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Category Archives: People

HAVE AN OPINION. OR MAYBE NOT!

We are busy people. Busy with our everyday lives, earning a living, cooking food for our families, taking our children to their respective activities, and basically going about our lives. We are secure in our own worlds where nothing goes wrong. At the end of the day we sit down with our families for dinner and have the satisfaction of believing that all’s well in our world. But is it enough?

 

The reality is that all’s not well in the world we live in. There are gross injustices going on all around us all the time. We read about them in the papers, see some feeds on online platforms, then fold the newspapers and log out of our online platforms to go back to doing our own thing. As long as it does not touch our safe little worlds or affect the people directly connected to us we don’t bother finding out what really happened and how it can impact people. We passively consume the news and get on with life.

 

In the last few weeks there have been two rather powerful occurrences that have the potential to change the social fiber of the world in which we live. I am talking about the HC ruling against Triple Talaq and the stand on Marital Rape. How many of us have bothered to find out more about it or to even understand who gets affected by these. Some days back someone asked me what I thought about the Triple Talaq verdict and to my dismay I realised I didn’t have any opinion on it. While I was aware something was being done towards it, I had no idea how much it meant and to whom. I felt sad about my passive attitude and planned to educate myself and if I find it strong enough, raise my voice in support of those affected.

 

And then I hear a Bang! A loud bang which echoes across the country and leaves us all stunned. Gauri Lankesh – a very strong voice which dared to rise above the din and speak against the establishment has been silenced. I get afraid. I question my resolve and think that maybe it’s best to stay out of controversy. Afterall, I have my own life and family to think of. And a scary realisation creeps in – they have won! The perpetrators of fear have won by scaring us into silence. Is that what Gauri’s life was worth? To be knocked out by just one blow? No, I look around and find that with the felling of one, many more Gauri’s have risen. They are mistaken if they think that she was alone.

 

We live in a very dynamic world. A world where there are no boundaries and information and support is always at hand for those who seek it. It is for us to decide whether we want to let them use this to set an example or to scare them back. To rise above our fears and speak up against the injustices been done around us. So next time you hear a neighbour scream do not turn up the television volume. Next time you read about a rape in your city do not turn the page. Join the march. Get informed, have an opinion.

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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Current Affairs, Daily Life, People

 

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Ramblings of a mother

Never have I been so conscious of my own shortcomings as I am now as a mother…to watch how I react every time I feel something. Then again, I think, by monitoring how I react, am I not killing my son’s spirit of spontaneity? While my lovely son has brought back the many delights of childhood in my adult life…the child in me longs for the freedom to be!

If I’m angry, I try not to show anger. If I am impatient over something, I try to be calm.  If I get a sudden fright, I try not to scream, lest I scare away the little one. If I get hurt, I do not howl, lest I’m teach my little one to howl every time he hurts himself. He is watching me at every step…every move I make becomes his role model to follow. Or adds to his confusion, because I am not perfect. But when I teach my kid, I teach him to be perfect. You should not cry over little things. You should not shout when angry or irritated. You should not run around when out. You should not hit someone just because they have annoyed you or taken your favourite toy before you could reach it! Etc. etc. etc… If my child goes to a shop and asks for things he likes, I tell him don’t pester. If he looks at things I know he likes and doesn’t ask for them he is suppressing his feelings because he has been taught not to pester.

I wonder why we lay so much stress on being good, doing the right thing, teaching the right behaviour? What happened to childlike spontaneity? Or is teaching behavior all about ingraining the childlike spontaneity with good reactions and actions?  What’s wrong, I say, with howling for 10 minutes when you hurt yourself? What’s wrong with hitting someone who has hit you? Oh! the confusion called motherhood.

At one end we teach our children to express freely, and in the same breath we teach them to monitor their feelings and not display extreme behavior. The balance between teaching good behavior and encouraging natural instinct is a fine line one needs to tread very carefully. The secret, I guess, is to guide and not teach or preach.  But who on earth has been able to unravel this secret?

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Daily Life, Feelings, Motherhood, People

 

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The Angry Hero!

I saw Agneepath (the new one) this Saturday. I liked the movie…for many reasons and also disliked it, again for many reasons. But this isn’t a movie review. Its the thought I was left with as I came out of the theater.

As I stepped out I was a bit disturbed, a bit worried and somewhat unhappy about something that I saw in this movie and something I have been noticing in a lot of movie in the past few years (or maybe more). Lets just say in modern movies from Bollywood. I am talking about the fight sequences.

