“Waterfalls” , the hit 1994 Grammy nominated single was TLC’s hard hitting portrayal of how people chase intangible dreams without sparing a thought to the consequences of their actions. The words remain true even today.
A lonely mother gazing out of the window
Staring at her son that she just can’t touch
If at any time he’s in a jam, she’ll be by his side
But he doesn’t realize he hurts her so much
But all the praying just ain’t helping at all
Cause he can’t seem to keep his self out of trouble
So he goes out and he makes his money the best way he knows how
Another body laying cold in the gutter
Listen to me
The first verse of the song describes an inner city mother & son relationship. The mother knows he is chasing “waterfalls” (money and respect by dealing drugs), but worries for him because she is all too aware that the actions of his son cannot end well. She tries praying it all away but to no avail and so the helpless mother is in a painful place.
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast
Little precious has a natural obsession for temptation
But he just can’t see
She gives him loving that his body can’t handle
But all he can say is, “Baby it’s good to me”
One day he goes and take a glimpse in the mirror
But he doesn’t recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn’t know why
Three letters took him to his final resting place
Y’all, don’t hear me
The second verse depicts a man’s relationship with a woman. His “waterfall” is casual sex – he has a “natural obsession for temptation.” This could mean he is cheating on someone or the woman he is seeing is cheating on someone. Either way, he contracts HIV and dies (“three letters took him to his final resting place”). As a matter of fact, TLC were big on AIDS awareness – Left Eye would often wear condoms attached to her clothes and in her glasses to promote safe sex.
“It strikes me profoundly that the world is more often than not a bad and cruel place.”
― Bret Easton Ellis,
What’s the worst nightmare you’ve experienced in your lifetime?
Nothing can prepare you for the violence, torture, humiliation and gross maltreatment meted out to Junko Furuta at the tender age of just 17 years. The events that lead up to her death are so profoundly shocking that they can have but one of two instant reactions from someone, either utter disbelief or mind numbing shock. Her incessant torture and sexual abuse, that lasted 41 days was carried out by 4 teenaged boys, all under 17 years old themselves, points to a disturbing reality, that it doesn’t take a hardened criminal to subject another human being to cruelty, it just takes a criminal bent of mind. The violent streak in a person is not something that escalates from the first crime onward, it is rather a chance for him or her to act out on the need for carrying out violence that roots itself in their subconscious from what does seem to be a reasonably long time.
The atrocities inflicted upon Furuta seem to be from a script of a horror movie. Her ordeal began on the first day of her kidnapping, to last upto 44 days during which, she was subjected to all kinds of abuse imaginable. As per their own confession, the boys took turns raping her repeatedly for a total of over 400 times, fed her cockroaches & forced to drink her own urine. She was forced to masturbate, was burnt with cigarettes repeatedly, and was violated with foreign objects introduced in her vagina and anus.
Since she had gone missing suddenly, there was a clear danger of her parents getting worried and reporting the matter to the police, which could lead to a manhunt. To eliminate the possibility, the boys made her call her parents and tell them that she had she had left home and had gone away, but was with her friends and was safe.
The motive or reason behind the crime remains unclear.
On December 1, 1988, cruelty went several notches up, and Junko was severely beaten up a number of times. She was hung from the ceiling and was used as a punch bag. Her nose was filled by her own blood to the extent that she could only breathe through her mouth. When she was brought down from the ceiling, dumbbells were dropped on her stomach. The damage done to her internal organs was considerable, which is why she could not hold water inside despite being thirsty. When she asked for water and was given some to drink, she vomited it out almost as soon as she drunk it.
She also made an attempt to escape, but was caught and was punished by being burnt with cigarette butts. Inflammable liquid was poured on her arms and legs and she was set on fire for having tried to run away. Not just that; a bottle was also inserted up her anus causing injury.
Ten days later, on December 10, 1988, when she could not walk properly due to severe burns on the legs, she was beaten up by bamboo sticks. According to some unconfirmed reports, fireworks were inserted in her anus and were lit. She was beaten up by golf clubs and her hands were smashed by weights used for exercising and her nails were cracked to inflict pain.
Ten days later, the boys poured hot wax on her face and her eyelids burnt by cigarette lighter, and she was not only stabbed with sewing needles in the chest region, but her left nipple was also clipped with a plier and destroyed. Due to the insertion of objects in her vagina, she bled heavily, and was unable to urinate properly. The injuries to her private parts were so severe that it took over half an hour to crawl downstairs to use the lavatory to urinate. Her eardrums were also severely damaged though there is not much clarity about the real cause of the damage.
On the 40th day of her captivity, Junk virtually begged her abductors to kill her and end her unbearable suffering. But that was not to happen for another couple of days.
On January 4, 1989, the boys got furious over something and wanted to take it out on Furuta. They started hitting Furuta’s mutilated body with an iron barbell, and kept on until she started bleeding from her mouth. They also subjected her face and eyes to the flame of a candle. Thereafter, highly inflammable lighter fluid was poured on her arms and legs and she was set on fire alive. The fire was put out soon, but not soon enough to prevent injury; only soon enough to prevent immediate death.
Junko Furuta did not carry on any longer and died a couple of hours later the same day after suffering the unbearable agony for 41 days, which was further scaled up to the extreme in the final few hours of her life. Junko Furuta’s death was among the most painful individual deaths caused by human beings in the history of mankind.
On January 5, 1989, the boys filled a 55-gallon drum with concrete, dumped the dead girl’s body in the setting concrete. The drum was then cast away somewhere on the reclaimed land in Koto, Tokyo.
The boys were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced, but since they were juveniles at the time of committing the crime, the jail terms were lighter. They were sentenced to imprisonment ranging between four to seven years.
“Don’t you feel shame? I thought scum like you could at least feel shame”
― Kohta Hirano
The dumbest trending hashtag on the internet yet!
And it’s come into existence because of an advertising campaign coming from the house of Bianco Footwear and it’s premise is,
Equal pay is not enough,women need more!
First of all, unequal pay or the pay gap is an over used , beaten to death feminist talking point which is not taken seriously by anyone because every economist in the world rejects the conclusions of studies that are conducted around this , simply because it has been concluded via research that women make different choices than men when it comes to work life balance, deal with it.
Also, those that say there arnt enough women CEOs must acknowledge the fact that there arnt many women sewage cleaners and sanitation workers either…but i guess feminists want equality in all the glamorous, fun stuff.
And lastly, this ridiculous, feminist propaganda video suggests that it’s more expensive just being a woman so women deserve more pay than men! Imagine the outrage if this was a campaign for men!
Even so, this is twisted beyond words.
First of all, it is a CHOICE to wear expensive underwear, you can’t afford it? Don’t! There’s cheaper garments available too you know, that for your pocket, your employer is under no obligation to support your lifestyle choices!
And if you desperately want an expensive thong, how about you work overtime and EARN it ????
Stop begging for more lest people stop taking women seriously.
A lot has been said about men & their power dynamics in the corporate world. Power is corrupting & it takes a man of great character & a higher moral threshold than most to not exploit people when you’re in a position to. But why do we obsess over the exploiter & forget to address the people on the receiving end? I know when it comes to sexual exploitation, men & women are almost equally at risk for becoming the object of some corporate psychopath’s unwanted affection but because I am a woman, I want to TALK TO THE WOMEN.
Let’s start with the word ‘compromise‘. I am not sure why is the seeking of & complying with demands for sexual favors termed as a compromise in most scenarios. Is it the man who is lowering his standards of taste in women when he chooses to share himself with a woman suffering with such low self – esteem or is it the woman who is ‘compromising’ by letting herself get abused in this way by a man who thinks nothing more of her than a sexual conquest? I believe, in popular culture, the word is used to describe a corporate version of prostitution. That’s right woman. You’re not compromising, you’re prostituting. Think about it. A prostitute sleeps with men in an arrangement devoid of mutual respect & affection in exchange for money. She sleeps with the occasional politician or policeman for no charge but in exchange for survival & continuing to function in her line of business. And lastly, sometimes, she sleeps with the pimps so they help her raise in the ranks. Now do me a favor & replace the words prostitute with ‘female employee’ & the words depicting men in positions of power with ‘boss’. That’s you. It’s the ONLY difference. A twist of words. I hope this makes you realize the FACT that this is no compromise. Do not make the folly of letting yourself off that easy.
Now, let’s explore the reasons for this kind of a dehumanizing arrangement. The reasons for the exploitative asshole are simple. He is a man who obviously suffers from deep rooted self-esteem issues, is egoistic, a tad bit sadistic & feels that the only way he can make himself feel powerful is by rendering others powerless. What about you? Well, you suffer from low self – esteem too & lack confidence in your capabilities & feel this is the only way you can rise the corporate ladder. Either that or you’re just plain lazy. You know it’s the easy way out. Some of you would say you have personal reasons for not wanting to leave the organization because you are very ‘majboor’ (destitute). ‘Majboor’ for what? Think. What’s the worst thing that you would probably have to do if you leave this job? Join another organization? Work from scratch in a new place? You can’t find another company that’s an equally good paymaster?
While I was working with Intelenet Global Services, one of my fist trysts with the corporate world, I did experience a situation like this first hand. The Operations Manager for the Healthcare process I was an associate in was notorious for his ‘deep interest in female employees’. He was a God in his own mind, at least that’s the feeling you got if you stole a glance across the busy operations floor over to the area divided by glass walls, the place where he seated himself, legs spread wide apart, a sly grin on his face. There was something about him that made your stomach churn. You do get awestruck with these people. I for one, was in awe of his sheer audacity. He had turned around a lot of careers thanks to his ‘feedback’ & ‘grooming sessions’. I was 22, fresh out of my first job, had heard a few corporate horror stories but never imagined something like this could be soon coming my way. My TL, walked up to me one day as I was busy chattering away to glory with one of my friends. I stashed away my bag of chips as we were not allowed to eat on the ops floor, but who cared about that! I only cared about the torturous monologue my TL would subject me to if caught. Usually, he would start his infamous monologue on floor hygiene as I would be wiping my hands but this time he had a grin on his face. A grin of amusement, almost. ‘A**r has called you. He wants to speak with you, just walk over to his bay”. I wasn’t sure what this was about. Did I process a claim incorrectly? Has he received a complaint? Have I screwed compliance? Why is my TL not talking to me about this? Why is he not accompanying me? I was very nervous as I approached the man I had previously only said ‘Hi’ to on occasion.
“You look nervous…relax, here, have a seat”
I parked myself in one of the chairs lying around his desk & thus began one of the most confusing conversations I had ever imagined to be a part of.
“Isha, I am not going to beat around the bush! I really like young talent & my vision for this process is to take it to another level altogether. I want to see everyone do well. Especially women under my wing. I feel women must be provided equal opportunities of growth as men are you with me on that?”
Who wouldn’t be? I nodded my head, grateful, that it’s not compliance, wanting very much to head back to my bag of chips.
“I see great potential in you in fact, I give your example in huddles because you come across as someone with great leadership potential”
Oh okay, I thought. Kept nodding. I also think very highly of myself, thank you.
“So what I have decided for you is, I am going to invest some time in you & groom you personally & believe me Isha, before you even realize what’s happening, you would be leading this team”
I had to intervene at this point to bring forth a crucial concern, “Sir I am not a graduate, I couldn’t complete my graduation for personal reasons but I am pursuing it, so I think that’s going to be a problem”
“Don’t be silly Isha! You think I can’t handle something as basic as this? It’s irrelevant. My only concern is , office hours are too busy. I can’t hamper business by pulling out people when they should be generating numbers, but at the same time, I do want to groom you, so tell me what can we do about this”
The ball was left in my court. “I can extend my shift for an hour sir, that’s not a problem”
Apparently, that’s not the answer he was looking for. “I am strictly against employees extending their working hours, I mean you have a family, you have a life too! Do you think we can meet outside of work at some point”
I thought about it, but it seemed too boring. I mean I was desperate for this to end right there, the mere thought of this conversation lingering on with this uninteresting man was too much for young me to bear. I thought about all the fun things I could do instead of spending time with him & said no.
“Sir I meet my parents every weekend, I make it a point to visit my family so that would not be possible”
He was quite for the longest two minutes of each of our lives.
Finally, he regained composure, “To build careers, you have to compromise your time. I have big dreams for you, but am disappointed to hear this lack of drive in your tone. Don’t you want to grow? Tell me, when are we meeting?”
“Sir, I will have to think about this, I mean I am really thankful to you for being so considerate however, I wasn’t prepared for this at all. I was under the impression that you are going to ask me to leave, TBH, because of something I did wrong from a processing perspective. Allow me some time please”
And so he did, with a deadline. My friend was shifting in her seat uncomfortably & my TL grinning stupidly when I waltzed back to my seat. “Glad that’s over” There’s always a ‘mummy friend’ in any team you’re a part of who wants to know about you’re day, you’re ups and downs and be there for you even if you don’t want it. But in this case I did, because I couldn’t wrap my head around why this chap was so interested in seeing me grow…“It’s not like he’s my dad” I joked.: Papa hi ban gaya tha yaar! Full on daddygiri! I want to see you grow ye hai vo hai kya hai bhai???
My mummy friend broke it down to me. And I was FURIOUS. “Aukaat dekhi hai apni?” Those were my first words. “He’s decided to play doll with the wrong person. Abhi HR main e-mail karti hun” Mummy friend asked me not to because he had not directly implied ANYTHING. We were assuming this conversation for what it was because we knew what kind of a man he is. There has never been a complaint against him in the past & he hasn’t said anything that can’t be twisted one way or the other. You will become the laughing stock or the troublemaker if you press it too much & will have to quit your job. So it was decided that I was going to ignore this guy completely. Not that I noticed him much or gave him much attention in the first place, but I was supposed to ignore his advances. He tried playing nice.He sent me a birthday wish which I ignored. And that pissed him off. By that time, it had been almost a month that he was trying to display how easy he could make my life at work by instructing my TL to give me special, unwarranted exceptions etc.Now, he wanted to demonstrate the opposite. When sweet dreams of a bright future weren’t working, he decided the threats of a nightmare would.
Suddenly I couldn’t be a minute late, I couldn’t extend my break by 5 minutes, I had to extend my shift even though I hate doing that, so on & so forth. So what, I thought, this is any day better than having to sleep with that clown. You have to weigh your choices & prioritize. Of course, this had to escalate because now his ego was bruised & his groin was bearing the brunt for it. Suddenly, I was summoned by my TL to tell me that there was a compliance issue in a claim I had processed. Now, I must admit, it was processed incorrectly. I mean, when you’re taking a hundred calls a day or processing hundreds of data file a day, just how difficult is it for somebody to pick out that bunch of calls that could potentially destroy your career in that company? Not very difficult. He did just that. I knew what this was. Now it was about survival & believe me, I was very ‘majboor’.
So what did I decide to do? Play right in his hands???
Remember I said, in a process where you’re taking a hundred calls a day, it’s not that difficult to find that ONE call that can destroy your career in that company? Isn’t that true if you turn the tables? I mean, I don’t know if you notice this, but your bosses DO NOT own the company. Your potential molester is probably a small pawn in the bigger game himself and just as vulnerable as you. A TL, Manager, Director is actually just a dog who wags his tail around the top honchos of the organization. And to them, business is very dear. And in a business where you’re managing 10 – 12 different teams comprising of 10 – 25 people each, how difficult is it to find that ONE malpractice, that can ruin HIS career in the company? How difficult is it to find that ONE person, who holds a grudge against him? Not very. That’s what I did. Cigna was a team that was very dear to his heart. Because Cigna drove numbers & we all knew how. It took just ONE E-mail with evidence of screenshots backed by 5 other people testifying against him to shatter his ambitions of playing God. Suddenly, there were quality checks run on Cigna. Suddenly there were scrutiny sessions with the team. Suddenly, he had to resign.
