Friday, July 31, 2009


“Friends are like Crayons, I may not be your favourite colour, but hope that you will need me somewhere to complete your picture” or “Friends are of two types. One says, “If you need anything, I will be there and other says,” You will never need anything, as long as I am here.”
Hundreds of such messages are doing their rounds all over. And my cellphone is already full with similar forwards.
Not only that, all the gifts shops, road side stalls are decorated with friendship bands, caps, teddy bears, rings, neck pieces all shouting with the same slogan “WE ARE FRIENDS”
Since morning I have been seeing school and college students proudly flaunting their arms adorned with multicolored bands, their shirts, t-shirts, their faces with friendship messages.
All over it is a festive occasion. Yes it is FRIENDSHIP DAY tomorrow. But celebrations have already started and it will go on till Monday, the big day being a holiday.
Seeing all this I went into flashback .During my days ( how I hate using this word my days or my times, this makes me sound old, belonging to old generation ,being the culprit of causing generation gap rifts with my children ). But can’t help it, if I want to refer to my college days, it surely seems centuries away to present day youth.
Any ways I am drifting away from my basic thoughts. So in my college days we never had such days---- rose day, sari day, mix and match day, funky days, Chocolate days, friendship days etc etc. Does it mean I didn’t enjoy my college days or I didn’t have friends? Or my friends were not sure of my friendship or my feeling towards them?
I don’t think so. We had our own way of showing our feelings,. Taking care of the other person, sharing secrets, keeping their feelings and experiences with opposite sex to ourselves, being a part of their infatuations, their flings, their adventures and also hiding all of this from their other friends or family members and also being the best critic of the friend, all came as a package with being close a particular friend.
We never tied bands or had such celebrations but we did have lots of friends at that time and I am still in touch with some of them even after so many years.

For me a friend is not the one who meets you daily, talks to you for hours together but the one who even if not present physically with you still gives you the confidence that you can turn to him whenever the need arises. moreoever it is not necessary that you share same likes and dislikes , have same set of friends But what is important is that you have the assurance that you can pour your heart out to him without his passing any value judgement of your thoughts or acts and who can help you see the right path by guiding you on it.

I also think that age or sex is not a bar in considering someone as one's friend. For me platonic relations do exist between opposite sex. rather friendhip between opposite sex devoid of any sexual feelings is most honest relation( The so called society may look down upon such friendship)

I have heard many people say my sibling is my best friend or my spouse is my best friend. I wonder does a wife tie a band on her husband’s wrist or vice versa( as many say that they want their spouse to be their best friend, although I have my own reservations and views on this topic)?

But seeing the excitement around I also wish that I also had similar trend during my college days. I just love the way the students are enjoying, endorsing their feelings of friendship with hugs, bands, gifts, tattoos, necklaces, rings, shirts, bags. The list is unending.

I may also go out and buy some bands and tie them on my whole lot of friends. but this is sure I am going to send tons of sms to all my friends ( not the forwarded ones but I will write something of my own) reminding them that I AM YOUR FRIEND. YOU CAN TURN TO ME WHEN EVER YOU WANT.

I so much want to tie this band on someone’s wrist who has always considered me to be her friend (and I also reciprocate the same feeling). If by tying this band I am able to convince her that I am still the same with the same feelings, emotions, and am very honoured that she also considers me to be her best friend and Because I consider myself to be her friend,I take the liberty to her be her critic as I want only the best for her.

But as I will not be able to have the formal tying ceremony so through this post I want to remind her that I am always there for you in your good times or bad times, I am a part of you in your happier moods or phases of depression and I don’t mind your fits of anger because I take it with a positive attitude that because you feel close to me that is why you let go yourself in front of me

All my blogging pals I do share a special bond of friendship with you all and I miss all those blogging friends and their reflections who by some or the other reason fail to comment on my posts
Hey friends just remember that your visit on my blog and leaving your footprints enriches my life