Very clearly the fight sequences are much more realistic, some obviously dramatic for theatrics, some digitally enhanced, etc. etc. There is however, something I have noticed in these fight sequences. The hero or maybe protagonist would be a better word, seems to be a lot more angrier, a lot more frustrated, a lot more passionately motivated to beat the s@#t out of the bad guy. The blows are that much more stronger, the wounds that much more deep, the blood oozing out or flying out that much more bloodier.The expression on the face of the hero is always that of “aaj nahi chodunga!!!!!!!!!!“.  The hero seems to be saying “enough is enough”. Until he gets bloodied and gets thrown off several trains/mountains/buildings etc. the sequence doesn’t seem real. And then comes the part where staggering from his recently inflicted wounds he beats the bad guy. Powered by what?  Anger? ‘badle ki aag’? Frustration?

What fuels his determination to not wait till the good cops (though always late) finally arrive. Unlike old movies where most of the climax fights ended with the hero beating the villain and then handing him over to the police, the movies today end with the hero killing the villain. Why? Is there no faith among us in the law and order system of our country anymore?

Is there some kind of a message here, or is it just my imagination? Is the hero representing the subdued youth of India? Is the frustration emanating out of him that of the common man who is bound helpless by the system, corruption, games of power?

I was worried because it is this hero that the kids today are idolizing. From wooing the girlfriend, to pleasing the boss, to repaying old debts. The children today (as in all era) do everything exactly as their screen idols are doing. And if they see that their hero is an angry, unforgiving guy, what will they become, I wonder.

Now when I say this, I do not say that the bad guys should be left off the hook. Or one should not raise their voice against what is wrong. But surely, there is a better way to deal with things rather than mindless violence?

My son plays car race and I see him delighted not when cars win but when they collide! With his dad he plays games of RA.ONE, throwing bombs in all kinds of imaginative ways at each other, in full RA.ONE ishtyle! Its cute but worrying at times. His favorite show on TV until not long ago was Power Rangers, where again these super heros would bomb out the ugly, slime-breathing monsters. Now his hero is ‘Chota Bheem’ who again by the use of sheer muscle power gains victory of good over evil. I would love to show him programs of great kings who won over the evil through wisdom, intelligence, strategy and yes a good dose of power as well.

If we say India is shining then why are the heros in our movies always SO angry?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in People

 

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Are we moving forward or backward?

God created all creatures equal. He did not send any instructions tucked away in the collar of Adam and Eve on how each should be treated in this world. He did not send any documents signed with His almighty seal prescribing the way one should regard the other. Then where do I ask did these holy scripture come from? These extremely biased scriptures which define the roles and rules governing men and women!

Every other day we hear of some or the other holy governing body slapping some fine or punishment for women doing something or the other. One country says you wear a burqa or you are killed, another country says wearing burqa not allowed. One says elementary education is compulsory and a right for all children, irrespective of caste and religion while another says girls should stay indoors and not meet any boys whatsoever.

The recent fatwa against women working in public/private companies where they come in direct contact with men is just outrageous! In a day and age where women all over the world are learning and gearing up to be more and more independent this comes as a solid blow. While the educated crust of the Muslim society may go unscathed, this new madness is going to cause some serious and long lasting scars on the growth of Muslim women.

One fine day, some old men sitting idle with nothing to do but meddle in the ways of the world decide that women are in serious danger of offending god if they as much as talk to men!!! What age is this??? Why suddenly? Where were they all this while and how come no one saw this directive until today? And why is there never a fatwa governing men or telling them not to beat their wives, or have innumerable children or take more than one wife? I want to ask is there no way we can stop these mad men from ruling and ruining the lives of millions of women all over the world? Is there no way that the entire population of this world can tell these handful of madmen to shut up and mind their own business?

I guess that’s not the way it works. We live in a world where words like ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’ are used at people’s convenience. When people in power have an agenda to push they start talking about equality – of casts, colour, gender – and freedom of men and women. Once their interests are met no one has the time to look who they have wounded and how!

 
 

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Living in constant fear

Today we have another bomb scare, this time its Vashi that’s been targeted. Some say they even found the bomb there and that it wasn’t just a rumour. The twitterati is buzzing with news about it, the net is flooded with images of Vashi people being evacuated from their offices and what not.

What strikes me in all this is that I find that people are talking about it in a very casual, okay manner. I don’t see any underlying thread of fear, anger or other emotion even close to outrage. It kind of gives a feeling that we have become accoustomed to it, we are so used to such incidents that it does not touch us anymore. The question here is – Should we let this happen? Shouldn’t there be an anger in us each time it happens, no matter how many times it happens?

