat, a giraffe so I can reach for the stars, a whale to see the world under the ocean, a bird only to learn how to fly and a preying mantis so I can chew up my man. I also want to be a good mother so my son becomes a good man, a good friend so my friends don’t ever have to think twice about calling me at anytime just because they wanted to chat or because they need me, a good daughter-I'm not good at that, a good wife-well the husband can talk about that, an acceptable daughter-in-law, a good sister coz I love my brothers and sisters…
Yes that’s probably me…
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So then the meeting, drinking and eating. Calories pile up, holiday plans are and remade and re remade. Hmmmm…. Till the very next weekend.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
But, it’s not quiet easy let me assure you, to be this way.
Firstly, there's the battle of glares from fellow officians who can’t understand how I am done with my quota and a little bit more, much in time.
Then, there’s the question of free time on hand. How does one handle it? Pretend to work or add on to existing work?
Lets hear your say…
PS: Don't feel offended, there's some truth in this, and you know it.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Some stories, incessant chatter and some threats later, the apple of my eye has polished off milk and breakfast. Energised, he begins his steady action pal of turning the house upside down....room by room.
down comes the dad and I make sure he has his hot hot tea and brkfst.
My thoughts centre around my day. It promises to be long. Meetings and a project to finish...am looking forward to my ten mins of "me" time with my hot cuppa. The father and son move to the bedroom to get ready. Get into shorts, its too hot, I tell the boy. No your friends will not be in jeans. I know...I assure him, in vain. But at least he's ready for school in clean clothes.
Im downstairs son is busy "reading."
I reach for my tea, put it in the microwave. Aaahhhh.....at last...a sip down my throat....And his highness hollers, "Where are my undies?"
"Look in your cupboard, dear. I'm having tea."
"U...ok but wheres my Lacoste?"
Does he know where his cupboard is? Or does he think I keep these things in the kitchen cabinets? Of course he does know where the cupboard is, but the effort of bending to look in the second drawer and pulling the shirt out is excruciating pain...naturally....for someone who is 32!
I pretend not to hear...and take another sip and think about options for the project....when he bellows, "Where have my socks gone? wis nothing ever in place?"
Oh well....he should know things are out of place...when he looks in the right place...I have to get up, put my garam chai aside...I could squeeze in five mins after they leave.....and reheat the tea....Just another morning......
like the song says, its probably me...
What most of these one time career driven women lack is the opening to get back into the world of sweat and grime. So far, they have been happily busy managing home and hearth. But their hearts are aching to “do something.”
Naturally, as their good friend, the responsibility comes to me to help them find that “something.”
Here’s the choice:
Chocolates-home made, delivered to your doorstep anywhere in Pune. Once you try them, I’m sure you will call me for more. If you think your organisation wants a session, we’ll do that for sure. Sweet things are for sharing.
Envelopes-handmade decorated with little stuff to make gifting in them a joy. Most will treasure the envelopes and so remember the gift-whether it was money, a gift voucher, a photograph, a holiday, tickets, club membership or whatever.
Little frames to hang on your walls. We frame some of nature’s bounty in our creations. Put them in your living room or your bedroom and let your gaze travel to nature’s beauty.
And theres this artist....a whiz at creating ceramix stuff, acrylic thingys, crafting bits of wood into awesome pieces for your showcase and she does commendable work in watercolours. Gift them to family and friends, decorate your house with them or even present them to your employees, all worth it!
I can't miss this work from home mom who provides trainers - soft skills. works in Bbut is looking to expand. Shes as hard working as an ant, and as persistant as a mosquito in your ear when she believes in something.
And the guys, well, they are doing well but the itch to “get out of the routine” is real bad.
So we have
A martial arts-Indian and Kung Fu- expert who does an excellent job in personal trainings looking for corporate training options. He suggests a combination of joint and muscle relaxation programme through marma yoga for those who have made their other half the laptop. For those who are looking at an option of fitness and safety, his self defence programme or kick boxing sessions will give the needed kick.
And then the most important question, money. While we earn what we do, how do we save what we have? How do we decide where we should invest our money? What about tax?
This one’s an expert in financial planning. He teaches it in colleges and is a consultant for the richie rich. What he wants is to reach those of you who have neglected this important bit of you life. Plan right to save right.
Get back to me for more…