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Last week visited Shirdi and a Jain temple in Nashik
1. In Shirdi after waiting for hours in a long queue as soon as we entered the main temple finally saw the divine face of Sai Baba smiling at all of us. Again after waiting for quite long in the crawling queue, finally managed to reach near the serenely seated Baba. But what is this? I was there only for just a second when the Pujari pushed me ‘” go ahead let others come”. I told him that after waiting for hours, at least let me quench my thirst of his darshan. Please allow me to stand for a few more seconds. But No, I was pushed by the Pujari from one side and the impatient crowd from the other side and I was literally thrown out. I just wondered, what was the point in waiting for so long if I was not allowed to even fold my hands or bow down to him or touch his platform. I didn’t drive all the way from Mumbai to Shirdi just to wait and get pushed out. I have heard similar is the case in Tirupati Balaji, Shrinathji or many other such famous temples. Many from the crowd were complaining about this but no one had the courage to raise their voice or do something about it. And like so many others I just meekly walked out and thanked God and my stars that I could alteast touch the very ground where Sai baba had spent his life and which is considered to be God’s abode on earth.

2. On my way back to Mumbai we visited Gajpanta, a Jain pilgrimage. Enduring heavy rains, chilly winds, aching knees but with excitement to be the first one (we were a group of 17 family members) to reach the top I climbed a mountain which had 435 steps (only). I forgot to mention this is a holy place where it is believed millions of saints attained salvation. After reaching the top and doing darshan of centuries old idol of Bhagwan I noticed that many devotees had offered rice, fruits, almonds etc to the God,( this is a commong practice in all jain or Hindu temples where devotees place sweets, fruits, dry fruits etc in front of the idols of the God.)
but sadly this was all being savored by crows, birds and rats..
I am neither an atheist or I have anything against any religion (I am a very God fearing person and turn to him for even small -small problems of mine and have faith that he will save me from all troubles or tensions of life) but I just wondered
why do we offer fruits, sweets or such eatables in the temples, which either become the lunch of birds or goes into the all ready overflowing personal kitchens of the pujaris.
Why can’t we give all these eatables to some needy person or hungry person to satisfy his hunger?
What is the point in placing food items in front of the idols of God? After all it has all been provided by the almighty himself.
Are we not insulting the God by returning the things which he himself has given to us?
Won’t the God be happier with us if we fed his other starving children?
This again brings a thought that, when we say and believe that God is omnipresent, then why do we visit some specific places to be near God
Why can'nt we sit at home , think about him and feel that we are near him, why visit temples or other religious places.
actually this is very confusing as even I visit a temple daily and I feel guilty in the night if by chance I am not able to touch the ground of a God's home on earth that particular day. Not that only, I even walk to various far off temples either to pray for peace of mind or thank God when ever something good happens in my life. but such thoughts do enter my mind that why am I doing this?
why should I go to a particular temple or such place to offer my prayers, Why can't I do that sitting at my home only
but then I suppose this is human tendency to be always in a dilemma
because the ways of God are beyond us.
I find no answers to these questions as whenever I raise these issues with others rather I am condemned, crticised and ridiculed for harboring such thoughts which are anti religion.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


While going through a book on Hindu culture I came across a passage,
The ritual of Kanya Daan is considered very auspicious in Hindu religion. It is a very pious and dutiful ritual which is said to bring fortune as well as relief from the sins for the bride's parents.. Kanyadaan means when the father hands over all his rights and duties towards his daughter to her prospective groom. This way the father gives her daughter as a gift to the groom. As per tradition, groom is considered a form of Lord Vishnu. Thus, presenting him gifts is deemed as the greatest honor for the parents of the bride. As a result, they offer their daughter to the groom, who is their most cherished gift. As a symbol of acceptance, the groom touches the right shoulder of the bride, promising to take care of her and holding her responsibility”

And this was followed by a hot discussion with my mother in law who like millions of Indians believe that If you don’t do Kanyadaan in your life you will not get salvation from the sins of present life.

I just couldn’t digest this belief and what I had read earlier.

Firstly the world Daan (which literary means to donate) is so humiliating. How can anyone donate one’s daughter to anyone? Is the daughter or in general women a commodity which can be donated or gifted to anyone?

And why should she be gifted. The whole concept doesn’t appeal to me at all. Marriage is supposed to be meeting of souls, two persons, two families and in marriage both the partners are equal. So how can a father or mother just give away their daughter as alms to someone?

When a boy and a girl is getting married then why not have Putradaan (give away the son) why only Kanyadaan?