Ladies, God helps those who help themselves. It wouldn’t be a cliche if it weren’t true.
Weigh your options & prioritize. And believe in yourself. You are worth more than a thousand male egos put together. Be a WOMAN in a man’s world.
For those of you who don’t know who he is, Pahlaj Nihlani is the current Chairman for the Central Board Of Film Certification in India. This man gets to decide what we can watch, as a country, when we head to the movies or nestle in our lazy chairs at home in front of the idiot box. And he’s serious about his sanskaars. So serious that in a country that’s 1.2 billion strong & counting, where child marriage is still a reality, where children are raped irrespective of their gender, caste or social strata, he feels we’re not ready to hear the word ‘Intercourse’ on screen yet! The word that I last read 14 years ago in my biology textbook while preparing for my class 10 boards & which got replaced by the word ‘fuck’ as soon as I started college! Thta’s the word he has a problem with & wants beeped out in the new SRK movie, ‘When Harry Met Sejal’. Besides, Mr Nihlani has been a producer in the Indian film industry many moons ago & we all know…that his movies never had the word intercourse in them! Because I have just had breakfast, I do not wish to think about Nihlani’s movies or their sexual innuendos or even the double meaning lyrics because of obvious reasons.
And he not only has a problem with ‘intercourse’, he seems to have a problem with anything that is inherently ‘female’. Case in point, when he banned the movie ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ from being screened in India, here’s what was told to the film maker of this movie as to why the movie was banned
“The story is lady oriented, their fantasy about life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused.”
Obviously, that remark is ridden with more problems than just poor sentence construction & grammar! Anyhow, the makers of the movie went on to get the movie cleared for a theatrical release in India after the country’s Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), decided that the film can be issued an adult certificate, equivalent to an NC-17 rating.
Even before this fiasco, he tried meddling with director/producer Anurag Kashyap, while his movie ‘Udtaa Punjab’ was due to release but fortunately or unfortunately, that controversial & fantastic movie got accidentally ‘leaked’ on you tube, much to the delight of the nation & Mr Nihlani went biting the curb then too!
By this point, I can understand how he would have been feeling powerless & as we all know, desperate times lead to desperate measures & so, in a bid to redeem himself, Mr Nihlani prepared a strategy.
- Aim low. Target a word rather than an entire movie. That way, movie makers would give in without much of a fight & Nihlani would get to feel powerful. A little.
- Chose an SRK movie for maximum impact.
It was all going according to the ‘plan’ when suddenly, he was asked a question by a reporter from a New channel called Mirror Now as to why did he have an objection to the word intercourse? This is what he had to say
“You take voting from the public and I will clear the word (intercourse) on the promo and the film also. I want 1 lakh votes and I want to see that India has changed and Indian families want their 12-year-old kids to understand the meaning of this word (intercourse).”
Now, Mirror Now’s Prime Time debates are hosted by an extremely rational, level headed journalist who hasn’t lost touch of reality or her sense of humour & so, in the right spirit, she, Faye D’Souza, accepted the challenge thrown by Mr Not-So-Smart & was able to gather much more than just 1 lakh votes. And I must say, she didn’t need to put in much of an effort either. Mr Nihlani, are you insane? What did I say our country’s population was? More than 1.2 billion. How many votes did you ask for? 1 lakh. All we had to do was send out a tweet to SRK’s 25 million followers on twitter and the ones who were stuck in traffic at that hour were able to accomplish the task!
What ensued was a laughter riot. It’s alright to fail now & then, but you can easily & gracefully redeem yourself by accepting defeat & stating that the people have spoken & I respect the verdict. But NOOOOOOO It’s a fool we’re talking about here. He has mastered the art of humiliating himself in full public view by now & so not only did he refuse to answer any question posed to him by a rather polite journalist who cornered him in elevator, but he even ended up looking like a nincompoop on National Televion!
You’ve brought the debate from “Whether Nihlani deserves to be Censor Board Cheif” to “Whether there’s a need for a Censor Board at all” Mr Nihlani. That, to me, is your one & only achievement. Hang tight to that.
“Admiration and familiarity are strangers”
Human beings are strange creatures. The wise among us have said million things & we hear them, admire them, hand them down to coming generations but obviously fail to understand them. This is what leads to a lot of lessons needing to repeat themselves again & again. For instance, they taught us all in childhood
“Familiarity breeds contempt”
We heard it, but did we understand it? Absolutely not. If that would have been the case, the institution of marriage would have been long dissolved. For that matter, the concept of family would have been outlawed. Why you ask? What is it like when couples start dating initially & then as time goes by they decide that they simply cannot live without each other & then when they do start co-inhabiting, they begin driving each other mad. No matter what you do, nobody can deny the fact that the most ignored, taken for granted people in our lives are also the ones we claim to love the most! That’s because they’re always around.Try this. Impose a curfew for a few days in a city and disallow people from assembling or even living together. Suddenly, everyone would start longing human company, the very same people whose sole desire in life is a little ‘me time’. A few free spirited junkies may even be happy for a while but then ultimately, would long company. That’s why even people who do not have any human friends to hang out with in the end, end up surrounding themselves with cats! Or lizards, depending on what they’re into! Which brings me to another quote we heard a long time ago but never really understood
“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for”
The human need to socialize & co-habituate is so deep, that we’re ready to bear the systematic murder of our feelings, just so we can be around someone, who also wants to be around us. But we are also quick to start detesting that individual the moment we’re with them because we start taking them for granted! We are complicated indeed. We display signs of cosmic abandonment. We all suffer from daddy issues. That’s right, among the theories presented to the world by scientists & religious nut jobs, the one theory that makes sense to me is the theory of Cosmic Abandonment by Mark Passio.
“We hate each other, but we’d rather be miserable together.”
Isha .V. Singh
That’s how I see it. And Mark Passio describes perfectly & reasonably as best he can.It’s a good presentation to invest your time in. Mark goes on to describe what he, & ancient Sumerians, believe to be the origin of the human race,& goes on the to provide an explanatory synthesis of the current human condition.
We are the results of a failed experiment & the ‘Gods’ who created us, our ‘fathers’ if you may, have long abandoned us. That’s why we are so screwed. Most of us do not even know what our suffering really is, we’re that miserable.
That’s where religion comes into the picture. According to a poll conducted in a country that’s touted as the leader of the free world, the United States Of America, more than 60% of American answered in the affirmative when asked if “religion solved all of my problems”. We’re so doomed, that we believe in a bunch of unsubstantial fairy tales just so that we can cling to the comforting hope of a messiah who would ultimately come & rescue us! We’re so desperate that we not only await the savior but have concocted his adversary too! And to make matters interesting, we fight with each other in an attempt to disprove the authenticity of the fable whose story line doesn’t coincide with ours! You see, there’s a lot of pent up resentment, anger & hatred within us & we’re constantly seeking ways to channelize these negative emotions lest they destroy our own selves. This is also why we are so prone to violence & being violent.
“It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence”
This quote comes from the man touted as the most non-violent man in the history of mankind! We sell non-violence in his name! And yet, even he couldn’t resist acknowledging the human need for violence.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, we’re screwed. We all are. And we’re all in it together. So, let’s be kind to each other. However difficult it may be to love one another, it’s always possible to be kind simply because we understand what it’s like to be miserable.
“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not”
So let’s stop the song & dance about love & switch our energies on being kind instead.
Grace & Peace!
When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.
May the weekend rejuvenate your spirit & prepare you for the drudgery next week!
What do you wake up to each morning? Your mobile phone, a newspaper, the television, a cup of coffee, an urgent text from your boss? You know what I woke up to this morning? FAN MAIL! And what makes it even better is the fact that it is for one the most CONTROVERSIAL writers in my fleet – Nishant Nishit! Now, by definition, the word CONTROVERSIAL means
“giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement”
So in that sense, my word selection to describe this individual is absolutely legitimate. Looking at the chaos he spins on social media everyday supports my claim. People go to the extent of using his own social media propaganda hashtags against him just to prove their point! I don’t know if you have your thinking glasses on but I do, & I can make out that that’s epic shit! Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. It’s a cliche, I know, but like every cliche, there’s an element of truth here too! Anyway, this isn’t the first time somebody has sent in an e-mail or message dedicated to Nik’s awesomeness but this is the first time I felt it is ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY appropriate to the tee, if you have to describe his thoughts, his journey & HIM! And why not, it’s been penned by John Lennon. So without further ado, allow me to share a message we recieved from Ujala Wani from the paradise on earth, Kashmir.
I’m Ujala Wani & I am from Kashmir. I do not know how to express my adoration for someone I have never met in person but whose soul I feel connected to through his words. I wake up each morning & the first thing I do is, check your blog to see what you have written today! I am no writer, but I do sing & I feel the following song just has to be dedicated to you. It’s a hard hitting number by John Lennon who I know you also admire, just as all epic people do. And here’s a picture of me, rehearsing for the day I would play it in person for you.
“Working Class Hero”
By giving you no time instead of it all
A working class hero is something to be
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
A working class hero is something to be
When they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function, you’re so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
Keep you doped with religion, and sex, and T.V.
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
Hmmm, I don’t know about Nishant but if someone would write a letter like that for me, I wouldn’t just be reading that John Lennon song, I’d be dancing to it! But it’s for Nishant, he’s the man of the hour, so I will urge him to dance to it instead & let me thank not only Ujala, but all those people who believe in ‘Broken Radio’, who believe in Nishant, who believe that the truth is irreplaceable even if it’s a hard pill to swallow.
Thank you for reading, supporting, following! One such letter makes the hate spewed on social media dissolve like salt in water! And a word to Nishant, you’re not that controversial after all eh? People have started agreeing with you…!
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.
– Brian Tracy
What happens when you look into a mirror? You see your own reflection. If something seems amiss, you take care of it, like readjust your tie, spruce up your hair, straighten your crease & go about your day. But what happens when a mirror is shown to you? Somebody walks up to you when you’re least expecting it & shows you exactly how ridiculous you really are, that can cause some involuntary jolts & thought-less reactions.
This seems to be the case with some corporate psychopaths who thought it’s okay to play God in others lives just because they’re in a position to do so in a perverse sense. While I am deeply touched by the support Nishant has garnered from those who think alike & are reasonable minded, I am absolutely appalled by the audacity of those involved in the incidents highlighted in Nishant’s articles American Express India Campus – A Sexual Playground and American Express India Campus – A Sexual Playground – II
It started with veiled threats coming from a manager who warned Nishant that he could “Get into trouble” while claiming to be his well wisher. After an afternoon gone by of messages almost spamming my friend’s inbox, asking him to remove the ‘name’ , it went on to persuasion tactics applied over the telephone. Listen up Mr Manager, your bull shit worked while we were in that corporate steel cage not because you are some wise magician whose persuasion tactics are a force to be reckoned with, your feedback session was such a success mostly because nobody had a choice but to comply. OBEY. SUBMIT. AGREE. That’s not the case now. We’re allowed to report shit. We’re allowed to talk about things we see. Nobody can walk up to us say, hush up. Now, for the anonymous messages & the paid bot commentators falsely stating that the incidents highlighted are an exception, allow me to remind you of the time when a woman in Campus had filed an FIR against an American Express TL for sexual harassment & we were all asked to ‘un-tag’ ourselves from her Facebook post. I understand that you have to train yourselves to ignore what happens around you & protect yourself from reality but not us. In fact, ever since Nishant’s article has been published, there have been messages pouring in from people validating the very fact that not only is this the culture there, but also, their own experiences with regards to sexual approaches, innuendos & what not. But publishing hearsay is not our aim. Nishant simply wrote about what he has witnessed. WITNESSED. Not HEARD. We’ve heard a lot over the years & heard a lot more in the last two days. We don’t run on gossip. YOU DO.
Damage control can be more damaging to any situation. You end up validating the very fact that you want to falsify. Take my advise, stop trying to FIX THIS SHIT & fix the shit within you. Pledge never to try taking advantage of another individual & repent. That would be true damage control.
I see you,
as you storm into my court yard
blood in your eyes
sweat on your forehead
an expression of rage
the hatred that you exude
cannot be explained in words
I know why you’ve come
I know your intent
but what I do not understand
& I cannot comprehend is the reason for your outrage
the rationale behind your contempt
you fold your hands in prayer
I bend upon the floor
you seek your God in idols
I seek mine through his word
but don’t we both pray for the same kind of things
don’t we have the same needs?
Pray, tell me
have you not wanted blessings for your family?
never desired the well – being of your loved ones?
never hoped of a better world? a better future?
you have, haven’t you?
So have I
Then why do you not let me be?
why do I not let you be?
You say I offend you
with my manners that clash with yours
But how am I responsible for the life God chose for me?
It was he who sent me where he did
It was he who sent you where you are
It was he who destined us both to worship him in different ways
& call him by different names
Isn’t it possible we both worship the same entity?
what if he created differences intentionally
for the sake of diversity
after all, we seek different things in life too
we prefer change than monotony
& if we are made in his image,
as we both so believe
the odds of this being a possibility stand high
I know there’s no time for arguments
your blood-lust is riding high
you’ve entered my home to begin your killing spree
as you pull my sister by her hair & drag her to her humiliation
as you disrobe my aging mother
as you fondle my innocent daughter
as you set my brother alight
as you rob me of my belongings
& as you force me to witness the end of my world
kill me too
show me no mercy
but just tell me this,
does my mother not look like yours?
does my sister not remind you of your own?
does my daughter not spark any paternal instinct?
does my brother not resemble yours?
Do I not look like you?
Bleed like you?
Feel the same amount of pain?
It could be you, tomorrow, you know
considering how easy it is to mislead men of any faith
& turn them to butchers
I cannot help but think
Will you wonder in your final moments
Was I not You?
There are about 27 million Sikhs living across the world today, which makes about 0.39% of the total world population, according to recent data. Approximately 83% of all Sikhs reside in India, of which, roughly 75% reside in Punjab, which is the only place in India where they form a majority. People recognize Sikhs by their external appearance, mostly. Most Sikh men wear colorful turbans & maintain a beard, kept long or at times, short & the women can be recognized by their apparel, which is mostly a simple salwar kameez. The more devout Sikhs, or the Amritdharis are more distinguishable as they stand apart from the crowd by virtue of not just the turbans & beards, but also the kirpan they proudly display, worn across the chest with the help of a broad, strap like holder or band. The Amritdhari women are hard to miss too. They cover their heads with their own version of a turban & carry the kirpaan too. But that’s what lies on the outside. What remains hidden, is the symbolism behind these physical characteristics which most modern people don’t understand & the rich history it stands for. There’s a reason why devout Sikhs won’t renounce their hair or kirpaan even for the sake of vanity.
What amazes me is, how little people know of the origin of Sikhism & the sacrifices this sect has made for protecting the weak. What saddens me is how people, suffering of their own unawareness, end up ridiculing their appearance.
Early History & Vision
Sikhism was first revealed to Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of Sikhism (historically, there are a total of 10 Gurus) in the 15th century in undivided Punjab in India. It is a monotheistic belief system which propagates that God is One & that all men & women are equal in the eyes of almighty. The holy text of the Sikhs, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is considered not just God’s word, but the embodiment of the Guru himself. The final, living & eternal Guru & therefore extremely sacred. The vision in the Guru Granth Sahib is of a society based on divine justice without oppression of any kind. While it acknowledges and respects the scriptures of Hinduism and Islam, it does not imply a moral reconciliation with either of these religions.
Rise Of The Warrior Sect
Until the rise of the 10th & last Guru of the Sikh Guru lineage, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sikhism was never a formal religion. It was he, who formalized Sikhism in 1699 by calling for 5 men who were willing to give their heads, baptizing them to form the Order of the Khalsa, the panj piyaare, or the five pure ones.
