Friday, September 12, 2014

Bards Of the Blogosphere: Chapter 2 - The Weekend Brunch. #Celebrateblogging









Please Note: This is the second chapter in the "Game of Blogs" for the team "Bards of the Blogosphere." #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous part of the story here

As the phone rang Tara looked at it and let out a sigh of exasperation. It was a busy day at the office with news flying like paper rockets, zooming from one corner to another, made by the people and hitting people. There were the usual scams, murders, rapes and the news of a minister's death. Tara sometimes; in her lonely wantonness, thought what was wrong with the world but then the face of Shekhar flashed in front of her and she smiled subconsciously and felt that all was well with this world. She remembered Roohi growing up in the posh flat of Nariman point and she remembered her childhood in the lanes of Hedua, Kolkata where the colonial charm refused to fade away and the love of "Ma" along with "Parar Mashimar" (Neighbourhood Aunt) increased every year. She sighed and remembered bargaining on the footpaths of Hatibagan for the 'kurta' she just wanted to have to flaunt at her alma mater, Bethune College.

"Hey Tara! It's Jennifer. How are you doing and how is your princess?" As Tara picked up the phone this was the first thing she heard. A clear, confident voice of a lady and Tara could not recognize her. She was in her office and being the workaholic she was she was it was probable that she would not  be able to tell her own name if someone asked her while she was working.

"Sorry, who is this?" said Tara, giving up the attempt to recollect.

"Hey it's me Jennifer. The lady who photographed you and your family at the aannual function the last week, remember?" continued Jennifer with the same enthusiasm. The fact that Tara had not recognized her did not act as a deterrent to her zeal.

"Oh! So, sorry Jennifer! I was so tied up in office work that I couldn't recognize you." said Tara, in earnest.

"It's OK. It happens. In fact I, myself should be sorry for disturbing you. Anyway, cutting a  long conversation short, your photos have come out amazingly. They are so life like. True, happiness and love shows. I would love to share the photographs with you people. So, if you are OK with it I can either mail the soft copies to you or can courier the hard copies, if you provide me with the address."

"Why dear, that's so sweet of you! You don't have to do either of the two. You can join us for a weekend brunch on this Saturday, if your schedule permits you; at our place or any place of your preference and do bring your daughter along with you."

"That's a wonderful gesture Tara, but then,  I do not want to trouble you people on a weekend where you intend to spend some quality time with your family."

"Please, Jennifer, trust me, it will be our pleasure to be your host and my two kids are quiet a handful so, you, my dear, will be a welcome infusion in our weekend brunch ritual." Tara said, with a tender laugh.

“Tara , wow! you have another kid? Great! How old is....Oh, I got it...your husband."
And they both had a short laugh before hanging up and fixing the Saturday meet.

"Good job Jennifer, Decent first impression on the lady of the house." said Jennifer to herself and smiled after she hung up.

Later that day Shekhar called up Jennifer and gave her, a formal invitation for the 'Saturday Brunch' as the 'Man of the House'. It was a ritual in their little household all those who came as guests were always doubly invited.

That Saturday, Jennifer reached to the Duttas' resident. Dressed in a casual jeans and kurta with her trademark beads as neck-piece and armlets. and holding a basket of chocolates. It was 11 a.m. on a relatively laid back Saturday breathing easy in this Ciy of Speed.

Mr. Dutta opened the door he was wearing his crisp white cotton kurta, he brought when he last visited Kolkata and a pair of blue jeans, this was an exception from his T-Shirt and Track Suit routine. Tara met her in the drawing room, wearing a parrot green kurta with beautiful Lucknow Chikon embroidery and white churidar. Jennifer rushed to her and touched the corner of the kurta to feel its texture.

"Beautiful embroidery! Where did you buy this from?"
"From a sale in North Kolkata." said Tara taking pride at her bargaining skills while stealing glances with Shekhar who started to whistle turning his face sideways and looking at the joint of the wall and ceiling.

"North Kolkata Raiders..." said Shekhar as if singing a song.

"South Kolkata Oh-I-am-so-trendy-at-Gariahat intellectuals." said Tara in her best mocking avatar.

