Sunday, May 21, 2017

Freedom of womankind

Though it was formally banned in December 1829, under the Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck; the free India still holds its deeper roots in many districts of India. With the revelation of partially burnt body of 50-yr old Usha, in Latur district in Marathwada region of Maharashtra; the speculation of Sati practice still holds true. Though Police has denied the fact if it was sati practice or if the clothes might have caught fire. Within hours of Tukaram’s funeral, Usha (50) had gone missing on April 1, 2015; after the last rites were performed on her husband. Killari Police in Latur district had then registered a case of sudden death.

Similar case had been found for Roopkuvarba Kanwar, aged just 18; of a Rajput woman who was sacrificed at Deorala village of Sikar district in Rajasthan. She had been married merely for eight months at the time of her husband’s death. Few news reported that her death was voluntary while few claims that she was forced to her death. Although a much publicized later investigation led to the arrest of people (nearly 45) present at the ceremony wherein all the eleven accused were later acquitted by the special court.

Sati (also called suttee) is nearly obsolete Hindu funeral custom or practice, where a recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by use of force or coercion commits suicide as a result of her husband's death. The literal meaning of Sati is “a pure and virtuous woman”. It was associated with a kind of virtue, where it was nothing more than shameful social act and an evil practice. This may have been banned lawfully though it holds its profound roots in mind of the free India.
Is this the Free India that has been fantasized off? Have we really travelled far or have we really moved a bit in terms of our perceptions, thinking and mindset for women? Are all the so called rules, norms and guidelines have been set for the Women clan?

We believe in equality of Men and Women or Girl and Boy and then still in 2016, a pregnant woman got acid-attacked by her in laws after the news of having a girl child in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh (September 2, year 2016); while a four-month old girl Mahika’s tiny body had 17 stab wounds with throat slated by knife, later found inside an unused air-conditioner, motionless covered in a blanket in Jaipur (August26, year 2016).

Have we dreamt of India having equal male and female sex ratio or a country struggling for female’s survival over males; and we ironically call it as “Mother India”.
We still donate our girls in Marriage in the custom of “Kanyadaan”; We still accumulate gold right from their birth to be sold in the custom of exorbitant dowry at the later stage. We celebrate the birth of male child and believe in bathing in holy river Ganges after daughter’s marriage, as if it was a cumbersome task to be fulfilled. A girl has to sacrifice her individuality, independence, dreams and her life just to be the Ideal ‘bahu’ post marriage.

Even today, the male dominating or the patriarchal set up prevails in major parts of the country. Man is still considered to be superior which is easily inveterate with the celebration of birth of a male child and danger that a girl child holds even in her mother’s womb. The male-controlled set up where the man is believed to be superior has much to do with the condition of women in our country. According to CSO's 2012 report, female child population in the age group of 0-6 years was 78.83 million in 2001 which declined to 75.84 million in 2011 which has resulted in a skewed child sex ratio. This alarming change in child sex ratio can be attributed to sex selective abortion which is rampant in India despite laws prohibiting it along with the belief that it is only the son who can perform the last rites, and the lineage and inheritance runs through the male child.

Although it’s not as worsen as in the earlier part of century and we have really came far by traversing a long distance from the days when they were tied only in the household chores and were not even allowed to step out of their homes. Though a real progress would be achieved on the day, when a girl would feel safe to travel at any time, any place without being judged for her dressing sense, righteous intentions, behavior; as we still have to break ourselves free from vicious grips of social, economic, political, caste and gender-based discrimination.

Not sure if this was the India that has been dreamt of? If this is the freedom, any girl would have thought of. Are we actually free or still welded by our prejudices, inhibitions, customs and the regulations that we are just blindly following since ages.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

कुछ तो बता

कुछ तो बता ऐ ज़िन्दगी
कुछ मेरी सुन
कुछ अपनी सुना ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

कुछ तो बता ज़िन्दगी 
है कहाँ तू मशरूफ़.... ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

कभी दे अपने घर का पता ऐ ज़िन्दगी 
बैठे करें कहीं कभी गुफ़तगू ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

कभी कुछ वक़्त हमारे साथ भी बिता ...ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

कुछ अपनी सुना 
कुछ हमारी भी सुन ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

छोड़ के कभी इन 
फलसफों और फसानों को 
इस कश्मकश में कभी 
खुद का खुद से तार्रुफ़ करा...ऐ ज़िन्दगी 

कुछ तो बता ऐ ज़िन्दगी....