Sikhism in the era of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji became heavily induced with the socio-political events of the time, mainly in Punjab Province. While the teachings of both Hindu & Islamic saints, poets & philosophers were respected in Sikhism, what it was in conflict with, was the Mughal empire. The law of Mughal rule dictated that people had one of two choices. Convert to Islam or die. Many prominent Sikh Gurus were killed by the Mughals for refusing to convert to Islam & for opposing the persecution of Hindus & Sikhs by the Mughal regime.
A very prominent chapter of Sikh history was beginning to unfold when Sri Guru Gobind Singh was only 9 years old. A delegation of Hindu Pundits appealed to Guru Teg Bahadar, the 9th Guru of the Sikhs & his father, for help in resisting forced conversion to Islam. Gobind Rai entered the council and asked what the meeting was about. His father explained, and the boy asked how a solution could be found. His father told him it would require the sacrifice of a great man. Gobind Rai told his father, that as a guru, he was the greatest of men.
Subsequently, Guru Teg Bahadur made arrangements to leave Anandpur, where the were residing at the time, in order to intervene on behalf of Hindus who were being forcibly converted by death threats. Guru Teg Bahadar appointed his nine-year-old son Gobind Rai to be his successor and tenth guru of the Sikhs.
Under the order of the Mughal Emporer Aurangzeb, Guru Teg Bahadar & his companions were arrested & every attrocity & form of torture known to mankind, was employed in an unsuccessful effort to coerce them into conversion. The 9th Guru attained Martyrdom, but he remained true to his faith till his last breath.
These events led to the Rise of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the formation of the order of the Khalsa as discussed earlier, who were the original Amritdharis. As a child, Guru Gobind Singh ji engaged in martial training from early childhood. He had a child-sized arsenal of weapons. Games with his playmates took the form of mock battles. After his father’s martyrdom, Guru Gobind Rai raised a guard, built a fortress, and practiced military maneuvers. A number of minor conflicts arose with local adversaries over petty jealousies of neighboring kingdoms. After founding the Khalsa order, Guru Gobind Singh fought a series of major battles attempting to protect his Sikhs and Anandpur from assault by Mughal forces. Vastly outnumbered, courageous Khalsa warriors defended their holdings to the last breath. As you can see, Sikhism militarized to oppose Mughal hegemony. The emergence of the Sikh Confederacy under the misls and Sikh Empire under reign of the Maharajah Ranjit Singh was characterized by religious tolerance and pluralism with Christians, Muslims and Hindus in positions of power. The establishment of the Sikh Empire is commonly considered the zenith of Sikhism at political level, during this time the Sikh Empire came to include Kashmir, Ladakh, and Peshawar. Hari Singh Nalwa, the Commander-in-chief of the Sikh army along the North West Frontier, took the boundary of the Sikh Empire to the very mouth of the Khyber Pass. The Empire’s secular administration integrated innovative military, economic and governmental reforms.
Sikh Contribution In The Struggle For Independance
Sikhs played a crucial role in India’s struggle for Independence from the British Raj as well. Let’s glance at the figures provided by Maulana Abul Azad, President of the Congress Party at the time of Independence.
- Out of 2646 Indians deported for life to the Andaman Islands (where the British exiled political and hardened criminals) 2147 (80%) were Sikhs.
- Out of 127 Indians sent to the gallows, 92 (80%) were Sikhs.
- At Jalliawalla Bagh out of the 1302 men, women and children slaughtered, 799 (61%) were Sikhs.
- In the Indian Liberation Army, out of the 20,000 ranks and officers, 12,000 (60%) were Sikhs.
- Out of 121 persons executed during the freedom struggle, 73 (60%) were Sikhs.
These numbers are HUGE considering not just the ratios at first glance in their own, but given the fact that they still form less than 2% of India’s total population even today. In fact they continue to serve and protect the country in the Army. The Sikh Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that recruits from the Sikh community & is the most decorated regiment in the Indian Army.
Spirit Of Servitude
Sikh temples, or Gurudwaras double up as both places of worship as well as a refuge for the homeless, the hungry & the poor. The Harimandar Sahib, Or Golden Temple, situated in Amritsar, Punjab, is host to a 24 hr langar or communal meal without any cost to absolutely anybody who choses to eat the meal. The people serving at the Gurudwara are members of the Sikh community, who perform seva, or services out of their own free will for no charge to the Gurudwara or the people frequenting the holy shrine. There is absolutely no distinction made on the basis of caste, color, gender or social status.
The 1984 Pogrom & The Scenario Thereafter
In modern times, the spirit of servitude remains in the hearts of most Sikhs but unfortunately, history has never been kind to these brave hearts & while everyone dreamed of a better, freer future in post – independence India, this community was crippled by disastrous events like the tensions of the 1980s in the region of Punjab, the destruction of the Akal Takht (Holiest shrine of the Sikhs where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept) during Operation Blue Star in 1984 & the Anti-Sikh Pogrom that erupted across the country post the assassination of the then PM of India, Smt Indira Gandhi by her Sikh body-guards. Thousands of Sikhs lost their lives as the country suddenly became a burning pyre for the very community that so bravely protected it’s people throughout history. But the Sikhs gathered their inherent courage yet again, & against all odds, not only managed to revive their dwindled spirits, but re-established their lost homes & businesses to become a flourishing community once again.
The Drug Menace & Conclusion
Modern day Punjab, is in the shackles of an unchecked drug – menace, a by product of political corruption & an attempt to weaken one of the most courageous & enterprising communities of the country. It is time for the real lions of India to reclaim their lost glory & once again, rise to prove that it doesn’t matter who stands against them, they can outnumber the enemy not in numbers, but in the magnanimity of the spirit of Khalsa.
It is also time now, for the country to give them their dues long past & their fellow citizens to help & heal their spirits, heal Punjab & offer the respect they deserve.
What is Codex Alimentarius?
If I were to say ‘Food Code’ in latin, I’d call it Codex Alimentarius. Simply put, it is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, it’s production & safety.
Its texts are developed and maintained by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body that was established in November of 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, was joined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June of 1962, and held its first session in Rome in October of 1963. Officially, it’s main goals are to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the international food trade & therefore serves as a ‘Food Court’ or in other words, a reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection.
As of 2012, there were 186 members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission: 186 member countries and one member organization, the European Union (EU). There were 215 Codex observers: 49 intergovernmental organizations, 150 non-governmental organizations, and 16 United Nations organizations.
How Does It affect ME & YOU ?
If I were to break it down to you in simple, easy to grasp terms, Codex Alimentarius pretty much determines what you consume in the name of food, how that ‘food’ is going to be procured, treated & traded internationally. The ‘treatment’ of all dairy cattle, sea animals, live stock, vegetation etc with antibiotics & other harmful drugs are not only sanctioned but MANDATED by this international regulatory body you know absolutely nothing about. So unless your supply chain is local, you can be absolutely sure that the food you’re consuming is loaded with antibiotics, growth hormones and what not, thanks to a mandatory regulation passed by Codex Alimentarius, making it absolutely necessary for all food to be treated with the aforementioned drugs. That’s because the Codex Alimentarius covers all foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw. In addition to standards for specific foods, the Codex Alimentarius contains general standards covering matters such as food labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, and procedures for assessing the safety of foods derived from modern biotechnology. It also contains guidelines for governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods.
Apart from governing your food consumption, Codex Alimentarius also sets the standard for classification of nutrients, herbs, vitamins, minerals etc . In 1996 the German delegation put forward a proposal that no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs. The proposal was agreed, but protests halted its implementation. The 28th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission was subsequently held July 4–9, 2005.
Among the many issues discussed were the Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements,which were adopted during the meeting as new global safety guidelines: The guidelines state that “people should…be encouraged to select a balanced diet from food before considering any vitamin and mineral supplement. In cases where the intake from the diet is insufficient or where consumers consider their diet requires supplementation, vitamin and mineral food supplements serve to supplement the daily diet. This text has been the subject of considerable controversy among proponents of dietary supplements. Many countries regulate such substances as therapeutic goods or pharmaceuticals or by some other category, without requiring them to be shown to be medically useful.
What this implies is that these guidelines mandate restrictive upper limits on the dosage or consumption of vitamins & minerals & seeks to discredit the claim that vitamin & mineral supplementation is, in fact, significant in the prevention, alleviation & treatment of ailments.
What Influence Does It Hold In The Food Regulatory Practices In MY Country?
While in theory, the adoption of regulations & practices prescribed by Codex Alimentarius remains optional, the creation of the World Trade Organization in January of 1995 changed all that as the WTO endorses these standards as the benchmark in resolving International Trade Disputes involving food. The potential threat of losing in such trade disputes makes the adoption of these guidelines mandatory for member countries, thus in reality, losing their autonomy in the matter of adopting or declining to adopt Codex guidelines. The fact that a total of 149 nations, including India, are members of the WTO, it is only logical to assume that a vast majority of the population on our planet is directly affected by these regulations and policies.
If Not The General Population, Who Is Codex Alimentarius Designed To Benefit?
The pharmaceutical & medical industry. You see, disease is big business. The aim of alopathy, or modern medicine, is to cure the symptoms rather than the disease. Imagine the kind of money that will vanish from the health trade if people wake up & realize the power of holistic healing which by the way, if widely frowned upon under codex guidelines. Adopted in 1979, & revised in 1991, Codex General Guidelines On Claims place severe restrictions upon natural or holistic forms of healing endorsing pharmaceutical drugs as the only way to cure illness & discrediting all natural forms of healthcare. It also prohibits support for the claim that our normal diets cannot provide all the vital nutrients needed for disease prevention, therefore labeling naturally found nutritive elements as drugs.
I Consume Organic Food. Should I Worry?
Please do. Because in recent years, Codex has begun taking keen interest in the Organic Food Industry & it has now become increasingly evident, that Codex Alimentarius is working towards decreasing the standard for the same by allowing the use of carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances like sodium nitrite & nitrate, sulphur dioxide which potentially could cause allergic reactions in some people & carageenan which has been linked to ulcers & cancerous tumors in the intestines. The Comission has recently given the nod to artificially induce organically grown fruits & vegetables with ethylene to ripen faster.
Codex support for GMOs or genetically modified food has also grown over the years. Seeds for GMOs can be patented unlike the seeds for regular foods & this explains in part, why biotechnological companies are in such rigorous pursuit to have these foods forced on the global market. And since Codex regulates food labelling too, if the proposed texts are adopted, which they most assuredly will be, companies will no longer be required to label the presence of GM organisms on their edible products.
Also, Codex has specific committees that deal with food additives & pesticide residues. The effects of permitted additives & pesticide residues is considered generally, ignoring the long-term health effects of these permitted substances found in the food we consume on a daily basis.
There is ample research & testimonies of scientists & doctors that point to Codex Alimentarius being an aide to the pharmaceutical industry on the inside while carrying out the facade of having the ‘best interest of the people’ on the outside.
An important video to watch on the subject has been shared below
While it’s quite blissful to live in a state of utter ignorance, it can be empowering to gain knowledge, seek control of our lives be propellants for change.
Let’s face the fact that it’s going to be THE MOST EXPENSIVE EVENT in your life. Everyone dreams of having a grand wedding, but not everyone can afford the expenses it entails. Then there are others who wish to save up money spent in the actual wedding and invest it elsewhere, like buying things for the house, an extended vacation a.k.a honeymoon or simply donate the extra savings for a noble cause. Whatever the reason may be, if you ask me, it’s always sensible to spend wisely no matter what the occasion.
So here are some ways in which you can still have a great wedding without a huge dent in your pocket !
Skip The DJ!
Yup! You read that right! Skip the DJ but not necessarily the song and dance routine. I personally find the traditional ‘dholki & chamcha’ routine with folk songs sung impromptu by family members during ‘sangeet‘ or wedding celebrations, or the traditional live ‘dhol’ much more soulful, memorable & enjoyable however, to each his own, therefore, if you are the kind who prefers ‘bollywood’ or any other genre of songs for fun & dance, have a techno savvy cousin mix up a a bunch of CDs with your favorite tracks, get speakers on rent, (or if you own JBL speakers you’re sorted) and have a blast without a DJ blasting a hole in your wallet!
Recycle Your Mother’s/Father’s Wedding Attire!
You may be surprised to know, or maybe not, that wedding couture can be painfully expensive. And to make matters worse, you end up blowing your gold on something that you would probably NEVER wear in your entire life AGAIN! So if you’re one of those lucky people whose parents are sentimental about their wedding wardrobe and have kept it with TLC even after all these years (because it was damn expensive back then too and they only wore it ONCE), then your apparel issues are solved! Depending on whether it’s a saree, lehnga, sharara, gown (if you’re the bride) or a formal suit, a pathani suit or a dhoti (if you’re a bridegroom), all you have to do is get it dry cleaned and trimmed or extended to fit you. If you feel you don’t like the colors or the design is too old fashioned, try mixing and matching for e:g stick to the lehnga but team it up with a new dupatta or get the saree dyed to a different color or get a new designer blouse stitched! And not only for the D-Day, you can reuse your parents’ wedding trousseau for other celebrations as well! Problem cost effectively solved!
Limit The Number Of Invites
This is a tough one, I agree. In our country, a wedding is a time when people usually end up inviting hoards of guests who, like almost everything else about the wedding, are a one time show! A way to ensure as less a number of sullen faces as possible (an impossible task really) is to have a quite gathering of very close relatives and friends for the actual wedding ceremony and throw a grand reception later. What happens in most scenarios is , we end up inviting a whole gamut of guests on almost every function or ceremony. That can and should be restricted too! For instance, men really have little or nothing to do during mehndi, haldi & sangeet functions at the girl’s side at least except for hang around in the courtyard or an extra room for drinks, so sending ‘Ladies Only’ invites for these functions only seems like a reasonable thing to do! The men can enjoy their drinks at the reception isn’t it?
Make A Schedule & Stick To It!
Indian weddings are infamous for never starting on time! If the time on the invite says ‘Baraat At 07:30’, you can be absolutely sure that the procession isn’t going to start before 10 or even 11:00PMish! What this implies is, your orchestra band is going to end up charging extra because of the extra time they spend than you hired them for, your ‘conveyor‘ of cars, buses whatever is also going to be serving you a little longer , which also, is probably on rent and I have personally witnessed a situation where the actual wedding ritual had to be shifted to the house of the bride, in her courtyard, because the baraat was so exceptionally late, that it clashed with another function scheduled to happen in the same banquet! AVOID!
Try To Host As Many Gatherings At Home As Possible!
Arguably, most Indian families still stick to this rule. But in larger cities, this seems to be a dwindling trend. Bring it back! Especially if you have a spacious house/apartment or the society you dwell in is OK with residents hosting terrace parties or using the lawn or garden area for this purpose. Trust me, it’s going to turn out much cheaper to pay a few extra bucks to your own Residents Welfare Association rather than splurging on banquets, open lush lawns or hotels.
Have A ‘Halwai’ At Home!
Sweets make an essential part and parcel of any wedding especially here in India. Instead of purchasing expensive sweets by the kilo and spending on the scale of many thousands, make use of your courtyard, terrace, an extra room in the house or that of a relative, friend etc to have a local halwai prepare sweets for the wedding on a daily wage basis. Your sweets just got sweeter!
Let’s Talk About Jewels!
Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, books are! Besides they have no resale value.So ditch the heavy real jewelry sets & stick to fashion jewelry which you can procure on rent or even buy without a tsunami in your bank account! If you wish to buy gold with an investment point of view, go for pound coins. You would pay for the gold without the burden of making charges that you end up paying with jewelry.
There are many more creative yet thoughtful & cost effective ways of planning a wedding, you just need to realize that it’s not how grand the wedding looks on the outside that matters but how effectively planned and well executed it really is that would make it memorable for not just you but for those around you too! And remember, a lavish wedding is no guarantee to a successful marriage or a long-lasting relationship, but depth and insight is and if you’re this sorted , organized and sensible on a day when most people lose their mind and end up in debt, you’re partner is sure to admire your thoughtfulness and sensibility!
