Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Note for House no.519

Today will be the last day in this house. House no. 519 that we stepped into, two and half years ago. Although it takes a lot of time for me to accept a house as my home, this time around it happened with a drop of a hat.
The nostalgia is picking my pieces and strewing them all over like "goodbye" notes I want to leave for this space I fell in love with, without second thoughts. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rapes in India--A Social Evil or a Cultural Endemic?

Rape is not just an epidemic but a culture in a country like India. When a mishap like a rape happens, this school of thought bares it claws. From the laymen to defence lawyers to the police, no one spares a thought for a woman, with whom a very personal crime has happened. No one tries to help her or bring the culprits to book, except casting aspersions on her.

The rape of a 23 years old woman on December 16 th shook the country with a thunderbolt attracting even the international media’s attention. The books of law called it the "rarest of rare" cases because the act was inhuman and beastly that ultimately led to the death of the victim. While the juvenile victim who was four months short of becoming a major, was spared the gallows, the other three men got capital punishment. One of the culprits had already committed suicide soon after the incident, which again was deemed as a murder to cover up the case which had shaken the prospects of the ruling party. Since this rape was an exception which led to the death of the victim, the punishment given was the highest but that strengthened the notion that to bring a rapist to the gallows one has to be raped in the most brutal of circumstances. If not you might never ever get justice, leave alone justice perhaps your case might never even get heard. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A.P.J Abdul Kalam:My Journey

Title: My Journey- Transforming Dreams into Actions
Author : A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Genre : Non-fiction
ISBN : 9788129124913
Number of Pages: 146
Price : Rs. 195

Our Eleventh President can never get it wrong, it seems. From having designed missiles, to having devised strategic development plans for the country to having written books that share honest anecdotes from his life, he has done everything with excellence and elan. I particularly liked the book for his accounts of the scientific life and the challenges that didn't cow him down. How each failure only shaped his sight and made him a better human. His humility and spiritual connect to the Almighty God doesn't make you wonder, why he always gets it right. 

The first story My Father's Morning Walk talks of his father Jainulabdeen and his connect with nature and divinity. His calmness and composure made him a favourite person in the small town of Rameshwaram where people always used to turn upto him with their woes and wails. His spirituality was a healer to people battered by loneliness and worries and he had answers to souls scavenged by sorrows. 

The Boat inspires us to not force our ambitions and plans on paper and leave them in the care of the greater force called nature which has already charted a path for us. It communicates to us that surviving is gathering those pieces and moving on, just like his father did everytime a natural disaster failed him and his business.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dear Racists, I am not a Madrasi and nor is any South Indian!

Today was an amazing day, until something uncanny happened! We happened to go out for lunch after many Fridays. Since mom and Roger are in Kerala and I am almost done with clogging up my bags with clothes and books, this was small hope in the offing. For it seems, after hopping homes it would be long before I could catch up on this kind of Friday fun. We first went to buy books, two of us who read and the other three went bowling in the meanwhile. I picked a few more short story collections that won't read like cliche. Seemingly this reading ritual will help me improvise on my writing skills, so will it help a few more story ideas to take root in mind. What scripted the destiny of this day was the behavior and mannerisms of my batch mates that left me wide eyed.
After our shopping spree, both of us ladies, decided to book the tickets for the men in the group. While the movie of choice was something I had seen two weeks ago, the experience didn't ring in my head at all except for John Abraham of course. While that reminds me of the fact that I am yet to review that movie "Madras Cafe" and give it a four star rating for sure. I went over to see a beefy John Abraham playing with fire and ice, any number of times can I sit in the depths of darkness of a movie hall, to see that gorgeous Malayali. While I sat through the meaty tales of the movie, I decided to surprise the other people by taking them for a typical South Indian lunch. For not everyday, do these people mostly from the plains of Northern India get to feed on South Indian cuisine. After the movie, I gave them an intimation of my ideas. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lessons in Humility from a 22 year old Cancer Patient

From the times I've started visiting the monastery I am seeing a change in me. The anger has gone for a toss so has that ear to ear smile come back. I am getting to loving myself more, for no rhyme or reason. The brickbats against my brown skin colour or ugly face or failures or single status don't catchy my fancy anymore. I am learning both to forgive as well forget. Sometimes when none of these virtues weigh in worth I try staying aloof. Until last year all this never had a place in my life. My blood boiled at anything that others said against me and to be honest I've lost count of the number of times I've put behind friendships to stay sane. And then one day lightening struck me, it seems. I decided to be an accomplice to mom's monthly pilgrimage to the monastery for a midnight mass. Initially I fell on deaf ears when mom instructed me to go over with her. After the first two visits, I started playing the hooky. It wasn't holding my attention for I was ignorant towards the bliss I would taste, in a future unseen. Then slowly I became prayerful and patient. Not that any kind of propaganda that religion wanted to play on me for being a woman was finding favour. I was becoming a better human by the day, and it was an observation that I couldn't give a miss. Mom attributed it to more of meditation and lately that thought started rubbing off on me. I promised to myself to be a visitor to the monastery for the first Saturday midnight mass, from thence. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

2nd September 2013

I wished to watch Madras Cafe today and don't regret a bit in having made that decision. In an era, when popular actors are raking in the moolah by tom-fooling an audience that is finding absurd antics entertaining and worth a see, this actor went one step ahead and tried to show us the mirror by making this film. His performance spells finesse and I admire him for having got into the skin of the character. He looks dashing in the flashback as an army officer who doubles up to be an intelligence agent. While in the second half his shabby beard and drooping eyes make him look every bit the alcoholic he has tried to portray.  I could finally forgive John Abraham for having committed a folly in the past by appearing in a popular men's fairness cream advertisement and for being a bigoted sexist in a personal interview.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

1st September 2013

It is unlikely that I roam around on a Sunday. With me attending most Sunday masses at the Sacred Heart cathedral, I left my parental church for seeable reasons that I couldn't turn a blind eye to. After the mass I love a quiet Sunday breakfast, all by myself. A plate full of brown bread sandwiches and chocolate cakes makes for the ideal Sunday breakfast. Do not know if solitude has adopted me as its only baby or do I love to watch strangers more often than earlier, to strike upon story ideas.                                                                                          
Today was on such amusing Sunday. After the mass I headed straight for the DLF place, Saket. With not many people sticking around malls on a Sunday morning it was indeed quiet and very very lazy. For that matter, I needed some time for myself. When I can sit by the edge of a table and think what needs to be done to nay say an old friend. It never did occur to me that some day, someone will like me for being rebellious. You know in India all such girls are likely to be labelled as "sexually promiscuous"  or "arrogant" or with some such word that defines a girl that is anything but not dutifully obedient. We Indians girls were taught to tie our tongues and jail them behind our teeth. Opinions need to be kept to ourselves and if they are ever expressed, may God help us. With such ancient culture staying fossilized in every speck of dust in this piece of the planet, women like me are the rarest of rare species whose loose tongues can land us in trouble. It has happened many times on earlier occasions having driven away guys interested in me miles apart, but this time around it was a surprise in store.