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Ethereal Peace

Stinking and Sweltering, the bodies around me. 
Lying motionless on the white, clean marble floor.   
Whether it was a male or female corpse – it doesn’t matter anymore.

When I am one of them, gazing them from above in the bewilderment.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Socially Habituated

“I will bathe in Ganges once my daughter gets married”. That’s the latest ideology I came across with.

Seriously…. I mean Seriously? Are we still in the same old world norms or do we have the developed mindsets that we proclaim.

I mean I have no qualms or I do not say that bathing in Ganges is bad, my only point is why it has to be followed this way. Is marrying your daughter such a big liability or do you still believe having a boy over girl can fetch you heaven?

C’mmon are we really living in 21st century or we still moved ahead just for the heck of it and we are still standing at the same place.

The cute little girl of ours who spend a lifetime of memories in her parents’ house, is just being donated on one fine day in a ritual named as “Kanyadaan”, stating you do not belong to here in the same manner now.

We say we have changed and we are changing. Are we not just tied up in the social customs willingly or unwillingly?

The much prayed and sought after son may abandon you in the Old age, though we will still not leave a speck of option to have a male child. And then we keep on believing in the entire lifetime that he will be the one whom we can cling to, in our old age; although he might be having the dreams of being in another world of freedom otherwise.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beautiful Life!

“You know you have done something right, if someone smiles and just asks to be with you for little longer.”
That was a cute request that I received last Saturday, from a six year old girl. It was one of those days that made me realize that my life is something beyond my corporate struggles and has a brighter side to it.
The blossoming buds in the Udayan Care, gave me a different perspective of life to ponder upon. The happy faces whom I met for the very first time, welcomed me with such a bright smile that it is still alive in my mind. They might be less privileged in a way, though they have the abundance of love and respect to offer.
Beautiful girls with positive outlook towards the life. I won’t call them the destitute ones, despite of being orphan or abandoned ones; they have no such qualms, and have indeed a lot to offer.
They made me realize - Life is indeed beautiful and what I crib about is not worthy!
I spent nearly four hours with them where we had fun with the subject that I loathe most. And that was the very first time I realize that you can play around with numbers and have fun.
After having fun with hundreds and thousands, we clicked few pictures for the intact memories and I walked away with the feeling of contentment and the realization that “Life is too short to keep grudges and just live it to the fullest".

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Indian Style Pancakes

It was a regular Sunday morning and I wanted to break the mundane breakfast regime by giving a slight twist to the Culinary skills and there comes one more Experiment straight from the "Ghar ka Kitchen"

It was nothing much on the efforts side though was a pure delight to the taste buds and the eyes. It can be easily customized as per the veggies you have at your place, the way I did :)

So here is how I started, I boiled potatoes, peas. Then finely chopped the chillies, tomatoes and olives. You can also add onion, beans, capsicum as you like.

Ingredients to Fill
Mix them well with salt and pepper (as per your taste), Cut the brown bread in round shapes using any circular bowl with sharp edges. You can have white bread well, I like brown bread more and hence I opted for that one. Then take one big bowl, mix the chickpea flour with water and some salt and pepper, make a batter out of it and let it settle for some time.

Take a round cut bread piece, fill it with the ingredients you have prepared and again place a round bread on top of it. Now put a little pressure on the edges so that the bread is perfectly sealed. Now dip the filled bread into chickpea batter and keep it aside for a while.

Then take a nonstick pan, sprinkle it with olive oil, as the pan becomes hot - place the filled round bread that you have dipped with chickpea batter and then shallow fry it. It uses hardly any oil, so no worries on that front. Flip them from both the sides and let them turn golden brown.

Now place them on a tissue paper, to absorb all that extra oil. Sprinkle them with grated cheese, basil, and paprika. Serve them hot with sauces of your choice.