"What's all this?" enquired Jennifer half laughing, half confused.

“Don’t worry Aunty it is a regular thing over here. You come in and see my car collection." chimed in Roohi while running towards Jennifer and pulling her by hand to take her to her room.

"Wait, Princess, look Aunty has brought something for you." Jennifer said as she put forth the basket of chocolate.

Roohi was about to pounce on it when Jennifer removed it from her reach.

"Roohi will get the chocolates only if she says sorry to Mamma and Papa for speaking in between." said Jennifer playfully.

Roohi turned to her parents and said "Sorry Ma. Sorry Pa" bowing each time as a ballerina.

"She is such a drama Queen!" said Tara in an apologetic but motherly tone.
"This part of her is completely your gene." said Shekhar.
Tara glowered at her and Shekhar glowered back which made Tara giggle.



“What was the need for the basket of chocolates” said Tara earnestly.

“Oh yes, it was such a trouble to bring it and I am so hungry because of it. So, where is the brunch? I can only smell delicacies and can’t see them.” said Jennifer in good humour giving the basket to Roohi.

“Oh please do come in, I must say my wife is an excellent cook, my choice afterall.” said Shekhar preparing himself for a tender punch on his arm which lands right at the spot.

“So, how did you two meet?” asked Jennifer while sitting at the chair.

“Well Her Highness was bargaining at this footpath in Hatibagan, Kolkata and I was there just chilling with my college mates from St. Xaviers and when she turned we bumped into each other and my glasses fell and broke. She apologized and promised me to pay for my loss but I said it can be compensated only by a cup of coffee at the Coffee House in Kolkata. She said that is not possible as she studies in Bethune and then she just walked away with her friends, giggling.”

“Nice, what happened then?”

“Nothing, I just bunked my classes and roamed in front of her college for two weeks and on Friday she comes to me and asks me whether the attendance is compulsory in my college or not to which I say yes and she scolds me saying then do not bunk classes like a fool and stop waiting for her here, instead tells me to be there at 3 pm on Saturday at the Coffee House.”

“Then, what happened?” Jennifer leaned forward placing her elbow at the dining table and her palm resting at her cheeks with curiosity in her eyes.

“Then, my friend. all is history, and I am the prisoner….oh no pinching please!” said Shekhar moving sideways to save himself from the expected assault.

“What about you Jennifer? Where is your Princess, you could have brought her here.” said Tara.

“My Princess, well, she got into a boarding school in Shimla. We were trying it for her from the beginning of the session. We had given all hope of her admission there, but then, the second list came out last Monday and she got selected. I left her there last Tuesday and came back on Wednesday because I had some projects over here. My husband stays in the Middle East and I, being a photographer roam around the country. So, we took the decision to put her into boarding.
My husband and I were childhood friends and all in the family knew that we would marry one day.” Jennifer grabs her back pack and fishes out the photographs. She has a photograph framed in black ebony. "Here you go! Moments captured in the lens!"

“Oh, this is precious! Thank you, so, much!” said Tara squeezing Jennifer’s hands softly with tears in her eyes.

It was 7 p.m. when Jennifer finally left.

“I told you she is a nice lady Mr. Snob.” Said Tara to Shekhar who was doing the dishes.
“A genius can be wrong sometimes.” Shekhar winked.

“Yes, whatever.” Tara rolled her eyes as she dried the plates with a towel.

“So, Jennifer ebony always does the trick...” thought Jennifer entering  the dark room where she lived.

She switches on the light and fishes out another bigger back pack. She closes all the doors and windows tightly.
“Enough of fooling around and now, we get back to work.” Jenny says as she sits, takes out her camera and tripod and the lenses and puts them in the back pack. She hurries out of the room, locking it, leaving the lights on, rushes on the road hails a cab and gets in,  “To the railway station.”

On reaching at the station she buys an unreserved railway ticket. “My ticket to stay anonymous, no reservations made, no names flashed...” she thinks as she rushes towards the platform.  

Read the next part of the story here

 


Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Incredible Indiahhhh!!! Part-Two!!!

