Saturday, February 28, 2009

Justice delayed is denied; Justice impaled?

It has been a while since I wrote a politically flavoured commentary on my blog. But the events that have unfolded over the past few days are compelling me to voice my two-bit...albeit in hushed tones, lest the Supreme Court takes suo moto cognisance of this 'misuse' of freedom of expression in the World's Largest Democracy and has me jailed. 

Far fetched thought, yes, but when a 19 year old can be held liable for 'defaming' a whole political party (that mind you, has the clout to affect the Bombay riots of 1993, raise unconstitutional demands such as ouster of North Indians from Maharashtra - Bal Thackeray had been-there-done-that long before Raj took up the cudgels, and still be allowed to contest elections, win and hold seats of power!), you really have to wonder about the complete loss of the principles of Natural Justice at our country's apex court!

And then of course, you wonder at the 'Justice' meted out in another part of the country to scamster Sukh Ram, who had his cake, ate it, digested it despite all the 'heart ailment' medication he was on, and perhaps even expelled the whole drama of 'arrest me-hospitalise me' from his system...since he will now get away with a mere 3 year sentence, brought to him after 14 long years, and a meagre fine of Rs 2 lacs. Of course, the court has confiscated the 4.25 crores that were recovered from him, not acknowledging that in his enviable position as one of the 'stalwarts' of the Himachal polity, he may just have made double the amount by now.

You let the man walk free for 14 years only to award him a 3 year sentence...How ludicrous is that!!! He will contest this sentence and walk free for another 14 years before he exhausts all his redressal avenues (assuming they will uphold the lower court's sentence) up to the Supreme Court and we know what the apex court is dispensing these days in the name of justice!

Moving on to Pune, the latest buzz is that the known to be honest and straight Commissioner of Police will soon be transferred. With elections round the corner, some folks don't want him hanging around... A letter has been written to the Election Commissioner to stop this monstrosity, but what he will actually do is anybody's guess. After the open spat with his predecessor (who accused him of preferential treatment towards the Congress party), one has been left wondering if he deserved the clean chit he received from the President of India (who we might recall is a Congress government nominee).

In the face of such open conspiracies by those in 'power' to subvert or in some cases even impale justice, do you as an Indian feel that things are hopeless? 

That every five years we will elect a government that will turn around and hold the muzzle towards us. 

That we are destined to never break out of this cycle of lies and deceit by our so-called political leaders; and that we are condemned to 'endure' them because we 'choose' them.

That one day a Mayawati will become PM riding the 'Dalit' wave, leaving all of us, who have NEVER even sub consciously or consciously ever harboured ill feeling towards a fellow Indian, feeling like utter fools. 

That the Hindutva, or Garibi Hatao, or the Maratha Manoos tirade etc are all manifestations of the same disease, bad polity?

That somewhere we KNOW we can break this chakravyuha, vote for a candidate who will bring some semblance of quality to the political scene but don't want to vote for them because we are afraid (a known devil is better than an unknown one)

That we are condemned to remain puppets in the hands of such ruthless manipulators (who ensure that all the high seats of office are taken by their 'own' people) until..either they die or we do.. (Its anybody's guess who will conk off first! Simply because your damn ambulance will never reach the hospital in time considering the mis-managed traffic in all our cities, while you-know-who will be air lifted in an Air Force copter straight to the hospital!)

Yes. I sound disgruntled and unhappy. Ashamed even. And certainly helpless. Am I alone?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Language matters..or does it?

A few weeks ago, we took one of hubby's clients from Sweden to dinner. We got a new perspective on a whole lot of things we take for granted. The most striking was his observation at the English spoken by our kids. He seemed to be amazed that a child as young as Abhir (5+) can speak the language fluently. 

He asked Abhir, "Do they teach you English in school?" following it up with "You speak very well..." 

Knowing that all Scandinavian countries' language of communication in school is their mother tongue, we weren't much suprised at his observation. When in Finland, it was one of our major concerns that our children would be lost in one of the state owned schools where the mode of communication would be Finnish. 

The Finns are a language proud country...and it was a lesson to us as Indians who give English more importance than we do our own mother tongues. 

What he didn't know is that until a few months ago, Abhir could barely speak a sentence in English. His Hindi was extraordinarily good and he would time and again zap my parents with his usage of words. So we weren't very concerned about his English. He will pick it up sooner or later, we'd think.

As I heard Daniel (our guest) speak to Abhir, I was reminded of our son's rather cute adaptations of words in a language he is just familiarising himself with.