The following is an excerpt from super-secret documents found in the basement of a cult leader who went into seclusion once he realized what an asshole he had been all his life. The following conversation was extracted from a document labeled ‘CONTROVERSIAL STUFF’ & is being revealed only for the betterment of humanity, of course.
Pagan – “Guys! I think we’re handling this quite OK! I mean, we’re all born naked, all animals are born and live naked. Now I understand that we are slightly more evolved than our animal friends (citation needed) however, nice flowing garments with a bit of self-approved skin peak a boo is totally cool!
Christian – “Nonsense! How would we get God to forgive our sins if we allow our women to entice men and lead them to sin? Modesty is the ultimate virtue for a woman. She must dress modestly so a man may lower his gaze in her presence and treat her with some bloody respect! Heaven knows it’s difficult to deal with a public erection each time a maiden bends to fill her bucket at the community waterhole aka the river, and a sight of cleavage appears! The issue is very real and grave gentlemen and gentlemen! We men do not have it easy! Each time we see a woman dressed a bit provocatively, it is US who get an erection that looks like a tent forming below our waists! It’s preposterous! Therefore, women must dress modestly to save us the shame!”
Muslim – “Kill the Pagan! I have no time for doozies who believe humans can be compared with animals or that women can be compared to men! And Christian, as for you, you seem on the right track so I’m going to tell you something you might understand! Wrap this around your head, men are programmed to get an erection each time they see a woman, modest or immodest, doesn’t matter. The only exception to this rule is when it comes to your wife, you lose the attraction once you’ve seen her naked, that’s why we need so many of them! Getting back to the topic, it’s not just the sight of boobs, it’s the thought that they’re THERE that seems to defeat every moral fiber in a man’s body, IMHO, therefore, that very idea needs to be erased. We don’t need to deal with silhouettes of the female anatomy either, let’s just cover them head to toe. And I have my personal designer working on a cloak like garment, which would be shapeless, lose and of course black because colors are enticing too! We must protect ourselves from sinning, therefore, just wrap ‘em up and don’t forget to tell them that it’s their path to heaven as well otherwise an occasional dame with a brain might end up asking, hey! What’s in it for me?”
Hindu –“ I agree with the major suggestions made by the esteemed members, however, I would like to add that covering a female entirely can be an effective way to curb the issue of public erections, however, the same can be misleading too! I am referring to the that awesome time at night, when we think about the women we saw during the day and masturbate to relieve our bodies of built up sin. Now, covered or uncovered, our minds so know what lies beneath that veil or cloak or whatever so naturally, we’re going to want to disrobe ‘em mentally. Now what if we end up fantasizing about an old woman or a mother 0f 5 by accident? Would that not add to our sin? I propose we make a slight exception to the rule. We all know that female tummies get floppy, jiggly and wrinkly postpartum, so let’s allow them to wear a garment that reveals just that portion of the female body, the stomach. Let’s tell them this isn’t immodest because we respect motherhood (LOL) and they will buy it!”
Pagan – “I don’t think you guys understand the concept of sin or even self-control for that matter. It is not a sin to be attracted to someone, that’s the most natural thing in the world. But to force your desire upon someone else is a sin. If you think you are going to be able to play with nature and try and reverse it’s laws, you’re mistaken. It’s natural to be attracted to a female. It’s for the purpose of propagation that this instinct is so strong. And the female has a sense of mate selection as well which is why, she would naturally be attracted to one and not the other who approaches her. The best thing to do is to respect her wishes in the matter. And don’t worry, there’s someone out there for you too! There’s no need to resort to covering up or manipulating one half of the population.”
Christian – “You know what? What he says makes sense. But if people see it as sensible, who will buy what we say? I say discredit the pagan and each word he utters about life and law!”
Muslim – “I told you in the beginning he’s a pain!”
Hindu –“ I sort of understand what you say, my friend, but you see, I have a shop to run too!”
Christian – “So it’s decided! Paganism is banned. It is the most sinful cult one can chose to follow! “
Muslim – “Yeah! It speaks about natural law and stuff! Who needs that ? Next he’s going to tell us the sun sets in the west not in water and the earth is round not flat HA HA HA, you poor loser!”
Hindu – “See the thing is , I worship elements of nature by giving them a hundred thousand God names , and I get that you sort of do that too, but a religious cult cannot be straightforward. There has to be some manipulation for personal gain. What’s the use of power if there’s no abuse of power?”
Pagan –“ That’s alright. I never wanted world domination anyway. That’s why I never said only through me would you receive salvation. I mean, how can you be alive and know what happens post death? That’s the biggest lie you guys have told your followers anyhow. So I’m not surprised upon hearing your plans of manipulating women into submission either. Go on, declare me evil, but remember nature will have the last laugh. “
Yes. I’m in love with ‘Baahubali’. Both the movie & the character.
In fact all the characters in the movie. And I’m not the only heart the ‘Baahubali’ franchise has won. The world seems to have been swept away in this wave of free flowing love for the movie. To say that it’s a blockbuster is an understatement. Never in the history of our nation has a movie rocked the box office & wrecked it this BAD.
More than a 1000 crores and counting BAD.
But what’s the reason behind this phenomenal success saga? Is it the strong, well sketched characters? Is it the special effects? The fact that the actors have , perhaps, given the best performances of their lives so far or maybe that they ever will? Is it the beautiful, powerful soundtrack that compliments the essence of the film? Or is it all of the above? It’s all this and more. The movie does have ‘repeat value’ something that old movies had and cinema, today, lacks.
The problem with movies today is that they are closer to life
rather than larger than life.
Cinema worked the way it did and gained popularity because it was larger than life.
The grandeur, the deep characters, the morality, the good overcomes evil narrative, the loaded dialogues and the beautiful, meaningful melodies attracted people to the movie halls. Things were portrayed artistically, tastefully and differently, from real life.
Who wants to spend approximately Rs 1500 (the approximate cost of taking a family of four to the movies sans the expenses of purchasing eatables in the multiplex) for something mundane, very life like, routine? Who wants to hear a character similar to the college student next door, swearing away to glory, that too at a price!
It was called the ‘Silver Screen’ for a reason!
Film makers have forgotten the art of story telling. In fact, most movies they churn out lack stories and a powerful plot. This is exactly why movie makers must resort to heavy publicity, woo a more global audience, sell movie rights and keep a frantic check on music downloads to recover the cost of the budget itself.
This is not to say that the occasional movie doesn’t do well. But most of them are average performers and a large number are flops. And that’s because deep down, we look for idols in our favorite movie stars. We want to see them live the life of our fatntasies on screen. When ‘Devsena’ picks up her sword and cuts the finger off a molester, I feel empowered. All I get to do in real life is maybe slap my molester, how awesome is it that she gets to maim him!
I will never fight a battle against evil, how gratifying is it, to watch ‘Baahubali’ do just that and with such power and authority, not to mention skill!
‘Baahubali’ stands for all that we miss in our cinema and what we aspire to be deep within. Strong portrayal of characters, memorable, striking dialogues, stellar performances, breathtaking cinematography, beautiful music, costumes, grand sets, etc. A visual delight and a message that tells you if you’re good, you shall succeed in the end. It appeals to the inner moral compass each of us posses.
Let’s hope movie makers realize from the success of this epic saga, that titillation is a tactic that will not work for long. What will woo the audience is a little respect for their sensibilities , better stories and memorable, moral characters that are extraordinary.
I hear you, O flourishing one!
I hear you loud & clear
Whenever I switch on the idiot box
you’re usually the first to appear
You’ve found your place under the sun
you’ve made your voice heard
what you say seems to matter to many
you’re now one out of the herd
You make no suggestions to the rest of us
they’re commandments of the biblical kind
waste no resources, you tell us
don’t put the Earth through the grind
You admonish me, as you look me in the eye
through the mirror that shows me your face
You do not approve of the house I just built
you tell me I take up way too much space
You measure each drop of water I use
You tell me I need too much
you’re thinking of punishing me for my abuse
I have no defense, as such
The bulb I light at night, you say
is causing the planet to lose it’s vigor
you make it sound as though I am the problem
For the Earth’s destruction, I am the trigger
I have no defense, like I earlier said
but here are a few facts I’d like to share
I’m not as influential as you
but my thoughts are open for all those who care
My small dwelling may take up some space
but your splurging mansion can house a hundred a day
My need for water may cost some liters
but your swimming pools gulp gallons away
My light bulbs may light up
two rooms in my home
but the energy you consume in a year
can light up the streets of ancient Rome
I may not be teaching a million kids
but like you, I’m not selling knowledge with a price tag either
I may not be sending a child to school
but I don’t bomb schools down & I fund it neither
So I sit in awe & utter amazement
when I see your virtual form appear
and ask me to pledge to sustainability
while rich folks like you cause the real wear & tear
Tell me O Self-proclaimed master
Did I dump all that waste in the ocean ?
Was I the one who cut all those trees?
and cause most of this thing we call pollution ?
Now you shall say, you do it for me
I simply need too much to live
Who created that need in me I ask?
Was it not your greed that did the task?
There’s , in fact, a long list of things I didn’t create
Nukes come to mind, so does war & poverty
unless you’re only counting damage to the Earth
& not including crimes against humanity
Of Course you won’t admit
to the claim I just made
that’s fine by me, let’s not blame each other
let’s just put an end to this charade
Let’s take ownership
of what both of us give & take
& stop this phony blame game
we’re both responsible, of that, let’s make no mistake
Recently, Lisa Hayden said she wants to have kids and loves cooking. Sounds normal right?
Not to feminists.
What ensued was a storm of raging, indignant voices, almost all feminist, tweeting, posting, writing about how that single statement by Lisa Hayden, was somehow enough to drag all of femininity back to the dark ages.
You see there’s a deep rooted belief in the mind of every feminist that only ‘women'(who stick to their ideology that is) have suffered throughout history & now, It’s OK even if sometimes in their pursuit for ‘equality ‘, they do get a little unfair in their evaluations. Men have had ‘power’for so long thanks to ‘patriarchy’ , that a little lack of logical reasoning is only legitimate in the feminist hemisphere.’
See I don’t get it! And you can’t blame me because it’s so blatantly hypocritical. No feminist protested the words of Hillary Clinton when she said “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life”
OR when Betty Friedan said “[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. [Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps.”
OR when Gloria Steinem said “No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”
They don’t bat an eye lid when a feminist says “Kill all men!”
But one interview from a little known star wife, who said “I am a housewife and wear that label with pride. Why can’t you be an accomplished homemaker? Accomplishing could mean anything one has their heart set on. I had a tough pregnancy, bringing Misha (her seven-month-old daughter) into this world. Now, I love being at home and spending time with my child. I don’t want to spend an hour with her and then rush to work. It’s not that I am not a woman of today. You don’t have to compromise on traditions and ideals to be modern. Why did I have her? She is not a puppy, you know. I want to be there for her as a mother; seeing her grow up cannot be quantified,”
was enough to break all chains of hell lose! Frankly, none of what the star wife said seemed illogical or offensive to me but to feminists, this was an extreme view and those of Gloria Steinem and the like are not!
Apparently, the advocates for ‘choice for women’ have taken it upon themselves to run other women down, who do not subscribe to their ideas and chose to adopt more traditional roles.
Radhika Vaz, a feminist comedian went on to write the following on Twitter
“The next bitch who says she’s not a feminist needs to pay dowry and then perform Sati. And be married off at age 11. And no school for you”.
Of course, there were interesting replies soon after, but those of us with a different viewpoint were accused of lacking a sense of humor.
The point is, not only was the tweet not funny, it wasn’t anywhere close to facts either because, none of the issues that she mentions were ever tackled by feminism. Feminism deals with important issues like freeing the nipple, internet censorship, trigger warning, slut shaming, demeaning women who choose traditional life styles, blaming men for all their problems, wanting a free pass in life etc etc where do they have the time to end child marriage or slavery, or women burning themselves on the pyre of a dead husband.
This is why, I’d like to point out to Radhika, and others like her holding up the ‘I need feminism because…’ placards, that I’m not a feminist because I know it’s not about equal rights but about absolute supremacy.
What started off as a movement to get women the right to vote and own property has long been hijacked by a group of radicals who cannot match you logic to logic, want to be able to get away with murder, literally so, and be called a victim all their life.
These feminists are not okay with men who are interested in what they earn, but wouldn’t marry a poor guy in a million years…
These are the kind of feminists, who have instigated the rise of the MGTOW or Men Going Their Own Way movement, thus attacking the family system, forcing men to shun chivalry while complaining about the dearth of good men in society.
True feminism must defend a woman’s right to choose at any cost. It must be left to the woman to choose to work or be a stay at home mum. Isn’t that what having a choice really means?
Like any social movement, timely reforms in ideology are both important and inevitable. It’s time now, to balance the act and glorify the choice of stay at home mothers just as supporting the ambitions of women joining the paid workforce. That’s the only way that feminism can get to retain the title of the eternal defender of women’s choices.
Everyone has bitter – sweet memories of school. As a child, I’d been to a number of schools but the one I found most interesting was the one I spent the most time in. And the reason I find it interesting now is because of the fact that we read & learnt in an environment where we sort of co-existed with different kinds of animals. And when I say coexisted, I MEAN coexisted. You see, we had a pair of pugs, called Barnie & Bernie, a rooster whose name I don’t remember, A Great Dane called ‘Sultan’, a bunch of swans, a few ducks, a parrot called ‘Mithu’ & a few other varieties of birds! That’s not all, all except the Great Dane, were allowed to roam around freely within school premises which meant an occasional visit from a few of them in the classrooms! The most frequent visitors were the pugs & the most notorious too because more often than not, their visit was accompanied by an embarrassing visual of the two of them humping, or trying to at least! Embarrassing for the humanity in question because frankly, Bernie & Barnie gave not a single damn to whoever was watching!
The rooster managed to single handedly bring down the level of excitement caused by pugs by his inactivity. All I ever recall ‘him’doing is standing in front of the full length mirror positioned outside of one of our classrooms, in the corridor, & just staring at his handsome self. I was first introduced to the concept of narcissism by that rooster. He didn’t mind sharing the mirror because he wouldn’t even glance at you if you stood & observed your own reflection in that same mirror. You can now begin to understand where I come from in life, I’ve spent most of my childhood sharing a mirror with a rooster, after all!
The ducks & swans usually kept to themselves. We had to invade their space each day for the morning assembly but they gladly shared the lawn area of the school with us. At times one of them would come crashing toward the assembled children, but would usually just bump into the school administrator, Mr Paul, & head back to his waiting friends. The animals remained normal around most of us, caused no trouble & shared space quite happily, but they had a thing for Mr Paul. The pugs being the assholes they were, would almost always come & pee on his foot, and his alone, each time he tried to speak in the morning assembly! Both of them. So much so that this had become a ritual we had all begun to accept, more so because if you laughed, Mr Paul would make it a point to single the laughing child out of the gathering of students to try & break his or her spirit. But of course, the opposite effect was achieved and what ensued was a fit of laughter among every teacher & student present within the premise, during that time. But Mr Paul never got it. He always felt we were laughing at the student he held captive. That was not the case of course.
‘Sultan’was held away from us because he was deemed ‘dangerous’ because of his size by some of the parents, which was a shame because those of us who did visit him sometimes, knew that he was very gentle around us. Maybe it was Mr Paul’s safety they really feared for. I don’t know.
This was my life, during my adolescent years, surrounded by animals, learning an important lesson about co-existence and all because the owner of our school was an animal lover. In fact, she still is involved in several animal welfare schemes and rescue operations. If she would have had her way, we would have had a donkey among us too! But that never happened because he was too injured for a full recovery.
I wonder what that would have been like though. I really do.
Do you like cakes? I love them!
Do you like perfection? I appreciate it!
I also love gazing at ornamental cakes, almost as much as eating them!