Usually I am ranting about the bad system and all about bad society, callous society, irresponsible people even my Incredible Indiahhhh!!! Part One!! had the same ranting about one of the persistent bad habit of the Indians.

That other day I was having a discussion with one of my friends and I said that USA is the Super Power today because the citizen have a national Pride and we do not have that. We are like West Indies a group of Nation uniting together for cricket.

Every day I open the News Paper and I see a variety and wonder our Newspaper is full on Entertainment Package with all Action (Murder, Theft) Drama (Political Drama) melodrama (Lok Sabha) Romance (Oh we are so Page 3 People). I am wondering when will one of this script will get a nomination at the Academy Awards (The Oscars). I find Patriotism is a VIP Minister which visits our poor heart only twice an year.

But then I got a tight slap on my face yesterday (Sunday Evening). it felt real good. Now all the feminists do not get me wrong I am not being a weak typical woman nor am I masochistic over here (I am maybe but that is some other dimension).

I went for watching Mary Kom and no I am not giving a review for the Movie please do visit Vinay Nagaraju's blog on this topic  it is a truly amazing post.

What happened was where the scene comes where Mary finally wins The Women's Amateur World Boxing Championship  for the fourth time and as the custom goes The Indian National Anthem is played. I was in my standing pose thinking that none of  the people will stand (A few years back Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum had the National Anthem played but no one but me stood up) but then the tight slap on my face came. Four youngsters of 20 to 25 years of age just sitting in the row in front of me stood up fraction of seconds before me and slowly the whole movie hall stood up just seeing five of us. Tears started flowing down my cheeks as I sang along the tune. The four people also were wiping tears. Every soul in that hall felt proud, felt Indian.

As I left the hall I held my husband's hand and said to my mother and him that, "All hope is not lost, we will overcome someday." That night I slept peacefully. The newspaper today is the same but I am hopeful and my hope is on the youth...including me.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being Fashionable



Faces: 
True, Untrue
Happy, Sad
Caring, Indifferent
Beautiful, Ugly
Awakened, Sleepy.

This question made me think, think real hard of all the times when I needed help and of the times when someone in dire need of help was in front of me. 

Being a benevolent person I usually help people I know when they need help. 

But what about strangers? I will think twice. 

I might even pass by them thinking that someone else will have the time to save.

 But the candle march rally? 

I may avoid it thinking that if I do not have time to save someone then why have a candle march.

 But will I raise my voice against it after reading the morning newspaper? 

Yes, sure I will. That is the only thing I do, use my freedom for speech.

Why do I voice my opinion?

 because it is fashionable.

Why Do we line up in a candle march?

 Because it is fashionable.

It is Fashion at My India the Great

Why do not we save people in distress? 

Simple logic it is never in fashion. We are fashionable people. We do every thing in fashion. We do not do what others won't do. So saving someone is out of fashion.

I too follow fashion. I love to be trendy. I voice my opinion but never save people in trouble.

But what happens when I am the VICTIM

Well then I fend for myself. I do not have any one to help.

 People will look at my pretty face. People will look at me and appreciate but they will never come when I am in distress. We are worshippers of beauty. They will love me rill I am beautiful. They will not save me when I am brutalized because then I am ugly. Who cares for ugly people. But when I am martyr to my own victimization then death shall make me beautiful, it will make me pure. People will come then for me with candles in their hands with their eyes open wide, face glowing. But then now while being brutalized they all have eyes wide shut and they wait red faced, ashamed at my ugliness. 

Knowing all this I walk, I live and when I see others in distress I pass by. I too wait for the person being martyred and then I jump into the scene.
         

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For Introverts

It is an odd array of things my life is made of. Yes, generally I do not write much about myself or my life in my blogs.A mention or two about my life in the comments of the blogs which touch my heart is generally the norm. This is the rare occasion where I am not hiding behind a Devyani, The Tunnel Of Mirrors, My Love or many other things. This time it is just me, pure and unadulterated me. To start of with I was a shy and Introvert child. I was so introvert and so quiet that people either thought I am either to abnormal or too proud. But I was shy and painfully introvert.