"I goed there today"
"I am going to hit the eyeses of this monster"
"I doed my home work"
" I want to drink glucose today. I didn't drink it tomorrow"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Its our time to lend a helping hand

Have you often seen a homeless child begging on the street and wondering "What can I do to help?"

Have you often read stories in the media about a mother who lost her lil one to some disease just because she could not afford the right medication and once again wondered, "Could I have done anything?"

Have you given money to charities such as CRY or Helpage India to curtail your own feeling of helplessness?

Well, now is our one REAL chance to do something concrete and HELP...

Read about Gaurav and lets do something more than just 'feel'.

Monday, February 9, 2009

25 Random Things about Me - A Tag

I've already posted this tag on FB. Pretty Woman tagged me. Thanks a ton!  

1. I wasn't goal oriented until a few hours ago. Doesn't say a lot about me, but I have always 'gone with the flow'  

2. I allow people I love to take me for granted  

3. I cannot stand injustice of any kind. Even a simple issue like being charged Rs 5 extra for a parking slot gets my goat.. Not coz of the money, but coz 'How can they?'  

4. Until a few years ago, my fervour to fight against the 'system' or any 'injustice' (I know it sounds repetitive) used to embarass my hubby a LOT. Now he has merely learned to accept it as part of the package :-)  

5. I think most men in Kerala are perverts...especially the ones who travel in public transportation and think lil girls just 'ought ' to be fingered  

6. I am a big one for nostalgia: I miss my school days, my college days, my newly-wed days, our days in Vizag and Delhi...  

7. I can work hard..real hard and can laze real hard too  

8. I am scared of letting my daughter grow up in this big bad world  

9. I hate hypocrisy of any kind  

10. I haven't had a good night's sleep for AGES..  

11. I worry about my inability to lose weight...a lot  

12. I think leaving the Navy was Harish's best and boldest decision (apart of course, from marrying me)  

13. I love giving gifts, especially when people least expect it... For ex. The last time I was in a toy store buying a gift for one of the birthdays my children had to attend, I bought a red car for my neighbour's son just coz he likes red cars. The look on his face when I gave it to him was PRICELESS  

14. I don't fret over my kids' marks. I think they are smart and intelligent and will succeed regardless of academic excellence  

15. I am surrounded by ladies who 'fast' regularly, or do several poojas a month etc. Sometimes I am concerned about my own lack of such 'faith'...but most times, I think they just want attention

16. My hair is falling terribly and for the fear of losing the mane, I have switched to washing my hair in bottled water. The guy who delivers the 20 litre can is amused that he pours the water into a bucket!!!  

17. I feel bad for the struggle my parents and brother are enduring for no fault of theirs  

18. If I had a magic wand, I would give each homeless and abandoned child a home  

19. I want to adopt a baby. Soon.  

20. My daughter wants a dog. Her brother wants a baby. The hubby prefers dog over baby. Actually, Im not so sure!  

21. We've seen some real hard times financially. The abundance of it makes me feel 'safe' in a way  

22. I hate cooking  

23. I can't say NO to a charity  

24. I enjoy friends...even those who bitch behind my back :-)  

25. I wish God had granted me a whacky sense of humour like my mom's

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is it possible?

Is it possible?

That I changed?

From a naive 19 year old to a mature 35 year old, I've been transformed into a person that my near and dear ones cannot recognise, accept or appreciate?

Is it possible?

That my metamorphosis into a woman I always thought I would be: confident, happy and satisfied, is suddenly making people around me uncomfortable and unsure of the 'real' me?

Is it possible? 

That this so called 'new' me is infact simply a resurgence of my inherent character? That somewhere deep inside I have ALWAYS been this way; I was merely lost for a few years.

Is it possible?

That my desire to reach out and love all of humanity, accept each person who comes in to my life with equal pleasure, embrace each relationship and cherish each interaction as a joyous and memorable opportunity for personal growth, suddenly making people think I am 'easy'?

Is it possible?

To understand that my interactions with people are on a 'human' level; intense, yet sublime, passionate, yet sober, freaky,  yet serious?

Is it possible?

That my loved ones will love me 'no matter what' and stop expecting me to face the line of fire every now and then?

Is it possible?

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's raining AWARDS!

Suddenly my kids are winning awards left, right and centre!

Oorja won the First Prize in a Drawing Competition last Sunday. She painted a beggar who was being given gifts by a young girl while a crowd of people stood nearby and watched. The painting was not handed to us, so I could not take a picture of it.

Abhir won a race at School on his Annual Sports Day. He came home gleaming and excited! He is gonna get a certificate for it, his first!!!