So I was just going through images of cakes online, for some reason, was sitting & naming them & I thought why not share them with other cake enthusiasts! (Please don’t judge me, you can’t be meaningful all the time!)
So here are a few Cakes I found online that, in my opinion, have been BAKED TO PERFECTION!
I wish to wake up now
It’s been really long
I must break free of this chain of thoughts
an ambiguous dream gone wrong
I can swim no longer in this deluge
Can no one hear my silent cries?
There’s no land in sight where I may seek refuge
I’m drowning, no matter how hard I try
My cries for help fall on deaf ears
I wonder why my own have forsaken me
The splashing waters wash away my tears
I search within for the faith in me
What stays afloat is my spirit strong
& the distant light I see
It’s a tiny ray of hope and frankly
my only reason to be
What if the light is just an illusion?
An oasis in the desert for the lost being
If only I could touch it once
I’d know that it’s something real I’m seeing
The need to join the light is strong
I seek the faith in me
I cannot hold this up for long
I must break free
I pull all of my being together
To make this final dive
I just need the light to keep shining bright
& I know I will survive
On an average day, skimming through e-mails is likely to take up to 28% of your time at work. Just the sheer volume of e-mails we have to go through & respond to each day, makes it a daunting enough task, let alone trying to make it as professional & error free as possible. And no matter how hard you try, there’s a chance of an ‘oops’ moment occurring every now & then. This can cause unnecessary stress , miscommunication, awkwardness & wasted time at work hence it becomes important to observe some golden tips on how to keep your professional communication stress & error free.
Here are 10 ways to ensure a hassle free work e-mail routine –
A clear subject line.
Chances are, your recipient’s inbox is just as clogged as yours, so the clearer your subject line, the more likely are the chances of your e-mail being read. For example, if you’re sending a quotation to someone, be crisp & clear and write, “Blue Whistle Quotation Attached.”
Save A signature.
Every email should include a signature that tells the recipient who you are and how to contact you. Set it up to automatically appear at the end of each email. Include all of your contact details so the recipient doesn’t have to look up your address, email or phone number.
Use a professional salutation.
Using “Hey,” “Yo,” or “Wassup” isn’t professional, no matter how well you know the recipient. Use “Hi” or “Hello” instead. To be more formal, use “Dear ( name).” Using the person’s name in the salutation — “Hi Samuel” — is appropriate, but remember not to shorten a person’s name unless you’re given permission to do so.
Humor does not translate well via text. Because humor is generally communicated through tone, expression & body language, what you think is funny has a good chance of being misinterpreted by the other party, or taken as sarcasm, without the said aspects. Therefore, it’s best to leave humor out of business communications.
Always proofread your message.
Having grammatical errors, spelling mistakes & incorrect usage of words littered around your e-mail can cause judgement & you may ultimately be perceived, sloppy or even unprofessional. To avoid this, always check spelling, grammar and the message before hitting “send.”
Avoid the Chain Mail fiasco
Create your message as a stand-alone note, even if it is in response to a chain of emails. This means no “one-liners.” Include the subject and any references to previous emails, research or conversations. It can be frustrating and time consuming to look back at the chain to brush up on the context. Your recipient may have hundreds of emails coming in each day and likely won’t remember the chain of events leading up to your email.
Respond to all emails.
Give a timely and polite reply to each legitimate email addressed to you. Even if you do not have an answer at the moment, take a second to write a response letting the sender know you received their email. Inform the sender if their email was sent to the wrong recipient, too.
Avoid ‘spur of the moment’ emotional responses
Never send an angry email, or give a quick, flip response. Give your message some thoughtful consideration before sending it. If you feel angry, avoid writing a response right away. Collect your thoughts in order to jot down points that bring the focus back to things that matter or practical points you would like to highlight in response.
Keep private material confidential.
It is far too easy to share emails, even inadvertently. If you have to share highly personal or confidential information, do so in person or over the phone. Ask permission before posting sensitive material either in the body of the email or in an attachment.
Avoid overuse of Capitalization & Exclamation points.
Exclamation points and other indications of excitement such as emoticons, abbreviations like LOL, and all CAPITALS do not translate well in business communications. Leave them off unless you know the recipient extremely well. It’s also not professional to use a string of exclamation points!!!!!
It may take some practice to keep your emails professional and to the point, but you will look more professional and organized in the long run.
This is a ‘viral’ image, doing the rounds of the Indian social media scene for quite some time now. An educated, ’empowered’, female actor telling us what issues our ‘women’ face today & how feminism is the answer to them all.
Here’s the problem with it though…
FEMINISM is NOT the answer to any of these issues and I’ll tell you why….
India does NOT need feminism because —
Feminism assumes that only women are raped. It doesn’t take into account that men can be raped at all! Or that rape is an equally prevalent lurking danger on little boys and adult men as it is on little girls and adult women. Feminism also assumes that women cannot be perpetrators and that it’s OK for women to not be charged as harshly for the same crime as a man.
India doesn’t need feminism because it doesn’t count homemaking a respectable enough job to even count as ‘work’ when it really is a full time job. A shocking statement emerged from the Indian Supreme court lately according to which, s wife cannot be a ‘parasite’ on her husband’s earnings! This, of course, garnered a strong support from feminists overlooking the implication it holds. Traditional roles were meant to compliment each other and not be parasitic! It was the perfect balance of yin & yang, if you will which created a sense of harmony within the family & the community. Also, they failed to highlight the fact that the supreme court had meant this for cases involving alimony and made it sound like a blanket statement for all women! While I am not against women in the workforce, I do feel that more comfortable in the natural assigned roles for the genders. It’s a personal opinion, and I do not mean to try and change it to legislation but I do NOT appreciate the extreme counter view being endorsed by the country’s most supreme judiciary either! Or being portrayed as such, in this case!
Feminism also belittles the role of mothers in the lives of young children. Also, it strives to achieve equality with men only in offices and blue collared work places. Ever seen a feminist demanding the right to being a coal miner or gutter cleaner??? No equality needed there huh? Also,it doesn’t take into account the fact,that for more menial tasks men are preferred over women and for a lot of jobs in offices like that of a secretary or receptionist, women are automatically preferred to men and feminism doesn’t count that as discrimination!
India does NOT need feminism, because it cannot solve the issue of ABORTION because it is a.STAUNCH supporter of the practice!
Women’s right to choose has led to more killed babies worldwide than sex selection EVER will and notice also,how feminism assumes that only female babies are aborted!
In the west certain extreme lobbyists are pushing for the right to legalize all abortions NO MATTER WHAT which means abortion at any time during the pregnancy right up to the 9th month and even after because a woman’s body is her domain but the little entity inside her, which she is supposed to protect and nurture, is ‘ not a person ‘ and ‘ just a lump of flesh or cell’s! That’s a feminist’s definition of a human baby, not mine!
India doesn’t need feminism because it fails to account for all the little boys and girls , who are pushed into hard work at an age that they should be studying and building a future. It somehow makes that also a gender issue.
Not everything is a gender issue. We need a humanitarian approach, egalitarian if you must, but the moment you say ‘feminism’, you’re automatically excluding half the population from the very word describing your political movement. While the issues mentioned in the placard Kalki is holding are very real, feminism, I’m afraid, is not the answer.
The question is perplexing…the answer is shocking.
When we purchase gadgets like Ipads, note2’s or any other such phones or devices …do we stop to wonder WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE? Is it the technology alone that causes the price to jack off the roof tops? What are they made of?
Where does the raw material come from?
The answer lies in the blood mineral conflict…
Blood minerals refer to minerals mined in rebel-held territory or war zones and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army’s war efforts or warlord’s activity. Since 1998, four minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been financing insurgency and wars that have thus far claimed over 5.4 million lives.!!!
The four minerals are Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten (the 3Ts) and Gold.
The electronics industry is the major end-user of these metals. They are used in mobile phones, laptops, iPods, game counsels and a wide range of other electronic equipment. World prices for each of these metals have been rising over the last few years, giving armed groups in eastern Congo all the more incentive to target or keep hold of the mines.
What is the link between the minerals and rape?
Running a rebel group is a costly business. In DRC, armed groups rely on Congo’s easily appropriable and highly valuable natural resources to finance their insurgencies, which the rich world has a capacious appetite for. Hence, mines or mineral trade routes (where they can extort money from miners) are key targets for the armed groups. Rape is cheaper and much more effective than guns or bullets. If armed groups were to raid a village and force the population to leave by shooting at them, NGOs could be alerted and the UN would have to react. However if they lay siege to or raid a village and then rape as many as they can, regardless of how loud the women scream or cry, its less likely that NGOs could hear them and therefore less likely that the UN would intervene.!
Watch this unwatchable video to get a glimpse of life in Congo, except imagine your own family for a second as that’s what the director has attempted to do.
Would you still flaunt your gizmos proudly???
“I am Alice, Nice to meet you
I’d hug you & greet you
would you please be kind enough
to show me around your world?”
“Greetings of the day O’ Miss!
a hug for free? why not a kiss?
I am the random romeo on the street
with only my hands do I greet
If you don’t mind a little touch & feel
I’d love to show you my world!”
“Get Back! you filthy little creep
the longer I stay, the lower you steep
I’ve never known such audacious speech
I forbid you to further say a word,
I’d find my way around this world!”
“I am Alice, Nice to meet you
I’d hug you & greet you
would you please be kind enough
to show me around your world?”
“Make way, Miss! I have a cab to catch,
is it my wallet you’re looking to snatch?
Don’t bother with your sweet routine
I am the Corporate Ice Queen
I have no time for even family or friends
& here you are, thinking I have time to lend
and show you the world?”
“Oh My! you really are cold
I am shaken by your manner bold
your words hurt. your tone stings
you’re a venomous bee without wings
I’d like to flee away from you now
I’d find my way around this world!”
“I am Alice, Nice to meet you
I’d hug you & greet you
would you please be kind enough
to show me around your world?”
“What would I do with greetings alone?
I am an ‘artist’, to a price I am prone
My time , my art, my words are all for sale
I can show around but a charge shall entail
show me the gold
before I show you my world!”
“An artist you said?
Did I hear that right?
your art must be suffering a demeaned plight
your instinct must not be subject to a price
you can only be an artist if you freely entice
Your trading of art is rather twisted & twirled
I’d find my way around this world!”
“I am Alice, Nice to meet you
I’d hug you & greet you
would you please be kind enough
to show me around your world?”
“I a homeless man, I beg on these streets
these people you ask, are poorer than me
they have no alms or time to spare
they’re selfish & rotten, & don’t seem to care
with one arm they give, with the other they take
that, to them is charity, their ideals are fake
I’ve been watching you waste your time with these freaks,
greed is what each of them seeks
one is greedy for flesh, the other stingy with time
they won’t spend a second with you, till you spare a dime
Halt your journey here my child
you don’t need to see more of this world!”
MS Excel needs absolutely no introduction in the business world. The moment you hear the term “Microsoft Excel,” you may instantly think of number-crunching careers like accounting or finance but making the error of ruling out other verticals where you could potentially make the most of your Microsoft Excel training could leave you without that extra edge over competitors in your line of work. Whether you are formatting cells, protecting pertinent information, or integrating Excel with other software, you may find many uses for Excel as an imperative data keeping tool that all businesses rely on for recording, reporting as well as calculating purposes.
Firstly, it’s important to understand why MS Excel has become so widespread & valuable in the world of business. Excel is a spreadsheet program that enables users to organize large amounts of data, and even perform functions like calculations, graphing, and creating pivot tables, among many other features. In a nutshell, Microsoft Excel makes it much easier to interpret numbers and information. You may even need solid Excel skills for studying in degrees, such as for an accounting degree.
Going for a Microsoft Excel Training is a must & here are some compelling reasons to take the plunge:
It makes you more employable.
A Microsoft Excel training before job hunting, could give you a leg up on other candidates who aren’t familiar with it. Many businesses and organizations seek candidates with strong organizational and analytical skills – and if you know Microsoft Excel, employers may see you as a valuable asset who can perform tasks efficiently.
It adds value to your resume.
Recruiters are always on the lookout for hot keywords. If they see “Microsoft Excel training” listed on your resume, they may be more likely to show interest in your profile.
You can organize and interpret information more easily.
Excel isn’t just a huge grid with endless rows and columns. It’s a tool that allows you to sort and filter lists, track numbers, create formulas, perform calculations, develop graphs and charts, and much, much more.
So what kind of professionals can benefit from an Excel Training?
While corporations & businesses make the top of the list, it would be an error to assume that these are the only verticals that may benefit from learning Excel. When you think about people who use Microsoft Excel on a day-to-day basis, you may be interested to learn about these other jobs that could benefit from Excel:
Since teachers may become bogged down by lesson plans and administrative duties, using Microsoft Excel training could enable them to streamline time spent on organizing grades as well as creating teaching aids like student birthday charts, interactive maps, seating charts, summer reading lists, and more.
Whether it’s keeping track of statistics in sports journalism or analyzing campaign finance data in political journalism, Microsoft Excel benefits extend to journalists who are juggling large amounts of information and trying to keep their facts straight.
If you are a photographer who wants to know how many leads translate into actual shoots, you could learn how to use Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet that provides summaries about failed leads, referral sources, and booking rates.
As a freelance writer, you may want to keep a writing log in Excel that could help you monitor more and less productive areas of your day. Maybe you need a place to brainstorm ideas and come up with new topics and titles—an Excel worksheet could be just the place. A published articles Excel log is useful when you want to keep track of any guest postings or articles that have been published on third-party websites.
Are you ready to learn the basics of Excel or take your skills to the next level? Luckily, Excel courses are typically divided into three levels – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – so there’s a course that may appeal to you and your career development needs.
I’ve been crushing some serious candies
I’m busy on virtual streets,
I grow veggies in my fake farm
I’m even friends with gaming freaks!
I have alienated my friends
by sending them game requests,
I’ve no clue why they won’t oblige me
& just help me in my quests.
You see, it’s a matter quite serious
my avatar is in constant need
My fish would die if not fed in time
my crops would turn to weed.
My journey would suddenly come to a halt
if you don’t send three tickets
And if I don’t buy golden coins
the enemy would kill my picket
Who would rescue my pets from danger?
If you don’t send me bonus lives
How would I run my restaurant?
If you don’t help me buy the forks & knives
What would I do with the city I built
If you don’t stop by once in a while
How am I to deal with the birds I anger
If you don’t help me fling them a mile
Instead of judging us poor gaming souls
come join this crazy ride
just quit the army of online trolls
& pick the whimsical side
We’ve got cops & thieves , detectives & chiefs
entrepreneurs, gem carvers & tour guides
All we lack is a life that’s real
But that’s alright,
we’re not missing much
Our lame game life would suffice.
” Encourage your children because you have no idea what they are truly capable of.”
Every parent or older relative is always (or always should be!) looking for ways to encourage young talent in the family. I say family first, because that’s where it all starts doesn’t it? Being an aunt & a mother with a blog helps! So here I am, proudly showcasing sketches by my nephew, Saksham Masih, Age 16 & my son Vihaan Edwin Singh, Age 8.
I was reading the newspaper sometime back and came across an article about a 16 year old boy’s struggle with gender identity ‘confusion’ and how he initially thought he was gay and how he finally embraced the fact that he’s actually a girl , and how he’s going to have a sex change operation after his class 12 exams. His family & peers are supportive and his NRI mother bought him his first dress even and thinks he has pretty legs!
The story, of course, doesn’t end here. The mother goes on to narrate how she felt he might be gay initially as he always insisted on playing with dolls and wigs and even though he was ‘encouraged’ to play with tanks and guns, he never conformed! Also, by the time he was 12 years old, he was already going in for counseling sessions as he felt he was gay and wanted help with this ‘confusion’.