Living in a society where as a children it is normal to be loud, demanding, unruly and in short it was a thing of pride to be a Brat. I was sure the odd ball. People had all kind of assumptions. The questions never left my parents:

Why  is your child so silent?
Is she good in studies?
Is she normal?
Is she crazy?
Have you seen a doctor/psychiatrist?
Your child is too proud?

A simple thing as being an Introvert was a big issue. No, nothing was wrong with me.I was not dumb. Infact I topped the class. I was not lazy.I was very active. I just remained silent. Why? It was because it was my personality type.

Human Personality has various classification criteria. One of the many criteria is:

Introvert

 

Extrovert

 

Ambivert


 
Introvert is a personality type where a person keeps to oneself and is not outspoken. The person who is an introvert more sensitive to the inwards. Generally this person thinks a lot about past, future and sometimes present. An Introvert is someone with a very strong emotional Bubble.

Extrovert is a person who is outgoing and loves to interact. Extrovert mostly loves to live in the present. Extrovert is more sensitive towards the happenings around and outwards.

Ambivert is somewhere in between these two.

A person who is introvert generally creates a lot of mystery around him or her. The simple reason being the person is so quiet and can't be reached. People generally perceive that their is a fortress surrounding them and this is true to some extent.

So, what do you do when you are an introvert and face questions like this:

Why don't you talk?
Over heard: haven't you heard their daughter is abnormal she is an introvert?
Advice: What is wrong with you? Have almonds it will increase your brain!
Over heard; She keeps quiet since she broke up with that guy....heard she was sleeping with them.

My reactions were of:
irritation
My jaw dropped
Aunty Please I top the class, I am the House Vice Captain.
Oh Really!! make me meet "That Guy" with whom I was head over heels in love let me also see how he looks like.

But then sense crept into me. I chose to ignore things and pass them off with a smile. As an introvert I tend to over think and contemplate then sulk but then I chose not to. I came in terms with the fact that i am introvert.

So, The first thing accept what you are and be cool about it.

Remember if you are not happy and at peace about yourself you are not at peace with the world.

The one person that matters the most in this world to you is you. So, to be happy is your topmost priority.

 

To the parents of introvert children:

Never force your child to be outspoken.

An Introvert child is more perceptive than the ordinary child. The child is introvert so, will have a very strong self bubble.For the child you are in the bubble. You accept the child the child accepts you.. Do this from your heart as an introvert child  can sometimes read your thoughts.

Do not force the child to share if the child doesn't want. Let it pass. But keep an eye on the daily activities. Introvert have a high threshold of pain. The best thing they can bear huge amount of pressure. The bad part you will never know when they have a burnout.

Never emotionally blackmail an introvert child. Never suspect an introvert child without solid proofs. You might say "Get out, you are not my child!" and it might create a permanent scar.

Do you know what is an introvert's favourite pass time? it's thinking and deciphering meanings. Never ever accuse an introvert without proper proof. They have a tendency to hold a grudge and answer it in ways unfathomable. Even if it is a negation, it might break their self confidence and push them further in a shell.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

YES OFFICER!!

Incident One: An Officer-in-Charge catches a thief red handed. He takes him under custody. While interrogating he sees that he is barely 19 or 20. His clothes are tattered and he looks sickly. The Officer asks why did he steal? He said to pay of a debt of some five thousand bucks to claim his father's rickshaw. This boy's father died recently of long sickness and in his treatment the last asset barring their home was either pawned or sold. The Officer releases him gives him five thousand (Equals his month's salary) and says to get back the rickshaw and stop stealing. The Boy does that and the officer doesn't get the money back and doesn't even bother. The Officer has a daughter suffering from Thalasemia who needs regular blood transfusion.

Incident Two: As The Truck enters one of the busiest roads in the city at 5 pm during the peak office hour traffic the Traffic Sergeant stretches his hand like an artiste in pose. The truck driver quickly hands over a hundred rupee note and moves on to give the commuters a nightmare. The Trucks are not allowed to enter city roads between 8 am to 10 pm.