I came to Mumbai just 3 years back. Before coming to Mumbai everytime we heard about such incidents in Mumbia we would sympathise and sometimes feel angry but only when we knew someone who had been directly been affected. I would see the news and images on TV for some days and then get on with life.Then when I moved to Mumbai I started taking the local trains.

One evening when I was standing in the train on my way back, holding on to the overhead support, looking out, my thoughts drifted to the local train bomb blasts that shook the city just a few years back. Images from the news coverage swam in front of my eyes and I was suddenly frozen, a shiver ran up my spine. An image of many hands hanging from the trains overhead supports froze in my mind and I thought to myself – they must have been standing here just as unaware as I am right now. I looked at the crowded compartment and wanted to run.

That was the first time I could feel what Mumbai had felt that day and since then. I felt angry, outraged, sad. I wanted to cry for the first time for all those who died, for all those who were waiting at home, for all those who could never complete their journey. I remember Mumbai had come alive with angry protests.I wonder if we still have it in ourselves.I wonder if the fire is still alive?

I am very much a mumbaikar now, coz I feel the pain, I feel the anger, I feel violated when tresspassers encroach into the lives of my fellow mumbaikars and make a joke out of it.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2009 in Daily Life, Mumbai, People

 

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I want to ask God!

I live in Mumbai and have been subject to continous rainfall since last evening…sometimes light, most of the time very heavy. Most things have come to a stop including some schools, traffic, etc. However, one thing that the even the pouring rainfall could not dampen was people’s devotion to God.

 

This morning, as I was on my way back from my son’s play school (which turned out to be closed today), I was amazed at the sight of a looooooooong serpentine queue outside a temple, extending way out of the shaded area, extending at someplaces into the traffic. People were standing in raincoats, with umrellas, but still standing, devoutly, patiently, waiting for their turn. It made me wonder, what could inspire such devotion in people? People were queued up to thank God, to priase God, to complain, to ask for forgiveness, to ask favours…their reasons can vary but the devotion was unmistakable.

 

I was jolted out of my revier by a sudden tug on my sleeve. “Madame 5 rupay do na…nahi nahi madame mujhe 2 chalega…isko mat dena, mujhe dona” I found myself face to face with two tiny kids, about a couple of years older than my own son, drenched to their skin, each trying to outdo the other in their earnestness. I was suddenly swept with a fierce rage. Then right on heels came another emotion, I felt sad. I was confused. I was angry with God, who chose to give this life to these children, and I was sad coz ife had dealt them such a foul hand.

 

I thought to myself that if God cannot see this from above, then I don’t see the point of queuing up outside temples. Some people say, God has his own way, but I want to now what could he be thinking when he granted such a life to so many millions of children across the world. I really want to know.

streetkids

http://www.godlivesinthehimalayas.com/

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Daily Life, Mumbai, People

 

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The highs and lows of our heroes

We love heros! We need heros in our lives! We love to idiolise real life people, put them on a pedestal, give them God-like reverence and bestow upon them all our love and devotion. In return we expect them to live up to the image we have created for them in our hearts & minds. What we forget in this process is that each and every hero is also a normal person, a common man/woman, someone who can have setbacks & make mistakes. And one such mistake and we leave no stone unturned to make sure these so called ‘heros’ are taken to task for not living up to their image!

What has happened to one such ‘hero’ in the past week is a fine example of how ruthless we can be with our idols.

The Indian Cricket tema and especially Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the apple of everybody’s eye. The media termed Dhoni as the ‘best and most dynamic captian of the Indian cricket team’. We had such expectations from him to perform miracles at the pitch once again. We were waiting to see an Encore! Now I’m not such a big fan of cricket and can’t say I watched any of the games properly. But I could not avoid the insensitive and loud outcry when the Indian team led by MS Dhoni was ousted from the T20 World Cup.

dhoni

What happened guys? So we lost, so the team lost, so what??? Give the guy a break, please! He didn’t go there to lose, none of them went there to lose. It’s a game, please take it like a game. Why is everybody taking it so personally I fail to understand. Why the blame game? Why the mud slugging? Its not going to do any good to anyone, not even to the Indian team, who by the way should be the one who is most upset with the whole thing…after all they were the ones who had to face the defeat on the field.

But no one is asking the players how they felt about the defeat. I wonder how long we will keep doing this. I know dhoni is good…the current indian team is good…but with all this controversy I hope we don’t end up getting them thrown out of the team.

I think we should start treating our modern day heros like real people and give them some space, some room. Otherwise we will have no hero to talk about who has lasted long enough to grow old with.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2009 in People

 

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