And how can parents think that after the marriage ceremony of their daughter “we have done the Kanyadaan, we have got our daughter married off so our place in heaven is fixed ” .How can parents think that they can just give away their child who was with them for almost 20 or more years, who was a part of them and become so insensitive towards their own daughter.

I am not trying to hurt any one’s religious sentiments but I feel insulted when women are degraded like this.

I am sure many of the grooms and their parents must really be thinking that the girl’s parents are actually getting rid of their child and the groom’s family is obliging the girl’s family by accepting the Kanyadaan. Not only they are getting some material thing ( the bride) as the girl’s parents give so many other things in the form of Dowry along with the girl and that could be the reason for the miserable status of many of the women

When parents themselves treat their own child as commodity how can they expect some strangers to respect their daughter?

I wonder why the women’s organizations or the ones who are fighting for women’s rights are not raising their voice against use of this terminology.

I told my mother in law that I am not in favour of this ceremony and use of this derogatory word and I will not do Kanyadaan.

I am a strong believer of following all the customs but only from the angle of enjoying the marriage function and to bring some excitement, fun and celebrations and make it a festive occasion. And I may follow the ceremony where the Pundit will ask me and my husband to keep my daughter’s hand in her groom’s hand but not because we will be doing Kanyadaan (NO WAY I WILL NEVER DONATE MY DAUGHTER TO ANY ONE. SHE IS AND SHE REMAINS AN INTEGRAL PART OF US) but only with the intention to join their hands and with the prayer that they remain together all through their life and face the struggles, the happy moments, the sad moments etc as one being and with each other.
I do believe in the sanctity of marriage and responsibilities, duties, commitments, loyalty and faithfulness which are part and parcel of married life but I am against the use of the word KANYADAAN

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Some small incidences which all happened in last two days
1. I was travelling in an auto rickshaw and the driver while driving was continuously busy spitting on the road from both the sides alternatively. just imagine my plight, the whole journey was so nauseating
2. A well dressed; seemingly to be educated travelling in the latest model of car opened the car window and guess what? Spitted out without paying any attention to on whom his oral droppings may fall.
And then we talk about and complain about poor hygienic conditions in India !!!!!!!

3. A FOREIGN RETURNED NRI enjoying bhutta and walking in the rains of Mumbai threw it on road. As I knew that person I asked him ,” Will you do this from where you are coming” and he very confidently smiled and replied,” Are you crazy? We can never think of throwing anything on the road there.”. “Then pray tell me why did you throw it here?, I asked. And prompt came the reply,: you know here every one does it” And then he pointed out a so called modern educated college going youth who also openly threw his paper plate on the road after finishing his sandwich, “so even if I throw the garbage in the dustbin it is not going to help. First inculcate civic sense in every one then talk about others. Moreover the roads out there are so clean, so much hygiene is maintained so one can never think of making the roads dirty”. I had no answer to it.
4. While shopping on the famous linking road I bought a pair of earrings just for Rs. 20/- and much to my surprise when some foreigner asked the price of the earring he was quoted Rs. 150/- for the same pair. And this was not an isolated case; this discrimination in rates was very open in all the shops. I tried to be very conscientious and asked the guest of our country to pay Rs 20/- only, the same amount I had paid. And once again I was in for a big surprise rather shock as both the buyer and seller had something to tell me. The seller,” why did you tell him the actual rates. How would it have affected you if I had got something extra? I didn’t ask you to pay me extra. What right you had to cause loss to me? “ mere pet par laat kyun maari?”
And if this was not enough the buyer asked me,” Why, do you have two different rates for the same thing in your country. We have the same rates for everyone in our country. We don’t differentiate between outsiders or the locals.” then he had another story to tell me..
He informed me that he had to shell out Rs. 100/- in an auto rickshaw drive when the meter just showed Rs. 10/- (In Mumbai if the meter reading is 10 then we pay only Rs. 9/-). He further told me that later on he came to know about the actual fare which he should have paid.
He also told me that in Government museums, historical monuments or other tourist spots there are two rates for the tickets. One for the Indians and one for the foreigners. If the ticket is Rs. 10/- for Indians it will be approx. Rs. 100/- for all the tourist who are from outside India. I didn’t know what to answer him. Although I was aware of this but coming directly from someone who has faced it was very humiliating for me.
It is so easy to point fingers at others, and also compare India with other countries. But when we ourselves don’t do anything to raise the esteem of our country in the eyes of others how can we expect anyone to respect us and our country.
In the country where on one side we say that we believe in ATITHI DEVO BHAVA (means guests are like GOD and they should be treated and respected like GOD,) on the other side we just treat them as some money giving machines who can be stooched to take as much money as possible.
Why do we have such double standards?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WHY ??????? some of my musings