Now I’ve seen 12 year olds and I’ve been a 12 year old myself. I’m sure everyone has. When I think of my childhood, I remember having a little chapter dedicated to intercourse in my science textbook and that’s about it as far as my generation’s exposure to sexual knowledge went. As a child that young, I recall being curious, but since there were so many things around to keep us distracted, like sports, debates,books,and.meaningful time spent with the family where we.learnt some values,that there was hardly any space for sexual craziness.
Also,there was nothing much on TV that depicted overt sexual imagery or homosexuality as even a concept, there was no burden on most children from my generation, to come to terms with or identify with.
What’s also interesting is,the fact that I recall not being a very stereotypical ‘girly girly’ myself in fact, I played basketball, baseball, loved wrestling and hated cooking!
But back then, this was not defined as ANYTHING really, just kids being kids and doing what they wanted without a care in the world. There was no burden of gender identity or any definitions at all.
As matter of fact ,every child goes through a phase of confusion where he or she is unable to decide what they want to become. Back then,it was about choosing a career, nowadays it’s about choosing a sexual orientation and a gender!
So what’s changed?
Nothing much, I’d say. Children are still children, but it’s the parents and culture that’s changed.
The mother in this story states, that when he discarded the guns he was ‘encouraged to play with ” she was afraid that he might be gay!!!
THAT is very telling.
The mother,the school,the counselors managed to play havoc with this child’s absolutely NORMAL phase of exploration and led him to believe that he’s confused. What kind of a parent sends her 12 year old for counselling because her son likes to play with dolls and what kind of counselors end up convincing the child that he’s actually a boy trapped in a woman’s body? This is borderline child abuse if you ask me!
Also, where is the FATHER in all of this? I can’t help but notice the absence of a ‘father figure’ in the child’s life. Did he even get to give masculinity a chance? And I refuse to count ‘offering him guns & toy tanks’ as a fair introduction to his true, natural , masculine instinct.
Of course,children are struggling with a lot today as their lives are full of violent and sexual imagery thrown at them through pop culture and movies and then there’s this huge LGBTQ movement to reckon with, that’s creating a turmoil in their tender minds. At an age when the knowledge of heterosexuality can be shocking enough for the child, imagine a daily dose of homosexuality, transgender-ism, androgyny, gender fluidity etc thrown at them!
No wonder they’re turning out like this.
In the end I’d like to say just one thing
“God is not the author of confusion but of peace “
I cannot recall each story I read,
each story I heard, during childhood
but I do recall that each implied
in the end, bad succumbs to good.
I never questioned the truth of it,
until most recent years
as tales & fables gave way to the real
& disenchantment led to tears.
For if this was true,
then it made no sense
for my honest display
to fetch pretense
I cannot, for instance, for a second believe,
that my hope deserved a stab more than once
the first time I thought it was fate at play
on what do I blame the second chance?
Is it that I’m blind to my own faults?
I think it not to be the case,
for each night before I sleep,
I turn my own worst critic, for goodness sake!
I make amends, I fail again
I win myself over each day,
I realize I may have hurt a few,
but that’s a debt I most repay.
None of the fairy tales I heard,
had parts full of such despair
wherever I look, whatever I find
misery, heartache, resentment, are there.
It’s only now, that I realize
that what they taught was a thought mislead
it is never good that wins over bad,
let me replace that word, in every book I read.
For people are never good or bad,
they are either honest or they’re not,
for what prevails is not good, but the truth
that’s what life always taught.
The truth uncovers itself,
in manners most perverse
it hits you when you’re least prepared,
to make matters worse.
So I end the game of charades today,
as I gain a new meaning to life,
goodness is an illusion, it is truth that shall prevail
With that, I end my longest strife.
Yes. I am going to talk about something we generally don’t talk about. About half of humanity bears with a monthly visitor, fondly called by many names across the globe. Aunt Flo, ‘those days’ ‘that time’, ‘chums’ but nobody wants to say the word. Menstruation. Period. I can feel you cringe right now. But it’s okay. Ignorance does that to people. It goes on to make a normal bodily function a taboo subject. In fact, it would be safe to say, that most things ‘female’ are inherently regarded taboo. Like breastfeeding. People want you to breastfeed your child all the time. They are great advocates of it. But they won’t support you if you wish to feed your child it’s most natural form of lunch in public! Even if you’re covered. A sight of cleavage is more acceptable than a mother feeding her child. That’s how detached from nature we’ve become. All because we associate it all with SEX. But that’s silly because breastfeeding & menstruation have nothing to do with sex. But that’s another topic, another day, another blog. Promise!
For now, let’s stick with periods. Oh! Stop cringing. I know a lost cause when I see one & I am too realistic to think that there would come a day, when people would be comfortable with menstruation. For that you have to be in sync with nature & comfortable in your own skin. I honestly don’t believe I shall live to see the day, when a female employee feels comfortable approaching her male boss & telling him she needs to skip work because her period cramps are killing her. It’s going to remain the veiled ‘headache’, or ‘family emergency’ or ‘girly problem’ at the most. I do not demand that we shouldn’t have to carry a pack of sanitary napkins in a black plastic from the chemist. I think a man would hide his pack of condoms too. But I do feel, that women should, at least, be comfortable sharing their discomfort with people they interact with on a daily basis. At least co-workers, family members, friends. I am not extending that to strangers at all because as a rule, we don’t talk about anything personal with strangers do we?
But while we continue to debate this, there is a culture, within India, that doesn’t debate menstruation. It celebrates it.
You read that right. I always felt South Indians are way cooler than Northies in many ways. (I am a North Indian, so back off & don’t even start with the political correctness.)
Yeah! They celebrate the coming of age of their girls. In fact, it’s a grand celebration in some cases, in others a private affair, but not a taboo, to say the very least. The entire ritual may take more than a fortnight. It starts with the first ever period the girl has. A ritual bath is prepared for her , followed by a period of isolation, during which she is given nutritious meals to nourish her body. This is believed to strengthen her body for future pregnancies too. Once the isolation period is over, there is a religious ceremony that takes place, wherein a priest blesses the girl & the family prays to the Gods. What ensues is a celebration in which family & friends are invited & the girl is gifted her very first Silk Saree & is adorned like a bride & showered with gifts!
When I had my first period, I was 13 years old, scared & locked inside a bathroom, ashamed to step out, fearing judgement & almost a tad bit guilty. My worst fear was facing my ‘girl’ friends the next day at school who I knew out of experience of watching other girls go through the ‘ordeal’ , would ridicule me & say ridiculous things like “Be careful now”! What the hell? As if the only thing standing between me & promiscuity (yeah! at 13) was my period! And this when my mother had already had a rather awkward conversation with me touching the subject only slightly because I wasn’t ‘there yet’. For most girls, not there yet means , haven’t had a period yet! Yes! We shall talk about it once you start bleeding. No need to prepare you before hand for something that’s eventually going to happen. NO MATTER WHAT!
And now that I compare my experience of a first menstrual cycle, with that of my South Indian counter parts, I end up asking myself “Why did we end up with the short end of the stick?”
I mean think about it. When I got my first period, I got people worried! When my south Indian friend did, she got people buying her gifts! Well, I have said it once I will say it again, South India, you are way cooler than us North Indians. You got this!
I slipped upon my tiled floor,
& almost broke my neck
spent all night preparing for it,
but still failed my test,
Whoever has my voodoo doll,
please just give it a rest!
My best friend hung up on me
for something that I said,
I’m quite sure I didn’t though,
my mind is a mess!
Whoever has my voodoo doll
please give it a rest!
My boss hates me infinity
I couldn’t have cared less,
but he took my name off the merit list,
no bonus now, I guess
Whoever has my voodoo doll
please give it a rest
My neighbor borrowed my car
some chick he must impress
banged the bumper, smashed the headlight
what buttons did he press?
Whoever has my voodoo doll,
please give it a rest
You’ve poked & prodded
shaken & bent
she’s taken a toll
enough of your entertainment
She cannot scream , she cannot vent
have you no heart, have you no soul?
put that needle back, you troll
I may not know, I cannot tell
but I’m sure there’s a wicked spell
that I can cast upon your deed
& make you come forth & plead
I am a decent human being
don’t wish to resort to satanic means
let’s end this game of occult chess
Please, give my voodoo doll a rest!
It was a room full of people,
But I felt all alone,
I stood there & stared in disbelief,
My only son was gone…
So many dreams you took with you,
so many hopes were shattered,
so many nights of mid-night hunger pangs
my house, once full of chatter.
You took with you my brightest smile,
my will to live,
my reason to die
Your vacant room lies undisturbed,
I do not have the strength to curb
the stinging pain i feel within,
when I see the lawn chair you’re not in.
You’re study room with your favorite reads
the wooden shelves,
the golden beads,
that you once collected to adorn a frame,
a family portrait,
gently engraved with the family name.
Your favorite ride,
now, covered in cloth
reminds me of the time,
when you & I both,
rode to the market ,
to buy your favorite shirt,
the color was a deep blue,
your wide grin was it’s real worth.
It’s not just me,
but my flowers too,
that miss the boy who came by once a week,
Now they stare in empty space,
they’re lonely & too sad to speak.
The kitchen , I must say
misses you the most
’cause that’s where you made,
your famous sourdough toast.
Going back to that dreadful day,
in the living room you lay.
I stared at you,
my hands at the rim,
of that God forsaken coffin,
that held my sleeping son inside,
my life, my joy, my heart, my pride.
I question God ‘most everyday,
why was it you,
not I that lay.
But such is the work of fate my son,
it shakes the faith of everyone.
There’s lot’s to tell
& lot’s to share,
that I no longer can retain.
I must hold my peace,
it’s good bye for now,
until we meet again…
Find fun, when there is none!
Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s the benefit of optimism! It’s also something I fall back on when I can’t fall asleep & it’s past midnight, my Wi-Fi isn’t working & I must make a choice between loneliness & T.V. So I chose T.V & I’m faced with yet another choice. Television Retail ‘Infomercials’ or some dumb program I wouldn’t admit to watching the next day! So I choose the latter & that’s how I end up in the company of the loud characters of ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma’!
For starters, I begin with the exercise of translating the title into other languages I know.
‘Tarak Mehta’s upside down Spectacles!’
‘Tarak Mehta’s Lunettes à l’envers’
‘Tarak Mehta’s Occhiali da testa’
‘Tarak Mehta’s ਉਲਟਿਆ ਐਨਕਾਂ’
‘Tarak Mehta’s 颠倒的眼镜’
Exotic! And funny because I am so disinterested in the show, that I’d rather make a translation game out of it’s title than watch it! But I’m set to give it a try so…
Mission Impossible begins. The comic cues a.k.a loud sounds of laughing audiences in the ‘sitcom’ help me identify the laughter joints where I am supposed to crack up. It’s all similar to the 5 am laughter club with their’ infectious laughter I get to hear in the park behind my apartment. But at the comic junctions of my television it’s seamless and involves less effort than those oldies in the park, I can vouch for that. You just need to practice once or twice and, believe me, it just flows…But you need to be consistent in watching…medicines also cure when taken regularly, remember the golden rule?
Have you ever been able to notice how loud the costumes , gestures and expressions are? Unbelievable! With their kind of get up, do they even need to act loud? Naah! They sometimes do try though!
I am also always bowled over by the unique dialogues they deliver…mind blowing! I usually go “Never heard of that before” every 5 seconds of that show! That’s funny in itself. Makes you laugh. If not, try damn you! That’s what such dialogues are crafted for, we ought to respect that at the very least!
By now, Daya Bhabhi has probably retained that wide mouthed, stretched out, ogle eye expression for life! For this alone she deserves a salute.
If nothing else, just the sheer lameness of it all ought to make you laugh! I mean look at them! It’s so bad that it’s good! Get it?
You don’t? Oh! you’re just, just, heartless that’s all! Huh!
Memes are a recent internet fad that make their way into any situation in life. In fact, a day on the internet cannot go by without a few thousand memes floating around, going about their business. Everyone likes memes, c’mmoooonnnnnn times infinity if you don’t! But like everything else in this world, memes are corruptible too. And what better way to corrupt something nice & dandy than bring religion into the picture? Huh? Huh?
I am not talking about the ones that ridicule religion in itself. I am referring to the phenomenon of ‘RELIGIOUS MEMES’! Yikes!
So without playing any more games, here’s proof of the matter. I present to you, the lamest Religious Memes on the internet that will blow you’re mind more than anything else you see today. And not in a good way.
Nobody lives forever,
Someday we’re all going to die.
And I want to sign out with a bang,
I don’t want to be that guy.
That guy who has a herd of people,
lined up to pay last respects.
I want to be that guy,
who wakes up mid mourning, to conduct some last minute checks.
Don’t worry, you’ll have a checklist handy,
to ensure that all goes well.
‘Cause if you miss out for some reason,
I shall haunt you from the depths of Hell!
So here’s my final checklist,
before I digress,
I must confess,
This happens often.
I might be sunshine & sprinkles one moment,
The next it could be my coffin.
First things first, I want a well lit room,
where I lay in my deepest slumber.
For in my heart I’m a sunshine junkie,
’bout that I make no blunder.
My dress should be that of a bride,
’cause in life , I never got to wear one.
I got married twice, but not a single wedding,
so I’ll go fix that crap in heaven.
Next, I want everyone dressed,
in the brightest, most beautiful attire.
I want a live band to play “O Happy Day”
Along a singing choir.
There should be food of the scrumptious kind,
& wine the choicest best.
It would be great if the guest list spells “near & dear’
I don’t care about the rest.
I guess what my heart is trying to say,
is do not mourn my going away…
Bid me farewell on a happy note,
that’s my final wish.
‘Cause all my life I’ve dealt with sullen faces,
my final day, I shouldn’t have to deal with this!
HA HA HA I caught you bad,
don’t worry that last was a joke,
On an honest note I don’t want you sad,
‘Cause when you’re sad, you’re an inconsolable bloke.
And this time I won’t be there to cheer you up,
For I would have breathed my last.
So I hand you this checklist I made,
to spread the happy spell I cast!
In an era long gone by, there once was a small village near the ancient river valley of Sadånīrå. It was a small dwelling of not more than fifty families & was a part of a larger territory called Kavaasa, whose ruler was the fierce & just, Agastya. The valley led a peaceful, prosperous life & followed a strict moral code which was to be observed by the dwellers. The Sadånīrå tribals, in particular, were extremely conscious of their pure bloodline. So much so that, in order to preserve it’s purity, they preferred marriage alliances within the valley. The chastity of the ‘bloodline’ was something to be honored more than life itself for the Sadånīrå tribals because they held a firm belief that there’s was the ‘blessed’ bloodline. They were sinless & therefore, were the only true inheritors of the blessed paradise in the afterlife.
The Meccha family in the tribe was no different as far as this belief was concerned. All except the older son of the Meccha family, Yedu. Yedu was about 21 years old when he saw a girl lying unconcious on the banks of the river. He quickly ran towards the girl, no older than 16 or 17 perhaps & began to try & revive her. He pressed upon her chest heavily, as water gushed out of her mouth, running at the side before sliding quickly down her neck, as she continued her silent struggle for survival. A sense of panic would overcome Yedu upon every failed attempt but he kept at it, sometimes holding her by her chin & gently but firmly slapping it side to side. And when she finally woke up, the joy of seeing her alive was so overwhelming that Yedu took her into his embrace & weeped tears of relief. The girl cried too, as she looked at him like he was her saviour in more ways than one. But she couldn’t express any of her feelings because she couldn’t speak. Tears were all she had to express the emotions she felt. Upon realising this, Yedu felt that it was an indication from the highest dweller of paradise, that he must take her home under his care.
