Tuesday, December 22

A piece of seamed memories #2

I realised I've written on some 'serious' topics of late, so to lighten up the mood here's another poem from me :)

If at all there's a smile that can steal one's heart,
I want to flash that smile for you.

If at all there's a moment that can take my breath away,
I want to live that moment with you.

If at all there are eyes that can speak volumes,
I want to have those eyes for you.

If at all there's a feeling that people call love,
I want to share that feeling with you.

If at all there's a joy that knows no bounds,
I know I'll find that joy with you.

Saturday, December 19

More than a woman

From time immemorial woman has been perceived as the epitome of love, dedication, sincerity and resilience. Whatever role she’s in, she’s a role-model for everyone. In our culture we’ve believed in setting her on a pedestal and offering her prayers for our well-being, safety and happiness.

Having said this, in today’s world we’re committing crimes, acting inexcusably and what more, we’re not even ashamed of it. One such heinous crime that’s only been increasing in recent years is: female foeticide.

Let’s see some facts first. Sex-selective abortion has been seen as worsening the sex ratio in India, and thus affecting gender issues related to sex compositions of Indian households. According to the 2001 census, the sex-ratio in India is 107.8 males per 100 females, up from 105.8 males per 100 females in 1991. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab (126.1) and Haryana (122.0).

Our society is full of hypocrites. Everyone wants a bride for their (assumingly) eligible son but having a daughter themselves would make them bawl in disappointment. In our country where we consider females as goddesses we see intolerable importance and priority given to the male child. The girl child is considered as a liability, a burden that’s to be borne till the time she gets married, and even after that.

What’s saddening is that, more often than not, women themselves are party to such inhuman acts. It’s true that nowadays sex-determination tests have been strictly restricted, but the fact that female foeticide is still on the rise proves that there’s certainly some loophole somewhere in the system.

Nowadays, there are various methods that can be used to pre-determine the sex of the child. Only doctors are privy to such information and knowledge, but even they fall prey to their greed for money and become an accomplice in eradicating the issue completely.

There’s no field today where women have not left a mark. Whether she’s a working woman or a housewife, she’s proved time and again that she can handle and balance everything with equal alacrity. Doesn’t it then become the collective responsibility of families as well as doctors to act with dignity and accept the truth for what it is?

I’m a woman and am proud to be one. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been given a boon by nature, that to give birth to a new life. And I'd like to believe every woman feels this way.

Its time we put a stop to all these practices. Or else it won’t be long before we’ll see this world full of "surplus males" who will have no females for them.

Late Late Late :(

Hi All...

I have been keeping very busy of late and have been finding it real tough to keep up with all of you. There's also been some technical problem due to which I'm not able to access any blogs (including mine) on my laptop, and hence the late replies to your comments or sometimes no replies at all :(:(

Please bear with this for some more time and continue writing in...your comments and replies make my day :)

Thursday, December 10

Getting some answers

Last week we shifted our house. Before shifting there are some minor rituals to be performed in the new house. After completing them, as I was waiting for the sweeper to come in and clean up the apartment our new neighbor barged into our house with full authority to , in her own words, ‘check on the new people coming in’.

She had a whole questionnaire prepared for me. Where did we live before this? Who all are there in our family? Am I a working woman or a house-wife? How old is my son? What does my husband do? Where is his office? And on and on and on…

Within a matter of a few minutes she managed to get all my basic details, which would’ve taken longer to summarize had I been filling up the application form for a passport. She even suggested a new maid to look after my son.

What did strike as something peculiar to me was that she assumed that we had a Marathi lineage. May be my fluent Marathi fueled that thought. She went ahead and told me that most people in our apartment are ‘apli manasa’, as in Marathi people. I had to politely correct her that we belonged to a Marwari family, after which she again assumed (!!!!) that we had some jewellery shop or something!

The lady tested my patience no end, but I managed to keep my cool. I can vouch that she looked a bit disappointed that I was not one amongst them. Within moments her language and tone changed from ‘we’ to ‘you people’. It feels very sad that we call ourselves a secular country and even then stress on the ‘caste’ part so much.

We don’t mind when we visit foreign countries and are called as Indians, but when we’re in India we’re not Indians. Here we are identified with our caste or religion. We see colonies and borders everywhere. We see people supporting only people from their own caste on various occasions.

How right is this? Isn’t it time we think beyond these petty things and look at the larger picture, our country?India’s been already broken down into many parts, are we waiting for another disaster to open our eyes?

Wednesday, December 9

A Matter of Publicity

One bug that seems to have bitten every person who is or is a wannabe celebrity is PUBLICITY. It is interesting to see the levels to which people will stoop just to get their picture published in a newspaper, or getting aired on television even if it is just for a moment.

Whenever I read ‘Bombay Times’, inadvertently my gaze settles on the Page 3 section which is filled with excerpts of some high-profile party, some brunch or some social-do. It is complete with the list of attendants; the A-listers and Page 3 regulars. The reporter religiously reports on what the menu was, who wore what and who made a fashion faux-pas. What I find very endearing is when these people organize a fund-raising show for underprivileged kids or some social cause, and they come for the event dressed as if it was a fashion parade. They wouldn’t have an inkling of why they’re there but they’d ‘support the cause’ for what it is worth! So much for publicity!

Our film stars have always fancied this. Whether it’s the release of a movie, judging or participating in a reality show, and if nothing else, featuring in commercials, we see them splashed all over, in all forms of media. These people never fail to grab an opportunity to make an appearance, even if it is someone’s wedding, birthday or even a funeral(remember Teji Bacchan’s funeral or the latest, Shilpa Shetty’s wedding?). They turn up for the event dressed in their designer’s best, gladly posing for the cameras and giving some pertinent responses. They have very public affairs and break-ups, both of which ensure ample print-space for them.

The lesser mortals, for whom the doors won’t open on their own, adopt tried-and-tested methods. Attaching your name to a famous personality accusing him/her of using you or making bold statements, which are sure to make eye-balls roll. No one knew Monica Lewinsky before her affair with Bill Clinton came out or the recent Tiger Woods’ series of affairs with many girls which don’t seem to stop! These men had to face the wrath of the whole world, but the girls became celebrities overnight. The truth behind these incidents is irrelevant, what matters is that these girls got the better deal, everyway.

Closer home, the best example for this would be Rakhi Sawant. The kind of stories about her that we see and read is both desperate and cheap. We see her appearing on reality shows; trapped in a house with few others, picking up her groom in her ‘swayamwar’ or trying to raise kids with her current partner. We see her histrionics after she breaks up with whoever she was with, if she’s signed for a movie or there’s something brewing between her family members. What’s worse is that people do fall prey to these gimmicks and all this hype usually pays off.

This signifies the sorry state of journalism and media responsibility, worldwide. In their quest to increase their viewership and readership media populace would do anything. Added to that the desperate brigade of wannabe celebrities, and we have a coalition publicity campaign.

What needs to be understood is that too much public scrutiny can mar a person’s or couple’s image. Jennifer Aniston had said that her marriage with Brad Pitt broke because of the constant media glare. Princess Diana lost her life while trying to hide away from the paparazzi. We know that as public figures these people owe us some amount of accountability, but it is for them to decide where to draw the line. And for us, well, it’s good to get entertained but not cool when it is in bad taste.
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