Monday, March 28, 2011

Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month [CSAAM] - April 2011

All through April some blogger friends are hosting the CSA Awareness Month:

If you would like to add to the discussion or know somebody else who would, please note that  entries are more than welcome -

a. mailed to OR
b. posted as FB notes and linked to the FB page OR
c. posted on your own blog with the badge and "CSAAM April 2011" in the heading and linked to the main blog OR
d. linked or posted on Twitter tagged OR
e. sent via some/all of the above methods

Some topics are suggested here. Anonymous contributions are accepted and requests for anonymity will of course be honoured. I will probably be hosting at least one guest post and encourage you to do the same for non-blogger friends.

Please remember to send in a mail with links to your blog post/FB Notes (or just your input) to so that we can track your contribution and make sure that it is not inadvertently lost or something.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stop before you grow fat

Because losing weight is not an easy task!!!
So I have been on this Low Carbohydrate diet for over two weeks now. The diet has enough merits and claims to do wonders. So far the weighing scale hasn’t moved in the direction which would have given me any pleasure. But to be fair, I do feel good. Major detoxification has happened. After all being off carbs, dairy and sweets doesn’t leave one with too much choice.

Honestly, I think this is a very good diet to follow, but what works against me is my work timing. This kind of dieting needs a bit of planning, where in one can prepare and cook suitable stuff. Or where one has some help at hand. Since having moved to Singapore I have been bereft of a cook and my work hours are fairly long. This means in most cases I either starve or eat things not allowed. But I am trying to cope and thanks to Monika and 2 more wonderful ladies I am able to do some bit of it. You girls rock and if not for you all I would have given up on day 2.

The diet is surely giving me misplaced illusions and crazy dreams where in I dreamt of gorging Jalebis and eating noodles and drinking coffee. The other day I caught myself sucking at that lone piece of dark chocolate and refusing to swallow it. Next will be when I start staring at people and their food in restaurants and food courts and then surely I will be labeled as a lunatic and thrown out of the country. Ah, well!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Of Daughters and Sons

There was much celebration in the house. The mother had been blessed with a baby boy. The baby was doing well and so was the mother. All relatives were rejoicing. Someone said – It’s good that the first born is a boy, now no one needs to worry about what the next will be. And others vehemently agreed.

And a couple of years later, a girl was born too. It was the proverbial “complete family”. All efforts were put in to provide the best in class education to the boy. The best school in town, the best college in the country and then a foreign MBA. The girl got a raw deal in comparison. Being a girl she wasn’t allowed to leave her small town to big bad world of Delhi or Mumbai for higher studies. She managed. Completed her graduation and started working in a bank, and slowly and steadily made her way up.

Both the children got married. The boy is settled in USA with his wife and a son. His trips to India are random, about one in 2-3 years. His parents have never visited him. They don’t even have a valid USA visa. The girl got married too. She has a daughter.

It’s been 35 years since that blessed son was born. The father is now heart patient. He suffered a stroke followed by a paralysis attack and then failed kidneys. He has to go for dialysis regularly. The mother is fighting cancer and is undergoing Chemotherapy. She also had a mighty fall and broke her hip and thigh bone. An iron plate and rod has been inserted and she has been put on bed and has been advised no movement what so ever.

The daughter has been living with them, since the first stroke happened. She had come to take care of the father with the intention to return as soon as he recovered. It’s been 3 years ever since. In these 3 years she has taken a job transfer back to her parents town. Her daughter now goes to school there. The husband lives in another town and visits them every weekend. Her whole life revolves around her parents. The son “has not been able” to visit even once.

And still our society craves for a son. They reason – “who will take care of us when we are old and frail? The daughter will be long gone”. This is a true story. It’s happening with someone I have known for over 15 years. The desire for the son is still very strong. It doesn’t matter if we are in the 21st century already. Can we for once treat children as children? Can we for once provide them equal opportunities? I am in no way typecasting all sons in this bracket. I am just narrating a true story. Think about it… 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tales from the wedding - 1

Lots and lots happened. But of course, I can’t write them all here so let me narrate this one occasion for the sake of being narrated.

Out of all people critical for a wedding to be concluded in Northern India, Punjab, to be more specific, one very important category is that of the Eunuchs. So while you need the band walas, the mehendi walas, the cooks, the press wala, the pundits, the beauty salon lady, the guy who will put up the lights and tents, the flower wala, the photographer etc etc, the wedding cannot be treated as official commenced until the “Eunuchs” visit your home and bless the new couple.

They turn up mostly uninvited, curtsey, their impeccable network, which informs them of such occasions. And once there, they won’t depart unless paid a good hefty amount, clothes and sweets.

This is exactly what happened post the wedding. A messenger came home informing us that the Eunuchs will visit the household in the evening and that we should be prepared. I had never seen such a thing before, although vaguely aware of the concept. What followed was quite interesting. I saw my mother-in-law, asking the maid to go and inform the neighbors about the same. Some phone calls were made too.
Come evening I saw hordes of women from the neighborhood descending into our house. They were all there to see the blessings. And then the Eunuchs came all done up in this really bright and expensive attire. They came with their band of 2 musicians. Both us daughter in laws were asked to dress up and sit pretty.

What followed was quite hilarious. The Eunuchs danced and sang for close to 30 mins. Actually, if you ask me it was quite entertaining although I didn’t follow half the things they said. Post all this song and dance the newlywed girl was blessed with, guess what? Quite obvious, a son! And of course I wasn’t spared too. A son for me too!!

Post which my MIL parted with quite a hefty sum, some nice clothes and sweets! This is the tradition there. One doesn’t upset them. And no, there is no fear or irritation in giving them the money. In fact like all other wedding expense, even this is accounted for. People willingly give them what they ask for.

This is a category of people, considered to be among the lowest end of social strata, abused and cursed.  And here they were being revered as the messenger of good luck and blessings. They make their living by giving blessings and they are very sincere about it. They have accepted their misfortune and have made a livelihood out of it. One could see the desire to break ranks and live a good life glistening in their eyes and yet they performed what they were expected to with outmost honesty. Yes, it was indeed a very strange experience and very humbling too. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Adventure at Fairprice!

A rather strange thing happened yesterday at the departmental store. Aman had ventured out late in the night post dinner to pick up some essentials while I battled with some inane presentation. Trip to Fairprice (the said departmental store) is usually a post dinner affair as firstly it’s open 24 hrs and secondly it also serves as a good after dinner walk which surely my old body needs once in a while.

So yesterday the man of the house went there all by himself only to be completely stalked and then hounded by an old lady. The said lady came up to him from behind the shelves and asked him all of a sudden if he was a Jew. He isn’t and he said so, but she insisted he has to be a Jew for his eyes were so beautiful and deep and only Jews had such beautiful eyes? I mean, what kind of statement was that!!

Anyways, he denied and walked ahead. And then she came up to him again and asked if he knew who Indra Gandhi was? Of course, won’t all Indians know her? She claimed that he was related to Indra Gandhi in some way. She went one step ahead and asked Aman to inform Rahul Gandhi to play safe as his life is in danger.  That’s when it turned a little scary. And then she started talking some strange things about me as well. 

And then the lady began with her sermon on how we should both be reading the Hebrew Bible. That was the cue for Aman to really run.

So Jew, and Rahul Gandhi and Hebrew Bible?? I am so not venturing to fairprice anytime soon.