But under the moral code of the land, no follower of Agastya could dwell with a woman he was not related to. The penalty for such an abomination was death.But he couldn’t marry her either, because of the strict rule of preserving the holy bloodline of his tribe. Yedu was faced with a dilemma but he knew what to do, in order to marry the woman he loved. “I shall pledge to never bring our marriage to fruition. We shall remain child less in order to preserve the purity of the tribal blood line. Please O’ Father, O Lord of our house, grant me this favor & I shall forever be indebted to you. Your wish shall be my command from here on till I breathe my last”. The tribesmen saw no threat to their sacred blood after Yedu made this heartfelt plea & gave him the permission to marry the woman he loved on the condition that they would not bring forth children into the world. Yedu fulfilled the promise he had made to himself of never letting her away from his embrace. They lived a peaceful, happy life until…
The younger brother in the Meccha family, Anu, was extremely temperamental. His first response to even the slightest of provocation was usually a sharp blow to the provocateur. The worst affected by his fists of fury, was his own wife, Mithna. Since this was considered a domestic matter, something between the husband & wife, nobody warned Anu or interfered in the slightest as it was considered unpleasing in the eyes of the highest dweller of paradise to do so. On one such violent bout, Anu lost his temperament yet again only this time, the blow to Mithna’s head was a final one. A pool of blood quickly formed around her as she lay lifeless on the mud flooring of their dwelling. The father learnt of this soon enough & so did the elders of the tribe. They all knew Agastya would soon be aware of this too. It was a killing that had taken place. That too of a woman. The mighty King would never stand to tolerate such an act of brutality & cowardice of a man, as to lay his fist upon his own wife & that too to end her life. Anu would be killed. The Meccha father was devastated as he wept inconsolably. “My older son cannot, by law, father progeny & my younger would now be killed. Is this the end of my family name? How shall I seek a place in the paradise above? How shall I face my ancestors?” The elders of the tribe came up with a solution.
“Hand the mute daughter in law to Agastya. Let him know that she killed her brother in law’s wife out of jealousy as she had children & the mute one wasn’t sanctioned to.”
Yedu was devastated upon hearing this. He decided to tell his father that he would never let this happen & would tell Agastya the truth. “You remember your words a day before I let you marry this mute girl? This whore whose bloodline is a mystery to even the Gods?” Yedu remembered all too well “grant me this favor & shall forever be indebted to you. Your wish shall be my command from here on till I breathe my last”. Yedu had lost.
That night, as he went into his room, Yedu bowed down in front of his wife & told her what had transpired as she listened with utmost shock & disbelief. Tears were all that she could muster. Her only response to this cruel twist of events. To feel a storm of emotions & to not be able to express them, leaves one in a state of devastation. A point of no return. She did not even know what was more painful. The words that refused to slip out , the tears that wouldn’t stop flowing or the disbelief of her savior leaving her to the wolves. She knew what was most painful. She was aware. And she couldn’t keep it to herself any longer. She gently took her husband’s hand & placed it on her belly. The look in her eyes was that of a child pleading for his life. Yedu’s child.
A storm of emotions overcame Yedu as he stared at her with a vacant, distant expression. Not only would he lose his beloved wife, but also his child. Both killed. Mercilessly. For something they had not done. But was he not even supposed to have that child in the first place? But now there he was. Undeniably there. Now that he was growing inside his mother, would Agastya still want to kill them both? Even if he didn’t, the tribesmen would. The bloodline was to be preserved at any cost. Yedu had to think. But his mind stopped working. In a fit of emotion & a fierce determination to save his child at any cost, Yedu picked up his sickle & charged towards his brother. It was a quick blow to the neck. Yedu’s father woke up from the commotion only to find his younger son lying dead on the floor & Yedu soaked in his brother’s blood. “What have you done?” their father screamed in agony as he moved quickly across the hall to the next room where Yedu’s wife was. With his child. “Die you whore, die why don’t you. I shall kill you and end my misery myself you wretched…” he could not complete his sentence. Yedu had yanked him dead with the same sickle.
By this time, someone was knocking at the door. “It is the King’s guard at your doorstep. Open the door as justice awaits you”. Yedu opened the door. He was a dead man walking. The guard froze in his heels as he witnessed the scene in horror. Blood everywhere. A dead body in the hallway where Yedu stood with the door ajar, his scared, shivering wife at the door of their room and a lifeless hand lying in a pool of blood behind her. “Who did this?” demanded the guard. “I did” said Yedu. “Come with me, the King awaits”. Yedu was dragged away by Agastya’s guards. His justice was instant. One blow to the neck with the same sickle he used to murder his father & brother. But first, his skin was to be torn with 10 lashes. Just to give him enough time to say his last prayer, in pain, & repent his crime, his sin. “Were you responsible for mudering your sister in law too?” It didn’t matter now for Yedu was to be killed nonetheless. He had killed two of his family, his own blood. It made no difference if he took the blame for a third as well. He could only be killed once. Only be punished once. But in all this, he looked for his wife who he had saved. Who was carrying his child in her womb. At least he would be safe. He, the unborn, who was really his blood. Yedu couldn’t speak as his mouth was gagged but he looked at his wife with a pleading look. A look seeking forgiveness for what he earlier was about to let happen to her & the reassurance that she would take care of his child. His blood. And she looked back at him. Tears flowing down her cheeks. Then she slowly wiped them off as a grin began to spread across her lips. She stared at him with the expression of a wolf who had trapped it’s prey. A sinister smile that spelt it all to Yedu right before the final lash stinged his skin. Then it all struck him like lightning, but it was too late, the sickle had struck his neck too. She may not found a life within her, but she did find her revenge.
I am not a conspiracy theory nut job. But I feel like pretending to be one right now. So be cool & play along will you? Let’s relax, take a deep breath & imagine everything that could possibly go wrong in your life because of different Facebook functions. Just for fun!
Profile Picture/Cover Picture –
While most pictures are set to a private setting in most FB accounts, it’s highly likely that your profile or cover picture is still public. Which means anybody can download it or save it & morph it to feature you on one of those porn websites you secretly visit! Even if your pictures are private, including your profile picture, what’s to stop hackers from getting into your account anyway? I mean, it could happen right? I know FB will tell you it can’t. But even a 0.1% chance is still a chance of something happening.Think about it.
Check In –
You’re basically letting the world know each tiny detail about your whereabouts. The exact location & exact time of your destination. Under what other circumstances, than the carefully engineered ones created by Facebook, would you do that? Even if sending a message to 500 people was made as easy as posting a check in on Facebook, would you do it? This is especially risky if you’re a regular visitor to the place. A jilted lover would know your travel times & patterns. It could put your children under risk for abduction, especially if you check in to their school, play pens, extra classes like gym, dance etc a lot.
You do realize that tagging is actually face recognition? You don’t? Think you have control over it & by simply removing tags you can fool Facebook? Try this. Tag one of your friends in a picture & then try tagging them incorrectly after 10 months. Or a year. Or two years. Facebook will tell you that’s not Mary but Jane, each time. Creepy huh.
Customized News Feed –
The customization isn’t just limited to your friends’ posts or pages you like. That would be appropriate. It goes on to decide what you want to view, based on what you search for on google, what you viewed on ANY website that has the Facebook share icon on it, what you viewed on an e-commerce website or what you recently bought. It’s like someone is watching every move you make. You shall never starve for attention again!
The ‘Heritage’ poster –
That’s right. We will follow you not only to your grave but beyond. While you are alive & well, Facebook allows you to share every little detail about your life for all to see. But what’s amazing is, even after you die, your FB account must go on, so you can add a heritage buddy who can make posts on your behalf once you die. Rumor has it that they will be launching an application called ‘Ouija’ through which your heritage buddy can contact your soul to know EXACTLY where you checked in after death. After all, the world must know that you’re ‘Feeling sad’ once you’ve checked into Hell!
So that’s the top 5 super creepy Facebook functions I could think of. I’m sure if I think hard enough I will be able to add more to it’s creepy quotient. However, I think I have indulged in more scaremongering than my soul can allow for a day. Besides, a little birdie told me that Facebook can read your thoughts while you’re looking at the home page. It just asks you to ‘What’s on your mind’ because it wants to validate whether you’re telling it the truth! Dare not be dishonest with Facebook! Or God knows where you will be ‘checking in’ next!
How are things up there? I am going to assume it’s heaven because I liked you, as a child. You were mostly good to me, though a bit strict & particular about things I didn’t fancy giving importance to back then. I remember how you would oil my hair every Sunday then let it rest in for about an hour, rub oil into my skin to make it softer than it was because it was never soft enough, never firm enough, never smooth enough. Then you would draw a bath for me & tell me stories while working up a lather in my hair. As if that ritual was not enough, you would then rub in dollops of moisturizer into my skin because, it was never soft enough…
You made sure that I was always well dressed. I had the neatest appearance as a child because you ensured that my dress was changed the minute there would be a stain or even a wrinkle.
You loved cooking my favorite meals. I recall how I loved minced mutton with a boiled egg in the center prepared in your own choice of spices. I relished the chocolate pudding you made me & you were a hit among my friends because you loved offering them food too! It was a good life. It really was.
They say that childhood is the golden phase of a person’s life. Everything is larger than life when you’re a child. Every experience leaves a mark on you & makes you who you are in your adult life. A nostalgic trip down the lanes of childhood mostly bring back delightful recollections of fond moments spent with family. Mostly.
You must be wondering, why am I writing this letter to you? Especially now, that you would not be able to read it because you are no longer among us. But you see that’s the whole point. I feel your perception about people in this lifetime was extremely flawed. And if there is an after life, I don’t want you to misjudge people the way you did back here.
I remember all too well, the gatherings Grandpa was fond of hosting. He had his own circle of friends, acquaintances, admirers & followers, some genuine others, not quite. Of all his friends, most of whom I have forgotten, I do remember Mr…. let’s just call him Mr because I do not remember his name , what he looked like or any details about his appearance whatsoever because I was just about 6 years old when he did what I am about to tell you. I only recall ‘what he did‘. I also recall what it made me feel back then & what I feel about it now. It was one of Grandpa’s gatherings. I don’t recall many details , I was too young, my apologies. All I can think of now, is my powder pink dress, the one you had lovingly picked out for me, the way it flared above my knees each time I took a twirl & the laughter that ensued between you and Mama when I tried to show her the dress & my twirl & the flair it caused, over the phone as she was away somewhere with Papa for some time. I recall the sheer joy I felt upon strutting around in my pink dress. Then I remember greeting the guests with a well taught ‘Good evening’ & then sliding away to sit quietly in the corner or running off toward the kitchen to see what ‘Victor’ , our cook was up to. Every time I entered the kitchen, Victor rewarded me with something scrumptious to eat. I liked Victor. He made me smile.
After one such trip to the kitchen, I was called upon to greet Mr. He was an old man. He was my grand father’s friend. A regular visitor in our household. He was somebody of absolutely no consequence to me. I greeted him & he petted me on my shoulder with a loud laugh. I ran away to the kitchen, where I knew Victor would be ready with a treat. The kitchen had an entrance from the drawing area & an exit toward the back that led into the kitchen garden. From the kitchen garden, I would sometimes sneak out towards the main entrance of the house to play hide & seek with the neighbor’s children, children of our household help, puppies. Basically whoever I could find. It was dark, as I made way into the kitchen garden & then ran outside to where the guest cars were parked. I had given Victor a warning that I would be running out to hide & that he was supposed to come look for me. I heard Victors voice fade away as he said he was busy & that I shouldn’t head out as it was dark. But when did I ever listen to Victor?
I found a little puppy I could play around with. I had played with him before & named him Fido. Because he liked to be fed a lot. I assumed he will come looking for me when I hid behind a car parked in the freeway. I noticed Mr not far away, with something in his hand that he brought to his lips on occasion only to take it away again. It was lit up & he breathed out smoke. I understand now that he was out for a smoke, something I hadn’t witnessed anybody in my house indulge in. I sat squatted on the ground, trying to hide from Fido. Mr casually looked in my direction & said “What are you up to?” while sporting an annoying grin. “I am hiding from Fido” . This was the end of the conversation as far as I was concerned, so I started looking behind my shoulder, trying to spot Fido somewhere. That’s when I felt his hand upon my thigh, quickly reaching beneath my pink dress. “Do you know what this is?” he asked while he touched me in a way that nobody ever had. I don’t know if it was the question that made me wiggle away or the touch of his hand. Whatever it was, it was the single most disgusting experience I had ever undergone. As I moved away from him, he got even closer but to my relief, I heard Victor. “Come back inside, you shouldn’t be out here. Can’t you see it’s dark? It’s not safe for little children”. Mr hastily withdrew his repulsive hand away from me & I ran towards Victor like I had never before. He picked me up & casually carried me back inside while I held on to him like he was dear life. Even inside the safety of my home, I held onto Victor tightly because I just couldn’t feel…safe…anymore. Much to your annoyance. You never liked Victor picking me up or holding my hand while bringing me back from the bus stop as I returned from school. You reprimanded him each time I held on to him, or pinched his trouser for a treat I couldn’t reach. “She is a child, but you must know better than to touch you master’s grand daughter inappropriately”! But with Victor, it was never that. His touch was unintentional. It was always I who had a purpose behind tugging at him. A treat. A sneak outside. A cover up job in the basement after I smeared it with poster colors. Quite unlike Mr. His touch was sinister. Repulsive. Lingering. Intentional. And he was back into the drawing room now. He headed straight toward me, picked me up without hesitation & said “What an adorable little sweetheart…I think I am going to bite your cheeks!” Which he did as you laughed & looked on without the slightest of objection or hesitation. I shrieked in pain & disgust, both inside & out, as I struggled to let myself free of his grasp. The harder I tried to push him away, the harder the two of you laughed. I ask you this. Were you deaf? That you couldn’t hear my pain? Were you blind? That you couldn’t see my obvious discomfort? How could you be so insensitive? As you laughed away while I cried, struggling to break free. And yet, It was Victor who unnerved you. But that’s the thing. Victor NEVER made me feel so repulsed in my own skin. Mr was like a serpent lingering inside my gut. I just couldn’t get it. After he had his way with me, as much as he could in your presence, he finally let go. I ran towards my room. Shut the door behind me as hard as I could & I sobbed. I had never missed Mom so much. Ever. I felt she would have understood. She would have done something to stop that monster from gnawing at my flesh the way he did, right in front of your eyes.
I still feel violated, to tell you the truth. Not as much by the thought of Mr’s hands on me, but by the very fact, that he was able to get away with it, in your presence. You let him inside our house. You didn’t come looking for me. You didn’t save me. You let him violate me & humiliate me even more inside our home, where I thought the ordeal was supposed to be over. Victor was my only source of comfort. He looked out for me. He saved me. His embrace was reassuring. And yet you despised him, but absolutely adored Mr.
I understand now that it was the outer appearance that mattered to you most. Not what a person was made up of inside. Mr was rich. Of the same class as you. Wore fancy clothes. Spoke the way you did. Ate the same food. So he had to be good. For you, his was the good touch.
Victor on the other hand was poor. Your servant. From a lowly caste. Couldn’t afford the luxuries you could. Ate left overs. Spoke a broken language you couldn’t comprehend. He was bad. For you, His was the bad touch.
But that’s not how it really is, Grandma. You were wrong about this, all your life & I couldn’t tell you because you wouldn’t believe me. And it’s a shame too because, you have no idea your prejudice made your judgement so clouded, I often wonder what kind of people you surrounded yourself with. No wonder you cried alone at times. But that’s another story.
It’s not how someone appears, but who they are inside that matters. And that’s what makes their touch, good or bad.
That’s all for this letter. Will write to you if I feel you need to learn more about life from my experiences.
Your Grand Daughter.
It is a painful subject. But what needs to be addressed, needs to be addressed. This is the more awkward version of the dreaded ‘birds & bees’ talk that parents, up until a generation ago, had to have with their off spring. I mean, what can be more embarrassing than having to sit down with your 10 yr old & try & explain to him or her where babies come from. Right? Um, wrong. I would have ‘the talk’ with my child any day than having to explain to him what the hell is happening in the serial his family watches.