Why is that when we know we will not take any thing with us when we leave for our final journey then why so much greed for money and material things?

Why is that when we know that when the society is US and we are the society, we bother so much about society (what will people say) ? And give it more importance than self .why not do what we want? Moreover we know that no one will come to our rescue or offer their helping hand when we need except for only giving lip service they why do we bother so much about people and their views?

Why is it that when we say we are not concerned about what others think about us and we will live our life as we please, we still look forward to the views of others?

Why is that when we can not tolerate negative comments passed on us, we go on commenting on others behavior and expect them to take it in positive spirit and treat our comments as a guide to improve themselves?

Why is that when we expect certain acts, deeds, gestures, behaviour from others then, we just ignore that others may also expect certain things from us?

Why is it that when people who are hurt (I don’t mean physically) go out of their way to do such things or mouth such words which will surely hurt others? Is it because they think that (a) “when I am unhappy why others should be happy”? Or (b) they think that by venting out their feelings on others their pain and suffering will be reduced and they will feel relieved or (c) they just derive sadistic pleasure in hurting others?

Why is that when we know what is done can not be undone we still want things to be in the original format ?

Why is that people who condemn /criticizr certain acts of others ,do the same themselves?

Why is that when even after regretting some thing and admitting the mistake, the same is thrown on your face again and again?

why is that even after serving the punishment given by the judiciary the soceity still punishes you by shunning you out?

Why is that when we know change is essence of life we still resist it?

Why do we brood over the past so much as to spoil our today as well as tomorrow?

And when I know there are no answers to these reflections of mine, I still expect some solutions.

WHY WHY WHY???????????????????

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Before my trip to Bangkok I was told that prostitution is legalized in Bangkok. And I took this information with a matter of fact attitude. Fine so what,

But I was unprepared for what I saw in Pattaya.
Women of all age on the roads from 8 in the morning ( I ventured out of my hotel at that time, so don’t know whether they were there before that also) till 1 in the early morning ( I used to return back to my hotel at that time so don’t know what till what time they were on the road) just waiting for their customers and earn Bhats ( the currency of Thailand)

Call it human behavior or my curiosty or anxiety but I felt compelled to go again and again and see the small girls in shortest possible clothes dancing on the roads, outside beer bars, gesturing to all passer bys.

I didn't go beacuse i was enjoying it or deriving any sadisitc pleausre in watching the members of my sex flaunting their assets on the road and or to see the members of opposite sex satisty their carnal desires. But beacuse of my anguish ,my anger and helplessness. The whole thing was so revolting and repelling but strangely I felt pulled by the whole scenerio.

And every time I saw some oldie manhandling young girls I felt humilated and battered actually I am at a loss to put into words my feelings.

But it was so disgusting to watch all that. Even after 2 months of my visit I get shivers at the mere thought of what I saw there

It pained me so much to see small girls may be of 12-13 years indulging in sex activities with grown up man of more than 50 years of age.

I don’t know whether the girls were really taking pleasure in their profession and enjoying it but yes, they all seemed happy and cheerful.

I don’t know whether they had resigned to the fact that to sell their body is their destiny or they didn’t find anything derogatory or humiliating in this business.

May be they were following this profession without even thinking about the repercussions of it as the same was being followed by their mothers and may be grandmothers too. May be it had become a part of their life?

Worst was watching somewhat elderly ladies or girls waiting patiently for long hours at corners for someone to drop by for them as most of the men/boys wanted young girls.

With so many girls out for this profession, I am sure many a times the girls/women who were involved in respectable professions must have gotton mistaken for the ones who were into body selling business. I wonder how they felt when by mistake they were proposed.