Incident Three: A lady IPS officer cracks a case in 72 hours. She is transferred to a less relevant post.

Incident Four: After 6-7 months of a brutal murder case (rape also) not a single culprit is caught.

Incident Four: A diligent IPS officer ensures smooth Traffic during Durga Pujas. All the officers are standing in the sun doing their duties while we enjoy hassle free Durga Puja. Families together watching Puja. Fathers Mothers and Kids. The Police Officers are someone's Son, Father, Brother, Fiance, Lover, Friend, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Wife. They stand their, they do not have a holiday when all have.

Incident Five: A scene erupts in the street. Some rowdies taking law in their hands. Police just is a silent spectator.

Incident Six: The Financial Capital is under threat. A senior IPS officer, A Police Constable all jump into save the city. The Constable faces an Automatic Weapon with his Office Weapon. You need courage to face Death, To Fight it.

I often wonder why Police= Corrupt?

I am not stating that all Police are good. I am not saying all are inefficient and corrupt.

But they are humans and individuals. Individual ethics and character vary.

The system plays an important role. Not all can go against the Political Bosses. They remain silent.

Some stand. They face two things Transferred or Killed. These people don't fear either.

Some are basically weak and give in to the corruption.

It is not the Police Force but the story of an Entire Nation.

A BETTER CITIZEN=BETTER NATION

A BETTER CITIZEN= A BETTER POLICE OFFICER

It all starts with and ends with

WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA.

In Response To INDISPIRE EDITION 27
 (Do click to see the enteries of my fellow bloggers)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thank You Maa

"Wake up you sleepy head." yelled a voice softly (if you know what threatening whispers of a mother means)

"Mom, let me sleep..Its a holiday for Heaven's Sake."I said in sleepy irritation.

"No, you fool its 12 midnight. It's not a holiday for crying out loud. It's THE INDEPENDENCE DAY." She said empathically.

That startled me out of my sleep. I jumped up and sat straight. My mouth hung open to see a splitting image of my mother but I could say she was not my mother. Dusky, with eyes that told you a thousand words, disheveled long black hair. Wearing a white saree. Had it not been the disheveled hair and the saree I would have never thought that it was not my mother.

"Who are you?"
"Can't you see? I am your mother."

"No, you just look like her you are definitely not my mother." I said with conviction.

She tapped my head, "I am your Mother Land."

"If you are Mother India why do I look like my mother?" I was still confused.

"Why? Had it been better if I looked like Mr. India!!?? I look like your mother to you. To another child I will be having the face of her mother. I am just the extension of the soul of every mother in this land which you choose to conveniently ignore. This nation is the part of your soul which you so conveniently ignore. The country is the extension of your home which you choose to conveniently ignore."

I sat quietly staring at her calm face and torrid hair. Something in me woke up that moment.....WE CONVENIENTLY IGNORE a part of our mother, our soul, our country.

"Whose blood do you want to wash your hair with and then tie up." I asked all of a sudden.
"You are intelligent. How did you guess I need blood?"
"I saw your hair open, disheveled and uncombed and that reminded me of Draupadi, who pledged not to tie her hair until she bathes her hair with Dushasan's blood."

"You are right my dear child but partially. I have been insulted many times but I do not seek revenge s it is my own child who have wronged me time and again for years. I will wash my hair not with blood but by the honesty, the dedication, the selfless love towards the mother land by each and every Indian."

"You know mother that is not possible. Corruption, greed and all these evils will never go. You do not wait for utopia to happen. Stop waiting and tie your hair thinking of the few children who are honest."

"YOUR MOTHER NEVER GIVES ON YOU. I WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU CHILD." said Mother as she slowly vanished in the thin air.

I woke up and saw The Mahabharata lying by my bedside. It was 1o'clock in the early morning. I had slept reading the Cheer Haran part. I closed the book and then I knew what mother meant.

Turn "Bharat: into "Maha(n) Bharat." (Great India).

Thank You Maa....

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

 

Friday, August 8, 2014

India and Matters of the Heart

Marriage and Love or Love and Marriage is a tricky affair all over the world. Matters of heart and human emotions are always tricky. Why they are tricky?