But there was a time when Indian television was far more evolved & the industry did churn out some of the most thought – provoking, sensitive & even controversial serials of the time. So, without further ado, allow me to share a list I prepared of some of the most popular television shows, then & now and what they represent.
- Shanti (1994)
India’a first ever daily soap, with Mandira Bedi playing the lead, Shanti was the story of a young, confident, bold journalist who aspires to unravel the truth behind the friendship and enmity between two strong male characters in the serial & the challenges she faces in the process. Now compare that with…
Sasural Simar Ka – (2011 & Running)
This is the story of a young girl who starts out as the ‘bahu’ (daughter in law) of a family her father chooses for her to marry into that switches from one bizarre twist to another in a matter of seconds. One episode, she’s a regular ‘bahu’ doing the dishes & minding everyone else’s business, the next, she is a fly on the wall! Some days the family dwelling is full of irate women talking to themselves planning to murder people, the next day it’s literally a house of horrors! Subtle…
2. Rajni – 1985
This was the story of a middle class , married woman who was aware & very ahead of her times. She was fearless , strong & stood up against injustice when she saw it. The serial addressed many social issues like theft, child abuse, work place harassment etc with sensitivity & gave an important social message in each episode.
Sath Nibhana Sathiya – 2010 & Running
This is the story of two cousins who get married into a joint family. The orphaned cousin is meek, seldom speaks & is always self-sacrificing while the other is manipulative bitch. The mothers in law, are two in number & play good cop bad cop. Then, the manipulative cousin dies & another one fills her shoes as the ‘badi bahu’ of the ‘khandaan’ . Meanwhile the husband loves the meek wife some days & shuns her on others. In one such mood swing he marries another woman, who is very ‘modern’ & then there’s a time leap. During this period the issues the collective household tackles are grave, such as a rat in the house, a laptop that’s been washed accidentally & a few murders. That’s about it.
3. Hum Log – 1984
The first ever soap opera to be aired in the Indian sub-continent, Hum Log was the saga of an Indian middle-class family and their daily struggles and aspirations. It was created on the lines of a Mexican television series, Ven Conmigo (1975), using the education-entertainment methodology.
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai – 2009 & Running
The ongoing story of a girl who becomes a ‘bahu’ then faces some challenges adjusting in the new joint family. A few stern looks here, a few subtle hints there & the episode is generally wound up except for a few accidents & financial losses. That, & the main leads die. And there’s a time leap. And there’s a daughter. And she’s getting married. And there are stern looks here, subtle hints there. And she misses her mommy who she feels could have helped her cope with the stern looks & the subtle hints. Sob. Sob.
4. Buniyad – 1986
This iconic television series was based on the story of a patriot & freedom fighter, Haveli Ram, & his family and their ordeal during the partition of India & Pakistan in 1947.
Diya Aur Bati Hum – 2011 & Running
Again, the story of a young ‘bahu’ in a joint family with a stern mother in law & a loving husband. The daughter in law is faced with the choice of having a baby because the MIL wants it or become a policewoman because she wants it. Of course she ends up doing both & tackling terrorists with a nuclear bomb who threaten to diffuse it in the presence of her MIL, who she saves , who then starts to love her & realize the importance of police service all at the same time. While all this is happening, the children are ready to be married & somehow the policewoman bahu mistakes a city in Pakistan to be a city in India & ends up selecting a ‘bahu’ for her son from the ‘enemy’ country! Oops! & Gasp! What follows is MS Power point effects of orgasmic proportions. And then they die. And there’s a time leap.
5. Surabhi – 1993
‘Surabhi’ was a popular Indian cultural show that showcased the activities and life of women and families in an enterprising society. It dealt with their success and achievements.
Splitsvilla – 2008 & Running
A popular ‘reality’ show, where you see men & women competing to retain fellow contestants as ‘dates’ & use profanity, manipulation & overt sexuality to do so. The show usually starts with an ‘audition’ round where contestants appear to make statements like ” I want to become something”, or ” I want to prove my critics wrong” & then end up proving quite the opposite. Especially disappointing are the women, who make claims like “I was abused & all my life I have wanted to teach my abuser to respect girls & I want to show him women are not just sexual objects” & then go on to objectify themselves.
The thing is, I can go on & on, but I think I have made my point. But I can’t rest my case till I make everyone realize that this garbage being fed to our families each day exists only because we let it.
There’s no supply without a demand for something. Cut the demand. Stop watching this nonsense. Low television rating points make production houses nervous. They would have to start respecting audiences & come up with better content only if we start respecting ourselves first.
‘Fuck Television. At least the kind you watch’
Dear Daughter of Matriarchy,
It feels good to be able to express myself. The world today does not appreciate a Son of Patriarchy trying to tell a Daughter of Matriarchy ‘her place’. But you would know, that that’s not my intention. You see, our ‘arch’ rival, Matriarchy, who has always been around but has failed to gain a stronghold in society as we have, is always jealous of our success & acceptance. But I must say she does lack the drive to charge forward & fight for the throne, therefore, she keeps a low profile & rarely causes any trouble. But you daughters of Matriarchy have caused trouble from time to time . In fact, somehow, you have even managed to have your way in brother Supreme Court, first cousin Judicial System & our very own son, the constitution too! In fact the legal kin have bent over so much to your whim that it’s almost like they’ve had a sex change! And why not, your liberal pursuits are thoroughly backed by power hungry maniacs with a very distinct & clear agenda.
At first we were extremely generous. The demands were logical, why wouldn’t we be?
It’s only fair for a daughter of matriarchy to have equal footing in terms of education, owning property & the right to vote just as the sons of patriarchy do. so we granted that wish. Instead of acknowledging our generosity, we were belittled & a smear campaign was started against us. Is that how you repay people who accept your demand ?
It was said that we ‘gave in’ & that woman power made this happen. No. We just felt it would make absolutely no difference to us if women wanted to own property or gain an education or the right to vote etc. We had been dealing with this nonsense for centuries! Goodness knows what a herculean task it is to ensure that your family in particular & society in general is protected, fed, clothed & well looked after! We sure could use some help! We just hesitated at first because we knew this was a bother, an necessary evil & we were gentlemen who were chivalrous. We cared about your happiness & wanted to protect you from these burdens. Also, we felt you were already occupied with the heavy task of raising another human being! We noticed how you absolutely loved running a house of your own! No wonder you hate socks lying around & a wet towel on the bed & a kitchen full of dirty dishes. You hated it back then too. You instinctively knew what to do with the babies who grew in you & we loved them because you showed us how! We did the toiling & you baked the bread. We built the house & you made it a home. It was perfect. Alas, all good things come to an end. So did this golden age of happiness.
Look at what you’ve done now! This is EXACTLY why our ancestors were hesitant to give you power & control. For with power comes great responsibility, & that you do not accept, till date. You want the freedom to roam about alone at night, but you shun the responsibility to protect yourself. You look towards the authorities, the society, us sons of patriarchy, to ensure that a safe haven is somehow created for you. We always knew the world was an unsafe place. We knew it when we were cavemen & stepped out to hunt. How do you suppose we captured our next meal? We risked our lives in doing so. Back then you knew it too. But as time went by, your mind was manipulated by those among us who seek total control. And they are using you to break what we know of a nurtured home, a strong family, a moral society. When would you realize this?
You want sons of patriarchy to give up our natural instinct of aggression & leadership. But at the same time, you expect protection & chivalry. And we don,t blame you for that because we know that’s not you, that’s the battle you lose within yourself each day as you fight your own inner instinct of being a nurturer & your manipulated mind forces you to become something you are not.
Crime against children is at it’s highest today. Any idea why that is? What do you suppose would happen when you snatch a child away from the loving arms of his mother , who has been tricked into believing she is of no worth if she doesn’t join the workforce, & shove him in a room full of other lost children being taken care of by an attendant, a stranger or at home alone in the custody of a nanny, All of these strangers have absolutely no natural instinct to protect or nurture the child.
Why can’t the father stay at home you ask. Well a father just might. There are fathers who are doing it. But tell me this, why can’t you? Nature believed in you when she decided that instead of the father, it would be you, the mother who would bear the child & bring him into this world & for this task, mother nature prepared you too. She gave you a forgiving heart, a soft embrace, a creative bent of mind. So much so that even your body is shaped to nurture a little human being. You are the first person he recognizes, the first person he trusts, the only person who can feed him for a good amount of time, the only person who understands what he says even when he doesn’t speak. What more does nature have to give you, what words does one need to spell out to you, for you to realize that this is your most natural role? Of course you must pursue your talents. You are creative, no doubt about that. But the key to a fulfilling life is to strike a balance & assume the role that is meant for you.
Please think it over. If not for us, then for the sake of the children.
Son Of Patriarchy
Let’s buy nothing today…
Let there be no pizza box
No shopping bag full of branded clothes
No alcohol in glasses tall
No ‘extra’ pair of high heel shoes
No box of condoms ‘just in case’
No fairness face pack on your face
Let’s try being human just this once
Donate , not Spend
’cause there’s a world of difference
in gluttony & hunger
one is a rich man’s luxury
the other, a poor man’s sin
but we are neither rich nor poor
what we have is ‘just right‘
so if we save up our extra spends
a child may not sleep hungry tonight.
This Non Governmental Organization does not intend to promote God or propagate any religion. Their aim is to spread awareness among people that being depressed does not mean being mentally unstable nor does one need heavy pathological sedatives.
There are many programs & workshops that ‘Sabhyataa’ hosts around the year. Here are just a few that have gathered a good response from within the community.
‘Tathastu’ – The Spiritual Training Program
This is what they call an ‘Enlightenment’ program which focuses primarily on synchronizing the heart, mind & soul through chanting & meditation.
The workshop aims to help people with depression, anxiety disorder, OCD etc. So far, more than 36 such workshops have been conducted by the organization for women & children, 17 for Police workers , 2 workshops for various Women & Children Crime Cells & all have shown commendable results.
This is a counselling session for people struggling with issues like stress depression identity crisis etc
In conclusion, your guide in improvising your mental health should look like ‘Sabhyataa’. True spirituality can only be realized with a healthy mind. And that, is the stepping stone to ‘REAL SPIRITUAL AWAKENING‘. Win your own mind. You’d have something in common with Dalai Lama. Isn’t that really going some?
(To know more or get in touch with ‘Sabhyataa’, leave an inquiry in the comment section below)
Dedicated in humour & knowledge to my friend 'Nik'
There is abundant scientific data that provides powerful evidence of the importance of nature for our health. It is an established fact, that time spent in the Great Outdoors reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases our sense of well-being.
Before urban amenities and entertainment devices came into being, destroying our well-being , distracting us from what we have & making us run after things we don’t need, soaking up the sun, enjoying showers of rain, taking a walk outside in fresh air was entertainment for the soul. It was therapeutic for both mind and body.
Unfortunately, The modern ‘great outdoors’, are confined to malls, shopping complexes and a myriad other soul sucking temples of consumerism.
While shopping and watching movies may distract some people from trivial let downs, the relief these activities provide is momentary and superficial. In fact, most modern devices have, time and again, been linked to diseases like cancer at the very worst and sleep disturbances, anxiety or depression at the very least.
Excessive urbanisation, the constant need to ‘upgrade’ and blatant, unhealthy levels of consumerism have distanced us from nature and are a serious threat to our health. It’s no wonder that people nowadays are so stressed out, depressed and in constant ‘need’ of something they can’t quite put a finger on.
Add to this the adulterated food we put into ourselves and what we get is a breeding ground for disease and misery.
So, what’s the alternative?
The only alternative, is to go back to our roots in nature. Children must be encouraged early on, to spend time outdoors, instead of being handed gaming consoles and mobile phones. We must grow our own food and open channels of discourse with the government to accept the fact that food isn’t a manufactured commodity for trade. It’s a necessity for sustaining life and found abundantly in nature to be tapped and consumed..
We must get vegetation out of the trade cycle and switch to barter system at least with food. This can be done locally, by bringing together self supported communities. Thinking on the lines of planting vegetables in your garden instead of growing a lawn could be a good start !
We must encourage schools to teach gardening to kids. If children can have extra curricular courses like swimming, horse riding, dancing, knitting etc, then why not gardening and vegetation?
Not only will such an engagement with nature be healing , it will also ensure that our future generations are guided gently back to the right path.
Let us take the future in our hands by choosing the right path, right now.
No matter how successful we may think we are, deep down, we all seek inspiration because we realise the power of a truly inspired mind. It is believed that the true potential of the human mind can only be explored if one seeks inspiration before chasing after success.
For me, true inspiration can only come from a true story.
In today’s fast paced world, our minds have stopped working as they would in an environment more in sync with nature. The information age has rendered us incapable of forming a balanced world view & an original, unadulterated perspective because we keep churning out the same ideas that are constantly fed to us, resulting in a lack of originality, uniqueness & strength of character, ultimately leading to fewer real life heroes. Fewer real life role models.
Often in life, realisation & denial set in at the same time and when that happens, we become eager to disprove anything that seems to be a dismal thought. This was exactly my state of mind when I set my heart to look for some real stories that warm the heart & inspire the mind.
That’s when I stumbled upon a book titled ‘Broken Crayons Can Still Colour’. The book blurb suggested that this was a true story, of a man who had a broken childhood, no support, no means to even sustain himself except for turning to a rough life on the streets for survival. It was the journey of an orphan, who etched his way to greatness, serving the country & battling life’s many obstacles as he chased his calling.
To me, the initial appeal was that this was not a work of fiction. The life being described is one that someone has lived. But as I began flipping through the pages, I realised that this real-life story has the potential to change one’s perception of things in a way they may never have experienced before.
Capt. Rakesh Walia, the man whose life graces the pages of this magnificent autobiography, teaches the reader that the only essence of life is a “Never Say Die” attitude. Don’t give up, and you can achieve anything you set your heart at. I personally believe that this book would be a great motivator for one & all, whether it’s a disillusioned man or a disappointed parent, a self – loathing teenager or a self – doubting house wife.
I consider myself lucky to have found it, but I fear somebody out there may not find this handbook on surviving life while facing challenges head on, when they need it. Which is why, I wish to encourage people to read it & learn from it.
They say if a lie is spoken often enough, it is perceived as the truth.
I recently came across these pictures in my news feed on a social networking website.
Firstly, I think the statement being made is very sexist, considering the fact that it supports the notion that ONLY men rape & ONLY women are victims of rape! If we look at the statistics, we would find that women are just as capable of and responsible for, sexual crimes against children, men and other women.
Secondly, such arguments, that radical feminists bring forth, do not do justice to the concept of Personal Responsibility.
It’s as bizarre as saying, “Hey, why should I lock my door, why don’t you teach your kids not to steal? ” Of course nobody has the right to sexually assault or abuse another just as NOBODY teaches their children to commit a crime but some people DO IT REGARDLESS & that’s just a sad truth.
About dressing up, I say wear what makes you comfortable but if you step out dressed provocatively, it is bound to provoke a reaction because by definition, provocative means something that provokes. This is not to say that a short dress is in anyway responsible for the act of rape. But what IS a factor that may contribute to it is a passive looking person.Rape is, after all, about power & domination, however cowardly & heinous the act may be. It rarely, if ever, is about sexual gratification.
So, I feel, the claim that teaching women to defend themselves and take precautions like pepper spray etc does NOT promote rape culture, on the contrary, it runs along the lines of the same logic as “locking our cars & front doors” or “looking right then left before crossing the road”!
Therefore, people should quit setting examples that defeat logic & if anything, spread awareness on how to safeguard ourselves in situations that may compromise our safety & well being. So, instead of making provocative statements just to gather a political and social reaction, activists must focus on equipping people with factual knowledge and a narrative based on real, practical solutions.
Our safety is our own responsibility and while there’s no denying the importance of spreading the right messages in society, the need of the hour remains a demonstration via actions, of truly responsible behavior because equal rights come with equal responsibility.