It made me wonder how their parents/ brothers/husbands felt about it. Then I was told that their own brothers/fathers/husbands are their agents.

I tried asking some locals as to why so many girls were involved in this profession. And I was stunned to hear that, “this is their profession, they are the earning members of the family and they bring in good money. They are working women. They are our working force. There is nothing wrong in this. They all are respectable women and our locals dont look down upon them ."

I know to supplement family income women have to contribute and work along with the men of the family. But why at the cost of self respect of the women?, why the profession of prostitution?

I wonder what the girls be saying before leaving their house -- "BYE mummy I m going to work ? Or the father be saying “all the best have a nice day/nite/ (this is what we say to our family members who go out to work)

Is legal Prostitution equivalent to any other profession?
Or can to use one's body sexually to earn money be termed as gainfully employed?

Friday, July 3, 2009

JAI HO !!!!!!!! / JAI HO?

JAI HO !!!!!!!! / JAI HO?

Yesterday was a day of achievement

1. I got my WOW AWARD .thanx to Peggy. It’s a great honour to be recognized by a follow blogger and a great moral boost up for my ego that WOW even I can write and people appreciate it ( Check out my crown on my blog)
2. One of my post was recognized by NO GENDER EQUALITY and they published my post in their blog and in turn I got the privilege to adorn my blog with their badge. Another feather in my blog crown. and I can imagine Neha saying “Momma Aaageyeeeeeeeeee “
3. I became a registered blogger at Indiblogger and was allowed to put their badge in my blog ( I think I am a typical woman. I like to dress up and also I want to enrich my blog with lots of awards, crowns and logos )

I really feel like saying Anju , You are certainly going places!!!!!!!!!!

Talking about going to places even India is rising
Yesterday GAY SEX WAS LEGAISED IN INDIA. A great revolution in India’s history?
But I am not sure whether this is a condemnable step by our legal know hows? Whether this will lead to progress or encourage more and more people to opt for this and as one cynic put LEGALISING GAY SEX IS PROGRESS AS WE WILL BE ABLE TO CHECK THE POPULATION EROSION. So I will reserve my comments and feelings on it for the time being.
Coming to second part of my reflections

One of my blogger buddy has been wearing Red, White and Blue the whole week
Not only that, she makes it a point to see that her dining table is arranged with dishes in the same combination of Red white and Blue ( If cannot have blue dishes then she has blue decoration on her table).
She has also decorated her house with the same combination. You can check out her blog for all this.
When asked the reason for this, her answer left me stunned. She said they are celebrating their INDEPENDECE DAY and she is going to follow the same combination for the entire week. I am just dumbfounded by her patriotic feeling and the sense of belonging to her country.
And then I searched the net and was surprised to find that not only her but there are thousands like her who are celebrating their Independence Day throughout the week ( in USA)
And this forced me to go into self introspection.
What do I do to celebrate my country’s Independence day?
Depending on my mood I sometime wear a white or a combination of white orange or green sari. Or attend the flag hoisting ceremony in my building complex or at the most put a tri colour bindi. And that’s it.
Nothing more than that.
For that matter I wonder what most of my countrymen think of the Independence Day.
For most of them it is a day of public holiday, sleeping late, going for picnics etc. and for our leaders the lesser said the better it is. White kurtas, Gandhi Cap, one or two public functions and then forget about it.
I have seen in movie halls parents forbidding their children from standing during the national anthem. Or seen people searching for their seats even when the anthem is being played.
I read somewhere that people who cannot stand when national anthem is being played due to some physcial handicap they raise their right hand in respect of the national anthem and their country, Not only that one should rise to show our respect when national anthems of other country is being played. How many of us do it? rise for other country's? so many of us dont do it for our own.
what do the so many Indians settled abroad feel about this important day of our country. Admitted that they don’t get holiday on that day but do they plan something to celebrate this day or do they tell their children about India and its Independence or they treat it like any other day of their life?
I questioned myself that the feeling of belongingness which my blogger buddy or thousand like her has ---is it because of the faith they have in their Government and its machinery? Or is it because of the comforts and stability which their country is providing them? Or is it because of the progress which their country has shown? Or is it because of the recognition, importance and support which their system gives them or is it something more which I am not able to understand.