Oorja stood fifth in a State Level Abacus examination conducted by the center she goes to, from amongst hundreds of children!  She got a trophy for it and as one can only imagine, she is thrilled to bits. I remember, before she went into the examination hall she was nervous and kept saying "Im scared mom.." I assured her that she had to go in and do her best. Thats all. And she did it!  

I am so happy and proud all at once :-D

The best part is, even though we encourage both of them to do what they'd like to, there is no pressure on them to 'stand first' or 'win a prize' or such. We are simply the drivers: we take them to their classes, help them when needed and give them words of encouragement and support.

I am no expert on parenting but I am assuming that they are excelling because they are not under any stress to perform to 'please' us. They 'enjoy' what they do, and the joy of doing it makes them good at it. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Talibanistic persecution of Indian Women

They've begun threatening again. And quite frankly, we are FED up now.

Suddenly a section of self-righteous, we-are-protecting-the-culture-of-India, moral policing individuals who (it is quite evident) have nothing better to do have begun deciding where Indian women (I use this blanket term and include females of all ages) should go for their leisure, entertainment or heck, even an evening of relaxation.

It started with wearing skirts in colleges (in certain Mumbai colleges); Went on to jeans (remember the Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi controversy?) Now it is our presence in pubs they find offensive. What's next? 

Should I cover my arms when I go to the cinema? Or how about covering my head when guests come home? (Ok..I admit, a bit far fetched, but considering the manner in which they are encroaching upon a woman's personal space, choice etc, how long before they start dictating what we should wear at home too?... Our very own Indian Taliban?)

Because it is clear to every woman in this Nation that this persecution is not going to end here. This is a habit these handful individuals with 'high' moral values have developed: Target women, find the perfect pretext to molest them in public (these despicable individuals get ther perverse pleasure out of molesting unsuspecting girls) and then claim "We are the torch bearers of the Indian culture and tradition."

How ironical!!!!

These same men won't perhaps think twice before pinching the bottom of a girl in a school uniform on public transportation (as young as 10 years old), making her cringe with shame and anger; or squeezing the boobs of a school girl, or running their fingers up her school uniform or down her back...or staring at a girl out to enjoy an evening at the Cinema with her parents, or pass lewd comments about her (just for fun).....subjecting her to a cycle of humiliation she will endure for the rest of her life. Molestation and eve-teasing can be as agonising as rape. Did men know that?

I have a growing daughter and as a mother I fear for her every minute she is out of my sight. Because I KNOW she will endure this at some point in her life.

Will the moral brigade come protect these innocent girls, who are victims of such atrocities, while they travel to schools and colleges or their work places? Or hang out with their families at the beach, the park, cinema or the mall????

Clearly, the answer is an astounding NO. They won't. They will pretend to stand on a high ground and look down upon women who are simply LIVING!

Hypocrisy at its horrific best! 

While law makers, law enforcers and the like conveniently look the other way, women continue to suffer the ignominies of such dastardly acts, because somewhere deep inside, everyone is happy that women are 'being shown their place in society'. "Don't try to be equal to us" they seem to be screaming silently. (Else, they would ban boys from pubs and discos, or prohibit them from wearing jeans to college or saunter out of their homes in shorts on an early morning 'milk buying' errand too)

So we've been given prior warning. Stay within your 'cultural' limits or Valentine's Day will see more mayhem. 


I go to pubs. I enjoy drinking. I enjoy dancing. I wear jeans and skirts. I LIVE! So come get me. I dare you!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jokes or decide!

Over the past few months, I've realised that my kids have a great sense of humour. At the Dining Table last night they displayed their talent. Here's one that I've never heard before related by Oorja:

When Ram, Sita and Lakshman were going on vanvasa (exile), their loved one gave them three mobile phones to stay in touch.

After a few days, one day Ram and Lakshman went into the jungle. A few hours later, Sita called Ram and said, "Ram, I can see Ravana coming on a bicycle. I am very scared."

Ram assured her, "Don't worry Sita. Ravana does not know how to ride doubles!"

Abhir, not one to be left behind had one of his own too:

Five boys are discussing the new cars their dads are buying.

"If my dad buys a red car, I will wear a red t-shirt" says one.
"If my dad buys a green car, I will wear a green t-shirt" says the other.
"If my dad buys a blue car, I will wear a blue t-shirt" says the third boy.
"If my dad buys a white car, I will wear a white t-shirt" says another.
The last boy: "My dad is not buying a car, so I will not wear anything." 

To a five year old that was hilarious!!!