*If you do not like chickpea or want to make it more crisp, then you can avoid dipping into chickpea batter and directly put them in the pan(on the flames). Also, you can make a plain pancake as well if you do not want to put the filling. 

Here is how my final version looked like :)

The Indian style Pancakes

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Moral Values

Is morality for all of us? Is something that is injurious is applicable to all of us? Or is it “Women are crafted to be provided with a special privilege on all this.”

Yes, the point I am trying to make here is – Morality and Acting sensibly is undoubtedly applies equally to both the genders – men and women. Then why both are treated differently?

If a Man smoke, then he is not being looked upon with those weird expressions and bewildered looks that a woman gets. If a Woman dresses the way she likes, she is being accused for the licentious eyes that penetrate through her.  She is being held responsible for any molestation and wrong behavior that she receives, as if she is the one who invites it.

Why any individual would like to go through the pain and suffering, how the hell this make sense? Why will I hurt my soul to please you? Why shall I get crucified for the malicious thoughts that you have?

All this does not make a sense to me, May be I am too naïve to understand this, help me understand it, if it makes sense to you.

If smoking is injurious, it equally affects the lungs of women and men.  If Drinking is bad, it equally affects liver of men and women. Then why the morality applies to women only; something, which is bad, is equally bad in all respects.

No, I am not in favor of either smoking or drinking. I do not agree with the very fact that you need them to feel good or high, or to be rebellious. My only point - there is only one parameter for defining ‘What is right and what is wrong’. There can’t be definitions based on the genders.

There should be no judgment based on the choices that an individual makes, if we allow the same choices for other people. Define the equal choices and then probably pass your opinionated judgment.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Tarnished Charmer

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. - George Carlin

The black hushed beauty, amidst those shining stars bedazzled the complete horizon. Spectacle to the naked eyes, it mesmerized her and swept the floor over her feet. Brimmed with the marks, he was standing tall in that black night, so she was with those long curls.

The immaculate beauty of her was toned-down by his emblematic persona. She could not flout his presence and leave without noticing him.

The night was dark and starry, mystifying from all the possible corners. The elucidating charm he had was just a reflection of her serenity. The tranquility he had in his eyes, sedated her ever wavering mind.

Semblance of ‘Moon’ to her gloomy and leaden night,
Brought the comfort & solace to her desolate and mournful state.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

मेरा वो बरामदा

आज मेरी उस बरामदे की खिड़की से 
झांकती हुई धूप नहीं दिखती 
आज मेरे उस बरामदे के बाहर 
छाओं का साया है 

आज मेरे उस बरामदे के बाहर 
कोई शोर नहीं सुनाई देता 
आज मेरे उस बरामदे के बाहर 
चिड़ियों की चहचाह ही सुनती है 

आज मेरे उस बरामदे के बाहर 
कोई अनचाही परछाई नहीं आती 
आज मेरे उस बरामदे के बाहर 
खिलखिलाती मुस्कराहट है 

आज शायद उस बरामदे के बाहर 
पहले जैसा कुछ नहीं है 
लेकिन आज जैसा है 
उसमें उदासियों का सबब नहीं है 

वक़्त ही जानता है 
की हमने कुछ खोया 
या हमने पाया है 

अपनों को न छलने 
न दिल दुखाने की राह में 
हमने शायद और वक़्त लगाया है 
सही ग़लत की राह में 
लेकिन खुद को ही पाया है 

आज उस बरामदे के बाहर 
सिसकियाँ नहीं सुनाई देती 

छूटा तो है इन हाथों से कुछ 
वो वक़्त है या 
वो फिसलती हुई रेत का साया है 

बस आज उस बरामदे के बाहर 
एक सुकून भरमाया है 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eye Makeup

Eye Shade, Mascara, Liner, Kajal

All were aliens to her vision-less eyes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

She happily lost it all

Yet again, she dreamt of the cute pink frock that her Barbie would be wearing. Her dad's meager income could not hold all of her wishful world. And then her little eyes stared at her piggy bank, that she broke and happily gave it all, to the homeless boy across the street.

Freedom of womankind

Though it was formally banned in December 1829, under the Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck; the free India still holds its deeper...