  • Human beings are complex creatures. No two people are alike. What works for one don't work for another. There is no formula for love.
  • Even people get attracted to each other it might not be love.
  • Even they are in love there might be compatibility issues.
The more individualistic the society is the more importance is given to Individual choices. Individualistic societies focus  more on individuals and there needs. You are not implicated unless you are not committing any crime. Their so called morals are negotiable. People won't slit the throat of a fellow person just because he is not up to the benchmark of morality he has set. People understand and respect the fact that to each person lies his/her choices and morality.

Shifting Focus to India: We are an ancient river side civilization, sharing a common river and a limited space with a humungous population. If you look at us we are one of the oldest surviving civilization. Be it The Hindus (I prefer Sanatani), The Muslims, The Christians, The Budhists, The Sikhs all are our people. There fore father have lived and died in this land. They might have had other religion that time but you can change religion , you can't alter genes. We as an Old Civilization have seen death, devastation, famine, flood but we survived. We had our civilization tagging along with us. What made our civilization survive? Living in clan, following rules led down through ages, sacrificing personal interests for the society. These things are stored in our Social Memory. We had so much to fight outwards that we neglected inwards. Its worth noting that this land of great Scholars never had a prominent Psychologist. Marriage for us is not an individual affair and choice. It is a social thing. It is empowering our clan by associating with the other people of our clan. Its about being homogeneous. Love and Individualism gets thrown away in the battle of survival. The theory of marriage here is simple:
  • Human Beings are Complex??? No, its a myth. Who cares if two people are different. Their caste and religion is the same. Marry them off before time passes.
  • What Attraction? What Love? No time for it. Their caste and religion is the same. Marry them off before time passes. They have to fall in love and if not who cares a child with in one year they are sealed for life.
  • Compatibility?? Their caste and religion is the same. Marry them off before time passes. They will have sex and everything will be all right.
 Everything went right till the ages but until now. We have passed the survival stage and are moving on. we are opening our eyes to the other aspects of life, like individual choices. The boundaries are falling apart. We are interacting irrespective of what our Religion or Caste is. We are transforming and in the last ten years we are transforming through leaps and bounds. What is the catch? Well we are facing a generation gap war. My Grandfather (b. 1914) and my Father (b. 1951) never had a generation gap issue. Why? because he thought that going in accordance with the society is the right way just like his father. But me (b. 1986) have a torrid relationship with my parents. Why? because I am questioning the ways which were down there for thousands of years. I was adorning my individuality first and society wishes second. This is not just me but a whole pattern. We cannot change the mentality or the outlook of people who have lived all there lives living an ideology in a single go. This is one thing we have to accept. We are the first generation of our kind. We have to go through many sacrifices for a better world for our future generation. Our ways are tough because we are the first to walk in masses on this very less traveled road of individualism.

Marriage in India is a social affair. We discuss the wedding dress the bride has more than the happiness of the couple. We discuss the food more than couple's compatibility. We ourselves somewhere ignore the real bliss. I will say in urban areas the things are changing. Parents retaliate thinking of kid's happiness (I am sure an inter caste marriage or an inter religion marriage would have been alright with me after proper counselling of my parents) and thanks to the urban isolation, the society does not matter much.

But what about Tier 2 and 3 cities and villages? It is still a taboo. Forget inter caste and inter religion even a plain intra caste marriage is a taboo over there. People are still honour killed based on these archaic assumptions. The situation is dismal in many regions.

But the silver lining is that things are changing and they are changing for good. A section of people are accepting inter caste and inter religion marriages. We as a nation just have to stand strong and usher a holistic change.

My conclusion Inter Caste Marriage is a Taboo in "Bharat" but its not a Taboo in "India".

Inspired to write in reponse to Indispire Edition 25.

Inter - Religion marriage still taboo among indians ? What is your take on it . #InterReligionMarriage

For more interesting blogs in the same topic do visit my Fellow Bloggers (click here)

Labels : marriage , inter-religion marriagessociety , relationships